The words “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” echo in Dehlia De France’s dreamy voice over and over again in Steve Bug’s new track “Gone Til’ It’s Gone”. We don’t quite know who that phrase is being directed to, but you can start feel sorry for them with a beautiful voice like that. However, we can’t entirely agree with those sentiments on a surface level. We know damn well what we’ve got here: A smoking new EP from Steve Bug. Read the rest of this entry
The German production trio Rework just dropped their new ‘Rise and Fall’ EP last week on Visionquest. If you’re looking for a fresh and clever twist on the recent deep/minimal wave of house music, you might want to give this a spin. Since I’ll be catching the Visionquest showcase this Saturday at the Mysteryland Electronic Music Festival, I figured I’d give you guys a glimpse at the label’s most recent release! Never heard of em? Cool. I got you guys, no worries. The group was originally formed by friends Daniel Varga and Michael Kuebler, becoming the full trio in 2000 when French singer Laetitia joined. Shortly after their first release on Playhouse Records in 2003, she and another part-time singer departed from the group. It wasn’t long before they found Sascha Hedgehog in 2005, and formed a permanent lineup. In the battle of the sexy names, Sascha won with her seductive German voice, a perfect fit for the atmosphere they were going for. Rework’s sound can be described as an icy yet colorful approach to their own tough-love house music. Listen to the featured track “Ask You” below! Read the rest of this entry
Solomun just released his new ‘Samson’ EP this month on DIynamic Records. For those who are now being introduced to this fine gentleman, he is from Germany, and he makes electronic music. This creature of the Black Forest is no stranger to the studio or the stage. In one solid year, he received the honor of winning Best Producer at the Ibiza DJ Awards, and Mixmag Magazine’s DJ Of The Year award. His “music is moments” motto is something he embodies on a daily basis.
Solomun specializes in meditative, cerebral house grooves. Although his music takes a fairly classic approach to the genre, this artist has rewritten the formula with his own unique twist. He is like the ghost of an era haunting the corridors of the modern electronic industry. The heavy notes of trance, disco, tribal, and especially house influences are all wrapped together in a semi-conventional yet somber format. He is in tune with something higher than the basic desire to make dance music. His tendency to reference theological figures in his titling could have something to do with the otherworldly feel to his sound. As to what, we do not know. Perhaps he chose that moniker because he himself is a prophet, like the Muslim’s fabled Solomon. The ‘Samson’ EP is out now, and you can purchase it on Beatport here! Preview the two new originals below and check out the review>>> Read the rest of this entry
The Beat Broker just dropped a new tape for your free downloading pleasure, and it’s real calorie burner. One hour and thirteen minutes of non-stop full throttle space funk. This is that get down low and dirty kind of disco that just won’t quit, folks. We don’t have to tell you what to do, do we?
The Beat Broker’s new ‘Tower of Power’ EP is now available on Bear Funk Records too! You may have heard the neon sounds of “Come Back To Me” on some recent guest mixes from other artists. The EP features three new piano laden originals, including the titular track and an accompanying remix from The Main Stem. You can purchase the release on Beatport and iTunes.
There is a comforting embrace to be found in the darkness, and it can be found in Pink Skull. The Philadelphia-based analogue project just released their latest full-length album ‘Huitlacoche’. The album, released on My Favorite Robot Records, was available exclusively on vinyl, but you can purchase it on digital format here.
Cited as a “metallic, liquid, and raw affair, delving into urban landscapes and deep space industrial wastelands” by the carrying label, we couldn’t agree more. As a trio of musicians wielding analogue synthesizers, this band combines mechanical and organic worlds into one neon existence. These guys are connected to the music the entire time they are playing it, shaping the sounds right in front of you. It takes a particular breed of talent to master the patient and progressive methods of beat making associated with the Minimal House genre. It’s all about taking one theme and carefully developing it over time, pushing each individual layer to their evolutionary limits. By carefully altering the depth and texture of the sounds themselves, the right artists can sink further and further into a a limitless abyss. Pink Skull is a group of gentlemen who possess these characteristics at a DNA level.
> Purchase/preview ‘Huitlacoche’ here.
