Wolf + Lamb's Lee Curtiss leads us through dark, narrow sonic passageways on "Life Lessons," his contribution to Spectral's Document Pt. 1 mix, compiled by label head Ryan Elliott. Deep kicks and a frothy bass form the minimal track's backbone, contrasting nicely with mid-range, bell-like synths that still manage to create an ominous atmosphere. Perfect for late, late sets.
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The new single lifted off LP4, the forthcoming fourth album from NY guitar/beat heads Ratatat, doesn't quite sound like the kind of celebration its title implies. Sure, there's a party going on, but it's less with children than with copious amounts of stringed instruments playing an anthemic melody over one of the band's coolest beats since "Seventeen Years." "Party With Children" is an upbeat number filled with that trademark guitar sound Ratatat loves so much, along with other familiar sonics from its eclectic repertoire, and headlines the band's batch of new tracks set for release on June 8.
Though he grew up in rural Switzerland, Dimlite has more in common with the tastemakers of LA's contemporary beat scene than many of his more techno-inclined countrymen. "Can't Get Use to Those" is a short little gem of a track, featuring an infectious flute loop, some bossa-style percussion, and a faded vocal that just melts into the piece's sonic texture. With a new album out on Stones Throw now, Dimlite's sound is comparable in scope and eclecticism to XLR8R favorites Baths and FlyLo, making him one of the beat genre's most interesting practitioners.
Usually more minimal in his approach, the opening track from Danton Eeprom's latest album sounds like it could have come from a mid-80's Bowie-produced Iggy Pop track. Etienne Jaumet's remix of "Thanks for Nothing" transforms the track with his signature analog synth approach while maintaining the original's catchy melodic core. The washed, echoing vocals of the original are also left intact for the most part, with a lovely loop riding over the piece's plodding beat towards its end. Moments of squelch and overdrive make for some great peaks and valleys, giving the feeling that Jaumet has out-housed Eeprom himself, which is a pretty amazing feat.
Judging from their latest single, Belgium's Arsenal might have drunk too much of MGMT's sweet liqueur, but Gui Boratto does a great re-working of "Estupendo," taking the original synth stems and transforming them into a darker, more stabbing melody. With the breathy vocals (courtesy of Scott Mason from Offrice) left intact along with some melancholy guitar lines, Boratto's "Estupendo" is a deep, dancefloor jam that would work well in any DJ's tech-house set.
The Glitch Mob's remix for French electro-house fiend Krazy Baldhead may start out sounding something like AC/DC's "Hells Bells," but through the rest of its epic length, the track is purely their own. Loads of booming percussion and hard-hitting glitch-hop beats, an arsenal of extraneous sound effects, plenty of buzzing synth tones, and trajectory changes every minute or so keep your ears' attentions piqued until the song eventually fades away. The LA-based trio's remix doesn't exactly culminate into something great, but it's nine-minute runtime indicates this track is about the journey—and not the destination. The Glitch Mob is now on a massive North American tour. Check out the details here.
Here's another bit of unconventional hip-hop from Oxnard, which has somehow become Southern California's beatmaker hotbed. Produced by Oh No, MED's latest for Stones Throw is full of the expected drum breaks and organ stab samples, but with heaps of wonky synths and spacey sonics thrown on top. We couldn't tell you exactly what MED is flowing over the head-nodding beat, but we'd wager to say it has something to do with him being awesome. If so, he's not wrong.
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