San Francisco's J. Rogers has been the driving force behind the Blipswitch Digital label for the past two years, and the label's latest release is his full-length debut. "Meditation Point" begins slowly, with delayed female vocal samples, bell-like sounds and watery, syncopated tinklings riding above monstrous kicks. But by the track's mid-point, "Meditation Point" has morphed into a jackin' slice replete with bouncing bass, wet claps, and a druggy atmospheric presence that somehow recalls Damian Schwartz, or perhaps a more maximal Luke Hess. While it would be nice to see these tracks on vinyl, one can certainly imagine laptop DJs pounding the club with this lovely piece of tech-house.
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Here, London's Geeneus and Katy B attack a cover of the 1988 Kevin Saunderson-produced house masterpiece, Inner City's "Good Life." Obviously, there's no beating the original—many agree that it is one of the best house tracks ever made—but the funky spin that Katy B and Geeneus give the piece is quite special. The chunky house bass of the original is replaced with subsonic tones, and a more frenetic percussion pattern is substituted for the original's monstrous kicks. Of course, the melodic line is kept intact, and Katy B's vocals are attuned to nuances of Paris Grey's without imitating them exactly. All in all, this cover of "Good Life" is one of the better versions of the track available, because it stays true to the brilliance of original while injecting some new personality into the piece.
XLR8R favorites Teengirl Fantasy met native Estonian Bakey Ustl while studying in Amsterdam, and have been slowly spreading word of Ustl's astounding productions ever since. "First Class" is a track with sonics existing somewhere between contemporary UK funky sounds and the deep, jazzy house found on Stuttgart's Philpot label. With delirious, lush synths and intense polyrhythms running throughout, the high-frequency flourishes, squelchy bits, and rumbling bass play off of an exemplary sonic core. Though he doesn't have a record deal yet, be assured that a label will snatch up Ustl sometime very, very soon, especially given his eclectic palette and range of influences.
As one part of the Wolf + Lamb DJ/production team, Gadi Mizrahi has certainly seen his star rise to unforeseen heights in the past year, and with his new vinyl-only imprint releasing tracks like "Beautiful Thang," he can only rise higher. A funky track obviously inspired by Miami's musical history, "Beautiful Thang" features a killer bass, nicely-padded kicks, and cut-up samples forming a melodic backbone. Combined with breezy, sexy vocals from Cnyce of Soul Clap and a backing synth drone that mirrors a prominent Kraftwerk line, the piece is certainly attuned to a club vibe, placing it in solidly in the the summer hits category.
So maybe this whole moombahton thing has some legs after all. What started as Dave Nada slowing down some Dutch house tunes to appease his Latin-music-loving little cousins is beginning to blossom into a full-fledged movement. Enter Munchi, a producer from the Netherlands who has previously dabbled in dubstep, B-more, bubbling, baile funk, and a number of other genres. But now he's unveiled the Moombahton Promo EP—which can be downloaded for free from his blog—and dude has seriously upped the ante on this nascent style. The entire EP is loaded with infectiously blaring synths and rumbling reggaeton beats, but "Metele Ballaco" is especially potent with its "Planet Rock" samples and fired-up raps en español.
Black Moth Super Rainbow frontman—if you can call a guy who sits on the floor during their shows a frontman—Tobacco's sophomore solo effort, Maniac Meat is rapidly approaching its May 25 release date. "Fresh Hex" is the latest album taster to be released into the wild, and it features an all-star guest appearance from LA troubadour Beck, whose trademark quaver pairs quite nicely with Tobacco's usual assortment of blown-out hoover beats, psychedelic synths, and hip-hop beats.
Although LA art-noise merchants HEALTH spent much of the past year melting faces with selections from their excellent Get Color album, it's clear that the boys never lost their affinity for the dancefloor. Their forthcoming DISCO2 is packed with remixes from Javelin, Salem, Blondes, Pictureplane, and more, but it also features "USA Boys," the only new original track to appear on the album. Yet the song doesn't seem out of place; devoid of the band's usual ear-splitting aesthetic, the track rolls along on a hip-hop beat flanked by synths that wouldn't sound out of place on a Rihanna cut (this is a good thing), yet still features the band's spooky vocal stylings and just a touch of their signature squall.
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