Coming at you with a couple of massive, massive tunes this week. These are definitely get up and dance tracks, in a couple of different genres that you’re definitely not expecting. Get your hazmat suits on and get sweaty! Hybrid Minds brings out the smooth, rolling delicious liquid drum & bass, care of UKF. The meditative, leisurely build meshes with GRIMM‘s vocal perfectly, creating a lush, silky track that never rushes or gets in your face. It’s most certainly a dance track, but without the buzzsaws or aggro-feel that so much D&B presents. Dance in the sunlight to this. Your feet will thank you. The Aston Shuffle has been making an excellent name for themselves over the last couple of years. This tune has “Better Than Disclosure” written all over it. The UK Garage/House fusion Disclosure made famous has attempted by many as of late, but very few artists can stick the landing. The Aston Shuffle is a rare exception, as Make A Wrong Thing Right proves. Micah Powell’s excellent vocals add to a track that’s damn near dazzling. The wobbly house feels great, keeps you grooving, and never lets you down.
I discovered this Sim Gretina over the weekend and it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Electroswing infused with Aladdin samples need to be an entire genre of music. Can we please start dropping Robin Williams samples into as much music as possible? Because he makes everything better. Throw this on and I bet your entire family will be grooving to it. Life is your restaurant indeed.
Just A Tune came out of nowhere with this track. It’s got some of the most forward thinking sound design I’ve heard in years. The drop seems to fuse elements of electro, moombahton, worldbeat and future bass. The entire track is more massive in a way that definitely needs some attention. Frankly, I need to hear more of this and have no idea where to find the stuff.
Hey You Let’s Fight threw something at me I did not see coming, a Drum & Bass remix of the Unsolved Mysteries theme. And it’s a good one! It’s ominous and totally generates the chills that the 90’s show evoked. A fun tune, over way too soon, but I had to make sure you heard this.
We’ve been blessed with a full track from the magical, musical mind of Burial. This time coming off of Keysound Recordings, it takes all of 5 seconds to become perfectly apparent that Burial is back and doing what we all love him for. The moody bass, straddling the lines between breaks, real dubstep (pay attention kids), UK garage comes on strong, with his signature ethereal vocals shimmering into existence a little over a minute in. It’s not new ground, but I could not be happier this is out, to remind people that stuff can actually sound like this. It rambles along, pulling the feeling of loss & almost confusion into the vibe of the track, and before you know it, it’s gone. A 2:41 track is tiny compared to most of his work, but at the same time, it’s still manna from the heavens. Even though it is always raining in Burial tracks, so don’t look up unless you want to get bass rain in your eyes.
I am super pleased to bring you this ridiculously obscure gem from Burial. I have no idea when it was released or if it’s an official edit or not. It could just be something a fan recorded off of a dj set or a podcast, or an original dubplate, as is reported where I found it. This is vintage Burial, that mix of UK garage, being dumped by your ex , dubstep and soft hip hop beats.
Galimatias is definitely one of my artists to not miss this year, and this track reminds us all as to why. The smooth, deep house combined with just a touch of UK garage sounding beats to mellow out your evening. Galimatias. Remember the name when they open for Disclosure. You heard it here first.
If you’re looking for quality, chilled beats with a dash of ethereal and cloudy production values, I cannot recommend Odesza enough. The EP I listed is a great proof of their original work, but they’ve also started doing a great podcast featuring random hotness, linked above. Check em both out, and if you’re struggling for something to do on Valentine’s Day hit up the show at Best Buy Theater where they’re opening for Emanicpator and you can hit up surprisingly cheap tickets here.
To round out your weekend, I’ve got more than 45min of some glorious jungle’y footwork for you. Footwork is a Chigago-spawned genre that has in turn, spawned an entirely new dance craze in the Windy City. Add some delicious old-school jungle to the sound, and there’s a lot of UK + Chicago fast/slow action going on here. The mix is definitely good for both headphones and for jumping around, in case you’ve got a Sunday night Dance Party going down. I got this from one of my super awesome DJ friends, TygerLily, who if you haven’t, you need to check out. She’s wonderful and I have all of the good feelings for her and her amazing taste. Do it up here & see y’all in a few hours 😀
It seems that the majority of r/dubstep misjudged Skrillex and his big room dub focus. Skrillex got famous for playing the kind of hyper-aggrandized dubstep that I lovingly describe as “Transformer Porn.” When you take the sounds Michael Bay gave the Transformers and you imagine them having sex, BAM, Scary Sprites. While people can hate on it all they want, Sonny’s hard work, playing the heartland of America and irrepressible positive outlook & joy for making the music is undeniable. You can see this in his Rolling Stone interview or his acceptance speech at the Grammys. And this week, Skrillex reminded us very hard how much he respected his roots, in addition to shaking up our identity of him pretty fundamentally.
Leaving is straight up some American Future Garage. I specify as such because most of the Future Garage that people are rocking out to these days is UK-based. And the inspiration for this kind of sound and in fact a lot of other artists in the space Leaving explores is the one and only Burial. He was featured on a previous EP of the week, and Skrillex has thanked/named Burial & the rest of the Brixton Dub crew for the work they did to blaze the way for Skrillex to shine and bring this stuff to America’s heartland. The track not only pays homage to Burial, but it does so in a very American, Skrillex-esque way. The signature style that allowed him to shine so brightly is being put into this minimized, stripped down beat, groove & heavily modified sample which works perfectly. I can’t wait to see what effect this has on Skrillex’s approximately 4 billion listeners.
Burial is one of those artists that finds you at a certain point in your listening history and shakes up your worldview. The ethereal, melancholy beats, haunting melodies and astonishing compositions first showed up in 2006, when his debut album off Hyperdub records completely shook up what 2-step, future garage & dubstep could sound like. The sounds just weren’t comparable to what others were sounding like at the time. A personal favorite of mine, Archangel off of his second album released in 2007 is a track that everyone needs to hear before they die:
However, this post isn’t about Burial’s previous (mind-blowing) work. Burial released a two single EP this week, to the glee and adulation of anyone who listens to UK garage, chillstep or downtempo. Whenever Burial puts something out, it gets swarmed immediately. People might’ve been disappointed that it was only a 2 track EP, but the two tracks total over 25min of sound. This is a treat in time for the holidays, almost perfectly timed to totally fuck with everyone’s “Best of 2012” lists. Truant continues the storied tradition of Burial tracks approximating a stylized walk through the rain wearing a hoodie. This quiet backbeat melts into the frayed vocals and silky samples. As always, the production value is through the roof. The track, 11:45 in length, feels like the first half of an EP, especially with the oscillating beats, the melodic progressions and the continued focus on inducing dreamlike states.
Rough Sleeper definitely breaks past that melodic quiet chillstep and pushes some more uptempo beats and jarring sounds into your awareness. Nothing abrasive, buzz-sawy or brosteppy, but there is a strength behind the bluesy & ethereal track that Truant just didn’t have. It provides an excellent compliment to the previous feel. Almost a wake up call from a dream. The speed kicks up, and while still scratchy and ethereal, there’s a groove to them that you can really get into, especially if you’re into where he’s going with it.
I mean, there’s really not that much that needs to or even should be said about the work. This is one of the artists that changed a sound a lot of us take for granted now, doing what he does best. I’ve gotta say I like the long-form track format, as it makes it a lot easier to get in deep with a track, and not have to keep switching up basslines 10 times in 5 minutes. Great stuff, but, of course, it couldn’t have been anything else.