Philip Sherburne

writer

Biography

  • Maxmillion Dunbar

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Maxmillion Dunbar Flips Lids With His Heady 'Woo Daps' Mixtape

    Maxmillion Dunbar, Woo Daps Mix Tape (RVNG Intl.) Maxmillion Dunbar is the Dude we've been waiting for: a full-bearded, big-hearted Zen stoner whose curious, idiosyncratic take on house and techno offers proof of a bohemian utopia we should all aspire to. (You probably won't find any Eagles in his tape deck, however.) His Woo Daps Mix Tape, released this week as a pay-what-you-wish download from RVNG Intl., reprises a handful of tunes from his 2013 album House of Woo as a radically extended remix. Familiar strains from the album dart through the 50-minute set, but everything has been pretty much rebuilt from the ground up. The Jon-Hassell-in-zero-gravity "Kangaroo" assumes an even more gaseous form in a live-jam mix with Protect-U and Peaking Lights' Aaron Coynes.

  • Axel Boman

    Hear Axel Boman's Twinkling Winter Warmer 'Fantastic Piano'

    Want to lend a cozy touch to your home this holiday season, but don't have a fireplace? You could go with the classic backup plan of the chimney-impaired and pop a (virtual) log in the DVD player. For something a little more dynamic, though, why not try the video for Axel Boman's "Fantastic Piano"? Its twinkling, bokeh-kissed interplay of water and colored lights will look great in your living room, looped ad infinitum up on the flatscreen while you and your guests snack on canapés or relax with a steaming cup of mulled wine.Better yet, Boman's lilting piano miniature really does sound like the winter soundtrack of your dreams — a little bit Erik Satie, a little bit Vince Guaraldi, and as downy as a feather duvet.

  • John Talabot / Photo by Tasya Menaker

    John Talabot's Extraordinary 'DJ-Kicks' Entry Is a Love Letter to the Warm-Up Set

    As nightclubs go, Barcelona's Loft isn't an enormous venue, but with room for perhaps 800 people on the floor, it's big enough that the boxy concrete expanse feels positively cavernous when empty. That presents a challenge for DJs taking the warm-up slot there — particularly since Spanish clubs open at midnight but don't begin filling up until 2 a.m. or later. What do you play that won't echo absurdly through the void? Diving straight into bangers will make you look ridiculous; the trick is to reel 'em in and keep 'em rooted to the spot.The Loft was where John Talabot (a.k.a. Oriol Riverola, formerly known as DJ D.A.R.Y.L.) honed his skills as both a selector and a seducer, an expert setter of moods. Those qualities shine on his contribution to K7's long-running DJ-Kicks series, one of the most immersive, engaging journeys-by-DJ to come along this year.

  • Azari & III's Dinamo and Alixander

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Azari & III Are Techno Purists After All

    Azari & III, Lost Express (Get Physical) There aren't many acts that have traversed an unlikelier path through dance music's underground, middleground, and overground than Azari & III. Let's recap: They debuted in 2009 with a pair of slow, moody vocal house cuts — "Hungry for the Power" and "Reckless (With Your Love)" — on, respectively, Cosmo Vitelli's coldwavy I'm a Cliché label and Munich's disco-inclined Permanent Vacation. They moved to Tiga's Turbo for their next couple of EPs, and Turbo also put out their self-titled debut album in North America before Steve Aoki's Dim Mak scooped it up for a digital reissue in 2012 — despite the fact that the group's soulful, vintage house vibes couldn't be further from Aoki's dayglo cake-to-the-face aesthetic.

  • BiS-Kaidan

    BiS-Kaidan: Idol-Killers Somehow Unite J-Pop, Harsh Noise, and Buckets of Slime

    BiS-Kaidan is a cross-generational coup de pop, uniting two acts from opposing ends of Japan's musical spectrum. BiS (short for Brand-New Idol Society) are representatives of Japan's "idol" scene, a culture of singer-dancer-celebs who define the country's pop mainstream. Hijokaidan is an infamous art-noise improv troupe dating back to the late '70s, famous for stage antics both familiar (squalls of feedback, guitar throwing) and less familiar (pissing onstage and rolling around in the puddles). Together, they're an avant-pop supergroup seemingly brought together by the same forces that govern matter and anti-matter.The video for BiS-Kaidan's cover of Jun Togawa's 1985 hit "Suki Suki Daisuki" is everything you really need to know about this mind-boggling collision — a mix of confrontational dissonance, sugary pop, and performance-art theatrics.

