If there was any doubt in your mind that motorik space-disco was alive and well, Parisian quartet Chateau Marmont will certainly assuage such notions. The title track from the group's forthcoming second EP, Nibiru, is a pure Italo number, complete with arpeggiating synths, a driving beat, thick spacial electronics, and an ominous choir lurking behind it all. "Nibiru"'s pace remains constant throughout its five-minute runtime, but big key changes, plenty of instrumentation, and epic movements in the song's trajectory keep things fresh and interesting the whole time.
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The German-born DJ/producer Christoph Caominh (a.k.a. Caltrop) may release his music on the practically un-Googleable Portland-based Nude Photo Music label, but he calls the Bay Area home. His latest track for the imprint, "Good to See You," sounds like Caltrop traveling between the three locations. The motorik churn of Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express" is invoked while Caominh's brightly colored synths, calming melodies, and passing analog textures call to mind the beach cliffs and mountain tops seen on drives through the Pacific Northwest.
Looks like another candidate for "chillwave" act of the moment has come into view. London-based duo Visions of Trees has harnessed the blissful, reverb-soaked sonics necessary to put themselves in the running, a new sample of which is available here on the group's remix of Memory Tapes' jam "Green Knight." Dense atmosphere and plinking electronics engulf the original's piano melody and high-register vocal performance, but the muffled house beat which eventually overtakes the track helps bolster "Green Knight" into a tune you'd expect to hear at a dance party in your dreams. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)
Here, Munich's Filterwolf gets the remix treatment from Berlin's Bodycode (a.k.a. Portable), and while the original contains some interesting convergences of deep house and more electro sounds, the rework overtakes it. Slowing down the tempo and emphasizing the lush synth stems and vocal samples of the original, Bodycode's remix of "Nocturne" is what deep house should be, recalling slower Moodymann jams and even a bit of DJ Sprinkles. With the original up for free download on the Process Recordings site, though, listeners can make a decision for themselves, and even watch a sexy video while they're at it.
One of Ninja Tune's original star producers, Funki Porcini (a.k.a. James Braddell), returns with his fifth album for the label, and with a first single like "This Aint the Way to Live," there's no doubt that Braddell has stuck to his downtempo/chillout roots. Here, sub-sonic bass, foreboding synth harmonies, and bits of squelch ride over dusty percussion that occasionally explodes in wet, synthetic fury. In some ways, "This Aint the Way to Live" is almost too dark for a club's side room, but it is certainly perfect for rainy day walks or drives through a metropolis, its gray sonic pallette and plodding tones reflecting slick streets and soaked faces.
Natalie Storm, who we recently profiled and also voiced last year's XLR8R podcast from The Heatwave, is the most scorching new diva in funky and dancehall, and here she warms up this vocal refix of FootSteps' "Worker." The original stands alone as an incredibly syncopated bashment anthem, but The Heatwave's addition of Storm's up-front voicings transforms the track into even more of a club burner. (Via Dutty Artz)
There is a whole lot going on in Spanish producer Mwëslee's track "Pacifico." Aside from the slow-rolling breakbeat and the wobbly synths that make up most of the music, the track from his forthcoming Eurocarne EP is filled to the brim with churning ambiance, cut up guitar samples, twinkling sound effects, lilting percussion, and something that sounds like a bird tweeting in a far off cave. All of these disparate elements coalesce nicely into a piece of futuristic beat music from one of the sunnier parts of Europe.
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