Soundclouds of the Underground: Disco Edition
ABOVE: THE STEPKIDS.
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the newest and most exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
Big EDM bangers currently hold the Internet’s spotlight with a strong resilience, but there’s plenty more production out there to make you groove that’s less rave and more roller rink. A little bit of funk goes a long way, and the three Nu-Disco tracks featured this week might just make you put down your glow stick and hang up your disco ball.
Who: A London-based Swede, Blende is true to his name: his sound is a well-formed mix of electronic sounds and disco swag, both strengths that have helped earn him live slots alongside such dance music stars as Crookers, Yuksek, and French Horn Rebellion.
Song: “Rikki” starts with a sexy synth baseline and big drum slaps, accompanied with some samples of heavy panting reminiscent of old Justice records. The vocalist is strong and the melody catchy, helping shape the song into a “dancing down the street” anthem.
Current Project: “Rikki” will see an official release September 30th on Eskimo Recordings. Stay updated via Blende’s Facebook page.
LBCK: “Take You Away”
Who: LBCK (or Long Beach City Kids for long) is made up of Alex Noblé and Luigi III, two talented dudes who make cinematic, soulful tracks that are easy to lose yourself in. Taking a look at last year’s more electronically-inspired Native EP and this year’s recently released The Goods (off HOF Records) helps show their range and growth. Instead of being chained down by their genre, LBCK embrace it, allowing them to make myriad sounds without losing their identity.
Song: “Take You Away” sounds like it could fare well in a mix alongside “Get Lucky”—the funky bass riff evokes the same feeling as Daft Punk’s guitar-playing. Add some synth-sax solos and a Donna Summer-style singer and you’ve got one dance-floor-ready track.
Current Project: Check out what the guys are up to (and grab a free download of their EP) on their website.
The Stepkids: “The Lottery”
Who: The Stepkids might not sound familiar, but they might be to some—the group consists of drummer Tim Walsh, Jeff Gitelman (former touring guitar player for Alicia Keys), and Dan Edinberg (former bassist for ZOK), three ultra talented musicians who together sound like something from another time. It’s a record you’d put on a shelf next to bands like Chicago.
Song: “The Lottery” finds the group intersecting old and older to make something new: record scratches mesh well with sexy guitar and harmonies that would make Steely Dan weep. The Stepkids could easily convince people that they are straight from the ’70s. Their deliberate nod toward the past makes for an honest record and doesn’t hinder their sound in the slightest.
Current Project: The group is in the midst of a 21-date European tour, so find out more about that on their website.
Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.