North Carolina is rapidly becoming a center of talent in electronic music. One of the biggest names to emerge from the state is also one of the youngest talents to make serious waves. Anyone who keeps up with electronic music knows that Porter Robinson exploded onto the festival and touring circuit by making music that’s good. “Say My Name” the song that made him famous managed to use the word “honor” in way that was not out of date and actually seemed kind of cool. . .all that, and face it the theme of the song was unexpected given the title. Not yet out of high school, Robinson is one of the wunderkinds emerging in global dance along with other producers such as Madeon from France and Temabes from Russia. These kids continue in the tradition of The Belleville Three, Felix Stallings, Jr (now Felix da Housecat), Tevo Howard, and Steve Porter all of whom were in high school or, even, middle school when they began making club hits.
Being in North Carolina right now, it’s only fitting to take a moment to point out Porter Robinson’s new remix of Lady Gaga. Undoubtedly it’ll be a huge track a huge track. As I write this it’s been up for a less than three hours, and is approaching 600 plays…that’s about three plays a minute. Wow. This remix shows that Robinson is an artist who looks to challenge himself in production. Hardest part of being a wunderkind is, well, being a wunderkind, rather than say just another little Johnny one note. Porter Robinson is working hard, and his remix shows it. For that reason it pairs well with Gaga’s latest hit, the result of her own tireless grind.
It is hot outside. On top of that, it seems that when there’s not a new disaster in the headlines it’s the same one for weeks. . . How about some dubbed out electronic music to calm the passions in these days when the frustration of being frustrated is, well, frustrating? When rephlektor ink and Eighth Dimension both sent dub-inspired tunes around the same time, it was serendipity. More sets are on the way from Soul Reflector, but in the meantime here are two tracks for a summer of dub.
New on Systematic Recordings“Lac De Nivelles” by Rodriguez Jr vs Marc Romboy is undoubtedly a great song. A tech-house masterpiece of minimalism, I would not be surprised if it were not the hit of the summer. As dance music, it’s almost perfect, striking the right balance of atmosphere and groove-a rarity and pleasure to listen and or to play. Soulreflector is happy is to present a set in support of this brilliant song. “Lac De Nivelles” itself starts things off, and the selection of tunes become a sojourn into the many hues of tech-house. No disappointments in the electrifying build of the set. I’ve also included the Glimpse remix of the Track, which is almost as good as the original. Almost! -hear the mix and track inside->
Robotic electronica is forever. Every once in a while its interest reaches a critical mass–then it gets a new moniker and dudded up as a trendy Next Big Thing. That’s not a good or bad thing. Its just what happens. When a synth-pop artist survives such revivals they are apt to be like Jason Amms aka Solvent. Solvent’s new artist album Subject to Shift comes out on Ghostly International on May 25th. It’s a reminder of why syth-pop revivals happen at all. This is punky, robotic stuff with an edge–all analog synths and vintage electronic atmospherics. Subject to Shift can feel whimsical, but it keeps the dullness of mere kitsch at bay in each song, most of which like “Formulate” and “Take Me Home” are darkly brilliant.
In support of Solvent’s new album, Soul Reflector is also glad to be reposting Solvent’s recent set from Ghostly International’s podcast. The label pretty accurately describes this one: “a selection of raw analog-synthesizer music, from lo-fi industrial to melodic synth pop.” Check the set and a couple of songs from the release! – set and songs to preview!
Gavin Russom has been one of my favorite artists on DFA since the Black Leotard Front’s “Casual Friday” from 2004. I still buy DFA singles on vinyl, and I’m pretty good about taking care of records, but not Gavin Russom’s stuff–Black Leotard Front and Black Meteoric Star were played ragged. Now he’s back as Crystal Ark. I’m listening and playing out digitally mostly these days, so I don’t have to worry about destroying another fine medium of recorded sound. . .whew! Save the vinyl.
Black Van‘s True Love mix is space-age disco-soul from Kris Menace and KoweSix of Moonbotica. This set is released in support of their dazzling new single, “Yearning” out on DFA Records. The single is a dazzling, atmospheric number backed by a remix from The Emperor Machine.
Black Van’s cool vibe is a departure for both artists, who are known more for anthemic, big tunes. On the set, the tunes are anthemic but in a different way–when the Marvin Gaye sample floats out of horns singing about pain and love clearly we’re in a place of classic soul and electrified disco. I always admire sets and tunes that both push a sound forward, but can also glance back without the nostalgia. I’m definitely looking forward to the full length release from these guys! -hear the set inside!>