If you're at all like us (you are reading this, so you're probably at least somewhat like us), you're a bit tired of the bands/producers/etc. tweaking the names of famous people for use as musical monikers—Joy Orbison, Ill Gates, Dananananaykroyd, and Wevie Stonder immediately come to mind. Easily the most unlikable of the bunch is the awkwardly re-imagined name Com Truise, a bedroom producer hailing from Princeton, New Jersey born Seth Haley and who recently signed to the lovely Ghostly label. This little slice of homegrown synth-pop, called "Slow Peels," is featured on a remastered version of Haley's Cyanide Sisters EP (pictured above), originally released by AMDISCS and soon to be reissued by his new label on January 25. The song is fuzzy and not exactly of the highest fidelity to be sure, but the many different analog synth sounds and super-compressed drum beats wouldn't really sound right any other way. Obviously, Com Truise knows his way around a melodic soundscape and a pop-friendly groove, so despite the laughable name, we'll be keeping a keen eye on whatever emanates from his home studio next.
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Scottish-born, Berlin-based producer Rudi Zygadlo had himself a stroke of generosity over the weekend, which resulted in his offering two eclectic and funky bass-centric tunes via Bandcamp. Don't Disturb the Beasts is two tracks of impeccably produced, forward-thinking dubstep from the tunesmith that he couldn't "justify" releasing physically because they are "essentially reworks," but for our money, "Kiss the Braille Mirror" and its lengthy counterpart "Filth, Hounds of Hades" are just as good as—if not much better than—many of the crates of CDs and records our office is inundated with on the daily. Zygadlo's "Mirror" tune is punchy, hyperactive, and catchy, like many of its club-ready dubstep contemporaries, but maintains a certain musicality and futuristic soul that isn't quite as common. You can check out more about Beasts on the artist's Tumblr.
Can someone explain exactly what's going on? Prior to this week, XLR8R had settled into a comfortable little relationship with the electro noiseniks at Ed Banger—namely, the label was a convenient whipping boy for everything that had gone wrong with electro-house. It may not have been fair, but at least we didn't treat the French label as bad as, say, Steve Aoki. Regardless, now our whole world has been turned upside down, courtesy of Ed Banger's DJ Mehdi. Yesterday we found his ace remix of Eli Escobar's "Love Thing 2," and now he's got his hands in another quality tune, this remix of last year's "Do! Do Do!" by Carte Blanche (pictured above), his collaborative project with Riton. To be fair, the original "Do! Do! Do!," which first appeared on the Black Billionaires EP, is a paint-by-numbers electro-ish number with some largely forgettable rap-singing by Kid Sister. So all the credit on this one goes to remixer Strip Steve, who injects some jacking house flavor, picks up the tempo, and chops Kid Sister's vocals into sexy oblivion. This version doesn't appear on the new Black Billionaires: The Remixes EP, which came out yesterday, but that release does include re-workings from Green Velvet and Laidback Luke. Let's hope their remix work is similarly impressive.
Here, Portland tunesmith Tyler Tadlock (a.k.a. Spirituals) has delivered a preciously glitched-out remix of "Southern Suite C" by Moodgadget-signed producer Beautiful Bells (pictured above). What was originally an overwhelming bit of sub-heavy rhythms and churning audio shards has become something more serene and melodious, though equally full of sonic fragments. Spirituals creates a lush soundscape of skipping samples, bubbling atmosphere, and thick low-end tones for a minute and a half before introducing the skittering beat that carries the remainder of his version of "Southern Suite C," and travels even further down the path of playful, glitchy electronica à la Nobukazu Takemura or Oval (maybe even Four Tet) for its remaining six minutes.
French producer and Ed Banger acolyte DJ Medhi delivers this tastefully club-ready remix of "Love Thing Pt. 2" by NYC artist Eli Escobar. Boasting a vocal hook that reminds us of Kylie Minogue's infectious "Can't Get You Out of My Head," this track kicks off immediately with its sights set on the climax of playlists for your next hands-in-the-air dance party. And yet DJ Medhi's version has a mature and reserved vibe to its revelry—even when the tune is rocking three synth melodies, a string section, a funky bassline, a straight house beat with plenty of percussion, a slick vocal hook, and all kinds of aural filler, it all twists and shouts just beneath the red so we can fully enjoy every sound working together to make us groove. And if "Love Thing Pt. 2 (DJ Medhi Club Mix)" strikes your fancy, make sure to check out the rest of Love Thing Remix EP over here.
Like a reincarnation of Suicide without excessive drug use or a bizzarro Devo without any sense of humor, Oakland's Brotman & Short plumbs the depths of no-wave minimalism and proto-industrial nihilism to feed its dark, synth-heavy jams. Even on "Eastlands," one of the relatively lighter numbers from the duo's forthcoming nine-song LP for start-up label Cold Dick Records (side note: the label is helmed by occasional XLR8R scribe Thomas Rees), entitled Heights, the Bay Area outfit channels memories of Ian Curtis' disarming, baritone yawps and some of the more cohesive and driving numbers in Cabaret Voltaire's discography. Whether Brotman & Short are attempting to simply relive these ominous moments in musical history or actually take them to new heights remains to be seen, but with material like this, we wouldn't mind sticking around to find out. Heights will be released as a limited pressing of 500 LPs on February 8.
Brooklyn-based MC Beans has a flow that is instantly recognizable from his time in the seminal abstract-rap crew Anti-Pop Consortium. Not content to simply rap in conventional patterns, Beans instead takes an angular approach to rhythm in his verses using the beat as a mere marker for him to blast through his sophisticated, rapid-fire lyrics. "Mellow You Out" finds Beans delivering an onslaught of forceful words over In Flagranti's simultaneously mechanical and tribal production, complete with guest chants from Tunde Adebimpe (of art-rock group TV On the Radio). But it is Beans who takes the end chorus, singing his final abstractions in a slow, solemn voice. The forthcoming LP (where you'll find this track), End It All, is a bit of a deviation from the his usual solo records in that it features guest-production on every track from an impressive list of beatsmiths, including Anticon's own Son Lux and Tobacco as well as Four Tet, Clark, DJ Nobody, and others. End It All will be available February 15.
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