  • Erol Alkan

    Erol Alkan Whips Up an Acid Maelstrom With 'Check Out Your Mind'

    After years flying co-pilot, Erol Alkan is taking over the controls. The British DJ and producer has built up a healthy discography working alongside Boys Noize, Switch, and his Beyond the Wizards Sleeve cohort Richard Norris, so it may come as a surprise to discover that his upcoming Illumination EP is Alkan's first solo release. The funny thing is, "Check Out Your Mind," its third and best track, sounds like the work of at least two individuals battling it out over the mixing desk. Quite literally, in fact: Over a squirrelly acid bass line, the groove vacillates between a shuffling funk break and a blocky machine beat, and every now and then, the whole thing gives way to a fleeting sample of voice and drums, as though a particularly amped-up DJ were slapping the fader back and forth between two records.

  • Still from Takeshi Murata's 'OM Rider'

    What Does the Wolf Say? Who Knows, But We're Terrified

    Forget what a couple of Euro-dance pranksters have led you to believe about furry woodland creatures. In the trailer for Takeshi Murata's "OM Rider," a wolf — or maybe gorilla-dog, or some other, unspecified breed of hellish canine beast — pounds an electronic keyboard, pukes green fluid, and peels through a darkened desert landscape on a moped whose petite dimensions seem ludicrously out of keeping with the clip's blood-curdlingly apocalyptic atmosphere.Credit for the video's claustrophobic sonics goes to a trio of artists: Los Angeles' Devin Flynn, a visual artist and musician who formerly played in the DFA-signed band Pixeltan; veteran noisenik C.

  • Nguzunguzu's 'Skycell'

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Nguzunguzu's 'Skycell' Is a Very Quiet Take on Grime

    Nguzunguzu, Skycell EP (Fade to Mind) Grime has typically been as diamond-tipped as the chainsaws Wiley uses to carve his Eskibeats into blocks of ice, but what if you could make grime with no hard edges at all? That seems to be the question behind Los Angeles duo Nguzunguzu's second EP for Fade to Mind. They don't totally eschew the genre's tough, percussive signifiers — indeed, pretty much all their drum-machine sounds, from booming low toms to rattling hi-hats, translate the violence of sticks hitting surfaces, and their bass hits like a medicine ball in the solar plexus. But even then, everything is coated in a profound sense of softness, and not the typical gauzy mush of the reverb-besotted novice.

  • Chimo Bayo

    Spanish DJ Sampled by M.I.A. Has No Idea Who M.I.A. Is or Where She Got His Song

    While few Americans are likely to be familiar with the sample that bookends M.I.A.'s "Warriors," Spanish listeners were quick to identify the source of those minor-key rave stabs: Chimo Bayo's "Así Me Gusta a Mí (X-Ta Sí, X-Ta No)," a 1991 song that went from mákina clubs and the Ruta del Bakalao — a weekend-long rave circuit in and around Valencia — to the top of the national pop charts.Surprisingly, the 52-year-old musician had no idea that his music had been used by M.I.A. — nor, indeed, who she is — until Iago Fernandez, of Vice's Spanish edition, called him up for comment.Bayo's initial reaction is one of mystification. "Do people really listen to this?" he asks. "Do they put it on at breakfast, or what? I think I'm getting old.

  • DJ Rashad

    Ryan Hemsworth's Radiohead Rave, DJ Rashad's Footwork, 11 More Dance LPs in Control Voltage

    ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Special Request, Soul Music (Houndstooth)Paul Woolford has been out there doing his thing — mostly a techno thing — for a long time now, but with his debut album as Special Request, a love letter to breakbeats and rave tropes, he's really found himself. There's been some discussion as to whether the record is overly "retro" or "nostalgic," but that's kind of missing the point, and not only because a whole host of artists (Shed, Zomby, Lone, even Rusko) have been summoning the same old-skool spirits for years.It helps to think of Special Request as dance music's answer to Haim. Haim are master bricoleurs, assembling a kind of Platonic ideal of radio pop out of scraps of Jam & Lewis and Kate Bush and Simple Minds. Special Request attempts the same kind of thing with the whole sweep of (mostly British) club music.

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