Archive for February, 2009

Sign ‘em While You Can

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Culture Prophet

I‘m amazed that Culture Prophet still hasn’t signed a record deal. I’m guessing that they got some offers and decided to pass, because these guys are simply too talented to be ignored. They have plans to play SXSW in about three weeks and will probably excite quite a few label executives. It might be hard to stand out among so many big names, but these guys could do it. They describe their sound as as ”rough-edged, aggressively danceable, electrodisco”. Listen below, and good luck coming up with a better description.

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Digikid-84 – B. Boy Underground (Culture Prophet Remix)

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Thrills – T.I.P. (Culture Prophet Remix)

Look Mom! No Labels!

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

You’ll have to pardon my unexplained and annoying leave of absence over the last several days. I’d share an explanation, but somehow I feel the standard “broken-item-takes-way-longer-to-repair-than-was-originally-quoted” story is already as well known as it is uninteresting. I propose we skip it, and proceed to dive head first into this overflowing collection of under-promoted, overachieving artists whom I have, at last, found the time to experience. See, while being stuck without my computer for such a time seemed an initial inconvenience, it actually provided the perfect setting to make a dent in the accumulating month’s worth of archived emails, and thus, walk away with more than a few noteworthy tunes. For example:

French Horn Rebellion

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I can’t put a finger on how or why, but the name of this midwestern music project is almost too appropriate; Despite the fact that you’ll struggle long and hard to find anything even remotely close to a french horn within the quirky, Metronomy esque melodies and perfectly simple rhythms that the pair create, there is simply no explanation needed, seeing as a mere introduction to this peculiar style of production would likely lead you to come up with the same exact band name yourself. Wouldn’t you say?

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French Horn Rebellion – Up All Night

Plus, considering the act of judging whether a music video is either brilliant or just completely retarded has, no doubt, become a game over the last several months (largely due to all this indy producers inclination to do their filming on a handycam), the following could, at the very least, be considered a bonus level.

Snow Picnic

Snow picnic

I’m sure we’ve all become accustomed to the fact that thanks to the internet, it is quite easy to obtain a copy of Reason or Logic, or some other DAW. In fact, it’s equally as easy to load up a couple samples, make a beat, compose a melody, create a myspace, and call yourself a musician, however, despite these enormous simplicities, access to a musician’s tools has not made it any easier to make music.

It’s the music that sets Canadian producer, Snow Picnic, apart from the elementary beats and bangs that tend to creep into our music collections, causing us to wonder only a few days later “where on earth this soulless crap came from”. Snow Picnic has no genre, and (deepest apologies to the inflated egos) his ultimate goal has nothing to do with you becoming a fan. With a tag line, “Think before you dance”, it’s clear that there is no ever-present desire to produce “electro” music, or to become famous. Rather, his soft spoken beats (which seem to expand upon the work of Sebastian Tellier) exist merely to take those who dare on an atmospheric journey, and to keep them smiling the whole way through.

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Snow Picnic – Breathing The Cold

The Fist of God

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

While there are what seems like thousands of musical genres out there, and each and every person has their own personal taste and preference, in reality, there are really only two kinds of people: those who are satisfied with listening to their music through Youtube videos on the internet, and those who aren’t, and considering you’ve taken the time to either navigate to this page, or perhaps be directed here through our beloved Hype Machine, I’d put money on the fact that you, my friend, are probably one of those people who isn’t–or at least weren’t.

fist of god

See, several months ago, our faithful, electro loving community (which tends to get its highs off of distorted saw tooths, rather than the more conventional inebriates) discovered one particular video who’s contents proved considerably more alluring than most, and though we certainly made our best attempt to convince ourselves to simply be patient for a physical (and therefor admissible) release, the alluring properties such a partially revealed “symphony” so to speak were overwhelming to the point that after only a few days, none of us cared that the crumbly recording was set to the wonderfully entertaining visuals of Audio Surf (a phenomenon of which I’m quite sure we are all aware).

I mention all of this, not in an attempt to bring forth the guilt we’ve likely had suppressed for all these long months, but rather, to provide well deserved relief and reassurance, for as things currently stand, MSTRKRFT’s Fist of God album, which has consumed our lives since nearly a year ago, when we learned that the release date had initially been set for September 08, is finally less than a month away, and that being the case, I have indeed, managed to snag a copy of the track that the above mention video has taught us to love. I must warn you, however: Though the relentless fury of the Fist of God seems to provide more than four minutes of unsurpassable pleasure, it is truly impossible to fully grasp the beauty and finesse of the entire album, as well as this particular track’s place within it, without listening to the entire, unabridged work in its entirety. It does not matter how much or how little you enjoy any and all of the other titles; without the proper sequence, these tracks cannot be heard as they were intended. Thus, I beg you, the truest of MSTRKRFT fans, not to pirate, steal, or take advantage of the album resultant of those many months in the studio. Do not spoil yourself with the improper track order and spacing resultant from these careless, unappreciative leaks. You’ve got less than a month to go. And surely, this little taste will be more than enough to keep your heart racing throughout these last couple days.

