Philip Sherburne

writer

Biography

  • Rudimental

    SPIN's 2013 Trend of the Year: Disclosure and Rudimental Lead the Dance/Pop New School

    Joyous abandon abounded in dance music this year. It usually does, of course, since that's kind of the whole point of dance music. But in 2013, it was particularly present in a rapidly developing, U.K.-centric sound that mixes classic club tropes with ginormous pop hooks and runs it all through some of the most expensive-sounding production that computers can render: four-dimensional, florid as a hothouse, as springy as a mountain of bubble wrap atop a deep-pile shag rug.It wasn't so much dance-pop as "dance/pop," where the slash mark denotes the delirious balancing act between those two opposing forces.

  • Afrojack (who?) and his trolls

    Eminem Fans Plaster Afrojack's Facebook Page With 'Who?'s

    With more than 3 million Facebook likes, multiple hit records, and a regular presence in the tabloids (thanks to the whole Paris Hilton thing), Afrojack is one of the world's most famous DJs. To judge from the state of his Facebook page, however, he may have something of an image problem. If Paris Hilton is famous for being famous, Afrojack has suddenly become famous for being… Wait, who?Oh right, Afrojack. You see, for the past few weeks, every comment left on Afrojack's Facebook page reads only, "Who?" or "Who? Who?" or "MR WHO," or some variation about the same. There are thousands of them — tens of thousands, maybe. More "who"s than a Doctor Who impersonators' convention; more "who"s than an old-growth forest teeming with owls.Has the 'jack been hacked? Who could be behind such a stunt?

  • PANES (Tyson McVey and Shaun Savage)

    Hear PANES' Silky R&B Slow Burner 'A Narrative. An End.'

    Not to steal thunder from Neneh Cherry, who in February will release her first solo album in more than 16 years, but the kids, as they say, are coming up from behind. Earlier this month, Cherry's daughter, Tyson McVey, revealed the debut song from her own musical project, PANES. Now McVey and her musical partner, Shaun Savage — a member of Hackney's Flesh & Bone collective, whose credits include Factory Floor, Arthur Beatrice, and Neneh Cherry herself — are back with their new song, "A Narrative. An End."Sounds a lot like a beginning, if you ask us: The new song suggests that PANES have both chops and range.

  • Todd Terje

    Todd Terje Soundtracks Your Disco Ice Capades with 'Spiral' and 'Q'

    We're used to Todd Terje commandeering our summers with his poolside-friendly tunes like "Lanzarote" and "Strandbar" (which translates as "beach bar," just in case the whole samba-disco vibe didn't give it away). Now, with the grey maw of winter looming, the cheery Norwegian producer turns up with two new tunes, and, surprise! They sound a lot like summer."Spiral" is a beaming, Italo-inspired answer to Miami Vice, right down to the roto-toms. It's not all so sunny, though: Listen closely, and you may even hear a hint of the Cure's Disintegration in the chiming guitars. The B-side's "Q," meanwhile, is a 12-minute foray into what the label describes as "trance-not-trance," and we're inclined to agree with them.

  • Sampha

    Sampha: South London Singer and Drake Co-Conspirator Proves He's More Than Just a Silky Voice

    Who: Sampha Sisay, a British singer and producer born and raised in Morden, a bedroom community outside South London. You may know him mainly as that voice — that is, the heavenly, smoky, goosebump-inducingly expressive presence that gave SBTRKT's self-titled debut album its incredible intimacy. Many more will know him for the air of heartbreak he added to Drake's "Too Much" (a song the British vocalist co-wrote, in fact). But Sampha is gradually revealing that his talents run deeper than his larynx and his lungs. This summer's self-produced Dual EP boasted lush, deeply nuanced electro-acoustic production on par with that of peers like SBTRKT and Jamie xx, resulting in a futuristic but deeply rooted take on R&B. "I guess singing is the most revealing thing about someone," he says, adding that it's understandable that so many people have latched onto his voice as his defining talent.

  • Villa

    Villa's 'Exotic to Hell' Brings Sleek, Ebullient Disco to Yuksek's Partyfine Label

    There's no room for clumsy people in Yuksek's studio in Reims, France. Heck, there's not much room at all, stuffed as it is with vintage keyboards, drum kit, grand piano, multiple mixing desks, and arcane machines of every shape and size. To contrast with all that chaos, however, Yuksek and the artists he has invited in — Peter & the Magician, Black Yaya, Crayon, and guest vocalists like Oh Land JD Samson — are turning out a particularly tidy take on electro-pop for his newly minted Partyfine label. A world away from the buzzy French electro of Yuksek's youth, Partyfine's aesthetic is marked by limpid vocals, a careful sense of balance, and songwriting that owes more to the Brill Building than blog house.For the latest release on his label, the Belgian duo Villa turns in Partyfine's most elegant release set.

  • 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.

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