We wanted to create something quite muscular and meaty. I was getting a little disenchanted with boring wet music. I wanted something with some kind of punch to it ...Esben and the Witch formed in 2008 after neophyte guitarist Thomas Fisher bumped into old friend Rachel Davies on the street in Brighton and asked if she'd like to be in a band. Together with multi-instrumentalist Daniel Copeman, they started making a kind of bruised, ghostly electro goth-pop that drew comparisons with dubstep and witch house. Then things changed. Their third album, A New Nature, recorded with Steve Albini after a successful Kickstarter campaign, sees the band step away from their electro-pop origins, combining English-major Davies' lyrical obsessions with Herman Hesse and Jack London with the band's love of uncompromising noise, psych, and transcendent post rock. A New Nature, released last month, can be streamed via Stereogum.
For younger fans of electronic music, the Essential Mix archive* is a time capsule that allows them to listen to sets that took place before they were born; for others, it’s a treasure chest of musical memories that allows them to re-visit the glory days. And what better way to celebrate 20 years than with a party? Rather than the usual broadcast from Tong’s studio, fans had the opportunity to join in on the fun at the Manchester Warehouse Project, with an absolutely stellar line-up pitting veterans of the scene back-to-back with rising stars. [more inside]
the notorious xx is a tremendously good mashup by producer wait what of The xx's debut album and assorted Biggie Smalls verses, mostly from Ready to Die. infinite victory and it's all about the crystalizabeths are my favourites, but the whole thing is perfect: ethereal guitar, sparse percussion, and Biggie's relentless rhymes.
Need something to distract you from the howling winds outside? Here's two hours of gorgeous house, techno, disco and garage from Mercury-winner Jamie XX from the XX. (The actual mix starts at around 3:30) Download link here.