Philip Sherburne

writer

Biography

  • Cajual's Johnny Fiasco / Photo by Bob Hansen

    Hear Johnny Fiasco's Soulful, Seriously Twisted House Mix for Cajual Records

    Despite electronic music's ostensibly futurist bent, house music in 2012 sounds overwhelmingly like 1992 all over again: All tracky drum grooves, stabbing pianos, and staccato bass lines, with the odd wailing diva thrown in for good measure. That's hardly a bad thing — if it ain't broke, etc. — but the most encouraging side effect of house music's current retro fixation has been the way that it has helped to shine a spotlight on some of the genre's pioneers.Enter Chicago's Curtis Jones, better known under his aliases Cajmere and Green Velvet. House music was already deeply ingrained in Chicago by the time that Jones started making music in 1990, with just a drum machine, a Yamaha synthesizer, and a Tascam 4-track recorder.

  • Seth Troxler / Photo by Yonathan

    Hear Seth Troxler's Twisted Remix of Matthew Dear's 'Fighting Is Futile'

    Seth Troxler has been quiet on the production front lately, and no wonder. As Resident Advisor's Will Lynch chronicled after this year's WMC, the rising DJ keeps a schedule that could cripple all but the most seasoned road warriors. But Troxler recently found time out from his seemingly endless succession of gigs and after-parties (including a stretch of Richie Hawtin's "CNTRL: Beyond EDM" bus tour) to turn out a striking remix of Matthew Dear's "Fighting Is Futile," the latest single from Dear's album Beams."It's funny how the remix happened," Troxler told SPIN in an e-mail. "Matt and crew asked if I were up for it, [and] it had been ages since I worked on anything alone, since I'm always on the road and don't have a studio. Then Matt sent me the parts.

  • Keith Flint of The Prodigy performing live at the Glastonbury Music Festival in 1997 / Photo by Martyn Goodacre/Photoshot/Getty

    The Prodigy's 'The Fat of the Land' Gets Reissued, Remixed

    It might be hard to believe, but it's been 15 years since the Prodigy smacked their way onto the American scene with The Fat of the Land, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and promptly turned pop culture upside down. (As SPIN's September 1997 cover story on the group noted, Helena Christensen, Cameron Diaz, Bono, Chris Rock, Diddy, and even Jerry Seinfeld all turned up at the after-party for the group's New York show.) Long before American promoters reconfigured "EDM" for the American festival landscape, the Prodigy brought breakbeats to the rock-club circuit, sowing the seeds for this decade's explosion of 'roid-raging rave. If you want to know how we got where we are today, thank/blame Liam Howlett and his band of not-so-merry pranksters: As Skrillex told me when I interviewed him for SPIN last year, "One of my first albums was The Fat of the Land.

  • Eaux

    Hear Eaux's Darkly Dramatic Debut EP, 'i'

    As part of the Sian Alice Group, Sian Ahern and Ben Crook made winsome indie rock that nodded to Galaxie 500, Low, and the Dirty Three. There's still a touch of American gothic to their new trio, Eaux, with Stephen Warrington, as well as the teensiest hint of actual gothic. (Between Ahern's airy soprano and the group's darkly ethereal atmospheres, it's tempting to think they took their name in homage to the Cocteau Twins.) But the balance has shifted decidedly away from strummy pastoralism towards programmed rhythms, velvety flourishes of synthesizer, and anxious clang.The trio's debut EP, i, came together in a few days in London's Tin Room studio, beginning as group improvisations and gradually taking shape. Despite the copious electronic touches, however, the music retains a distinctly live feel, stripped-down and in flux.

  • Emeralds, 'Just to Feel Anything' (Editions Mego)

    Emeralds started out in the Midwestern noise scene as mushroom-chomping, drone-obsessed electronic improvisers with a yen for murk. Beginning in 2006, they released dozens of awesome, but admittedly kind of interchangeable tapes and CDRs like Dirt Weed Diaries Vol. 1, Grass Ceiling, and the tellingly (if, presumably, ironically) titled Bullshit Boring Drone Band.Then, in 2009, with a self-titled album for Wagon and the better-known What Happened for No Fun Productions, their music made a subtle but significant shift to something both more complex and recognizable; for the first time, they turned out jams you could actually Shazam successfully, meaning the app didn't just point you to something like Spooky Halloween Atmospheres, Volume Three.

