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Fantastic Four

This issue's hottest four names in dance music

Mikix The Cat
Mikix The Cat
Parisian electro riot starter…

A self-declared “bass bandit puttin’ suckas in fear,” Paris’ Mikix The Cat has been busy putting France’s club scene on the map for more that just filtered electro and David Guetta’s hair.

Following a sustained assault on the blogs over the last 18 months, which resulted in well-turned out bootlegs of Wu-Tang Clan and Reel 2 Reel, as well as a host of official remixes, he released his debut ‘Freeze’ EP on New York’s mighty Trouble & Bass label last September to great acclaim.

With a second EP ‘Movin’ Around’ from the NYC stable bringing together UK funky style afro-beat drums, carnival vibes and apocalyptic darkside rave synths, Mikix has staked his claim at the epicentre of a growing global bass community brought together by an unbridled passion for heavy bottom ends.

Now working on an album, Mikix The Cat’s collaboration with Nic Sarno is also forthcoming on ESP.
 

 Solid Gold
Solid Gold
Minneapolis’ purple disco rock purveyors…

Mention music and Minneapolis and the spectre of Prince is never far away. Solid Gold may not quite be the inheritors of the purple one’s crown but on the evidence of their irreverent disco-dappled, electronica-immersed new single ‘Bible Thumper’ (out now on Solid Gold) they bear the hallmarks of a band in thrall to his considerable powers.

Along with the likes of MGMT and Empire Of The Sun, they appear part of a loose movement of indie rockers looking to funk, electronics and ’70s AOR rock for inspiration, but for them nothing is that clear cut. 

“We do and we don’t feel part of a movement.” considered spokesman Zach Coulter. “We came upon our sound through a good deal of trial and error involving heavy experimentation. But never do we go out of our way to sound like something else.”

Their anticipated LP ‘Bodies Of Water’ drops later this summer.

 
   
Bibio
Bibio
Pastoral beat brilliance

Every once in a while an album comes along that totally wrong foots and beguiles you at every step. The latest example is Bibio’s ‘Ambivalence Avenue’ — out now on Warp — a summery, dusk haze of bucolic half-light, equal parts ecstasy-enlightened Badly Drawn Boy, Boards of Canada and J Dilla.

Having delivered several low-key psychedelic folk jewels on Mush Records, Bibio’s spun the wheel sharply left for his Warp debut, conjuring the cut ‘n’ paste, sampladelic funk hop of ‘Fire Ant’ one minute, the next the head-warping box of delights of ‘S’ Vive’, a low slung wonky disco bump to knock you off kilter. Throughout, he sprinkles delicate acoustic songs, all produced with a gauzy, nostalgic tone evoking a well-worn, well-loved slice of vinyl.

“A lot of my music is aesthetically influenced by nature,” commented Bibio. “There’s something fascinating and beautiful about seeing something crumble and decay.”

  Spatial
Spatial
Believe the hype…

Since the release of his first single ‘Infra001’ in an innocuous and suitably minimal sleeve back in December of 2008, huge hype has surrounded new dubstep-not-dubstep producer Spatial’s productions. Mining a similar rich seam to the likes of Martyn, 2562 and Pangaea, it appeared we had a new homegrown talent pushing the forward-facing techno-step sound.

Happily, the first EP was no fluke; ‘Infra002’, with its trio of tracks, all titled with a number, revealed little in terms of information, but gave us a thrilling new musical proposition, blending the syncopated, polyrhythmic skip of two step garage beats and Todd Edwards diva cut ups with capacious canyons of Motor City techno synths.

Midway between Burial and Carl Craig, Spatial seems promising indeed, and his own label Infrasonics is equally exciting, with its latest release giving equal billing to Ike Release’s stepping beats and Hot City’s neo Chicago house. Very Spatial.