Gas is the abstract musical project of producer and Kompakt Records co-founder Wolfgang Voigt. Under this moniker, he's become known for hypnotic synth loops, relentless bass drums, and samples manipulated beyond recognition. Gas, Zauberberg, Königforst, and Pop were all released between the years 1996 and 2000 on experimental label Mille Plateaux. Kompakt has gotten ahold of the four albums and released them once again in 2008. The four-CD boxed set includes remastered versions of each track packaged with artwork prints a couple new tracks for the truly die-hard.
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Rainbow Arabia is the married couple of Danny and Tiffany Preston, and the two have risen from the L.A. underground with their amalgamation of experimental dance music and Middle Eastern flavors. The resulting sound, which can be heard in full on the duo's forthcoming EP The Basta, is a mix of up programmed electro beats, riffing guitars, strange, call-to-war vocals, and an endless amount of energy. The duo is finishing up a full-length now, slated for release in late 2008/early 2009.
Up next in the All City Records 7 x 7 Beat Series is a track from Mweslee. Known for is layered instrumental hip-hop and electronic compositions, the Galiza, Spain-based producer cites everyone from Freestyle Fellowship and Hot Chip to Tadd Mullinix and Yo! MTV Raps as influences on his music. "Jamas Jame Jamon" is the flip to the soul-drenched "Chandal 500" track, and features an amalgamation of heavy synths, hand-claps, and, somewhere buried beneath all the electronics, some shades of hip-hop.
Huge Hephner is the alias of producer Billy Dalessandro, co-founder of Siteholder Records and an artist frequently credited with merging the respective 4/4 worlds of Chicago and Europe. Dalessandro first used the name a year ago, when he released The Booty Drop EP on Siteholder's digital sub-label. Since then, he has curated his first vinyl release, Pimp Slappin', as well as his debut full-length, Nymphotech. Despite the vaguely hip-hop-sounding titles of these releases, the Hugh Hephner style remains firmly rooted in house and techno, mixing the warm, upbeat vibes of Dalessandro's hometown Chicago with the dark, sinister sounds more commonly found across the ocean.
Techno has long been saddled with labels like "faceless," "soul-less," and "abstract," all of which apply to many artists and releases in the genre. Not so with Jesse Siminski, who, under his Heartthrob guise, has crated a debut album that breathes emotion back into the 4/4 time signature. Called a "roller coaster ride" in a recent press release, Siminski's music has a definite up-and-down feeling to it that creates alternates between lighter moments and those where the bass is so brooding and heavy it leaves one feeling as though the Apocalypse is truly upon us. "Slow Dance" is making its way around the European dance circuit, most notably in the DJ sets of Minus boss Richie Hawtin. Photo by Markus Jans.
For Life marks not only the debut album for Hearts of Palm UK (who aren't, in fact, from the U.K. and won't reveal the meaning of the band name's suffix to anyone), it's also the first release for Hypnote in over a year. The label took a hiatus to set up its Britain-based office, and now that the odds and ends of business are sorted, they're ready to unleash this dreamy, pop-flavored release this fall. The three ladies who make up the band mix guitars and drums with a variety of electronic instruments that give the tracks a rather Postal Service feel, which is to say there's a soothing, gentle aura to the music that makes a listener tingle all over.
No Limit Records head honcho Master P, real name Percy Miller, knew how to make a buck. When the label had a good single, he didn't just put it on one release to sell one time. The single would go on on multiple full-lengths, because why sell something once when you can sell it two or three times? The undeniable "I Can Tell" track showed up on records from 504 Boyz and Mercedes, and also appeared on the rest of the No Limit empire of compilations, VHS tapes, and tall-tees. DJ J-Laini, based in the not-quite-Dirty-South locale of Finland, is on some Percy Miller shit here, working and chopping that unforgettable "I Can Tell" chorus over some hot new beats. Wyatt Williams
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