On December 15, Colorado bass-centric imprint Plastic Sound Supply officially drops its first volume of a new compilation series focusing on producers from its home state, interestingly titled Experimental Dance Breaks 36. While it's certainly not the 36th edition in a series, and you're not likely to find many 'dance breaks' in its skittering, woofer-abusing tracks, the inferred experimental nature of the release is certainly valid. Take this production from Denver native c.db.sn, where elements of electronic genres across the board—including bits from ambient, glitch, bass, IDM, and techno sub-strains—coalesce into a somber tune that's simultaneously familiar and refreshing. Maybe it's not the most 'out there' experimentation, but sometimes just giving a few of your favorite, trusted sounds a good tweak before arranging them in new ways is enough. If you can't wait for physical copies of Dance Breaks, you can nab a digital version here.
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US producer Talk (a.k.a. Daniel Lewis) claims to either be from "darklands" or "rave cave," neither of which may lead you to his real-life Southern origins. Earlier this week, Talk released his first EP, Holy Mountain, on Jason Forrest's and Jubilee's Berlin-based Nightshifters label. Talk's purported origins in "darklands" may seem incongruous to the South's sunny weather, yet his music certainly has an ominous disposition. For instance, here on the EP's title track, eerie, flute-driven interludes give way to acerbic synths and the sunken drums of UK funky. Holy Mountain also features two other Talk originals alongside remixes from LOL Boys, Skinnz, and Distal. He's also made a video for his song "Burning Alive," which you can check out after the jump. Read more »
At this point, little is known about Swedish group Niki And The Dove, apart from the fact that it's made up of a singer named Malin and collection of old friends and associates. Though thin on background info, Niki And The Dove's music follows in the spirit of lush, expertly realized Swedish pop à la The Knife or The Tough Alliance. At the outset, Niki And The Dove's "Mother Protect" features understated percussion similar to that of minimal techno, but as soon as the chorus hits, the song transforms into a full-fledged pop song, albeit one that channels Kate Bush's mystical eccentricity. After giving "Mother Protect" a listen, check out the beautifully rendered video of another epic song, "Under the Bridge," which is posted after the jump. Read more »
This taste from the latest compilation to come from Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label, Brownswood Bubblers Six, is a rough-draft recording of "Liiines" by rising London-based wordsmith Ghostpoet. The affectionate MC calls this version of his brief piano-led tune a demo, but the way we hear it, maybe it's not entirely necessary to make that distinction. Sure, Ghostpoet's vocals are a bit murky and distorted for whatever reasons, but those kinds of homespun nuances lend the song an even stronger intimate feel, like he had to rush to get the song out while still in the thick of his own desolate emotions. And the beat? Well, that sounds as dusty and handmade as it should—demo or not.
Released earlier this month on Berlin imprint Ostgut Ton, Fünf (German for "five") celebrates five years of Ostgut Ton as one of the world's premiere techno labels. Not unlike London club Fabric's double-life as a record label, Ostgut Ton is owned by some of the resident DJs of fabled Berlin nightspots Berghain and Panorama Bar. Fünf puts those venues front-and-center with a unique field-recording concept that finds many of the compilation's producers capturing the pedestrian noises of both clubs, either in spirit or in actual live recordings. The album features 26 tracks made exclusively for the release, one of which is Marcel Dettmann's "Shelter," a highly compressed and white-noise-laden slice of techno that chugs along with machine-like efficiency.
Like a dirtier, less-conceptual Matthew Herbert or Soft Pink Truth, the elusive Parisian producer known as Ass of Bass (yeah, we're not keen on the name either) makes dubby, housey, disco-flavored dance tunes full of twisted vocal snippets, musical randomness, and deep vibes. There are plenty of sampled treasures and random sounds to be heard throughout "Duee Connexion #2," but it's the slamming four-on-the-floor and bouncing low-end that remains in the forefront—carrying the energetic tune for over seven minutes. You can discover how else the musicmaker twerks that sticky sound palette on his debut for Salon, a four-song EP with two original takes on "Duee Connexion" and two remixes from DJ Donna Summer, here.
Washington, D.C., chill-groove electronica trio Thunderball gets a serious makeover here, courtesy of San Francisco's tropically inclined bass excavator Ghosts on Tape. However, for his re-work of "Runaway," the original of which is taken from the forthcoming 12 Mile High record to be released on Thievery Corporation's ESL label, DJ/producer Ryan Merry switches out his percussion samples and low-end rumbles for something better fitting of an illegal warehouse party circa 1993. But it's not all glowsticks and Blow Pops on this track; Ghosts on Tape toys with ethereal vocal sampling à la UK bass music's finest, drops in some classic clubby synth melodies, and flips his production halfway through for an ominous finish that's purely his own. At nearly 10 minutes, it's certainly the longest song we've heard from Merry, but it might very well be his best, too.
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