Tag Archives: future grooves

Future Grooves: Two Inch Punch

The rhythm and bass movement continues. Every day, a new future bass producer emerges, or an old favorite returns with a clutch of R & B edits (as Hudson Mohawke just did on his Pleasure bootlegs). But with the rush new material, the question of who can repeat early success lingers (for more evidence, look to moombahton).

West London’s Two Inch Punch seems up to the challenge. After breaking through with his brilliant – and in vogue – Brandy edit, “Love You Up,” Two Inch Punch is set to release an EP of the same name on PMR Records, home to UK bass favorites Julio Bashmore, Javeon McCarthy and Jessie Ware. Here’s that track, which appeared on this year’s Luvstep 2 mixtape.

[wpaudio url=”https://postcultural.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/01-love-you-up.mp3″ text=”Two Inch Punch – Love You Up” dl=0]

A self-described “frustrated Soul / RnB singer,” Two Inch Punch wears his influences – and his heart – on his sleeve. “My mum and dad brought me up on soul & vocal harmony groups – so I was inspired by short love songs by the Beatles, the music of Keith Sweat and Otis Redding… Sam Cooke’s heartfelt melodies and Donny Hathaway’s incredible vocal tones,” he shares. His inspHERation mix jams over thirty songs into just 20 minutes, shining a light on Two Inch Punch’s more recent influences and contemporary favorites.

While “Love You Up” strutted and bounced, Two Inch Punch’s latest offering “Up In Your Mix” pulses with call-and-response samples (one of which may be of Dru Hill). That track’s space-funk keys and swirling synths make a triumphant return, as well. If the rest of the Love You Up EP (out on October 31) sounds like what we’ve heard so far, Two Inch Punch will soon be keeping company with heavyweights.

Future Grooves: Clicks & Whistles

The future bass scene, like dubstep and garage before it, emanated from the UK. Then it filtered down (predictably) to NYC, LA, Chicago, and the like, a process sped up by the digital landscape. But for a sound that owes so much to the trunk-rattling bass and syrupy rhythms of the Dirty South, future bass has been notably absent there. Until now.

Charlotte’s Clicks & Whistles is comprised of Jorge Xavier Fernandez (Hey Whore Hey) and Petey Evans (Turbo Petey). The duo appeared on the scene last year with their You Do EP, which bounced its way through tropical bass (“Thizzle”) and exotic house (“Mystic Jungle”). They also contributed to the Future Sounds of North America compilation with their swirling rhythm & bass cut “When I Feel.”

This year, Clicks & Whistles hooked up with Distal’s Atlanta-based Embassy Recordings for “Cranberry Goose.” An ode to Grey goose and cranberry juice, it’s energy is all stand up / lean back, with bass-heavy synths that turn deadly as the track progresses. The B-side, “Radiator,” borrows the same synth for a jittery club track. Distal’s remix of “Cranberry Goose” is a hyper juke fest, offered below for you to compare and contrast (courtesy XLR8R).

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Cranberry Goose (Distal Remix).mp3″ text=”Clicks & Whistles – Cranberry Goose (Distal Remix)” dl=1]

The duo are remixing for the likes of AC Slater, Dev79, and Myrryrs, but their finest moment comes when they fully embrace the South. Their remix of Crime Mob’s “Knuck If You Buck” soars on electric blue synths, the perfect complement to the original’s beat. Want more? The Three 6 Mafia-sampling “Neva Get Caught” will be out on T&A Records next month. Future bass has finally come home.

Future Grooves: Grown Folk

Is Canada the next future bass hot spot? The Great White North has given us Jacques Greene, Egyptrixx, and half of LOL Boys. On the strength of just a few releases, it may be time to add Grown Folk to that list.

Grown Folk is a Montreal-based collaboration between Drew Kim and Brendan Neal. The duo crafts house tracks that seamlessly blend old school and new school sounds; think Azari and III with the sensibilities of Kingdom.

