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John Talabot – fin

9 Feb

Where the boundaries between Disco/House, Indie-Pop and Electronic music become fluid, comes John Talabot’s debut album for German dancefloor institution, Permanent Vacation. The Spanish native has followed a steady consistency since first appearing on the scene in 2009 with ‘My Old School’, followed by sought-after aces on Hivern Disc and Young Turks, his debut single “Matilda’s Dream” plus a stack of remixes for everyone from Teengirl Fantasy to The xx. His first LP, fin, is a distillation of his defined tastes, weaving nine tracks which could easily fit into any of the categories above, but essentially just do their own thing, very stylishly.

Have a listen to the two singles “So Will Be Now…” and “Destiny”, both featuring Madrid’s producer/singer Pional:

If you like it, I suggest the download of his latest mix for FACT magazine, with an atmospherically fluid and disco-kissed vibe here.

 

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Introducing: Dubstep

24 Jun

It’s a fact that the latest years in electronic music were carved by the German techno influence. The rebirth of techno after the minimalistic wave have found Berlin as its nest, and today is from the German fields (or labels) that the most influential DJs, news and specially music are emerging. On the other hand, a giant when it comes to musical culture has been left behind by the electronic music community. London, the former capital of acid and deep house, jungle, punk and indie rock apparently doesn’t offer much more than Germany and even France when it comes to electronic music nowadays. How is that possible?

Rumors are that a big responsible factor for the fall of the British musical empire rests on its inhabitants having found home-sweet-home in an underdog genre, whose artists are mostly unknown outside the UK border: dubstep. A style that, unlike other movements and genres in electronic music, has some difficulties when it comes to being accepted worldwide.

Designating dubstep is a complex job, starting from the fact that it mixes drum’n’bass, hip-hop and 2-step, a slightly variation of garage house. It results in an approximately 110 BPM, arrhythmic and bass-focused music, filthy of elements and frequencies. The style emerged in the late 90’s on London’s black neighborhoods and had FWD party as its most important development media – the party still takes place in Shoreditch’s club Plastic People. By the way, dubstep was the first music genre to develop in the fast 2.0 internet era. The listeners were basically South London ex-drum’n’bass fans but radio stations like the pirate Rinse FM and even the giant BBC were responsible for making dubstep a synthesis of the UK youth identity.

Since its birth in 1999, the genre has grown and divided itself in branches, having today its own independent culture, scene and public. It actually has been an inspiration for a genre called “post-dubstep”, which includes names like Mount Kimbie, The XX, Joy Orbinson, among others. But according to Fabric club booker Shaun Roberts, the designation of post-dubstep is not valid as dubstep still exists, and it’s only applied as a journalistic designation for experimental bass line focused music made in the past years. The existence of an experimental sub-genre that feeds itself entirely from dubstep is a clear sign that it might be a major reference when it comes to electronic music, especially because unlike other waves like deep house, techno and nu disco, it’s not a revival: it’s still an unexplored genre.

Nowadays, the bass line is the most influential characteristic of dubstep in electronic music, which can be noticed in some artists’ productions such as Siriusmo, Martin Buttrich and English deep house sensation Maya Jane Coles. From deep to tech, the “fat bass” has been earning its space – and also playing random dubstep tracks on mixes has become a regular trend.

Listening to music superstars’ tunes, one can get the idea that Europe has being seen as a big source of references for current R’n’B, therefore the Londoner most popular genre couldn’t stay out of the charts, as we can notice listening to “Judas” from mother monster Lady Gaga or Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” – produced by Christopher Mercer, a.k.a. Rusko, well-known English dubstep DJ and producer.

As a conclusion to all of these examples, it gets pretty clear how the bastard child of house and drum’n’bass has become a massive source of influence for electronic music today, and just like minimalism has made its way through many genres today, the time might have come for producers to drink on a new source.

