Philip Sherburne

writer

Biography

  • Despacio Soundsystem James Murphy 2ManyDJs

    Inside James Murphy and 2ManyDJs' Insane Audiophile Soundsystem

    Barcelona's Sónar festival is the last place you'd ever expect to hear Heart's "Magic Man." Sónar, after all, is known as a festival for "advanced music" — that is, cutting-edge club music, left-of-center pop, and multimedia experiments. Whereas Heart are, well, Heart — AOR icons, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and pretty much synonymous with '70s hard rock.But no one batted an eye when, on a Thursday afternoon last month, the song came wafting through the speakers in a room tucked away in a hidden corner of the festival's sprawling daytime complex.

  • DJ Dodger Stadium, Friend of Mine, Body High, interview

    DJ Dodger Stadium Channel Desert Existentialism via L.A. Club Beats

    DJ Dodger Stadium's debut album begins with a familiar refrain muttered over a cinematic swell of strings: "There are five million stories in the big city; this is one." Expect plot twists, however. For one thing, DJ Dodger Stadium isn't one person, but two: Jerome Potter and Sam Griesemer, better known as Jerome LOL and Samo Sound Boy, respectively. And while the original version of that quote comes from the 1948 film The Naked City, shot on location in New York City, their album Friend of Mine takes its inspiration from John Fante's 1939 novel Ask the Dust, a landmark of Los Angeles noir. "Living in Los Angeles and reading that book for, like, a third time recently, it struck a chord with me," says Potter via Skype from Downtown L.A., while Griesemer joins the call from his own apartment a few miles away.

  • Akra, Los Peros EP, Teng Records, Mock and Toof

    Akra's 'Los Peros' EP Makes a Bonfire out of Balearic House

    For nearly a decade, Nick Woolfson has been meting out warped electro-pop and mutant disco in the duo Mock and Toof, with records on DFA and RVNG and remixes for Hot Chip and Scissor Sisters. But lately, he's been venturing into more streamlined (but still refreshingly off-kilter) house and techno under his Akra alias.Last year's "Pure" found him trying his hand at a kind of oddball Balearic sound, full of analog keys tinged seafoam green, but the new Los Peros EP is darker, rougher, and maybe a little bit druggier; it moves with the calloused lurch of a firewalker scrambling over coals, and its blown-out low end seems similarly charred — not so much acid house as acrid house.

  • Jamie xx, All Under One Roof Raving

    10 Songs That Inspired Jamie xx's 'All Under One Roof Raving'

    If you couldn't figure it out from the title, Jamie xx's new one, "All Under One Roof Raving," is an unambiguous paean to the golden age of rave. To make his point, the erstwhile indie-dance brooder injects the tune with a little old-school cred in the form of period-specific found-sound samples: looped MC chatter, crowd noise, rave whistles, and interview snippets, including one that gives the track its title.The mood is misty-eyed ("We were all under one roof raving, laughing and joking, you know what I mean?"), defiant ("We do not need anybody; we are independent"), and fiercely British, too, with multiple samples reinforcing a sense of national pride ("And we kept it U.K.," goes one). Less rave-oriented, but presumably just as British, in the wider, multi-cultural sense, are Jamie's customary steel-drum melodies.

  • Craig Leon Reissues His Techno-Futurist Masterpiece, 'Nommos / Visiting'

    Craig Leon Reissues His Techno-Futurist Masterpiece, 'Nommos / Visiting'

    Originally released in 1980, Craig Leon's Nommos bridged worlds in unlikely ways. Here we had an artist who had worked as a producer on some of New York's most feral rock records — the Ramones' Ramones, Blondie's Blondie, Suicide's Suicide — turning up with a solo album on John Fahey's Takoma, a label best known for fleetly finger-picked folk music.Not only was Nommos not acoustic; it was entirely electronic. Leon and his partner, Cassell Webb, created the five-track album using only the Roland Jupiter-4, ARP 2600, and Oberheim OB-X synthesizers along with a prototype drum simulator invented by Roger Linn that Leon learned to use without a manual or, indeed, any markings on the machine itself.

