Even drum & bass, the bastard child of dance music, had more representation than nu-skool breaks at this year's WMC. Help is on the way, as Bedrock Breaks is poised to infiltrate the mainstream with this double-CD compiled by London's 21-year-old Guy Hatfield. Starting off as a relaxed and heady affair, the mix segues into harder dance tracks on CD 2. Unreleased material peppered with last year's anthems showcase all the stars: Fatliners, BLIM'ls and Kemek the Dope Computer are just a start. Read more »
Defected makes its presence felt stateside via a new series of double-mix-CDs featuring the cream of US dance music mavens. For its inaugural mixes, Defected teams Grammy nominee Jay-J and prolific DJ/producer Miguel Migs on the aptly titled West Coast Sessions. They offer up the smooth West Coast fare you'd expect from the San Fran-based duo, with zero surprises. A change of texture to differentiate one from the other would have been interesting. Instead, this collection of palatable dance music merely entertains, but never provokes. Read more »
The most admirable aspect of Compost's FSOJ series is its diversity; each installment delivers a different version of the shape of jazz to come. Packaged with a swanky 3-D cover (glasses included), number nine is relentlessly infectious. The alternate versions of musical reality range from a slightly neo-soul slant to airy downtempo, jazzy rides, uptempo broken beats and seriously soulful vocals. Ultimately, the album's mix of electronic and organic drums is what makes it special-it's like a musical cyborg built from the best scraps that jazz and electronic music have to offer. Read more »
Dub is clearly on the rise in the US, as Babylon Is Ours quickly shows. Check the differing use of frequency range, mixing techniques and instrumentation, as each artist's vision of dub covers quite a broad spectrum. King Tubby's raw production influence is pervasive, yet each of the 12 artists brings different source material-including hip-hop (Tino), downtempo (Ben Wa) and drum & bass (Otaku). Other highlights include Portland's Systemwide (featuring Dr. Read more »
The jungle equivalent of the kind of wet t-shirt contest in which everyone gets hosed down as they jump the fuck up, Aphrodite's latest mix is charged with overwhelming pneumatic bounce and drenched with a lush energy, and it's big big big. Featuring ragga bumpin', sassed-to-the-max vocals and flamenco come-ons, there ain't nothing subtle about the irrepressible party contained herein. Gavin King sticks to his trademark sound, but shines it up till each curve is slapworthy. Makes like a busted-up fire hydrant on a sweltering day-basic like water and cement, but, in the moment, so much more. Read more »
There's only so many times you can walk into a Lower East Side bar full of patrons clothed in jackets coated in one-inch badges, posturing in deftly worn Levi's, cheesecloth-thin vintage RUN-DMC tees, and perfectly askew trucker cap, waving to Casey Spooner, sipping Red Stripes and doing PCP with Ryan McGinley, and then knowingly call out each endlessly re-issued post-punk classic. Yes, we've all heard Yello, Laidback and Alexander Robotnik's classics played repeatedly. But what, you may ask, were the Germans up to during those important years of 1977-1983? Read more »
As a dedicated mixtape head' love and hate this CD. Love it because it's packed full of golden-era goodness; hate it because they have records I want (yo''mma knock you fools out for those Sir Ibu and 360 singles!). The track listing is the main attraction here: rare cuts from the late '80s and early '90s, featuring artists like Chill Rob G, Doug E. Fresh and Nice & Smooth, plus a bunch of more obscure names. The mixing is very smooth, but both DJs wisely stand back from turntable trickery, letting these songs speak for themselves. Read more »
Sure to be overlooked for its elegant subtlety, Cibo Matto-programmer Yuka Honda and Yoshimi P-We (Boredoms, OOIOO, Free Kitten) have created a minor ambient/improv masterpiece in Flower With No Color. Made while traveling and living together in rural Japan, Flower gathers field recordings of birds, temple bells and sounds of their truck with piano, bamboo flutes, trumpets and synthesizers into a something not unlike Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra and Damo Suzuiki wandering Mt. Ikoma on opium. Easily one of the most sublime 45-minute listening sessions I've spent in some time. Read more »
Well, Dntel fever is evidently sweeping the world, not even leaving the windswept artic tundras of Iceland untouched. After bringing the electro-enhanced slowcore jams of M?m, TMT records introduces Worm is Green, which steps up the global glitch-pop explosion with prominent female and sometimes male vocals, a bassist, a drummer and an avalanche of nocturnal synthesized solitude. If this sounds like your bag, relish in the swirling growl of synthesizers, laptop-affected drums, and immediate vocals. Read more »
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