Electronic pioneers Stefan Betke and Barbara Preisinger founded ~scape in 1999, and over the years have released records from the likes of Jan Jelenik, John Tejada, and others. For just about as long, Betke has also been recording and releasing music as Pole. As the story goes, Betke decided on the name after dropping a Waldorf 4-Pole filter and proceeding to make music with the newly fractured hardware. "Alles Klar" comes from Round Black Ghosts, a recent compilation on ~scape that takes a peculiar spin on the ever-shifting dubstep genre.
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You don't hear a lot of dance music producers talking about waxing poetic about classic rock and gazing deep into gatefold LPs, but that is exactly what Alex Moulton has said about working on his latest album, Exodus. "It’s a total concept album," he explains. "I wanted to make something like a Pink Floyd record, where you put it on and you listen to the whole thing all the way through and it takes you on this crazy journey." The album certainly hints at the powder-fueled epics of Giorgio Moroder and new age soundtracks of Vangelis, but the prog-driven concept gazes deep into the future without even a look back. Wyatt Williams
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Oakland-based MC and activist Ise Lyfe cites Langston Hughes as an inspiration and raps about equally intellectual subject matters in his work. The first single off his Prince Cometh album, "Bad Word Bounce" finds him making a play on Snoop Dogg and Pharell's "Drop it Like it's Hot," imitating the minimal beats and soft rhymes, but replacing lyrics about Chandon and Rolexes with issues ranging from the media to the objectification of women. For the album, he enlisted Bay Area producer Nick James to handle production duties.
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Sahara Swing is currently being touted as an album of Afro-flavored funk, but the term doesn't really sum up the musical content of the release. Working with Poets of Rhythm producer Jay Whitefield, Karl Hector has crafted an album that's as much James Brown as it is Fela Kuti, as evidenced by swinging guitars, slinky basslines, and scattered snares on the title track. Hector has, to date, only appeared on one 7", but this album, release via Stones Throw affiliate Now-Again, should ensure his persona brought to life in full.
The cover of this disc–a girl clad in white standing in a bleak, wintery woodland–hints at the contents of this release, the latest from Midwest-born producer Erik Schoster. Combining dreamy pop music with experimental electronics (not to mention an arsenal of bells, harps, acoustic guitars, laptop-processed bleeps, and static), he has created an album that would please both laptop scientists and kids wanting something pretty to listen to while driving a car. And yes, the album is named after the George Eliot novel.
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