Philip Sherburne



  • Burial, 'Rival Dealer'

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Burial's 'Rival Dealer' Sounds Almost Optimistic

    Burial, Rival Dealer (Hyperdub) Burial's greatest strength has always been his greatest weakness as well: He transmits such an overwhelming sense of sorrow that there's practically no room left for anything else. There's something almost suffocating about the maudlin character of his music, which howls like a wind tunnel for the testing of weapons-grade pathos. How much bleak could it get? The answer, obviously, is none more bleak. Coupled with the ardor of his fans, Burial's music begins to seem almost a little bit coercive, as though it were daring you to resist its melancholic free-fall; to remain unmoved is to fail electronic music's version of the Voight-Kampff test, and resign yourself to a fate in which all your pathetic robot memories and opinions will eventually be lost in time like tears in rain.

  • Heatsick / Photo by Christian Freckman

    Heatsick's 'Re-Engineering' Is an Easy-Listening Grad-School Thesis You Can Dance To

    How seriously are we supposed to take Heatsick? This is the artist, after all, who began his solo career recording a string of cassettes and CDRs with titles like Pre-Cum Fog Ballet, Milky Quilt, Searing Light of Glue Prisms, and Solipsistic Pillow; the artist who uses a Casio keyboard with most of its keys missing and plays two- or three-hour sets of slowly morphing loops; the artist who occasionally sprays his audience with Chanel No. 5. (Beats being in the front row at a Steve Aoki gig, at least.) The artist who, on his new album, includes lyrics like "Algorithm is a dancer."No shots, by the way. If anything, electronic music could use more dodgy puns of dubious intent. And if Britney can sell (and sing about) perfume, why shouldn't Heatsick embrace the olfactory?

  • DJ Koze

    Dance Tracks of the Week: DJ Koze and Matthew Herbert Make Magic Together

    DJ Koze, Amygdala Remixes (Pampa) "It's magical / It's magical / It's magical / It's magical." Bold words — especially when you open with them, intoning the blissed-out proclamation like a mantra. But damned if Matthew Herbert doesn't deliver on the sentiment with his new remix for DJ Koze's "Magical Boy." Motivated, perhaps, by Koze's sublime remix, late last year, of Herbert and Dani Siciliano's 2001 song "It's Only" — one of the most unequivocally sentimental songs the squirrelly German producer has ever done — Herbert puts the kibosh on his own cantankerous instincts and settles into 10 minutes of wide-eyed wonder.

  • Rudimental

    SPIN's 2013 Trend of the Year: Disclosure and Rudimental Lead the Dance/Pop New School

    Joyous abandon abounded in dance music this year. It usually does, of course, since that's kind of the whole point of dance music. But in 2013, it was particularly present in a rapidly developing, U.K.-centric sound that mixes classic club tropes with ginormous pop hooks and runs it all through some of the most expensive-sounding production that computers can render: four-dimensional, florid as a hothouse, as springy as a mountain of bubble wrap atop a deep-pile shag rug.It wasn't so much dance-pop as "dance/pop," where the slash mark denotes the delirious balancing act between those two opposing forces.

  • Afrojack (who?) and his trolls

    Eminem Fans Plaster Afrojack's Facebook Page With 'Who?'s

    With more than 3 million Facebook likes, multiple hit records, and a regular presence in the tabloids (thanks to the whole Paris Hilton thing), Afrojack is one of the world's most famous DJs. To judge from the state of his Facebook page, however, he may have something of an image problem. If Paris Hilton is famous for being famous, Afrojack has suddenly become famous for being… Wait, who?Oh right, Afrojack. You see, for the past few weeks, every comment left on Afrojack's Facebook page reads only, "Who?" or "Who? Who?" or "MR WHO," or some variation about the same. There are thousands of them — tens of thousands, maybe. More "who"s than a Doctor Who impersonators' convention; more "who"s than an old-growth forest teeming with owls.Has the 'jack been hacked? Who could be behind such a stunt?

  • PANES (Tyson McVey and Shaun Savage)

    Hear PANES' Silky R&B Slow Burner 'A Narrative. An End.'

