Composer, sound designer, and certified Ableton Live educator Laura Escudé certainly has the electronic music street cred necessary to back her forthcoming debut album, Pororoca. The title track of her new record is chock full of smooth strings, delayed synths, and ominous choir vocals, all of which combine to make up the bulk of her moody piece. In fact, a beat doesn't make its way into the song until two minutes in, and disappears in half the time—reminding us of an era when electronic music was more centered around melody than rhythm.
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Philadelphia coldwave patrons Cold Cave released Love Comes Close last year, but they're just now getting around to releasing a proper 12" single for "Life Magazine." The track is treated to remixes from the likes of Pantha du Prince, Arthur Baker, and, here, Optimo. Fresh off the finale of their long-running weekly Sunday-night party, the Glaswegian duo's intent is clear from the onset; JD Twitch and JG Wilkes are gonna make you move. Their mission is accomplished with much aplomb through hijacking the vocal from its original synth-pop resting place, and placing it in the middle of an energetic space-disco workout. Optimo also has an entry in the venerated Fabric mix series the comes out next week, and the "Life Magazine" 12" drops on June 8.
Since 2006, the Jus Like Music site has been championing sonic gems from the worlds of hip-hop, neo-soul, jazz, dubstep, funk, and more, but earlier this year, these bloggers decided to take their advocacy to another level and launch their own online record label. After releasing the debut single from Londoner BUG, the young label's catalog was bolstered significantly with Oscillations, a two-part compilation featuring contributions from Slugabed, Alex B, Om Unit, and a bunch of other newcomers who could be lumped beneath the ever-expanding "beat scene" umbrella. One of those newcomers was Bnjmin, a young UK producer who also records under the more widely known Jackhigh and Singing Statues monikers. His song "Arose" was originally slated to appear on Oscillations, yet time constraints forced it from the final tracklist, so Jus Like Music has passed it along to share as an XLR8R exclusive. If you like its washy tones and subdued vibe, then you'll probably want to go ahead and grab Oscillations online, as both parts are available for free download.
Milwaukee's Signaldrift has been releasing music since 1998, but have been relatively silent in recent years—the duo's last album was 2005's Set Design. Later this month, the ambient-shoegaze-Krautrock outfit is getting back into the game with Two Agents, a limited-run double LP on Portland's Audraglint label. "Yesterday's Tomorrow" is public's the first taste of Two Agents, and it sounds like an extra-chill Neu! song bathed in a warming glow of soft reverb. If all Kraturock-influenced music sounded this good, we're thinking there would be a whole lot more girls in the scene.
One-man beatmaker and new Anticon signee Baths certainly knows how to keep things interesting, with tracks ranging from Dilla-like funk to this little summertime glo-fi gem. A nice shuffle is paired with enough noisy little squelches and secondary percussion to keep things interesting on "Hall," but it is perhaps the earworm of a vocal melody that serves as the piece's most winning trait: a soaring falsetto rides beautifully over acoustic guitar samples and synth knob-twists. Imagine the best sort of freak-folk remixed into something beat-heavy and palatable and you just might have "Hall."
Beginning with a minute of brooding synths and bells that could have been lifted directly from Silent Shout, then moving towards a more Jan Hammer circa Miami Vice vibe, Diamond Vampires' "The Mineral Room" eventually becomes a full-blown dark balearic track. Watery vocoded elements, killer kicks, and some secondary synth harmonies that scream late-night rave round out the piece, cementing the group's place among the non-chillwave crowd of newer electronic musicians making people dance. (Via 20JFG)
The mere mention of Brooklyn-based dancehall MC Jahdan Blakkamoore's name is enough to get the XLR8R staff excited, so we were thrilled to see that Jahdan voiced several tracks on Concentric Circles, the new album from bass producer and fellow New Yorker Nate Mars. Also featuring guest vocals from artists such as Dub War resident Juakali and UK grime MC Nika D of Virus Syndicate, Concentric Circles finds Mars brewing up a low-end strain of dubstep that leans heavy on the dub. "Above & Beyond Dem" is a quality primer, as an AutoTuned Jahdan sings sweetly over a burping synth and low-end rumble.
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