Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Review: Biome – The Fear EP on Sub Pressure (SBPR002)


Biome comes with a dark and bass-heavy EP out this Monday on Sub Pressure entitled The Fear. Three tracks of black-as-night darkness await listeners on this one.  These two I’m really into.

The first track “Fear of the Future” is the type of music I’d want to be listening to if I were crusing around in outer space watching a battle between two alien races.  One has a giant ship with lasers and whatnot, and the other flies around in oversized robotic spacesuits.  The battle is epic.  This is the soundtrack.

Biome – Fear of the Future

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The other highligted tune is “Industrial” which has an apt name, bringing up images of a haunted factory with errant machines running around malfunctioning, or maybe a b-boy battle that occurs in the underworld of Metropolis.  Definitely a Kromestar feel on this one with original elements also, big tune.

Biome – Industrial

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Pick it up @ Juno and other digital shops.

 

Starkey sends audio into Ear Drums and Black Holes


Starkey has been perfecting his style of synthesizer gymnastics for years and it culminates in “Ear Drums and Black Holes,” his second full-length solo album released next Monday on Planet Mu.  The sound on this album shows a maturity that is easily predictable given the quality of his recent singles (Rain City/Beatingz, Stars/Millenia, Ok Luv/Multidial).  A few of these singles are included on this album, but for the most part it’s new material, and damn is it tasty.

I always am interested to see how people that produce music built for DJing put together album material.  In some cases it’s just a collection of tracks, some offer so-called “gapless” versions which are minimally mixed (Scuba), some truncate the tracks on the album gearing it for casual listeners and not DJs (Caspa).  It’s rare in electronic dance music to have an album that feels like it has emotional progression, which I get while listening to this album.  Feelings range from the gritty sounds of “Spacecraft and “Fourth Dimension” to the hiphop club feel of “Club Games” and “Murderous Words” to the emotive and lovely sounds of “Stars” and “Neck Snap“.  The album weaves in and out of these different styles keeping it varied while listening and contrasting moments of intensity with mellow segments.

A number of tracks stand out on this album, distancing themselves from cookie-cutter dubstep/bass music and expressing the “street bass” sound of Starkey and Seclusiasis.  Hard hitting beats, deep basslines, expert synthesizer melodies and hiphop/grime vocals form the mainstay of the album.  The top tracks for me are the playfully melodic song “Neck Snap” that I still say is a robotic Grover Washington Jr. on the e-soprano sax, P-Money’s excellent flow over top “Numb” echoes my own desire to “zone out to the kick and the drum”, the build and drop into complete insanity on “Fourth Dimension“, and the combined outro tunes of “Pleasure Points” and “Fidelio“.  I did a feature on this two weeks back, but here’s some more audio samples to whet your appetite:

Starkey – Neck Snap

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Starkey ft P-Money – Numb

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Starkey – Fourth Dimension

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Starkey – Fidelio

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While this album has some of the top tracks so far this year personally, I also feel like some selections were a bit of a let down.  The intro tune “OK Luv” has a ridiculously excellent vocal version with Badness on the mic, but for some reason the instrumental was selected for this album which to me sounds a bit barren, but maybe I’ve just been listening to the vocal version too much.  The second track “Murderous Words” features Vortex on the mic, but I really don’t find that he adds much to the track, the subtle echo effect on his voice and midrange synths make the lyrics sound a bit muddled, and grime MCs really have perfected rapping over beats around 140 bpm far better than most US vocalists have (contrast this track with the Badness version of “Ok Luv” or P-Money’s masterful flows on “Numb“).  The breakdown in “Spacecraft” with Starkey’s autotuned vocals guiding listeners on a spacecraft voyage is ethereal, and the build into the second part is nice, but getting through the first section to the breakdown is a bit rough.  These are the minority though.

On the whole, this album is a very strong entry from Starkey and the Planet Mu crew.  Definitely recommend picking this one up, it’ll be out next Monday digitally, and is shipping tomorrow on CD and 3x 12″.  Get after it.

 

Win a signed TP of Joker’s TRON


Quite simple: enter to win a signed test press of TRON by Joker, coming out on Kapsize April 5.  There’s only 15 in the world, so winners will be among a select few.  The competition closes March 29, so get your email in soon. I’m already in  :)

Check out audio of these thanks to Metaverse below, and use the widget under the audio samples to enter your email to win.  Winners will be notified by email.  For more info visit Joker’s new site @ Kapsize.  For those in the bay, catch him live soon with Nomad.

