On Monday, EDM icon Deadmau5 will release 5 Years of Mau5, a double album of greatest hits and remixes by dance music luminaries like Dillon Francis and Nero. The retrospective collection comes with different bonus features on different platforms, including exclusive remixes in its Spotify, Beatport, and iTunes editions. One of the standouts is a remix, available on iTunes only, of “Raise Your Weapon” by the German house producer Maywald that replaces the fan-favorite original’s monster drops with a neatly arranged synthesized string section, turning a big room banger into something more suitable for an after-hours cool down. Get an early peek (and the complete tracklist) after the jump.
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Boulder, Colorado-based sonic auteur Jake Sheppard used to play under the un-Googleable alias Animals, but before releasing his debut EP Lightning, No? he switched to the more evocative (and considerably weirder) moniker Ballroom Cancer.
The record’s second single is the fascinatingly strange “Misinterest,” which finds unexplored common ground between Scott Walker and Kanye West and offers something new and novel to listeners who appreciate a challenge.
These days you can barely swing a MIDI controller without hitting a synthpop band, but LA duo Radar Cult sets itself apart from an increasingly crowded field not only by tapping into the slightly menacing analog tones of vintage John Carpenter scores, but by infusing their music with real emotion.
The pair have their debut LP scheduled for release next year on the Plug Research label. In the meantime, they’re putting out a five-song EP called Splitting that sounds like Erasure writing notes to an unrequited love on an overcast day. It’s due out Nov. 25, and EW has an exclusive first listen below.
Elena Charbila grew up in Greece and has been acting from a young age, appearing in films alongside the likes of Malcolm McDowell, Al Pacino, and Taryn Manning. So it’s no surprise that the cinema’s had an effect on the music that she makes under the name Kid Moxie.
“Just being immersed in both those worlds since I was a kid,” she says, “it was kind of inevitable that I would want to merge them somehow.”
Sunmonks’ Geoffrey CK and Alexandra Steele reside in Auburn, California, a small town better known for its role in the Gold Rush than for producing eccentric pop groups. Starting out out with an interest in art-bent rock bands and a loop pedal, the pair has developed a sound that combines lilting melodies, hypnotic rhythms, and bits of musical styles from all over the globe, and their recent In the Desert of Plenty is a worthy successor to similarly inclined groups like Talking Heads and Vampire Weekend.
For the title track’s video, Geoffrey CK writes in an email, “We had a lot of different plans, but at risk of being overly heavy-handed, we ended up deciding to film in a literal desert.” The visual that resulted finds the band striking poses and generating mystical vibes. “Any excuse to drive out to the middle of nowhere to perform rituals and ceremonies, play with fire, and watch the sunrise is a good one,” he notes.
Brooklyn’s The Budos Band is signed to the soulful throwback label Daptone and makes a big, walloping, horn-driven sound that splits the difference between classic Afrobeat and old-school American funk, but its range of influences runs much deeper than that. The group’s recent LP Burnt Offering takes the Budos sound in a dark direction with a debt to vintage heavy metal and horror movies, resulting in songs that are both ass-shakingly funky and seriously spooky, as suitable for goths as for Sharon Jones fans.
The group recently sent EW a playlist designed to highlight some of these heavier influences, along with this note:
“These songs represent the attitude and aesthetic that the Budos Band strives to achieve. We may not play metal per se, but the darkness, heaviness and unabashed thrashing of these songs inspire us to new levels of Budos Mayhem.”
Vinnie and Kyle, the two members of LA electronic group Phantoms (who both go by their first names alone), have funky, synth-heavy music in their blood. Vinnie’s dad was a rhythm guitarist who played in funk bands back in the ’60s, and Kyle’s uncle played keys for Michael Jackson.
The pair were formerly actors, “doing TV movie work and stuff like that,” Kyle says. “As a side project, we always wanted to make music together.”
“Originally we wanted to make this funk rock group,” Vinnie adds, “and eventually it formed into this electronic project because we fell in love with the genre.” READ FULL STORY
Vancouver trio Terrace grew up in the heyday of dance music and synth disco—an era they revisit in their dreamy, danceable sound while somehow retaining a quality of timelessness. Terrace’s brand-new video for their August single, the characteristically infectious “Côte D’Azur,” embodies the band’s je ne sais quoi: It’s a sun-washed vision of the French Riviera circa the ’80s.
“As a child of the 80s, ‘Côte D’Azur’ is a tale of summer love and longing for the ultimate fantasy of life in the French Riviera,” explains frontman Simon Lock. (Fun fact: his other job is as a commercial airline pilot.) “A time and place where the sounds of Chic, Roxy Music, and Giorgio Moroder provided the soundtrack of carefree decadence,” he adds.
Especially present is the influence of Italian producer Giorgio Moroder, an early pioneer of synth disco and EDM, and Nile Rodgers, who has produced albums for David Bowie, Madonna, and Duran Duran. The imagery in the video, directed by Barcelona-based Marc Alcover, is sublime; the footage of crashing waves complements the song’s hypnotic hook, while the handheld shots of the young woman the video follows enhance the allure.
Below, watch the exclusive premiere of the video—and delight in the fact that”Côte D’Azur” is only the first in a planned trilogy of music videos from Terrace’s sophomore album, We Fall Together, dropping early next year.
And you thought Interstellar‘s graphics were impressive.
Field Report’s “Wings” plays over images of space and spaceships in the band’s latest music video, a hypnotizing spectacle of colorful animation and haunting visuals. Between the video’s story—an astronaut journeys through space in a trip that doesn’t end so well—and the song’s atmospheric sound, the “Wings” video is an emotional five minutes that proves Field Report and animation go well together. Really well.
READ FULL STORY
Johanna Cranitch’s grandfather, a jazz pianist, predicted her future when she was just a little one: “This one will be musical,” he said. And he was right.
Cranitch now makes synth-pop with emotion-heavy lyrics as the lead singer and songwriter of White Prism, her latest project. White Prism’s newest track showcases Cranitch’s ability to combine dance-ready beats with slightly melancholic vocals, and it ends up sounding like something Madonna would make today if she were still making music like she did in the ’80s. READ FULL STORY
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