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.
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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.
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.
Jamie Woon's Burial-graced "Night Air" tune is certainly threatening to climb to the top of a lot of folk's year-end charts, but we might even be more enamored with the crop of remixes it has given way to. The version by percussion-loving bass-case Ramadanman first caught our ears, and now comes this stellar treatment from newcomer Becoming Real (pictured above). While the young tunesmith can be found working in the realms of post-dubstep, grime, and deconstructed juke, to name a few, his remix of "Night Air" is a production more inspired by bubbling future-house and reliant on delicate melodic elements—an atypical audio palette for Becoming Real. Certainly, the expertly crafted source material is responsible for some of the song's lighter elements, but still, the remixer makes the wise choice to work within that vibe instead of forcing it to fit his past repertoire.
This coming Thursday at San Francisco's Public Works club, two lovers of hyperactive dance tunes, DJ Sega and DJ Rashad (pictured above), will overtake the venue's brand-new soundsystem with a smash of bass, beats, and re-appropriated vocal samples. Preceding that hotly tipped performance comes this collaborative track from DJ Rashad & DJ Earl, "2 Bottles of Goose." The Chicago-based footworkers hook up a typically solid production, matching syncopated hi-hats and claps with stuttering kick patterns, mind-numbing low-end, and a fresh wash of sinister synth melodies every so often. Rashad and Earl aren't necessarily treading uncharted territory on "2 Bottles," at least not within their own realms of Chicago-born dance music (represented well on XLR8R by an excellent podcast and in-depth feature), but suffice it to say, the track is another reminder why the juke/footwork scene remains interesting and innovative in the general scheme of club-ready sonics.
A good while after Brooklyn-based producer Travis Stewart (a.k.a. Machinedrum) released his Want to 1 2? album, a cut from that record, "Let It," was treated to its own small release—complete with an instrumental, acapella, and remixes from the likes of Lazer Sword and The Glitch Mob's edIT. Though not on the Let It EP (out now on Innovative Leisure), this exclusive version of Machinedrum's track—remixed by the artist himself—is a perfect example of the sub-busting beat work and glimmering synth sounds found on that record. Stewart reformats his glitched-out original into another kind of bouncing club tune: a sleeker, deeper, and darker track better fit for a late-night comedown than peak-hour revelry. It's that kind of versatility that "Let It" offers which makes the song so ripe for multiple versions, even from the original producer.
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