Monday, 26 March 2012

Fresh New Tunes!

Here are some fresh and smokin' tunes from across all who spectrum of electronic music, like only A/S can bring em' to you!

You may remember the name Black Acre from last year. I will give you a hint, it was the label that releases my favorite album from 2011. Blue Daisy's "The Sunday Gift" was an absolute land-mark album, and put the Black Acre label firmly on my radar. Another strong act from last year was Dark Sky. Put the two together and what do you have? An awesome EP that contains one of my favorite tracks of the year so far.

Dark Sky - F Technology (Black Acre)

Next is the A-side I promised on the EHTC boards on Saturday. This is, once again, a tentative lock for one of my favs of the year. Take a listen.

Phonique - Vincent Price (Dessous)

Here is some Garage/ 2-step for you. C.R.S.T. is another name you should certainly watch. This is a wonderful floor-filling vocal track that slots in comfortably at 128 bpm, so you have no excuse not to find a way to slot into a set!

C.R.S.T. feat Jessy Allen - What I Want (Valve)

Now it's time for some techno! This is a sweet EP from Go Hiyama. Each of the four tracks is markably different, and each one brings something different to the table. My favorite is Lecor/B.

Go Hiyama - Arc00 EP (Hue Helix)

Later this spring K7 will release two heavily, heavily anticipated mix albums. One of those will come courtesy of meteoric, young, hotshot superstar Maya Jane Coles, the other will come from the grizzled veteran Photek. The exclusives from Photek's mix are available now, there are three in total. This, is by far the best. It is a real looker... er, listener.

Photek - No Agenda (K7)

Next one comes from Buraka Som Sistema's Enchufada imprint. This track is produced by T. Williams, and contains nothing by dance floor destroying capabilities. A UK funky inspired beat, but with all the crunch and bounce to get the bandwagon jumpers... jumping. This links to the entire EP, but it's the first track that I give A/S support to. Check your ego at the door for this one.

T. Williams - Can We (Enchufada)

Okay, now you can go get your ego back, here is some Gerry Read.

Gerry Read - Crawlspace (Delsin)

Okay, now for some progressive. Progressive! I wasn't kidding when I said I bring you EVERYTHING here at A/S. Don't fret though, it is still "deep prog", if that hasn't been coined yet, I am coining it here. Also, PLEASE, PLEASE check this label SOUNDZ. This is one of the most original labels going right now.

Satoshi Fumi - Oriental Express EP (SOUNDZ)

Now for some Poker Flat! Alex Niggemann just released a new EP for the German label, and the title track "Don't Wait" is pure deep house bliss. It grooves just enough to move, but it is understated too. Not to be missed!

Alex Niggemann - Don't Wait EP (Poker Flat)

I have a lot of content from Turbo on here... nothing wrong with that. This is a remix from legendary Ewan Pearson. The original isn't really my thing, but he definitely turns it into a nice piece of maximal techno.

Raid Over Moscow - Rush to the Capsule (Ewan Pearson Remix) (Turbo)

Next up is something that I will be honest and say I didn't foresee happening on this blog. That being a post about Hospital Records... what can I say, they aren't my favorite label, especially lately. Just not my type of drum and bass. So imagine my surprise when on my beatport feed, I see Submerse with a track on Hospital. Actually, when you think about it... it isn't that surprising. A lot of Submerse's stuff is borderline "pop", which fits right in with Hospital's mantra. Funnily enough (look it up, funnily is actually a word), this track is pretty gritty for Submerse.

Submerse - This Time, You're Not Wrong (Hospital)

Lone's debut album will be out this spring. Needless to say, hype continues to mount exponentially. But if we want to see where he is right now, in terms of production, this remix he did for Joakim might be a tasty little treat.

Joakim - Labyrinth (Lone Remix) (Future Classic)

Next up is a diverse EP from Senseless records. There are only two original tracks, but there are a healthy supply of remixes from the likes of Chaos in the CBD, Brenman, and Pelican Fly artist, Rizzla. Here is the whole thing, take a listen.

Zebra Katz & Boyfriend - Winter Titty EP (Senseless Records)

Now for some drum and bass from Samurai Music. This is the type of forward thinking dnb that I tend to gravitate towards. This is ultra-smart, but also ultra-soulful. This is Synkro (another name you should check out) remixing Tokyo Prose.

