Techno has long been saddled with labels like "faceless," "soul-less," and "abstract," all of which apply to many artists and releases in the genre. Not so with Jesse Siminski, who, under his Heartthrob guise, has crated a debut album that breathes emotion back into the 4/4 time signature. Called a "roller coaster ride" in a recent press release, Siminski's music has a definite up-and-down feeling to it that creates alternates between lighter moments and those where the bass is so brooding and heavy it leaves one feeling as though the Apocalypse is truly upon us. "Slow Dance" is making its way around the European dance circuit, most notably in the DJ sets of Minus boss Richie Hawtin. Photo by Markus Jans.
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Huge Hephner is the alias of producer Billy Dalessandro, co-founder of Siteholder Records and an artist frequently credited with merging the respective 4/4 worlds of Chicago and Europe. Dalessandro first used the name a year ago, when he released The Booty Drop EP on Siteholder's digital sub-label. Since then, he has curated his first vinyl release, Pimp Slappin', as well as his debut full-length, Nymphotech. Despite the vaguely hip-hop-sounding titles of these releases, the Hugh Hephner style remains firmly rooted in house and techno, mixing the warm, upbeat vibes of Dalessandro's hometown Chicago with the dark, sinister sounds more commonly found across the ocean.
For Life marks not only the debut album for Hearts of Palm UK (who aren't, in fact, from the U.K. and won't reveal the meaning of the band name's suffix to anyone), it's also the first release for Hypnote in over a year. The label took a hiatus to set up its Britain-based office, and now that the odds and ends of business are sorted, they're ready to unleash this dreamy, pop-flavored release this fall. The three ladies who make up the band mix guitars and drums with a variety of electronic instruments that give the tracks a rather Postal Service feel, which is to say there's a soothing, gentle aura to the music that makes a listener tingle all over.
No Limit Records head honcho Master P, real name Percy Miller, knew how to make a buck. When the label had a good single, he didn't just put it on one release to sell one time. The single would go on on multiple full-lengths, because why sell something once when you can sell it two or three times? The undeniable "I Can Tell" track showed up on records from 504 Boyz and Mercedes, and also appeared on the rest of the No Limit empire of compilations, VHS tapes, and tall-tees. DJ J-Laini, based in the not-quite-Dirty-South locale of Finland, is on some Percy Miller shit here, working and chopping that unforgettable "I Can Tell" chorus over some hot new beats. Wyatt Williams
We happen to love Flying Lotus around here–everything from his uncredited musical segues for Adult Swim to his latest EP 1 X 3. So, pairing his mad-scientist beats with some words from the self-described "embalming fluid" of hip-hop, Lil Wayne, is enough to make everyone here at XLR8R drop what they're doing to take a listen. "Robo Tussin" deserves your full attention; the floating, nearly aquatic beat gives these verses from Lil Wayne's "A Milli" a flipped out vibe. Are we already salivating at thought of more collaborations from these two? Sure, but we'll probably just listen to this track on repeat until that happens. Wyatt Williams
Information about UK-based artist [snyzch] is limited. So limited, in fact, that his MySpace profile describes him as an "enigma wrapped in a tortilla." We invite you to draw whatever conclusions you'd like about the person who titled this song "I Eat Cocks Like You For Breakfast," but rather than speculate, we're going to stick to the music. The track is a raucous, dark gem of glitch-addled synth pop; the vocals suggest a late take on the electro clash explosion of a few years back. Notably, the track is featured on the Seed Records Volume 2 compilation. Wyatt Williams
For Ariel Pink, the cliche "toiling in obscurity" may have been an understatement. Born Ariel Rosenburg, he worked by himself for years, recording album after album of tape-trick-laden pop songs to create the surreal world of Ariel Pink. It wasn't until 2004 that a CD-R of his music arrived in the hands of bedroom-genus group Animal Collective, something which kick-started his music career and gave his act an audience. In the years since, as Paw Tracks has continued to release albums from his vaults of work, Rosenburg has faced an entirely new problem. How does one recreate live the sounds of music that previously existed only in the netherworlds of four-track cassette tape? One way is to gather up a group music vets who've done work with a laundry list of bands from Devendra Banhardt to Cibo Matto and hit the road, which happens to be what they're currently doing. Wyatt Williams
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