Issue published on Housemag magazine Ed. 24 / june 2011

Introducing: Jamie XX

2 Jun

Two years ago, a timid and somehow revolutionary band has been presented to the world and loved by many: criticals, rockers, electronic music fans, post-punkers and even many people who have never been that much into music. And the most unusual – or, maybe, the major key to its success – is that it wasn’t one of those built-up bands brought to the music scene by famous producers or Hollywood agents: it was simply an East London duo who managed to express something pretty and different than everyone was used to listen, a melody so simple, touching and minimalistic that nobody saw it comming. Indeed I’m talking about The XX.

But not only the band was a great surprise, the major responsible for its musicality has also turned out to be something special. At age 22, Jamie XX is having a time of his life making music like never seen before. His name as a DJ has been acknowledged throughout Europe and his latest album with (recently deceased) rapper Gil Scott-Heron has taken him to another level of being a music persona, now more than ever. Jamie Smith has given this enlightening interview for Clash Magazine, where somehow you can start wondering if a next musical revolution is about to be born in the UK.

Jamie is one of the known to be parents of this movement called post-dubstep, that has been the cause of major influences in the electronic music scene. You can get to knoy it better in this lovely tumblr but I’ll write more about it in a while…

Tomorrow is the official date for his latest single release “Far Nearer”, which you can pre-listen here:

Also, have a listen to his lates mix for BBC Radio here. Don’t be scared, this is just the breakthrough, things will make more sense in a while. That’s usually what happens. Excited? I know I am. Specially to find out The XX‘s next album is comming soon.

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London is alive and breathing!

4 May

Ok I know I’ve been away for a few days but this post is gonna be worth it.

I’ve arrived in London a few days ago during a massive bank holiday due to Kate and William’s Royal wedding. So we went out for this clubbing tour on sunday. Everything was setlled for us to go to Secretsundaze, traditional secret venue party made by Giles Smith, where Kyle Hall had been confirmed in the line-up but o-oh, change of plans. My (also brazilian) friend Wesley Razzy who is a local DJ and promoter said we should go to some other parties instead. Well, the line-ups were pretty damn convincing and my name was on the list, so, why not? We went with a group of friends to four amazing parties and found out about some more happening during the day. So here’s why London still got it.

First stop: Mixmag Day+Night Party at Brick Lane featuring Nomi Ruiz (from Hercules & Love Affair), Mighty Mouse (no good), Josef (from Wolf+Lamb), the amazing talented Nina Kraviz and Radioslave. The venue was set in an abbandoned tube station and everything was still pretty improvised, ducktape style. When wesley told me he was into this party I thought it was a great idea, the day before I’d been to Brick Lane the other day and saw millions of cool people sorrounded by flyers. There was a grafitti wall, a chill-out area playing deep house and a terrace wich by 6 o’clock was completelly busy. The croud was really nice diverse and the soundsystem was perfect. There was disco at the starts and tech-house in the end.

Second Stop: Split Milk with Layo & Bushwacka 4-hour set. But before we actually got there, we passed by this rooftop day party and found out Tom Demac and Jay Sheppard were on the decks. Moving on to L&B, it was incredibly the best tech-house set of the day (as a best set it looses only for miss Nomi Ruiz who dressed/loooked nothing like this but she mixed and chose the tracklist with perfection). The soundsystem was ok and the crowd wasn’t my favourite bunch, but the music was fantastic so we stayed for almost 2 hours. Then back to Mixmag for Nina Kraviz and off to…

Third Stop: Fabric. It was my first time in one of the world’s most infamous techno club and I must say, that place screams industrial electronic music. From the spaces to the dancefloor, from the lights to the toilets, it’s 100% techno. And there it was: Sei A and Marc Romboy vs. Stephan Bodzin got their hands dirty on room 2, while Miss Kittin and WetYrSelf! residents played a cooler vibe on the main room. Great call for a chilly spring night out. In the meantime, UK deep house star Maya Jane Coles was DJing on Hypercolour party at the Nest. Should we go there as well? Oh, well, this time everyone decided for me, they felt like going to…

Fourth Stop: Lo*kee, a small label starting at London’s Shoreditch area, with techno oldie Kenny Larkin. Just another warehouse party but, wait. That was my first one. We arrived at 3AM and everything was already happening. The structure was good and the soundsystem as well, but nothing special really. There’s when it hit me that Sasha was playing at Ministry of Sound. Bummer.