Tokyo Prose - Echoes (Synkro Remix) (Samurai)

Next up is an artist who is kind of... trying to find his footing in the post-dubstep world. 2562 was one of the first "abstract" dubstep producers in the mid-late part of the decade. Recently, however, he has sort of straddled the house/ techno/ bass genre rather awkwardly. His latest EP should change that a little. The tracks are not dance-floor-friendly by any means, and are still very isolating experiences, something that plagued his latest full length album, but at least they offer something a little more interesting. Especially this, the last track on the EP. It is a brilliant, worldly track that clocks in at 8 minutes, and 104 bpm. It is certainly, if nothing else, unique.

2562 - Nocturnal Drummers (When In Doubt)

I would be remiss if I didn't include some proper, modern dubstep. Deep Medi Mind is pretty much the only 100% dedicated dubstep label that is getting any press these days. What am I, an amateur press member (I wish), doing to rectify this? Not a damn thing. Here is a new EP from Mensah. Dark shit.

Mensah - The Gambla/ Trailing Moons of Saturn (Deep Medi Mind)

Here is a nice little techy, housey track from newcomer Alex Coulton. This is some good underground stuff right here.

Alex Coulton - Brooklyn (Idle Hands)

Next is a great couple of tracks from one of the best up-and-comers in the UK house scene. You may not have heard of Trikk before, but this release on George Fitzgerald's Man Make Music label, could give him the exposure that he deserves.

Trikk - Jointly/ I Fall Down (Man Make Music)

Now for some more techno, and some controversy. This is the kind of "hands in the air" techno that gets maligned to hell all the time from the "old school" fans. I don't care though. I like Len Faki, I love Traumer, and I love Shout Records. This is hands-down, my favorite track of this bunch that I am posting. This, in my opinion, is a masterwork of production, atmospherics, and energy management. It is 9 minutes long but it is so dynamic that you really need the whole 9 minutes to appreciate the subtleties and builds and releases. Not to mention one of the best break-downs I have heard in a long time.

Gabeen & Tosi - Infected (Electrorites Remix) (Hybrid Confusion)

Remember when I said Liar would be one to watch this year after only one release? Well now he just got featured on XLR8R! Remember you heard about him here first. His new EP "Undance" is vastly different. But think it shows him maturing as an artist. Some awesome remix work here too. Check it out!

Liar - Undance EP (Farver)

Last, but certainly not least, to conclude this epic post I give you Airhead, and a track that you should already know, "Wait".

Airhead - Wait (R&S)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

All Bass Special

I have been on a big funk/ house kick lately, that is undeniable I know. However, there has been a pretty good influx of quality bass music as of late. Here is my selection of not-house for the week. Apologies to ETHC :S

Let's kick things off with one of the best, if not the best, in experimental bass music. Planet Mu as been not only relevant for almost a decade, but they have been at the forefront when it comes to great music. As a label, they absolutely epitomize everything that is Alternative Selections, which is they have made so many appearances already.

The Host, AKA Barry Lynna, is a brand new project that has just produced a debut album. The self titled offering will immediately remind you of Kuedo's wonderful retro-fitted, synth-bass odyssey from last year. Indeed, it would seem to be influenced by Severant, however, it is definitely it's own album with it's own ideas and motifs. For example, several of the tracks hit much harder and pack a definitive punch. While Kuedo used 80's, Bladerunner-esque soundscapes with injections of futuristic juke and footwork rhythms, The Host seems to draw on elements of prog-rock and vintage electro. There are certainly some moments that flat-out resemble Kuedo's sound, but for the most past, this is an extremely well conceived and original full length. Here is a link to Planet Mu's website where you can preview each track. It comes highly recommended.

The Host - The Host (Planet Mu)

Next up is another one of my favorite labels, that in many ways could be seen as Planet Mu Jr. That of course being FoF, which has seen the likes of cutting edge artists such as Salva, Tokimonsta, Machinedrum and of course Shlohmo. This is a wonderful remix Shlohmo did for veteran Tomas Barfod. The remix itself is a sweeping and changing epic that clocks in at 6:43, but it is worth every second of time that it gets. This is a truly wonderful piece of modern electronic music right here.

