Svetlana Industries, a wonderful little new label from Serbia of all places, dropped their first high profile release in April; this gorgeous collaboration between L.A. and U.K. beatmakers Teebs and Jackhigh. Teebs, one of General Lotus’ Brainfeeder soldiers, has been cutting his teeth at the infamous Low End Theory and all over his dreamy, self-released beat tapes. Meanwhile, Jackhigh’s glitched wonders stick out prominently on UpMyAlley’s two Beatnicks’ compilations and sit nicely amongst the similarly burgeoning UK glitch hop scene with producers like Hudson Mohawke, Mike Slott, and Rustie.

Teebs and Jackhigh’s fully organic, collaborative approach is apparent in the fuzzy warmth of all seven of these tracks, with with all sorts of new sounds and samples folding effortlessly into each other. The two continued to pass only a single file for each track between each other; no loops or layers or tracks or automation, so that every new wash of strings or distant jungle melody became softly engraved amongst the tape hiss and free-wheeling beats. The Tropics calls in samples and signals from all over the globe, sounding like they traveled across both miles and years, only to be further blurred and worn in by the transient process in which each tune came together.

The Tropics is maybe the first concrete document of the worldwide influence and spread that future beat music has in the current electronic landscape. It’s a smooth, organic, and quite stunning picture of things to come. The entire EP is available for streaming below.

For Fans Of: Flying Lotus, Ras G, matthewdavid, Keaver & Brause

Purchase from Svetlana Industries

– Brian B.

So I was jamming to some top 40 radio yesterday, as I often do (haters to the left) and heard the wonderful new Juelz Santana/Chris Brown collabo ‘Back To The Crib’. The hook was immaculate, and upon further listening I realized it was in the same key as Baths’ incredible track ‘Aminals’. I wanted to know what they would sound like hand in hand, so I mixed up this fun little track. It’s not perfect, but I think it’s alright. Tell me what you think in the comments!

Brian B.

Alright, here it is. The first album of 2K10 that I just fell instantly and hopelessly in love with. The one where the sounds just hit that sweet spot so perfectly that listening to anything else, even time-honored favorites, leave you with nothing but a bigger jones for this new young pony. Baths is the project of one SoCal producer named Will Weisenfield, who marries ecstatic melodies and emotional sentiment with abstract hip-hop better than anyone since Bibio dropped Ambivalence Avenue last year. Seeing how that record hasn’t really left my rotation since I first heard it 10 months or so ago, I was beyond stoked to find someone up to the same tricks.

Much like Bibio, Will’s not afraid to use his own voice to put a fingerprint on these songs (and that’s what they are- not tracks, songs). His faux-funk falsetto on ‘Lovely Bloodflow’ might seem odd and silly at first, but taking into account the delicate lyrics and sparse, melancholy instrumental reveal that it and all of the other idiosyncrasies and personal inflections that make this more than just great beats and cool instrumentation (not to say that this record lacks either of those things at all). Baths also makes effective use of spoken word samples, mostly from women and children, to further exhibit the human element that can still be found in this electronic, “point-and-click” music if the artist is willing to put it there and sophisticated enough to pull it off without cheese. After enough repeated listens, they almost become characters within the song, and once you get to know the structure, you anticipate their arrival and contribution.

The albums arguable highlight is the least hip-hop influenced of them all. ‘Rain Smell’, with its percussion that consists of barely more than fading a noise signal in and out over handclaps while a lonely piano figure plays in some other room in some other house in that neighborhood you moved out of years ago. There’s just something really fucking affecting about it, and I still haven’t really figured out what the lyrics Will repeats over and over for almost six minutes. It hits me hard. It’s beautiful. Being able to capture this much feeling inside a machine shouldn’t be possible.

This couldn’t have come at a better time. The sun is shining (well, not right now in Chicago actually), birds are singing, leaves are appearing, and these wonderful, catchy, warm, upbeat, vulnerable, funny, and truly forward-thinking songs are pouring out of my speakers for hours on repeat. It’s about as much as you could ask for.

For Fans Of: Bibio, Toro Y Moi, Flying Lotus, Keaver & Brause

MySpace

Brian B.

FINAL EDIT: Corrected the final album title and art, and took down the link because a.) it was incomplete and b.) because this is damn good and I really really really want people to buy it when it drops in June on Anticon. Some of the best songs are on the MySpace so go listen there.

It always makes me feel a little stupid when someone younger than I am is releasing dope music, but that feeling’s easy to get over when the product is this good. 19 year old L.A. native Shlohmo never strays too far from the woozy blueprint established by his neighbors in the Brainfeeder and Alphapup camps, but his decidedly more ‘bedroom’ approach makes his ability to hang with those producers all that much more impressive. According to an interview I read while taking this in, most of the sounds were either cheaply recorded found sounds or old synths ghetto rigged to a laptop, which were then chopped and edited into these stumbling, glitchy jams. Standout ‘Hotboxing the Cockpit’, which has already gained the ear of Pitchfork and XLR8R, layers cascading, Joker-esque 8-bit synths over some molasses thick bass, avian field recordings and that classic Los Angeles swerve.¬† This digital-only deluxe edition also comes with a slew of remixes, including one from Brainfeeder’s Tokimonsta. Pick this one up and hear how LA’s future-hop scene continues to flourish and thrive.

