Looking back on the Silverback Recordings catalogue, it’s hard not to see the Belgian imprint as something of a scene-defining force, releasing debut and breakout EPs from the likes of Nguznguzu, Jean Nipon, Grown Folk, Jack Dixon and more as far back as 2010. The fact that the label has been around for over four years makes it a veteran in the club music scene and its piety, as far as release schedule goes, and foresight, the roll call of artists above is as impressive as they come, has allowed the label to skate relatively below the hype circus that has touched many of its contemporaries. The latest Silverback release comes from Chicago-based producer Taskforce (see: Zebra Katz, Le1f), a fitting four track excursion into Kowton-esque analogue techno augmented by remixes from Nguzu and Renaissance Man. Firmly in the tradition of Steve Poindexter and in a similar vein as the Gang Fatale folk across the ocean, Taskforce has turned out an eminently danceable EP in Return Notice and while it might not reinvent the wheel like some past Silverback releases, its function will surely be served. Stream an EP preview below, hit the jump for the Nguzu remix and “CDJ2000”, and buy your own copy of Return Notice here.
if there was one proper criticism of Los Angeles-based duo Nguzunguzu entering their latest Skycell EP, it was their relative lack of restraint when compared to some of their compatriots (Jam City, Slackk, Visionist) in the grime/club music world. There was (and occasionally still is) a certain balls-to-the wall quality in the music of Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda that surely ingratiated the duo to their fans, but after a long period of releases, their tracks tended to sometimes lull this particular listener into a daze. Of course, that perception was crushed alongside expectations with Skycell (out now on Fade To Mind), a masterful collection of tracks that are far more sparse and mechanical than anything they’ve released in the past. Not ones to let momentum slip away, Asma and Daniel recently contributed a remix to Darkstar’s HD7 EP (out now on Warp) and the results are breathtaking. The juxtaposition of an almost trance-like chord progression with percussion more typical of Nguzu’s recent output (and the output of much of the F2M/Night Slugs fam) is something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the future. Stream/download the remix below and cop the EP here.
Continuing their reign as the most exciting supergroup/collaborative project around, Future Brown aka Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri and J-Cush let loose an absolute steamer today. Featuring Prince Rapid and Dirty Danger of Ruff Sqwad and former Roll Deep member Roachee, “World’s Mine” finds a prime middle ground between classic era grime and the spacious, eski-derived sound many modern day producers have adopted. Future Brown are currently working on a debut LP, which will feature guest vocalists like Tink, Ian Isiah, Shawnna and Kelela and is sure to be a world beating effort.
“Forthcoming on Fade To Mind” has become one of my favorite phrases in recent years as Kingdom’s label has transitioned from Night Slugs’ little brother to an idiosyncratic conveyor of all good things in American dance music. When that phrase is paired with “new Nguzunguzu“, the proverbial gasket is blown. On November 5, the duo of Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda (who just released the massive XTREME TREMBLE EP through Fade To Mind) will release the seven song Skycell EP (check out Kingdom’s cover art after the jump), the duo’s second on the label. “Mecha” is our first hint at the EP, a growling, mechanical grime track that is as delusional pretty as it is powerful. The sound will be familiar if you’ve seen Daniel and Asma play out recently (us Angelenos are spoiled) and the remaining six Skycell tracks cannot reach our ears fast enough.
The latest supergroup to emerge from the American dance avant-garde, Future Brown sees Daniel and Asma of Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri and J-Cush focusing their vast collective skill sets on one extraordinary project. The first track to emerge from the crew, “Wanna Party”, features Chicago MC Tink at peak performance, as well as additional production work from MikeQ. Despite the large number of people involved with “Wanna Party”, Al Qadiri’s sonic aesthetic appears at the forefront, all foreboding keys and sparse, grime indebted percussion. It’s an exciting premise to imagine exactly how Nguzunguzu’s hip hop/club sensibilities and J-Cush’s footwork past will play into forthcoming Future Brown releases.
Over the past week or so, everyone and their mother have begun posting year end lists in one form or another. While perusing these song/album/mixtape/EP/single/live show/remixes/album art/video/DMX moment lists, you’ll probably come to the realization that you disagree with 90% of them and feel the urge to leave a vindictive comment on one article or another noting the surfeit of fecal matter spewing out of writer A or blogger B’s mouth cavity. First of all, resist the urge. Year end lists are silly and pointless, but they are someone else’s opinion. Anyways, we will not be writing any year end lists, because of the aforementioned clusterfuck that has already ensued. We will post a (brief) roundup of general shit we’ve enjoyed this year and maybe link to some other lists that are prescient or that mirror what we enjoy to a certain extent, but probably not. We have a bunch of amazing sounds for you this week, including Benjha’s brilliant “Flight Simulator, so maybe you should just hit the jump and enjoy some positive music. Maybe fanute around your room to it. You know we will. Just don’t think about lists.
