The synths in this jammer from Australia's Cassian are so big and bright that it is hard for the listener to not want to listen to Scotch or Doctor's Cat records afterwards. What's interesting, though, is that while "Final Round" references some very Italo sounds, it also has an early-'80s American arena disco-soul feel with its delayed, panning guitar sounds à la Billy Ocean and samples taken from popular video games of the period. Cassian has a record coming out soon, and if it shares the aural splendor of "Final Round," it will be a favorite in this reviewer's car for months, as well as a great new arrival from down under. Bang Gang has been instrumental in fostering this scene, which is documented on The Bang Gang 12inches Compilation, where "Final Round" makes its inaugural appearance.
Vancouver native Laberge likely has a stack of Cassius and Daft Punk singles at home, but he probably also has a fairly large collection of West End Records' disco-house repertoire from the early '80s. Though many have claimed to be inheritors of the French Touch sound, "We Don't Know" shows that Laberge is in the running to be the genre's new prince. Recalling Room 5's monstrous "Make Luv," but with more strings and a less prominent vocal, the track sizzles with deep kicks and a funky little bassline. Is disco-house moving back to the club's main room? Time will tell, but with all of the fantastic disco being made right now, it seems likely.
Mixed by Carl Craig, French producer Etienne Jaumet's first solo album delivers. 20-minute opener "For Falling Asleep" utilizes looped, occasionally acidy arpeggiations, with a processed saxophone providing the piece's main melody. Weird whisperings and ululations provide the piece with some foreboding undertones that wouldn't make for pleasant dreams, but the pastoral final minutes are dreamy enough for an afternoon nap. Read more »
Phillin' It: For years, Philadelphia has been shrugged off as New York's little brother—a place where displaced Brooklynites went in search of cheaper rents, bigger spaces, and a touch less 'tude. But what's emerged over the years is far more than simply a sixth borough. So for this year's special City Issue, we dug around the Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Chinatown, and every other little enclave we could find to bring you the best that Brotherly Love has to offer. Check back every few days for a new feature from the east coast's newest hotbed. Read more »
Forming a futuristic force of club-ready hip-hop, Bay Area producer Amp Live of Zion-I fame has joined up with East Bay MC Trackademicks for his new track, "Gary is a Robot," taken from Amp Live's forthcoming solo album Murder at the Discotek. The video for the jam, which XLR8R has grabbed premiering rights for, seems like a simultaneous bash at and celebration of contemporary club culture. We'll let you be the judge. Read more »
Building upon the constant psychedelic drone and claustrophobic tribal-disco assault of past releases Preyers and Hoarse Lords, Oakland's Clipd Beaks have finished work on their follow-up album, To Realize. Read more »
Edan, the iconoclastic DJ and producer, has a new concept record coming out soon. Echo Party was created using samples from the extensive back catalog of the Traffic Entertainment Group as a structure to create new sonic textures. Armed with synths, drum machines, guitars, kazoos, and even glockenspiels, Edan has crafted a seamless, experimental artist mix, complete with extensive notes, insane artwork (see above), and more sample sources than most DJs would know what to do with.
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Processing drums and guitar using Ableton Live's audio effects racks.
In this episode, Christopher shows us some accessible ways to do make weird sounds using stock plug-ins in Ableton Live. He shows how to use them along with automation clips to sequence processing—specifically drum and guitar tracks.
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Post-punk psychedelic warriors OOIOO have just released a new album, so they've offered this extraordinary piece as a little taste. Featuring a minimal vocal repetition, sex-funk bass, cock-rock guitar solos, and distorted exclamatory lead vocals, "OOIOO-OOIAH" is totally weird and addictive. Little synth bits come in here and there, while the track's live percussion keeps an organic feel that is most unexpected. Much like frontwoman Yoshimi's work with Eye and the other freakonauts of Boredoms, OOIOO sonically questions the boundaries between minimal/maximal, acoustic/electronic, and organic/synthetic.
Brooklyn's Mux Mool makes some truly idiosyncratic music, layering synth sounds that belong in off-kilter Italo tracks with beats that come straight from hip-hop. On "Ballad of Gloria Featherbottom," cosmic arpeggiations are placed atop weird harpsichord-like synths to truly epic effect, and the percussion seems culled from drum-line samples augmented by deep kicks. Set course for the moon with this one, which is out now on the Ghostly Presents Moodgadget: The Nocturnal Suite compilation.
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