Adam Beyer joins forces with Helena Hauff & James Dean Brown for polished Boiler Room set

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Adam Beyer hit the Vienna Boiler Room decks in late November with an over three-hour-long mix of tantalizing techno and electro. The auditory journey that unfolded is now available for listeners to revel in.

At the helm of the Drumcode label boss’ ever-flourishing career, Beyer was joined by the experimental Hypnobeat duo — which is comprised of James Dean Brown and Helena Hauff. Hypnobeat was originally intended as a one-off solo live show by James Dean Brown at Serendip Festival, held in Paris in 2012, but it has since sustained itself and transformed into a celebrated, eclectic venture. It truly evolved as an act when Hauff joined in 2013.

Presently, the two aid Beyer in a true 808-odyssey with their polyrhythmic approach. Hypnobeat backs up Beyer in their experimental grandeur, truly taking the mix “Into The Dark.”

As the Stockholm-heavyweight serves up his polished brand of techno that’s propelled him as one of the genre’s most-sought-after acts, it becomes readily apparent why his reign as a supreme player in the genre maintains itself after all these years.

 

 


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MitiS – Moments

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Raised in Pennsylvania as a classical pianist, MitiS synthesizes symphonic classical melodies with his own take on modern future bass. This synthesis is injected with Adara’s ethereal vocals on “Moments,” and they might be the most entrancing part of the track.

“Music is what I do, I wouldn’t change that for anything,” proclaims the artist, born Joseph Torre, in his digital biography. “Have it be a Chopin piece playing in a hall, or a dirty bass kickin the club’s ass, I’m down for either.”

With cascading synth work and a heartfelt vocal sample the track is sure to be well received among the EDM community.

 

 

 

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Flamingosis & Ehiorobo – Stowed Away

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Aaron Velasquez, better known as Flamingosis, has released his collaborative single with singer Ehiorobo. The moniker “Flamingosis” derives from a freestyle frisbee move that Velasquez’ father invented. The New Jersey based funk producer is heavily influenced by such genre defining beat makers as J Dilla, Flying Lotus, and Madlib.
“Stowed Away” is a sonic experimentation in synthesizing traditionally instrumental, uplifting funk beats with fervent vocals from Ehiorobo. Laying the groundwork for the track, Velasquez layers a sonic landscape in which synths preside over forthright drum samples.
The track is based around foundational synths that draw from a nostalgic past; Ehiorobo’s dulcet vocal aesthetic is like chocolate wrapping the fruit of Velasquez production labor. “Think alt R&B meets Langston Hughes, meets Slime Time Live, meets a Nigerian boy,” reads Ehiorobo’s digital biography.
Bite into “Stowed Away” and you’ll taste a melody of intertwined synths, melodic vocals, and an overall masterful construction of sonic beauty that invades every taste bud.

 

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Volac – Walk Around

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Russian bass house duo Volac are back with their newest single “Walk Around.” The duo displays their unique style in cartoon comics through their own podcast, ‘VOLACAST,’ where they host guest mixes from friends and showcase their own original music.

Earlier in the year, Volac joined forces with HARD founder Destructo to make “What I Got.” The incendiary tune received more than 1 million streams on Soundcloud.

Volac’s amalgamation of bass music, g-house, and deep house has primed them for success in the current house music climate; the group’s heavy bass lines and grunting synths are carnal candy for sweaty dance floor boppers. Newest single “Walk Around” rolls as much as it thuds, synthesizing rhythm and aggressively saturated bass creating a thickly layered four on the floor sound.

House music fans should keep an ear out for Volac’s single while they “walk around” festival grounds this summer; they might recognize what they hear.

 

 

 

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Music Review: Sega Bodega – SS (2017)

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Sega Bodega

SS (2017)

[NUXXE; 2017]

Rating: 3.5/5

The practice of reimagining film scores poses a slippery hermeneutic problem for artists and critics alike. Adding modern scores to silent films can feel like an insertion of the subject into the object, while rescoring films that already have original scores can feel like a removal of something essential from the object. The former is often portrayed as an inherently narcissistic venture in which the original film acts as nothing more than a fertile canvas for the ego of the artist (or the affectations of several competing artists, as with the many rescores of Carl Dreyer’s La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc). And the latter approach was brought to public attention when Zane Lowe curated an alternative score for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive back in 2014. After a great deal of quibbling about “the director’s intentions” ensued to a choir of furiously jerking knees, the gatekeepers of our culture ultimately deemed the film too sacred for the grubby money fingers of Eric Prydz and Bring Me the Horizon.

The latest mixtape from UK producer Sega Bodega, SS (2017), endeavors to reimagine film scores with a more honest approach, one that carefully balances a true respect for the object with a constructive assertion of the subject. The concept is fairly simple: each track condenses the vibe of a specific film into a new score for its commercial trailer. As such, the record manifests as both an exercise in structural limitation and an expression of artistic identity. While tightly chained to the visual demands of the trailers in question (in terms of timing, context, pacing, and mood), Sega Bodega remains free to explore new sounds and technologies according to his own creative whims. And most importantly, he manages this in ways that do not disrupt the aesthetic established in his previous work.

