Category: electronic music

New Video: Mount Kimbie Releases a Brooding Visual for Previously Unreleased Single “Black Stone”

Currently split between Los Angeles and London, the acclaimed electronic music duo Mount Kimbie — Brighton-born, Los Angeles-based Dom Maker and Cornwall-born, London-based Kai Campos — burst into the international scene with their first three critically applauded full-length albums: 2010’s Crooks & Lovers, 2013’s Cold Spring Fault Less Youth and 2017’s Love What Survives.

Since the release of Love What Survives, the members of Mount Kimbie have been rather busy: they’ve produced tracks by an eclectic array of acclaimed artists including James Blake, Travis Scott, Slowthai, Jay-Z, King Krule and a growing list of others. In the past year, Mount Kimbie have produced and featured on tracks on Slowthai’s #1 album Tryon, and have designed and cerated music for Undercurrent, an immersive, interactive multimedia installation that address the climate crisis, that also features contributions from Grimes, Bon Iver and The 1975. They also provided production work on Dave’s critically acclaimed We’re All Alone In This Together and James Blake’s “Say What You Will.” Additionally, Mount Kimbie’s Dom Maker has contributed to the soundtrack of Oscar-winning short film Two Distant Stangers, co-producing with James Blake, the closing track, which features Travis Scott and Westside Gunn.

The acclaimed duo mark the fourth anniversary of the release of Love What Survives with the release of two previously unreleased and unheard tracks from the Love What Survives sessions — “Black Stone” and “Blue Liquid” as a free download by signing up through email and for pre-order on white label 12 inch vinyl. “Black Stone,” is an instrumental track centered around layers of reverb-drenched, twinkling synth arpeggios and a chugging post punk influenced groove.

Frank Lebon, a longtime Mount Kimbie friend, collaborator and art director recruited up-and-coming artist Peter Eason Daniels to direct, the recently released video for “Black Stone.” Shot in a grainy, security footage-like black and white in London, the video captures people waiting for trains or buses, getting on trains or buses and waiting on a train or bus. “The video is about waiting, moving and stopping. Collective moments of solitude experienced between one place and another,” Daniels says. 

New Video: Travel into Outer Space with Aussie Act The Sticks

With the release of their full-length debut, 2015’s self-titled album, the Sydney, Australia-based electronic trio The Sticks — Alon Ilsar (drums, percussion), Josh Ahearn (bass) and Daniel Pliner (keys) — quickly developed an innovative sound and approach that revolves around the AirSticks, a gestural electronic and “invisible” drum kit invented by the band’s Ilsar, who also contributes live drums.

During strict pandemic-related lockdowns last year, the trio spent their time mixing and editing music recorded on the Hawkesbury River back in 2019. And the first release from those sessions “EXMEN” is a trippy, intergalactic slow-burn, centered around Pliner’s shimmering and reverb-drenched keys, Ilson’s densely layered and textured rhythmic patterns and Ahearn’s slow-jam like groove. The song is remarkably cinematic and sounding as though it could be part of the 2001: A Space Odyssey while evoking weightlessness.

Edited by Evan McGregor, the recently released accompanying video features stock footage from the space age — from technicians, engineers and scientists looking at data, pictures and developing satellites, space phenomenon like sunspots and rockets taking off into space. It’s appropriately trippy journey into the galactic realm.

Continuing their reputation for being innovative, the band released a gestural musical iPhone app, where fans and listeners can reimagine the track through shaking and changing their phone’s orientation. It’s available on the Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/au/app/exmen/id1566489848

New Audio: Vancouver Sleep Clinic Releases a Gorgeous Acoustic Meditation on Perseverance

The Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, electronic music producer and ambient electronic music artist Tim Bettinson is the creative mastermind behind the Brisbane-based recording project Vancouver Sleep Clinic. When Bettinson was just 17-year-old, he rose to international acclaim with the release of his debut EP Winter in 2014. After spending several years of major label purgatory and a concerted effort on his part to reclaim his music for himself, Bettison will be releasing his highly-anticipated sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album Onward to Zion on October 18, 2019. 

