Preceding his release with Wolf + Lamb, the forthcoming Chicago EP, London's jozif offered up this unreleased cut of straight tech heat. "Me Loko" has plenty of great things going for it: a hard-hitting dance beat, bouncing reverberated percussion, random brass flourishes, and dollops of rumbling bass spread all throughout the track. It provides an interesting counterpart to the more soulful, antiquated acoustics to be found on jozif's new EP, set for release on April 5.
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A percussive sample loop introduces us to Keepaway and the first song on the band's debut EP, Baby Style. The Brooklyn-based indie trio has penned a sweeping and poignant song with "Yellow Wings"—one that isn't afraid to utilize new technology and sonic approaches in its tried-and-true sound. Reverberated guitar textures meet with snare and tom rolls while the vocals declare, "I think I finally know what I want/I want to be in two places at once." It's a fitting statement for the song's accompanying music video, which features the hilariously low-budget performance of an amateur magician.
Deceptikon is a recent transplant to the Bay Area, and he's brought with him a new album, Mythology of the Metropolis, from which "Kinyoubi" is taken. Thick, wet handclaps and deep kicks dominate the track's percussive element, with an interesting move from a more dubstep feel to a slow-motion house beat towards the piece's end. Starry main synths, gut-rumbling bass, and beautifully unintelligible vocals provide the melodic backbone of "Kinyoubi," making for an exciting and versatile slice from this upcoming producer.
To call "Sandstorms," Christian Prommer's cover of the Carl Craig classic, ominous would be an understatement. A droning organ sound is the first and last thing heard in the nine-minute piece, and not once does it let up. Instead, elements are layered atop the pulsing drawl; pattering drums and percussion, subtle yet funky bass riffs, and all sorts of analog weirdness bubble to the surface. It's a little difficult at first to draw a direct line between Craig's original and this reinterpretation, primarily because the new version is made almost completely of live instruments and focuses more on atmosphere than groove, but that's how it fits so well onto the second installment of Prommer's project, a collection of jazz-influenced covers of electronic music icons called Drumlesson Zwei.
If Rob Threezy's membership in the Chicago's Ghetto Division isn't enough proof that his tracks represent the new vanguard of the Chicago sound, then perhaps this astounding remix from Finland's Top Billin' will convince doubters. Given the original's stems, Top Billin' somehow make "The Chase" even more of a Windy City club banger, channeling the monstrous kicks of Cajmere, the sampling style of early Larry Heard projects, and even a bit of Adonis' acid. In no uncertain terms, this is a perfect house track, and one hell of a remix.
Over the past two or three years, plenty of ink, and even more blog space, has been devoted to documenting the international explosion of cumbia, particularly the electronic and/or experimental variety. Yet not everyone riding the cumbia train is trying to put a modern twist on the classic Colombian rhythm—take Los Angeles quintet Very Be Careful, who actually specialize in vallenato, another Colombian folk rhythm that's something like cumbia's cousin. Labels aside, these boys always keep it old-school, even when they're cooking up original, accordion-powered jams like "La Furgoneta." The track comes from Escape Room, the band's latest album, which will be released on April 13.
Next week will see the release of Triangulation, the second album from Scuba (a.k.a. Paul Rose). "Before" offers a smoldering glimpse of the record, which finds the Hotflush label boss dabbling in house, techno, and other styles while further pushing the boundaries of exactly what a dubstep artist is supposed to sound like. With its vinyl crackle and sultry female vocal, "Before" actually resembles vintage Massive Attack. Factor in the song's pensive synth tones and you've got some downbeat audio gold. Make sure to also peep the kaleidoscope-powered video for "Before," which was put together by director Sam Geer.
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