Philip Sherburne



  • Headhunterz

    Dance Tracks of the Week: From the Rough to the Smooth With Headhunterz and Tensnake

    Tensnake, "58 BPM" (Virgin/EMI/Astralwerks) Make no mistake, the affliction that the New York Times' Jon Caramanica calls "the Summer of Smooth, the most tepid and timid season of pop music in recent memory," has also affected dance music. For proof, just look at the rise of the new "deep house," a wan, plinky-dink take on the genre that has turned up everywhere from the U.K. pop charts to Tiësto's radio show. There's nothing wrong with smoothness, per se; done right, deep house balances pillowy softness with a healthy amount of grit. Hamburg's Tensnake helped pave the way for the current deep-house revival with his 2010 single "Coma Cat," a springy, boogie-flavored cut that managed to reach No. 85 on the U.K. pop charts after Defected licensed it from Permanent Vacation. Now, his new single "58 BPM" takes dropped tempos and doe-eyed affect to new extremes.

  • Al Walser at the Grammys

    Grammy Upsetter Al Walser Is Back, and He Wants His Money Now

    Do you remember Al Walser? Sure you do. The Grammys? An astronaut suit? Liechtenstein? That keytar? Exactly — Al Walser.Well, he's back. Perhaps hoping to have more time to build buzz for his new single before the Grammy nominating process starts — last year's "I Can't Live Without You," which was nominated for a Best Dance Recording despite the fact that only a few thousand people had even heard the song, was released on September 21, just nine days before the cutoff, helping to fuel speculation that he gamed (or at least schmoozed) his way into the nomination — Walser has released a new video. And like all things Al Walser, this one is an event."The long version of the video is my response to the mainstream 'palaver' resulting from my nomination," Walser tells SPIN, "but also my thoughts on the current status quo within the industry.

  • The Emperor Machine

    Ewan Pearson Skronks Up the Emperor Machine's Electro-Funk Cut 'Hey!'

    In a scene where switching up aliases is about as remarkable as changing socks, Andy Meecham nevertheless stands out as having a particularly promiscuous approach to artistic identity. Over the years, he's been a member of the groups Bizarre Inc., Chicken Lips, Big Two Hundred, Randee Jean, Red Medicine, Lordy, and more — generally alongside Dean Meredith, Steve Kotey, or both of them — and as a solo artist, he's trafficked under the names Sir Drew, Future Four, Nytro, Innovation, and the Emperor Machine. (Meecham must have one copious sock drawer.)In his latest outing, Meecham foregoes the Emperor Machine's customary John Carpenter-in-Ibiza vibes and digs into a punky disco groove that's got the Mudd Club written all over it. "I started off simply by trying to work on something more upbeat – that's the only brief I gave myself," Meecham says.

  • El Paso's Sun City Music Festival

    Teen in Critical Condition After Suspected Overdose at Sun City Music Festival

    The drug-related casualties from Labor Day weekend's music events continue to pile up. A 17-year-old girl from Houston is in critical condition after collapsing at El Paso's Sun City Music Festival on Sunday, reports the El Paso Times. An El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesperson told reporters that investigators believe the teenager took "a synthetic drug known as Molly" but provided no further information. Molly, in addition to being a pop-music meme run rampant, is a street name for MDMA, although recent research has revealed that powders passed off as Molly are frequently cut with (or replaced by) other, shadier substances such as methylone, PMMA, TFMPP, and 5-MEO-DipT.Sun City Music Festival, a two-day event held Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 in El Paso's Ascarate Park, was a co-production of El Paso's SMG Events and Charlotte, N.C.'s Disco Donnie Presents.

  • 'El Ritmo Infinito' will broadcast every Saturday on Spain's Radio 3

    John Talabot Launches Weekly Radio Program and Podcast

    As a DJ, John Talabot's mixing skills are second only to the occasional audaciousness of his selections. And as co-founder of Barcelona's Hivern Discs label, he has proven that he has a keen ear for A&R.