Written in Bali, during a period of isolation last fall, Onward to Zion’s material is a decided and purposeful departure from the electronic driven sound and song construction — with Bettison writing much of the album on a $100 nylon guitar bought at one of Bali’s only music stores. “I’d started getting used to making three-and-half-minute songs with a beat and a hook-but the thing is that I don’t really come from making beats,” Bettinson explains in press notes. “I used to busk: that’s where I came from. The whole direction of this album changed for me once I realized I wanted to put the focus back on guitar again.”

Despite the seemingly simplicity of its origins, Bettinson’s sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album is centered around a distinctly collagic sonic palette, encompassing a wide variety of things including ethereal atmospherics, psychedelic synth tones and hazy samples of 60s jazz-pop records. Along with that, the material represents a deliberate tonal shift from last year’s Therapy 1 EP and Therapy 2 EP.  “The Therapy songs mostly came from a place of frustration-just me complaining about the situation I was in back then,” says Bettinson. “When I sat down to think about the new album, I realized I don’t want my discography to reflect bitterness: I want to put something positive into the world. So even though it’s got some darkness, and it’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, the album is very much coming from a place of love. I’d love for it to leave people feeling re-energized, and ready to just keep pressing on in their own lives.”

“Fever,” Onward to Zion’s third and final single is a gorgeous yet contemplative track centered around shimmering, strummed guitar and Bettinson’s sweetly plaintive vocals. While bearing a bit of a sonic resemblance to Parachutes-era Coldplay, the new single is a decidedly upbeat song focusing on perseverance and survival, ultimately saying that it’s okay to rely on others in your times of need. 

“‘Fever’ is the last song I wrote for Onwards to Zion and the final single to come out,” Bettinson says in press notes. “The timing feels special because ‘Fever’ really embodies the theme of perseverance from across the album and is written for the amazing people in my life that have inspired me and continue to help me press on in this journey.”

 

Mike Simonetti is a New Jersey-born and-based electronic music artist, producer, DJ and record label head, who’s perhaps known for a seven year stint as the owner of renowned indie electronic label Italians Do It Better Records — and that period may arguably have been one of the most prolific periods of his creative life, as his music was featured in several films, TV commercials and fashion shows, along with the release of an album or two. Since leaving Italians Do It Better, Simonetti has started another cult-favorite label 2MR and a critically acclaimed synth pop duo Pale Blue; however, his forthcoming album Solipsism (Collected Works 2006 – 2013), which is slated for a September 18, 2018 release through his own 2MR Records, finds the New Jersey-born and-based electronic music artist, producer and label head looking band on his work, which at the time was influenced by AC/DC, Judas Priest, Rockets, Supermax and underground Italian producer Piero Umiliani among others — although the album’s first single “Illusions” sounds as though it were influenced by John Carpenter soundtracks and Giorgio Moroder, complete with arpeggiated analog synths and moodily cinematic vibes.

 

 

 

 

New Video: Elkka Releases Empowering and Boldly Feminist Visuals for Genre-Meshing New Single

Elkka is a London-based producer, DJ and founder of art collective and label femme culture, which she founded as a response to the lack of support for women and women-identifying DJs, producers and artists, later teaming up with fellow DJ Ludo, who now co-runs the label. And since then, the progressive-minded collective has been receiving attention and recognition for a boundary-free ethos that champions women, women-identifying artists and the LGBTQ+ community — all while promoting forward-thinking electronic music.

Unsurprisingly, as a DJ, producer and artist, Elkka has developed a reputation for a freewheeling sound that seamlessly meshes eras and styles, often floating somewhere between electronic dance music, left-field pop and spacious R&B. Interestingly, her latest single “Stay (Warm Edit) is a thorough rework of a previously released track, centered around Afro-Brazilian percussion, arpeggiated synths and a looped ethereal vocal sample that gives the song a wistful and aching sense of longing. Interestingly, over the past year, the up-and-coming British producer, DJ, artist and label head has become deeply influenced by Brazilian music and dance culture, and while that’s apparent by the song’s clear influence, the recently released video directed by Undine Markus and produced by Girls in Film features a diverse team of female samba dancers of all age groups and backgrounds from The London School of Samba. As Elkka says of the video and the women in it, “When dancing I found myself surrounded by these confident, bold and mesmeric women, all supporting and encouraging one another and I really wanted to try and capture this in the video whilst paying homage to the Brazilian music and dance that I have fallen in love with.” Whether unintentional or not, the video possesses an empowering, you-can-do-anything spirit that’s infectious — and pretty fucking righteous.

