People love to throw out the word "schizophrenic" to describe musicians, but in the case of Kenneth James Gibson, it might actually be true. By his own estimation, the prolific LA-based techno producer has recorded under approximately 12 different monikers. His latest effort, "Something in the Way," on the rapidly up-and-coming Culprit label, was actually made under his own name and was released just today. Although those songs remain under lock and key (unless you actually buy them—what a novel idea), Mr. Gibson has passed along "Painted Eyes," a sultry vocal techno cut on par with his already stuffed volume of work. Watch for a Kenneth James Gibson LP later this year.
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German techno vet, Oliver Huntemann delivers one of his trademark reworkings on this single from Abe Duque's '09 full-length, Don't Be So Mean. The original version of "Following My Heart" was centered around the guest vocal from diva Virginia Nascimento, a slow-pulsing bass tone, and loads of delayed synths. Huntemann pitches Virginia's vocal down, just about doubles the BPM, and trades in melody for all sorts of dark, industrial-sounding percussion on his interpretation—the final chapter in Duque's Don't Be So Mean remix series.
It's a safe bet that we're not the only ones counting down the days until the release of No Más, the debut full-length from Brooklyn duo Javelin. To tide us over, the playful cut-and-paste specialists have handed over "Oh! Centra," a hyperactive pop confection that pairs silly, helium-voiced '80s playground raps with light-hearted melodies and Game Boy-era blips and bleeps. Normally this kind of camp sends us running for the hills, but this is the sort of goofiness we can get behind.
Sitting over here in Americaville, it's easy to imagine '70s funk and soul as something that happened in a bubble exclusively limited to the borders of the good ol' US of A. In reality, half the globe was jamming out to these grooves, not to mention making their own, especially in Africa, as evidenced by the cottage industry of Afro-funk reissues that has sprouted up in recent years. Oddly enough, that crate-digging wave was partially set off by the 2001 release of Afro-Rock Vol.1 on the tiny Kona label. Now the folks at Strut have decided to reissue that groundbreaking compilation, and they've sent along the previously unavailable, non-album bonus track "Odi-Yoo" to whet everyone's appetite. If the track's head-nodding bassline and psychedelic guitar work are any indication of what kind of trip Afro-Rock Vol.1 has to offer, it's a journey not to be missed the second time around.
"Twist in My Sobriety" was, unfortunately, never as big a hit in the US as it was in Europe, but with the arrival of Alf Tumble's lovely edit of Tanita Tikaram's 1988 pop masterpiece, its obscure status is bound to change. Like Giorgio Moroder's lush take on Janis Ian's "Fly Too High" or any number of Kate Bush edits, Tumble does a masterful job of preserving the original's emotional intensity as well as expanding upon its synth work, bulking it up and adding some fierce kicks below it. Inspired by his own "battle" with alcohol and coffee—he claims to be three weeks clean on both fronts—perhaps Tumble's finest move was to leave Tikaram's amazing vocals intact, with only minimal tweaks here and there. Though not necessarily a floor-filling banger, this edit of "Twist in My Sobriety" is perfect for wistful bedroom dancing, and sometimes, that's perfect.
DJ Donna Summer (a.k.a. Jason Forrest) does an interesting turn on "Raw," incorporating some excellent tribal house beat samples into what's otherwise a serviceable bass track. With the incorporation of excellent secondary percussive bits, a seductive vocal snippet and a spacey, somewhat squelchy melodic line, the piece certainly does have its charms. Taken from DDS's latest EP, which comes out tomorrow, you can also peep the video for the track here.
The wacky digi-punk sounds found on the original track "Bastard Kids," by Belgian outfit The Brown Acid, are just about completely removed on this remix by Ikonika. Her incongruous version of the song turns up the dubstep and garage levels to the max with the sheen of glossed-over percussion, wavering synth tones, and a head-slamming beat that'll move just about any room in her native UK. Once the sparkling melodies rise to the top of the whole jam, Ikonika will have won over anyone within earshot of the track.
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