Tomas Barfod - Broken Glass (Shlohmo Remix) (FoF)

Next is a split EP from two sick-talented producers, Kingthing and Jamie Grind. Both of them should definitely be on your radar, no matter what scene you frequent. The first Kingthing track, "Waking Up" utilizes pitched down vocals coupled with frantic claps and 808 beats, while slowly building intensity with subdued synths. Once the breakdown hits, an undeniably awesome melody evolves, seemingly out of nowhere, before we are treated to a build which suggests that the subsequent drop will probably be nasty. And it indeed doesn't disappoint. It smacks you with a healthy dose of acid and 808s before letting up once again for the second breakdown.

The second Kingthing track, "Cold Diss", is pretty much west coast breaks, modernized with juke vocal stabs and more frantic drum-machine antics. The experience isn't quite as effective as "Waking Up", but it still offers a bit more of a heavy affair than the first track.

The two Jamie Grind tracks, are nothing short of remarkable. This guy is so good, I don't know why I didn't mention him on my "10 to watch" list for 2012. Unlike many of the producers on that list, he has actually delivered some pretty top shelf tracks this year. I am not going to try and explain why "For You" is so awesome. Maybe it's the master-worked vocals that he is so adept at using, perhaps it's the subtle progression that affords some serious re-listenability, or maybe it's just one of those examples where the sum is greater than the parts.

The second track, "We Still Play 140", is both a bitch slap to most of the so-called bass producers who have been jumping ship to house and techno lately, as well as a great little jam. It is pretty much a straight-up juke track, not overly innovative. But when a producer is so good at what he does, he doesn't always have to be innovative with it.

Kingthing/ Jamie Grind - Infra12005 (Infrasonic)

Now for another producer who should be on your radar: Krueger. This is a remix he did of the sometimes-awesome Kastle. The track uses a bit more of an in-your-face approach than some of the others from this post. There isn't anything retro or vintage about the production here. There are crunches, and squelches, but it is of course all tastefully done, which is something that Krueger is able to pull of on a consistent basis. This guy really should be one to watch in the future as well.

Kastle - I Know (Krueger Remix) (Seclusiasis)

Next is a track from a little-known label called Haunted Audio. The producer's name is is Simon/ Off, and he is certainly not knew to the bass scene. He was one of the many "dark-step" producers from 2009 and 2010. This track "Exit Space", is one of his best tracks. It has a nice synth melody with some tropical-inspired percussion.

Simon/ Off - Exit Space (Haunted Audio)

Martyn, who just did the newest installment on the Essential Mix, also released a brand new track for Brainfeeder this week. Included is a duo of remixes from Redshape, and Elvis 1990 with Bok Bok. Both remixes are from the Ghost People LP which came out last October, and both a pretty good, with the Night Slugs duo taking the edge. But it's the title track that you need to hear.

Martyn - Hello Darkness (Brainfeeder)

Next is another one of my favorite groups, LV, remixing Scrimshire, the jazz-trip-hop-fusion outfit. The remix itself isn't really bass, it is pretty much just UK Funky, but it is so good that I had to share it with you guys.

Scrimshire - Everything You Say (LV Remix) (Wah Wah 45s)

Untold, is always awesome. This new track for Roska's Brainmath label, is a serious banger. It takes it's time to develop and uses some tasty low end and rhythm to create an infectious groove. You will always be able to pick out an Untold track, and this is no exception, but it is so good, and he is so solid that I certainly can't fault him.

Untold - Flexible (Brainmath)

Next up is a track from a new-comer named Tessela. This track is actually a b-side, but I think it is the better track. It utilizes some main-room styled melodies with syncopated and frenetic percussion to create an interesting little gem. Here you go.

Tessela - Let Up (2nd Drop)

Last, but certainly not least is a compilation from Pinch's Tectonic label. Tectonic Plates vol. 3 sees Pinch curating a more traditional dubstep sampling than some of the other compilations of late. Featured on the release are tracks from Pinch, Kryptic Minds, Addison Groove, Goth Trad and others. The best track is probably the Kryptic Minds cut, "The Talisman". It should come as no surprise, as Kryptic Minds is always awesome. This is proper fucking dubstep.

Kryptic Minds - The Talisman (Tectonic)

Monday, 12 March 2012

Monday Madness

So I don't have a specific plan about this post. I have a few tracks that I want to share/ talk about, but after that we shall see where it goes.

There are a few good things that come from the month of March. The first day of spring, March Madness, the best hockey of the regular season, and of course the Winter Music Conference in Miami. While my home town of Edmonton my not resemble Miami too much right now (or ever), we can get in the spirit thanks to the myriad of Miami inspired compilations that most labels push at this time every year.

