Felix Neumann is Germany-based DJ/producer Fex Fellini, at least when he's crafting vintage-inspired, globally minded house music. The artist has been making tunes with other projects for seven years now, but this new moniker just scored its inaugural release via Top Billin in September. The bouncing "Ganesha" isn't featured on Fellini's Kudos to Jack EP, which you can stream here, but is still as equally percussive and club-appropraite as the four energetic tunes on that release. It may have taken Neumann a long time to finally share his Fex Fellini project, but for next-level dance jams of this caliber, it was worth the wait.
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Last week, the impressive Palms Out label shared its latest release with the world, the Taking It All EP from globally-minded Los Angeles producer/DJ Samo Sound Boy. Samo's tunes rely heavily on stuttering, tropical drums which ride high in the mix, although he does fill them out with squealing synths and/or cut-up vocal snippets. The EP also features a quality slate of up-and-coming remixers, including efforts from Brenmar, Melé, and this take from LOL Boys. The original version of "Wacka Flocka" is a stormer, but the Montreal/Los Angeles duo has elected to tone down the percussive assault, giving the song some bounce and letting things breathe rather than simply pounding the dancefloor. The pair also has a some fun with the song's repeated vocal sample and colors in the proceedings some mellow synths that float along in the background. It's an effective approach, and one that puts an excellent spin on an already-quality track.
Oakland producer David Reep (a.k.a. Elephant & Castle) calls his hazy, warbling beat-centric music "a kaleidoscope of sound." So, bearing that in mind, that would probably make this remix of his Analogue EP cut "The Grey Area," by Chicago's Houses, a Magic Eye of sound. The nearly six-minute rework of Reep's tune is hypnotically repetitious in the most alluring of ways. Miniscule samples become like churning white noise underneath the continuous bass melody, bright rhythms, and swelling ambiance, and if you listen intently enough, you might just hear something hidden amidst the haze.
NYC native M A N I K is the young producer behind the tenth release for West Coast house/techno imprint Culprit. His "Shaolin" track isn't one of the McLovin' You EP's four Chicago-inspired tunes, but still boasts a similarly funky sound. The tunesmith employs a relatively conservative arsenal of sounds on this b-side—effectively proving that just the right bass groove, bare-bones dance beat, and soulful melody can make an excellent piece of dancefloor music, whether it be vintage or simply inspired by the classics. M A N I K's new EP is out now on physical formats, and will be available digitally on October 20.
Back in August, we previewed several selections from the upcoming Roots of Chicha 2 album, the second compilation of the unique psychedelic strain of cumbia that first sprung up in Peru during the late '60s and early '70s. The record is set to hit shelves next week, so the Barbès camp has liberated one of the songs for download, the trippy "Agua" from Manzanita y su Conjunto. At times more like a jam session than a proper song, "Agua" features tribal percussion, wonky guitar solos, some organ flourishes, and some pretty "out there" vocal refrains. Why can't modern cumbieros make music this druggy?
NY-based shoegaze trio Kordan's (pictured above) "Mirror" is a driving dreamscape of guitar fuzz, plinking synths, and hushed vocal delivery. LA-based producer Take's "Mirror" is an equally heavenly production, albeit one driven by the soul of dark synth-funk and Southern California's ever-changing beatscape. The differences between the two versions of the East Coast band's cut—off its debut album, The Longing—are obvious, and yet Take manages to convey the same pensively resilient ethos of the original with a wholly different sound palette.
In the spirit of vintage authenticity, the Italians Do It Better label has repackaged Chromatics' stunning 2007 album, Night Drive, with an analog remastering of its 10 tracks and a small handful of unreleased Johnny Jewel Italo jams. Obviously, the Portland outfit's vintage-sounding instrumentation and production aesthetic drive the sterling "Circled Sun," but it's Ruth Radelet's sublime vocal performance that radiates as the star of the song. Her voice quietly calls out through rolling drum-machine sounds, chilly synth twinkles, and barren guitar strums—providing the song with the only sound more glowing than its analog warmth as she sings, "Circled sun, you are not the only one." (via Gorilla vs. Bear)
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