Philip Sherburne

writer

Biography

  • Zedd on 'Letterman'

    Zedd Tickles Ivories on Drop-Free 'Letterman' Performance

    When Skrillex told SPIN, "Electronic music isn't a fucking genre, it's a platform," his protégé Zedd clearly must have been taking notes. The young German producer may have made his name on the back of remix contests, singles for Skrillex's Owsla label, and flash-bang laptop sets at gigs like Ultra Music Festival, but his recent album Clarity suggested a desire to use his EDM cred as a springboard into straight-up pop music. His appearance yesterday on Late Night With David Letterman proved that he's made that jump.Zedd traded his laptop and controllers for a gleaming concert grand; guest singer Foxes, practically glowing in her white lace tunic, stood front and center behind the mic. To drive home the point that this was Very Serious Music made by real, live people, a string sextet was on hand to provide the requisite sweeps and swells.

  • The Others / Photo by Sarah Ginn

    The Others: Dubstep Renaissance Man Tests the Boundaries

    Who: Originally a duo, the Others is now the solo nom de plume of London dubstep producer Alex Crawford, who crafts exquisitely twisted bass-line fantasias for Caspa's rugged Dub Police label. He's no young wubber-snapper, though: Crawford boasts a deep catalog of spare, seismic anthems going all the way back to 2007. His film-music studies near Croydon, the birthplace of dubstep, left him well-positioned to get involved with the scene when it was just starting. "I've been DJing and producing for going on ten years or so," he says. "It's a natural thing. I didn't really have a career in drum and bass or garage, but when dubstep came along, I wanted to get involved. If you've been to [seminal London club] FWD before, you know it's a tiny little place. Everyone in the scene was under one roof. It felt accessible.

  • Ultra Music Festival 2012 / Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

    State of Dance Music 2012: Have We Already Peaked?

    I don't want to alarm anyone, but it looks like we may have reached peak dubstep.That might be news to Muse, Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, Chris Brown, and all the other artists who cribbed from dubstep's broken rhythms and buzzing palette in an effort to sound more timely — or, at the very least, to get a leg up in the SEO wars. Al Walser, who spammed his way to a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording, wasn't the only one who learned to game the system this year. For pop stars, lacing a track with a hint of wobble or a dribble of drop kept their names ricocheting through the aggregated universe.This was the year that dubstep ceased to be a discrete subgenre and went full-on meme.

  • Control Voltage's Top 20 Electronic Tracks of 2012

    Control Voltage's Top 20 Electronic Tracks of 2012

    It was a year of weird hybrids and wily rhythms, of old-school tropes turned inside out and set on their ear. It seemed like everyone had a fuzzbox and they sure as hell were gonna use it. Noise artists started making techno, and techno producers succumbed to the pleasures of noise; R&B ran through club music like an underground spring, while a hint of post-punk menace lurked in the shadows. There were few common threads, and the motley tapestry that resulted was all the more exciting for it.

  • Heathered Pearls / Photo by Philistine DSGN

    Download a Wintry Ambient Track from Ghostly's Heathered Pearls

    Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow: Heathered Pearls' debut album, Loyal, came out yesterday on Ghostly International, and for seasonally affected listeners, it might just provide a lifeline through the next few weeks of holiday overdrive (and post-NYE comedown). Whether crunching through snowdrifts with your iPod or staving off cabin fever with a hot toddy, Loyals is pretty much the perfect winter soundtrack.Heathered Pearls is Jakub Alexander, a co-founder of the Moodgadget label; layering soft synthesizers, indistinct loops, and hazy who-knows-what, he conjures the sensual, suggestive drift of Kompakt's Pop Ambient series as well as the rain-streaked melancholy of Vancouver's Loscil.

  • Kiki Pau

    Hear Finnish Psych Outfit Kiki Pau's Moonlit 'Tomte Mars'

    The Nordic countries may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of fuzz-drenched psychedelia, but Finland's Kiki Pau look set to do for their homeland's reputation what Sweden's Sabbath-worshipping, kente-cloth-wearing Goat have for theirs.Kiki Pau aren't quite as doomy as Goat; Pines, the Helsinki band's third album, bears more in common with the mossy languor of Dungen, with woodwinds, hand drums, and guitar twang tracing links between pagan rituals under the midnight sun and Indian ashrams half a world away.

  • Kelis / Photo by Getty Images

    Hear Kelis Purr (and Roar) on Skream's 'Copy Cat'

    Until now, Usher's "Climax" has been one of the only truly successful marriages of R&B and EDM — or at least, one of the few fusions that hasn't strangled R&B's essential sensuality with the velvet-rope clichés of Las Vegas' ersatz-Ibiza phase. Now Kelis and dubstep pioneer Skream step up with a new single, "Copy Cat," that makes Usher's ode to Tantric stamina sound, in comparison, like the self-portrait of a one-minute man.If the winking point of "Climax" was that, duh, there was no climax, "Copy Cat" displays an even more exquisite refusal of the money shot. While his group Magnetic Man is no stranger to big-tent bombast, here Skream limits himself to an airy, elegantly restrained beat reminiscent of SBTRKT's "Right Thing to Do," with tuned hi-toms ringing like icicles dripping from the heat of Kelis' breath alone.

  • Enchufada redefines

    Buraka Som Sistema's Enchufada Label Offices Go Up in Flames

    The offices of Buraka Som Sistema's Enchufada label went up in flames on Sunday night, label reps reported on social networks today, reducing the entirety of the label's back stock and merch to ashes. Fortunately, there were no injuries."We have no idea how the fire started and we haven't had any word from the police or fire department about it yet," Buraka's João Barbosa (a.k.a. Branko, and the founder of the label) told SPIN. Only two months ago, Enchufada had moved to new facilities in downtown Lisbon. "Because it's mainly an office building and no one actually lives in it, it took a while before anyone alerted the fire department," said Barbosa.

  • Terry Callier

    Massive Attack's 3D Honors Terry Callier With Moving Mixtape

    Massive Attack's Robert "3D" Del Naja has released a new mixtape featuring the late Terry Callier, a former collaborator of the band, reports NME.Callier, a singer and musician who became known in the late 1960s and for his unique fusion of jazz, soul, and folk, and who returned to music after becoming an icon of the acid-jazz scene in the 1990s, died in October at the age of 67. He had recorded with Massive Attack on their 2009 album Hidden Conversations; for the mixtape, Del Naja dusted off 2005 sessions recorded with Euan Dickinson and producer Neil Davidge, longtime collaborators of the band. "It felt right to honour the short time we had with him in Bristol," Del Naja told NME.The 16-minute collage gathers together several songs, all foregrounding Callier's inimitable voice against subtle strings, electronic effects, and the occasional measured rhythm.

  • Maya Jane Coles / Photo by Thomas Knights

    Hear Maya Jane Coles' Sumptuous 'Easier to Hide' EP

    The British producer and DJ Maya Jane Coles is on a tear, and what's striking is how sustained her ascendance has been. Her 2010 single "What They Say" was one of that year's biggest deep-house anthems, which led to a packed 2011 calendar of gigs at venues like Space Ibiza, London's Fabric, and Berlin's Panorama Bar. And this year, on the strength of her focused-but-eclectic style of DJing and a wide-ranging mix CD for K7's DJ-Kicks series, she became one of the few representatives of British and European underground to get booked at American EDM mega-fests like Miami's Ultra. The secret to her success is simple: She's got a unique sound, carefully poised between deep house and low-key electronic pop, and she's a formidable presence on the decks.

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