Tag Archives: future grooves

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

Future Grooves: Julio Bashmore

I first wrote about Julio Bashmore last year, but in the months since, I haven’t spilled nearly enough digital ink on the UK underground sensation. Please let me attempt to right that wrong.

Julio Bashmore is Matthew Walker, a producer from the epicenter of the dubstep scene, Bristol. Contrary to his city’s dominant sound, however, Bashmore makes house music: deep, mellow, funky house. He first gained attention with a 12-inch on Claude vonStroke’s Dirtybird imprint; “Um Bongo’s Revenge” is tribal, vital, and signaled the arrival of a new producer to watch.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/umbongosrevenge.mp3″ text=”Julio Bashmore – Um Bongo’s Revenge” dl=0]

Since then, Bashmore has been highly prolific, releasing a handful of EPs, single, and remixes. All have featured non-stop grooves, elastic basslines, and warm synths. Vocal samples are impeccably selected, and looped into dreamy, hypnotic refrains. He checks all of these boxes on last year’s “Footsteppin”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/footsteppin.mp3″ text=”Julio Bashmore – Footsteppin” dl=0]

Recent releases have gotten sharper, emerging from shadow and fog into the clarity of disco ball light. The Everyone Needs a Theme Tune EP has a throwback feel, with funkadelic synths and 808s aplenty. On “Battle for Middle You,” Bashmore turns a 10-year-old sample (from Mateo & Matos’ “Stomp Your Feet“) into a tech house anthem.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/battleformiddleyou.mp3″ text=”Julio Bashmore – Battle for Middle You” dl=0]

Over a year old, Bashmore’s exclusive mix for Vice is a constant play. From his remix of Deadboy‘s “Heartbreaker” to plenty of Night Slugs selections, it’s no wonder why.

[wpaudio url=”http://www.viceland.com/music/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/julio-bashmore-vice-mix.mp3″ text=”Julio Bashmore – Vice Mixtape” dl=0]

Download: Julio Bashmore – Vice Mixtape

Future Grooves: Christoph Andersson

The term “wunderkind” gets thrown around a lot, especially with young musicians needing nothing more than an Internet connection to distribute their work. But what else would you call a producer who released four singles in less than a year, runs his own record label (Hurst Recordings), and is just barely 19 years old?

Christoph Andersson makes refreshingly vibrant electro-pop from his New Orleans home. Think mellow Kitsuné jams with the pop sensibilities (and without the ego) of Calvin Harris. While attending the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Andersson made his own music every day in the electronic music vacuum that is New Orleans. The result is shimmering dance music that is equal parts house, electro, and disco with a distinct melodic edge.

In a unique turn, Andersson’s singles have featured dual versions of each song (in addition to remixes by artists like Brenmar and Cedaa). The surging “Metropol” is chilled into the downtempo “Metropolis,” “Capital” keeps its anthemic chorus but becomes the mellow “Cache,” and so on.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/metropol.mp3″ text=”Christoph Andersson – Metropol” dl=0]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/metropolis.mp3″ text=”Christoph Andersson – Metropolis” dl=0]

The recently released Getaway single follows the same pattern. The title track adds elements of UK funky into the mix, while “Gestalt” is driven by exotic percussion and the electronic chirps of a Night Slugs track. Andersson’s catchy vocal melody is brought up in the mix, as well.

He might not be able to drink there, but Andersson plays U Hall this Saturday at Will Eastman’s Bliss Dance Party. Take a sneak peak at what he has in store for this weekend’s revelers with this mix, crafted for Big Shot Magazine.

[wpaudio url=”http://newsflash.bigshotmag.com/audio/BIGSHOTmix.mp3″ text=”Big Shot Guest Mix: Christoph Andersson” dl=1]

Future Grooves: Nguzunguzu

Nguzunguzu is a DJ/production duo comprised of LA locals Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda. While nguzu nguzus were traditional totems in the South Pacific, this Nguzunguzu is more concerned with dance floor ecstasy than spiritual protection.