It was an intensive day/night out, and I’m hoping to bring moreof these home with me. Specially some indie stuff too, next time.

Well it’s cool to realize that the city still has this massive underground scene, unlike what we see from the other side of the atlantic. I just knew it, and I’m ready to experience and tell you guys what’s hot.

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VIDEO – Siriusmo ‘Idiologie’

19 Apr

Moritz Friedrich, AKA Siriusmo, is one of electronic music’s more reclusive characters. He is, by all accounts, not a big fan of club culture and refuses to DJ live. A graffiti artist by trade, music plays second fiddle to Friedrich’s other pursuits—although he’s still a prolific producer with more than a dozen releases since 2000. He’s been releasing in Monkeytown Records, from german duo Modeselektor.

Here’s an amazing unnoficial video from Moritz’s latest release, “Idiologie”:

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Villa – April Mixes #1 #2

18 Apr

Belgium and its nu house/space disco scene makes me so jealous! Aeroplane (also the other half, The Magician), Vive La Fête and Villa are my favourite ones.

It was sometime in back end of 2010, when Villa started to tiptoe into their modest corner of the limelight. It was still a project into its growing pains. Originally rooted from the DJ partnership of Ghent duo Thang & Fredo, it wasn’t until the former spend some time in the home studio of his long-time buddy François Demeyer that the definite shape of Villa was drawn up. “Disco is at the core of Villa, but we don’t want to be confined by endless arpeggios and other cosmic trickery. There’s so much more sounds out there, endless shades of disco to toy with” says François. His cohort agrees: “Everything we put out there must have a heart, an organic groove, a soul; anything to make it hit you where it matters.”

Villa has given us a gift this month, uploading not only one, but two brand new mixes. My tip is: listen to #1 at work and #2 on a saturday night. Have some fun:

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Introducing: Daniel Lucas

6 Apr

I’m really proud to say these tracks were made by a brazilian producer. Daniel Lucas lives in Rio de Janeiro and started producing before Djing, while playing in a rock band as a late teenager.

Keeping up with tendencies from around the globe and adding proper brazilian soul and funk influences, also quite local elements like flutes, trumpets, drums and guitars to his productions, the result couldn’t be better.

So enough with the chatting. Introducing: Daniel Lucas.

clap, clap!

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Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise

14 Mar

Many producers have attempted to make electronic music soulful, meaningful, trully new. Some tried to bring it close to lounge music, some filled it up with vocals and housy beats, some made it disco and brought references way back from the funky start so they could find elements to make electronic music, musical. But none of them got to such an organic and natural level as Nicolas Jaar.

Nicolas has probably arrived at the right time: now the beats are slowing down and electronic music is finally comming close to its most romantic and authentic side. Born in Chile and raised in New York, the 21-year old producer has shown the world a true meaning of fresh and organic beats presenting something unique in the deep house music sphere, maybe out of simple ignorance of someone whose musical references came mostly from oustide the dancefloor. But that was probably what the industry was absent of someone who can turn tracks into songs.

In 2009 when his first EP came out powered by Wolf + Lamb, he has already compared to Ricardo Vilallobos, due to his origins and also to his natural musical feeling that makes his one of a kind deep house, acknowledged throughout the world. Also in 2010, perhaps during his midterms in Brown University where he finishes college, Jaar managed to release through his own label Clown And Sunset the digital EP “Ines” where we can find dance music on its most latent and introspective form, but still dance music. You can listen to his discography and fall in love here.

Now, Nico has just released through french label Circus Company his latest album “Space Is Only Noise” filled with subtil vocals, piano strings, claps and rough elements that can take you to other dimensions without pushing too hard (actually, without pushing at all). Jaar will promote the album on live tours and the first hill hit Fabric, London, on April 30th. Hope to make it there and tell you guys all about it.

