One of the most consistent artists in the ballroom world, New York’s Byrell The Great recently took on the still-gaining-steam summer hit “Flicka Da Wrist”, the track set to appear on London blog/radio show Beats, Banter & Bob‘s upcoming Que Pasa compilation. While not totally clear (assuming it’s left intentionally vague), the theme of the tape is different interpretations on “bob”, whatever that may mean to the contributing artists. Combining a pastiche of ballroom and Jersey club tropes, Byrell’s “Hand Performance Remix” is eminently functional in a way that few producers outside of the ballroom scene can manage, all while the form into weirder and more sonically adventurous places. Evil Streets, Pitcheno, FKA Deji and more feature on Que Pasa, which also features art work from the latter. The comp will be released on August 14 and a release party is scheduled for September 9 and will see performances from Trap Door, the Insert crew, Pitcheno and more.
Coming off the release of the breathtaking Gold & Featherwork EP on Local Action, Shriekin is back with Red Beach, this time on Bristol outlet Blacklink Sound. Meanwhile, Slackk has been lighting the world on fire, releasing the Backwards Light EP on R&S earlier this year and continuing to do work as a key member of the Boxed collective, all while maintaining a presence as something of a grime historian and keeping younger producers in check. On August 3, Blacklink Sound will release Red Beach and, fortunately, Slackk stepped in to remix Shriekin’s “Too Right”, a masterful piece of organized chaos that matches the Irish producer’s love for widescreen orchestral flair and a mean streak of bass bin rattling pulses and rearing square waves. Slackk pares the track down to a slightly more consumable size, adding a blocky, clanging kick pattern and an overlay of mesmerizing synth work. Blacklink Sound has done an excellent job of pushing younger producers to date and it’s a pleasure to see a more established, genre redefining name like Slackk attached to this project. Be sure to pre-order Red Beach here and get a free poster by ordering directly through Blacklink.
After the resounding success of Druid Cloak‘s Lore: Book One and Lore: Book Two, the conceptual LP series, released through his own Apothecary Compositions label, is getting a “translated” remix version with a little help from an international group of friends. In line with the original’s theme, Strict Face, Spurz, Throwing Snow and a number of others have put in there hand to rework originals from Lore: Book One, offering up some fantastical takes on standout tracks “Quills”, “The Tusk and “Wraithborne Falls”. We’ve got Strict Face’s contribution on the premiere front today, the Australian producer lacing the original with a helping of sparkling keys and heaping low end. It fits in the Gobstopper/weightless vein (even though it involves percussion), moving at a slow gait without giving up bass weight or a sense of forward propulsion. Lore Translations: Book One is out August 7 on Apothecary and is available for pre-order here.
It has been a good while since we’ve brought you a giveaway for IHEARTCOMIX’s Club IHC series, but this Thursday’s throw down is just too good to pass by. Plastician and Swindle, coming in from London, headline the traveling talent while Los Angeles’ own Kastle, Patrick Brian and Swelta round up the drop dead bill. Expect plenty of classic East and South London sounds, as well as a heap of new band-oriented material from Swindle (although he’s only bringing out the DJ set for this date). Plastician has been running game on his Rinse FM slot and pushing eclectic big room sounds via his Terrorhythm outlet, all while working with some of the biggest MCs around and facilitating a reeducation among young fans in the roots of grime and dubstep. Kastle has an excellent new EP coming next month on his own Symbols label and has taken his own productions and his label is increasingly abstract, boundary pushing places as of late. And if you’re not familiar with LA’s own Patrick Brian and Swelta, then you have to hop on the train soon because these too should be heading up bills in the not so distant future. Enter your favorite Swindle classic below for a chance at a pair of tickets to Thursday’s show. Tickets can be found here and more info can be attained here.
Since he popped onto the scene some years ago, Chicago resident (and Philadelphia born) Krueger has been a fixture in the American club music world, pushing percussive sounds well before they became web cool. He’s also a member of the Silverback Recordings stable, the Belgium label that has become one of our favorite outlets anywhere over the past few years. Released this past Friday (7/24), Krueger’s Marbled EP is his second extender player on Silverback and his first release since taking a step back from the Krueger alias late last year, comprised of three original tracks and remixes from Victoria Kim and Taskforce. We’ve got “Jungle Walk” on deck for you today, an acid-driven track built around a twisted Bmore framework and a childlike invocation to “take you back to the deep, dark jungle.” It’s the weirdest song on the record and shows that Krueger is more than willing to merge traditional dance music tropes with more contemporary forms. Get the Marbled EP here and be sure to check out Krueger’s Tools Vol. 1 pack from earlier this year.
Initially garnering attention with the Energy Plaza EP in July 2013 (out on Cocobass), Margaret Antwood has been floating on the periphery of the dance music world for the better part of two years now, consistently flirting with a breakthrough into the wider club consciousness, but generally preferring to engage from an outsider perspective. Out tomorrow (July 28) on B.YRSLF DIVISION, Antwood’s Work Focus EP, should change that immediately, its six tracks offering a fully fledged view into the producer’s mechanized world view. Alongside fellow B.YRSLF artists Trap Door and Tsvi, Antwood has effortlessly merged retro synth flourishes with machinic percussion and dystopia-rendering sound design. Tracks like “Work Focus” and “Coincidence Part 2″ don’t just sound metallic or pump along at a predictable pace though, they seem to embody the workmanlike spirit of automated labor and the factory environment at large. Premiered below, “Coincidence Part 2″ consists of heaving hydraulic noises and piston-esque kicks, recalling an alien Detroit sensibility with a distinctly modern twitch. Look out for Work Focus tomorrow and check out a few other previews from the EP here.
