Back On Track, and Ready For the Nite

Deepest apologies for having nearly disappeared for almost a week; I’m finally on the mend after a bit of an illness, which, when combined with far too many hours of work, has proven overwhelming. On the positive side of things, however, my lack of updates has allowed me to build up a substantial collection of goodies that have been kept in their cages and away from trouble for far too long. Naturally, approach these tracks with caution; They do like to pounce, and could leave you feeling very confused and unprepared come Monday morning.

Nite Cells

In all honesty, this first act, a couple of Hollywood producers working under the name Nite Cells, had me a bit confused at first: For a reason that I have not yet come to understand, they call themselves minimalists, yet the first 15 seconds of any of the tracks they have up for preview on their Myspace will not only beg to differ, but they’ll leave you wondering why Boys Noize hasn’t decided to hop in the same boat and call himself a minimalist as well. Nite Cell’s latest track, which happens to be a remix of the Division Kent tune “L’Heure Bleue” (a track that was covered a few weeks back), is on par with some of the heaviest, grimiest pieces of electro I’ve heard, and building on that, it seems as though the boys might well have uncovered a well guarded technique that is (at least in my opinion) sure to give Justice‘s formerly exclusive twangy, slap bass synth a run for its money. I’ve got a strange feeling that Nite Cell’s could be in for heavy dose of success quite soon.

(Speaking of Justice, is it just me, or does anyone else see the ironic resemblance between these Hollywood kids, and their Parisian peers?)

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MP3: Division Kent – L’heure Bleue (Nite Cells Roquefort remix)

Soulwax, MGMT, and other Exciciting News

It’s been a while since I’ve made any sort of comment on the swelling sea of fists that is mainstream electro, but experience has recently allowed me to realize that mainstream music is (in most cases) mainstream, for a particularly solid reason: It’s damn good. And this, my friends, is precisely the reason that the Belgian phenomenon known as Soulwax is causing such a commotion with their shows as of late. The humble group have borrowed from the likes of MGMT and created a very nicely rounded remix (of which we’re lucky enough to have a decent quality pre-release recording) that has more than enough power push all your buttons at once. Soulwax provides their familiar mystical, progressive-electro touch, which is then fused with a magically curious MGMT nostalgia, and after hearing the result for the first time, I’d go so far as to say you might find yourself torn between whether you’d rather be getting down and dirty with all the hot bodies around you, or simply pondering the concepts of existential thought. Either way, make sure your seatbelt is fastened before (and I must stress before) you choose to download this track, because you’re in for a (pardon the cliche) wild ride.

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MP3: MGMT – Kids (Soulwax Nite remix bootleg)

While on the subject of Soulwax, it’s worth mentioning that the boys have recently completed a full length film entitled “Part of the Weekend Never Dies” (which should make sense to those of you who have indulged yourselves with the renowned “Nite Versions”) with hopes that they might be able to “capture a scene through Soulwax, not the other way round.” (Which I’ve taken to mean that they might be documenting a tour as seen through their own eyes?) Assuming you’re as excited as I am, you can check out a preview, as well as enter a drawing to receive one of ten free copies of the film at DazelDigital.

And on that note, I feel I should close for the time being; Late nights are proving difficult for my recovering mind to handle. Keep in touch, as I should have the second half of this post up soon. Hopefully someone out there is sweating double time to make up for my absence. 🙂

The Beginning of Something Beautiful

If I were to quit listening to, blogging about, and living for music today, I’m proud to say that I would, in fact, die happy, for today I have discovered what I consider to be the most perfect blend of sounds to have graced the many ears on this earth in years. Naturally, you’ll have to excuse me if you don’t completely share my idea of beauty and finesse in the way of sound, but for myself, and those of you who can fall in love with the sensitive magic of artists like Sigur Ros just as easily as you can the sweaty pounding of well crafted electro, I’m proud to present to you the most perfectly crafted combination of all that there is to enjoy in this word: The Deer Tracks.

The Deer Tracks

Essentially, the title says it all: The electronic duo made up of the Swedish David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors will pull you into a white world of emotion that can only be described by the image of deer tracks on snow. They’ve taken the haunting softness and gentle horns and bells of the Icelandic, Sigur Ros, and have managed to combine it with the electronic instruments similar to those used by MGMT, M83, or even Air, without losing even the slightest bit of emotion, which, seeing as electronic instruments manage to mask the mind behind the compositions quite well, is an impressive feat. Give any one of these newly released pieces only a few moments of your time, and you’ll have become overwhelmed by the power of a melancholy world. There is no happiness or sadness, no wants or need. Amidst these beautiful waves of sentiment, you’ll feel a perfect nothing–the utmost tranquility. Might I suggest that you put on your headphones, breath deep, close your eyes, and live.