Joker “TRON” + VIP Mix by Multiverse

 

Tonight I’m gonna produce like its 2999


Aliens.  Robots.  Lasers.  It’s the year 2999: who are you on the dancefloor with?  Peppermill Records have started a competition to produce dance music for 1000 years in the future inspired by the above painting.  Dubstep or related sounds seem to fit the description of the contest quite well, so if you think you’ve got what it takes head over to the competition page to check out more details.  Producers involved so far include Kid606, Dntel of Postal Service fame, Mochipet, Cardopusher, High Rankin, Stagga and more, so victors from this will be among seriously well-known electronic artists.

Description:

It’s the year 2999, and what you see above is your future.   What exactly is going on?  Your job is to soundtrack the above painting by celebrated futurist David Schleinkofer and write a short description of your vision.

This open competition is for a spot on a big upcoming Peppermill release, the chosen piece will be featured alongside many of the most talented forward-thinking electronic musicians around.  Their works will be interpreted by illustrators while you’ll be doing the exact opposite.

What we’re putting together is a futuristic dance album, as the title is a play on the phrase “dance like it’s 1999″.  However this doesn’t have to sound like anything humans currently groove to, in fact we encourage you to paint way, way outside the lines.

Bass is necessary though.  Deep, deep sub bass.  This collection is going to feature songs using a very full range of frequencies, and experimentation with the lower end of the spectrum is a must.

When completed it’ll be freely downloadable under a Creative Commons license, as all our releases are, which means people are encouraged to share the music but aren’t allowed to alter it in any way or use it for commercial purposes without your consent.

Guidelines:

- interpret the painting above
- the result should be ready to be played on dancefloors 989 years from now
- use a rich range of frequencies including sub-bass
- the title should be fairly descriptive, as the painting and the song are to be a combo
- include a paragraph-long summary of your vision


 

Geiom – Sugar Coated Lover (BRK014)


March finally brings us to the first Berkane Sol pressing of the year with label-head Geiom partnering up with female vocalist Marita for an upbeat dancefloor tune in “Sugar Coated Lover.” The label has taken quite a shift from when “Flame Tree” and “Net Weight” were releases;  after the anthemic rise of  ”Reminissin’” Berkane Sol seems set on a path to take over playlist with soul-laced dancefloor grooves.

The A-Side of the release features the original Geiomix of the release, a kick drum sets a quick intro before a fast electric bass groove sets the tone for Marita’s vocals. Do not take my previous assessment totally at face-value, quickly into listening to “Sugar Coated Lover” it’s clear to see Geiom did not intend for this to be a simple follow-up groove to “Reminissin’.” The pace of “Sugar Coated Lover” is an excellent contrast, Marita’s delivery on top of an uptempo rhythmic section are enough to get all the standarounds back to the dancefloor.

The B-Side features a remix of the original from Brackles and Shortstuff, and as always Blunted Robots comes deadly on the remix. The A-Side Geiomix holds an advantage by perserving Marita’s vocals unadultured throughout the track. Blunted Robots comes after the vocal track with an intelligent reinterpretation, looping and editing techniques give Maria’s voice an atmospheric role in the mix, as the duo’s signature bassline drops the remix in to high-gear. Groove-heavy in a totally different manner than the original, these two mixes give two vastly unique interpretations on the expectations of near 140-bpm bass music.

Geiom sets himself, and Berkane Sol apart yet again on this release. Very exciting for two exceptionally different interpretations of the same tune, this is a very refreshing release to take us out of the dark winter sounds and into the uplifting spring / summer dance vibes. I’m itching to get out in the club and hear myself, if not somebody else play these tunes sooner rather than later, the response to these is going to be huge — deservedly so.

Also of note, Geiom recently compiled a wonderful mix for The Wire, click here to see what you might have missed.

 

Mite & Distal – Chocolate Circuit / Attempt At Yellow (EMB001)


EMB001For as many times as I’ve played both tracks on this release, I feel that I owe it a review; it has been a long time coming for these tunes to see the light of day and have the chance to make it into more people’s music collections and now because of the launch of the Embassy Recordings imprint through ST Holdings, this has become possible.

Read the full review online at shortstack : online

 

Kid Simple – Fresh Like EP on Double Drop (plus free Example remix!)


