Veteran bass music producer Matt Shadetek has a solo instrumental album on the way for Dutty Artz. Entitled Flowers, it finds the Brooklyn artist indulging his ongoing love affair with thick low-end while exploring new influences from the world of UK garage and funky. While this first taste from the record is somewhat reminiscent of Shadetek's work with DJ /rupture on the XLR8R-championed Solar Life Raft mix album, in that it relies heavily on melody, the song ultimately distances itself immensely from that notable collaboration by ditching the thick atmospheres for a more stripped-down, upbeat, and dancefloor-minded production style. In doing so, "iHop" excels as a futuristic dubstep number with its focus on strong shuffling rhythms, thick bass melodies, and soulful, pitch-shifted vocal sampling on par with UK funky's finest.
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UK dancehall MC Lady Chann lent her strong vocal presence to Sticky's instrumental production to create "Sticky Situation," the first 12" to come from Toddla T's new Girls Music imprint. To help send his label's debut release out in style, Toddla T hooked up his own version of the party tune, which warps Sticky's original riddim into a buzzing, hyperactive, electro-tinged dancehall track. Lady Chann's MCing is hardly touched through the next-level rave-up, save for the small number of times he chops and screws the delivery to fit the rest of his glitchy elements.
Musical multi-tasker Hanuman (who doubles as half of Monkey Steak and runs Steak House Records) is set to drop his latest track, "Bola," on Chicago's Sleazetone label. Included along with the even-keeled, dub-heavy original version are remixes from Kanji Kinetic, Thunderous Olympian, Sleazetone label head Chrissy Murderbot, and, here, XLR8R alum and Trouble & Bass spinstress Star Eyes (pictured above). On her remix, she decided to run with the underlying UK funky sound, and treat "Bola" to an extra helping of thick, juicy low end before introducing her own string-based melody to the propulsive house beat.
Funny story: I'm out in Stockholm one night with skweee guys Rigas Den Andre and Limonious. They're like, "Hey, we're gonna go see our friend Jenny Wilson play. Do you know her?" And I'm like, "Yeah, of course I know her!" So we get to the Strand theater, and Wilson comes on with her band of gospel singers... and it hits me: I don't know Jenny Wilson at all. (Cuz I was thinking Jenny Lewis the whole time.) But Wilson's rich R&B vocals and gorgeous piano and horn arrangements instantly have the crowd rapt, and everyone—including me—is happy. Maybe not the usual XLR8R fare, but we still wholeheartedly approve. Hardships! is out August 24.
Two of the most recognizable names on NY's Trouble & Bass label, AC Slater and Drop the Lime shacked up recently in LA to bring you a handful of collaborative productions, the first of which is this new jam. If "Creepin" is anything it's, uh, creepy. Between the piano melody sounding like it's jacked from Friday the 13th, Luca Venezia's unsolicited vocal come-ons, and the down-pitched sound effects that adorn the punchy beats, Slater & Lime's premiere offering sets the stage for an act ready to soundtrack a rave scene during the climax of an unseen John Carpenter flick.
The original version of this track comes from a collaborative two-song 12" from UK music making buddies Randomer & Fife, released yesterday on the re-launched Fat! label. Fellow UK tunesmith Eliphino keeps the original's vibe intact on his percussion-heavy remix of the bouncing future-house track, but heaps on a handful of extra samples and sound effects—effectively eliminating what little negative space had once been there.
Rui Maia, who also records under the moniker of Maia, is now operating under the Mirror People alias. The Portuguese producer certainly has a knack for the tropical-tinged, slightly psychedelic disco that Bear Funk loves, and "Rare Jewels" is no exception. With a bouncing bass, a synthesized steel-drum melodic line, and dreamy synths creating a lush sonic jungle, the piece is an instant earworm that could easily have appeared on one of Sergio Mendes' '80s disco experiments. A breathy female vocal would send it over the top, but as it is, "Rare Jewels" is a delight that makes one even more excited for Maia's upcoming 12" on Permanent Vacation. In the meantime, Mirror People's The Heart of the Sun EP is available for free download right here.
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