Category: electronic music

New Audio: Rival Consoles Shares Glistening “Running”

Ryan Lee West is a critically acclaimed, London-based electronic music producer, best known as Rival Consoles. Over the course of his 15-year career, the London-based electronic music producer’s work has diversified from the challenging electronic output of his early EPs to gradually become more conceptual and metamorphic: 2020’s Articulation used drawings and sketches to imagine and developed each track while last year’s Overflow explored themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by advancing technologies, including social media — and was composed for horeographer Alex Whitley‘s contemporary dance production of the same name. 

West’s consistent desire to create a more organic, humanized sound often sees the acclaimed British producer often developing early ideas on guitar or piano; forming pieces that capture and evoke a sense of songwriting behind the electronics. His eighth album Now Is, is slated for an October 14, 2022 release through Erased Tapes. Reportedly featuring some of the most playful and melodic material of his catalog in some time, the album draws from music, as well as art, film, colors, shapes and human emotions. 

“The title of the record Now Is interests me because it is the beginning of a statement, but it is incomplete. I like art that is open and suggestive of ideas even if they are inspired by very specific things,” West explains. “With my previous record Overflow being very dark, heavy and almost dystopian, I wanted to escape into a different world with this music and ended up creating a record which is a lot more colorful and euphoric.”

So far I’ve written about two singles off the forthcoming Now Is:

  • The Autobahn-era and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk-like album title track “Now Is,” which features a a relentless motorik pulse and glistening synth arpeggios that manage to evoke prismatic bursts of color exploding before the listener’s eyes.
  • World Turns,” which also features a relentless motorik pulse built from a propulsive bass lines, glistening synths and twitter and woofer rattling industrial thump paired with a gently morphing song structure that sees tempo and tone shifts throughout. The end result is soulful, thoughtful electronic music with a human soul and beating heart.

Now Is‘ latest single, “Running” is a deceptively simple composition centered around a single melodic idea built from a glistening synth line that subtly morphs and bends throughout. The synth melody is paired with skittering thump and a motorik pulse that propels the song towards its conclusion — a gentle fade out.

“I am very into classical music and the kind of structures and ideas they often use, and love the works which take a single melodic idea and create multiple variations from it,” West explains. “That is what I tried to do with this piece, where every single thing is a variation on the opening ten second theme. I spent over one year exploring a huge amount of variations from light to very heavy. Over much time I ended up being more inspired by the subtler, gentler variations, which allow the idea to breathe, which is a theme on this record.”

Gaetano is an Italian electronic music duo that started last year, and features two friends, who have bonded over their love of electronic music and synthesizers. The duo’s first single “A Bigger Splash” is a summer banger that sonically sounds like a slick synthesis of Daft Punk-era French touch and Giorgio Moroder that features vintage, analog synths, bursts of Rhodes paired with skittering beats and an infectious hook.

The duo explain that the track was made with both analog and digital gear, with the song’s sound tackling 40 years or so of electronic music: You’ll hear an arrangement featuring Fender Rhodes, Korg MS-20, Tempest drum machine and Serum. The track is also the first single from the duo’s forthcoming full-length debut.

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New Audio: Rival Consoles Shares Glistening and Thumping “World Turns”

Ryan Lee West is a critically acclaimed, London-based electronic music producer, best known as Rival Consoles. Over the course of his 15-year career, the London-based electronic music producer’s work has diversified from the challenging electronic output of his early EPs to gradually become more conceptual and metamorphic: 2020’s Articulation used drawings and sketches to imagine and developed each track while last year’s Overflow explored themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by advancing technologies, including social media that was composed for choreographer Alex Whitley‘s contemporary dance production of the same name. 

West’s consistent desire to create a more organic, humanized sound often sees the acclaimed British producer often developing early ideas on guitar or piano; forming pieces that capture and evoke a sense of songwriting behind the electronics. His eighth album Now Is, is slated for an October 14, 2022 release through Erased Tapes. Reportedly featuring some of the most playful and melodic material of his catalog in some time, the album draws on music, as well as art, film, colors, shapes and human emotions. 

“The title of the record Now Is interests me because it is the beginning of a statement, but it is incomplete. I like art that is open and suggestive of ideas even if they are inspired by very specific things,” West explains. “With my previous record Overflow being very dark, heavy and almost dystopian, I wanted to escape into a different world with this music and ended up creating a record which is a lot more colorful and euphoric.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Autobahn-era and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk-like album title track “Now Is,” track that was centered around a relentless motorik pulse and glistening synth arpeggios that evoked prismatic bursts of color exploding before the listener’s eyes.

“World Turns,” Now Is‘ third and latest single continues a remarkable run of material featuring a relentless motorik pulse — built from a propulsive bass line, glistening synths, and tweeter and woofer rattling, industrial thump — paired with a gently morphing song structure in which tempo and tone shift throughout its run time. It’s soulful, thoughtful electronic music with a human soul and beating heart.

