On Rotation: Staff Picks Week 14

By Ken Taylor

Clicky house from Pearson Sound, Surkin’s take on Miami freestyle, lo-fi blues from Chicago, and Tempa-grade drops all feature in today’s On Rotation segment, which compiles our expert team of merchandisers’ and editors’ favorite picks of the week.

Sean Lewis

Merchandising Manager / Denver

Proxima – Formal Junction / Grunge [Tempa]

Tempa! God bless you. I love both these tracks from Proxima. Listening on laptop speakers isn’t quite gonna do it for these (then again, when does it ever?), as there’s so much detail going on. The use of the stereo field and some beautiful sub-bass makes this my favorite release for the week. Definitely gonna keep an eye on Proxima for upcoming releases.

Further Listening:

Kasket – Torn Letters EP [Diamind Records]

Droid Sector – Catharsis / Sarcophagus [Subway Recordings]

Reamz – Fear EP [Bacon Dubs]

Christine Kakaire

Merchandising Manager / Berlin

Willis Earl Beal – Acousmatic Sorcery [XL Recordings]

A recent one-man-band show by Timber Timbre triggered a taste for more swampy blues, so the debut album from Chicago’s Willis Earl Beal couldn’t have come at a better time. Over backing music so lo-fi that it sounds like the tape recording of a tape recording, Beal’s stripped-back songs disintegrate like half-remembered dreams, as his voice sweeps from timid to spoken-word bark to gut-wrenching howl. If this leaves you wanting more, you can also take up Beal’s offer—call him and he’ll sing you a ditty.

Further Listening:

YR – Modern Slaves of Contemporary Contexts EP [Purple Maze]

Fred P – The Incredible Adventures of Captain P [Soul People Music]

Sendai – Geotope [Time To Express]

Matt Ferry

Merchandising Manager / Denver

Anenon – Acquiescence [Non Projects]

Ever since stumbling upon Brian Simon’s LA-based Non Projects collective a few months back, it’s been difficult to get excited about any other west coast bass-fi coming through the usual channels. The title track on Acquiescence is locked in some kind of post-2-step groove, cozily wreathed in a reverbed, formless sax fog that drops the entire track under the even more formless header of what’s been called “bass music.” I honestly still have no idea what that means, but trust me when I say you need this.

Further Listening:

Shadow Child – Shadow Child EP [Dirtybird]

Noze – When Tiger Smoked [Get Physical]

Evil Needle – Cirrostratus [Cold Busted]

Dan Cole

General Manager of Merchandising & General Manager / Berlin

Pearson Sound – Untitled [Pearson Sound]

When Pearson Sound debuted this at London’s Boiler Room over six months ago, many wondered if it would ever see the light of day. Well, wait no longer. Pearson Sound has helped define the current bass-heavy-sounding house music to emerge from London’s streets, and this new record epitomizes the current trend. With its minimal layered two-step beats, pitched-down vocals, and infectious hook, this is bound to be in everyone’s record box for the rest of the year—and will be a sure contender for Resident Advisor’s record of the year.

Further Listening:

Clark – Iradelphic [Warp]

Sendai – Geotope [Time To Express]

jozif – The Lady B EP [Culprit]

John Donaghy

Merchandising Manager / Berlin

Himan, Jackspot – Tagus EP [Flash]

Quite simply the biggest house release I have heard this week. I’ve been a fan of Himan’s releases of late, and in particular his breadth of style. This one has him teamed up with Jackspot to deliver an absolute bomb of an EP for Florian Meindl’s Flash label—three tracks, each perfectly suited to sunkissed-dancefloor settings. The peaktimer is “Tagus,” a full-on hands-in-the-air number. It is, however, tastefully on the right side of house: classic pianos, strings, and a hefty, subby bassline all loaded to cause absolute damage on dancefloors this summer.

Further Listening:

Franck Roger – New World [Earthrumental Records]

Hector Couto – All You Want (Hermanez Remix) [Pura Music]

Michel De Hey – Come 2 Me (Klankarbeit Remake) [Hey!]

Ken Taylor

Beatportal Editor / San Francisco

Surkin – Lose Yourself feat. Ann Saunderson [Marble]

There’s been a pretty weak trend lately of artists and producers claiming to be really into Debbie Deb and Miami freestyle, and then sounding nothing like those touchstones. Finally, without even saying so much, Surkin pulls from those influences and knocks out a banger of a Reagan-era club-radio jam. Vocalist Ann Saunderson sounds like the quintessential ‘80s diva, and when laid over a Pretty Tony Butler-esque thumper of a beat, “Lose Yourself” has got “1987 Top 40 hit” written all over it. Awesome.

Further Listening:

Todd Edwards – Shall Go EP [Body High]

Petar Dundov – Ideas From The Pond [Music Man Records]

Maya Jane Coles – Nobody Else Remixes [Hypercolour]