If you’re anything like us, you’re wary of the term ‘soulful dubstep.’ It’s not that it can’t be great, it’s just that the once-enterprising genre has become so sullied by insipid R&B and middling electronica that it’s often unforgivably hokey. Jamie Woon—lover, looker, Burial-produced song man—is here to course-correct. This exquisite Royce Wood Junior remix of “Lady Luck” has heavenly vocals, properly funky beats, and most importantly, not a single ounce of cheese. The album doesn’t come until April, so hit Mr. Woon up at SXSW now, and keep abreast of news over on Facebook.
Jamie Woon - Lady Luck (Royce Wood Junior Remix)
(Photo: Bijoux Altamirano)
Prince Terrence—erstwhile manhandler of Santigold/Major Lazer drum kits and current voice of the downtown debauched—is the photogenic overlord of Hussle Club, the darkwave outfit of which we are über fans. “Loose Tights” was already oily business, and in this screeching dubstep redux, Flinch extends His Highness no favors, unleashing wave after wave of leveling bass. Buy all the strut and skronk you can handle on the limited press 7-inch through Mishka now, and play it as we do: loudly and in front of a mirror while mouthing the question, “Who’s bad?”
Hussle Club - Loose Tights (Flinch Remix)
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Master beatboxer, looping luminary, viral video architect—these are a few of the things that make up London's Beardyman's legacy. The BBC has called him "King Of Sound And Ruler Of Beats", so it might be best that you take hold and listen, whether it's when he's visiting Google UK or in this remix of his track "Where Does Your Mind Go". It's electronic renaissance fair sounds mixed with house-referencing dubstep, heightening his usual hip-hop-gleaned sounds into something warbled and explosive. The original is on his upcoming release I Done A Album out March 21. Expect the same sort of beat manipulation, be it vocally or through his super loop skills.
Beardyman - Where Does Your Mind Go (U-Phonix Vocal Mix)
You’ve got to hand it to rave crew Hadouken!—from their glamour-shot press pic to the exclamation point in their name, these kids are stoked to be stars. That attitude coupled with their beastly, arena-pleasing, now-that’s-what-I-call-dance-rock has garnered them quite the following, from UK club kids and remixers alike. So, as they put the finishing tweaks on their third studio album, they’ve unleashed teaser “Mecha Love," which in turn has led to this epic, smashy-smashy LAXX dubstep mix. A heads up: any urges to dress up in Street Fighter garb and kick out a few car windows after listening are to be expected.
Hadouken! - Mecha Love (LAXX Remix)
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Greg Nice is a veteran of New York rap, starting his career as half of Big Daddy Kane-affiliates and forefathers of the game, Nice And Smooth. Flavor Flav is no slouch either when it comes to hip-hop history. As a member of Public Enemy, Flav was always by Chuck D.'s side to big up his politico limit-pushing—the absolute most famous hypeman of all-time. "Ayo Ayo" comes from Nice's first solo record, The Popcycle, but it isn't laced with the typical trappings of NYC's hip-hop of yore. Instead, producer and RCRD LBL pal Aaron LaCrate has crafted up something dubstepy, which Nice rides over just like a regular breakbeat, with Flav doing his thing in the background. This is an assemblage of two very separate, but equally rad worlds. Not every producer could make this work, but LaCrate's on his game with this one. It's an excellent preview for what's to come from his album—where this track is also featured—out in 2011.
Aaron LaCrate - Ayo Ayo (feat. Greg Nice & Flavor Flav)
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A lot of the music emerging out of the ever-expanding, loosely affiliated umbrella genre dubstep is noted for its connections to hip-hop, jungle, and, of course, dub. But Shackleton's corner of this world is notable for its references to completely separate forms of music: Music from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, with subtle hints of jazz and classical. It may sound stuffy, but Shackleton's breed of bass music is incredibly deep and approachable: A blend of clanging percussion, microphone taps, blurred voices, and sustained bass notes. Shackleton's installation in the London club Fabric's excellent mix series is set to be released next week, and his mix features both new and previously released tracks. "International Fires" is one of the former, a spooky, yet groovy, textbook example of Shackleton's music.
Shackleton - International Fires
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Outer space, underground, robots, and the funk ghosts of playas past all surface on “Hypnotize U,”—the breakout single from supergroup collaborators Daft Punk and N.E.R.D. But it’s UK dubsteppers Nero who propel the jam into truly mind-melting stratospheres. In their re-touch, studio drum beats and zonked-out synths help jettison Pharrell’s formally soporific vocals into dreamy R&B phosphorescence. In any iteration, this one’s got legs for days.
N.E.R.D. & Daft Punk - Hypnotize U (Nero Remix)
London-born/Copenhagen-bred rapstress Mercedes has a tasty, ‘90s-flavored joint called “Shock Absorber,” out now on Eye Industries. All fun and games, right? Well, it would be, if only Tony Senghore and Savage Skulls would keep their stun-gunning mitts to themselves. Below, they don't—their screeching alarms, wormy beats, and dirty static pummel new-skool candy into basement steel.
Mercedes - Shock Absorber (Tony Senghore & Savage Skulls Vox Dub Mix)
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Diplo and Lil Jon's coalescence on "U Don't Like Me" is one of those head of the class, kind of unfair to everyone else in the game sort of get together. Then they dropped a fiery arcade-style video for it and we didn't think it could get anymore awesomely aggressive. But straight off of the brand new Mad Decent-released comp (out today!), Blow Your Head Volume 1—Diplo Presents: Dubstep is a remix from Canadian General Of Drum And Bass, Datsik, which turns the already insane collab into a warbled mind-melter. The collection also features a previously unreleased refit from Skream, where he coaxes Major Lazer anthem "Hold The Line" out of its dancehall roots and into the London underground. With crucial cuts from Rusko and Zomby, this is the perfect primer for dubstep newbies (and a smattering of some of the genre's greatest—and most under-appreciated—hits for those already ingratiated). Pick up your copy—signed by Diplo!—here.
Diplo & Lil Jon - U Don't Like Me (Datsik Remix)
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Sunday Girl's "Stop Hey" is suited for electro-slow dances, a modern day Marie Antoinette ballroom bumper. Pitted against dubstep crackerjack, Rusko, it becomes speedier and airier, almost enhancing its forlorn love song elements and giving it the dual ability to help your pining heart. Hers is for your bedroom ruminations, his belongs to exorcizing loneliness by blowing the lid off in a room full of people, underneath flashing lights. Although this is a bit tamer than what Rusko usually crafts, it is still bearing his usual hydraulics—and you wouldn't want his heavy wump wumps over Sunday Girl's honeyed vocals.
Sunday Girl vs. Rusko - Hey Stop (Club Mix)
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