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Posts Tagged ‘edm

Music to Work To: Art Department

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Art DepartmentIf you’re like me you like to listen to music while you work but, if you’re like most of humanity, you know it’s hard to do so when you’re distracted by lyrics. However, those of you who have experienced the wonders of electronic music you know that it’s some of the best music to read and write to. While there are lyrics from time to time, it’s usually a repetitive phrase for rhythmic purposes or subtle enough that it fades into the background.

In this occasional series, I will recommend excellent mixes available for free through Mixcloud and then a proper album for further listening.

Art Department: Boiler Room Mexico
Crosstown RebelsArt Department has quickly become my favorite DJ duo. Together, Canadian techno/house legend Kenny Glasgow and No.19 label owner Jonny White spin earthy house tunes, mellow and melodic. When they drop vocal tracks, it’s hard not to recognize a trip hop influence. A perfect example of this can be found at the 24 minute mark on this mix. “Say You Won’t Ever (Larry Heard club mix)” by Wallflower can only be described as heartbreakingly good. Bottom line, if this mix doesn’t turn you into a house fan, I’d say it’s a lost cause.

For further listening: If you do wind up enjoying this Art Department mix, I highly recommend the latest compilation from their label Crosstown Rebels, “10 Years of Crosstown Rebels.” The 3-disc collection features tracks from their various artists, including Maceo Plex, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Soul Clap, and, of course, Art Department. The collection as a whole leans towards minimal, tech, and electro house, with a good number of vocal tracks — some moody and smoky, as opposed to soulful and disco-inspired.

::[Links]::
Crosstown Rebels’ official site
Art Department on Resident Advisor
Crosstown Rebels on Resident Advisor

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Written by Gabrielle

April 22, 2014 at 6:56 am

What to Listen to: Daft Punk and Beyond

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The legendary electronic duo Daft Punk released their latest album, Random Access Memories, last week with great fanfare. Regardless of what music has come out so far this year and what’s still to come, this album is destined to be in my top three at the end of December (if I were of the list-making sort). Not only did Daft Punk tease the album for what felt like forever, its soul and funk-heavy tracks show a mature progression. Because everyone under the sun—and a number of rocks—have reviewed it I’m using this space to recommend a few lesser known electronic musicians who will be an excellent addition to any Daft Punk fan’s collection.

Commix / Call to Mind
Call to MindIn 2003, London-based duo George Levings and Guy Brewer signed to Metalheadz, the renowned drum and bass label founded in 1994 by DJ duo Kemistry & Storm and producer Goldie.

Call to Mind is Commix’s 2007 album and the first track, “Be True,” is exactly what you’d expect from a Metalheadz act—complex beats with artcore atmospherics and airy vocals that add to the tune but never distract.

But Commix is a versatile act. “Change,” featuring Nextman, is the hardest track on the album—the metallic breaks and hip hop scratches give it a darkstep feel. “Satellite Type 2” is solid jump up; “Belleview” is a playful, techstep track that brings early Nintendo games to mind; and “Spectacle” is straight up jazzy.

Overall, the album is downtempo and airy. If you miss the heyday of drum and bass, Call to Mind will scratch that itch for you.

Modeselektor / Monkeytown
MonkeytownHailing from Berlin, duo Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, known together as Modeselektor, met in 1992 during their travels through the city’s underground party scene. It was right after the Wall came down and chaos reigned, which, if one were prone to speculation, could explain how the two came to establish their sound. Eschewing easy categorization, their third album (and their first on their own label), Monkeytown, is hard to peg—other than giving it the sweeping term “techno.”

On the 2011 release they work with artists as varied as Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and American hip hop group Antipop Consortium. The fourth track, “Evil Twin,” a tweaky, hard driving tune features breakcore artist Otto von Schirach while the more soulful, head nodding song “Berlin” has vocals from Romanian-German singer, songwriter Miss Platnum.

The credible electronic music website Resident Advisor captured Modeselektor’s essence when they said, “Like a jungle, their music is dense, textured and rich with sounds never experienced before.” Fans of the Beastie Boys’ antics will hear a familiar tone in the music of Modeselektor.

Pantha Du Prince / Diamond Daze
Diamond DazeHendrik Weber, a.k.a. Pantha du Prince, also hailing from Germany, is the mellower of the three mentioned here. Diamond Daze is Weber’s first album but in no way inferior to his later work. Like his other LPs, ethereal sounds and mellow beats fill the space; echoing bell tones and muted shakers feature prominently.

Diamond Daze, and Pantha du Prince in general, is the perfect music for dinner parties and lazy days on the couch with a book in hand.

::[Links]::
Find Commix at Metalheadz
Visit Modeselektor’s website
Visit Pantha du Prince’s website

Written by Gabrielle

May 28, 2013 at 6:53 am

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