MSTRKRFT – Fist of God (Removed by request)
–edit: I suppose it’s for the better–

And just as a little kicker (in case the notion of a closely pending MSTRKRFT release has somehow failed to turn you on), if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, you’ll likely want to look into Dim Mak’s Fist of God release party, which is set to take place the 16th of March at the Roxy on Sunset. Fifteen dollars will not only buy you admission, but it will also grant you the rights to a free copy of the album.

Honestly now, how special do you feel?

Remixers get remixed

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Ratatat (Evan Mast and Mike Stroud) are best known for doing remixes of other people’s songs; they earned this reputation with two amazing self-released albums: Ratatat Remixes Volumes 1 & 2. There’s no excuse for missing these, especially since they make Volume 2 available for free download here. But Ratatat also make their own original music. Last July, they released their third full-length album of all original material: LP3. It recieved positive reviews but was almost forgotten among all of last year’s great music. It was never as popular as it should have been, which is a shame since LP3 is probably their best work so far. You might recall us posting about it.

 

Ratatat

 

Those who listened to LP3 certainly remember the song “Mirando” (and no viewer could ever forget the video.) Well, Ratatat just released a 12-inch vinyl album with two killer remixes of that song, courtesy of YACHT and Animal Collective. I always love hearing another take on a Ratatat song, since the duo is so rarely on the recieving end of a remix. The Animal Collective remix of “Mirando” is especially great. True to form, the quartet turns the song into an epic ten-minute long groove with crazy rythms and layered drums. It takes a few listens before you really start to appreciate it, but I promise you will be glad you stuck with it. Give it a chance.

 

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Ratatat – Mirando

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Ratatat – Mirando (YACHT Remix)

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Ratatat – Mirando (Animal Collective Remix)

 

 

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If you still haven’t listened to LP3, now is the perfect time to give it a try. Ratatat just announced a month-long, U.S. Spring headlining tour before heading to Australia and New Zealand. They hit the road on March 21st. Here’s the complete list of tour dates:

 

3/21 Cincinnati, OH
3/22 Pontiac, MI
3/23 Chicago, IL
3/24 Columbia, MO
3/25 Omaha, NE
3/27 Aspen, CO
3/28 Boise, ID
3/29 Seattle, WA
3/30 Portland, OR
4/01 San Francisco
4/02 San Francisco
4/04 Los Angeles
4/08 Houston, TX
4/16 Washington, DC
4/20 Boston, MA
4/21 New York, NY

The Mainstream May Have Found a Hero

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

kid sister

Nine times out of ten when a previously underground-ish artist makes the cross over to mainstream music, it almost entirely ruins their image in the eyes of the truly musically zealous, and though I’m continually trying to deny the fact that publicity can change an artist in my own eyes, I fear that my attempts are becoming more and more pathetic with each new development in the industry. After having witnessed the nomination of Justice’s remix of MGMT‘s Electric Feel for the category “Best Remixed Recording of 2009″, it has become impossible for me to believe that ceremonies like the Grammies even make an attempt to represent the outstanding achievements in the industry (due to the fact that naming the aforementioned remix the “best of 2009″ proves a massive ignorance to a large collection of tracks more worthy of the title); Rather, the nominations are probably derived from a small pool of artists who have, at this point in time, already become well known enough to draw in the required viewer quota, and thus ensure full and complete payment to the men in suits. Not cool.

But don’t let my annoying pessimism get to you. Despite these unfortunate ulterior motives that permeate the industry, it’s every artist’s duty to cling to the belief that at some point in time, the structure of our current system will be gutted and rewritten, and after seeing a couple of the artists that are currently on the rise, I feel it is safe to say that time could very well be quite soon.

