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?
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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.
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)
We'll excuse the horrible band name if you will. Cool? Okay. Moving forward, the Pacific Northwest duo of Johnny and Ola translate their penchant for analog synths, ethereal vocal sounds, and polyrhythmic drum patterns into something that sounds like the lovechild of Stereolab and a good part of the Thrill Jockey roster. The breakneck drum pattern of Tortoise's "Jetty," the warm swelling tones of vintage Mouse on Mars, and the pared-down aesthetic of The Sea and Cake meet with a lilting coo reminiscent of Lætitia Sadier to form Cock and Swan's "Stash." It's a tasteful combination, to say the least, and certainly excites our interest in what the other songs on the duo's Unrecognize LP hold. You can stream and download the whole thing here.
At this point, how much more can we say about young LA beatmaker Teebs? We like him. Flying Lotus likes him. Pretty much the entire greater Los Angeles area seems to like him. His debut full-length, Ardour, comes out on October 9 via the Brainfeeder label, but those of us who can't wait that long can happily dine on Teebs' half of the recently issued sixth volume of All City's ongoing LA series. (The other half was contributed by Daedelus; check out "Fates Say" for a sample of his contributions to the record.) "Anchor Steam" finds Teebs reaching into his usual bag of tricks by employing varied percussion and washed-out melodies, but the song also sports a Balearic vibe and a sped-up tempo that's more indicative of house and techno than the LA beat scene. Yet he handles the increased bpm deftly; it's always been evident than Teebs' music sounded great in headphones, but "Anchor Steam" leads us to believe that he might also have a future on the dancefloor.
We certainly don't want to overuse our modicum of music-appropriate adjectives here, but we can't help but call this song from Texan producer Spencer Stephenson blissed-out. Our first introduction to Stephenson's Botany project (he used to be called Abacus) is the ecstatic "Waterparker"—a lush and vibrant number immediately bringing to mind the sounds of Bibio and Air France. The song begins with a chopped-up and hollow sample that builds to a climax before releasing the flourish of harps, bells, chimes, and drums in front of its densely ambient backdrop. Like his equally blissed-out peers, Botany has a love for rhythms that'll send you running through a grassy field, but its the uplifting melodies and twinkling sounds that garner him that certain descriptor. (via Pitchfork)
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