Archive for August 2013

Conditioning your roommate.

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As of the following day, I will become completely self-reliant, studious, responsible adult who inhabits his very own apartment. In other words, I am leaving the nest. A good portion of me thinks that this will be a positive change, where I will grow older and become much more self-sufficient than I currently am. However, the other portion of my psyche is worried about the simple necessities that comprise this independence.


That being said, I have never been much of a cook. Although I attended a culinary school for the duration of a summer in my youth, I have yet make more than the simple breakfast amenities that bring joy to all (i.e. eggs and bacon). In order to survive in the concrete jungle, I have brought with me a very useful tool. They are called roommates, and will cook and do your laundry whenever you ask them to. I guess it is safe to say that if you can successfully condition your living partner to become a slave to your will, your life will become much easier to maintain.

All joking aside, if one does not learn due to curiosity, one must learn out of necessity. Consequently, I might not become the next master chef, but I will be able to make a wide variety of meals that all include ready made foods.

An artist I recently discovered is one by the name of DevonWho. The California-based producer seems to draw inspiration from all wakes of life, for his music sways through genres without a definite linearity. However unpredictable, his signature usage of of undulating, prolonged, comatose-like synths are made apparent throughout his productions. My words are not enough to fully inform you, so here is an old production of his, entitled "Cabbages".


Everyone seemed to be remixing Ciara this year, whether it be through the lens of Cyril Hahn or Ryan Hemsworth. A few days ago, another artist, Jacques Greene (who I accidentally met at an Actress show), has lent his talent to two of her most celebrated singles, 'Body Party' and 'Sorry'. Available as a free download on his webpage, they are remixed in his emotionally saturated style, driving the vocals with sombre tonalities that contrast the jovial nature of the originals in such a way that captivates the ear. Hear them below. 



Jacques Greene is not the only Montreal native who has been stirring up the music scene in the last few weeks. Tommy Kruise has collaborated with skateboard company Dime for a mix tape entitled "Porn for the Blind". The artist dubs this compilation of tracks as "wavy". Available for download through an alternate link found on Soundcloud, the content lives up to its title.



For those not in the loop with Earl Sweatshirt's new album 'Doris', it released short days ago to critical acclaim. With Pitchfork backing it as best new music, Earl Sweatshirt has truly returned to prominence despite his disappearance the previous year. Collaborating with the likes of RZA and BadBadNotGood, the production supported the young prodigy as he evolved from the provocative indifference that comprised his bars towards a leniency for lyrics with purpose. Listen to a song off the album below (Hoarse - Earl Sweatshirt (Produced by BBNG))


There is another rapper that has been getting some attention these past few months; southern hip-hop oddity Lil Ugly Mane has disproved those who believed he had left his career behind him, releasing a compilation of unreleased tracks on two occasions throughout the month. Entitled the "Three Sided Tape" , it contains sludgy, gutted southern hip-hop that remains experimental at very same time. Enjoy!




I will warn you beforehand, the video of the week has the possibility to cause seizures. However, if you see behind this, you will find quite a visually stimulating musical 'experience'. This a light show taken from a set played during the SAT Fest from Baillat Cardell & Fils.

Untitled

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     I didn’t feel like expending the necessary time and energy involved in brainstorming a snazzy title, so instead, here’s a solid Paul Woolford track by the same name.

 

     I find it odd that I didn’t notice the following track during Matt Fax’s ABGT guestmix, considering how great I deem the song to be. I was playing Xbox at the time, which might provide a clue as to why, but I usually pause the gameplay whenever a new tune peaks my interest, so the jury’s still out. Regardless, the young Frenchman’s latest release on Arrival is a mysterious one, as I’m unable to decide whether it’s an homage to old-school trance, a return to the transitory period between the latter and trance 2.0, or an overly synthed progressive trance piece. Either way, the beautifully spaced wind sounds, the bright, sweeping synths and seamless transitions from piano to digital pad have me sold on “Point 9.” With all the buzz surrounding this artist and the strength of his productions, 16-year old Matt Fax is definitely one to look out for in the future.