Since moving from Glasgow to London, it’s clear that Sega Bodega has adapted to the filth and smog of the capital and its increasingly gritty club scene. Earlier releases were much in the vein of his Glaswegian contemporaries at Warp Records: tunes of the “quintessential banger” variety that politely say nah to form and genre through grinning teeth (see: 2013’s “Konerak” and 2014’s “Stay Nervous”). But more recently with tracks like “CC” and “Bacardi” he has started boiling those peppy highs down to their narcotic essence. Your tolerance has peaked, and those sticky hooks have lost their sexy pure-white allure. Like, it’s a real problem now. You’re huffing bass lines so addictive that you spend weeks excavating their remnants from your nostrils, with euphoric builds so acidic that they flip your stomach and plunge you into an immediate comedown.

These disorienting scenes of hedonistic decline continue throughout SS in ways that both translate and elevate the films being rescored. “Requiem” captures the feelings and trappings of addiction in carnivalesque melodies that melt and churn and *bleugh* their way through a fucked-up, coke-fueled, balloon-huffing haze. Even at this kinda drowsy, kinda waltzy, kinda lazy tempo, there is no hint of rest. Instead, the track stings and aches and burns as it tries to break out of this unbearable agitation, only to sink deeper and deeper into it with every, single, desperate, lurch — it conjures the bodily action of standard dance music without the same old liberating teleology. Shygirl drawls through her trademark voice-inside-your-head monotone with enough nonchalance to make us do very bad things, to ourselves, to others, and then before you know it, you’re bursting through limbo, back into your sweaty PJs.

SS (2017) by Sega Bodega

The track speaks for a deeper understanding of its source material, an understanding often manifest in the meticulous choice of sounds throughout SS. Of course, electronic music producers have sampled archetypes from classic cinema to the point of making a cliché out of a cliché, but Sega Bodega gives them a little more than a quick kiss on the cheek. He handles these archetypes with studious care, generously scattering them over the mixtape like deft comments in the margins of an exhausted book. “Dogtooth” is a plucky movement of nylon that stirs up familiar sentiments, as each instrument piles up one by one: slightly tense, slightly playful, and utterly conventional. “Pi” skims the filmic language of tension in an echo chamber sparsely decorated with blunt drones and rusty strings, almost as if a tune is trying to assemble itself from disparate elements as they slowly and infinitely drift away from each other. The pianos and marimbas on “Tree of Life” play ball with some mysterious arpeggios on a comfy bed of orchestral flourishes, fit for previews at a mid-afternoon screening of Casablanca.

Obviously nostalgia has a lot to it, and this can be heard pretty clearly on certain tracks. “Begotten” is a gorgeous cut of retro-synth magic that yawns so wide that it tears open new galaxies in the process; you can just about feel those legato strokes of heat every time a star collapses in the distance. As the track pulsates in time with the flickering cellulite misery of its corresponding trailer, you’ve got these proper lush chords, omg those chords, casting a dim light over the twisted bodies, devastating yet somehow optimistic. A similar sense of nostalgia has undeniably made up a crucial part of Sega Bodega’s aesthetic on previous releases, one that yearns for unfelt feelings among the night tubes and housing estates of London circa 2007. However, nostalgia misleads our collective memory toward a fiction: an endearing snapshot of the past distorted through time and reframed in the misty dreams of a disenchanted society. That we are inclined to think about the objects of our nostalgia as “things as they truly were in the past and should now be in the present” only sets us up for further disillusionment. In order to open up this liminal space between subject and object (where truth and imagination lock hands in an eternal dalliance), we must deceive ourselves.

By embracing the active role of the present in our conception of the past, it’s clear that Sega Bodega has no misconceptions about the deceptive nature of our nostalgia. Rather than simply fossilizing these films in a checklist of clichés and tropes, he treats them as living works shaped by the ongoing engagement of both artists and critics. That is, he endearingly suspends their essence in a wistful memory before dragging that essence into modern software and piping it out through subwoofer cones. “Aliens” takes an unrelenting onslaught of horror film tropes — chilling droplets of atonal pizzicato rain down on animalistic growls and howls, screaming strings drill a tinnitus buzz into your eardrums — and sets it against a thorny dancehall rhythm so raw that it would probably make Drake plunge a microphone into his forehead. Sega Bodega has always had the knack for making the kind of straight-up murderous dance music that corrupts our innocent and supple youth, but when he does his worst on an actual horror film, it really makes those blood splatters pop! outta the screen. Likewise, “Stalker” accurately channels its corresponding film in the sense that it’s pretty desolate. But then the paranoid tones of sirens and bells succumb to a Jersey club kick pattern, which pounds out for like 40 seconds before remembering that maybe a post-apocalyptic Soviet film is not the best setting for a house party.

