LA's Free the Robots has slowly been crafting one of the more unique sounds to come out of the West Coast beat scene, pairing futuristic basslines that could fit into a dubstep set with chunky, dusty beats that sound straight out of the mid-'80s. On "Orion's Belt Buckle," bass throbs in front of wet, slowed industrial percussion while spacey synth lines and arpeggiations round out the track's melodic end. With his debut album, Ctrl Alt Delete, coming out March 30, this slice is exemplary of what this young beatmaker can do.
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The wacky digi-punk sounds found on the original track "Bastard Kids," by Belgian outfit The Brown Acid, are just about completely removed on this remix by Ikonika. Her incongruous version of the song turns up the dubstep and garage levels to the max with the sheen of glossed-over percussion, wavering synth tones, and a head-slamming beat that'll move just about any room in her native UK. Once the sparkling melodies rise to the top of the whole jam, Ikonika will have won over anyone within earshot of the track.
Yes, we know that this is the theme song to that goofy new show on HBO where the most witty and attractive "hipsters" on the planet hustle their way through the "mean streets" and "glamorous nightlife" of a fantasyland version of the Big Apple. Yes, we also know that the average shelf life of TV theme songs is about four days. But damn if this track from LA soul-slinger Aloe Blacc isn't the finest slice of vintage-sounding, piano- and horn-powered funk we've heard in quite some time. We're not usually big on nostalgia parties, but if you can't enjoy a few laps in the "I Need a Dollar" pool, you're officially dead inside.
Nu-jazz crooner Jose James continues to soothe with his smokey intonations on this track from his latest album, Black Magic. There's something of the late Marvin Gaye in James' voice on the piece, whose crackling beats and vintage organ samples could only come from LA's Flying Lotus. In short, "Code" is perfect for some sexual seduction, but if you want a more immediate experience of FlyLo's musical prowess, the producer is also making some limited live appearances in the coming months, which you can check out below. Flying Lotus Tour Dates: 03-17 Austin, TX - The Phoenix [Warp SXSW Showcase] 03-27 San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine 03-30 New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge 04-01 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick 04-02 Chicago, IL - Double Door 04-03 Minneapolis, MN - BarFly Loft
Taken from the second of All City's set of 10 collaborative 10" releases highlighting acts from LA's burgeoning beat scene, Take's "Soul Particles" begins with a soulful disco sample, then launches into a shuffle that would make Flying Lotus proud. Snippets from the original sample form the regal melodic backdrop for the piece, with echoing female vocals and a nice, lilting synth line doing most of the work in front of secondary blips. With his more sample-heavy, experimental approach to crafting beats, Take is on track to become one of the most unqiue artists to emerge from what is an increasingly crowded genre.
Here's the latest in buzz-worthy NSFW internet drama. Dancehall MCs Ms. Thing and Psycho Tanbad have rallied their vocal skills atop of Brooklyn producer Dre Skull's Smoke Machine riddim, which was also the basis for last year's "Yuh Love" track by Vbyz Kartel, and come up with the hyper-sexual "Bonify." So what's the controversy? Well, listen to the song. Over Skull's upbeat, melodic riddim, Thing and Tanbad wax erotic—explaining every reason they prefer each other to their respective partners—in graphic detail. There's a video for the track here, and a super raw, so-not-okay-for-the-office video floating around the internets as well. Lil Kim and R. Kelly, eat your hearts out. You can buy the "Bonify" single on iTunes.
This subdued piece of techno comes to us from the new Youandewan EP, Sub-Rosa, who crafted this dub of the original track by dOP. The Leeds-based producer's sparse, reverberated percussion nicely compliments the subtle, throbbing low-end and serves as the perfect backdrop for the chopped-and-screwed vocal loop to dance about from one ear to the other.
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