I have a bit of a secret to let you in on: I’ve become a bit of a closet hipster when it comes to electronic music. Not in the pretentious Bon Iver listening, Chomsky quoting, fair-trade coffee drinking, Etsy surfing kind of way (although I do happen to like all those things…), but the “I liked ‘X’ before it was cool” kind of way. At least that’s what I like to tell myself. But I digress… The fact of the matter is, since the eclectic upstart label DhARMA came on the scene last year, they’ve quickly become my go-to label for new indie dance and synthpop and certainly have become one of my favourite labels of 2012. I feel like I’ve been granted access to some secret club that plays only fantastic and unique music. And their seventh release by Brooklynite ARRON ALEXIS continues that trend.
The title track, “Kill The Lights”, is a lush offering with almost hypnotic vocals. I suppose you could describe it as downtempo, but it certainly will put you in a relaxed state of mind. It is, however, very representative of the future retro sound (does that even make sense?) that the folks at DhARMA have curated and cultivated. “Scars” flows nicely from there and expands on everything that the previous track brought to the table but with a small hint of 80′s pop (think Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight”). The real prize among prizes here, though, is brought to us by KYSON, whose remix of “Kill The Lights” takes the original and feeds it a Xanax before taking things to a dark and mystical place. This track truly does urge you to just simply kill the lights… Sincerely a beautiful track that I could listen to on a loop for hours. Really, I could do that with this entire release. Not a bad way to ring in the new year.
Released on New Year’s Day 2013, you can now pick up Kill The Lights on Beatport or on DhARMA’s BandCamp Page. With support from other like-minded hipsters such as John Digweed, Jody Wisternoff, M.A.N.D.Y, Derek Howell, Roberto Rodriguez… but you’ve probably never heard of any of them…
Midway through their current UK tour, rumours float around a bubbling announcement surrounding DELPHIC‘s highly anticipated second album. Their live sets contain both brand new tracks as well as newly remixed tracks from the critically acclaimed UK Top 10 debut album, Acolyte. Having been selected as one of a handful of UK artists to officially be associated with the London 2012 Olympic Games, ‘Good Life’ (a solitary pre-album single released in July), has been broadcast across the world to millions of people. Now, ahead of any possible second album news, an exceptional LONE remix of ‘Good Life’ complete with official Delphic-endorsed video has appeared online, taking the already epic original to new, twisted, ravey heights.
AIRWOLF, the Australian prince of robotdisco, sent us his latest remix and I have to say it’s a lovely piece of nostalgia. Reminiscent of a few years back when MODULAR started to peak, this slice of sunshine-packaged nu disco warms the heart as much as it does dancefloors.
KRAAK & SMAAK defy any sort of genre classification. Their output ranges from robotdisco gems to techy house-influenced jams to funk-fueled bombs. Regardless of what you want to call their music, they’ve been a staple in my sets.
To celebrate the soon-to-be released long player on JALAPENO RECORDS, we have a remix of “Forget About You” by yet another Manalogue favourite, BASEMENT FREAKS. This tune specifically shines the light on the spectrum of sonics with a focus on funk and soul, and is nicely refracted with a vibrancy of bass.
I’d also like to point out the trio’s last single. Last month Kraak & Smaak released a stellar EP featuring the soulful vocals of the legendary Romanthony, complete with some choice remixes from Roach Motel and Psychemagik. The original is an exploration into dub, with some serious garage undertones.
Roach Motel have two cuts – the first exploits Romanthony’s soulful vocals, burying the tune deep into a dank and sweaty basement. Their second stab takes a more chilled approach but is just as suitable for situations where dim lighting is required.
Finally, Psychemagik do what they do best and sprinkle some cosmic pixie dust on the tune.
The Manalogue jury is still out, deciding what we think of LANA DEL REY. Is she an indie-minded songstress or a guilty of being a manufactured pop star with millions in marketing dollars behind her? She’s talented but the hype behind her was generated by HOW her label sculpted her image and told people to think of her.
Regardless, this official remix from KRIS MENACE is gonna light up dancefloors like fireworks on the 4th of July – especially in those spring break-esque party towns. It’s also a hint at what’s in the works for his upcoming long player and the unbelievable collaborations he’s working on.
Kris describes Electric Horizon as a “new synthesizer packed, electronical, emotional, futuristical discovery and an extraordinary, outstanding piece of music.”
Featuring the vocals of Alanna Stuart of Bonjay, this ep from SMALLTOWN DJs is jam packed with club tunes ranging from dancehall rhythms to house versions. If your ears work, you can’t not have fun at a Smalltown DJs gig. That’s a scientific fact. Look it up. Remixes come from SO SHIFTY, OLIVER, TOP BILLIN, EMYND, JUBILEE & MOMAZING.
Preview in SoundCloud or Bandcamp, both are below.
The Canadian duo’s uncanny ability to make crowds feel like schoolkids at recess stems naturally from their focus on maximizing fun for themselves. On the production side, the duo has in the past also released several blends, remixes and re-edits that have been getting play all over the world. They’re focused on making fun dance music with a sense of humour. Not surprisingly, Smalltown DJs production style resembles the squad’s approach to deejaying – polymorphous, party-focused and pretension free. Smalltown DJs’ quest to maximize fun for themselves and others is an ongoing saga.