Okay, okay, the track “X” definitely shouldn’t work. It shouldn’t work. Industrial drum loops launch a nuclear assault on every single frequency that your brain can register, crunching and scraping and grinding with enough force to satisfy your repressed aggression for about nine years. At the same time, precious angels beam down dramatic Zimmeresque string harmonies as they ride atop blooming mushroom clouds. It really shouldn’t work. But after a while ,you begin to tune out the differences between these two timbral surfaces and appreciate their similarities: how they twist and turn like barbed wire around a majestic sequoia, unraveling with the familiar pacing and coloring of a movie trailer while remaining completely alien to us. Still, it shouldn’t work at all. And yet there you are, having a little moment, rashing up with goosebumps as the fragile abyss between past and present collapses more with every scratch and bruise.

In these more discordant (and somewhat absurd) tracks, the internal logic of nostalgia is laid bare. Sega Bodega reorients these films using sounds and structures that are both anachronistic and archetypal to the source in question — a sense of space and time that is romantic yet wildly distorted. The tracks on SS (2017) don’t attempt to critically examine the original films being rescored, nor to hold their original contexts up against present-day ironies, nor to sabotage them entirely for a quick applause and a decent blurb in fucking Time Out. While many artists have done as such with varying degrees of success, this record comes across as something way more authentic: a sincere paean to cinema and its rich musical vocabulary.

Stephan Bodzin releases a breathtaking ‘Strand’ on Afterlife

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German synth wizard Stephan Bodzin has been quite the busy character. Since the release of his critically-acclaimed Powers Of Ten LP, immense hunger for his whimsical, yet driving productions has led to him undergoing an expansive and heavy tour schedule. The result has been an plethora of opportunities to see him live; however, this comes at the sacrifice of new music.

Luckily, 2017 didn’t go by in complete silence for Bodzin fans. He released a poignant re-work of Tale Of Us & Vaal’s “Monument” over the summer season on Afterlife. Now, he returns to the label once more for his first original work since Powers Of Ten as the year comes to a close.

Strand contains two highly sought-after tunes from the veteran composer, which have been objects of heavy praise on the underground circuit. The EP opens with its title track, which creates a sense of comforting bliss with warm, sentimental analog melodies and arpeggios that are accompanied by appealing white noise accents. Then, the Strand takes a turn for the shadows with “Catamaran,” whose airy percussion gives way into equally powerful synth accents that are ethereal as they are haunting. Like a catamaran, the EP’s closer sails through foggy channels of emotion and mysticism.

 

 

Order ‘Strand’ here

 

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “All Is Known” & “Beginners Luck”

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They might just do it. At the end of last year, Australian psych-rock wrecking crew King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard announced that they would release a whopping five studio albums in 2017. So far, they’ve given us four: Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder Of The Universe, Sketches Of Brunswick East, and More »

BROCKHAMPTON – “BOOGIE” Video

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We just named Brockhampton’s Saturation II one of the best albums of 2017, but Brockhampton’s 2017 isn’t over yet. The rap collective/boy band are about to finish up their big trilogy this week with Saturation III, which may or may be their last studio album, and today they’ve shared its first single. More »

******** announce debut/farewell album release and reveal pronunciation of their name

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Well and truly putting to bed the myth that all the good band names in the world have been taken, ********** (apparently pronounced as “The Drink”) have announced their first and final album.

Just as art-school-clever as their name, the band’s debut/farewell album is a self-titled affair (i.e. ********** in case you’re not following) and features twelve tracks that the group already released on YouTube and “presents a series of theatrically characterized scenarios; universal summaries of the day-to-day; habitual and excessive; promising and disparaging.”

“And what exactly does THAT sound like?” I hear you wondering in oblique, non-english whatchimacallits. Well, the lead single “Kinderpunsch” is totally up and available to be listened to down below. So, ********** YOU for asking!

Even more good (read: tangible) news: **********’s album will be available in the very non-metaphysical vinyl format (in very limited quantities which will be scattered into existence via Domino imprint Weird World records) on January 26 and can be pre-ordered now.

Or can it???

(No, yeah; it can.)


The Drink tracklisting:

01. The Drink
02. I’m a Zookeeper (Not a Goalkeeper)
03. Trish
04. Kinderpunsch
05. Bowling Green
06. Practical Song (aka The Logical Song)
07. Signs of Life in the Computer
08. Comedian
09. Readymade
10. Schweppes Bitter Lemon
11. Scottish Water
12. Doberman

Tomorrowland’s Festival Grounds Look A Bit Different During The Winter

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When you think of Tomorrowland, you’ll probably think of thousands of people dancing around in the sun next to the lush landscapes. As some of the world’s top artists gather for one of the top music festivals of the year, you don’t often think of snow. The town of Boom, Belgium isn’t always sunny and

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