  • Disclosure / Photo by Phil Sharp

    Hear Hot Natured, T. Williams Remix Disclosure's 'Latch'

    Numbers come up a lot when discussing London's Disclosure — specifically, 18 and 21, the current ages of the two brothers, Howard and Guy Lawrence, who form the duo. Then there's 2000 — the year that U.K. garage (the style that has informed much of their music so far) hit its commercial and creative apex. Now, though, as Disclosure reach the end of their breakout year, a few new figures are creeping into the equation. There's 6/8, the time signature they used for their wildly successful recent single, "Latch," and 584,553 and 1,545,966 — the number of plays that the song has gotten on SoundCloud and YouTube, respectively. (As I write this, anyway; they're climbing fast.) Finally, and most tellingly, there's 11 — the single's peak, so far, in the U.K. charts.That last number is kind of a big deal.

  • Crowd crush at Madrid's Thriller Music Park (photo: Estefanía Sa / El País)

    Death Toll from Madrid's Thriller Music Park Stampede Rises to Four

    The stampede at Madrid's Thriller Music Park, in which three young women died during a Halloween performance by Steve Aoki, claimed the life of a fourth victim over the weekend when a 17-year-old girl died of her injuries, reports El País. A fifth victim, 20 years old, remains in "extremely grave" condition.The death of the teenager came amidst intensified finger-pointing over the causes of the disaster. Many witnesses continue to insist that the crowd exceeded its authorized capacity of 9,650, whether due to overselling on the part of organizers, entry with falsified tickets, or gatecrashers entering without tickets at all.

  • Sebastian Ingrosso

    Chaos, Hospitalizations, Helicopter Mar 'Haunted Coliseum' Rave In New York

    Saturday night's Haunted Coliseum party, an all-ages event held at New York's suburban Nassau Coliseum featuring Swedish House Mafia's Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso, and Otto Knows, was billed as the "Biggest Dance Music Party in Long Island History," but it may go down as the biggest dance-music clusterfuck in Long Island history, thanks to lax security, scores of intoxicated teens, and one ambitious helicopter pilot.Around 11:15 p.m., just over an hour after the party had begun, police officials, responding to numerous reports of dangerously intoxicated attendees, shut down the event.

  • Vessels photographed by Bart Pettman

    Download Vessels' Cover of Nathan Fake's 'The Sky Was Pink'

    Nathan Fake's "The Sky Was Pink," released on Border Community in 2004, is an undisputed classic of electronic dance music. James Holden's remix of the tune was one of that year's biggest anthems — one of those increasingly rare tracks that managed to unite fans across several of dance music's competing factions: progressive house, trance, techno, minimal, and IDM. Now, proving the song's durability as well as its malleability, Leeds' Vessels have recorded a hybrid cover version of the song, drawing inspiration from both the original and Holden's iconic rework."It's one of those tracks that brought the band closer together and re-invigorated our love for making music together," Vessels' Lee J. Malcolm explained in an e-mail. "The original by Nathan Fake sounded like an electronica artist recreating a live band. Then James Holden turned it into a dance-floor techno classic.

  • Calyx & TeeBee

    Hear Calyx & TeeBee's Flickering, Futuristic 'Strung Out'

    Five years after their debut album, Anatomy, and with signs of a drum and bass revival in full swing, Calyx & TeeBee return with All or Nothing (RAM Records), a 12-track long-player that aims to bring DnB in from the cold. The album ranges from trim, elegant rollers to dystopian techstep flashbacks, with echoes of Photek, Source Direct, and even early Amon Tobin in its carefully sculpted breaks and gelatinous low end, while collaborations with Foreign Beggars & Craze, Kemo, and Beardyman make overtures to hip-hop. In many ways, it's a statement of the subgenre's core principles, but "Strung Out," one of the album's standout cuts, shows how far they're willing to stray from convention, with Calyx's vocals floating over watery keys and flickering rhythmic flourishes.

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