Ever since Will Holland–also known to many of his fans as the mastermind behind Quantic–up and moved to Colombia, we've been hearing many a tropical flavor seep into his already dub and reggae-heavy sound, and he went full force with combining these elements for his Quantic Presents Flowering Inferno project, producing track after track of laid-back melodies and lush acoustics. "Ciudad Del Swing" appeared as a single, and the b-side here turns the song's catchy piano hook inside out, as well as replaces the guitar section with a robust chorus of horns. It sort of leaves one in a quandary as to whether they should sit still and listen carefully to the intricate sound arrangements or get up and dance.
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Not to be confused with that cheesy American pop group, Like Woah! is an electro-house duo that hails from Sydney, Australia and loves to play DJ sets. In their own music, these two self-professed nerd/sport/ravers have a taste for wobbly synth melodies and extraterrestrial-sounding laptop noise, and their self-titled EP, released via Bang Gang's imprint, has caught the attention of Boyz Noize, Steve Aoki, and right on up to Jay Z (we think they're telling the truth about this). They rarely showcase their own material in the live setting, so enjoy this one on the headphones, if you can sit still during the beat.
To follow-up his highly praised EP, Perception is Everything, New Jersey-based DJ KO gathered a selection of up-and-coming hip-hop artists and paired them with some of the genre's heavyweights, then sent them to the production boards and microphones. Picture This... features everyone from Talib Kweli, Black Milk, and 9th Wonder to Royce da 5'9, Skyzoo, Phonte of Little Brother, and Slum Village's Elzhi, making for a veritable sampling of the old guard and new faces. Photo by Soul Shot Photography.
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Unlike many bands who name their bands after cities they haven't spent much time in, Sao Paulo Underground actually formed in the Brazilian city and keeps strong ties to it. Chicago post-rocker Rob Mazurek travelled to the metropolis several years ago, where he met Mauricio Takara. From there the two enlisted other members for the group, released their debut album, Sauna: Um, Doise, Tres, in 2006, and have been steadily on the rise ever since. Given that three of the bandmembers specialize in percussion, it's no surprise that The Principle of Intrusive Relationships, the group's second full-length, is rhythm-centric and highly focused around the possibilities of the drum set. Half samba rock, half free-jazz, this one puts most percussionists to shame.
What would we do without art during times of struggle? Well we wouldn't have the music of Akiko Kiyama, for one thing, who reportedly pulled herself out of a severe emotional slump by learning and writing techno tracks back in 2001. Fast forward to 2008 and we find the Berlin-based, classically trained producer licensing tracks to Richie Hawtin, performing around the world, and, now, releasing her debut solo album, Seven Years. A collection of club bangers, wild percussion moments, Japanese string arrangements, and plenty of melody, the album also marks the first release for the District of Corruption imprint. Expect much more from this lady in the coming months.
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