Philip Sherburne



  • The 40 Best Dance Tracks of 2013 So Far

    The 40 Best Dance Tracks of 2013 So Far

    The year in dance music so far has been all about strange bedfellows, deep-seated urges, and going back to basics. It's weird times for dance music; no obvious Next Big Thing looms on the horizon. Search parties have been sent out, yet scenes and sounds fragment and regroup, invest and recoup. The business press would have you think that stakes is high, and maybe that's true for the suits, who'd like to freeze-dry the culture and zip it up in vacuum-packed bags, like that astronaut ice cream you can buy at amusement parks. Down on the ground, though, the tinkerers are building rockets in their garage. And where dance music used to be defined by place-names — Berlin, Ibiza, London, New York — these days, anyone with an Internet connection can track its path across the galaxy. PHILIP SHERBURNE

  • Sigur Rós: (L-R) Georg Hólm, Orri Páll Dýrason, Jónsi

    Sigur Ros Reinvent Themselves as Dubstepping Trap-Rave DJs (No, Really)

    In all fairness, we were warned.Before Sigur Rós played a rare DJ set for Berlin's Boiler Room last week, they took the unusual step of advising fans what not to expect: namely, "glacial soundscapes of awesome dimensions" or "warm bubble baths of yoga wind-down muzak" or any of the other "enduring clichés" about the Icelandic band's sweeping, ethereal sound.They weren't kidding.

  • Snow Ghosts

    Stream Snow Ghosts' Haunting Debut Album 'A Small Murmuration'

    You can take the boy out of Bristol, but you can't take Bristol out of the boy. Ross Tones is based in London these days, but the music he makes under his Throwing Snow alias epitomizes the sound of the town he long called home — a dynamic fusion of house, dubstep, boogie, footwork, and drum and bass for which the customary tag "bass music" is even more woefully inadequate than usual.

  • James Holden

    Dance Tracks of the Week: James Holden Unites John Cage with Feral Forest Ravers

    For more than a decade, James Holden has exerted a kind of dark energy on dance music, an influence that is all the more interesting for the fact that the British producer has spent much of that time in the shadows. Seven years have come and gone since his debut album, The Idiots Are Winning, a slim (just 41 minutes long), cryptic treatise on experimental techno that has aged better than almost any of its contemporaries. It was ahead of its time then, and it sounds simply timeless now. But Holden, for whatever reason, mostly clammed up after that. He released no new music until 2010 — the glancing, triplet-laced single "Triangle Folds," which accompanied his gleefully left-field DJ-Kicks mix — and he released nothing after that until this spring's "Gone Feral" and "Renata," teasers for his new album, The Inheritors. Out this week, The Inheritors is the return we have been waiting for.

  • Museum of Love

    Hear Museum of Love's Necromancing 'Down South'

    Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem) gets in touch with his inner David Byrne on "Down South," the debut single from Museum of Love. His partner in the duo is Dennis McNany, a.k.a. DFA's Jee Day, and also the founder of Run Roc Records, a member of the bands Neutral Mute and SKISM, and a "touring member of Turing Machine" (one of the best phrases we've read in an artist bio in quite some time).As you might expect from two seasoned road warriors, "Down South" is an ode to distance and desire; more obliquely, it's also an ode to New York's all-inclusive club culture of the 1980s, fleshing out a slow-motion house shuffle with Lamonte Young dream-drones and "Oh Superman" stuttering phonemes. Fittingly, the washed-out shades and pixelated fades of the video give it the look and feel of a VHS installation you could have seen at the Mudd Club, circa 1981. Enjoy it above.

  • Julio Bashmore

    Jimmy Castor Bunch's Lawyers Get Neanderthal on Julio Bashmore's Ass

    Sometimes, life is easier underground.Last year, the Bristol producer Julio Bashmore lifted an extensive sample from the Jimmy Castor Bunch's 1972 funk hit "Troglodyte (Cave Man)" and used it as the spoken-word hook in his own song "Troglodytes." Tucked away as the A2 track on his Au Seve 12-inch, which was released on his own Broadwalk Records label, and also given away as a free download, Bashmore's "Troglodytes" is a funky little number in its own right, but its salient feature is Castor's gravelly exhortation: "What we're gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time, when the only people that existed were troglodytes. Cave men. Cave women. Neanderthal.

  • David Guetta at Electric Daisy Carnival, Chicago, 2013

    Electric Daisy Chain: Insomniac and Dick Clark Prod. Plan 2014 EDM Awards

    If you thought that what the world of electronic dance music really needed was more pomp, circumstance, and self-congratulation, well, you're in luck. At Las Vegas' EDMbiz conference this week, Insomniac, the promoter behind the Electric Daisy Carnival, announced a partnership with Dick Clark Productions to produce a dance-music awards show to coincide with the 2014 edition of the festival.This isn't entirely surprising news; Billboard reports that DCP had previously expressed interest in launching a dance-music awards show. Given the amount of cash being pumped into the EDM marketplace — and the absence of any major, mainstream awards ceremonies in the sector — it was a vacuum just waiting to be filled.

  • The xx, 'YoungVisions'

    Hear Ame, Dixon, and Marcus Worgull Remix the xx

    Love the xx but find their last album a little too somnolent? A new set of remixes from Âme, Dixon, and Marcus Worgull might be just the thing. The three Berlin artists, all affiliated with the Innervisions label, manage to toughen up the material without losing its essential seductive quality. They really make the bedsprings sing, in other words: Marcus Worgull's rework of "Fiction" splits the difference between slo-mo Italo disco and downcast Cure vibes, Dixon's "Ties" mix goes deep into pumping chords and wayward arpeggios, and Âme turn "Reunion" into one of subtlest, most sensual deep-house anthems of the summer.

  • Beach boy: Todd Terje

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Todd Terje Will Own Your Summer (Yet Again)

    Todd Terje "Strandbar" (Olsen Records) Todd Terje doesn't release that much, and he doesn't need to: Every time he puts out a new track, it's a contender for tune of the season. His "Inspector Norse" owned 2012, and 2011's "Ragysh," while less of a smash, still crossed over enough to turn up on Toolroom and Ministry of Sound comps alongside EDM big-roomers like Fedde Le Grand and Afrojack. (And let us not forget "Snooze 4 Love," from the Ragysh EP; when Terje and Lindstrom began their Sónar set with the beatless version of the track, it only reinforced my belief that there has been no more perfect opening track in the past 10 years of house music.) Now, just five months after Terje and Lindstrom got the jump on summer with the Italo-disco homage "Lanzarote" — one of SPIN's 40 Best Songs of 2013 So Far — Terje's back with "Strandbar," a song with summer written all over it.

  • Howes

    Hear the Woozy, Psychedelic House Debut of Howes

    James Holden's 2006 album was called The Idiots Are Winning, and, given how little impact the record made at the time, it was easy to share in his despair. But maybe the meek will inherit the earth after all, because Holden's elliptical style of techno has been turning up all over the place recently. After Four Tet and Jon Hopkins, a 19-year-old Mancunian producer called Howes is the latest musician to make good on the ecstatic, eccentric promise of Holden's seven-year-old rallying cry."Leazes," from Howes' debut EP, throbs and warbles in a way that's distinctly Holdenesque, but that's not to say that it's derivative.

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