8-bit tunes are so 2005. Seattle's premiere bass-toting, hip-hop-obsessed gamers-cum-production duo, Splatinum up the resolution on its latest single, "Pumping Quarterz." The track's hard-hitting beat and vocodered hook ("fat booty bitches is so delicious") speak to the outfit's club-lovin' side, but the buzzing synths and assorted sound effects are clearly the work of pure video game fanboys. It would be a stretch to call "Pumping Quarterz" geek-hop, or any other contrived genre title, but Splatinum offers sounds for both ends of that spectrum—along with remixes from Mochipet and Inaudible—on its Pumping Quarterz EP, available for free download here.
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Miami's Gosub has certainly absorbed the electro-funk sounds that have been coming from Detroit for years, as "Eyes of Nimrud" sounds like a lost Drexciya track. Its ominous bass loop, dry hand-claps, and squelchy synth runs would fit right in on a Submerge Recordings compilation, and the pitch-shifted vocals are insanely similar to those on countless Underground Resistance recordings. While the press release's claim that Gosub is "predicting funk's future" seems a bit absurd as a result of these similarities to older, more venerated recordings, his talents are evident and plentiful on this track taken from his The Last Time... EP. Available on sale right now, it would behoove all fans of UR and its affiliates to jump on this slice ASAP.
It's pretty awesome that Scion brought out the big guns to release this brand-new track from veteran garage producer Todd Edwards as the next installment of its Scion A/V Remix series. More awesome still is the host of remixers corralled to flesh out the release: 2-step legend MJ Cole, Feadz, and future-dubstep darling Joy Orbison all have a go at Edwards' original. Here, Orbison tones down the ecstatic sounds of "I Might Be" for an even-keeled number that places subtle synth melodies and sub-bass rumbles far below the soulful Auto-Tuned vocal hooks and stuttering dance beats. If you're interested in doing some comparisons on your own, you can grab Edwards' original version and the rest of the remixes over here, well before the EP's official release date on April 12.
Taken from Bustin' Loose, the fourth compilation released by the DC-based T&A label (run by Tittsworth and DJ Ayers), this remix of Steve Starks' "Lydia" by Smalltown Romeo is a high-energy exercise in rolling basslines, bouncing disco-house beats, and a seemingly endless arsenal of swelling background sounds. The Canadian supergroup—made up of the Smalltown DJs duo and Wax Romeo—seems to have only left the original's Spanish vocal intact, but even that is vocodered into oblivion. Basically, "Lydia" receives an almost complete 180—effectively transforming from a gritty street-bass number into something more suitable for a nightclub with a dress code.
While Sweden's Club 8 are among the most popular independent acts in their native country, their profile overseas has been virtually non-existent. Their sixth full-length, The People's Record, promises to change that circumstance, what with its pop hooks and indebtedness to world musics. Here, countrymen Pallers take the slick Afrobeat of "Western Hospitality" and transform it into a synth-drenched, dubby excursion. Maintaining the guitar melodies of the original through lovely buzzing synth parts, the duo have crafted a piece that fans of Tanlines and Lemonade will certainly appreciate.
Veteran German knob twiddlers To Rococo Rot are at it again. On June 29, the trio is releasing its seventh album, entitled Speculation. Recorded in the rural studio of legendary Krautrock outfit Faust, it's sure to find the fellows continuing to blur the lines between acoustic and electronic instrumentation and taking plenty of cues from their German forefathers such as Neu!, Harmonia, and Cluster. "Horses" is the first offering from the new record, and the serene track features a bubbling synth intermingling with light percussion and pastoral melodies. These days it seems like anyone with a budget bedroom setup can crank out a mellow tune and slap the "chill" label on it, but To Rococo Rot is still showing us how the pros like to get down.
Jneiro Jarel has produced under as many monikers as Kool Keith, and luckily, his output shines as brightly as Black Elvis'. On "Black Blocks," Jarel channels something of Electronic Warfare-era Underground Resistance, utilizing a foreboding bass throb, high frequency distorted industrial loops, and guitar harmonies to create a piece of dark electronic funk that is just begging for a DJ Assault rework. With deep, pitch-shifted vocals intoning throughout, there's also a political side to "Black Blocks" that is unmistakably influenced by Mike Banks. While the rest of the Android Love Mayhem EP isn't as indebted to Detroit's best production crew, its tones and sonic palette waver somewhere between FlyLo and Nomadico, which is definitely a good thing for our ears.
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