New York is no stranger to disco-influenced electro-pop, what with The Golden Filter and the stable of DFA artists, but there's always room for another addition to the party. Elizabeth Harper and Mark Richardson are Class Actress, a Brooklyn outfit born from a mutual love for vintage synths and classic pop. The title-track from their Journal of Ardency EP is just that; cool and collected vocal hooks from Harper's sultry croon floating atop a straightforward dance beat rife with shimmering synths and bouncing basslines.
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Whenever M.A.N.D.Y. and Booka Shade collaborate, the result is sure to be some floor-filling, ass-shakingly elegant tech-house. Here, the quartet's single, which originally appeared on the 2007 5 Years Get Physical 5 compilation, has been remixed by Gui Boratto, who uses a dub techno stem from the original to form his version's heart, propelling the track towards an early peak that practically oozes arpeggiation. Though most of the stems remain unchanged sonically, Boratto's rearrangement is decidedly more punchy and effective than the original. The single also includes remixes from Boy 8 Bit, James Talk, Ben Hoo, and Logistics, and Booka Shade will also be doing their own version of "Donut" on their new album, slated for release later this year.
If being called Little Girls wasn't creepy enough for you, how about turning "10 Mile Stereo" by Beach House (a favorite of many little girls to be sure) into something that sounds like Ian Curtis reuniting Joy Division from beyond the grave. Producer Josh McIntyre removed Victoria Legrand's original vocal from his version, and inserted a particularly large amount of lo-fi doom and gloom in its stead—leaving the rest of the music more or less intact.
With a new album out and a major tour starting soon, Owen Pallett (a.k.a. the Canadian pop composer formerly known as Final Fantasy) continues to gather fans, and this remix from the UK's Simon Bookish is certain to please even the most cynical ears. "Keep the Dog Quiet" is sped up and given a more bouncy flair, complete with multi-layered orchestral stabs, deep bass, and cut-up samples of Pallett's vocals. In the end, the piece recalls Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch singing over a particularly lush Wham City track, a unique combination if there ever was one.
The debut single from Brooklyn's Kingdom, out now on Fool's Gold, features all the elements we've come to expect from his productions; R&B vocal work (provided here by Shyvonne), spacey electronics, warbling low-end, and big, bouncing dance beats. For his remix, L-Vis 1990 ups the track's future-house vibes with a mass of tweaked vocals, extra percussion bits, and all sorts of interjecting synth lines. The full Mind Reader EP also features remixes from Todd Edwards and Bok Bok, along with Kingdom's b-side, "You."
The fact that several incarnations of "Taurus," by San Francisco producer Dave Luzius (a.k.a. Loose Shus), have been floating around for years in live sets and on self-released CDs before receiving a proper release from Plant speaks volumes to its classic sound. The funky Quincy Jones bassline, smooth Donna Summer string section, and motorik Giorgio Moroder beat of "Taurus" all pay homage to the golden eras of pop and disco, yet the track remains new and original in its own right. Don't miss Loose Shus when he brings his insane audio/visual live performance to San Francisco's Grow Up party this Wednesday.
This March, Scott Morgan (a.k.a. loscil) will be unveiling his fifth album, Endless Falls. Lucky for us (and you), the folks at kranky decided to slip us a little preview in the form of "Dub to Cascadia." True to form, the Vancouver-based producer burns slow rather than hot, as the song finds him meticulously layering ambient washes, digital fuzz, thudding bass notes, and haunting hints of melody. Need the perfect soundtrack for sullenly staring out the window on a grey winter day and pondering exactly what the hell happened to your life? This might be it.
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