Somewhat ironically, Sleepyhead's bluesy "Untitled" serves as the titular track of the NYC producer's forthcoming EP for ASL Singles Club, a brand-new label helmed by ex-LOL Boy Markus Garcia (a.k.a. Heartbeat(s)). Having released material via Trouble & Bass and Embassy in recent years, Sleepyhead's forthcoming Untitled EP (out on February 18) appears to see the burgeoning talent delivering his most straight-up house material, of which "Untitled" falls perfectly in line. The tune is a swimming piece of deep house sprinkled with an assortment of re-pitched vocal samples, a production which cuts through its lush layers of dusty chords and spiralling arpeggios with an understated shuffle. Sleepyhead also manages to mix in a few subtle layers of looped party noises and hand claps as well, and to great effect.
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Oscar Key Sung's "All I Could Do" highlights a wide array of bright textures with vibrant synths and intimate vocal snippets, using his own emotive voice to lead the charge. Australian duo Alba diverges from this path with its mellowed rendition of the song, and captures the smoothness of the original production while trimming it into a slick, minimalist groove. The pair takes a very meticulous approach to "All I Could Do (Alba Remix)," trading out embellished synths for jazzy keys which offer a soulful vibe.
London-based producer My Eastford Soul returns to XLR8R with another fresh single, the soothing house of "Falling Right." His new production opens with a candid beat, evolving into a playful groove as buoyant synths and a brightly popping bassline add to the warm blend of textures. Near the three-and-a-half-minute mark, My Eastford Soul's instrumentation fades out, making way for a beautiful break that features glossy keys heralding the return of "Falling Right"'s wealth of harmonious sounds.
German imprint Shtum has broadened its fledgling discography with a brand-new, techno-charged release by Yør, appropriately called Shtum 003. Featured here, EP cut "Ritus" finds the Hamburg-based producer creating a pattern of stimulating synth flares, pulsing four-to-the-floor surges, and carefully placed vocal snippets. Yør keeps his production clean and minimal on the mechanized tune, retooling spoken words to sound more like inorganic instruments than a human voice.
20-year-old Fort Lauderdale producer Nick León is setting out to self-release his upcoming Mexico EP in the "not-too-distant future," sharing a download of the passionate record closer "IIII. Palenque (Mind)" in the meantime. With some emotionally evocative vocals from Faeryteeth, the misty production offers an array of starry synths along with a foreboding bassline to cohesively form a range of beautiful and dark sounds. Finely tuned vocal distortions shroud Nick León's new track with an air of mysticism that acutely matches the single's abstract artwork.
If the New Year's resolution of UK producer Graphics was to be more generous, then he is well on his way to accomplishing that goal. Having already offered up the ghostly and soulful "Their Say" last month, the man returns to the XLR8R Downloads feed with "Steam and Paradise," a deep-reaching cut which piles chopped breaks and industrial percussion atop its stream of sharp synths. In truth, this new freebie from Graphics does come with an ulterior motive—announcing the launch of the man's PTC label. Though no exact release news has surfaced from the endeavor yet, Graphics explains that PTC will be "a very family-based label," which aims to nurture unsigned artists. For now, "Steam and Paradise" will have to hold us over before Graphics' new label effort gets into full swing.
DJ Taye has accomplished quite a bit during his time as an artist, becoming a member of Chicago's well-respected Teklife crew three years after beginning his music career. The young DJ/producer plans to continue building his momentum by self-releasing the 22-track Overdose on Teklife II LP on February 11 on Bandcamp. Before then, we're treated to the smooth footwork of "New Age 14," a melodic production which incorporates flashing synths with swift kick and hi-hat patterns. Dwelling on a more chilled atmosphere, this one-off exclusive from DJ Taye is a prime example of how to balance electrifying and relaxing vibes all at once.
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