Orlando producer xxyyxx never appears to be satisfied with one particular sound. While just about everything Marcel Everett has released to this point is rooted in American hip hop and R&B he’s traipsed across American, British and Mainland sounds without stopping for breath. Everett’s latest one off, “Backroom #8”, is half-based (and it is oh so based) in classic garage territory and half in the complexities of Autechre and Boards of Canada. Sampling Malaysian singer Yuna’s “Lullabies”, “Backroom #8” comes off as a simple version of the contemporary R&B sampling trend at first, but quickly rises from the malaise from which it came via some brilliant sound design that allows the vocals to reverberate and a simply, hypnotic key to draw the listener in. The track has run out of free downloads, but you can still stream below.
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.
Orlando-based producer Marcel Everett aka xxyyxx has repeatedly stated in interviews that he doesn’t make music for anyone but himself, a somewhat unrealistic artistic endeavor in today’s music landscape, but an admirable outlook nonetheless. “Never Again” is our first taste of Everett’s upcoming album on Relief In Abstract and, while only 1:25 long, represents a new, heavily side-chained sound. Somewhat reminiscent of the lucid, crashing percussion in Amon Tobin’s ISAM production, “Never Again” abandons the pop-sensibility found throughout Everett’s self-titled debut LP, opting for a more abrasive sound. Like xxyyxx, “Never Again” is centered around a meticulously twisted R&B vocal, a viscerally human light shining through the cavalcade of percussive noises. Stream below and look out for more details on the album in the coming weeks.
A whole lot of fuss has been made over Orlando teenager Marcel Everett aka xxyyxx over the past year, the large majority of it entirely warranted. The beat prodigy has continually impressed and has an impressive ability to manipulate samples in an innovative fashion. If I had to criticize Everett on one point, it would a lack of complexity in his percussion. 2011’s self-titled debut was, by and large, a success, but the album gets monotonous at times, mainly because of the standard Ableton drum packs (not saying that’s what he used). The water droplet noises and skittering hi-hats in “Lay Down” on the other hand, mark a huge step forward for Everett and an increased attention to detail. The track’s downloads have run out, but you can stream below and hopefully a link will emerge in the next few days.
It’s hard not to mention the age of Marcel Everett, better known as xxyyxx, when speaking to his music. The 16 year old Orlando native has been releasing tracks to his Soundcloud and Bandcamp page since last Summer and has garnered a venerable online following. In march, he released his self-titled debut on Orlando label Relief in Abstract Records, a reverb heavy romp through contemporary R&B and hip hop. xxyyxx sounds a little like Balam Acab’s minimal chamber music sampling cataclysm’s, but is far more direct. He doesn’t make outright hip hop beats like Clams Casino, although he does share some sonic similarities, opting instead for winding tales of hi hats, pitched vocals and yes, plenty of reverb. These are not beats that any MC could rap over. Not satisfied with the success of xxyyxx, Everett has released several projects including his most recent, a two track EP titled DOLOR. The EP is short in length, but not lacking in quality and should serve as a nice stopgap between xxyyxx and his next full length. Stream and download below.