  • Electric Zoo Canceled Following Two Ecstasy-Related Deaths

    Electric Zoo Canceled Following Two Ecstasy-Related Deaths

    Sunday's (September 1) Electric Zoo finale has been canceled after two attendees died and another four were hospitalized during Friday and Saturday's events, reports the Wall Street Journal (via Gawker). Citing "serious health risks," the Office of the Mayor announced the cancellation in a press release this morning, noting that while "definitive causes of death" have yet to be determined, MDMA appears to have been involved in both cases.On Electric Zoo's homepage, the festival lineup has been replaced by a statement from Made Event, the festival's organizers, offering condolences to the families of the deceased.

  • Green Velvet

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Green Velvet Tips His Hat to Prince

    Green Velvet, "Bigger Than Prince" (Circus Records) It's been a few years since Green Velvet (a.k.a. Curtis Jones, a.k.a. Cajmere) released much in the way of new solo productions; mostly he's been enjoying the fruits of his legacy, as captured on last year's excellent Only 4 U: The Sound of Cajmere & Cajual Records, as well as, perhaps, coasting on it, as evidenced by a recent spate of new remixes of his classic hits. (Nicky Romero's 2010 remix of "Flash" was a huge hit in EDM land, paving the way for Green Velvet's own appearances at EDC in 2012 and 2013.) So it's kind of a big deal that he has a new single out. "Bigger Than Prince" is a grower, which is to say that it might be underwhelming at first. Its principal hook is the spoken-word phrase "Walk around like you're bigger than Prince," presumably calling out artists with an inflated sense of self-worth.

  • LGBT Rights For Russia

    Hear Techno Compilation 'LGBT Rights for Russia Now!,' With Legowelt, Perc, and Hieroglyphic Being

    Legowelt, Hieroglyphic Being, KiNK & Neville Watson, and Perc are among the contributors to a new compilation to support Russia's beleaguered gay community. Bearing the self-explanatory title, LGBT Rights for Russia Now!, the album is the dance-music scene's latest salvo in the battle to protect LGBT rights in Russia, following the announcement of solidarity parties coordinated by Berlin's Berghain, Munich's Harry Klein, and Brooklyn's Output, among others.All proceeds from the compilation will go to, the organizers of Moscow's Pride events, and a group whose very existence is threatened amidst a climate of beatings, police abuse, and new legislation banning so-called "gay propaganda." "It's partly to raise awareness, partly to show support, and partly to hopefully generate some cash to make their job and their cause a bit easier," says organizer Vincent Koreman (a.k.a.

  • Mark Pritchard

    Mark Pritchard Breaks Down His Siren-Strafed 'Lock Off' EP

    After two decades as one of electronic music's most unpredictable shapeshifters, Mark Pritchard — formerly known as Harmonic 313, Troubleman, N.Y. Connection, and Link, and a former member of Africa HiTech, Global Communication, Harmonic 33, Jedi Knights, Reload, Use of Weapons, et al — has a practical reason for finally deciding to retire his many aliases. "The confusion had to be addressed," he tells SPIN over Skype from his studio in Australia, which the British musician has called home for the past 10 years. "In the current climate, to use a different name each time you do a project seems a bit silly.

  • Leisure Connection, 'Jungle Dancing'

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Peaking Lights Side Project Leisure Connection Go 'Jungle Dancing'

    Leisure Connection, "Jungle Dancing"/"Wave Riding" (No 'Label') The oddly named No 'Label' is a vinyl-only offshoot of Amsterdam's Rush Hour; they might just as well have called it No 'Sound,' given that the imprint doesn't have anything like a sonic hallmark. Across Stellar Om Source's opalescent electro, Aardvarck's apocalyptic rave anthems, and Willie Burns' psychedelic homage to Native American cultures via his Black Deer alias, eccentricity remains the only common denominator. And so Leisure Connection's "Jungle Dancing" is a springy mechano-disco jam with all the dubby weirdness you might expect from a project with ties to the echo-besotted nocturna-poppers Peaking Lights.

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