Originally slated for a planned EP/single/what-have-you from Mad Decent's premiere 'clubstep' patron Rusko that was ultimately scrapped, this version of "Feel So Real" by Austin, TX-based DJ/producer Dubbel Dutch (pictured above) certainly inspires a couple of questions upon first listen. Namely, is this really a Rusko remix? Sure, snippets of the canned vocal performance by Ben Westbeech weave in, out, and around the spacious bass composition crafted by the Texan tunesmith, but, thankfully, it seems like not a single other sound is related to the original track. Dubbel Dutch treats the acappella of Rusko's song like he would any other found vocal sample, chopping and tweaking it to perfectly fit the shuffling dance beats and deep soundscapes he's so keen to create. So, maybe since this solid, UK-leaning club tune didn't quite make it on an official remix release, we'll just thank Mr. Westbeech for the voice work, slap Dubbel Dutch's name in the "Artist" field, and be on our merry way.
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Chillwave has become, with good reason, a term that makes some of us cringe, but this remix of Ohio-based Brothertiger (pictured above) from Grecian duo Keep Shelly In Athens shows that there are definitely redeeming qualities to the array of blissful, bedroomy sounds often associated with the genre. Not that this remix is straight-up chillwave—sure, its got a lo-fi arpeggio intro, completely reverb-washed vocals, and layers of distant pads, but about halfway through the track, something sinister takes over. A dark, distorted bassline begins to peek through the layers of reverb and delay, pulsing along at a slow chug until, just beyond the three-minute mark, the noisy bassline and steady beat completely take over. A small army of evil, fast-moving synths eventually join this sludgy procession, capping off this remix in a much different place than where it began.
UK-based producer and head of the newly-founded Bergerac imprint, Danny Berman (a.k.a. Red Rack'em/Hot Coins), has continued to build on his reputation since the release of his debut LP, The Early Years, last October. "Housey," taken from said LP, is a clear example of Berman's style which finds him searching the common ground amongst a variety of influences, including deep house, electro-boogie, space disco, and Detroit techno. The track comes together as if all the different elements had gone for a pleasant afternoon stroll, the funky bassline and boogie drums strutting confidently along before meeting up with the percolating synths and twinkling pianos along the way. It all happens so effortlessly that it's a surprise when the song actually comes to an end, so if you wish to remain in the warm, easy flow that "Housey" creates, make sure to put this one on repeat before diving in. It appears Berman's already having a busy 2011, as a single for the track "Feel My Tears" is slated for release on his label in February and he'll be launching a new vinyl-only label, Nettles, in March.
What happens when you combine two classically-trained musicians with glitched-out beats in the vein of Lazer Sword and other bass-loving knob twiddlers? Virtual Boy is what happens. The duo of Preston Walker and Henry Allen is poised to release its newest EP, Symphony No. None, on February 1 and have made the EP's closing track available to give us a taste. "Mass" is not a tune for the light-hearted; it's a seven-plus minute epic that combines classical-style instrumentation and Phillip Glass-esque melodies with slow, head-nodding drum programming and an array of laser-synths. The track acts as a lesson in patience for some of those beat-hungry heads out there, as the dramatic, melodic intro builds for the first two minutes of the song before anything resembling a beat comes in, giving you plenty of time to grab your favorite hoodie, throw on a fitted hat of your choosing (tilted slightly to the side, of course), and embrace the heaviness that is "Mass."
Though the track didn't make it on Caribou's official album of remixes for what was easily one of 2010's top musical highlights, Swim, this version of "Bowls" by UK electronic duo Icarus (pictured above) received a sort of honorable mention yesterday when it was posted on Caribou's SoundCloud for free download. We're happy to hear more interpretations of Caribou's various forays into beat-centric music, especially a flip as intricate and surprising as this one. For its remix, Icarus strips "Bowls" of its propulsive thump, catchy synth hook, and sporadic string flourishes, instead placing the focus directly on the moody sub melodies, droning bowl sounds, and the pair's own glitched-out rhythms. Sounds twist and turn, swell and crash, and generally seem to have a life of their own on "Bowls (Icarus Remix)," as though Icarus' only job was to make sure no noise flew too far out of earshot whilst flitting about.
As the post-rock legends in Mogwai continue to riddle their once pristine discography with album after album of bombastic mediocrity, a vacant slot has opened in the music world—one that begs to be filled by tasteful musicians as interested in subtlety and nuance as they are grit and distortion. Certainly a prime candidate to fill such a void is the Irish duo Solar Bears (pictured above), and the more we hear from the instrumental outfit, the more they seem to lead the pack. This remix of "Clears Throat," a tune originally by Denton, Texas-based FUR, speaks more to the Bears' soft side, as they layer pattering rhythms, warbling synth ambiance, moody bass tones, and preciously plucked guitar notes to craft a touching soundscape that'll likely entrance you while it tugs ever so softly at your heartstrings.
Brooklyn-based avant hip-hopper Kotchy (pictured above) is getting set to release his latest album, Two, on February 1. Back in November, he gave us a sneak peek in the form of a trippy video for album opener "Sometimes I Get Down." Now the song has been remixed by Irish-born, NYC-based producer Mike Slott, who has basically extracted almost all of Kotchy's distinctive flow. Gone are the laid-back talk-raps and noodling acoustic guitar loop, as Slott has picked up the tempo and assembled a playful little number full of swirling keys, melodic whimsy, and bouncy, chopped-up beats. Think of it as the original's hyperactive younger brother.
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