Standout tracks: ‘Hotboxing The Cockpit’, ‘Spoons’

For Fans Of: Flying Lotus, Joker, Nosaj Thing, Rustie

Buy

Brian B.

XLR8R Magazine posted this wonderful mix by Nosaj Thing a few weeks ago. Plenty of incredible, unreleased stuff in here from LA’s top producers (Flying Lotus, Daedalus, Ras G, and Nosaj himself), proving why Los Angeles’ trademark glitch/future-hop is rapidly making it the center of progressive electronic music.

tracklisting

  1. Teebs – My Whole World
  2. Flying Lotus – Unreleased
  3. Free The Robots – La Lune
  4. Tokimonsta – Doing It My Way
  5. Exile – Summer Sun (Take rmx)
  6. The Gaslamp Killer – Anything Worse
  7. Ras G – Disco 4000
  8. Daedalus – LA Nocturn
  9. Samiyam – My Buddy
  10. Kab & Tully – Unreleased
  11. Teebs – Unreleased
  12. Nosaj Thing – Us
  13. Flying Lotus – Camel (Nosaj Thing rmx)
  14. Nosaj Thing – Ice Cube Remix

>>> Download from XLR8R.com

Brian B.

Oval’s Markus Popp is widely known in electronic circles for being one of the pioneers of a subgenre known as ‘glitch’ that finds order and beauty in the seemingly erroneous misplaced data and marred physical media used to contain sounds and music in the modern age. Popp famously created much of the music for Oval through various methods of ruining CDs, by scratching them, painting on them, or even breaking them completely, and compiling and reworking the resulting noise into swaths of ambient electronica.¬† While Popp’s once-overs give these sounds a sense of structure and continuity, the original defamation of these sounds can be heard in the ever-present clicks and pops, utilized and reworked into microrhythms, and inconsistent loop lengths and tempos. These two aspects combined give 94 Diskont the most subtle feeling of uneasiness, keeping the listener from drifting off too far into the otherwise serene compositions. However, the methods used to arrive at such a distinct sound are second to the gorgeous warmth and submerged¬† melodies throughout.

The rise of digital media came with this idea that, unlike vinyl or radio waves which degrade over time and distance, the compact disc and digital file were pristine, infallible ways of conveying sound. Markus Popp managed to find the underlying beauty and humanity that exists when even these forms of media succumb to error and fault, and it is once again up to the mortal and imperfect to piece it back together.

Standout tracks: Do While, Cross Selling

For Fans Of: Fennesz, John Cage, Brian Eno, Steve Reich

Buy

Two Unrelated Notes: I’ve added WWWY&B to the blog database on CaptainCrawl, a blog searching site with a great, clean interface and a burgeoning number of sites from which to pull whatever you need. It seems pretty legit, and I added that little button on the right. Word. Also, we have another new friend here! Dave is from Akron, Ohio and enjoys great music, Cleveland sports, and dabbles in hobby-level carpentry (birdhouses, bar stools, magazine racks, etc.) Make him feel welcome.

– Brian

Anyone who keeps their ear to the blog-tronica ground has likely seen L.A.’s Nosaj Thing popping up to remix here and there, most notably on HEALTH’s 2008 remix album //DISCO and Flying Lotus’ LA EP 2 x 3. Many of these flash-in-the-pan remixers stumble upon gold a few times, with their dirt piles rising higher than any of their potential Hype Machine play counts. Jason Chung’s debut long player is a surprisingly strong and unique entry into a Los Angeles glitch-hop scene that creeps ever closer to the limelight.

The first thing that sets Drift apart from the current L.A. crop is the album’s immediate listenability. While Flying Lotus mastermind Steve Ellison followed J Dilla’s ghost through twisting, claustrophobic chemical haze on 2008 monument Los Angeles, Nosaj takes a more direct route to enlightenment by dressing that trademark off-time swagger in glittering synth sounds and ethereal vocal samples.

That’s not to say that the music is ‘light’ – Chung evokes a similarly dark, barbiturate take on West Coast hip-hop past and present; his end products are simply more stark and glaring. album highlight ‘coat of arms’ starts out with a seemingly innocuous square-wave bounce, until quickly morphing into a pulsing, pounding, skittering nightmare without losing an ounce of swag. ‘Caves’ sees Nosaj reflecting a dubstep lurch off of so many glass buildings, echoing itself and the surrounding synths.

As much as I respect artists who like to ‘take it back to basics’ and ‘look back’ and what not, I find albums like Drift far more compelling; albums that could not have been made anytime other than 2009. it’s a fitting sound for a generation that finds itself way too fucked up to dance, but keeps trying nonetheless.