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basile

Known primarily for its more well known members, namely Neana and Sheen (formerly Georgia Girls), sparse, rough and tumble take on club music, the Gang Fatale set/label has amassed a small cadre of stylistically coherent artists from the UK and beyond. Trap Door and Kieran Loftus both cleared out space for themselves via EP releases, Emerald Dove on B.YRSLF and All Black Outfit on Paradise Rhythm respectively, while Bleaker, Clara La San, Simon Divine, Basile (formerly Prince Jean) and co-label head Ra’s Al have all released tantalizing snippets, single drops and other ephemera. We’ve got the Paris-based Basile on for this week’s Astral Plane mix and the French producer, keyboard wizard and visual artist came through with a stomping, disarmingly referential volume of his own productions, edits, loops and favorites from others.

Having already released an album’s worth of keyboard jams, new age, jazz and more than a few vocoder-heavy tracks on Astro Nautico, there’s plenty of Basile material out in the world, but that doesn’t make it any easier to pinpoint his aesthetic. There’s a little Tangerine Dream and a little Strictly Rhythm, a little Zapp & Roger and a little Principe Discos. Like his Gang Fatale compatriots, the Frenchman’s sound is an amalgam of disparate eras and genres, a geographically implacable combination of influences and technological flourishes. Names like Ty Dolla $, Drake and Iamsu show up in the track list of his Astral Plane mix, but the mix is neither an out an out party tape, nor is it an abrasion-inducing club volume as the SD Laika (in edit form) inclusion might connote.

In his own words, the mix is an “inclusive” look at the club, intended to be consumed “with an open mind and a chaotic approach” and that’s exactly where any discussion of Basile should be begin. In a world where house and techno are the only true insider forms of dance music in the underground at large, the club music community has formulated itself as something of an outsider clan, banging at the doors of the establishment. And while that approach isn’t necessarily wrongheaded, it is alienating. Basile’s take on club music is as inclusive as any softball house or techno record, but he retains the jagged edge and re-inventive spirit so favored in the club music community. In a sense, this inclusive approach can be boiled down to semantics, whether or not an artist engages with a perceived establishment shouldn’t really matter, but Basile’s particular brand of populism and stylistic incorporation really does come into focus when you listen to Anumi Pause or the mix below. It’s effortless, or at least it seems that way.

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TRAP DOOR ARTTrap Door doesn’t make trap — which is, well, a good thing. Instead, Manchester-based Connor Shepherd constructs exquisite club compositions while applying a stripped down, retro aesthetic to contemporary dance music. As part of the Gang Fatale collective alongside the likes of past Astral Plane mixer Neana, Ra’s Al and Georgia Girls, Trap Door is at the forefront of the percussive, linear club music that draws from both sides of the Atlantic. At times, Sheperd sounds like he’s channeling the spirit of Arabian Prince, infusing euphoric synth melodies into a melange of abrasive kicks and snares. Other times, he’s clearly looking to the Atlantic seaboard, utilizing vocal cuts, “ha” samples and kick patterns from Baltimore, Philladelphia, Jersey and New York. The Trap Door sound is decidedly fresh and new, but always emits a cool, calm and collected attitude that transcends the ephemeral qualities of the club trax format.

For his Astral Plane Mix contribution, Shepherd condensed the essence of Trap Door into a single, easily digestible document. The mix exists in a world where Drake spends most of his time driving up and down I-95 in a wretched, hydraulic-laden abomination and gun fingers are the common currency. If the think breaks don’t rile you up, the “ha” samples surely will and the calls for bad mind and worst behaviour will finish off the job. Hit the jump for a look at the track list (you might just discover a few gems) and stream/download below.

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The holidays are the one time of year when I appreciate the fact that my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with promotional posts. That’s because the holidays are the time for giving, specifically the time when producers dump all of their bootlegs/edits/unfinished tracks on the unsuspecting masses. The quality is generally a mixed bag, but we’ve received a deluge of heat in the past few days that deserves its fair due. On the raps front, Lil B, King Louie, Fredo SantanaLil Silk and Fabolous have let loose new tapes over the past week or so. All deserve your attention, although save Lil B’s 05 Fuck Em and maybe spend a little more time with Silk and Louie.

The good folks at Mixpak were also kind enough to hand out a bundle of free tracks from their roster and beyond. The Holiday Bundle evokes the grime, dancehall and soca-based riddim culture that Dre Skull has so carefully curated over the past few years. Sudanim, Murlo and Koyote all bring their best to the table.

You’ve likely seen these already as well, but big hitters Flying Lotus, Zed Bias, Ryan Hemsworth Clams Casino all gave bundles of tracks away in the past few days. Casino’s third Instrumental Mixtape is probably the most cohesive attempt of the bunch, but FlyLo’s assorted beats, remixes and bootlegs offer some intriguing insight into the producer and his cohort’s recording processes. The Hemsworth collection is largely edits he’s designed for live play and the “Post-Rock Tears” version of Future’s “Honest” is a real beauty. Two step legend Zed Bias handed over 200 MB of live recording, remixes and production work under both his ZB sobriquet and his Maddslinky nom de plume.

Hit the jump for a jambalaya of free tracks…

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neana

As we witnessed in his recent Astral Plane mix, Neana and his Gang Fatale collective are more than willing to take club sounds to their starkest, deepest extent. “Ha Braque Got Jawbroken” sees Neana and fellow Gang Fatale don Ra’s Al (as NeanRa) taking ballroom into the gutter, churning the “ha” sample over a dense melange of dense arrangement of percolating percussion. The duo has also thrown up “42 Dunjunz” for free download, another must have for any trax enthusiast. Stream the former below and hit the jump to stream/download the latter.

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