Riva Starr has been at the forefront of WMC for a few years now, and his Miami compilation for Snatch boasts some pretty impressive names. There are several straight-up legends here: Carl Cox, 2000 and One, DJ Madskillz, as well as &Me. However, the EP suffers from much of the same plight that Riva's label generally suffers from. The tracks are... okay... kind of, but they lack anything special. Most of the time it is generic by-the-book tech house that still manages to thrive globally, despite much more forward-thinking-by-means-of-retro-thinking house sounds continue to dominate the underground scene.

The best track on this EP, while not overly innovative, is certain to get your feet moving with a slower, bass-driven tribal sound. It comes from DJ Sneak, another legend, and is labeled as "Riva Starr Cut". It sounds exactly like something that the two would make together. Take a listen.

DJ Sneak - Manduka (Riva Starr Cut) (Snatch)

Next up is some mutant-hop, or beat-hop, or whatever you want to call it. It comes from one of dance music's many anomalies: Riz MC. His earliest records from the middle of the decade found him making conventional hip-hop, but he somehow found himself on Crosstown Rebels at the end of decade, and getting remixed by Loco Dice and Tiefschwarz. The anomaly comes in the form of the decidedly heavy dubstep, grime and glitch-hop tracks that he has been featured in as well during this time. It begs the question of when it came time to decide who to remix... why would Tiefschwarz decide to remix a grime mc? Anyway, Riz MC's newest cut is superb example of how dirty and distorted beats can be used effectively. This one is fucking massive. Seriously, I don't care what you play, you HAVE to appreciate the punishing bass on this track.

Riz MC feat. Aruba Red & Plan B - All of Me (Tru Thoughts)

Next is probably my favorite track of this whole lot. This is a first time release for "Superhero", not sure if this is a project or alias, but that is not important. What is important, is just how good this song is. I refer to it as a song, because that is exactly what it is. It has vocals, it has a narrative and it is wonderfully composed. There are distinct "traditional-song-parts" that further lead the listener to believe this to be a song more so than just a club track. It will certainly still rock a dance floor, which makes it all the more special, as too many times a producer is able to one or another, but not both. Listen for yourself.

Superhero - Drugs & Choices (Noir)

A lot of what I try to do is expose some artists/ labels/ releases that don't get a lot of press or attention. I don't always get the chance to do that, or rather I sometimes just don't take it. Here is a little something that is completely different though. You may have heard of Slugabed before, a UK producer who specializes in boundary pushing bass music. Think 2008, 2009 bass music, not the more recent UK variety. This remix is for the equally awesome Torus, whose brand-new self titled EP is worth checking out. This amazingly inspired remix, however, is definitely the hight point.

Torus - Vocaldonuts (Slugabed Remix) (Sonic Router)

That's it for today, but keep checking back for more updates, as March is one of the best times for new releases.

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Post with absolutely no theme whatsoever.

Today may be Monday, but that doesn't mean it has to suck. The weekend came and went, but it also left us with some absolute gems! I was going to do another EHTC post... but I have some things that I want to share that aren't house and techno. I have kind of abandoned some of the other genres that I love, so I will post some serious variety today!!!

First things first, Distal recently announced that he will release his debut album on Tectonic this spring. If you find yourself saying "Really, Tectonic? Out of all the labels that he has releases on, why Tectonic?", then perhaps you could play six degrees of separation and notice that Pinch opened/ closed his striking FabricLive. 61 with an exclusive Distal track. I suppose that doesn't really answer the question "why", but it does serve to further mark Pinch's diversification as not only a DJ, but also as label boss. This track won't actually appear on the album, which will be titled "Civilization", but it likely serves as a sign post to the sound of the album.

Distal - Amphibian (Tectonic)

Next up is Girl Unit. By the end of 2010 Girl Unit was probably the biggest name in dance music as he absolutely oozed internet praise from every blog orifice and professional music publication in existence. "Wut" went down as a defining moment of the year, and helped to really push the "maximalism" movement into the public eye. 2011, however, was a different story. With only two commercially available remixes and a soundcloud that hasn't seen an update in over a year, Girl Unit left a lot of fans worried that he would be an ephemeral one-hit-wonder. Fortunately he has returned with a pretty solid remix for the UK imprint Numbers. While this certainly isn't his best work, and it is only a remix, it leaves us with a taste of what the young producer is capable of.

