We wouldn't rush to say that "Asia"—the second song to drip off of Salem's much-anticipated debut album—is our favorite tune from the 11-track King Night, but if ever radio stations could be welcoming to such twisted amalgamations of goth, shoegaze, industrial, and rap music, the trio might find a good single here. And that's primarily because the band's oft-disturbing lyrical content is rendered completely indecipherable (so the FCC will leave them be), though, that's bolstered heftily by the phantasmic synth melody, which somehow overpowers the song's smash of distorted drum-machine beats to tip "Asia" further onto its 'beautifully creepy' side. We're not imagining any Nine Inch Nails or Skinny Puppy scenarios here, but maybe, one day, Salem could eventually reclaim the misdirected angst of certain sub-cultures and turn it into something that transcends the stubbornness of contemporary pop culture. Here's to dreams.
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This ain't necessarily our usual steez, but we just couldn't resist the old-school Basement Jaxx sound Peo de Pitte has bestowed upon DrumAttic Twins' "Crazy Love" tune. Actually, this track is an edit of Pitte's original remix of "Crazy Love" (incidentally, we've never heard the original, nor can we locate it), bolstered by a few snippets from "Disco's Revenge" by Gusto and some cut-and-paste modifications from the remixer himself. What emerges on the other side is a stuttering, hyperactive club track we'd most likely rewind at our next subterranean massive—you just can't deny the power of that hook's descending melody.
This Robot Koch (pictured above) track, from the forthcoming Friends of Friends Volume 3, the latest edition of the label's ongoing split-release series, may be called "Devil Drums," but we think the remix by Alex B would be better off entitled "Satanic Synths." Sure, the crushing 'boom-blap' of the Denver resident's production is slightly sinister, but it's that damned sawtooth-wave synth that we wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. The buzzing tone lumbers ominously through the song, even while the tempo gradually kicks things up a notch, and is constantly surrounded by a minion of plugin-addled noise from dimensions far more ghastly than our own. We'll see how the track matches up next to the offerings from the EP's co-pilot, Mexicans with Guns, along with other remixes from Salva, King Cannibal, Lunice, Mux Mool, and Free the Robots when the record comes out on October 5.
With help from precocious experimental labels like Leaving Records and Non Projects, the nether regions of the Golden State are likely to be a hotbed for inventive musicians and producers for years to come. It seems that every time we turn around, something unique is coming to us from these folks—the latest of which is harpist/vocalist Ana Caravelle. Her forthcoming debut, Basic Climb, which was recorded at Alpha Pup don Daddy Kev's studio and produced by boyfriend Asura, will be released September 28 on Non Projects, but not before a handful of remixes from some beat scene kids drop. Here, we've got a mix from Shigeto, who gives Caravelle's composition a crackling once over, and mixes in his own stuttered melodies and broken grooves while leaving much of the artist's voice and harp plucks intact. The remix is an ideal marriage of live musicianship and electronic wizardry that works well in keeping both approaches interesting and fresh.
Once we got the tip over on FACT that Actress was hooking up the web with a free track, we were happy to help spread the good word about producer Darren Cunningham's latest innovative tunes. Truthfully, we though it would be a bit more of the slow-burning, subtly nuanced electronics that we've come to expect from Actress, but "Git It" is something entirely different—it's as close to club music as Cunningham is likely to get. A strong IDM vibe runs through the hurried clicks, disjointed thumps, and hypnotic melodies of the tune, which appropriately kicks off with a vocal stating, "This one's for the ladies." And while we wouldn't mind "Git It" kickstarting a new direction for Actress, the MP3 was initially tagged with "HAZYVILLE LP" in the "Album" section, so this is likely a cut that didn't make the cut on his 2008 debut. We're glad to hear it, anyway.
Veteran MC Roots Manuva is set to unleash his seventh album of dubby hip-hop gems next month via his decade-plus home, Big Dada, and we've got its opening track right here. "Butterfly Crab Walk (feat. Riddla)" ushers you into Duppy Writer with some strong irie vibes; low-slung bass plucks, a simple drum pattern, stabbing organ melodies, and Manuva's trademark rasp—occasionally fed through a healthy bit of delay—all offer a good-natured and welcoming start to this long-awaited record. It's easy to hear that producer Wrong Tom, who shares the artist credit with Manuva, is sticking to his, um, roots on the instrumentation for Duppy, which is ideal seeing as how most of the upcoming record is a series of re-works from Manuva's back catalog. Duppy Writer comes out September 21.
No, this isn't Mariah Carey's Shake it Off, but Pollyn's tune by the same name certainly carries the same sentiment put forth by the pop diva; don't let the bad times get you down. James Pants takes the idea to heart with this revelrous remix taken from the LA-based band's fourth and final remix EP, Shake Out the Other Way. Huge drum beats, uproarious horn stabs, thick synth melodies, and loads of busy percussion all contribute to the hyperactive vibe on Pants' driving production, which could just as easily find its way into a Broadway musical soundtrack as it could motivate you to get your sad self off the couch and out of those sweatpants. You can find more hotly tipped treatments of tracks off Pollyn's debut album, This Little Night, from Nosaj Thing, Exile, and Them Jeans when the Shake EP is released on August 31.
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