Matt Fax – Point 9 (Original Mix)

Released through Arrival on August 12th, 2013

Beatport

 

     Back in February of this year, my one-sided bromance partner, Eric Prydz, brightened a Friday night with a special Essential Mix on the airwaves of the BBC. The two-hour radio show will forever be known as the Pryda Essential Mix, since most of the tracks chosen to be played were produced under his Pryda alias and approached the progressive sound the moniker espouses. In a surprising move, Mr. Prydz recently decided to offer a second Essential Mix in 2013; this time, a live performance, slightly more Cirez D-oriented (his techno pseudonym), broadcast from the Privilege Nightclub in Ibiza. The 82 minute set featured myriad unidentifiable tunes, as is wont with any of his live shows, an up to date edit of his “Personal Jesus” remix, and a tweaking of “Petroleum” by Jeremy Olander and Kent, among many others. Check it out below to decide whether or not he bested his performance in February.

 

     As much as I adore Eric Prydz, I think it may be in his students’ best interest to fly the coop. Take for example Andre Sobota who, since leaving Prydz’s Pryda Friends, has become one the most beloved names in progressive house. By toying with the tendencies of techno, minimal, and proghouse, he’s lured label bosses with the promise of chart-topping hits, such as his Futura EP for Konstrukt Records, his Jody Wisternoff remix for Anjunadeep and his Surrounded By Time EP for microCastle. In fact, the latter was such a immense success, from both a monetary and artistic standpoint, that microCastle head Mitch Alexander recently asked Sobota back for another go. Out of this partnership came Pulsatilla EP, a crowning achievement in the Brazilian's young career.

pulsatilla

     Of the 6 tracks included, title-track “Pulsatilla” easily distinguishes itself with it’s eerily comforting synths, an intricate network of percussion with precisely selected velocities, and its deep, gurgling bassline. It’s greatest success comes from it’s melody, who’s ability to make itself seem far more complex than it is-aided by the ear’s natural attention to the whole of the track, as opposed to individual layers-is the core of “Pulsatilla’s” expressive faculty. I can only speak for myself in writing that I believe Sobota is applauding individuality, while giving equal importance to the role of the private citizen in modern society. Stripped down, this piece of audible art is a wonder to experience, and is equally as lauded as a simple dance number, as evidenced by its stark ascension of the Beatport charts. One of the best tracks of 2013 thus far, “Pulsatilla” gets the seldom-used, very fawking hawt label from yours truly.

Andre Sobota – Pulsatilla (Original Mix) [very fawking hawt]

Released through microCastle on July 22nd, 2013

Beatport

 

     This week’s video and final track are one in the same. Ahead of their d├ębut LP, Different Sides of the Sun, due in September, UK super group Hot Natured plans to release a fourth single, of which a music video appeared a short time ago. A group of friends embark on a bizarre, hallucinatory trip after a night out in the moving pictures for “Isis (Magic Carpet Ride).” Featuring the vocals of Egyptian Lover, along with the familiar Ali Love, the new single is poised to stand out from the others on the album. In complete contrast with their usual clear-cut house productions, the British quartet have created a deep house so light-hearted that it borders on disco house. You’ll understand what I mean from the first listen; “Isis (Magic Carpet Ride)” devolves into a spell-binding bout of synth-pop at the very end, as if to compare old-school disco to Hot Natured’s own modern spin on the genre. I can’t wait to see how they incorporate this tune into Different Sides of the Sun’s continuous mix.

 

     Have a great weekend!

How to alienate white people.

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In China, even the tourists are Chinese. How does this translate to your average white fellow travelling abroad? For every 100 people you cross in almost any city, whether it be Beijing or Hong Kong, there will only be a 10% chance that you will spot a visible minority. In other words, succumbing to the alienation of a month-long trip to China is anything but impossible. For the first few weeks, I felt there was a certain need that this trip was not fulfilling; all racism aside, that need just so happened to be the comforting presence of multiculturalism. Due to the fact that Montreal is a melting pot, it is a commonality to cover the globe, racially speaking, in a matter of blocks. Furthermore, nobody speaks English, creating a language barrier so strong that one is considered lucky to receive a retort following a  mere salutation.


