Tomorrow brings the official release of the album the internet has been eagerly anticipating since a 16-second ad aired without fanfare during a March episode of SNL. Random Access Memories, the latest from French discotronic duo Daft Punk, has been streaming on iTunes since last Wednesday, and its lead single – the pop earworm “Get Lucky,” sung by the ever-charismatic Pharrell – has been bumping the XPN airwaves since last month.
But what about the album beyond that? There’s a lot of hype and excitement in the air for it, but hype doesn’t always equate to quality. Sure, the duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter released the trend-setting 1997 album Homework and the irresistible Discovery in 2001. And yeah, James Murphy name-checked them in that song title that one time. But less discussed is the uneven 2005 effort Human After All, or the Tron soundtrack.
Does Random Access Memories hold up? Is it a new chapter in dance music and a return to glory for these mysteriously helmet-clad techno-heads? Or is it a bunch of bluster that will breeze away with the next album-of-the-minute? We asked a handful of Philly’s own electronic music heads – from Chris Powell of Spaceship Aloha and Man Man to DJ Apt One- for their thoughts on Random Access Memories, and got a variety of responses. Check them out below. Continue reading →
Matt Marchinowski of Big School Records is moving out of Philadelphia. To celebrate his time here, Marchinowski has pieced together a snapshot of the local music scene with a 27-track mixtape called Philamixington II, available as a free download via his Tumblr. The second installment in the local music mixtape series, this collection samples various genres, circles and side projects with tracks from radio favorites like Cheers Elephant (pictured), basement staples Roof Doctor and The Hundred Acre Woods and new-projects-from-old-buddies like Avery Rosewater. From Marchinowski:
Although April will see my moving out of Philadelphia for the peaceful confines of the sticks I will still consider its scene ‘home’. It wasn’t easy narrowing this collection down to 27 jawns but I can assure you it won’t be the last notch in the Philamixington series.
Download the full mixtape for free on Beat the Indie Drum here and stream a sampling of the tracks below. The first Philamixington set can be downloaded here.
In case you missed it, last week Work Drugs released a new single, “West Coast Slide,” that you can download for free below. It’s another infectious power yacht rock anthem with a soaring guitar line ripped from the pages of the Christopher Cross song book.
It’s almost like the guys and gals in Work Drugs have their listeners in a single-of-the-month club that never stops. Which is totally fine with us. Today, they premiered a new jam with the folks at All Things Go Music and it’s an unexpected and eviscerating fusion of black metal, grime and IDM / industrial rhythms that will tear your speakers apart. Just kidding, it sounds like a Work Drugs song, a disco beat and shimmering pop keyboards and hooks galore. The folks at the blog described it thusly:
A highlight here is the lovably exuberant arena rock guitar solo that erupts around the midpoint of the song, as if it’d been bottled up since 1982 just waiting to unleash its perky, Tears for Fears-esque riffage on the world. Rarely have seventies yacht funk, dreampop and indie disco come together to such delightful effect.
The song comes from the forthcoming LP Work Drugs plans to release in 2013, and we expect they’ll play a selection of new hits when they appear at Union Transfer tomorrow opening for Future Rock. You can stream and download “West Coast Slide” here, and watch the video for “Young Lungs,” another song from the new album, below.
Saturday night brought an electro-pop triple header to a sold-out Kung Fu Necktie with headliners Work Drugs joined by buzzing funk foursome Night Panther and openers Cruiser. Check out scenes from the show in the photo gallery above.
XPN welcomes prolific Philly smooth-fi outfit Work Drugs to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. Operating behind a mission to create make “music specifically for dancing, boating, yachting, sexting and living,” Work Drugs have a steady streak of releasing one song each month since December of 2011 in addition to 2012′s full-length Absolute Bearing and the retrospective / rarities vinyl Delta (released last November). Tonight’s event with Night Panther, Cruiser and DJ Young Mariah Carey kicks off a spring tour for Work Drugs, their first since 2011. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here. Below, watch the video for “Delta.”
“Lioness” is the latest disco-vocalized synth-fueled jam from Night Panther. Download it below. WXPN Welcomes Night Panther with Work Drugs to Kung Fu Necktie tomorrow night. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.