When people talk about the rejuvenated New York house scene, they often point to Fred Peterkin, better known as Black Jazz Consortium. The Soul People Music label head has been quietly releasing a string of top-notch deep house tunes, both under the Black Jazz Consortium moniker and also as Fred P., which usually finds him experimenting or stretching his creative legs a little further. "On this Vibe" isn't exactly experimental, but it does find Peterkin settling into a relaxed, soulful groove over the course of its ten-plus minutes. With its rolling synths and intermittent piano stabs, it's the sort of track you want to hear toward the end of the night when the dancefloor is winding down, but you're still chilling with your friends and it's not quite time to go home.
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Take has been crafting beats for more than ten years, but with his latest full-length Only Mountain, the Angeleno is poised to claim his spot at the top of his city's burgeoning beat scene. "Neon Beams" is a perfect slice of space-age funk, complete with bright arpeggiating synths, laser-beam effects, and a silky smooth synthesized bass. With lush synth flourishes and a rump-shaking beat backing it all up, the track is likely to become a late-night summer staple.
London's Tape to Tape follows up its recent EP, The Devil Made Me Do It, with this rework of the first single taken from Headman's forthcoming album 1923, "Private Show." From producer Robi Insinna's original track, the production/DJ outfit crafts an eight-and-half-minute disco-house burner that's inherently funky in sound and undoubtedly classic in style. Headman's new album is set for release on his own label, Relish, and features collaborations with members of Yello, Beta Band, and Cassette Kids.
Dan Deacon's remix of "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt," the new single from Owen Pallett's latest album, Heartland, sounds fairly unusual compared to his usual neon-soaked hyperactive musical fare. Obviously, Pallett's falsetto and chamber-pop instrumentation are nothing like the heady synths found in Deacon's solo work, but the Baltimore-based producer introduces a large amount of percussion into his remix—bringing to mind the live drumming heard on his second album, last year's Bromst. It's an unexpected contribution to the forthcoming Lewis Takes His Shirt Off remix EP, which also features reworks from CFCF, Max Tundra, Simon Bookish, and Benoit Pioulard.
The latest installment of All City's split 10" series featuring the stars of the Los Angeles beat scene comes from Ras G and Samiyam, whose collaborative efforts with FlyLo have been lauded for their originality. Here, the Angeleno crafts a shuffling beat that rides below sub-sonic bass tones, accordion synth-drones, and little bits of secondary high-frequency flourish. Though it isn't the most danceable selection, "Fishsticks" uncannily invokes scenes of domesticity and service work—in other words, one can totally see a short-order cook jamming to this piece on the job, especially after its squelchy apex.
Baltimore's Future Islands are quickly emerging as the media darlings of a musical movement that some are calling post-wave and others are calling a return to the New Romantic sounds of 1980s Britain. (Hints of contemporary artists like Xiu Xiu and TV on the Radio also abound.) With its shimmering synth melody recalling Eno's "Spider & I," deep kicks, and male-female vocal contrasts, "In the Fall" is a near-perfect slice of melancholic electronic pop. Taken from their latest 12" and recorded just weeks after completing their first album, the single is sure to win the trio many fans who lament the end of spring and its inevitable goodbyes.
On the forthcoming Subject to Shift, his first album under the Solvent moniker in six years, Jason Amm brings an air of synth-pop melancholy to a sound that had previously inhabited the imagined world of happy analog robots. While the sonics remain analog, "Loss for Words" is indicative of Amm's new direction—a sheen of sad, watery synths flows behind bright swells that bring New Romantic sounds to mind. With multi-tracked vocals intoning about an unhappy, non-communicative relationship softly floating above it all, one can imagine Solvent blasting out of many college dorm windows, and this is most certainly a good thing.
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