If you’re a fan of ’90s big-beat electronica, you likely went off your head to the sounds of Underworld’s classic “Rez” tune. In short, it’s an old-school classic. Santa Cruz-based producer Bassnectar (aka Lorin Ashton) was one of those fans. “It was instant euphoria. And that’s a musical element of a lot of big rave tracks from back in the day which really affected me,” he says of his first time hearing the iconic tune. “I most definitely love that kind of joyous, heavenly sound, and ‘Rez’ has a magic to it right away with that beautiful synth.”
As ever, London is brimming with underground talent, serving as a divining rod for what’s next while creating all sorts of new sounds and themes. South London Ordnance is one such up-and-coming producer DJ who is making big waves. With only a few EPs to his name, he is already talk of the town (with a little help from a very respectful Boiler Room session).
Last week, Denver man-of-the-moment option4 dropped his debut EP to prime-time reception via Velcro City Records (who also call the Mile High City home). Whether promoting Denver’s hotly tipped monthly disco party theHundred, handling residency duties at Denver’s longest-running indie dance-night, Lipgloss, headlining stages across the lower 48, or unleashing his debut four-tracker, To The Night, Brennan Bryarly continues his streak of making a positive impact on the electronic music scene.
We know who Magnus is, where the two originated, and where they currently reside. We know the location of where they record, where one of them is vacationing right now, and even where they workout. We’re not sharing this information with you. Not to be coy, but because the type of techno made by this trans-hemispherical duo—each member established in the wider world of techno and ambient music respectively—is the sort that is best when it stays faceless. Nameless. Lost in the dark and loud halls of clubs around the world. The sort of moment when you get lost in sound, yet can barely recall the voltage-controlled synth tones that were so profound on the dancefloor. No wonder you’ve already heard Richie Hawtin and Ben Klock playing the heck out of these tunes.
Ever since his scene-stealing turn on Gorillaz‘s 2010 hit ”Stylo,” soul legend Bobby Womack has been discovered by a new audience whose parents weren’t even alive when Womack’s career began. That one-off with Damon Albarn has turned into a full collaboration on Womack’s first original solo album in almost two decades, The Bravest Man In The Universe, for XL Recordings. And like everything else Albarn touches, this unique and reverent release is ripe for some excellent remixes.
Much in the same way that ’90s guitar music evolved (some might say devolved) from the bleeding punk purism of grunge to the mosh-ready thrust of nu-metal, dance music has so followed the course in recent years, from buttoned-up techno purism and swervy house hedonism to a more aggressive fist-pumping sound thanks to crossover acts like Justice and Skrillex. So it makes sense that Rob Zombie, he of the ’90s metal/funk/punk/alt band White Zombie, would be ripe for the remix treatment from an array of contemporary dance music producers on this new EP.
Anyone expecting nothing but fist-pumping dubstep from Skrillex‘s OWSLA label will be in for a surprise with the Careless EP from DJ duo Jack Beats. But even without the drops, Jack Beats know how to deliver a sonic punch with the same intensity as their current label boss. Veterans of turntablist crews Scratch Perverts and The Mixologists, Niall Dailly and Ben Geffin aren’t strangers to combining sounds to achieve the most potent party-rocking effect, and joined by fellow genre-hoppers Takura, Diplo, Example, and Dillon Francis, they don’t miss a single style (except perhaps dubstep).
With tight-knit crews like San Francisco’s Dirtybird, it’s easy to forget that the label’s bench is much deeper than Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, Worthy, and the other stars who headline the label’s incredibly popular parties around the world. The Dirtybird Summer EP goes a long way in remedying this notoriety imbalance by presenting four young artists whose tracks are the ones rocking the parties as the DB crew circles the globe.