Premiere: Handjerks – “Synonym Dance (Swan Meat Remix)”

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Imagine this in slow motion. As a face contorts into expression, a whole horizon of light might spill down the crevice of a heaving cheek bone. As a body contorts itself into dance, a whole valley might shift by the weight of a shoulder turned up in its socket and thrown back in orbit.

Simple movements exaggerated by a quantum imagining.

Imagine this sped up. As you watch someone speak, their eyes flicker with the light reflecting back from a bulb, a strobe, a laser, an LED. A lip twitches in the time it takes a star to burst. A night flashes by in an instant.

It could be feasible.

Both impossibilities of time, which I can only even imagine technologically, find each other in relativity and balance in Swan Meat’s remix of Handjerks’s (aka Julian Bauer’s) “Synonym Dance”. The track is, in Bauer’s words, “an attempt to speak about something that is unspeakable. It’s not only a song about the lack of language but also about using unrelated concepts as synonyms—to create relations and experiment with an affective language. I understand the synonym dance as a celebration of failure. A resistant dance track.”

Swan Meat forms Bauer’s putty-like vocals to exist as elaborate pillars in support of her reworking of the original track’s heavy bass and synth lines. Playfully, she explains how she sent these through an idea of “”underwater crunchy” sound systems as well as the “hi-fi 8-bit” aesthetic of retro revival games like Shovel Knight” to craft what sounds to me like a gestural raga. Detail builds and spreads with an emotionally rhythmic directive, and before it might all swirl forever like smoke back into the sea, a simple beat and a repeated vocal motif sends us out on note of unsettling calm.

The Synonym Dance EP will be released by Berlin’s New Pangea on July 27.

Knife Knights – “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage)” & “My Dreams Never Sleep”

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Knife KnightsLast month, Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood introduced their Knife Knights projects with “Give You Game,” and today the two are back to announce their debut album together, which is called 1 Time Mirage and will be out on Sub Pop in September. It’ll feature appearances from Shabazz Palaces, Porter Ray, and more. More »

JEFF The Brotherhood – “Parachute”

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Jake and Jamin Orrall, the relentlessly prolific siblings known as JEFF The Brotherhood, are gearing up to put out another album called Magick Songs, the followup to 2016’s Zone and the previous year’s Global Chakra Rhythms. This new LP is marking a pretty major shift for the brothers by adding new members to … More »

The Necks crane their necks and announce their necks album, “Body”

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With over 20 albums and over 30 years, The Necks need no introduction…

…Hey, really, I mean it!

Still, the Australian trio just keeps churning forward. This August, they’ll be delivering what they’re calling “their most relentlessly driving album since Hanging Gardens.” (Ooh, deep cut!)

Body will be an hour-long groove in four chapters. It arrives on Northern Spy Records digitally on August 14, and on limited edition CD on September 21. (That’s right, if you’re too cool for digital music, you’re gonna have to wait.)

Though this probably isn’t enough time to dig through their whole catalogue, it should give you enough to check out last year’s Unfold, which earned a Eureka! Review from us. Then you can pre-order the album over on Bandcamp.

To further tease us, the band has offered ten words/phrases to describe this new chapter in their music. They are: “Episodic, Driving, Dynamic, Layered, Celebratory, Soaring, Rocking out, Buoyant, Sustained, Perfectly paced.” I guess after 30 years, you get to be your own reviewers. Kinda sucks for us though…

Body tracklisting (you guessed it):

01. Body

Swamp Dogg – “Answer Me, My Love”

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Swamp DoggThe great cult soul singer Swamp Dogg is 75 years old, and he’s still pushing his music out into strange new places. On his new album Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune, he teams up with Poliça and Gayngs producer Ryan Olson, experimenting with digital vocal effects and synthetic sounds. That experimentation led to great things on … More »

Tirzah – “Devotion” (Feat. Coby Sey) Video

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We just got a new Tirzah song, “Affection,” at the beginning of the week, and today we’re unexpectedly blessed with another one. This is the title track from Devotion, her upcoming debut full-length, and the London-based singer recruited Coby Sey, brother of Kwes, to duet with her on it. It’s another woozy paean to … More »

♫ Listen: Meme Vivaldi – “Welkome To Our Exclusive Club”

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They’re watching you. Right now. They’re listening to you, too. Everything is being collected and sorted for a more streamlined killing machine. You think they want you to be educated? To think for yourself? You think they want you to be physically healthy? Mentally healthy? No. You don’t make money off of healthy people.