Slated for an August 3, 2018 release through Phantasy SoundPhysical is the full-length solo debut from Factory Floor‘s co-founder Gabe Gurnsey, and the album will be a decided change in sonic direction and approach from his Factory Floor — instead of the chilly, no wave electronica and industrial techno, he’s best known for, the album’s material, as you’ll hear on album single “Eyes Out”  finds Gurnsey  leaning towards a  sensual, Chicago-styled house music-inspired sound centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and enormous crowd pleasing hooks. Arguably, it’s among the most straightforward and club-friendly material Gurnsey has ever written or recorded — while sonically bearing a resemblance to Octo Octa’s impressive Between Two Selves. “What I wanted to get into with Physical had to do with exploring songwriting and structure,” Gurnsey explains in press notes. “The album is very escapist in one sense even though I don’t want to escape from Factory Floor but what I do on my own has to be separate and it has to explore new avenues.”  As for the new single, Gurnsey says “I wanted to use the vehicle of a 4/4 track to set up a simulated night club. To communicate the feeling that comes when we are losing ourselves in that love / lust- filled situation.”

Unsurprisingly, the album’s material is based around a larger narrative in which the album’s material is meant to evoke a night out from start to finish. “It’s a record about clubbing, even more than it’s a record to played in clubs,” Gurney says. “Getting ready to go out, driving into town, arriving at the club, being on the dance floor, how you get home afterwards, early the next morning . . . even when you step outside to get some air, when you’re outside at 3am having a cigarette . . . even that is represented here.”

Gurnsey will be opening for Nine Inch Nails for three dates, during part of their Midwestern tour. Check out the tour dates below:

Tour Dates:
10/22/2018 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater
10/23/2018 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater
10/25/2018 – Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom

New Video: Renowned Argentinian Producer and Electronic Music Artist Chancha Via Circuito Releases Breezy and Trippy Sounds and Visuals for “Alegria”

Over the last decade or so, Argentina has become the home of an new digital-influenced take on cumbia, in which artists blend the traditional folk music of the Andes Mountains with electronic beats and production, and interestingly enough Pedro Canale, a Buenos Aires, Argentina-born and-based electronic music producer and electronic music artist, best known as Chancha Via Circuito is one of the genre’s leading figures, arguably responsible for its emergence on the global stage with the release of his 2008 debut Rodante. And since, then Canale has released a string of critically applauded and commercially successful albums, including 2010’s Rio Arriba, which Resident Advisor described as “aural magical realism,” and his international breakthrough, 2014’s Amansara, which received critical praise from the likes of The Fader and NPR among others.

Bienavaenturanza, Canale’s fourth, full-length album is slated for release next week through Wonderwheel Recordings, and the album, which derives its name from an Argentinian Spanish word that translates roughly into English as bliss will further cement his reputation for pairing traditional Andean folk instrumentation, typically flute and charango with slick, dance floor friendly electronic production centered around thumping, tribal beats; however, the album which marks Canale’s first batch of new material in over four years, was written and recorded with an unprecedented amount of care and in a highly collaborative fashion with a number of digital cumbia and regional All-Stars making appearances, including Mateo Kingman, Kaleema, Lido Pimienta, Kawa Kawa as well as Colombian Dancehall king Manu Ranks and others, who contribute their highly distinguishable sounds and talents to the natural flow of the album. And as you’ll hear on the breezy yet tribal album single “Algeria,” Canale has expanded upon his sound in an effortless and organic manner — in this case, the song seems to draw from cumbia, tribal house, ambient electronica that that’s psychedelic and mystical. Directed and animated by Kati Egely, the recently released video meshes the natural and synthetic through the use of Egely’s vibrant and childlike watercolor drawings and paintings, which morph at will from a birds, to a modern women, desperate to escape the doldrums of the workplace and so on.

