Over the last eight months, Germany's Tiefschwarz brothers, who have long been combining house, electro, and techno into their own uniquely potent brew, have released two out of a scheduled three remix EPs titled Melted Chocolates on their own Souvenir imprint. The third installment, which comes out later this month, will finish the duo's "chocolate" year—which also included the Chocolate and More Chocolate albums—by enlisting artists like Bruno Pronsato, Reboot, and Marcus Meinhardt for remixes. To celebrate the final chapter of Melted Chocolate, Souvenir is giving away a free remix from part two by Soul Clap, whom you may remember as the guys who put together the Beantown edition of our City Guide podcast series. For their remix of Tiefschwarz's "Home," the Soul Clap boys play fast and loose with the song's 4/4 beat, turning in a remix that stumbles as much as it chugs, adding even more disorientation to a track whose vocals are already about losing one's way home.
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Well, it certainly has been a while since we've heard from UK jungle pioneer Photek. (Seriously, we really haven't heard anything from him since his 2007 collection Form and Function II.) Now Photek is ready to make his 2011 resurgence with a new EP, Avalanche, set for release in February of next year. "Slowburn" is the first track released from said EP and, well, it's not exactly what we expected over here at XLR8R HQ. There is definitely a new Photek at work here, one that's not sounding much like his early jungle output or even like his later dabblings in house, as "Slowburn" instead presents itself as the veteran producer's step into new territory, one defined by slower tempos, heavy bass, and aggressive drums. We won't know the full extent of this transformation until Avalanche is released on February 28, but we figured you'd be curious to hear this first offering in the meantime.
Lefse's Way Slow series may only be on its second release, but it's already proving to be something worth paying attention to. Last month, we shared the a-side of St. Louis-based Phaseone's contribution, and now we've got our hands on the flip. "Right & Wrong" is an instrumental cover of sorts, almost like an oddball re-interpretation of Keith Sweat's "Right and a Wrong Way." Phaseone proves he has a knack for making slow and melodious head bangers, referencing some riffs and the chord progression of Sweat's 1987 original and reworking them into a modern slow jam that sounds like you're floating on a G-funk cloud (is that just an all white '66 Impala?). If the two free downloads aren't enough for you, make sure to check out the exclusive mix Phaseone gave us earlier this month, featuring more of his originals and a few choice gems for your downloading pleasure. The limited cassette/CD edition of Phasone's Way Slow will be available December 14. (via FADER)
Manchester/Leeds-based beat craftsman Darren Williams (a.k.a. Star Slinger) has been blowing up some of our favorite blogs as of late, and we're starting to understand why. Along with making a ton of tunes and handing them out like so much Halloween candy, the producer's work is all over the musical map—making remix stops in Deerhunter, Small Black, and Cocteau Twins territory when he's not crafting his own glistening, sample-based hip-hop locales. Our first offering on behalf of the up-and-coming artist is the R&B-heavy "Baby Mama," an ecstatic head-nodder that brings to mind the wonky, neon sounds of Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, and the like, although this tune is perfectly quantized. Comparisons aside, Star Slinger shines not only as an expert sample user, but also as a musician who knows how to use a catchy, memorable melody to keep the listener coming back to his songs again and again.
Cologne's Kompakt imprint has been a leader in all things techno since its inception in 1998, so it is only right that a record compiling the work of one of its founding members, Jürgen Paape, be regarded as something special. "Take That," which originally appeared on this year's Total 11 compilation and now again as part of Paape's upcoming retrospective album, Kompilation, is an anthem with one foot placed firmly in the future and the other in the past. The track is dark and heavy, recalling some classic techno aesthetics in its sound and structure, but something seems to also be reaching out to the unknown. Maybe its the lazery rhythmic lines that carry the track along, or the stripped down, minimal bounce that Paape employs; either way, as you listen it becomes clear why taking a look at the work of one of techno's most influential label heads/artists is a worthwhile endeavor. Paape was also known as one of techno's most secretive artists, as he never did any interviews, played any shows, or published any pictures, until now. The image above is Paape's first published photo which, not surprisingly, looks like a German guy who has been making techno for over a decade. Kompilation will be released exclusively from Kompakt on December 17 physically and January 10 digitally.
For the third release on burgeoning Czech imprint Mean Bucket, Prague-based DJ/producer Tvyks crafted a two-song single, Prague to Berlin, filled with the skittering bounce of UK club rhythms, the airy pads of old-school rave tunes, and the expertly delivered verbiage of UK MC C.Monts. Here, we're given the opportunity to pass on one of those tunes, the solid dancefloor heat of "Mitte Riddim." The song kicks off already in high gear—a shuffling future-house beat follows some introductory blips and clicks, which is quickly joined by a handful of hyped-up synths and lyrical gymnastics. Just about everything thereafter climbs higher into the realms of late-night revelry, though Tvyks still makes way for a somber breakdown around the midpoint before he builds it right back up to the heights where we started. You can check out the whole Prague to Berlin single here.
The latest record to come from the excellent Numbers label is the debut release from London producer Slackk, a three-song jaunt entitled Theme From Slackk. "Crucial Love" isn't one of those next-level, so-called "eski-house" burners, but the track does find the producer in similarly funky territory. While samples from New Edition's "Crucial" tune are toyed with at the core, a slow, booming dance beat carries the funky guitars, buzzing synths, and low-bit electronics that make up the rest of the song's instrumentation. Slackk's "Crucial Love" is probably a bit too slow for anyone's peak-hour playlist, but it's certainly a weird one that'll bring you down in style. You can get more info on Slackk's new EP, not to mention pick up your own copy of the record, here.
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