Good thing Meme Vivaldi is here to open the doors for everyone. Yeah, yeah “Welkome To Our Exclusive Club” makes the darn day churn different. Makes the wind feel sharper. The colors feel brighter. Gives each step a special bounce. Thanks Meme Vivaldi.

But watch what you say. They’re watching you. Right now. Hi!

Death Cab For Cutie – “I Dreamt We Spoke Again”

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Death Cab For CutieDeath Cab For Cutie are releasing a new album, Thank You For Today, in August. Last month, they shared its lead single, “Gold Rush,” and in the lead-up to the album, they’ve played new song “Summer Years” live and teased a different track called “Your Hurricane.” … More »

Superorganism – “Night Time (Danny L Harle Remix)”

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Superorganism“Night Time” — the closing track to Superorganism’s self-titled debut album from earlier this year — has already gotten a video game-inspired music video and today it’s getting a remix from PC Music’s Danny L Harle. More »

Celebrate Throwback Thursday with these classic Kygo remixes

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Celebrate Throwback Thursday with these classic Kygo remixesKygo Cannes Photo Johanneslovund 2892

From his first SoundCloud upload on April 14, 2013, fans were glued to Norwegian producer Kygo‘s catchy tropical house renditions of avant-garde releases and pop classics. There was something fresh and unique about his toned-down, breezy sound and the way in which he tackled each of his works, intriguing listeners and racking up millions of plays at a time. It wouldn’t be long until he pulled off a virtually unimaginable feat: transforming his knack for remixes into a full-on pop crossover, and becoming a superstar in the process.

In honor of #tbt, we took a scroll down memory lane, digging through the archives and compiling some of our favorite Kygo remixes during these golden years — from his famous takes on Ed Sheeran to his remix of The XX.

By Christina Hernandez and Robyn Dexter

1. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream (April 2013)

The young prodigy, then 21, captured hearts from his very first upload. Inspired by James Blake, his lush, smooth take on the original “Wilhelm Scream” bred a new appreciation for mellower shades of house.

2.  Dolly Parton – Jolene (June 2013)

Re-working a classic as huge as “Jolene” is a bold move, but Kygo managed to do it with finesse. Per usual, he added minimal, yet choice touches of beachy accents to create an revitalized new composition.

3. The XX – Angels (June 2013)

“Angels” minimal nature and hauntingly beautiful vocals made it a perfect candidate for remixing, and Kygo added just the right amount of guitar, bass, and island percussion to add a whole other layer of beauty onto the original.

4. Ed Sheeran & Passenger – No Diggity vs. Thrift Shop (August 2013)

Now sitting at a pretty 33 million streams on SoundCloud, Kygo’s clever take on this Ed Sheeran/Passenger collaboration remains one of his most recognizable remixes.

5. Ellie Goulding – High For This (November 2013) 

Kygo took on famed songstress Ellie Goulding for a delicate seven-minute remix of “High For This” that accentuated her vocals and gave a gentle backbone to the powerful tune.

6. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing (November 2013)

Having taken on megastars Dolly Parton and Ellie Goulding by this point, an emboldened Kygo fashioned a remix of “Sexual Healing” that set Marvin Gaye’s infectious vocals in a blissful soundscape that only accentuated the euphoria.

7. Ed Sheeran – I See Fire (December 2013)

Kygo brought the sounds of the season in his December remix of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire,” which rocketed him to notoriety and has been climbing steadily to 100 million streams on SoundCloud since its release.

8. Kyla La Grange – Cut Your Teeth (January 2014)

This edit can easily be defined as “quintessential tropical house.” After Kygo was done with “Cut Your Teeth,” it became difficult to imagine Kyla La Grange’s voice in any other setting.

9. Syn Cole – Miami 82 (February 2014)

Kygo knocked Syn Cole‘s upbeat “Miami 82” down a few pegs in his early 2014 remix, slowing the beat and channeling a dreamy, tropical haven.

10. M83 – Wait (March 2014)

M83‘s pensive “Wait” got a paradisiacal rework from Kygo in spring 2014, making the wistful track more accessible to dance music fans.


Featured photo: Johannes Lovund