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MP3: The Deer Tracks – Yes, This Is My Broken Shield

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The Deer Tracks – Cast Away

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The Deer Tracks – Slow Collision

It’s artistry like this that makes me feel like I really am missing out on a whole other world.

I Finally Understand the Meaning Behind “Too Many DJ’s”

I just had a rather frightening thought: Am I being unreasonable, or have we actually reached the point in music history where the number of remixes and remix artists outnumbers the number of substantial original works being put out? Either way, the functionality of the music industry has undoubtedly changed quite a lot in the past couple years. It’s strange to say that I recall a time wherein a remix was a strange and exciting thing. I suppose it figures, though; We had little more than Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk, and The Chemical Brothers to work with, and considering the large expense of equipment at the time, the field of remixes was, naturally, an empty one. At this point, however, the case is quite the opposite: It seems the bedroom producers nearly outnumber lawyers, and as such, I’m forced to cross my fingers each time I come across a remix of a song that I particularly enjoy in hopes that its bedroom producer hasn’t wreaked an excessive amount of havoc upon the once sparkling creation.

(I should mention that I really am very curious as to how other people feel about this issue. If you’ve got an opinion one way or another, feel free to express it!)

LAZRtag

Fortunately, I’ve recently been struck with an extensive good luck streak, and have been pleasantly surprised with my finds. As you may have surmised due to a recent post, I was thoroughly impressed by the job that Los Angeles’s Classixx did on their Ting Ting’s Shut Up and Let Me Go remix, and at the time that I posted, I would have argued that another artist making an attempt at an additional mix would be foolish (and would indeed further my statement about the lawyers)–In case you haven’t guessed, that’s no longer the case. Where Classixx was able to take the original poppy track and turn into something soft and elegant, the quick-rising group known as LAZRtag has chosen quite the opposite approach, and built a nine foot monster of sound that, to put things nicely, will inevitably consume you. Sure, it’s a classic, generic electro banger, but hey, who doesn’t love a fat synth to sweat to every now and again, especially when you’ve got the cute Ting Tings girl singing for you all the while.

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The Ting Tings – Shut Up and Let Me Go (LAZRTag remix)

And while I’ve got you thinking heavy, I figure I owe the blog world a bit of a refresher: I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday searching for Boys Noize‘s 2006 remix of Tiga‘s Move My Body, only to be disappointed to find that it had all but disappeared. Boys Noize‘s latest works have indeed been inexplicably creative and fun, but when the cravings for his original home-brewed party techno arrive, they must be satisfied. *Sigh* Sometimes I just can’t help but miss 2006.

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MP3: Tiga – Move my Body (Boys Noize remix)

It’s the Rapture! Again!

I’m usually not one with much too say in the way of hip hop, but I must admit that this post (and my life for that matter) have had some real hip hop trends as of late. I made a comment a while back, about the time that Ed Banger’s lone hip hop act DSL made an appearance, about how it seems as though France and the US have seemingly begun to swap music tastes (we’ve handed rap over to them in exchange for gnarly electro), and three months later, I’m only further convinced. Check it out:

DatA

A month or so ago, the venerable ol’ Ekler’o’shock artist known as DatA released his first single in quite some time, and to more than a bit of acclaim: His collaboration with Sebastian Grainger of DFA79[R.I.P.] put enough class into his classic French electro to push his beats to the top of The Hype Machine (and all those other lists that tell us what’s up), and all of us were most definitely thinking, “Wow, props to that kid. He’s come a long way from Aerius Light.” I think it’s safe to say, however, that what we definitely were not thinking was, “I can’t wait for the hip hop version of this track.”

“What!?”

Shh shh shh child, this is nothing to get upset about. I assure you, he’s pulled it off quite well. (In fact it seems as though DatA is quickly becoming one of those artists for whom you resign all forms of doubt and simply allow yourself to trust that whatever their endeavor be, it shall be phenomenal.) Essentially, the guy’s emulated a version of the synthesizer that has been the [oh so cliched] backbone of awful American hip hop for too many years, and combined it with a remarkably executed auto-tune effect on Grainger‘s voice (think Romanthony’s part on Daft Punk’s One More Time) to stitch together a track that’s both fresh (for the French) and refreshing (for the US). It’s also probably worthwhile to mention that the hip hop style of Rapture Pt II really brings out an element of sadness and desperation in Grainger‘s voice that was partly masked by the thick electro waves of the original; It really does give the lyrics a bit of an impact boost.

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MP3: DatA – Rapture Pt II

So we’ve hit the hip hop side of disco, now how about the disco side of hip hop?

