Dark Shadows: Listen to Stroboscopic Artefacts’ Lucy Mix and Reflect on Music and Society

Here, in the season so many associate with sun and sand, the gothic factories of dark techno continue to clang away. So, yes, the results may not be cheery. But the music defining this new generation of adventurous techno is uniquely focused on timbre. It is a soundscape set against the groove, not only about tweaking just the right high hat, but forging some terrain of sonic design, taking the listener on a journey to actually find something new. It makes landfall on undiscovered countries, rather than simply assembling an expected framework for the dancefloor. It also carries with it …

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Playlist: The Best Music Mixes, Jams, and Releases to Queue Up Now

Our cup runneth over. And just as we’re adding our favorite stories to read to the new Reading List feature, we bring you some of our favorite listening. This is what’s playing through my cans as I’m working and meditating. Releases Ras G – Back On The Planet is, simply, out of this world. Forget what you know about Brainfeeder and LA; this is earning Afrofuturism comparisons to Sun Ra and George Clinton with good reason. Dense, jazzy, and splendidly improvisatory, it’s some of the most dynamic hip hop/electronic music to come out this summer. Gregory Shorter, Jr. is doing …

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Jon Hopkins’ Immunity LP, Grooving with Exquisite Beauty

If anyone might chart a course for the future of ambient dance music – contradiction in terms as that might seem – it’s the UK’s Jon Hopkins. Spacious sounds and free-flowing gestures seem to flow effortlessly in his music, but that same texture can be honed into hard-hitting grooves or set against forward-propelled rhythms. It is, simply, beautiful music you can dance to. In the new full-length “Immunity,” Hopkins is once again in top form. To me, he’s reached a new level of clarity and coherence. There’s an almost narrative thread through “Immunity,” as though it’s a score for a …

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Listen to Small Craft on a Milk Sea, New Album from Brian Eno and Friends

Brian Eno’s Small Craft on a Milk Sea comes ashore in the US today on Warp Records, produced with collaborators Jon Hopkins (whom I recently interviewed and covered live) and Leo Abrahams (a wonderful and dexterous composer and musician himself). You can hear the full album on Grooveshark. Update: The Grooveshark available was apparently premature, pending an exclusive release deal. It should become available again, but in the meantime, Warp has put several tracks up on Soundcloud: A name like Eno’s tends to precede itself, but I quite honestly think, his fame aside, it’s a masterpiece. The collaboration of the …

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Interview: Jon Hopkins Talks Live, Studio Process, Habit, Instinct

Jon Hopkins performs live at the ICA. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Matt Biddulph. Classically trained as a pianist, musician and producer Jon Hopkins has one of the richest resumes in electronic music. He’s a frequent collaborator with Brian Eno, wand has worked with artists like Coldplay (who featured his music on their last album), Tunng, David Holmes, and Imogen Heap. He worked with director Peter Jackson, and has a sci-fi score on the way. He also has a rich set of solo releases. And we’ve seen him here recently with remix swaps with Four Tet and contributions to Eno’s upcoming Warp record. …

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Brian Eno “Small Craft On a Milk Sea” Confirmed on Warp, Preorder Wed.

After a fuss over a leak and then an official confirmation from Warp, Brian Eno has unveiled his next album, “Small Craft On a Milk Sea.” The launch page reveals far more about the packaging than the actual music (though I must say, the packaging is very pretty). But the album does focus on collaboration, working with returning artists Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams. Hopkins and Eno have worked together regularly, and that trio produced some wonderful sounds, recording with Peter Chilvers, for the soundtrack for “The Lovely Bones.” Abrahams’ original mention on his Web diary also described some of …

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Listen: Four Tet, Live and Remixed, Free on SoundCloud

Four Tet playing live. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Jonathan Fisher. Jon Hopkins – Vessel (Four Tet remix) by Four Tet Angel Echoes (Jon Hopkins remix) by Four Tet London-based Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden, is a genre all his own, a maestro of electronic sounds and a superstar on Domino. He’s… Actually, you know what? I can’t really add a whole lot of intelligent commentary to this treasure trove of tracks Four Tet has added to SoundCloud. It’s time best spent listening, which puts me in a happy, wordless state. (And, I might add, reminds me to work on my chops. See …

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