Thanks to the blogosphere's usual bang-up music journalism, it's unclear whether Christopher Laufman (a.k.a. Wise Blood) hails from Houston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or Mars. Regardless, his '+' EP, from which "STRT SRNS" is taken and which also happens to be available for free download, shows real promise. Well, as much promise as any other lo-fi bedroom project these days that perilously skates the line between musical genius and happy accident. With his off-kilter vocals and heavily echoed drum beats, all wrapped in the requisite layer of hazy fuzz, Wise Blood is definitely borrowing from the Animal Collective playbook, but the melody here has a bit of a tropical R&B bent. Jeez, how many more 2010 music buzz words can we cram into this blurb? Was Wise Blood created in some kind of a lab as the perfect marketing tool for targeting upwardly mobile urban tastemakers and thought leaders? Hmmm... we can't rule it out. Let's just say that yes, we like this, but we kind of hate ourselves for liking it. (via Pitchfork via Delicious Scopitone)
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As the second release for both Berlin's Los Massieras and the Bananamania imprint, the recently released Better Than Italians EP—an obvious reference to Mike Simonetti's Italians Do it Better label—might wear quite a boastful title, not to mention an amusing Neu!-inspired record sleeve, but it seems the disc has the tunes to carry such a claim. On "Rumores," the DJ/production duo runs with its idea of revamping Italian pop music circa 1970, crafting an exuberant, disco-referencing dance tune full of funky guitar licks, pulsing bass lines, and dusty samples of horn sections and choral vocals. Los Massieras' track rides a fine line between being an edit, a remix, and an original, but will undoubtedly render such labels inconsequential when dropped in the middle of your next vintage disco DJ set.
The members of Brooklyn dance-pop outfit Restless People might have their hearts in the right place, but their band isn't what we'd call, you know, good. The original version of "Days of Our Lives" is a bit of a trainwreck that leans heavily on uncomfortably emotive vocals and misguided rave nostalgia (think Tiesto synths), but this remix by Kingdom (pictured above) wisely whittles out the awful and transforms the song into a quality piece of taut house music. Pitch-shifting the vocals into a lower register is a vast improvement, as is the subtraction of the original's chipmunky vocal snippets and dabblings in Eurodance. Kingdom's version puts the snapping drums out front, and relies on bass stabs and lazer-like synth swooshes to fill out the melody. To hear more of his fine craftsmanship, check out That Mystic, his new EP on Night Slugs—a streaming preview is available here—which drops this week. (via Pitchfork)
Ok, so maybe M.I.A.'s summer hasn't gone exactly as planned. Turns out that people aren't exactly loving her new album, but maybe she can find some salvation on the remix front. We're not sure if this reworking from DJ Mujava (pictured above) was officially commissioned or not, but it's certainly a good start. With the help of DJ Qness, the South African kwaito wizard places M.I.A.'s pop vocal turn over some galloping drum beats and accentuates the piece with some beeping and bubbling synths. In the right hands, maybe /\/\/\Y/\ Remixed could turn out pretty solid. (via Mad Decent)
From the oft-reliable Astralwerks stable of artists, Parisian chamber-pop trio Revolver (pictured above) recently gave fellow Frenchman Joakim a go at its vocal-heavy, sullen number, "Birds in Dm." While still focused around lead vocalist Ambroise Willaume and his backup singers, the producer transforms the band's even-keeled, acoustic song into an epic electronic dance tune that builds slowly and confidently into an overwhelming sonic experience. And even though Joakim's remix—which will be released on a limited 7" next month—is heavy with rhythm, it's his composition of thickly layered melodies and gradual introduction of chaotic noise elements that take the song over, turning it into some kind of i-Dose before it becomes a moody dance track again.
NY-native-turned-LA-resident P.U.D.G.E. will release his debut full-length next week on Ramp, but before that, we've got an exclusive preview of one of Idiot Box's slow-grooving jams. "Insensitivity" is a synth-addled MPC jam with a swagger not unlike that of beatmaking greats Madlib and J.Dilla. Like Madlib, P.U.D.G.E. fills in the gaps of his rhythms with wonky noise and random textures, and like the late Dilla, he uses thick, soulful basslines, head-knocking kicks, and massive claps to make up the meat of his track. P.U.D.G.E. still has a ways to go before gaining the same notoriety of his sample-rocking forefathers, but if "Insensitivity" is any indication, he's off to a great start.
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.
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