    Not to steal thunder from Neneh Cherry, who in February will release her first solo album in more than 16 years, but the kids, as they say, are coming up from behind. Earlier this month, Cherry's daughter, Tyson McVey, revealed the debut song from her own musical project, PANES. Now McVey and her musical partner, Shaun Savage — a member of Hackney's Flesh & Bone collective, whose credits include Factory Floor, Arthur Beatrice, and Neneh Cherry herself — are back with their new song, "A Narrative. An End."Sounds a lot like a beginning, if you ask us: The new song suggests that PANES have both chops and range.

  • Todd Terje

    Todd Terje Soundtracks Your Disco Ice Capades with 'Spiral' and 'Q'

    We're used to Todd Terje commandeering our summers with his poolside-friendly tunes like "Lanzarote" and "Strandbar" (which translates as "beach bar," just in case the whole samba-disco vibe didn't give it away). Now, with the grey maw of winter looming, the cheery Norwegian producer turns up with two new tunes, and, surprise! They sound a lot like summer."Spiral" is a beaming, Italo-inspired answer to Miami Vice, right down to the roto-toms. It's not all so sunny, though: Listen closely, and you may even hear a hint of the Cure's Disintegration in the chiming guitars. The B-side's "Q," meanwhile, is a 12-minute foray into what the label describes as "trance-not-trance," and we're inclined to agree with them.

  • Sampha

    Sampha: South London Singer and Drake Co-Conspirator Proves He's More Than Just a Silky Voice

    Who: Sampha Sisay, a British singer and producer born and raised in Morden, a bedroom community outside South London. You may know him mainly as that voice — that is, the heavenly, smoky, goosebump-inducingly expressive presence that gave SBTRKT's self-titled debut album its incredible intimacy. Many more will know him for the air of heartbreak he added to Drake's "Too Much" (a song the British vocalist co-wrote, in fact). But Sampha is gradually revealing that his talents run deeper than his larynx and his lungs. This summer's self-produced Dual EP boasted lush, deeply nuanced electro-acoustic production on par with that of peers like SBTRKT and Jamie xx, resulting in a futuristic but deeply rooted take on R&B. "I guess singing is the most revealing thing about someone," he says, adding that it's understandable that so many people have latched onto his voice as his defining talent.

  • Villa

    Villa's 'Exotic to Hell' Brings Sleek, Ebullient Disco to Yuksek's Partyfine Label

    There's no room for clumsy people in Yuksek's studio in Reims, France. Heck, there's not much room at all, stuffed as it is with vintage keyboards, drum kit, grand piano, multiple mixing desks, and arcane machines of every shape and size. To contrast with all that chaos, however, Yuksek and the artists he has invited in — Peter & the Magician, Black Yaya, Crayon, and guest vocalists like Oh Land JD Samson — are turning out a particularly tidy take on electro-pop for his newly minted Partyfine label. A world away from the buzzy French electro of Yuksek's youth, Partyfine's aesthetic is marked by limpid vocals, a careful sense of balance, and songwriting that owes more to the Brill Building than blog house.For the latest release on his label, the Belgian duo Villa turns in Partyfine's most elegant release set.

  • Maxmillion Dunbar

    Dance Tracks of the Week: Maxmillion Dunbar Flips Lids With His Heady 'Woo Daps' Mixtape

    Maxmillion Dunbar, Woo Daps Mix Tape (RVNG Intl.) Maxmillion Dunbar is the Dude we've been waiting for: a full-bearded, big-hearted Zen stoner whose curious, idiosyncratic take on house and techno offers proof of a bohemian utopia we should all aspire to. (You probably won't find any Eagles in his tape deck, however.) His Woo Daps Mix Tape, released this week as a pay-what-you-wish download from RVNG Intl., reprises a handful of tunes from his 2013 album House of Woo as a radically extended remix. Familiar strains from the album dart through the 50-minute set, but everything has been pretty much rebuilt from the ground up. The Jon-Hassell-in-zero-gravity "Kangaroo" assumes an even more gaseous form in a live-jam mix with Protect-U and Peaking Lights' Aaron Coynes.

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