Also included is a remix from Actress, who I have to say I have never been a huge fan of. This remix, however, demonstrates an interesting paradox that you don't often see with artists: maturing through loosening and lightening up. He had already proven that he was patient/ wise beyond his years with his first couple LPs and various singles. Despite the "artsy minimal" approach that he took into the studio... his tracks just felt void of any humanity or relatability. This remix sounds like he may have finally given in and produced something groovable. Unfortunately there are three tracks in this soundcloud waveform, and they aren't very well separated. The original is first, then is Actress' remix, then Girl Unit's is last.  

Kodiak - Spreo Superbus (Original/ Actress/ Girl Unit Remix) (Numbers)

Next up is a remix from Jack Dixon, who you may know through his collaborations with George Fitzgerald. This is a perfectly produced bass/ house fusion that sits right in the sweet spot of 120 bpm. It takes a rather frantic original from Mau'lin and turns it on it's head, keeping all intensity and dark, brooding vibes while adding an up front and infectious groove. This one is certainly not to be missed!

Mau'lin - Function Open (Jack Dixon Remix) (Disktopia)

I don't know if you guys know who Miki the Cat is. Two years ago and I would have said that you weren't missing anything by not knowing who he is. He got his start in 2008/ 2009 when new producers had to make fidgit house to make a living, but something about his productions even back then seemed to hint at greater ambitions. He always had an underlying theme of techno to his beats... In the past year he has put out four extremely solid EPs. Three of them as Mikix, and one under a guise that you may recognize from my Top 100 tracks list last year as Mamma's Boy. All four EPs contained four tracks, and I have to say that they are all extremely well produced and serve as absolute dance floor destroyers. They are exactly my kind of music: slow, lot's of bass, and often contain understated R n B vocals. I don't go on about this guy too much... but I should. Let's just say that if I DJed, I would be playing at least two or three of his tracks RELIGIOUSLY. Here is a sample of his latest EP.

MikiX The Cat - Who You Are (ADD Cat)

Next up is a delicious little number from Culprit Records. You don't need me to tell you that Konrad Black remixing Subb-an is most likely a recipe for success, but I will tell you anyway. This track has a lot to love, a groove that elicits just as much slinking as it does dancing, an incredibly catchy synth line, and just enough chunk to set it up as a precursor track to peak hours.

Subb-An - What I Do (Konrad Black Remix) (Culprit)

Rolling right along, did I mention that I love bass? I mean REAL bass. Anything that is bass-heavy will mostly be welcomed on this blog. What may surprise some people, is that my bass craving usually gets satisfied by house, more so than proper "bass music". Pelican Fly, however, is PROPER bass music. Label-boss Mister Tweeks has released his second lengthy EP for the label, and it bangs hard. It spans 8 tracks (4 originals, 4 remixes) and keeps things nasty. Here is the title cut.

Mister Tweeks - Neva Change (Pelican Fly)

Sometimes you just have to say fuck it and go with some nasty, sleazy funk. This one just got released from a small but awesome label called Slime. It's a remix by a couple of up-and-coming Polish producers who seem to really be rounding into form. Viadrina, as they are called, have put out tracks on Discobelle, Top Billin', Klasse and Pets. This remix of "The Truth" by Jus' Bros might just be their best work to date. Perhaps the Catz n Dogz, Polish duo influence is creeping in?

Jus' Bros - The Truth (Viadrina Remix) (Slime)

I haven't posted about Ardalan in any detail yet. This remix he did for wicked house label Gruuv is just what he needed. This remix of "Friends Forever" by Pavel Petrov sees the British producer embrace a faster, more upbeat sound that is usually coaxed out of him by his collaborations with Justin Martin. Take a listen.

Pavel Petrov - Friends Forever (Ardalan Remix) (Gruuv)

Next is a track from Tiga's Turbo imprint. It comes from producer Clouds, who is largely unknown despite some serious bangers that have come from his hands. His new EP, "Optic" is no exception. This is probably some guilty pleasure stuff, especially the last track, the title track however, should not be missed.

Clouds - Optic EP (Turbo)

I was going to post a few more, but I think that nine is enough for now. I will save some for later, since the rest of this week can't possibly keep this pace up. Anyway, I hope I shared some good stuff with you guys, and sorry for the randomness.