Back in 2008, a video popped up on youtube featuring a then unknown Lunice popping, locking and dropping (it) to a then relatively unknown Lazer Sword‘s “Gucci Sweatshirt”. The video became moderately popular at the time, making its way around various social circles and then fading into black like every other video from 2008 (except for this one). The song offered a sort of glitchy pre-amble to Lazer Sword’s later work, but is almost indistinguishable from Memory, the duo’s latest album. “Gucci Sweatshirt” was officially released in October of 2009 as the first release on Stones Throw employee Nate Nelson’s new imprint Innovative Leisure. Influenced by his time at Stones Throw and hardcore labels like SST and Dischord, Nelson set off to institute Innovative Leisure as a driving force in North American electronic music.
“Gucci Sweatshirt”‘s idiosyncratic mash of hip hop and off-kilter electro was a fitting start, launching Lazer Sword as a force to reckoned with. By the end of 2010, Innovative Leisure was firmly entrenched and had hosted releases from Mexicans With Guns, Hanni El Khatib, Nguzunguzu, Machinedrum and, strangely enough, Freddie Gibbs. In November of the same year, Lazer Sword released their debut self-titled LP through Innovative Leisure, pushing Low Limit and Lando Kal into international stardom. The release also solidified Innovative Leisure as a bastion of the most dynamic forms of North American electronic music.
2011 was a relatively quiet year for Nelson’s label, but saw it expanding into new territories and laying out an impressively variegated roster. That was the year Innovative Leisure trotted out bluesy as fuck whiteboy Nick Waterhouse‘s “I Can Only Give You Everything”, arguably the label’s biggest release to date. The Huntington Beach-native brought a brand new dimension to Innovative Leisure, one grounded in Motown and Van Morrison, far from the club-oriented music the label had peddled to that point. Not that club-oriented music is bad of course, but Waterhouse’s signing distanced Innovative Leisure from the hundreds of internet labels out there and gave it a distinct home in Southern California.
Without getting it too much, the first 11 months of 2012 have been absolutely massive for Innovative Leisure, seeing the label break the ultra-hyped Rhye and release Nosaj Thing’s first originals since 2009’s Drift. In just three years, Nelson’s label has gone from relatively unknown club outlet to one of the West Coast’s most divergent, groundbreaking labels. As a sort of celebration (culmination?), the label enlisted Low Limit to compile tracks from Innovative Leisure artists and associates. The result is Ouroboros, a 10-track opus that is as good of an indicator of North American electronic music as any release you’ll hear all year.
If names like Clicks & Whistles, Braille, Anenon and Obey City get you wet (not to mention the aforementioned Low Limit and Machinedrum) then this compilation is for you. If you have no idea who any of the involved artists are or what they sound like, but want delve deeper into North American electronic music, this compilation is for you. If you’re at a party and don’t know what to play, but want people to think that you’re hip to the newest trends (because, you know, that’s all that matters), this compilation is for you. So yeah, give it a spin below and grab that hard wax from the Innovative Leisure website.
I’s been an incredibly busy day in The Astal Plane’s “office”. This morning, we let Volume 2 of our Mixes From The Astal Plane series loose on the public and as far as we know it’s bringing the ruckus somewhere uptown. While we believe our mix is indisputably the mix of the day, several other esteemed acts have released mixes of their own for consumption by the general public. Instead of writing three separate posts, I’m going to take the easy way out.
First off, we have LA duo and consonant enthusiasts Nguzunguzu bringing the heat with this month’s FACT mix. The duo of Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda come through with an expertly curated selection of bass, Jersey club and pop tunes to get your bood flowing. Short, sweet and simple, Nguzunguzu splay 20 tracks over the mix’s 35 minute runtime, opting for effective/pragmatic mixes over thunder and lightning. Head over to FACT to listen/download.
Our second mix is actually a live as opposed to a pre-recorded deal and comes from Warp and LuckyMe representative Hudson Mohawke. Live from Livin’ Proof in East London, HudMo displayed a masterful grasp of American hip hop new and old. Head over to the BBC and skip to 2 hour 9 minutes to catch the Glaswegian’s set.
If I told you that a certain Brooklyn-based producer laced BBC with a VIP edit of breakout hit “Harlem Shake”, you probably wouldn’t be interested right? Well, it’s true. Baauer was on Radio 1Extra’s Diplo and Friends program over the weekend and laced the world with a series of tarp-y tracks. There was some new Ryan Hemsworth, a little Salva/RL Grime, a little ƱZ. Again, you’re probably not interested. Head over to BBC and skip to the second hour to catch Baauer’s antics.