While Sweden's Club 8 are among the most popular independent acts in their native country, their profile overseas has been virtually non-existent. Their sixth full-length, The People's Record, promises to change that circumstance, what with its pop hooks and indebtedness to world musics. Here, countrymen Pallers take the slick Afrobeat of "Western Hospitality" and transform it into a synth-drenched, dubby excursion. Maintaining the guitar melodies of the original through lovely buzzing synth parts, the duo have crafted a piece that fans of Tanlines and Lemonade will certainly appreciate.
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Taken from Bustin' Loose, the fourth compilation released by the DC-based T&A label (run by Tittsworth and DJ Ayers), this remix of Steve Starks' "Lydia" by Smalltown Romeo is a high-energy exercise in rolling basslines, bouncing disco-house beats, and a seemingly endless arsenal of swelling background sounds. The Canadian supergroup—made up of the Smalltown DJs duo and Wax Romeo—seems to have only left the original's Spanish vocal intact, but even that is vocodered into oblivion. Basically, "Lydia" receives an almost complete 180—effectively transforming from a gritty street-bass number into something more suitable for a nightclub with a dress code.
Veteran German knob twiddlers To Rococo Rot are at it again. On June 29, the trio is releasing its seventh album, entitled Speculation. Recorded in the rural studio of legendary Krautrock outfit Faust, it's sure to find the fellows continuing to blur the lines between acoustic and electronic instrumentation and taking plenty of cues from their German forefathers such as Neu!, Harmonia, and Cluster. "Horses" is the first offering from the new record, and the serene track features a bubbling synth intermingling with light percussion and pastoral melodies. These days it seems like anyone with a budget bedroom setup can crank out a mellow tune and slap the "chill" label on it, but To Rococo Rot is still showing us how the pros like to get down.
Jneiro Jarel has produced under as many monikers as Kool Keith, and luckily, his output shines as brightly as Black Elvis'. On "Black Blocks," Jarel channels something of Electronic Warfare-era Underground Resistance, utilizing a foreboding bass throb, high frequency distorted industrial loops, and guitar harmonies to create a piece of dark electronic funk that is just begging for a DJ Assault rework. With deep, pitch-shifted vocals intoning throughout, there's also a political side to "Black Blocks" that is unmistakably influenced by Mike Banks. While the rest of the Android Love Mayhem EP isn't as indebted to Detroit's best production crew, its tones and sonic palette waver somewhere between FlyLo and Nomadico, which is definitely a good thing for our ears.
The clanking trip-hop beat that leads in the original version of Pollyn's "Can't Get Into It" is traded out for a steady and straightforward house beat on Altair Nouveau's remix. In fact, the only element left intact on DFA producer Brandon Mitchell's rework is the ethereal vocal delivery of singer Genevieve Artadi. Altair's arsenal of vintage synth tones and space-boogie grooves provide the instrumental background instead, and transform "Can't Get Into It" into a dancefloor number you'd have to be deaf not to get into.
It's good to know that the glittery soul and sexual shimmy of future-funk is alive and well in a city currently best known for its electro-house exports. Parisian producer Onra teams up his solid grooves with Olivier Daysoul's wacky falsetto on the dancefloor heater "Long Distance." Paying homage to his rave-minded peers with his super-compressed beat, Onra still keeps the boogie alive with a bouncing bassline, tons of spacey synth sounds, and a hook that rivals just about any of Daft Punk's catchy melodies. The music is brilliant in and of itself, allowing Daysoul's colorful vocal delivery to serve as the icing on the cake.
Joshua Harvey produces under a couple of monikers, namely The Count and Hervé, all of which propagate buzzing party beats meant for late-night dance-a-thons. From his Hervé project comes Harvey's latest single, Zombies, and this hyperactive club tune, "Hot! Drum Attack." The beat-heavy rave-up scales the heights of intensity many times over within its six minutes, as Harvey uses every punchy drum sound, tweaked vocal sample, and filtered synth at his disposal to get the job done right.
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