Brooklyn-by-way-of-San Francisco duo (who also happen to be former XLR8R scribes) Hours of Worship is known for mixes full of pretty, transforming hooks and shimmering subtleties rooted in straightforward techno rhythms. Their remix of “Nervous Buzzing,” a track by San Francisco trance rockers Wildildlife, throbs like a headache that feels good—so good. Restrained shifts in vibration with dark echoes radiate outwardly over a bright ambient synth and driving tempo. Five minutes just isn't enough of this aural voyage. Hours of Worship has an EP, Into the Grass, coming out this spring on Ekler'o'shock. Look for it. Lulu McAllister
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What was, according to the bio on their MySpace page, "quite possibly a drunken agreement" seems to have turned into quite the project for Islands frontman Nick Thorburn and Busdriver producer Daddy Kev. Though they've known one another for years, it wasn't until 2008 that the two united their disparate musical styles under the name Reefer and released a self-titled debut album, which was recorded on the Maui coastline and most definitely bears that tropical influence. And while hip-hop doesn't always mix well with traditional songwriting, the two seem to have found a balance here between programmed beats and acoustic guitars. Even FlyLo is feeling it.
Theophilus London is a soulful Brooklyn-based MC with a new mixtape album, Jam!, whose 20 tracks were produced by Machinedrum. The blaring horns introduce a glamorous beat and Londons’ serious reflections about the recent past and hopeful words for the future in this inauguration day special, “Save.” Female vocalists sing a straightforward chorus with with soulful sincerity: “The nation is fallen, looking for my hero./Can you be hero? Can somebody save me?/I’m just steady calling, looking for my hero./Can you be my hero? Can somebody save me?” President Obama, are you up to the task? Photo by TEXAS. Words by Lulu McAllister
Tim Hecker's work has, in the past, garnered the label "cathedral ambient," so it's no surprise that this track sounds a little like a pipe organ being played inside of a massive church. What is somewhat more unexpected is the bassline here, which provides a small bit of chord progression underneath the otherwise unchanging keyboard notes. "Sea of Pulses" is off Hecker's forthcoming full-length, An Imaginary Country, which will hit stores on March 9, courtesy of kranky.
Yo Majesty's Shunda K recently hit the studio with Brooklyn-based beatmaker Kotchy. The resulting Le Passion EP blows through an impressively large range of styles over the course of four tracks, covering smooth R&B, soul, slick hip-hop, and one cut from Kotchy that we'll file on the "experimental electronic" shelf. Love is, according to a recent post by Kotchy, the central theme on the release, tying the tracks together. A street date for the EP is still in the works. Since Kotchy is off to Europe to promote his debut album and Shunda is currently on the world's largest tour with Yo Majesty, it will be a bit of a wait before we see the pair performing Le Passion live. Get your dance on with this track in the meantime.
Adam Ohana (a.k.a An-ten-nae) is the man behind “Get Freaky,” a recurring club night in San Francisco. This song, off of his Acid Crunk EP 3, begins by gurgling from ear to ear, then a rounded beat booms in, followed by a more playful half-rhythm. Eventually plinks and bonks offset an edgy background synth tempered with quick hits of jungle. It's perfect for when you want to take a little trip. Lulu McAllister
San Franciscan indie-folk outfit Vetiver has shared the stage with Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom and won crowds over with a warm, poignant acoustic sound. Now, the band is preparing to release its fourth full-length album, Tight Knit, on February 17. “Everyday,” off this new album, is a low-key song with a pretty, retro vibe smacking of heroin-era James Taylor. Lead man Andy Cabic’s sweet crooning follows honest guitar strokes and, with a few casual shakes of the tambourine and some buoyant counter-guitar, the song fills out nicely. Lulu McAllister
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