Not that it would ever come down to it, but if we had to choose between them, we'd take this new Suicide-inspired tune from James Pants over M.I.A.'s Suicide re-appropriating "Born Free" any day. Unlike the neo-diva, eccentric producer Pants doesn't take the seminal duo's actual synth riffs and drum-machine beats for his brand-new "Darlin'" tune, but it's hard to think of him looking further than Suicide's upbeat minimalism for the thick and fuzzy soundscape that envelops the electro-poppy number. Even his hushed, distant croon sounds a bit like Alan Vega on (more) pills, but the ghostly "ohs" of his lady friend in the background and the distorted wash of synth/guitar melodies that accompany them certainly gives "Darlin'" a fresh slant. It's a new, interesting direction for the Stones Throw recording artist, and one we wouldn't mind hearing more of when his next album, Love Kraft, drops in April 2011.
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Canadian DJ/producer Milt Mortez has been wowing his fellow mixmasters—and the club-goers that love them—with this excitable dancefloor smasher since it first appeared on Discobelle's Turned On Vol. 1 compilation earlier this year. Late last month, Finnish party-tune hub Top Billin dropped the cut, alongside three other Mortez productions, on the Pluto EP, which you can stream the entirety of here. "Pluto" is massive and overwhelming on all fronts; the beats thump with a spritely bounce despite their low-end heaviness, the myriad synths swell and squeal in your ears from all directions, and the unexpected vocal drops are often cut short to make room for another jaunt of booming dance rhythms.
Here we have another selection from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Michigan producer Shigeto's recently released full-length album for Ghostly, Full Circle. Part fractured hip-hop, part free-form jazz, part ambient collage, and part Ableton tomfoolery, "Brown Eyed Girl" is as dense with ideas of electronic music's future as it is lushly adorned with familiar vintage sonics. The super-compressed, shuffling rhythm at the center of Shigeto's production is surrounded by twinkling chimes, airy synth melodies, and a bit of textural white noise for most of its runtime, never really veering far from the main compositional idea. Instead of constantly changing its trajectory, "Girl" flips its beats, samples, and melodic elements to and fro with an orchestrated nonchalance—the equivalent of a ramshackle jazz combo from another universe jammin' just because.
Jali Bakary Konteh doesn't make kwaito. He's not even from South Africa. He hails from Western Africa—Gambia, to be exact—and specializes in playing the kora, a 21-stringed lute instrument. Earlier this year, he released the Konteh Kunda album via Akwaaba, and now the label has followed that up with a new EP of remixes, available for purchase here. This version of "Combination" comes courtesy of German bloggers Hat+Hoodie, who have put their extensive knowledge of tropical bass to work and given the song a distinctly kwaito flavor. The house-like beat skips along, the synth melodies twist and turn, and the bass bounces with aplomb. Hat+Hoodie may be mixing and matching African genres, but it's hard to argue with the results.
DJ/producer Sascha Ring (a.k.a. Apparat) released his own installment of !K7's ongoing DJ-Kicks series at the end of last month, an interesting and personal mix album featuring a few new tunes from both Ring himself and his friends. "Lengthening Shadows" is one such track made by Telefon Tel Aviv for the Apparat mix, and it has some serious weight to it. As Ring puts it, "[Telefon Tel Aviv] make such beautiful music. Sadly, Charlie Cooper died at the beginning of last year. This is the first track that Joshua Eustis (pictured above) has made since then. I think he was wondering whether he would carry on the Telefon Tel Aviv name. I asked him if there was anything he could give me for the album. He made me this track and said he’d like it to be as Telefon Tel Aviv. It's very poignant." And it's true. Knowing the headiness of the song's origins bolsters its stirring mood into emotional realms we're sure only Eustis and the friends and family of Cooper could understand, but hearing the song is equally moving; "Shadows" is a haunting bass music gem on par with some of the genre's most provocative productions.
A part of the amorphous Deep Teknologi crew/label, J.Bevin (pictured above) steps up to the plate here on his remix of T.Williams' latest soulful bubbler with singer Terri Walker, "Heartbeat." Bevin leaves Walker's sultry vocal delivery more or less untouched, focusing instead on creating a completely fresh instrumental underneath her poignant croon. The vibe on Williams' tune is kicked up into more energetic territories by the fast-paced bounce of Bevin's kick-and-snare rhythms, enormous bass swells, and the warmth of his multi-layered synth melodies. Still, much like the original—which we recently previewed along with the Mosca Remix—this version is even-keeled, as Bevin retains the song's lovelorn energy by never overshadowing it with baroque production work.
Canadian producer Mike Silver (a.k.a. CFCF) joins the likes of John Talabot, Anoraak, and In Flagranti on the The Golden League remix album for Spanish combo We Are Standard, offering a remix of "Other Lips, Other Kisses" as his contribution. At first, the slow-grooving beat and subtle bass tones that start off Silver's track might have you thinking he has a new-found penchant for the UK and its continuum of bass-related genres, but soon, catchy vocals drop in with some instrumentation more in line with what we've come to expect from the producer. Once the housey piano loops and the wash of string melodies swell into the mix, it's apparent that even on his remixes, CFCF waves the Balearic flag high. You can see how the other eight remixes match up when The Golden League drops on December 6 via Mushroom Pillow.
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