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denitia & sene – Side FX

Posted on October 22 2014 by zacheser
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This duo based out of Brooklyn has the slow burning soul going strong.

Coming off of Red Bull’s Sound Select label in November, “Side FX” is  a progressive head nodding piece of electronic funk that lays the vibes down in thick, slathering portions. The track is driven by a series of synths that punctuate the groove with bewitching and provocative results that call upon similar pieces of spaced out electronica such as Freezepop’s “Less Talk More Rokk” and early work by Shiny Toy Guns. The real star here, however, is the sultry delivery by vocalist denitia. When she croons about the mistakes she makes on the regular with a self-aware angst reminiscent of other songstresses like Fiona Apple et al., it’s heartfelt and believable and confessed with an utmost empathy. It’s as if the words pouring through the soundscape are an apologetic precursor to anything bad that’s bound to happen. And because it’s so vibrant and emotive, this is the kind of song that will have you humming in your car on your commute to work, on your morning jogs, or in the bathroom doing your personal business. This is an earworm that deserves to be heard.

Check out “Side FX” after the jump and be sure to grab your copy of denitia & seine’s EP when it’s released in November.

Wave Age – Thug Love

Posted on October 7 2014 by zacheser
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Get ready, D.C. There might be a new sheriff in town.

Coming out of the shadows, the mysterious Washington based Wave Age is a project rooted in bass and house music that, according to the official bio, draws influences from artists like Justin Jay and Friend Within. This much is evident: the enigmatic producer is out to make you drop whatever you’re doing and dance.

The first release, “Thug Love,” is a deep cut with an obvious love for being tongue-in-cheek. Combining the acapella from Khia’s “My Neck, My Back” with a bouncy, UK bass backdrop, “Thug Love” is a finely tuned experiment in giving us the goods without any fuss or muss. It’s a filthy, groovy, spaced out odyssey that explores not just underground house music, but also the current fascination with old school, throwback hood anthems from the Millenial generation’s childhood thereby cementing the track’s undeniable earworm status with a self-aware finesse which is deserving of the loudest sound system you can find.

In other words, if you’re in dire need of a replacement for Breach’s “Jack” in your setlist, I think Wave Age has you covered.

Download Wave Age’s “Thug Love” via the official Facebook page and stream it below.

Disko Matique – Alpha Beta EP

Posted on September 29 2014 by zacheser
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The “Alpha Beta” EP by Netherlanders Disko Matique, coming off their label UMPH, is chock full of unwavering electro beats by way of Justice making this particular release a neat find. While the original track and the subsequent Disko Matique rework are both wonderful examples of how to produce hard electro without going 100% commercial, there are remarkably intriguing track choices on the EP’s B-side.

The first, a remix by Tesla 55, has a certain quality that harnesses a cheery complextro   aura and uses that impulse to channel a drive that seems to be on a continual incline. And, like the Little Engine That Could, it reaches a precipice that grooves its way into a satisfying free-fall leading to a nifty, glitchy specimen of house music similar to artists like Oliver or Alex Metric. Overall, this track is the electro-hop to the A-side’s electro-edge.

The second remix, the Moustache Machine Gamma Sigma mix, stands out amongst the pack as it takes the skeleton of the original and injects it with an altogether new flavor. This remix channels “Homework” era Daft Punk with a synth progression reminiscent of “Da Funk” and floating arpeggios light enough for a low-calorie diet. This edit quickly turns into the kind of nudisco track that late night dancefloors crave as it slows things down, but bumps the bass just enough to keep the party alive making this a low BPM heater.

As a whole, this debut on the new UMPH label makes for a sick pack of house tracks worthy of peak hour play and also establishes a promising path ahead for indie producers Disko Matique.

You can download the “Alpha Beta” EP via Juno Downloads and Beatport.

The Juan Maclean – In A Dream

Posted on September 18 2014 by zacheser
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From the moment you hear the anthemic guitar on the opening track, “A Place Called Space,” you know that the disco age has come back. The long awaited album by one of the mighty pillars of New York’s DFA label, The Juan Maclean, is now the definitive proof that whatever rut dance music may have been in – whether it’s trap or deep house or tropical house – it just can’t compete with the old school.

Marking one of the biggest collaborations for DFA songstress extraordinaire Nancy Whang since the dissolution of LCD Soundsystem, “In A Dream” presents us with the version of old fashioned dance that – in an age of the unstoppable EDM machine – we most definitely don’t deserve, but we absolutely need. Everything from “A Place Called Space” to the stargazing “Love Stops Here” to the synthy house party jam “A Simple Design” is a fervent, affectionate ode written for the music that inspired the DFA label in the first place with tones and melodies and builds that recall the heyday of the discotheque: tastes of artists like The Human League and Herbie Hancock and Depeche Mode find themselves peeking out from the corners of each track like fans in a crowded dance hall.

But what really stands out here is Nancy. A tour de force in terms of her delivery and her songwriting, she acts as the pulse in the array of lush, undeniably appetizing soundscapes that this album represents. “Running Back To You” is a showcase for this as she slips a sweetness into lyrics about looking out the window reflecting on romances that never were which conveys not just a lovelorn vulnerability, but an understanding that something better could be on the horizon even if it’s right in front of you. It’s a faithful merger of classic themes with respect for the 80′s new wave and it hits every single mark.

Even the less approachable tracks for new listeners, like “Charlotte,” have this nuanced approach making them less like B-sides on a record full of straightforward hits and more like a complete meal; like the veggies next to a sirloin steak, the meat is great, but the vegetables are necessary to satiate your needs. And that says a lot in a decade that has so far turned into a race geared towards what new tracks you can pop out (especially with a tired music industry’s switch to relying on digital singles). In this regard, The Juan Maclean proves to be the abnormality, which is an achievement on its own, and one that will more than likely place this album alongside other albums in the higher echelons of music royalty.

Simply put, “In A Dream” exceptionally ventures where few in the dance music industry dare to tread and their journey from track to track impresses with each beat, synth, vocal, pad, and bit of self-aware savviness.

London Grammar – If You Wait (Riva Starr Remix)

Posted on September 15 2014 by zacheser
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London’s Riva Starr has been having a busy 2014. So it only makes sense that he would remix the equally as busy – and exceptionally talented – indie act London Grammar. Taking the ethereal, cinematic “If You Wait” and using Hannah Reid’s powerful vocals as his backbone, the remix offers up a UK garage sound that blends itself so beautifully into the spiritual, divine coffeehouse electronica that London Grammar has made a niche with. What truly stands out here is Riva Starr’s use of ambience to his advantage to create something more than a run-of-the-mill deep house banger: he takes moody piano, spacious reverb, and even an escalated orchestral part and infuses it with a space time continuum – the bass and the treble in the 4/4 time signature – which builds itself up into a work that we as the ravers, the lovers, the star-kissed dreamers can truly lose our heads in.

Listen to this hypnotic masterpiece below and check out London Grammar when they hit up the 9:30 Club on November 7.

 

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