When the Unsound Festival kicks off in New York next week, many people will flock to see heavy hitters like Carl Craig and Vladislav Delay or buzzworthy up-and-comers like Untold. Yet the festival curators have taken special care to invite all sorts of artists to participate, and the man traveling the farthest to perform is none other than Belarusian dub-techno producer Pavel Ambiont. Although his name may not ring out quite yet, the analog pulse of "Error Asking Thread to Dub" is proof that you can never can be sure exactly who is going to blow your mind at festivals like this one. Ambiont will be performing on February 13 as part of the Bass Mutations showcase alongside Untold, 2562, TRG, Pole, and FaltyDL—not a bad introduction to the United States.
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Be it dirty, sampled breaks or shimmery, electronic loops, the mark of a great hip-hop producer usually lies more in the bang-and-slap than notable melodies. Yet Brian Lindgren (a.k.a. Mux Mool) has no need to worry, as the Brooklyn producer is strong in both categories. His new single, "Lady Linda," makes use of all his talents as it oscillates focus between a few Boards of Canada-esque synthlines and a shuffling beat that could make FlyLo jealous. The track precedes Mux Mool's forthcoming Viking Funeral EP and his debut full-length for Ghostly, entitled Skulltaste.
Crafty producers have been churning out upbeat, analog-synth-powered dance tunes for decades now, but the infectious nature of a good arpeggio is practically undeniable, especially when paired with a solid backbeat. Amsterdam's Rimer London, who also spends time in electro-disco outfit Le Le, has learned this lesson well, as "Intercity" is a delicious dose of spacey-yet-danceable electronic pop. You know, the kind that vaguely recalls the early '80s when people loved/feared technology in a totally naive way and everyone couldn't wait for someone to invent a robot that knew how to love. That's what 1983 was like, right?
Sounding something like a lush combination of Hudson Mohawke's stuttering productions and Top 40 radio's sugary hooks, "Ceja De Carnival," from Spain's BFlecha, is a surprisingly brilliant original track to be coming from such a young artist, especially one whose native stomping grounds in Galicia aren't exactly known as a hotbed of wonky beats. The talented female producer seems to not only know her way around a solid hip-hop beat, but also the kind of synth work that makes those kinds of productions flow so well. You can grab "Ceja De Carnival" along with its B-side, "Kosmic Lovers," from Arkestra in February.
The first taste of Lali Puna's first album in over five years comes in the understated electronic pop of "Remember." Per usual, singer Valerie Trebeljahr's soft-spoken voice provides an ideal counterpart to the song's pulsing bass synths and clicking drum beats. "Remember" manages to be upbeat without being giddy, somber without being sullen, and altogether memorable. Our Inventions is out April 1 on Morr Music.
One of numerous remixes on the upcoming Weapons EP by classically trained singer/composer Ryan Lott (a.k.a. Son Lux), Polyphonic's version of "Weapons III" utilizes tumbling synth melodies and droning atmosphere to create a tense noise composition not unlike something from Matmos' Supreme Balloon album. The song helps round out a varied release that also features re-works from Nico Muhly and Alias alongside Son Lux's original tracks.
Brooklyn duo Blondes spent much of the past year perking up ears with their lo-fi, hands-on approach to synth-driven dance music and techno, and now the boys are getting ready to step up their profile with an appearance at New York's Unsound Festival. The festival runs February 4th through the 14th and Blondes will be performing on the 11th as part of a special Brooklyn Electronic Music Showcase with Morgan Geist and Neurotic Drum Band. The pulsing keys of "You Mean So Much to Me (Acid Redux Cut)" can actually be found on a free compilation put together by Brooklyn record shop Halcyon, which also features cuts from fellow Unsound acts like Carl Craig, FaltyDL, Derek Plaslaiko, and Tomas Bednarczyk.
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