Philip Sherburne



  • The 10 Best Things We Saw at Primavera Sound 2013

    The 10 Best Things We Saw at Primavera Sound 2013

    Despite wintry temperatures that led some festival-goers to joke that it should have been renamed "Invierno Sound," Barcelona's Primavera Sound generated plenty of heat during three long nights of indie rock, rap, noise, and electronic music playing out alongside the Mediterranean. With one of the most expansive lineups on the worldwide festival circuit, Primavera offers a little something for everyone — from nostalgic crowdpleasers like the Postal Service and the Breeders to far-out propositions from Nurse With Wound and Guardian Alien — and delivered marvelously under the light of the full moon. Here are our ten highlights. PHILIP SHERBURNE

  • Boards of Canada and Daft Punk / Photo by Getty Images (Daft Punk)

    How Daft Punk Saved Pop Music (and Doomed Us All)

    "There's a tidal wave of laptop kids making music at the moment, which on the one hand is a great thing, because it's a whole new generation being encouraged to create. But on the other hand, it seems to have become a bit of a pissing contest between non-musicians who are more interested in computer components than art, all trying to elbow each other around to create the most impressively detailed, clicky sci-fi sounds. [But] at the end of the day, emotional melodies are going to last a lot longer than impressive drum programming."Can you guess who that is? You probably can. It's a press-shy duo who has just returned to the scene after a lengthy break between albums, a group known for its innovative viral campaigns and a nostalgic fondness for the sounds of the 1970s and 1980s.Daft Punk, you say? Sorry! But close: It's Boards of Canada's Mike Sandison.

  • Phonat

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Skrillex's Latest OWSLA Signing Goes 2-Step?

    Phonat Identity Theft EP (OWSLA) What does it mean that what we have here is essentially a 2-step garage song on Skrillex's OWSLA label? I'd never heard of Phonat until now, but apparently the Italian producer (Michele Balduzzi) has been kicking around for a while, with releases going back to at least 2005. According to his bio, his 2008 album eventually got picked up by Atlantic/Big Beat, which makes me wonder if he's just one of those artists who gets sucked into the major-label system based on some A&R's whim, yet whom nobody actually listens to. (Weirdly, he's not mentioned anywhere on Big Beat's website, and Beatport lists his album as coming through his own MofoHifi label, so who knows what the real deal is.

  • Boards of Canada out in a beautiful place in the country

    Boards of Canada Pull a Kanye, Emblazon Tokyo Building With Album Teaser

    The guy who's trying (again!) to sell his Boards of Canada RSD 12-inch on eBay says that he wants to use the proceeds to finance a move abroad, so it's ironic that Boards of Canada's promotional campaign for Tomorrow's Harvest now moves abroad. At a few minutes after midnight, local time, passersby in Tokyo's Shibuya neighborhood were treated to — well, it's hard to say, exactly, because for those of us watching via the cryptically titled Ustream channel, "Unofficial Boards of Canada Shibuya UST," it just looked like a whole lot of blurring lights on an LED screen affixed to a building.

  • Four Tet at Red Bull Music Academy New York

    Watch Four Tet Unlock the Secrets to Building a Better Live Show

    "Computers were never designed in the first place to become musical instruments," Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter recently told the New York Times, explaining the philosophy that led the duo to work with session musicians for Random Access Memories. "Within a computer, everything is sterile — there’s no sound, there’s no air. It’s totally code. Like with computer-generated effects in movies, you can create wonders. But it’s really hard to create emotion."Hard, maybe, but certainly not impossible: That much is clear from a video of Four Tet's recent lecture at the Red Bull Music Academy in New York, in which the British producer walks students through his live setup. Granted, Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) uses very little in the way of computer-generated sound, and he doesn't limit himself to just a laptop and MIDI controller, like so many "live" electronic acts do.

  • The cover of Romanthony's 'R. Hide in Plain Site' / Glasgow Underground, 2000

    Romanthony, Daft Punk's 'One More Time' Singer, Dead at 45

    Daft Punk's list of collaborators has been a key component of the campaign for their new album, Random Access Memories, but it was updated with a tragic footnote this week. Romanthony, a New Jersey house producer, DJ, and singer made famous worldwide by his appearance on Daft Punk's 2000 single "One More Time," has died of complications of kidney disease, his family confirmed to SPIN. He was 45.According to Chicago's 5 Magazine, news of his death first emerged early last week when Daone Remmidy, a singer (a.k.a. Eve Angel) who collaborated with Romanthony (Anthony Moore) on a string of singles in the mid-1990s, reported his passing on Facebook. Early Sunday morning, Moore's sister Mellony Moore confirmed his death in a Facebook post: "My baby brother ROMANTHONY aka Anthony Moore passed away 7 May 2013 at his home in Austin TX. Our family is shocked with grief.

  • Arthur Russell

    Hear an Unreleased Arthur Russell Song, 'Oh Fernando Why'

    Ibiza's Circoloco is well known as one of the island's wildest parties, with a musical policy focused squarely on underground house and techno of a Continental bent (and "bent" pretty much sums up the vibe, as well).

  • EDC

    Electric Daisy Carnival Welcomes Superrich With Kandi-Covered Arms

    A gilded age requires platinum perks. And as the superrich plan to get their rave on this weekend, they may be asking themselves, WWGD (What Would Gatsby Do)?Well, for one thing, he wouldn't just sit there staring at a paltry green light at the end of Daisy's dock. Bo-ring! Throw her parties? So bourgeois. No, he would take her to a carnival, a carnival full of electric lights and electronic music — an Electric Daisy Carnival, if you will.

  • Maxmillion Dunbar / Photo by Shawn Brackbill

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Drum Tools, Disco Edits, and Arab-Inspired Acid Jams

    Various Artists Acid Arab Collections EP01 (Versatile) "We don't paste oriental sounds on occidental beats, we want to embody both cultures without pretending to reinvent oriental music or fooling ourselves by believing we're inventing Eastern dance music." That's the Parisian DJs Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho explaining their new project Acid Arab, which is exactly what it sounds like: A fusion of acid house and Arabic music. It's a risky proposition, especially coming from two dudes who profess to "have fallen in love with this music after a trip to Tunisia." But at least Minisky and Carvalho are refreshingly circumspect about their cultural tourism.

  • Steffi

    Steffi, 'Panorama Bar 05' (Ostgut Ton)

    When the Dutch DJ Steffi played Berlin's Boiler Room in 2011, her gaze rarely left the turntables. There were plenty of distractions — a video camera perched in front, a roomful of dancers crowded behind, a virtual audience of thousands watching live on the Internet — but she might as well have been alone in her own studio for all the attention she paid to the hubbub around her. She was hardly stone-faced, dancing and even smiling as she spun through a seamless and propulsive mix of steely techno and wiry electro, but these were largely private gestures, the signs of a performer fully immersed in her music.All of this stood in stark contrast to the way many DJs behave on Boiler Room, mugging for the camera amid the jostling, invite-only crowd.

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