Their debut City Wind EP, released earlier this year on Templar Sound, runs the bass music gamut. They come out strong with the throwback house of “The Uptown Shuffle;” “VVS (Very, Very Slightly)” is darker, with a clipped diva vocal loop that runs through the track like an electric current. On “Block is Hot,” Grown Folk shows the juke influences that they share with contemporaries Canblaster and Pearson Sound; Damu’s remix of the song is all sub-bass and laser-light synths. And don’t let the double entendre title throw you – there’s nothing halfway about the groove on “Halfway House.”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/halfway_house.mp3″ text=”Grown Folk – Halfway House” dl=0]

The duo gets deeper on their latest offering, the Droptop EP on Silverback Recordings. The video for the title track is a summery acid trip well-suited for the song’s big bass line and sexy vocals, two things that dominate the rest of the EP. As remixers, Grown Folk has smoothed out tracks by LOL Boys and FaltyDL. They got in on the rhythm-and-bass game with a swirling bootleg of The-Dream’s remix of “Motivation,” the powerhouse single by Kelly Rowland.


Across its online presence, Grown Folk shares a telling epigram: “It’s a new decade / The usual lingo / The usual rhythm.” It’s a take on the intro of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Rhythm,” and if that doesn’t boil it down enough, the song’s subtitle does: “Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts.” Listeners and dancers alike will soon appreciate Grown Folk’s devotion.

Download: Grown Folk – U Know the Time
Download: The-Dream, Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne – Motivation (Grown Folk Bootleg)

Future Grooves: SBTRKT

While new bands are finding the benefits of anonymity, DJs and producers have obscured their identities for years. Whether using aliases to better match their identity to their music (Burial and Zomby) or wearing masks while performing (countless electro gimmicks), electronic music listeners are used to a little mystery in the mix.

SBTRKT uses an alias and a mask, and while that isn’t new and exciting, his music is. This week sees the release of his eponymous debut on the trend-setting Young Turks label, but the SBTRKT story goes back further than the new album, or even the string of EPs, singles, and remixes released over the last year or so. SBTRKT is the artist formerly known as Aaron Jerome, who toiled in nu jazz during the aughts.

As that scene died down, he assumed his new identity, releasing dubstep remixes of Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place” (“Right Place”) and Goldie’s “Inner City Life” (“Timeless”) in late 2009. Subsequent releases include the four-song 2020 EP, an instrumental set of broken beats and swirling basslines. Collaborations with soul singers Sampha and Jessie Ware revealed a soulful, UK funky influence that permeates last year’s Step In Shadows.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/nervous.mp3″ text=”SBTRKT feat. Jessie Ware – Nervous” dl=0]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/colonise.mp3″ text=”SBTRKT – Colonise” dl=0]

That influence is on full display on SBTRKT, which weaves through the landscape of future garage, post-dubstep, and bass music, presenting the strongest attempt at electronic-pop crossover since Magnetic Man‘s album. In that same vein, SBTRKT again teams up with Sampha and Jessie Ware (along with Roses Gabor), using vocalists to humanize his beats. Lead single “Wildfire,” a collaboration with Little Dragon, finds Yukimi’s voice perfectly suited for the rubbery wobble.

From the sub-bass groove of “Right Thing to Do” to the funky edge of “Pharoahs,” SBTRKT presents a full picture of electronic dance music in 2011. SBTRKT, masked or not, won’t be anonymous for long.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/rightthing.mp3″ text=”SBTRKT feat. Jessie Ware and Sampha – Right Thing to Do” dl=0]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/pharoahs.mp3″ text=”SBTRKT feat. Roses Gabor – Pharoahs” dl=0]

Future Grooves: Brenmar

Since posting the video for Brenmar’s “Taking It Down,” I’ve been playing the track on repeat. Digging deeper into his body of work, I’ve found a unique strand of rhythm and bass. His songs surge on UK funky beats and sultry R&B samples, chopped with more finesse than those of his juke and footwork cousins. As Brenmar describes it, “this is club music for the present.”

