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Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Diego Garcia, the former frontman of Elefant, releases his solo debut this week, an album written to heal a broken heart.

Diego Garcia, the former frontman of Elefant, releases his solo debut this week via Nacional Records. Laura is already doing well at radio, with perennial trendsetting KCRW playing tracks often and the artist has also snagged an upcoming Starbucks “Pick of the Week”, which should substantially raise his profile as folks pick up those little download cards while waiting in line for their lattes. The album was inspired by a break-up, always good for inspiring songwriting. “I made the record to survive,” Garcia says. “I had to heal my heart. In other words, I had to get my girl back. It was time to write a record that only my story could tell. Artists like Sandro, Roberto Carlos and Julio Iglesias were early pioneers in what I like to refer to as a movement of romanticism in music. It only made sense for me to pick up where they left off.”



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Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Brian Suarez, aka Allies, blends synth-pop and über dancy electro in a masterful way that produces instantly memorable tunes.

Brian Suarez, aka Allies, blends synth-pop and über dancy electro in a masterful way that produces instantly memorable tunes. Allies’ EP was released just this past March via iTunes and Suarez also dropped a mixtape last month featuring the likes of Florence and the Machine and Röyksopp. “Oceans” is a catchy synth tune that will appeal to fans of OMD and Underworld, while the Thade remix we premiere today strips the song down more to its essentials, converting into something more like blippy, glitch electro-pop.



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Monday, Apr 11, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Brooklyn's Minerva Lions offer up contemporary-psych accented pop on their debut and score a remix from a Wilco member.

Brooklyn’s Minerva Lions are a young band, having formed less than a year ago, but in that short time they have made some good friends, gaining the admiration of artists as diverse Nicole Atkins and members of Wilco and Antibalas. Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen likes the group’s contemporary-psych accented pop so much, he let them record their debut EP Great Strides, Priestess & Queen at his studio and also remixed the lead-off tune “For R.A.” Great Strides, Priestess & Queen will release this June via Dubshot Records, meanwhile those New Yorkers reading this can check out the group on April 27th at Union Pool in Brooklyn.



Tagged as: minerva lions, remix
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Monday, Apr 11, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
One of New York's hottest producers, Joaquin “Joe” Claussell, remixes the classic sounds of Fania on a new recording.

Joaquin “Joe” Claussell is one of New York’s hottest producers and his Nuyorican pedigree combined with his mastery of the house genre made him the ideal choice for a remix project featuring old classic Fania Records tracks. On Hammock House ‘Africa Caribe’, releasing May 17th, Claussell reworks ‘60s and ‘70s tunes from the like of Lou Perez, Celia Cruz, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, and Mongo Santamaria, as you hear on the example below. Working with the original tapes, Claussell fully captures the energy of the originals, while adding a modern club vibe into the stew. His enthusiasm for the music is evident in the work and like any true crate digger, he throughly geeked out on working with the old recordings. “When the carrier came to my place with all these boxes, I had an Indiana Jones moment, like when he opens the treasure chest and the glow of gold light shines up on his face.  It was miraculous that they were still around, and the history of this stuff is just amazing,” says Claussell.



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Friday, Apr 8, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
British producers Eclectic Method have been pushing the boundaries of music and video during a long career. Their latest work is a collaboration with hip-hop legend Chuck D.

British producers Eclectic Method have been pushing the boundaries of music and video during a long career in which they’ve worked with music from diverse artists like U2, Phish, Fatboy Slim and now Chuck D. Ian Edgar, Jonny Wilson and Geoff Gamlen aren’t your average DJs or producers, as they think as much visually as aurally, and blend both into their audio-visual mixes. After their recent SXSW appearances, Eclectic Method took the stage of the Jimmy Fallon show with Copyright Criminals (video below). Their latest work is “Outta Sight”, a collaboration with hip-hop legend Chuck D that includes some self-referentiality to the artistic method in lines like “it’s not audio-visual, we living in the visual-audio age”, suggesting that imagery is now the most potent cultural form. Kotchy’s remix of the tune gives the song more of an electro edge. Contrast that with the more spare and direct original in the video below.



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