Ontario native Dan Snaith has gone through plenty of transformations over the years, including changing the name of his long-running project Manitoba to Caribou. Yet Snaith's ability to craft engaging pieces of electronic psychedelia has remained constant, and if "Odessa" is any indication, more of the same can be expected when his new album, Swim, is released on April 20. The song finds Snaith boiling his varied talents as a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter and producer into a relaxed-yet-snappy slice of dance-pop, and "Odessa" also scores major bonus points for effectively channeling a bit of Kings of Convenience and Arthur Russell.
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Brooklyn duo Blondes spent much of the past year perking up ears with their lo-fi, hands-on approach to synth-driven dance music and techno, and now the boys are getting ready to step up their profile with an appearance at New York's Unsound Festival. The festival runs February 4th through the 14th and Blondes will be performing on the 11th as part of a special Brooklyn Electronic Music Showcase with Morgan Geist and Neurotic Drum Band. The pulsing keys of "You Mean So Much to Me (Acid Redux Cut)" can actually be found on a free compilation put together by Brooklyn record shop Halcyon, which also features cuts from fellow Unsound acts like Carl Craig, FaltyDL, Derek Plaslaiko, and Tomas Bednarczyk.
Philadelphia's Golden Ages is another one of these bedroom producers whose actual identity is shrouded in mystery. Yet although we're not sure what his mom calls him, we do know that he's coaxing his undoubtedly lo-fi equipment into producing some of that obnoxiously named yet undeniably pleasant chillwave (no, we don't like the name either) à la Memory Tapes, Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, and the rest of the glo-fi gang. Comparisons and internet buzz words aside, "Everything Will Be All Right" is a soothing slice of spacey electronic pop powered by swirling synths, blown-out low-end, and Mr. Ages' ghostly vocals. His debut album, Tradition, comes out this spring.
If the steady stream of club heaters is any indication, the Top Billin collective appear to have Finland's party scene on lock. The latest offering comes from Helsinki 78-82, a new project from crew members Flipper and Koobra. The duo's self-titled EP marks a creative left turn of sorts for Top Billin, as the guys eschew heavy bass and B-more beats in favor of sunny synth disco. While most listeners will gobble up "So Lifelike," a vocal remake of Lifelike's choice 2007 electro tune "So Electric," we prefer "Cruising," as its warbling keys and relaxed vibe are the sonic equivalent of sucking on an Otter Pop in a July heat wave. It's just the thing to perk us up in the dead of winter.
It's nice to see New York's Michna taking a stab at remixing a Joy Orbison track that's not "Hyph Mngo." That song's breakout has threatened to completely overshadow the producer's other brilliant tunes, and, here, Michna gives "BRKLN CLLN" its due by pumping up the bass and percussive elements—making his hometown-referencing version a sort of laidback banger. Hopefully we can catch this track live during Michna's short jaunt around middle-America with Rusko. (via Mad Decent)
Characterizing Martin Dosh's music has never been easy. Take "Subtractions," which features scatting vocals, arpeggiating bass synths, stabbing string sections, and an entire roll call of percussive instruments. It could fall into the realm of Tortoise-esque, jazzy post-rock, but there is hardly enough "rock" in Dosh's sound palette to fit such a genre. It's the lead track from the Minneapolis musician's upcoming album for Anticon, Tommy, which will undoubtedly be filled with plenty more unusually pleasant sonic juxtapositions.
The beginning of Michael Fakesch's remix of "D-Tron" sounds like the revving of some over-sized futuristic train engine, and once the motor starts running the track happily chugs along. The original was produced by Denver's Scaffolding, but gets a rework here by Fakesch of Funkstörung fame. The resulting track is a carefree slice of techno that could put a grin on any dancefloor enthusiast.
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