Brenmar (government name Bill Salas) was born in Chicago and hones his craft in NYC. Over the last year or so, he’s made a name for himself with his club remixes of tracks by mainstream artists like Rihanna and Jamie Foxx. His flip of Ashanti’s “Only You” into the swaying “Boy U Got Me,” chops “boy you got me doing things that I would never do” across a bass-heavy jam (the song appeared on Top Billing’s excellent Truancy Compilation). Compared to “Boy U Got Me,” his remix of Aaliyah’s seminal “R U That Somebody” is a hypercharged workout, with nods to the juke of his hometown.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Brenmar-Boy_U_Got_Me.mp3″ text=”Brenmar – Boy U Got Me” dl=1]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Aaliyah-R_U_That_Somebody_(Brenmar_Windy_City_Mix).mp3″ text=”Aaliyah – R U That Somebody (Brenmar’s Windy City Mix)” dl=1]

Brenmar’s tracks are all about the perfect sample, always clipping just the right phrase or lyric to build a song around. On his debut EP, At It Again, it was Ne-Yo (“Make Me Say”) and Marques Houston (the aforementioned “Taking It Down”). He continues that practice on his latest, Let Me Know (Tasting), which was released Tuesday. The title tracks features one of Mya’s more suggestive lines (“If you’re likin’ what you’re tastin’ / Baby let me know“) and single “Want Me” continues the theme with some Brownstone.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/brenmar-wantme.mp3″ text=”Brenmar – Want Me” dl=0]

As a remixer, Brenmar has ventured out of the pop-R&B sweet spot, with interesting results. On remixes for Blondes and Teengirl Fantasy, he reverse engineers the chilled-out songs into more traditional dance tracks. It’s clearly a form he’s most comfortable with; what he calls club music for the present is more like club music from the future.

Check out his Gold Bricks mix for The Fader (below), and catch him at Baltimore’s Red Maple on June 30.

Future Grooves: Gladkill

There is nothing quite like discovering a new musician in a mixtape. Sandwiched between familiar tracks, this quick glimpse of a previously unknown talent is exhilarating. Recently, I experienced this while listening to the second half of the Luvstep 2 mix, with a track called “Eastbound.”

The artist behind this slice of luvstep, with its barely-there beat, purple synths, and fragmented moans, is Gladkill. The New York DJ is the type of producer I used to feature when this column was still called Dubstep Dossier. Gladkill’s music falls in the dubstep-bass-glitch space popularized by the Bristol scene. But while that type of music has become derivative and exceedingly unpleasant, Gladkill has stuck to his guns, infusing his tracks with a strong sense of melody.

Last year’s Ghostwork EP is a perfect example of this, with melodies that range from dreamlike (“Lucky Me”) to romantic (“That Girl is Trouble”) to haunting (“Memories”). For fans of subtle applications of midrange wobble, any of the six tracks on Ghostwork will do the trick. The mood is chilled out, but with a current of energy that prevents the music from becoming ambient.

That current has been amplified on Gladkill’s latest EP, LoveLost. As the title suggests, this is a melancholy affair, but with the optimism and hope of someone coming out of a depression. Compared to Ghostwork, everything sounds bigger, from the synths on “Statis” to the bass of “Out of Your Comfort.” A highlight is the grower “Just a Thought,” which gently echoes along before revealing a layered finale.

Gladkill’s music is luvstep at its finest, capturing the contrast between bass-heavy dubstep and the more melodic side of electronic exploration. Discovering it on Luvstep 2 was more than just luck.

Future Grooves: Chrissy Murderbot

Chrissy Murderbot has too much energy. Whether it’s releasing a mixtape a week for an entire year, or spinning an uptempo mix of footwork and rave, his output is simply exhausting.

The Chicago DJ, formerly known as Chris Shively, defines his style as “juke-rave-jungle-disco-tropical-hi-NRG-gangsta-dancehall-ghetto-garage-core,” a tongue-in-cheek take on his deep and varied musical influences. DJing since 1995, he started gaining notoriety in the underground in the middle of the last decade, releasing a set of jungle anthems (Ruff in the Bunny Fizness) in 2007.

