Philip Sherburne

writer

Biography

  • Aisha Devi

    Hear Willie Burns' Shimmering, Shuddering Remix of Techno Spiritualist Aisha Devi

    Between 2004 and 2011, Aisha Devi kept her music — released under the alias Kate Wax — focused on the cosmos. Inspired by her grandfather, a researcher at CERN, she gave her albums titles such as Reflections of the Dark Heat and Dust Collision, and mapped unthinkable distances with measured pulses, patient analog sequences, and her own voice, wispy as the fogged breath on the inside of a space helmet. Now, returning to her own name, the Tibetan-Swiss artist has charted a new course, one headed deeper and deeper into the inner space of mind, body, and soul. Hence "Clean Ur Chakras," a lo-fi techno cut suffused in hackle-raising gothic chants, or "Jesus & the Math," which sounds like a Sunday School choir covering the Knife.To round out her debut outing under her own name, Devi has turned to Hyperdub's Cooly G and L.I.E.S. and WT Records' Willie Burns for remixes.

  • Afrojack on the set of 'As Your Friend' video

    Afrojack Fans Perplexed by EDM Superstar's 'Weird' Ambient Detour

    Wolfgang Gartner recently caused a stir when he complained on Twitter about DJs playing it safe with their set lists. After calling out an unidentified jock for "playing [a] straight up Beatport top 10 hits marathon on the dance stage" at El Paso's Neon Desert Festival, he admonished his peers to "fucking DIG, lazy ass fucks," and closed with the advice, "moral of the story: YOU DON'T HAVE TO PLAY THE HITS TO GET THE MONEY AND PLEASE THE CROWD."Unless, of course, maybe you do. Consider the case of Afrojack and the ambient techno track that he posted to his SoundCloud account over the weekend.

  • Disclosure / Karl Walter/Getty Images

    Disclosure, 'Settle' (PMR)

    Disclosure's debut album opens with an extended sample swiped from a motivational speaker's pep talk. Over a rippling, pulsing 2-step beat, a voice bellows, "How do you stay motivated in the midst of everything that's going on? How do you build your personal momentum, and how do you stay in the zone?" It's fitting, though, because nobody in dance music better exemplifies the spirit of world-beating self-actualization than plucky brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, ages 22 and 19, respectively.Since releasing their first single in 2010, Disclosure have transformed from promising unknowns in a very crowded scene — the legions of eager young laptop producers rising in the wake of ex-dubsteppers turned house revivalists like Joy Orbison and Julio Bashmore — to standard-bearers for a new generation of British stars, boasting two legitimate U.K.

  • Gregor Schwellenbach, 'Spielt 20 Jahre Kompakt'

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Kompakt Goes Classical

    Gregor Schwellenbach Spielt 20 Jahre Kompakt (Kompakt)There have been a few examples of classically inclined takes on techno in the past few years, like Brandt Brauer Frick's four-to-the-floor chamber ensemble pieces or Hauschka's rhythm-centric studies for the prepared piano. But Gregor Schwellenbach's album for Kompakt is a little different; it endeavors to convert the Cologne label's back catalog into repertoire. It seems like a daunting task, given how much the label's signature depends upon the timbre and heft of electronic sounds and samples; you're unlikely to find yourself spontaneously humming the melody of Studio 1's "Grün 4," for example.

  • 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.

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