For the second consecutive weekend Los Angeles’ RUN crew are bringing through a huge lineup to Shambhala Studio, Saturday’s (7/25) affair headlined by Night Slugs representative SHEEN (formerly Georgia Girls). It’s rare that an artist with no official release and barely any material out garners so much critical attention, but SHEEN has a slew of support in no small part because everything he’s released to date has been remarkably on point. From the first few edits of Night Slugs hits surfaced to his recent Nguzu x JoJo blend, everything SHEEN has touched turns to gold and his recent shows on Radar Radio show he has the curatorial skills to match his efforts behind the boards. Filling out the bill on Saturday are Zernell, DJ Chap, Pachuco, TenTwentySeven and RUN’s collection of excellent residents. We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for Saturday’s throw down, available in exchange for favorite Dirty Sprite 2 track below. And despite bringing out Victoria Kim last week, expect the RUN folks to bring it just as hard on Saturday.
In an era of rapid production and even quicker consumption, it’s easy to forget that the process of delivering music, and art in general, to the public can, and often should, be a drawn out, long winded procedure. As pleasurable as the instant gratification system of Soundcloud is, it’s easy to become lost under the deluge of one offs, release previews and mixes, a crush that blogs like ourselves certainly facilitate and urge on. As far as both releases and mixes go, we’ve reached a boiling point of sorts wherein listeners can’t possibly have the time to take in every new bit and artists often feel pressured by the constant scroll to release music that either isn’t ready, or shouldn’t be released at all. On the mix front, the deluge leads to a glut of uninspired production mixes, rehashes of scene trends and efforts that somehow manage to blur lines between artists instead of defining them.
Oxford’s GROVESTREET has been an Astral Plane favorite since we premiered his track “If U Wanna Try” towards the end of 2013 and his stripped down percussion tracks and energetic grime numbers have quickly infiltrated the club massive in the years since, garnering attention from artists and journalists alike. Official releases on Tight Knit Records and Trax Couture are both excellent touchstones for entry into the GROVESTREET sound, but besides a few low bit rate uploads, the young producer has kept his release rate relatively slow. And while tracks like “Ground Zero” and “Disqualified” can be found in the mixes of many contemporaries (the former was remixed by Byrell The Great and M.E.S.H.), GROVESTREET’s most insightful work to date might be his DJ mixes, which tend to sprawl across genre, but always involve the same roughhewn, minimalist spirit.
Not that the track selection or mixing itself is minimal, drawing lines between Memphis rap, modern R&B, ballroom, Jersey club, reggaeton, industrial-tinged grime and, sometimes, trance. GROVESTREET’s productions are high energy club burners, built out in an overdrive fashion with plenty of peculiar samples and his mix work not only allows the listener to peek into his library, but also his creative subject matter. There are plenty of contemporaries involved in his Astral Plane mix, from Endless rep Lexxi to ballroom don MikeQ and up-and-comcer Sugar Shane. Sissy Nobby, Black Jonas Point and Tommy Wright III sit comfortable together as ballroom classics are mixed with tranced out hard house and earworm R&B is twisted into the intervals. And whereas the final product (a GROVESTREET production) is aesthetically singular, it’s important to delve into a musical polyglots library to work out the building blocks.
Intended as a companion record to May’s Emphasis EP (on Tessier-Ashpool), East London producer Otik‘s Strangelove EP (out July 24 on Infinite Machine) comes in as another piece of well-executed breakbeat revivalism focusing on various strains of the ‘ardkore continuum. Like contemporaries Wallwork & RZR, Tsunga, Benton and Tessela, Otik prefers to drop the tempo down into the 130 range from hardcore, jungle and drum and bass’ raucous pacing, drawing out the classical elements in those forms and recontextualizing them across contemporary space. This is readily apparent throughout Strangelove, a record where classic reese bass bumps up against Missy Elliot samples and a clear sense of songwriting exists throughout. Tracks like “Futile” (premiered below) and “Glimpse”, while banging in a club context, also feature extremely well-conceived sound design and are pleasurable to listen to outside of the mix, the former featuring a beautiful soul sample that recalls the better side of the late 2000s pitched down R&B craze. The Strangelove EP is out this Friday (July 24) and can be previewed after the jump. Also be sure to tune into Otik’s Radar Radio sessions for a consistently on point update on the breakbeat-based musics past and present.
Columbus, Ohio’s Apothecary Compositions outlet has never had a singular focus, often switching between beat-based abstractions, dancefloor burners and R&B oddities in the span of a few releases. Lisbon duo Bangkok Snobiety also prefer not to be pigeonholed, pushing a sound loosely based in techno, but drawing from a multitude of other areas of well. Next week (7/24), Bangkok Snobiety will release their debut To The New Era LP on Apothecary, an eight track sojourn through oversized kick drums, haunting vocal snippets blaring industrial noise. While rarely fun in a breezy sense, To The New Era has a number of sneaky dancefloor numbers, “Help” being our favorite of the bundle. With an atmosphere that can lightly be described as uneasy, “Help” is one of several four-on-the-floor stompers on the LP, matching the huge, dusty kicks with equally dusty piano and an only slightly disturbing cry for help. Pre-order To The New Era here and look out for the full tape next Tuesday!