In 2009, Murderbot released a self-titled record on his own label, Sleazetone. The album runs the gamut from rave-tribute, a la Zomby’s seminal Where Were U in 92?, to the juke and footwork of his hometown. Some tracks even combine the two, mixing chopped samples and beats with hands-in-the-air sirens and synths.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/cm_musicsounds.mp3″ text=”Chrissy Murderbot – Music Sounds Better w/ Me” dl=0]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/cm_mfhouse.mp3″ text=”Chrissy Murderbot – MF House” dl=0]

Chicago’s electronic underground is a case of a rising tide lifting all boats. Between the club hits of Willy Joy and Rob Threezy and the ascendant and influential footwork scene (typified by DJ Nate), greater attention is being paid to Murderbot, who plays in an undefined space between his peers. His latest record, Women’s Studies, was released last month on Planet Mu.

Women’s Studies continues where Chrissy Murderbot left off, with a new focus on tropical bass and bashment. With a host of guests that include toasters MC ZULU and Rubi Dan, Murderbot does his best Redlight impression on tracks like “The Vibe is So Right.” Still, Chicago is where his heart is: “Bussin Down” features juke luminary DJ Spinn on a shimmering bounce fest.

Writing about Chrissy Murderbot is as challenging as digesting his high-energy, seemingly boundless catalog. For example, I can’t say that I listened to every one of his mixtapes. However, I can definitely recommend his take on UK Rave, circa 1991, which begs the question, “Where were you in ’91?”

Download: Chrissy Murderbot – Week 12: UK Rave, 1991

EP Roundup: Munchi / Bok Bok / Skream

Three major names in underground electronic music released EPs, and each deserves a close listen. Don’t sleep on any of these future grooves.

MunchiRotterdam Juke

Ever since his remix of Nguzunguzu’s “Unfold,” bassheads have eagerly awaited more juke from Munchi. With the release of the Rotterdam Juke EP, Munchi delivers: over six tracks, Munchi presents a unique view of Chicago from a Dominican living in Rotterdam.

After a few months of hardship, Munchi announces his triumphant return with “Mi Ta Bek,” which features the iconic “guess I got my swagga back” sample (Jay Z by way of Datsik and Excision). The track, along with “Mamajuana,” have the same type of colliding beats of “Murda Sound,” off the EP of the same name.

As always, Munchi’s melting pot style is on full display. The sweet sorrow of Dominican bachata compliments the rapid-fire toms of juke on “Andando,” and only Munchi has the audacity to sample Rage Against the Machine’s “Bull On Parade” – and the ability to pull it off – like he does on “Paperchase.” “Straat Taaki” (“Street Talk”) has less overt juke influence, but the raw, uneven traphouse beat is straight gangsta. The stand out track is “Yazzer Tin Air Max,” which is pure, uncut footwork.

Bok BokSouthside EP

Night Slugs co-founder Bok Bok takes a break from running the world’s hottest electronic label to release his first ever solo EP. With an 808 in one hand and a 303 in the other, Bok Bok is at his finest, crafting dark, sexy soundscapes that push the boundaries of post-dubstep/post-UK funky dance music.

On “Charisma Theme,” airy synths permeate a sensual beat that has that Night Slugs je ne sais quoi. “Hyperpass” is unrelenting tech house, and “Reminder” has exotic synth lines that give it an Eastern feel. Southside closes with the sinister grime of “Silo Pass” and “Look Dub;” the former is a more dense composition, but the latter imbues the empty space with eeriness.

SkreamSkream EP

While Bok Bok takes a break from his, Skream disengages from Magnetic Man for a major release on his own label. The self-titled EP on Disfigured Dubz brings together four tracks that Skream has been annihilating audiences with. “Heavy Hitter” and “Rigging” have the midrange wobble of “classic” dubstep; while done to death by other producers, the technique still feels vital in Skream’s hands. “Sea Sick” does the same, with descending synths that perfectly capture the feeling of the song’s title. The best track is “Hats Off,” where he returns to the well, combining a Loleatta Holloway vocal and the “amen” break into something more ravey than his breakthough hit “Burning Up.”

