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Tag: Dance music (1-10 of 12)

Listen to Leo Justi's menacing new dance track, 'Devils Horns'

Leo-Justi

Rio-based electronic producer Leo Justi is far from a household name, but his star is most assuredly on the rise. He’s a leading figure in a Rio-based style called “heavy baile” that builds off the foundation of Brazilian baile funk–aka funk carioca, aka favela funk, aka the stuff M.I.A. emulated on “Bucky Done Gun”–but manages to incorporate everything from drum ‘n’ bass to heavy metal. It could be the next regional style to blow up on the global EDM scene, with A-Trak a fan and M.I.A. flying Justi out to India to record.

The title of Justi’s latest track, “Devils Horns,” from his HVY BL NSS PRR EP for the Waxploitation label, may be a nod to heavy baile’s heavier influences, or it could refer to the menacing brass stabs scattered throughout the track, or maybe both. Either way, the song’s got intensity to spare–it sounds like just the type of thing to turn a dance party into a full-blown riot.

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Watch The Juan Maclean's paint-streaked video for 'A Simple Design'

John Maclean got his start playing with the legendary (for the chaos they caused as much as the music they made) electropunk band Six Finger Satellite, but since the early aughts he’s been producing synth music under the name The Juan Maclean that incorporates abstract modern composition techniques alongside the heavy influence of early house and techno, resulting in recordings that are as good for producing a meditative mood as they are for dancing along to. Along the way he found a highly complementary partner in LCD Soundsytem vocalist Nancy Whang, who adds a human element to Maclean’s electronic compositions.

The pair just released In a Dream, their third LP together, on DFA Records that boasts a lead single, “A Simple Design,” that could be the catchiest thing they’ve ever made. The accompanying clip, directed by the Wilderness collective, gives the song an organic abstract paint job that’s as lush and satisfying as the song itself.

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Kid Sister is back with a new sound, a new philosophy, and a new alter ego

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When Melisa Young, aka Kid Sister, released her breakthrough single “Pro Nails” back in 2007, hip-hop, pop, and dance music all still existed pretty much in their own lanes, and blending them together the way she did was still a largely unexplored idea. The song obviously didn’t take itself too seriously— it’s about getting your nails did, obviously — but it was revolutionary in its own low-key way, and after Kanye jumped on a remix, it became a smash hit in the club scene where a new generation of rappers and dance DJs were just starting to mingle.

“Pro Nails” led to Young being signed to Downtown Records, but despite the backing of a big label, production work by future EDM superstars like A-Trak, Rusko, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso, and a plethora of hooks, her 2009 debut album Ultraviolet failed to live up to its high expectations. As the hybrid style she’d developed spread from the underground to the Hot 100, Young herself faded from the public eye.

At the end of August, nearly five years after Ultraviolet dropped, Young released  DUSK2DAWN- The Diary of Jane Jupiter, a mixtape that finds her going harder than she’s ever gone before, with a new sound with a noisier edge and a newfound interest in writing on topics far deeper than manicures. EW got her on the phone to talk about the transition.

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Watch a moody video for Trentemoller's 'Come Undone' remix

Anders Trentemøller is a Danish electronic musician who’s known for blending cutting-edge electronic production with dark and moody post-punk, resulting in tracks that can make a grown-up goth kid weak in the knees. For his last album, Lost, he took a more indie-friendly approach, collaborating with members of Lower Dens, Low, and the Raveonettes. On Sept. 1, he’ll release a set of remixes of Lost songs, including his own reworking of “Come Undone” featuring vocals by Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead. The accompanying video, by director Andreas Emenius, pairs the track’s shimmering electro-funk with greyscale footage of a diver in slow motion, creating a moody, nearly abstract juxtaposition that the old Factory Records creative team would have been proud of.

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Big Data brings Internet paranoia to the pop charts

“It’s totally creepy,” Big Data mastermind Alan Wilkis says, “the idea of being able to stalk people on Facebook and Twitter and whatever, and kind of learn more about strangers than you should be able to know and how easy that is. You can wind up on a total stranger’s page and then you’re looking at photos of their wedding and their children and stuff, and it’s like, I shouldn’t be allowed to see this.”

Wilkis’ discomfort over the erosion of privacy that social platforms like Facebook have engendered (and which Facebook and the NSA, among many others, have exploited for their own purposes) is one of the biggest influences on the music he makes. In fact, he ranks it above any strictly musical inspiration. He calls Big Data’s aesthetic approach “techy and paranoid,” and one of the first of his efforts to attract serious attention was an interactive music video that builds, in real time, a 3-D virtual sculpture out of photos and text scraped from your Facebook account. Seeing it create itself out of bits of your personal life, it’s not hard to share some of Wilkis’s unease.