Aesop Rock

I realize I’m more than a bit behind in commenting on a track from way back in the 2007 era, but some strange form of supernatural has thrust the following across my path so many times in the last week or so that I simply can’t help but share. I’m sure that if you aren’t already familiar with the fast rising act known as Aesop Rock, that you’ve at least heard the name. Aesop has, in the past year or so, been summoned to participate in projects as large as Nike’s Running Man (the very same project for which A-Trak just finished a piece), so naturally, there’s no need to doubt that he has more than a bit going for him, but because that’s likely not enough motivation to get yourself down to Amoeba to pick up his record, I’m going to take the liberty of sharing with you the track that’s been on repeat on my playlist for days. It’s clear that the roots lie in hip hop, but a gently driving 1-2 beat pushes the feel closer to something that could easily have come from Kid Sister, or one of the many other hiptronica fusions we’ve been seeing so much of. I’ll leave you with this piece of advice, if you’re planning on traveling anywhere sometime in the near future, I highly recommend that you reserve the first impression of this track for your journey; I’ve found that it does an excellent job of making the wonder and beauty of everyday life astonishingly apparent.

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MP3: Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass

Much more to come later today.

Disco’s Nooks and Crannies

If this post were an animal, it’d definitely be a mouse.

Somehow, in the last five days that I’ve gone letting myself become consumed by every possible distraction, I’ve somehow still managed to stumble across some of the most fascinating, imaginative, and ever so incredibly fresh tracks that I’ve heard in quite some time. It’s almost like finding cheese in a little nook in the wall. I do think that most of us are, by now, probably at least a little turned off when a so called “new” track starts off with the oh so familiar:

– Kick
– Snare/Kick
– Kick
– WeirdNoise/Snare/Kick
– Repeat…. for four minutes

Son of Dave

With this in consideration, I’m genuinely proud to say that this next tune, which is presented to you through a tag-team effort between London beatbox-blues/former Crash Test Dummies member Benjamin Darvill (working under the name Son of Dave), and Michel BoomBass, the French mastermind notorious for his work as one half of the the Cassius duo, is extraordinarily new, in the true sense of the word. It does indeed fully qualify as a part of the disco genre, however, the blues-heavy sounds of the original track are left undistorted, and are used as the backbone of the remix, which slides the overall impression more towards the dance-rock type tunes that we’ve been hearing recently from artists like DatA, VHS or Beta, Klaxons and Digitalism. In short, you likely won’t be spinning this track for a club full of electro-heads, but that’s not to say you won’t feel like buying yourself a pair of green American Apparel underwear and dancing around your room for a good long while.

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Son of Dave – Hellhound (BoomBass Jack on the Rock remix)

And just incase that didn’t do you in, here’s a little toss in that’s sure to push you over the top. Clearly, Mr. Darvill has some class in his taste of music.

Black Holes

Having deviated slightly from the usual disco theme, I must now overcompensate with a couple producers from nearly the opposite end of the spectrum: Having recently been called “the next Crookers” by Hot Biscuits, it’s kinda difficult to deny that Chicago’s Black Holes probably have less than a month or two before they’re throwing all that anxious youth to the floor at Cinespace. Black Holes […edit…] have adopted a certain style (one that I’ve been calling Minimalectro) which certainly does give them a Crookers-ish feel, but more than that, it’s got that bit of a spark that one tends to notice occasionally; The one that, for some strange reason, keeps you looking for more, despite the fact that you can’t quite figure out what it is that you even like about it in the first place. Point being: you’ll soon be hearing quite a bit more from the windy city.

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Black Holes – I’m a Beast

Digitalism’s Latest Release – Clearly an Influenced Sound

Hopefully your RSS feed doesn’t have an alert on it–I’m up far too early to be posting this, and I’d hate to subject all you nocturnals to undeserved daylight exposure, but I’m afraid the spirits of disco have spoken.

Digitalism

I was recently exposed to Digitalism‘s newly released (and quite under-hyped, if you ask me) single, entitled “Taken Away”, and have since begun to lose myself in the melting pot of sounds they’ve crafted. Digitalism has always been known for a sound that’s slightly more unusually influenced than most; Their initial fame came due to a remix of “The White Stripes”, and following the same trail, its clear that many of their original works (I Want I Want, Pogo) are almost more rock than electronic. However, upon listening to “Taken Away”, I’ll be honest and say that I not prepared for the thoroughly nostalgic and expertly blended sounds that graced my ears: More than anything, I am reminded of of the erie, melancholy chord progressions and echoey vocals of French experimental artists, Air; A breakdown toward the middle of the track will have every last hair on your body standing up on end, as if you were listening to Premiers Symptomes for the very first time. On top of that, a few quick arpeggiated synth licks are stimulating in ways similar to that of the Ekleroshock artists (Danger, Data), and if you listen close, you might even be able to make out sounds similar to that of The Alan Parson Project (or some similar 80’s phenomenon). The work is truly a well thought out and elegantly executed piece of imagination and influence, and to take such a step back through the history of electronic music is refreshing to say the least. In short, my expectations for
Digitalism
‘s pending album release have been pushed even higher.

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Digitalism – Taken Away