Any Twin Peaks fan can tell you about the first time they fell in love the show’s wild, ill-fated heroine. Bastille’s frontman Dan Smith wails his longing for the plagued beauty in the tribute “Laura Palmer.” Kat Krazy’s remix flips the track from nocturnal synthpop into a buoyant dance floor anthem. The slow build of the line “can you feel it?” leads to an energetic beat drop. It makes the tone less foreboding and more celebratory than the original, as if this is her/your/our last chance to run into the night and its mysteries.
Eliza Doolittle is the latest vocalist to receive some Disclosure treatment. “You & Me” is the title of the British dance duo’s latest collaborative banger, and it’s a brilliant follow-up to their AlunaGeorge-featuring number two smash, “White Noise.” The groovy, 2-step garage production fits Doolittle’s harmonious vocals like a glove and, as expected, it’s sing-a-long-worthy. Listen below.
Bassline/4×4 was – and still is, to some degree – the leading dance music genre in the North of England. Ushered through by clubs like Niche and DJs such as Jamie Duggan, Nev Wright and Shaun Banger Scott in the early-00s, the bass-fuelled sound eventually saw chart success in 2007, when T2’s “Heartbroken” single landed on the number two spot. A few top 40 offerings followed, but its home remained in the underground.
Unfortunately, bassline has recently taken a back seat whilst deep house drives ravers into a frenzy on the dancefloor. But there are a few of us who think there’s life in the give-your-head-a-wobble genre yet! One of those people is DJ Q. The producer and DJ has kicked off The Bassline/4×4 Revival campaign nicely, with his newly-released 60-track mix of classic tracks. Listen below.
Another weekend is upon us and that means we have four more up and coming artists from around the world for you to listen to, love, and ultimately vote on. One will rise to the top and become our Artist of the Week. It’s up to you Iggy gang! You have until next Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST to vote for your favorite artist.
Antonio Elia Forte knows the sound of isolation. He’s made it his playground. Moving from his hometown of Lecce, Italy, to London, England, the musician/producer recorded the entirety of his debut full-length Trees with the help of a few microphones in his Whitechapel flat. The result was a wistful work, filled with hazy sound quilts and haunting clouds of reverb.
One of the bands we have our eye on is Gate Flowers, winners of both the “Rookie of the Year” and “Best Rock Song” awards in the 2011 Korean Music Awards. Their throwback sound takes the dense guitars of Nirvana-era grunge, with occasional forays into Red Hot Chile Pepper-esque funk-rock and riffy metal. They are tight, but not so polished that they lose their edge.
Young Ragga makes dancehall of the old-school, irie variety, chatting melodiously in Puerto Rico’s rawling Spanish over dubbed-out, rootsy drops. There are occasional R&B flourishes and a gentle touch of auto-tune here and there. He stays far away from materialistic themes, instead drawing from reggae’s long tradition of calling out injustice to a beat.
Stephen Black has performed as a backing musician for Cate Le Bon, Slow Club, and JT Mouse. However, Black’s sly sense of humor and left-of-center worldview is far too singular to be contained by mere supporting player status. As Sweet Baboo (from the Peanuts-coined term of endearment), the Welsh musician is free to chase his quirky pop inclinations anywhere they’ll take him.
The winner is in! Flutronix are our latest Artist of the Week! While San Fran queer hip-hop deviants Double Duchess showed some real fight out there, but they were no match for the outpouring of love (and votes) the Brooklyn electro flute duo inspired from the fans.
Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull of Flutronix are classically trained flutists gone rogue. With a musical approach the blends the electronic with the acoustic and draws influence from such eclectic sources as Radiohead and A Tribe Called Quest, we hope they never go back to the chamber orchestra. Congrats, ladies!
Basement Jaxx are back, folks! In fact, they’re “Back 2 The Wild,” as the title of their comeback single puts it. It’s been four years since the British production duo released their Scars LP, but they’re ready to reclaim their dance music crown with this fun, pop-tinged record. Recorded in Kenya, “Back 2 The Wild” is a vibrant, energetic number, featuring African/tribal drums and horns, repetitive claps and two Korean singers named Miss Emma Lee and Baby Chay, who chant their way through. Listen below.
Watch the psychedelic visuals: H E R E
A*M*E and MNEK are the future of British pop. They kinda remind me of what Timbaland and Missy Elliott were to hip-hop 15 years ago: unafraid to be different in an industry that requires one to conform. Riding high off their recent number one hit with Duke Dumont on “Need U (100%)”, the two London-based teenagers have united once again for “Heartless.” The original by A*M*E, which will be released on July 14, is a bubble-gum pop, chart-friendly song about young love, but MNEK turns it into a bumpy-bumpy cut fit for any two-step skanker.
For the uninitiated, Chico Mann is the brainchild of Marcos García, the Cuban-American guitarist for afrobeat group Antibalas. García started Chico Mann with a question: What would it have sounded like if Fela Kuti had gotten together with Afrika Bambaataa in the early ’80s in New York to cut an album?
That question led to a conceptual project mixing elements of Afrobeat, electro and so-called “Latin Freestyle,” the underground electronic pop music popular in Latino communities in the ’80s. This new release, the follow-up to 2011′s Analog Drift, hits even harder than the first album with bad beats, shiny fluttering synthesizers and catchy vocal hooks. The first single, “Same Old Clown,” featuring the great Kendra Morris, has already become one of my most-bumped jams of 2013. The electro-merengue of “Estrellitas” is similarly dope, and “Magic Touch” is just funky as hell.
Anyway, don’t take it from me: listen for yourself, and read up on what our man Marcos has to say about the tracks.
1. Comes & Goes: ”Started out, in my mind, as a house version of Lee Field’s “Love Comes and Goes.“ Turned into something else completely!”
2. Edge of It: ”Began as a collaboration with the producer, Rob Fusari. Vocals were inspired by Steve Arrington’s “Touch of Love.”"
3. Same Old Clown: ” Originally intended as a collaboration with Mayer Hawthorne. I wrote the hook and was singing it to myself on my way to see a Kendra Morris show in NYC.”
4. Long Time Gone: ”A bold Afro-Freestyle direction inspired by my relationship with a workaholic.”
5. Vivito (El Colibri): ”Inspired by the Spanish phrase for “alive and kicking,” and my mother’s description of her father as a hummingbird.”
6. Magic Touch: ”An early hip hop style track with playful vocal contributions by Mayteana Morales and Alecia Chakour.”
7. Esta Bueno: ”This track began it’s life as a Childish Gambino remix made by “playing” a drum machine instead of programming. A play on words between “It’s good!” and “That’s enough!”"
8. Estrellitas (Little Stars): ”Named “Estrellitas” when it was an instrumental because my mental imagery was of deep space. I imagined it as a merengue in the distant future with a bonus beat at the end.”
9. I Feel It: ”Electro-Afrobeat inspired by Fela’s “Fear Not For Man.” The studio version has gospel-choir-like vocals. It’s a playful theme about my relationship with my muse.”
10. One Day Late: ”A reinterpretation of a great song with a great message by Sam Phillips. Afro-Freestyle styled for the dance floor.”
11. Vengo a Ti: “A song for my greatest, most beloved muse, Nidia Altagracia. May she rest in peace.”
12. Oye, Mira: ”Originally meant to be an electro track; infused with dub styles after Ticklah introduced me to an early Aswaad album.”