New Audio: Zola Jesus’ Subtle Yet Eerie Remix of Blanck Mass’ “Please”

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about Blanck Mass, the solo side project of Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power, and as you may recall 2015’s Dumb Flesh was written and recorded over the course of the preceding year in several different locations — including Power’s Space Mountain Studios, a windowless attic space in Hatch End, North London and his Edinburgh home. Reportedly, frequently changing recording spaces influenced the album’s dark and sprawling compositions, which thematically focused on the inherent frailty of the human body — with the material evoking the sensation that our flesh isn’t enough to protect us from certain catastrophe. Blanck’s critically applauded, third album 2017’s World Eater was inspired by our current sociopolitical climate full of suspicion, teeming anger, despair and anxiety. And as Power has explained in interviews is that the material was meant to evoke a wild, untamed beast chewing and gnawing at civilization and the bonds that hold it together. “The title is a reference to both the inner beast inside human beings that when grouped en-masse stops us from moving forward towards good,” Power explained in press notes.

Interestingly, while on an extensive world tour to support World Eater, an idea emerged to him: that he should throw the album’s material open to other artists’ interpretation — but not with the idea of inviting renowned remixers and producers to retool the material to be more dance floor friendly; rather, Power contacted artists whose work he admired, asking them if they could imbue his work with their own sense of meaning. And with World Eater Re-Voxed, which was released digitally today, the remixers — Zola Jesus, Naked, Gazelle Twin, and M. Lamar have each added their own lyrics and vocals to a World Eater track of their choosing, giving each song a completely different and deeply personal tone and meaning. As Power explains in press notes, “The theme with this remix EP was to see how a group of other artists visualize and reassess my world sonically and more importantly here, lyrically,” Power explains. “The use of human vocals is prominent in my more recent work although I try and steer more towards an emotional language as opposed to conventional syntax, so this was an interesting exercise in interpretation.”

The slow-burning and expansive World Eater single “Please” is arguably one of Power’s more spectral and downright ambient tracks as it features a production consisting of subtle industrial clang and clatter, chopped up vocal samples, stuttering drum programming and swirling, ominous electronics.  Zola Jesus’ remix while cutting the song in half, retains most of Power’s moody and spectral production with the addition of some thumping, tribal-like beats over which the acclaimed Zola Jesus’ vocals ethereally float over. And although Zola Jesus subtly adds her touch to the song, it manages to remain hauntingly eerie, evoking the sense of humanity inching towards the precipice of annihilation, and a plaintive vulnerability. 

New Video: Introducing The Gorgeous and Atmospheric Visuals and Sounds of Stockholm’s boerd

Bård Ericson is an up-and-coming Stockholm, Sweden-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and electronic music artist, whose recent solo recording project boerd is heavily influenced from a stint playing double bass with the Swedish Royal Opera, Swedish Radio Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as drawing from the likes of Burial, Bibio, and Aphex Twin — and with boerd, Ericson has received attention for a delicate sound that pushes the boundaries of atmospheric electronica, with a painterly attention to detail and texture. In fact, as you’ll hear on “Blind,” the latest single off his forthcoming mini-album, Static is a slow-burning and spectral track featuring twinkling synths, shuffling drums, bursts of strummed guitar paired with aching yet dreamy vocals fed through layers upon layers of vocoder, that evoke a feeling of transience — of accepting the fact that both good and bad things in one’s life often find a way to fade away. And as a result, the song possesses the dull yet palpable ache of regret and lost chances.

Directed and edited by Bård Ericsson and starring Olle Darmell and Susanna Risberg, the recently released video for “Blind” features a couple driving in car, as a larger metaphor for a relationship. “I thought driving a car with someone could be a metaphor for a relationship,” Ericson says in press notes. “You’re not always sure where you’re going or when (and if) you’ll arrive somewhere, etc. The song is about a relationship that’s not in complete balance, where something is a bit off. It’s a song about feeling vulnerable, which can really suck but also bring you close to someone. Rather than having the video tell a specific storyline, I tried to capture that bittersweet mix of uncertainty, vulnerability and affection.” Interestingly, the video’s director — Ericson, himself — sits in the backseat observing and singling the song’s lyrics. Throughout the video, there’s an obvious sense that there’s something wrong with the relationship, and they don’t quite know what to do about it or how to get out of it without hurting themselves or the other. 

Renowned electronic music label Anjunadeep Records will be releasing Static on April 6, 2018.