I've recently started writing for an online music blog called Hype Vibes. They cover big releases and news on the contemporary urban dance scene.
My first piece is on Claude VonStroke's new 'Urban Animal', one of my current favourites. You can check my article here. I've also embedded the Soundcloud preview of the album;
Also, here's a video which I found during my research which accompanies my article nicely. Turns out VonStroke seems a really decent guy! I love the way the entire album is based around liberation from what he calls the "9-5 grind" and that antipation that many feel for the weekend ahead. Check the video and see what you think;
UPDATE (19/01/2014); unfortunately this article is no longer hosted on this website, however I've posted it below;
Described as “spanning genre, space and mood” and “as unpredictable and bewildering as any living entity”, Claude VonStroke’s ‘Urban Animal’ certainly lives up to its name. With dirtybird’s 100th release expect to find experimental, metropolitan electronica combined with bouncy house beats, cleverly creating this idiosyncratic sound that delivers a fruitful depiction of the current Detroit techno movement.
‘Urban Animal’ opens with its title track. The dark tones and sharp, snappy beats immediately place you in VonStroke’s urban landscape. Along with the progressive bass undertones and rich piano, the track becomes a well-rounded uplifting piece of electronica, placing you in the right urban mind-set.
But the main energy is yet to come. ‘The Clapping Track’ and ‘Dood’ bring a whole new pounding dimension to the release. The former is a real crowd pleaser: happy and playful and no doubt a floor-filler; whilst the latter takes a more rugged approach, fuelled by squealing 303 synths and experimental, bendy vocals.
Whilst the album’s urban theme remains a constant, the genre is far from static. ‘Oakland Rope’ is the wild card that really shows off VonStroke’s eclectic skill. Collaborating with Fox & Py, the team have produced a really moreish drum and bass piece. With the echoey guitar samples and somewhat haunting vocals, it differs considerably to the heavy 4X4 beats that came before and in tracks such as ‘Can’t Wait’ which follow. Yet this differing style shows VonStroke’s diversity and how he is not confined to one field, consequently stressing the value of pleasure in dance music as an entire entity, and not in one particular genre.
The simple pleasure of dancing is exactly the impression you get of what VonStroke hopes of his listeners. He wants you to not just to listen to ‘Urban Animal’, but to be the urban animal; to thrive off the primitive pleasure of pounding grooves and flowing basslines. Don’t waste your time listening to this through small speakers. ‘Urban Animal’ is a dish best served loud and preferably in the collective claustrophobia of the city where it was designed to be listened to, amongst friends and strangers alike.
‘Urban Animal’ is available to buy on iTunes and Beatport. Alternatively, you can also listen to it on Spotify.