Their self-titled (and free) EP is a hyperactive blend of house, club, juke and tropical influences. The only respite from the unrelenting chaos is the eerily moody “Moments in Sex.” There’s nothing ambient about the hyperactive tribal guarachero of “El Bebe Ambiente,” and “Got U” is a claustrophobic banger based on a sample from Drake’s “A Night Off.” On a recent remix, Canblaster and Berou focus the song into big room house.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/got_u_canblaster_berou.mp3″ text=”Nguzunguzu – Got U (Canblaster and Berou remix)” dl=0]

The duo’s Mirage EP is a more cohesive set of sounds, and although it was released by Silverback Recordings, it would fit in the Night Slugs catalog nicely. The entire EP teams with poly-rhythms – bits and pieces of overlapping percussion that fight for attention. “Rec Loose” features a bass melody right out of classic dubplates and breaks down into a warm mix of yawning synths. “Unfold” is a spooky drumline rave; Munchi’s remix is best described by its title: “Munchi likes excessive amounts of bass mambo juke remix.”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/rec_loose.mp3″ text=”Nguzunguzu – Rec Loose” dl=0]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/unfold_munchi.mp3″ text=”Nguzunguzu – Unfold (Munchi remix)” dl=0]

As Nguzunguzu shipped off to Europe for a series of dates, they dropped a brief promo mix that ranges from tropical house to rhythm and bass. This is global dance music at its finest – and weirdest.

Download: Nguzunguzu – Europe Mini Promo Mix
Download: Nguzunguzu EP

Future Grooves: Jacques Greene

When I wrote about the burgeoning rhythm and bass sound two weeks ago, I somehow neglected a major proponent of it. Maybe it was because I was focused on the UK and dubstep, instead of Canada and house, but whatever the cause: mea culpa.

Photo: © 2010 Andrew Gordon Macpherson

Jacques Greene (not his real name) in an enigmatic producer from Toronto who seemingly came out of nowhere late last year, releasing a pair of R&B infused house jams on compilation records. One of the offerings, the jangly “(Baby I Don’t Know) What You Want,” sampled Ashanti’s “Foolish.” Of all the samples in all the world, it’s a particularly evocative one: “Foolish” references Biggie’s “One More Chance (Remix),” which in turn samples DeBarge’s “Stay With Me.” Intentional or not, Greene reveals his roots in one loop.

It’s a pattern that repeats itself over his brief but rich oeuvre: wistful, nostalgic – but never obvious – R&B samples weaved into a warm blanket of Chicago house. Listening to his records is a giddy experience that will have music fans digging deep in their crates (or brains) for the originals that drive his tracks.

Greene’s New Year’s Resolution must have been to release new material early and often: he’s released two EPs for Glaswegian powerhouse LuckyMe in just the first quarter of 2011. The title track of The Look bounces along with a bit of Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down.” The rest of the record is similar soulful house, along the lines of contemporaries Azari and III.

While The Look is non-stop, pounding house beats, Greene’s latest release is sparser, with more room to breathe. Mix Ciara’s “Deueces” with a Burial-ish dubstep beat and open into big, sinewy synths and you have “Another Girl.” Clearly, Greene is obsessed by the same muses as his peers, having remixed “Must Be Love” for Local Action’s love letter to Cassie, Skydiver. Greene gives the same lofty, romantic edge of “Another Girl” to “Broken Record” by muse-of-the-moment Katy B.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Katy B – Broken Record (Jacques Greene Remix).mp3″ text=”Katy B – Broken Record (Jacques Greene Remix)” dl=0]

We might not know much about Jacques Greene, but it’s clear that he’s a producer to watch. Check out the sinister tech-house of “Sorted,” grab the mix he did for URB, and pray for him to play the States again soon; would a Red Friday at U Hall be too much to ask?

Download: Jacques Greene – Sorted
Download: URB Presents Jacques Greene