From his freshly released second EP, Shigeto's "What We Held On To" is another intricately produced piece of melodic beat music. The track is full of micro-samples, wafting atmosphere, and crunchy textures—all wrapped around the Michigan-based tunesmith's slap-heavy beats and plinking synth melodies. It's another reminder of how preciously constructed Shigeto's music is, and how, no matter how many moods he flips within one track, each one is treated with delicate care and painstaking attention to detail. You can snag this track, along with the entire new EP, for absolutely free from Ghostly, here. Full Circle, Shigeto's first full-length album, will see the light of day later this year.
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This brand-new slow-burner comes courtesy of NY DJ/producer/label-head extraordinaire, Abe Duque. The techno/house/acid fiend has a double-disc mix album coming in September, Live and On Acid, which includes three fresh tracks from the veteran music maker. One such tune, "Bumble Bee" is a massive dancefloor heater that boasts a bulbous, hypnotic groove, some acid-y synth squelches, and an indecipherably haunting vocal presence from vocalist Virginia. The entrancing number can be heard mixed into the Live portion of Duque's forthcoming release, but will also be released as the first 12" on his Abuse Industries imprint in a couple of months.
You wouldn't think there's a price to be paid for releasing a widely loved, breakout album, but it's true. Anyone and everyone wants to (and will) remix its songs for far too long after its release, to the point of nausea-inducing repetition that's enough to almost make you dislike the original music. It's certainly happened to the UK's The xx, who've suffered through their fair share of remix clunkers, but we're happy to let this new take on the band's "Crystalized" tune slide by without too much chagrin. The funky disco-house producer behind the remix, fellow Brit Jamie Jones, hooked up The xx's trademark boy/girl vocal duet with a thick dance groove and bouncing bassline that nicely suit the pair's mellow cooing. Jones' minimal production mirrors the aesthetic of the original "Crystalized," and ends up overshadowing all of the other interpretations of the song we've heard over the past year.
If this track wasn't labeled as a remix, we would've immediately assumed that we were being treated to a brand-new original from our favorite spun-out drag trio, Salem (pictured above). But even though we do know this is a supposed 'reworking' of "Hologram" by These New Puritans, we can't seem to find anything connecting that original track to this new one. It's sort of like the band said, "Hey Salem, we love your work! Would you guys be into remixing one of our songs?" and Salem agreed but forgot to do it by the deadline, so instead just gave them an unreleased song they'd been sitting on and called it a remix. Don't get us wrong, though; we're not complaining. Salem's 'remix' of "Hologram" finds all of the outfit's hallmarks intact: synthetic vocal melodies, ominous synth tones, crunk beats, and that irreplaceable, pitched-down slur. Keep it coming, guys.
Off the recently released Brownswood Electr*c compilation, "Blad" is an old-school-sounding piece of soulful beat work from the UK's Letherette. The producers utilize what appears to be no more than two—maybe three—sample sources to flesh out the slow-grooving funk of their exclusive track for Electr*c, as each guitar strum, bass pluck, horn stab, drum hit, and vocal utterance chopped up and sequenced into "Blad" sounds as cohesive and complimentary as if it had all been performed live in one room, and not on an MPC. Letherette's impeccably crafted tune is just a small taste of the eclectic mix of beat-heavy music to be heard on the excellent compilation from Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label.
This remix of "Sun," from Danish house producers Kenton Slash Demon, comes from Alan Abrahams (a.k.a. Portable a.k.a. Bodycode), who transforms the bouncing original production into a soulful techno track more than twice its initial length. Portable's entrancingly epic composition and its accompanying forefather, are both part of the Sun EP, which is the first installment of Kenton Slash Demon's trilogy of releases entitled The Schwarzschild Solution. The first release drops July 26 via Tartelet, with the subsequent EPs, Matter and Daemon, following in the months ahead. If the quality of original tunes an remixers follow suit with this offering, we're sure to have a solid set of tracks on our hands when the Danish duo's triptych is finished next January.
The latest single from Dim Mak's resident DJ Them Jeans is the tunesmith's inaugural release as part of the ever-expanding Top Billin artist stable. His new track, "Balloons," is a big, bass-laden future-house number with a buoyant dance beat and lots of woozy synth work filling out most of its five and a half minutes. Jeans' production seems content enough to stay rooted in only a few relatively even-keeled movements, as it never quite crescendos with the bombastic effects favored by his hyperactive Dim Mak peers. The Balloons EP, with remixes from LOL Boys, Mad Decent's DJA, and Camo UFOs, is out now.
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