French electro-house DJ Kavinsky instantly met mainstream status after “Nightcall” was featured in the opening credits of the Gosling-fueled cult hit Drive. Kavinsky’s slow, mysterious ’80s soundtrack-inspired production set the tone for the entire film — a la the opening theme for Night Rider. Naturally, when he released his first single since claiming fame, it got some attention. If “Nightcall” accompanied a drive in the dead of the night, “ProtoVision” is meant for the low profile, one-on-one car chase. Kavinsky raised the synth, speed and busted out a killer electric guitar riff. Still, it was missing something.
French electronic group Turzi seems to have found that special ingredient with their “ProtoVision” remix, featured on the ProtoVision EP released last Monday. It just needed a vocal. They may not be clear, but it gives the track that extra human layer that tricks the listener into feeling like they’re part of the action. Weave in a few deeper beats, a revving engine and screeching tires and the track tells a story.
Thanks to Turzi, Kavinsky has another floor-filling anthem.
San Franciscan five piece Thee Oh Sees began as an experimental side project for guitarist/frontman John Dwyer. But after the success of 2012’s Putrifiers II, named one of SPIN Magazine’s 50 Best Albums of 2012, the band is much more experimental and a side project no more.
Thee Oh Sees are riding the garage-rock comeback wave, tight on the heels of Ty Segall. They debuted “Minotaur” this week, available as a free download off Pitchfork, ahead of their much anticipated April LP, Floating Coffin. The track makes full and proper use of the band’s one female member, vocalist and keyboardist Brigid Dawson. Her angelic coo is the perfect antidote to Dwyer’s antagonizing ah-ha. “Minotaur” is a crossover track: its harmonies, angst, cello-driven backbone and jerky bass lines apply equally to the indie and garage rock lover. This song will cement itself in your head.
There’s nothing quite like the shared love of a song between friends. For many musicians, it’s a common musical obsession that initiates the friendship in the first place. Such is the case with Toronto’s DIANA. The band began as the brainchild of two university friends. With the addition of front-woman Carmen Elle, DIANA turned obsession into an homage to early ’80s new age electronica.
Their spacey debut “Born Again” lit up the blogosphere, attracted the infamous Tegan and Sara (who have since invited DIANA to join their current North American tour) and invited remixes galore. Many of these “Born Again” remixes were by their closest musician friends, from Montreal’s Doldrums to Luke Lalonde of Born Ruffians. The band was so proud of these remixes that they uploaded them all onto their Soundcloud, which is still fresh in the making. DIANA have yet to release an album, let alone an EP. Hopefully the band’s popularity is an indicator of more to come and not “getting by with a little help” from friends.