Kid Simple - Fresh Like EPSeattle’s Kid Simple first came on the scene in 2009 and continues to grow.  This release is his biggest yet, with DJ support from Starkey among others.  The first tune “Fresh Like” is a space-age but heavy tune with arpeggiators that sound like raindrops falling on the bassline.  This one works with the second tune “Where You Left VIP” to create a nice package.  Things turn dirty with the two remixes from Zeno and Kial, definitely worth listening to for people into the harder sounds in dubstep.  Along with this release, Double Drop and Kid Simple were kind enough to give out a remix of “Won’t Go Quietly” by Example, it’s large.  Sample these below and get on the download of this free remix.

Look for this one out tomorrow (or now on Juno) on Double Drop Recordings.  Serious!

Kid Simple – Fresh Like

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Kid Simple – Where You Left VIP

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Kid Simple – Fresh Like (Zeno Remix)

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Kid Simple – Fresh Like (Kial Remix)

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Example – Won’t Go Quietly (Kid Simple Remix) (Download)

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Eprom – Never with Falty DL remix on Surefire 001 (Free DL!)


Surefire Productions from San Francisco has been running a premier booking agency for some time (since 2006 I think), a monthly for around a year now, and is now launching the third dimension: the Surefire Sound label.  How does Surefire set it off you might ask?  The debut release comes from San Francisco producer Eprom who has been all over the musical map, producing quality Glitch, Dubstep, and more. SFS001 is out on vinyl now with digital coming in about a month.

To promote the release Surefire put out a free download of the title track.  The b-side is a remix by Falty DL which is equally good.

My favorite tracks tend to be the ones that fail to fit into any of the neat categories that exist in music.  “Never” by Eprom blends elements from UK funky, Garage, Dubstep, and music that belongs on the Tron soundtrack to produce an absolute dancefloor killer with a driving 4×4 beat offset by syncopated snares and a wobbly midrange synth.  Whatever this music is, I love it.

Eprom – Never

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Download (@ XLR8R).

Pick this one up:

BOOMKAT: http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=268050
BLEEP: http://bleep.com/index.php?page=release … seid=23638
REDEYE: http://www.redeyerecords.co.uk/products … 22381.html
CHEMICAL: http://www.chemical-records.co.uk/sc/se … ack=SFS001

 

Get to know about Sepalcure


The music of Sepalcure aims to carve out a new sound in music – lovestep.  Praveen (Merck, Neo Ouija, Percussionlab.com) and Machine Drum (Normrex, Merck) collaborate to produce the music of Sepalcure and they’ve got an album lined up that’s about to send shock waves through music.  I’m not sure about the lovestep moniker, but I am sure that these sounds are innovative, extremely well produced, and a pleasure to listen to.  It’s like caressing your eardrums with the petal of a California Poppy.

Now for some sounds along with live illustration.  The drawing in these videos comes from Sougwen Chung, a Brooklyn-based designer and illustrator for artwork used by Sepalcure (as above).  This art is in a class of its own as far as most art associated with music (especially dubstep) goes and the match between the designs and music is striking.

For more sounds visit Sepalcure.com, check out Praveen’s Lovestep mix vol 1 and vol 2, or listen to my radio shows on Dubstep.FM – I’ll be playing these for time.

Sepalcure – Feeling That I Know So Well from sougwen on Vimeo.

Sepalcure – Every Day of my Life from sougwen on Vimeo.

 

Dread Foxx Free Remix Pack (Q-Project, Remarc, Fugees, Doc Scott, Blackstreet)


Port Arthur, TX producer Dread Foxx just put up six bootleg remixes for free download via his Soundcloud and I thought I’d pass along the love.  Mr. Foxx is a big remixer and these hit hard, trust me.  Inside there’s remixes of classic dnb tunes, R&B, and rap.  Personally I’m all over the Champion Sound remix, the remix of DJ Zinc’s “Ready or Not” (Fugees on the original), Remarc’s RIP in a dubstep style and the sexy step vibes of the Blackstreet reworking.  I’ve linked all these below, for even more freebies visit his Soundcloud.

Dread Foxx & BMC – Dready or Not rework by DreadFoxx

Dread Foxx – Wot’s My Deadline , Champ by DreadFoxx

Dread Foxx – Remarc RIP RMX by DreadFoxx

Blackstreet – Before I Let You Go Refix by DreadFoxx