> Also check out the “Music To…Escape To” Mixtape, released as a precursor to the album, here.
Betoko, London’s prince of analogue house music, released a new EP last week on Nurvous Records. Embrace the shadowy comforts of his latest single, “Little Miss Darkness”, paired with a dub version of the title track as well. You can purchase it on Beatport now, and preview the song below!
Chicago has long been relevant in the electronic music scene and has been cited as one of the first rudimentary sources of original underground house music going back to the 80’s, putting the city in the rank with Detroit and Toronto. Ghosts of Venice doesn’t produce house music, but he certainly adds to the city’s repertoire for talented beat makers. After making his first label appearance in 2009 on Defected Records, he has since worked hard on setting himself apart from the waves of other disco-house producers, and succeeded in that endeavor. Fans of Daft Punk, Bag Raiders, or Aeroplane circa 2009 will likely find refuge in Lee Dunn’s (Ghosts of Venice) funk heavy, pop-soaked music. He is past the point the stage of proving himself as an upcoming artist, so much so, that he will be opening for the legendary John Digweed on Halloween in Chicago! His discography is stacked with gems, but for now we’ll just give you a taste with his new remix of “My Body” by Treasure Fingers & The Knocks, available for download below.
Also check out this beautiful rendition of Lemaitre’s “Continuum”, out on Substellar Records, and available for purchase here.
The moon is as high as the night is long. As you drive past the endless green signs hovering above the rolling freeway, the sensation of a warm calm breaks through the walls of the everyday, hindering all vexations. This is the feeling you get when you listen to the new Motion in Space EP from 4mplify. This Belgian producer is newer to the charts and slowly creeping his way to the top of them, earning him a reputation for classy style and pushing the envelope of disco-house. His Midas touch ranges from affable cosmic disco to funk blitzkriegs like his “Cosmico” track. This week T&A caught up with 4mplify to discuss his new EP and views on music, technique, and production…
How long have you been a musician?
Well, I’m not really sure I would call myself a musician. I have no music schooling whatsoever and am more of a self adept artist who uses his ears for identifying what sounds ‘right’ rather than falling back on theoretical background knowledge. I do wish I was a virtuous guitar or keys player though, that would make it easier to transfer ideas into practice sometimes.
It’s that ear for detail that makes you a musician though. How long have you been producing electronic music for?
I have been experimenting with digital music production over a period of 10 years now, but – being a self adept – It took me a lot of experimenting and time in order to get where I am now. And I still feel like I have a lot to learn and that there is room for progression in my music productions. About a year ago I had some more time available which meant I could focus a bit more on improving my music production skills and techniques. A short time afterward I had my first EP ‘Discosmology’ released, launching the newly established label Madison Square Records (Greece) and a couple of months later I released my 2nd EP ‘Future Sky’ on Disco Soul Records (Ukrain).
Belgium seems to be a melting pot for the modern European disco scene, do you think this has had an effect on your music?
Despite being a small country, Belgium is indeed represented well in the ‘modern European disco scene’, with artists like The Magician, Aeroplane, A.N.D.Y., Moonlight Matters, Mickey, etc… and labels like e.g. Eskimo Recordings. The internet remains my most important resource for discovering new artists, keeping up to date with new releases and getting in touch with like-minded producers and even fans of my productions. It isn’t really important to me though where these people are from. Both music and the internet have no boundaries and I get my influences from around the globe as well from close by.
I’m not a fan of the term “Nu-Disco”, but it is clear that disco-influenced music is becoming relevant again. Being a musician yourself, Do you have any views or theories behind this?
To me disco-influenced music always has been relevant of course, I’ve always been a fan of the genre and the music that got influenced by it, especially modern electronica and house or dance music. I associate the genre ‘Disco’ with positive and uplifting feel good music on which people can dance to, and then ‘Nu Disco’ would be the present day variant of this positive feel good dance music.
What do you think sets you apart from other artists in the electronic music genre?
That’s a difficult question to answer. I mainly just do what I feel in regards to music production, and I might have my own ‘typical style of sounds’ other artists don’t have. Perhaps a mixture of older and newer instruments and sounds ranging from disco influenced electronic deep house to more indie dance music.