Future Grooves: Kingdom

Kingdom is a producer that epitomizes my recent obsession, a trend I’ve coined rhythm and bass. The Brooklyn-based producer draws on all types of electronic music – dubstep, UK funky, juke, and kuduro, to name a few – along with the sultry vocals and melodic bent of R&B. With releases on leading labels Night Slugs and Fools Gold, along with a pick on the Trouble & Bass-curated Sounds of NYC EP, Kingdom finds himself at the forefront of a music revolution.

His debut single, the wobbly raver “Mind Reader,” received remixes from Night Slugs label heads Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990, who both altered the song’s tempo to reveal different aspects of its character. Bok Bok’s take is slower, putting Shyvonne’s vocals in the forefront; the remix by L-Vis amps up the song’s already high energy.

Kingdom returned the favor by releasing That Mystic on their label; the EP is one of the highlights of their young catalog. Under the scattershot percussion and foreboding synths are deep grooves that dare the listener not to dance. There are even surprising moments that lift the veil, like the breakdown of the otherwise unrelenting “Bust Broke” that pretty clearly samples Faith Evans’ “Soon As I Get Home.”

[wpaudio url=”https://postcultural.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/bustbroke.mp3″ text=”Kingdom – Bust Broke” dl=0]

As alluded to earlier, Kingdom’s love affair with R&B doesn’t stop at a lone Faith Evans sample. He dabbles with baby making music on his remix of Usher’s “Appetite,” and his mix for XLR8R ends with a brilliant mash-up of Girl Unit’s “Every Time” and Ciara’s “Ride.” The latter was just released as a Night Slugs white label, “Ride It Every Time.”

While he can get smooth with rhythm and bass, Kingdom also has a sharper edge. Songs like “Uptown Buck” (on the aforementioned Sounds of NYC compilation) and “Hottest in America” revel in programmed drums, electronic chirps, and vocal slices. With the company he keeps, it’s no surprise that Kingdom makes dance music for all occasions.

Download: Kingdom – Hottest in America
Download: Kingdom – XLR8R Podcast

Future Grooves: LOL Boys

Markus G. from Montreal and Jerome P. from Los Angeles are LOL Boys. Like contemporaries Munchi and Nguzunguzu, their approach to creating electronic music is ADD-addled and hyperactive: a mishmash of styles and sounds that is addictive and entrancing. As their name suggests, this is music for and by the Internet Generation.

LOL Boys burst onto the scene with last year’s “123,” a single on Palms Out Sound. The track opens with a bit of tribal guarachero before the heavy triplet feel gives way to a half-speed tropical jam. The Latin influences and schizophrenic genre mixing are keys to the LOL Boys sound.

Their self-titled EP (released last month on Discobelle) opens with a synth right out of the intro to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” – which the LOL Boys promptly do. “Blockz” is percussive but not abrasive: warms tones mingle with otherworldly arpeggios. True to their tongue-in-cheek style, the video is a psychedelic seizure of animal graphics: it’s basically an animated Magic Eye.

LOL Boys’ four tracks present entirely different experiences: “Aisle Seat” is some mellow moombahton, “Intuition” combines a juke beat with explosive rave ambiance, and “Runaways” is the big beat equivalent of an 80s action movie soundtrack.

Over the last year, LOL Boys have been busy, remixing a diverse group of artists that includes Crystal Fighters, Midnight Juggernauts, Gold Panda, Para One, and Camo UFOs (the latter of which remixed “123” into a junglist banger). They also collaborated with Teki Latex on “Modern” for the phenomenal Truancy Compilation One, which resulted in a deep house cut with hints of “Vogue.” Grab the track – and the rest of the compilation – below.

Download: Truancy Compilation One