Although a truthful generalization of the Chinese population, the primary cosmopolitan areas are filled with young business men and women who are fluent in English. Consequently, if you happen to stumble into the bars at night, a drunken conversation is not an option that is entirely out the window. Speaking of the nightlife, from personal experience, the youth do not seem to possess more than a surface appreciation of the world's Top 40 and local pop sensations. Nevertheless, they are heavy drinkers and tobacco smokers, since marijuana is strictly prohibited under sanction of imprisonment. Also, the bars/clubs never close in cities like Shanghai, yielding much truth to the youth and limitlessness of night. This equation makes for a group of hard partygoers and second-hand smoke galore, and they wouldn't have it any other way.


Lastly, something must be said about the generosity of the people. The first night I landed in Hong Kong, my sibling and I were shown the scene by a friend of ours who resides in the city. Armed with all but 100$ for our night, the drink menus blew us away, with shots and cocktails starting at 10$. In other words, it is an extremely expensive city. Never fear, Kevin (our friend) is here! He and his friends spent approximately 200$ on us, which speaks for itself regarding their hospitality towards foreigners.


On to the recent musical accomplishments of the talented artists of the world, shall we? Coni, a french techno producer, has released his first EP with Parisian label ClekClekBoom that has been a favourite of mine as of recent. Entitled "My Secret Diving E.P.", this Gallic style of techno, which takes inspiration of garage as well as adhering to the minimal ideology of progression, has created a niche for ClekClekBoom that causes them to stand aside and pave their own way through the vast midst of techno music. Although not revolutionary, and drawing comparison to the likes of Darling Farah, much can be said of Coni's new EP which has evolved from his sound the previous year. Hear the difference below:

Coni - Sunday (Released on Youngunz last year)

Coni - Feel like home (Released on CCB last month)

Omnipresent vocalist on Mount Kimbie's "Cold Spring Faultless Youth", King Krule, the multi-talented 18-year-old, is releasing his debut LP (6 Feet Beneath the Moon) on the 27th of August. Earlier in July, he released the single 'Easy Easy' off the upcoming album, and the video, which has seen a release short days ago, is up to par with the piece. Displaying his day to day life in south-east London, it is filled with the quirks of teenage angst and has a certain charm which cannot be stated, but rather observed. 


J. Tijn is releasing a 4 track EP through WNCL Recordings. For any Blawan lovers, J. Tijn seems to possess the very same industrial sound and upbeat tempo that flared up the dance floor when 'Peaches' would drop. With prior releases on labels such as Turbo and PennyRoyal, the U.K. producer seems to possess ample promise in his respective domain of music, which can be considered a fusion of industrial house and 2-step garage. While the A side is more melodious and soft to the ear, the B side is ment to destroy rave settings at the late hours of the night, with ample bass driven hi-hats and longing synths that give one a feeling of utter euphoria. Set to release this month, here is a preview of the entirety.



The following artist is somewhat of a mystery to me, mainly because I am not even certain of his name. From what I am aware, Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum have recently founded their very own label, called 'Ultramajic'. The first EP to release from this label was from Jimmy himself, entitled 'Hot Inside'. From hereon, it is all quite hazy. All that I can tell you is there is a upcoming release from the label in the month of September named as follows: "METAPHISIX 1: MENTALISM". Another thing I can tell you is that it is quite the 4 track compilation, featuring two new additions to the label's roster, Aden and Creepy Autograph. Hear the preview of one of the tracks below.


The video of the week comes to you from one of the founders himself, Machinedrum. According to him, eyes don't lie, and we here at the Hawt do not believe he could have made himself any clearer. This song has a hybrid nature to it; notice that at the 3:00 minute mark the tonality shifts from upbeat and jovial to something much darker and sinister, as though conveying the message in a much more pessimistic view.