Shortcircles (Matt Tammariello) is an Oakland based producer recently signed to Plug Research. In celebrating his new journey, he's released his self-titled Shortcircles EP, a woozy, buzzing mash of soulful electronic tunes. Think a melange of Teebs, DJ Shadow, and 50s jazz records.
Our November Next Step Artist Spotlight goes to Chicago based production duo Tensei! Hats off, gentelmen.
Meaning 'heaven star' in Japanese, Tensei consists of producers Simple X and Midas Wells, kindred spirits of sorts, one might say. Midas from the Chicago suburbs and Simple X from the Chicago south side, the two first met circa 1998 at the dorms of Southern Illinois University during a cypher. Soon, the two were banging out tunes on whatever their limited student resources could afford. However, Tensei's journey has certainly been anything but linear: post graduation saw a "regular" job for X and a momentary complete departure from music for Midas.
Then came the serendipitous run in at a mutual friend's gig a few years ago and Tensei was born. Both committed to their crafts, Tensei does not heavily rely on samples and in fact play many musical parts themselves. Any gaps that need to be filled are done by session musicians and vocalists. An incredible amalgam of soul, house, jazz, electronic, and eastern sounds comes alive.
Below, you can find a pretty freakin awesome grab bag of Tensei treats. The first is an exclusive stream of "Space Colony," a tropical cosmic tune fit for an RPG (role playing game, for the non-video game nerds). Next is "The Ticket," a drum heavy industrial sounding track with a bit of a Latin feel. Then we move to Tensei's remix of "Robots" by the beloved Bilal, the track that actually got the talented duo signed to Plug Research. Finally, is perhaps our tastiest treat, the "Tensei Plugcast," a completely engrossing DJ mix of songs from their massive archive dubbed with live violin and trumpet no less.
These dudes are going places, y'all. Watch for it.
Szjerdene does it again. This time, the London vocalist puts down an other-worldly melody over an enchanting Dimlite beat to creat "Leila's Tale." The mood of the track gives chills similar to that from some of our favorite Amel Larrieux joints. Stream and download below.
The futuristic electro-soul duo Sonnymoon have come out from the lab to sprinkle a little of their fairy dust on us; Last week, our homie Kenny Fresh over at Fresh Selects premiered their transcendent remix of Flying Lotus' "Zodiac Shift." The reworked track presents producer Dan Orr's added texture and Anna Wise with her mystical vocal stylings. According to their label, Plug Research, "Sonnymoon is in the last phase of creating a new batch of astronomical sounds. Look out for their new album transmitting soon." Excitement!
London based songbird Szjerdene was discovered by the masterful Robin Hannibal (Quadron, Boom Clap Bachelors), and there's no question that the man knows how to pick em. This past April Szjerdene released her digital single, "Lead the Way" / "If 6 Was 8" on Plug Research (both produced by Hannibal), and is on her way to making some major waves, we think. Her voice is spellbinding; a smooth sound evoking a blend of Yukimi Nagano and Rahel. We are totally in love with her "Think it Through" track, which also is available for free download below. Also take a listen to her digital single where you can download one of the tracks, "Lead the Way" for free. Props to PunchDouble on the dope album cover design!