Listen up:

You can also download the whole album here. Tanks to PCP for the link.

Agoria – Impermanence

24 Feb

Impermanence is the latest album of french techno producer Sebastian Devaud, a.k.a. Agoria. It was released by Sebastian’s own label, InFiné Records on February 1st. Since his big debut from 2001 with La 11è Marche, Agoria has reinvented himself as many times as possible. From techno to electro, back to techno with bits of jazzy house, he has it all and can do it better every time.

Doubt it? Check it out yourself:

2001 – La Onzième Marche (promo)

 

2003/2004 – Blossom

 

2006 – The Green Armchair

 

2008 – Go Fast

 

2011 – Impermanence

The newest release is a true minimalistic melodic synthesis. As Agoria has always been seen by myself as an avant-garde “artiste”, this album might be leading us to the direction for this year’s electronic music trends.

 

Big thanks to Pequenos Clássicos Perdidos

Grammy Awards 2011 – The Musts

14 Feb

The 23rd edition of music’s major prize, the Grammy Awards, took place this sunday, february 13th, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles – California. The big favourites of the night were Eminem, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars with 10 nominations each, followed by Jay-Z and Lady Antebellum with 6 nominations each. The Lady left with not many awards as she usually would win, but as everyone was waiting for, her massive performance for new single Born This Way ended up being the spotlight of the night. Here’s how the show went, beggining inside a futuristic bed or alien-egg and heading somewhere close to Madonna’s Ray of Light. No coincidence I think.

For PitchPie’s matter, Muse won the award for Best Rock Album leaving Pearl Jam and Neil Young empty-handed. Paul McCartney won for Best Solo Rock Performance with The Beatles’ Helter Skelter, genious. Also, there’s no way I’m leaving behind Them Crooked VulturesBest Hard Rock Performance for New Fang. For those who don’t know who they are, just throw Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin and Queens of The Stone Age in a blender. Now that would be a cool episode for “will it blend?”, huh? And BIG thumbs up also for Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney from The Black Keys, who went home with Best Rock Song and Best Group Rock Performance for Tighten Up & Best Alternative Album for Brothers, wow!

But gladly the best news couldn’t get any better. It is 2011 and the Best Album of the Grammys belongs to The Suburbs by Arcade Fire! It is indeed a fantastic album and it deserves leaving all the pop and big nominations from Lady Gaga, Eminem and Katy Perry behind – if not on the radio, at least on this massive awards nomination. Congrats!

The Grammy Awards Winners of 2011:

Song of The Year: ‘Need You Now’ — Lady Antebellum

Album of the Year: ‘The Suburbs’ — Arcade Fire

Best New Artist: Esperanza Spalding

Record of The Year: ‘Need You Now’ — Lady Antebellum

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals: ‘Imagine’ — Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare

Best Pop Vocal Album: ‘The Fame Monster’ — Lady Gaga

Best Country Song: ‘Need You Now’ — Lady Antebellum

Best Rock Song: ‘Tighten Up’ — The Black Keys

Best Rock Album: ‘The Resistance’ — Muse

Best R&B Album: ‘Wake Up!’ — John Legend & The Roots

Best Contemporary R&B Album: ‘Raymond V Raymond’ — Usher

Best Rap Album: ‘Recovery’ — Eminem

Best Alternative Album: ‘Brothers’ — The Black Keys

Best Performance Awards:

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: ‘Bad Romance’ — Lady Gaga

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: ‘Just the Way You Are’ — Bruno Mars

Best Female Country Vocal Performance: ‘The House That Built Me’ — Miranda Lambert

Best Pop Performance by a Group or Duo with Vocals: ‘Hey, Soul Sister (Live)’ — Train

Best Hard Rock Performance: ‘New Fang’ — Them Crooked Vultures

Best Metal Performance: ‘El Dorado’ — Iron Maiden

Best Solo Rock Performance: ‘Helter Skelter’ — Paul McCartney

Best Group Rock Performance: ‘Tighten Up’ — The Black Keys

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