The city of Madison, Wisconsin, might not seem like a natural place for techno, but it is certain that at least DJ Homewrecker is keeping the beats coming. "La Bootalla" is a tribal banger that shares an affinity with the works of the Underground Resistance crew, particularly the Latin-infused techno-funk of Los Hermanos and the jazzy flavor of UR's "Hi-Tech Jazz." Featuring a lovely, bright sax line riding above massive kicks and sopping hand-claps, the track also includes organ stabs and some raucous vocal clips, making it perfect for mixing with anything from a Detroit slice to a more progressive techno piece from the Cocoon cohort.
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LA's beat-centric Alpha Pup label recently added a new producer to its ranks with the melodic sub-loving styles of Take and his debut full-length, Only Mountain. Taken from said debut, "Incredibright" is a bit of a beguiling title for this slice of wobbling dubstep. The reverberated piano flourishes and plinking synth melodies, uh, brighten up the track, but—for the most part—Take's mid-album jam is ruled by crunchy space trash and woozily sinister low-frequency sounds.
Fresh-faced beatmaker and Brainfeeder mix contributor Alex B sent over this premiere of a track from his forthcoming debut, Moments. Entitled "You and I Both Know," this diddy is a brief look into the type of herky-jerky rhythms and smooth, spaced-out sonics to be heard through the album's 17 tracks. Within two minutes we are treated to a tweaked soul loop, delayed vocal stabs, sporadic percussive elements, and swirling synth arpeggiations wrapped around a descending bass melody. It all comes off sounding more like an interlude between larger movements, but we can only know for sure when Moments is released April 6 via Alex B's own Elm and Oak imprint.
Another moniker of jazzy house composer-producer Kuniyuki Takahashi, Koss' works exist somewhere between Stars of the Lid and the Chain Reaction discography, and "Ocean Waves" is exemplary in this respect. Featuring an insistent kick and bass rumble behind warm, soaring synth drones, echoey piano tinklings, and high-frequency hisses, the piece is the aural equivalent of a sunset, its thudding-yet-sentimental ambience perfect for a mix filled with Peter Zummo, Fluxion, and Brian Eno. Taken from the upcoming international release of his 2008 Japan-only Mule album, Ancient Rain.
Brooklyn's Lando Kal is one half of the Lazer Sword crew, so while the bass-blap of the latter is certainly reflected in the bass tones of his solo project, the beats are more indebted to electro-house. "Fuzzy Ankles" is a slow-burning number, replete with a hypnotically glacial house beat, menacing synths, and high-frequency shimmers of sound. With its bit of squelch and a clean breakdown, the track is perfect for late-night hi-jinks, when everyone on the floor is loaded to the gills and ready to get down with some serious beats. Taken from Lando's new split 12" with the other half of Lazer Sword, Low Limit, out now on Numbers.
Together, edIT, Boreta, and Ooah have amassed a large number of remixes, singles, and mixtapes, but May 25 will mark the release of Drink the Sea, the debut full-length from LA's veteran blap collective. The Glitch Mob opted to drop the album on its own imprint, Glass Air, and has also given us the premiere of the album's first single, "Drive It Like You Stole It." If this track is anything, it's an anthem. Amidst a trademark head-nodding beat heavy with slap, a number of synths vie for the forefront position—like a team of buglers announcing the coming of the beat scene's heroes—before giving way to an arsenal of heavy percussion and reverberated vocal samples.
1989's "Do You Know Who You Are" might be one of the best deep Chicago cuts ever recorded, its monstrous kicks, bright wandering synths, and deliciously delayed guitars creating a blueprint for all true deep house to come, from the Burrell brothers to the almighty Kerri Chandler. Pile on synth buzz, near-subsonic bass, and watery harmonies, and there's no denying the piece's greatness, which makes it all the better that Trax and Rush Hour have just re-released Virgo's only eponymous album. Featuring new artwork and tracks remastered for maximum loudness, the release shows that Rush Hour is fast becoming the best archival house label in the world.
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