Seven Fields of Aphelion might be a member of psychedelic freak-pop outfit Black Moth Super Rainbow, but on "Mountain Mary," she channels a more gentle soundscape filled with tiny bells, grainy piano lines, and soaring synth harmonies. This is music for running through fields of tall, golden grass in the fading afternoon sun. Sentimental as it is, the piece also contains a layered, dusty elegance that is quite breathtaking. Look forward to February, when Seven Fields' Periphery comes out just in time for lazy spring days.
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The first single from Alex Smoke's upcoming third album sounds a bit like Thom Yorke doing gloomy microhouse—ultra-processed cyborg vocals, dry percussion, and some foreboding orchestral strains ride over a loping house beat. Mysterious UK producer Automaton destroys the piece in the best way possible, transforming it into a sputtering, grinding trek through the wasteland of a post-apocalyptic landscape where androids manage to dance to experimental dubstep. Though human dancefloors might not be ready for the remix of "Lux+," it's certain that somewhere, robots are getting down to this business.
With a sound that brings to mind the more herky-jerky moments of Nosaj Thing's productions and the vinyl-ripped ambiance prevalent in much of Flying Lotus' material, "Hot Box the Cockpit" is an interesting piece of bass music from SF-via-LA beatsmith Shlohmo. A flutter of birdsong brings us into the track before a slow, arpeggiated synth swells up into clicking rhythms and a buzzing bass drop, sending the song off into the stratosphere. "Hot Box the Cockpit" is taken from the re-release of Shlohmo's EP, Shlohmoshun, by the Friends of Friends label, which comes with additional remixes from Low Limit (of Lazer Sword), Tokimonsta, and devonwho, to name a few. Shlohmoshun Deluxe is out Jan 12.
Seeing as how Anthony Collins was raised both stateside (NY) and overseas (France), it's no surprise the prolific producer's music embraces the kind of house and techno that both cultures have come to widely know and love. Now based in Paris, Collins has written "Another Lonely Night" for Belgian techno label Curle. The song is propelled by a classic house beat which ties together the delayed synth work, intermittent piano flourishes, and plaintive vocal loop—making something altogether familiar but nonetheless perfect for peak-of-the-night dance parties. He's also released a video for the song, which you can check out here.
Creating space techno from a jazz perspective is not a common approach, but somehow the duo of Skinnerbox manage to do just that on "King of Diamonds," utilizing a 7/8 time signature, harp-like synth arpeggiations, some weird acid squelch, and a warm Moog-driven melody. Though the track's sound is certainly of the present, it does share some lovely similarities with old Mr. Fingers workouts and more meditative Detroit tracks of the 1990s. If this is the future of techno, then we have a lot to look forward to!
To commemorate their recent tour together, Washington DC's Fort Knox Five and Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak have worked out a remix swap—each group taking a stab at one of the other's tracks. For Kraak & Smaak's reinterpretation, they tweaked and twisted "What Make Ya Dance feat. Rootz," a song that originally sounded something like a contemporary "Low Rider." Here, pilfering only a horn loop and Rootz's vocal track, the song is turned into a classic rave-up chock full of skronking basslines, punchy breakbeats, and sinister synth melodies.
Taken from an official Gucci Mane mixtape in the works over at the Diplo-run Mad Decent camp, his remix of "Danger's Not a Stranger" doesn't sound quite like something the Philly-based party starter would make. Subdued synths, soft-sung choir vocals, and a R&B piano melody jacked from Mariah Carey kick the track off before a head-nodding beat and Gucci's guttural croon take it to new levels. The remix is probably one of the most thoughtful and seemingly heartfelt tracks from Diplo in recent memory—which isn't all that surprising since he's an unabashed Gucci fan—and provides a great contrast to the rapper's original tune with DJ Drama. (via Mad Decent)
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