Percussion Lab News & Updates
Percussion Lab keeps you up to date with news, ramblings, and anything else music related from our sphere of artists, DJs, labels, friends and contributors.

JANUARY 5, 2012

Throwing Snow Too Polite (12”)

Local Action, 2012

2011's “Shadower” by Ross Tones, aka Throwing Snow, might have been one of my top tracks of the year. The track combined elements of house, funky and even dark elements leaning in the goth direction. I didn't hear much like it in 2011, so I'm surprised I didn't see it on more top lists of singles of the year.

Tones kicks off 2012 right with the release of Too Polite, which, in keeping with the eclecticism of "Shadower," leans more towards drum & bass than anything else. The title track starts off with a dubstep feel, but the BPM is a little higher than most tracks. Then vocals kick in with highly distorted bass (not that brostep shit) coming off more like a distorted electric bass guitar than anything programed with MIDI. The arrival of the breakbeat comes and the busy percussion alongside it build to an intense dance eruption.

The first track off the single is “Pyre” which flutters in the funky range with hypnotic keys, a chunky kick drum, sped-up vocals and clicks and pop that make the track sail.  “Equuleus” starts off like almost a downbeat track but then sets into a funky house rhythm. The sped up vocals are again a major feature, but a steady dance groove dominates the tune.

All and all this release is a very nice way to start 2012. Throwing Snow also just did a podcast for XLR8R they you should check out.

JANUARY 5, 2012

Yesterday, Hotflush head Paul Rose aka Scuba dropped news of his third LP, called ‘Personality.’ When Resident Advisor asked for the reason behind that title, Paul addresses a dissatisfaction with the influx of “faceless” tunes over the past couple of years and how that inspired him to ensure the new record had an identity.

One of 2011’s most hyped tracks, ‘Sicko Cell,’ most literally embodies what, in my mind, Scuba means by “faceless." The strict dancefloor tool was stripped of any identity (has Joy O officially claimed it yet?), was rinsed to death months before the vinyl hit stores, and managed to come up many year end lists? The faceless-ness of the track could explain both its popularity AND its swift dismissal. Once it served its purpose and the mystery had gone, so too has the song into the annals of musicology.

Stream our newest Worth The Wax podcast here

A quick peruse through a Soundclouder's followers will churn up enough “faceless” tunes to fill an evening. Track after track of identical waveforms that blur into one long garage tune, and no one seems to care or speak up.

What Scuba does not acknowledge is another kind of identity disorder in music. Following his lead, I’ll call it “masked” music. Those tunes from talented producers who do a damn good job of copying a signature style with little inclination to further its evolution. Ifan Dafydd uses his considerable talents to borrow the mask of James Blake pre-LP; his songs are impressive, but they fall so far under the latter’s style, most people thought Ifan was James’ new moniker at first listen. It’s not faceless, you think its made by somebody else.

What the question really comes down to is whether or not these personality disorders in modern electronica music are a bad thing. Fans of JB will love Ifan, and a talented musician gets his due with the promise to excel beyond the comparison if he has it in him. ‘Sicko’ pummelled clubs worldwide and had everyone crossing their fingers for its drop on a good night out. Both disorders have a function (even an educational one, for the aspiring producer), yet (momentarily) derail the mightiest goal of all art: perpetuity.

Do you think there's such a thing as "masked" music? Which artists would fall under that category? Let's discuss in the comments section below.

- PT

DECEMBER 30, 2011

It's a tradition to make Year End Lists in an attempt to summarize the 12 month period that is coming to an end.  We've featured some amazing talent in 2011; see below for our 'staff' picks for top 5 mixes on Percussion Lab in 2011.  Some bass, some juke, some techno, some funk/soul, a dash of ambient, it's all in there cuz it's all on here, somewhere.   What were your favorite Percussion Lab sets from 2011? Hit us in the comments or on facebook...

Praveen Sharma

Falty DL: Mix for Her

Ital Tek: Summer 2011 Mix

Distal: Exclusive Mix

LDFD: Exclusive Mix

Sines: Exclusive Mix

Sougwen Chung

Mr Jaws: Visitors

Konque: CMKY Podcast 08

Mark Templeton: Winter Mix 2011

Ital Tek: Summer Mix 2011

Nihal Ramchandani: Inward

Nooka Jones

Konque: CMKY Podcast 08

Bruno Pronsato: CMKY Podcast 02

Background Sound: Exclusive Mix

Broodlings: Percussion Lab Mix

Mark Templeton: Winter Mix 2011

Brian Blessinger

Falty DL: Mix For Her

Captain Crunk: Percussion Lab Mix

Nooka Jones: Impulse Control

Jeff B: Dreaming Under a Tree

Saturn Never Sleeps: Exclusive Mix

DECEMBER 29, 2011

Year-end lists in the world of underground music are reaching a saturation point, as many have pointed out. But like the inexact science of genre-fication pioneered by many a music journalist/blogger/quibbler, the holiday season list-making is a necessary evil that may seem superfluous to the artists, but is the name of the game for those on the outside looking in.

Across the board people try and cut through the clutter of thousands of "releases," whittling down their personal favorites with a microscope in hopes of gleaning some kind of progressive understanding of why these bodies of music hit so close to home during the previous 12 months. And then, of course, we compare one list to another through incessant scrolling, commenting, and forum-baiting. The year-end list is an imperfect process at best, and flawed from the start. Taken as a whole, however, we can scan these lists and catch a crucial artist we may have missed, or give that one song another chance, having not implanted a lasting memory earlier in the spring or summer.

Most of all though, take a spin through these year-end lists while they are still available and try and pinpoint which of these artists' works will be relevant, or even revolutionary, when gazed upon from 10 years out. For all the controversy caused by this annual ritual, the issue of longevity and future "classic" status is certainly the most important part of combing through 2011's releases, and finding that one gem which will stand as a stepping stone for countless artists in years to come. There's always one, if not more... happy new year everyone, and before diving into January '12, check those lists twice.

- Cambo

Posted by Cam Curran | 1 comments