  • Snakehips feat. Sinead Harnett,

    Snakehips and Sinead Harnett's 'Days With You' Is Soulful Summer Bliss

    With their remixes for acts like Bondax, Banks, and the Weeknd, Snakehips have carved out a summery sweet spot somewhere between dulcet deep house, classic boom-bap, and feathery neo-soul. The duo (London's Oliver Lee and James Carter) is clearly following in the footsteps of U.K. acts like Disclosure and Rudimental, so it makes perfect sense that they'd team up with singer Sinead Harnett, previously heard from on the former's "Boiling" and the latter's "Hide" and "Baby." A month ago, Snakehips pitched in on Harnett's blissfully downcast "No Other Way," and they team up again for Snakehips' own "Days With You."Swirling with vintage strings, xylophone sweeps, and easy-listening background vocals — and a sampledelic sensibility reminiscent of the Avalanches' Since I Left You — "Days With You" is shot through with a comforting sense of déjà vu.

  • Lusine Arterial Ghostly

    Lusine's Lush, Languid Beats Pulsate on 'Arterial'

    Lusine (Seattle's Jeff McIlwain) has always had an exceptionally colorful, exceptionally textural take on electronic music; his tracks move with rich tones and rippling surfaces. But the producer really outdoes himself on "Arterial," the lead track from his upcoming four-track EP for Ghostly. All the hallmarks of his recent work are here — the micro-edits, stuttering beats, and shirred-tape chords, plus chopped-up and sanded-down vocals that scatter like marbles.On "Arterial," Rhodes keyboard, clarinet, and ragged analog synths heave like a bellows over a slack, shuffling beat. It's out August 5, which is, perhaps, exactly one month and one day later than it could prove really useful.

  • Sonar Festival 2014

    The 10 Best Things We Saw at Sonar 2014

    Now in its 21st year, Barcelona's Sónar festival presented, as it always does, three days of provocative contradictions: raving vs. contemplating, vintage vs. cutting-edge, mid-day ambient set vs. 6 a.m. blowout, business vs. pleasure. As always, the festival's offerings — four daytime stages, four nighttime stages, installations, professional conferences, a developers' symposium; three days in a row, with the possibility of nineteen hours' worth of music in a single stretch, for the truly committed/insane — proved inspiring and intimidating in equal measure.

  • Ensemble Economique, Make-Out in the GDR, Melt into Nothing, Denovali

    Hear Ensemble Economique's Coldwaving, Shoegazing 'Make-Out in the GDR'

    Humboldt County's Ensemble Economique (Bryan Pyle, formerly of Starving Weirdos) is a master of wooly drones, dislocated techno, and neo-coldwave dread. Now, on his new album Melt Into Nothing, he branches out into a style that might best be described as gothic shoewave. Organs, guitars, dubbed-out drum machines, and zoned-out voices swirl together into chilly, misty shapes variously reminiscent of the Cure, Arvo Pärt, Crispy Ambulance, and My Bloody Valentine. The only way it could get more atmospheric is if it were beamed back to earth from a weather balloon.Melt into Nothing is out June 27 on Denovali and features contributions from DenMother and Opale's Sophia Hamadi; for now, listen to the album's spellbinding "Make-Out in the GDR" — a song we're gonna go ahead and file under "Cold-War-wave."

  • Ben Watt Trails Deep Folk Mixtape Hendra

    Stream Ben Watt's New 'Deep Folk' Mixtape, 'Trails'

    124259:song:Trails:"I'm down in the lane now, I'm walking home / Let me walk to the beat of my own metronome," sings Ben Watt on "Golden Ratio," off his new album, Hendra. From the sound of things, he's doing just that: After a decade spent DJ'ing and releasing deeper shades of house on his Buzzin' Fly label, the Everything But the Girl member has returned to the folky, singer-songwriterly style of his solo debut, North Marine Drive, from 1983.Somewhat incredibly, Hendra is Watt's first solo release in 31 years, and to mark the occasion, Watt has put together another installment in his ongoing series of low-key, "deep folk" mixtapes. Volume two, from two months ago, touched upon the likes of Van Morrison, Bert Jansch, Talk Talk, and White Magic, and the new one continues in a similar vein, featuring songs from Joni Mitchell, Shearwater, and Brian Eno.

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