Friends of Friends is named RA label of the month
At first mention, the name Resident Advisor might conjure memories of dorm room days. But for those attuned to the electronic music world, the German-based publication is arguably the most prestigious and trustworthy online magazine right now.
Covering everything from esoteric Teutonic techno to the ever-expanding labyrinth of British bass music to the still comparatively underdeveloped American electronic world, RA has made a name as tough but fair critics, unwilling to be suckered in by blog hype or ephemeral trends.
So it's a major accomplishment for local label Friends of Friends to be named the publication's August label of the month, complete with extensive feature and RA mix. Just two years old, the imprint run by entrepreneur/beat junkie/publicist Leeor Brown is in the midst of a stunning run. Since releasing the bedroom melancholia of Ernest Gonzales' "Been Meaning to Tell You" last year, FoF have dropped the blistering boogie funk of Salva's "Complex Housing," the 8-bit teardrop soul of Groundislava, and Mexicans With Guns' narcotic "Breaking Bad" bass (released in conjunction with Innovative Leisure).
It's latest offering, Shlohmo's "Bad Vibes" isn't merely its most accomplished release yet; it's likely the most fully realized work to bubble up out of the Low End Theory this year. Adept for all seasons, "Bad Vibes" sounds as if it was recorded inside a greenhouse in the middle of the summer, while Henry Laufer did nothing but smoke sativa and ruminate sadly on how he got there. Featuring his own vocals and boasting a quiet understated beauty, it's what many were hoping the James Blake record would actually sound like.
In the interim, the dynamic label has dropped "Pop Massacre 2," its second volume featuring artists taking pop songs they love and twisting them into strange cubist shapes. Accordingly, Salva does spinal cord surgery to Pharrell and Snoop Dogg's "That Girl," Shlohmo tweaks Waka Flocka's "Hard in the Paint," Mexicans With Guns flips Sisqo's "Thong Song," and Jonwayne bashes "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." Best of all, it can be acquired for the cost of oxygen.
-- Jeff Weiss