Marking his first solo record since 2003's highly acclaimed Muted, Brendon Whitney (a.k.a. Alias), who recently relocated from the bay back to his original stomping grounds of Portland, Maine, has returned with another album of lush beatscapes and melodic compositions. With the exception of collaborative tracks with Why? frontman Yoni Wolf and The One AM Radio, Resurgam–Latin for "I Shall Rise Again"–is a primarily instrumental affair, and even sees the seasoned anticon. mainstay stepping into ambient territory on a couple tracks. That’s not to say he's abandoned his love for the drum machine one bit, and as heard on "Justamachine," his skills have only grown with time. Photo by Suzy Poling.
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A recent find of ours on the music discovery crapshoot that is MySpace, Harrison Blakoldman crafts his own brand of electro-soaked hip-hop beats meant for those tuned into the exciting wave of forward-thinking boom-bap. The Paris-based beatsmith, who tells us he is "59 years young," is a somewhat mysterious character, offering no real photos or information on his website. Instead, he lets the music speak for itself. On “Full Speed,” Harrison delivers some Dabrye-esque appregiated synth lines alongside swing-heavy drum programming that could easily be enjoyed in the headphones or the whip.
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RQM's a name we're all familiar with at this point. The Barcelona-based producer has been involved with The Tape, Al Haca, and Jahcoozi over the years, but Miss Pacman marks his first solo single. The turntable-friendly track has already won the love of The Glimmers, Larry Tee, Switch, Sinden, Edu K, and a gaggle of other DJs all praising the song's wobbly basslines and electro riffs. Here, Oliver $ gives the original cut the remix treatment. For more RQM, check XLR8R's latest podcast, curated by Exploited Records boss Shir Khan.
Poised to make a tsunami-sized splash of excitement in the rap world, Georgia-born MC Terry Davis (a.k.a. Izza Kizza) spits refreshingly crisp, rapid-fire bullets reminiscent of southern-rap greats like Outkast or Goodie Mob, with an extra serving of eclectic energy that sets him apart from most. Kizza, who's rumored to be Timbaland's new secret weapon, just dropped his new mixtape Kizzaland (mixed by Fool's Gold's very own Nick Catchdubs), which should hold the hungry fans over until his forthcoming EP Mr. Next Year hits.
Danny and Tiffany Preston have dropped another call-to-war-style single off their forthcoming EP, The Basta. Judging from this and a previous track, duo's got an uncanny ability to make music that calls to mind the disconcerting feel of war (you know, bullets and tanks and invasions and such), while still providing an energy that would work on the dancefloor. "Let Them Dance" could also work in a rock setting, with its driving guitars layered over synths and quick-paced breakbeats.
Stars Like Fleas gave experimental rock an emotional touch earlier this year, with the release of its third full-length, The Ken Burns Effect. Steeped in dizzying guitar textures, layered vocals, and the occasional interlude of quirky electronics, the Brooklyn-based band's album is a convergence of free-jazz, indie rock, and soft folk flavors, as seen with this track, which also features some subtle Americana strings. Finally, check the band on tour this fall.
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