Indie Bloops and Bleeps

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Best Remix: Lindstrøm - Vos-sako-rv (Fred Falke Remix)

Out for a month on Beatport as part of the Smalhans Remix EP, but only quite recently put on Soundcloud: The great remix of Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's "Vos-sako-rv" by none other than French House veteran Fred Falke. What a combination! If the original sounded retro, this is super-retro - I would not hesitate calling it Daft Dunk retro. A mixture of late Seventies The Alan Parsons Project and early Eighties Euro Disco - something that probably would not have been cool, say, ten years ago, but is sounding so hip right now. Falke fills the original with cheap sounding synths and a thumping beat, but it is the downtempo bridge that grips my heart with nostalgia. Listen to it below, while I go and put on "I Robot" again.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Best Video: Slava "Girl Like Me"

Russian born Brooklyn resident Slava (Balasanov) - not to be confused with trap artist Salva - always had a knack for the weird and the challenging. He was featured on "#Seapunk Volume 1" and this year published his critically acclaimed second album "Raw Solutions"on Daniel Lopatin's label "Software". One of the tracks off that album has now received a video treatment by Eugene Kotlyarenko, a director that matches Slava's weirdness. In the video, Slava's skipping and stuttering dark beats and the manic female vocal sample accompany two siblings on their incestuous journey, giving the title a whole new meaning. The track as well as the video stutter out of control and into ecstasy and back, holding the balance between the intense and the weird. The video manages doing so without betraying its protagonists and, just like the track, has a strange allure.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Best Remix: Disclosure "You And Me" (Flume Remix)

Most artists use the tags on Soundcloud tracks very openly, making up labels or genres on the fly. But seldom has a tag been more fitting than the "OrchestralCrunkwave" Flume gave his remix of UK duo Disclosure's "You and Me". He strips away the 2-Step beat, puts some reverb on the vocals and slows the song by laying down some trap beats. But most of all he puts some strings in the low sections and a lot of crunk (or more like CRUNK) in the others, connecting them with builds and drops. There isn't a lot of Disclosure left in the track when he is finished with it, but what is lost in elegance, he more than makes up with energy and a sonic surprise that brought a smile to my face.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Track Love: Shigeto "Lost Songs"

The two tracks that Shigeto put up on his Soundcloud yesterday aren't the ones that were lost. They are however the only two tracks left from "an album worth of material" Zach Saginaw indeed lost when his laptop was stolen at a show in New York last year. Listening to those tracks now makes the loss that much harder, because they really are something smooth and elegant. Shigeto collaborated with the MCs Kadence (Brandon Mitchell) and L05 (Carlos Garcia), who don't rap on these tracks though, but get more of an R&B sound going. Shigeto's songs are instrumental, normally, but here he elaborately fuses the laid back, sparse and chopped vocals into the snaps, clicks and synth cascades. Imagine a whole album of those sounds while downloading them for free below.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

First Listen: Ryan Hemsworth "Still Awake"

Beatsmith Ryan Hemsworth, who with Last Words had made one of my favorite records of last year, just now released his new EP "Still Awake", free to download at his website. This EP sees him being calmer and less overclipped/trapped than on his last effort, his many remixes or the productions he did for hip hop artists. It is a downright poppy, bleepy and relaxed small release that warms the heart with its melodies and cute track names like "(。◕‿◕。) (or, I Want To Stare At Your Face Until I Die)" or "track 5 (crashed)". The single "Perfectly" is on it too, of course - and although it might be the best track on this EP, the whole thing is just great, including the Taquwami remix of said song. If it doesn't blow you away, then that is only because you got used to the awesome sounds Hemsworth is delivering on a regular basis. Download it via the link above, or listen to it below.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

First Listen: Dirty Beaches "Drifters/Love Is The Devil"

This is a record about the world and oneself. Actually, it is two distinct records that Dirty Beaches - Taiwanese born, Hawaiian and Canadian raised Alex Zhang Hungtai - will put out via Zoo Music next week. The first one, called "Drifters", is more outgoing, more about the world, while the second one, "Love Is The Devil", is more quiet, more introspective and, well - more awesome. Hungtai told Pitchfork that "Drifters" turned out to be much more of a pop record than he had intended it to be, and to some, that may sound like a pretentious statement. Because "Drifters" is definitely more experimental than Hungtai's last record "Badlands" from 2011, and that one was a Rock'n'Roll-Drone-Ambient concept album far from anything pop!

But there is some deeper truth to it, as "Drifters" has a simplicity to it - a sometimes intriguing, but too often rather boring dominance of drum computer and haunted vocals that unfortunately suffocate the other elements. "Love Is The Devil" then is a completely different thing. It is more experimental, captivating and much more personal. Hungtai's comment on Youtube: "I was crying my fucking eyes out when i wrote this and punching myself in the face. I don't give a shit about what peoples expectations are. This is why I'm doing this record. its for myself and my life."

Although style and instrumentation are similar to "Drifters", it somtimes is hard to believe that this second album is by the same musician. Synths, guitar, piano and strings are much more prominent, and it is mostly instrumental, but that isn't what sets the two records apart. The thing that makes the difference is a sense of melody, of beauty and of the feeling of belonging that "Love Is The Devil" evokes. Feelings are hard to describe, personal, and oftentimes not transferable, I know. But Dirty Beaches somehow succeeded in making a record that takes you in its arms, holds you lightly and says: "It's all gonna be alright." And I believe that feeling is universal. Dirty Beaches is on tour in Europe right now.