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Get hooked on Kero Kero Bonito's 'Sick Beat'

There’s a thriving electronic music scene, concentrated in London but extending around the world via the Internet, that’s defined not so much by a particular sound but by the way the artists involved combine sounds. They mix and match across genre lines in a hyperactively curatorial way that resembles a sonic equivalent of what Tumblr power users do with images and video. One excellent example of this micro-movement—which thankfully hasn’t yet been cursed with a corny name like “chillwave” or “PBR&B”—is “Sick Beat” by London trio Kero Kero Bonito. The song throws bits and pieces of dancehall, hip-hop, J-pop, and ’90s club music into the air like confetti and what comes down is similarly colorful, lightweight, and fun for fun’s sake.

The fashion-forward electronic label Double Denim will be reissuing Kero Kero Bonito’s Intro Bonito on Aug. 25. Until then, you can just keep “Sick Beat” playing on a loop, which is what’s been going on at the EW office all day.


Get on Tkay Maidza's level with the gleefully noisy 'U-Huh'

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Eighteen-year-old Australian Tkay Maidza is the closest thing we have right now to a reincarnation of early M.I.A.—that is, M.I.A. as she was before the massive record deals and truffle fries and Madonna co-signs, when she was making a big racket out of sounds collected from around the world with the chaotic but innocent glee of a toddler smashing toy trucks together. Over the past year, she has released a string of singles that mix together glitchy electronic noise, hip-hop’s rolling rhythms (not to mention its unabashed swagger), and some truly uncanny natural pop instincts—and in the process, she has become a cult star in the increasingly influential antipodean EDM scene.

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Dance-music legend Arthur Baker returns with 'No Price'

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Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories helped to revitalize the careers of disco-era masters Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder. Now Arthur Baker—who helped guide disco’s evolution into modern dance music, producing Afrika Bambaataa’s massively influential “Planet Rock” and remixing the biggest pop stars of the ’80s (including, weirdly, Bruce Springsteen, who’s not known for being a club-music kind of guy) along the way—is engineering a comeback of his own.

Baker’s new track, “No Price,” was first written and recorded in 1979 for a collaborative album with soul singer Joe Bataan that was scrapped when their label folded. Thirty years later, Baker dusted it off and sent it to Al-P from MSTRKRFT, and later invited Chromeo crooner Dave 1 to add a new lead vocal part. The final result is a glossy, string-laden jam that gooses peak-era disco funk with some contemporary thump. Baker’s calling his new project Slam Dunk’d, and they’ll be releasing a full album in September.

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Hear Diddy go techno with Guy Gerber on 'Tourist Trap'

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The words “tasteful” and “Diddy” don’t often appear in close proximity to each other. But while rap artists from Waka Flocka Flame to Lil Jon have been stampeding toward the massive, transcendently un-subtle sounds of big-room EDM, the erstwhile Puff Daddy is approaching dance music through the rather restrained sounds of classic techno. Recently he teamed up with producer Guy Gerber for a new project, the enigmatically named 11 11, which finds the hip-hop mogul collaborating on dark, lean beats that seem custom-made for hyper-exclusive Berlin dance clubs or as mood music in a luxury hotel room.

Two weeks ago the pair unveiled the first track from their partnership, “My Heart.” Today they released a new track called “Tourist Trap” that’s nearly seven minutes of tense, hard-driving techno with the icy reverb and Kraftwerkian overtones of the genre’s early Detroit roots and some surprisingly hard raps from the pitch-shifted Mr. Sean Combs himself.

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Exclusive: Dance music super-duo Kid Gloves debuts 'Third Round'

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Back in the early ’00s, Roy Kerr (a.k.a. the Freelance Hellraiser) was taking apart pop, rap, and indie rock songs and recombining them into strangely synergistic new combinations of sounds and styles, which launched a brief but potent craze for mash-ups (like his brilliant Strokes/Christina Aguilera fusion “A Stroke of Genie-us”) that radically altered how people think about genre. Around the same time, Anu Pillai was working under the name Freeform Five and producing tracks like “Perspex Sex” that provided some of the high points the era’s electro revival, whose influence has been all over the Hot 100 lately.

Since 2007, Pillai and Kerr have been teaming up under the name Kid Gloves. They’re about to release a new single for Brooklyn’s Fool’s Gold label, home to A-Trak, Danny Brown, and a bunch of other acts who are redefining the sound of hip-hop and dance music. The lead track is called “Third Round,” which the pair describe thusly: “Some days you’ve just got to ask yourself, what would A-Trak do? That was the task we set ourselves that day. To throw down and cut up some Crydamoure grooves with hand crafted vocal chops. ‘Third Round’ is our latest upper cut. Lean and mean and hungry like a young Balboa. It’s the ringside walk-on music we imagine in our heads when we step out to our local coffee shop. Probably explains all those strange looks we’ve been getting.”

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