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Lee Bannon is an experimental hip-hop producer from Sacramento, California. His work has spread along the vast hip hop scene, having produced Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, Souls of Mischief and others. In addition, Bannon has evolved his sound into traces of trance, jungle, and deep house music and establishing himself as one of the few producers able to navigate across all soundscapes.

After a series of collaborations and releases he delivered the Fantastic Plastic album in 2012 and earlier that year premiered his Caligula Theme Music with Spin Magazine. Bannon toured with Joey Bada$$ in 2012 and appeared on Jimmy Fallonalongside The Roots performing Joey’s hit single “Waves”. He produced the B side to that single titled “Enter The Void” with Ab-Soul. In addition to the Bada$$/ Lil B diss track “Don’t Quit Your Day Job”, he also produced a few songs on the Pro era compilation Peep the The aPROcalypse and had a heavy presence on Joey’s follow up project Summer Knights.

In February 2013, he released a free 10-track project and follow-up to his Caligula Theme Music EP titled Caligula Theme Music 2.7.5 and a few months later, the calmer free EP Never/mind/the/darkness/of/it…Later that summer, the hard core jungle-influenced track “NW/WB” took the internet by storm and listed him on Spin Magazine’s top 5 artist to watch that month. Freshly signed to legendary UK label Ninjatune, Bannon is ready to share his official debut album at the end of 2013.

Potential is the new album from producer James Hinton under his alias of The Range.

Hinton made the computer his primary instrument after falling under the spell of Baltimore club, bringing in his broader sonic influences from early ‘90s jungle, early ‘00s grime and mid ‘00s electronica to a new sonic whole. The software was the thing at home, but what excited the young producer was the network, and where he spiraled was YouTube. Potential uses as its backbone a series of vocal samples that Hinton has found in the forgotten corners of the site, guiding us around the hinterlands of YouTube, introducing us to unknown artists expressing themselves unfettered by the constraints of industry, lost in the infinite potential of an audience unknown.

Potential is a record steeped in histories – of its characters, of its forebears – but is startlingly new and alive: the network may be ones and zeros but the circuitry here runs on blood, still.

Shy Girls

Having recently wrapped up an EP of loungey bedroom pop under the alias Federer, lead-Girl Dan Vidmar set to work on something more hi-fi and soulful. His new project is just that, specializing in a pastiche of smooth '90s R&B and getting down with everyone from Shai to Max Martin's late-century boy-band production. Vidmar's warbly voice and throwbacks to New Jack Swing bring to mind the success of contemporary blue-eyed soul boys Autre Ne Veut and How to Dress Well, but what separates Vidmar from his peers is his avoidance of hypnagogic trappings in favor of a more straight-up approach. And now that Vidmar has put together a band with Portland's local all-stars Ingmar Carlson and Dan Sutherland, you can bet we'll be hearing a lot more from this band once they start packing shows in the new year.

Sapphire Slows

Sapphire Slows is the alias of Tokyo-based solo artist Kinuko Hiramatsu, set to drop her highly anticipated debut full-length album, Allegoria. Hiramatsu, who started experimenting with electronic music for the first time in 2011, was a member of Tokyo's frenzied club scene and a devoted fan of dance music labels like Kompakt, Warp, 100% Silk and Not Not Fun. Her debut offering, which is being released by NNF, is pulsating with a radiant, glowing energy, as Hiramatsu lyrically explores the tension between personal desires and the anonymity that comes with digital life and existing within the crazed atmosphere of her surroundings in Tokyo. Drawing influence from the sounds of ambient, disco, house and dub, the album is out November 5th on Not Not Fun, and the first single, "Dry Fruits," is streaming now on Gorilla vs. Bear.

Valerie Teicher (born Buenos Aires, Argentina), best known by her stage name Tei Shi, is a singer-songwriter and producer currently based in Brooklyn. Incorporating the genres of shoegaze, indie pop, and R&B, she released her first singles and music videos in 2013.

Young Ejecta (Album Release Party!)

New York City’s Ejecta is a duo, one of those classic stories of two musicians in different bands—Leanne Macomber, of Neon Indian; and Joel Ford, of Tigercity— meeting on tour and becoming “fast friends”. It was 2009. After sharing their personal work with each other over the ensuing years, it was decided that they could possibly work outside of their previously defined obligations.

Macomber had mostly worked with ill-tempered four-track machines in bedrooms nationwide, as her Fight Bite project had been predominantly a tiny operation she kept alive after a move from Texas to New York. By 2010 Ford knew his way around an actual studio. His résumé included producing such forward thinking and critically acclaimed acts as Autre Ne Veut, Oneohtrix Point Never, and the split namesake, Ford & Lopatin.

In the summer of 2012, Ford sifted through a stack of Macomber’s prickly demos, and reworked a track called “Silver” to the singer’s enthusiastic approval. He also provided her with a completely new piece of music, now known as “It’s Only Love.” Once the singer added her singularly whispery vocals and acrobatic melodies, Ejecta was real.

Over the next year, the two worked on nearly a dozen songs, with Macomber as the fundamental songwriter, and Ford behind the boards. A single was released, “Jeremiah (The Denier),” on Driftless Recordings, a completely independent label founded by Ford and collaborator Patrick McDermott.

The aforementioned collection of songs now has a name as a full-length LP,Dominae. This record truly showcases the inspired melding of two disparate talents. Macomber’s previously frayed-edged love songs were now given the grandiosity of the emotions implied therein. What Leanne describes as Joel’s “endless tinkering” has helped to embellish the themes she is forever exploring in her music: “Unrequited love, failed attempts at adulthood,” and perhaps most importantly, “the death of her closest friend.”

Macomber describes Ejecta as a character, one that conceptually represents her various inner-struggles, and yet also as a way to “deflect” them. This alternate identity acts a conduit for Macomber’s countless longings, and as such is always depicted completely nude. Leanne explains a desire for Ejecta to be “universal” and “timeless,” and this heartbreaking pop record is certainly capable of being both of those things. But she also refers to the character as both an “everywoman” and even an “everyman.” And in that way, it becomes evident that we are dealing with a character.

Dominae, was released November 5th, 2013, on Driftless Recordings in the United States and Happy Death over the rest of the globe. Happy Death was founded by Peter Darlington and Ed Horrox (4AD).

Saint Pepsi

Saint Pepsi started in December 2012 as an Ableton exercise, but is now 21-year-old Ryan DeRobertis’ main outlet for songwriting and production. The Long Island-based musician’s first release with Carpark is the “Fiona Coyne” 7-inch, to be released in August, which will be followed by a full-length album in the fall. Saint Pepsi got its start with four mixtapes of new wave and synth-pop samples. As DeRobertis developed his sampling technique, he branched out into disco and funk music. The netlabel Keats Collective released the Hit Vibes album in May 2013. Around the same time, Saint Pepsi received even more attention for his “Call Me Maybe” remix, a captivating re-working of the Carly Rae Jepsen hit.
Since then, DeRobertis has been focusing on exploring the weird side of pop music. “I’m drawn to tuneful melodies; complex chord structures; outlandish synths and drums; and I like to take pop a capellas and see how I can warp the songs while keeping the melodies almost entirely intact,” he says. The “Fiona Coyne” 7-inch showcases DeRobertis’ talent for crafting his own melodies. DeRobertis sums up his ambitions simply: “I want to make pop music for freaks, basically.

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