New Slim Twig Album on the Way Via DFA Records

Slim Twig

Slim Twig may be only 26 years old, but he has nevertheless spent the last decade banging out a discography that it would take some artists a lifetime to amass. Since his teens, the prolific Canadian has unleashed a non-stop onslaught of singles, EPs and albums, all the while working with other artists and even finding time to maintain a sideline in acting along the way. On August 7, New York City’s renowned DFA label will give the world the next Twig album, Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig, coming on the heels of his production work for U.S. girls, two film scores, and the DFA reissue of his A Hound at the Hem album.

With significant assistance from vocalist Meg Remy and co-producer Anthony Nemet, Twig has crafted an album that brings together several of the sonic threads that have wound their way through his discogaraphy over the years — a subversive rock ‘n’ roll sensibility, an adventurous approach to production, and predilection for using cutting-edge technology to create a disorienting swirl of sound. Besides the digital and vinyl versions, there will be 10 limited-edition gold vinyl copies released, each in its own custom frame, and including a signed, number letter of authentication. Can’t wait till August? Check out the first single right now.

Image by Vanessa Heins

Track of the Moment: The Juan Maclean’s “A Simple Design” (Remixes)

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The Juan MacLean’s In A Dream, which was released in September on DFA Records, is one of the best dance-music albums of 2014. I’m chuffed that one of the album’s standout tunes, “A Simple Design,” has been released as a single, replete with an array of kick-ass remixes.

The Single Edit positions Nancy Whang’s vocals front and center in the mix as a chugging electro-pop groove meanders and synthy shenanigans prowl behind her gorgeous croon. From the get-go L.A.’s Magic Touch stays true to the album version, gradually building with infectious piano until a breakdown strips everything down and we’re blessed with an epic crescendo.

Berlin’s xxxy distills the jam into seven minutes of heaven while hot-stuff Swiss producer Deetron takes “A Simple Design” on a completely wild acid trip.

A track that’s been on continuous play here at Big Shot HQ for the better part of two weeks, we’re pleased to declare The Juan MacLean’s “A Simple Design” our track of the moment!

Read our exclusive interview with John MacLean about The Juan Maclean’s In A Dream here.

The Juan MacLean’s John MacLean: Sad Songs Say So Much

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Dance-punk outfit The Juan MacLean made a triumphant return in September with In A Dream, their first album since 2009’s exceptional The Future Will Come. From the first note of the epic opening song “A Place Called Space,” it’s evident that the collaboration between John MacLean and Nancy Whang has grown stronger and more mature. With flashes of disco peppering their synth-tastic tracks, their third album finds TJM at the top of its game.

We caught up with MacLean and asked the eloquent producer/musician about the evolution of TJM’s sound, the passing of his good friend and musical collaborator Jerry Fuchs and why sad songs say so much.

The Juan MacLean’s In A Dream is out now on DFA. The Juan MacLean’s remix of Sharon Van Etten can be heard here. Continue Reading

James Murphy Producing ‘Metal Version of White Stripes’ Album by Ex-Sepultura Members Iggor and Max Cavalera

Cavalera Conspiracy

The worlds of electronic music and heavy metal intersect every so often. Korn’s 2011 album The Path of Totality featured production by Skrillex, Noisia and Excision, and even Slipknot’s DJ Sid Wilson has done work in the genre. Now comes news that former LCD Soundsystem honcho/current DFA Records boss James Murphy has been convinced ex-Sepultura drummer Iggor Cavalera to form “a metal version of the White Stripes” with his brother Max.

Cavalera has been helming the emerging Brazilian electro-rock act MixHell with his wife Laima Leyton, and Cavalera Conspiracy with his brother Max, the guitar player and lead singer who helped him found Sepultura in the early 1980s. (Max also fronts Soulfly who just released a new album, Savages.)

Speaking with The Guardian, Iggor explained, “James Murphy approached me with the record idea, but eventually suggested some others. To start with, he wants only the two of us in the studio, like a metal version of the White Stripes. He also wants nothing but the two of us on stage. He basically asked me to get rid of the rest of the band. Cavalera Conspiracy has four members and two records. Murphy asked us to start from scratch as a duo. According to him, ‘this will come to be the heaviest record of our careers.’ He promised me that.”

Duos in metal are rare (especially ones produced by a DJ/producer like Murphy), but if anyone has the bravura to pull it off it’s unquestionably the Cavalera brothers.

This Isn’t Happening: James Murphy Says LCD Soundsystem Isn’t Reforming

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Despite LCD Soundsystem releasing the celebratory documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits in 2012 chronicling the end of the band and continually maintaining that the famed dance-punk outfit is now forever in the past tense, rumors have been periodically popping up stating the opposite since the New York band called it a day in 2011. Call these rumblings wishful thinking. With DFA Records’ 12-year anniversary party taking place next month in New York City, frontman James Murphy felt it was necessary to take to Facebook last night and nix any scuttlebutt that the much beloved band would be reuniting. Here’s James’ statement in its unedited entirety. Read it and weep.

pat is in the studio working on his new thing, al is on tour with hot chip and making new things as new build, tyler is off in berlin being tyler and dj’ing and making music and mixes, nancy is dj’ing in europe and working on new music with the juan and others, gavin and matt are touring and making things in the crystal ark, DSS just did that crazy beck sound and vision 360 thing, and i’m home moving furniture and cleaning up today after a stint of doing some dj’ing and producing. all in all it’s pretty good.
i fully respect and appreciate that people miss us as a band–it’s a huge compliment–but i also realize that we the band are just friends and we make things together and eat food together, and STILL ALL GO OUT AND DO THINGS, just not all together as LCD.
some come see us do our various things and say hi! it’s been so nice to get to know a bunch of really good people in a totally different context to the “big-ish band getting bigger” way we were a little stuck in.
thanks to everyone for being so amazingly supportive and nice to us.
i guess that’s my candy-assed thought for the day… now back to unpacking kitchen stuff.
-j