Kid Sister

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At this time last year, we were just beginning to witness the start of our adorable Chicago hip-hop visionary, Kid Sister’s career. No doubt, we were all quite aware (due both to the fact that nearly every track she released was at some point melded into a dirty electro remix, and to [bleh] Kanye West’s guest drop on Pro Nails), that she was quite a bit more than a passing fad, however, I don’t think any of us could have predicted the extent to which her sassy vocals would travel. Over the last few months, Kid sister has been spoon fed to me through every media outlet I can fathom, including, but not limited to, every music related site on the internet (and that includes both the ones run by the kids with the dunks and the kids with fedoras), the radio, and even (gasp) MTV, and while a turn of events like this one would normally have me on my knees, wishing it weren’t so, in the case of Kid Sister, I couldn’t be happier. Something about her refusal to dwell on the overplayed and heavily promoted current hip hop style gives me the confidence to believe Kid Sister won’t let her tracks be tainted by the grimy hands of the media, and that being the case, I don’t believe I could think of a more suitable artist to put a stop to the totalitarian reign of the great (yet not necessarily good) Kanye West as the dominant and recurring artist of the industry.

I advise you to pay close attention to this first track, seeing as it’s the first single off her debut album entitled Dream Date, and it could very well be the tune you’ll be humming whilst your impressionable eyes make note of the next trendy fashion statement. (Although if it’s anything like those ridiculous shutter shades, there’s a good chance this post is going to be rewritten with a very dissimilar connotation.)

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Kid Sister – Family Reunion (Feat. David Banner)

And while were on the subject, can I mention how much I love the fact that Kid Sister is always down to drop a verse on a remix? No one did that before she made it cool…

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WTF feat. Pase Rock and Kid Sister – Nadastrom On Drugs Remix

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Green Velvet – Shake and Pop (W/ Kid Sister’s Guest Drop)

Some People Don’t Need Vacations

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

 

It’s hard to find someone who works harder than A-Trak, the Montreal-based DJ/producer/remixer. He has the résumé to prove it: the youngest ever DMC champion (15 years old! No Serato Scratch Live!); Kanye West’s tour DJ; co-founder of the Fool’s Gold record label (with Nick Catchdubs.) His reach into the music scene is personal, too. His older brother is one half of electronica duo Chromeo and his girlfriend is rapper Kid Sister. But despite all of the above, he has only one full-length mix to his credit (and no, I’m not counting his Nike Running Man Mix.)

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It’s hard to believe it has been almost two years since A-Trak released Dirty South Dance. It’s even harder to believe that there were only 5000 copies pressed. He’s certainly been keeping busy– founding a record label, releasing a dozen or so remixes and touring extensively. But you’re probably sick of his “Beeper” and “Stronger” remixes at this point and itching for something new. Well, the wait is finally over.

Infinity+1 cover art

A-Trak’s latest album effort, Infinity+1, is scheduled for an April 14th release (courtesy of Thrive Records). Check out the tracklisting below:

  1. Intro / John Dahlbäck: “Sidewalk” 
  2. KIM: “Party Machini” 
  3. Laurent Wolf: “The Crow” 
  4. Farley Jackmaster Funk: “Love Can’t Turn Around” (Lifelike Remix) 
  5. MSTRKRFT [ft. N.O.R.E.]: “Bounce” (A-Trak Remix) 
  6. Donnis: “Party Works” 
  7. Kid Sister: “Life on TV” 
  8. Sébastien Tellier: “Kilometer” (A-Trak Remix) 
  9. The Golden Filter: “Solid Gold” 
  10. Bag Raiders: “Nil By Mouth” (Knightlife Remix) 
  11. Holy Ghost!: “Hold On” 
  12. DJ Mehdi: “Pocket Piano” (Joakim Remix) 
  13. Midnight Juggernauts: “Shadows” 
  14. Gonzales: “Working Together” (Boys Noize Dub Mix) 
  15. Soundstream: “Freakin” 
  16. Little Boots: “Stuck on Repeat” (Fake Blood Remix) 
  17. Housemeister: “What You Want” (Siriusmo Remix) 
  18. A-Trak: “Say Whoa” (DJ Spinna Remix) 
  19. Dam-Funk: “Galactic Fun” 
  20. Alexander Robotnick: “Problèmes d’Amour” 
  21. James Yuill: “This Sweet Love” (Prins Thomas Sneaky Edit)

 
Yes, A-Trak is painfully late on the “Bounce” remix. But this disc still looks promising. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait two months for the entire thing. Listen to track 8 below for a sample of what’s to come.

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Sebastian Tellier – Kilometer (A-Trak Remix)

Just for kicks, here are a couple of other remixes of that same Sebastian Tellier song along with the original version:

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Sebastian Tellier – Kilometer (Moulinex Remix) (Removed by request)

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Sebastian Tellier – Kilometer (Donovan Remix) (Removed by request)

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Sebastian Tellier – Kilometer (Removed by request)