Our good friend, DC local and U Street Music Hall affiliate John Johnson has offered up his opening set for last Saturday’s Tale of Us gig as a free download. Click the “Free Download” link via the Soundcloud embed below for instant access (you’ll have to like us on Facebook first if you haven’t already).
Glasgow Underground has quickly been growing into one of our favorite labels of the year, with a string of super solid releases from the likes of Kevin McKay, Barrientos, and several EPs worth of remixes of the late Romanthony. Last month they released the Discontented EP by newcomers Those Beats and we’re starting to see it pop up on radars all over. The UK-based duo specialize in late night house grooves that lean more towards heartbreaking than club shaking and aim to draw you under with hypnotic lows and gorgeous atmospherics. Each of the tracks on the EP share a gray melancholy pervaded by moving melodic shifts and tasteful arrangements. “You Don’t” opens with a pounding kick style sub, huge pad swells, and snips of vocals dancing in and out of consciousness. “Discontented” starts with a simple drum pattern and quickly opens into the most memorable track of the EP, with muted stabs opening into jagged saws balanced out with mellow sine pads and warped vocals uttering the title. “Highrise” is an instrumental number surrounding a bubbling bassline with ghostly echoes of stabs and “Always Keep Them Laughing” rounds out the EP on a darker kick, building tension with winding arpeggios and a tom-based low end. This is a great intro to a duo who has a lot ahead of them, so make sure to keep an eye out.
Blisspop resident Will Eastman unveiled today his latest release via Main Course—a roaring one-tracker which the prolific producer/DJ has graciously made available as a free download to all. “Nikkei,” a tune which Eastman himself has rather aptly dubbed as “cosmic house,” shows the artist again in supreme form. Beginning with crisp hats, celestial synths and muted snares, the track quickly transitions from galactic exploration toward a thunderous four-on-the-floor romp. As the pace picks up, menacing stabs complement airy pads and a twisted, nearly unintelligible vocal sample which somehow manages to cling to one’s memory. After a serene recess, the track returns with an even bigger bang—this time showcasing a truly interstellar lead. This is easily one of Eastman’s toughest, most impressive tracks to date and is certainly not one to overlook. Be sure to grab “Nikkei” via his SoundCloud below.
Detroit-bred Jimmy Edgar adds to his arsenal of crisp and infectious techno the new EP, Mercurio. Through multiple builds set up within each of the three tracks, the EP creates prime dance floor moments and gives new life to Mercurio‘s repetitious nature. With first track, “Ultraviolet,” Edgar constructs and restructures his rhythm with calculated precision, finally ringing in the track’s sweet spot with a resounding metallic reverberation. The title track “Mercurio” builds its energy with a drum machine mimicking the call of a marching snare, then strips down to a raw, no-nonsense club anthem. “Qlinda,” the final track, emerges steadily with upbeat buoyancy, then holds the brakes as the sampled vocals shout “feels good,” which Mercurio certainly does.
Mercurio, out now on Ultramajic, is available to stream below:
Kevin McKay’s Glasgow Underground has had quite the year, delivering a handful of notable releases from the likes of Small Pyramids, Romanthony, and a recent gem in the form of Those Beats. With winter quickly approaching, the label decided it was time to release a sampling of tracks meant for those colder, melancholy nights, and the result is a five-track compilation of deep grooves and ethereal disco that surprisingly manages to evoke the air of the season perfectly. Generally, compilations have four to five worthwhile tracks followed by a lot of fluff, but the decision to go with just five tracks proves very effective here, as each one is just itching to find its way into late night sets.
The release begins with Solaris Heights’ first release in five years in the form of “Together.” The duo of Anton Fielding and Bryan Robson craft a solid deep house track with some darker disco leanings. The bubbling synths and moody atmospherics all have a very mechanical feel, but the groove is undeniable and aided by a simple spoken word sample creeping out of the fray to pull you in. Next up, Kevin McKay’s “Baby Come To Me,” one of the more low-key feeling tracks on the compilation, makes do with airy textures wrapped around a disco bass groove and sexy R&B samples that float about a cloud of reverb. With a familiar, old school vibe, the tune is very digestible. DeMarzo’s remix of Walker & Royce’s “I Surrender” waivers back and forth between disco and deep house with a nefarious bassline juxtaposed by breathy vocal samples, 80s chimes and lush synth textures. Rhythm Operator’s “In Your Eyes” is an easy follow up to last month’s debut on Let’s Play House. It’s a simple but effective house track driven by a relentless but playful bass line and 909 groove. The final track on the compilation, Cram’s “Music,” is an irresistible late night disco burner that serves as the perfect closer to the record.