What software/equipment do you use when producing a song?
I now use Ableton Live on my digital audio workstation mainly because the ease of use in translating ideas to a computer. Next to that I have a 2nd hand Roland Fantom S which I use for sounds as well as a midi keyboard, an old Korg N1R sound module, some D.I.’s and a mixing table to hook up the guitars, bass and pedals when I have friends over in the studio. Next to that it’s all software synths and effects.
Do you record using any live instruments?
I sometimes have friends over in the studio for jamming and I do use some of the recordings in some of my tracks. The track ‘Sunshine Disco’ on the Discosmology EP contains a bassline sample played by Mr. S., a good friend of mine with whom I enjoy spending time in studio as much as possible. Another track of mine ‘Deep Disco’ featured on the ‘Future Sky EP’ contains guitar riffs and melodies from Millann, also a good friend and a gifted musician who spent some time jamming to the track because it needed a little something extra. I often record myself in midi playing ‘live’ on keys, freestyling or improvising, and then I try to focus on working on the best bits.
Explain the artistic process you go through when making a track. Does it start out as a single idea like a small riff, or do you envision the song as a whole?
I tend to start with searching for some nice chords and chord progressions, a main theme or idea, with a strong focus on finding a convincing and groovy bassline that suits the chords. Then I usually add the main instrument sounds and melodies. I often work out different parts and only afterwards I’ll consider looking at a more ‘bigger picture’ and work out the rest of the structure of the song and also focus more on details like more drums, effects and also the buildups and breaks throughout the track.
You’re working on your third EP in under a year, do you have any plans for touring in the near future?
Not right now. I would first try to get some more studio work done and putting out some more releases while improving my music production skills and discovering what room there is for the live element, hopefully with some of my musician friends. Right now my main focus lies on improving music production skills in studio. I’m curious to see what & where the future will bring me though.
What kind of venues are you or would you be most comfortable playing in, a small club setting, or for a bigger audience such as a music festival?
I’d say I’d be more comfortable playing in a club setting first while getting a bit accustomed to a smaller crowd first before playing in front off a bigger audience.
What kind of equipment do you typically use for live performances? Is there any room for improvising in your setup?
Well for future performances I hope to combine funky guitars and groovy bass guitars together with live drums, effects and synths, with hopefully a lot of room for improvising like we tend to do when jamming or freestyling in studio with friends.
What are your views on performing completely live versus a prerecorded set in the context of DJing?
Well, it’s clear both are quite different in approach. A completely live set would often require a bigger set up, more material, more people & more preparation. A completely live set often focuses more on showcasing the work of 1 artist only. A DJ set or mix is more about a unique & innovative selection of tracks of often different artists, mixing & matching them in the best possible way. Merely playing these (pre)recordings in front of an audience without anything else to it wouldn’t really classify as a live or DJ set in my opinion. It’s just not the real deal.
If you could work with any artist in the modern electronic universe, who would it be?
I wouldn’t mind spending some time in the studio with some of the Eskimo Recordings artists or the guys from Chromeo, and while we are at it ….Daft Punk.
Thanks for the insight, we have one final question: In a flooded market such as EDM, it’s important as an artist to offer something unique like producing a track entirely, such as yourself. What message, if any, would you like to give to the newcomers/aspiring musicians?
With enough practice and love and devotion for music, newcomers can go a long way. And there is a point in time when acquired knowledge and practice will reward itself and make things easier for you to translate your ideas to songs. It might sometimes also be easy for newcomers to get ‘lost in plugin land’ and to be overwhelmed by some of the technical aspects that come with ‘doing a clean mix’ etc. Don’t forget to focus on getting some music production done as well and try to actually finish tracks. Finishing tracks requires you to look at all aspects of song production even more in detail. That means notes, melodies, chords, choice and quality of the chosen sound, effects, song structure, buildups and breaks, the mix, etc…’
4mplify has his new EP available for preview on Soundcloud and will be available for purchase soon. Be sure to check it out and keep your ears out for this upcoming artist, you can find him here on Tits and Acid!
SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO w/ DAVE P AND JDH @ THE FONDA THEATER, L.A. 11/30/12
Its that time of year for Simian Mobile Disco to hit North America with their esteemed live performance. Last Friday they brought the heat to the Fonda Theater for their first US gig since September, also in the City of Angels, at Goldenvoice’s FYF Festival. No doubt 2012 has proven to be a busy year for the duo having released a full album and follow-up EP within just seven months, and touring heavily across the globe. But that’s their modus operandi. A perfect machine, meeting almost every need one fan could warrant.
Dave P and JDH opened with a minimal paced house set. Despite them holding a relatively menial rank in the grand scheme of honest artistry, these guys are always enjoyable. They seem to a have relationship of some unknown degree with the guys of SMD; I’ve witnessed them open for the duo three times this year and they’ve contributed to several past tours as well. Both Dave and JDH are partners in Fixed NYC, who have put on gigs for SMD across Manhattan multiple times over the years. These two certainly have experience in buttering up the crowd for headliners, although they did display a touch of rookie irony when they played “Seraphim” from Simian’s Unpatterns album just before they were take to the limelight. All in all they were again successful in getting the party started for their much anticipated followers.
The new album translated beautifully live, much better than I had expected and my expectations were quite high. There are so many aspects to Simian Mobile that differ them from their peers, but most of those characteristics lie within their live experience. Its similar to hearing a jam band play if they were personified through a set of turntables. Always possessing an odd, psychedelic approach to dance music, the material they’ve put out this year is a large step away from previous works like Temporary Pleasure, or Attack, Sustain, Decay, Release, and for the better. So much content is strategically flowing through deceivingly simple music, and that is the creative genius that I love about these two artists. Carefully delivered London-style house beats, low tones, descendant angelic synths, and dark crunchy progressions are key designs for the gentle, seamless plunge into a cozy, yet strange abyss the crowd was nestled in. Although they stand very relevant in electronic music, especially minimal genres, they consistently stay devoid of common formulas and can improvise a whole segment of dreamlike sequences of sound without even needing drum tracks.
Very well known for their theatrics, they’ve really dulled down their light show. Always remaining just under the mainstream radar while simultaneously maintaining a dedicated and large fanbase, I think this may have the intention. Jas Shaw and James Ford, the collective sagacity behind the SMD moniker, stated in interviews that Unpatterns would be a very different direction from their past works and that it was centered exclusively around the music that they wanted to make. Little did they know that their new album would explode on the charts and result in a much broader audience. A decrease in visual stimulus just puts more focus on the music, which puts them completely in control, and the end result is remarkable.
The “I Believe” closer is really difficult to explain. The song on its own its nothing short of majestic. For some reason, in my head at least, it always brings me to the image of Ryan Phillippe lifelessly sprawled in the middle of the street after being hit by a car. However since Jas and James are confirmed masters of sound-production, there is nothing like seeing it performed live. Intrinsic to their unique qualities, no set is ever the same, and the version sewn at the Fonda was just breathtaking. The song started in a standard fashion, however when it came time to cue that unmistakable bass drop after the first verse, it spiraled into an undeniable display of accented musicianship and integrity. The snyths were noticeably crisp and emphasized in a way I’ve never heard them, or anyone else for that matter, pull off. Each note is brought to life with such a delicate execution, no one can even come close to capturing such an organic feel with this genre like they manage to.
If Ketamine was converted into audio frequencies I have a hunch it would sound a lot like Simian Mobile Disco. This show will rank as one of the best I’ve seen this year, and I suggest you find yourself at one of the remaining tour dates.
There’s quite a bit of audacity required to remix Lindstrom, considering that his music is tailored perfectly to a style of his own creation and without room for improvement. It takes even more talent to remix an artist of that caliber and succeed. Well Future Feelings qualifies. Check their just-released remix of Lindstrom’s-Vos Sako Rv, a truly amazing original which somehow was not made better, but equally great in difference. Funky percussive guitar licks and walking synthesizers give a little more kick to an already outstanding floor banger, enjoy…