“The essence of ‘World Turns’ is built around this pendulum-like bass, that constantly drives the piece forward,” West describes. “I like having parts in music which are repetitive but everything else is changing around it, almost like a kind of hidden structure, because the repetition becomes more subliminal.” 

“I think of this music as being like industry, the industry of stuff having to be made. The world carrying on doing things whether or not it is good or bad, relentlessly moving forward — sometimes chaotic, sometimes more ordered.”

DeusExMaschine is a Paris-based electronic music producer, who specializes in a sound that meshes elements of classic disco house with other electronic subgenrees like tech house, deep house and others. The Parisian producer’s latest single “Only You” is a summery, club friendly banger that nods at French touch, house music and deep house centered around a rousing and infectious hook.

New Video: Tomorrow’s Child Shares Melancholic “Spectres of Summer”

High Wycombe, UK-born, Cornwall, UK-based multi-instrumentalist and electronic music producer Tomorrow’s Child creates music that draws from a broad spectrum of influences, surroundings and experiences — in particular, the ugly concrete buildings and garages old his hometown, the sense of failed potential and lost futures it all evoked, and the dystopian themes of a number of ’80s films and TV shows.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you might recall that the rising British producer and JOVM mainstay’s full-length debut, Beach Ghosts thematically touches upon his father’s death back in 2015 and his relocation to Cornwall, where he went to study popular music.

Gradually evolving from a singer/songwriter and guitarist to an electronic music producer, he found a much-needed outlet to express his grief and to process the major life changes he had just gone through.

So far I’ve written about two album singles:

  • Great Western Railway,” a cinematic and brooding track informed by his father, who was a stream-train enthusiast: His father grew up with the Great Western Railway trains passing his classroom windows. Sonically, “Great Western Railway” brought John Carpenter soundtracks and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk to mind: Thumping, industrial clang and clatter paired with train whistle-like synth lines help to evoke a train roaring down the tracks to an unknown destination. 
  • Ruination,” a haunting and ambient composition that brings Brian Eno and Autobahn-era Kraftwerk to mind as its centered around atmospheric synths and skittering beats before closing out in a slow fadeout. According to the British multi-instrumentalist and producer the composition reflects “the journey of Cornish mines from once thriving places of industry to ghostly monuments to the past haunting the landscape.”

Beach Ghosts‘ third and latest single “Spectres of Summer” is a brooding track meant to evoke the summer nights with a hint of autumn chill centered around layers of glistening synths, tweeter and woofer rattling thump and industrial clang, clatter and acidic scorch. While the song is a a melancholic ode to the end of summer, it’s possess a subtle — but still noticeable — hint of hope and uplift.

The British artist explains that the track references the vibe of trip hop artists like Goldie, Massive Attack, and Moby, as well as genres like Future Garage and Witch House.

The accompanying video features footage and stills shot at sunset in Gwithian, Cornwall UK, Redruth, Cornwall, UK and Chania, Crete, Greece and Sougia, Crete, Greece. The video evokes the inbound chilliness of autumn and the increasing darkness of long winter nights in a way that’s hauntingly beautiful.

New Audio: Rival Consoles Shares Glistening and Propulsive “Now Is”

Ryan Lee West is a critically acclaimed, London-based electronic music producer, best known as Rival Consoles. Interestingly, over the course of his 15-year career, the London-based electronic music producer’s work has diversified from the challenging electronic output of his early EPs to gradually become more conceptual and metamorphic: 2020’s Articulation used drawings and sketches to imagine and developed each track while last year’s Overflow explored themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by advancing technologies, including social media that was composed for choreographer Alex Whitley‘s contemporary dance production of the same name.

West’s consistent desire to create a more organic, humanized sound often sees the acclaimed British producer often developing early ideas on guitar or piano; forming pieces that capture and evoke a sense of songwriting behind the electronics. His eighth album Now Is, is slated for an October 14, 2022 release through Erased Tapes. Reportedly featuring some of the most playful and melodic material of his catalog in some time, the album draws on music, as well as art, film, colors, shapes and human emotions.

“The title of the record Now Is interests me because it is the beginning of a statement, but it is incomplete. I like art that is open and suggestive of ideas even if they are inspired by very specific things,” West explains. “With my previous record Overflow being very dark, heavy and almost dystopian, I wanted to escape into a different world with this music and ended up creating a record which is a lot more colorful and euphoric.”

Now Is‘ second and latest single, album title track “Now Is” is centered around a relentless motorik pulse and glistening synth arpeggios. Sonically while bringing Autobahn-era and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk to mind, “Now Is” manages to evoke prismatic bursts of color exploding before your eyes.

Acclaimed Chicago-based post-punk outfit and JOVM mainstays Ganser — founding members Nadia Garofalo (vocals, keys) and Alicia Gaines (vocals, bass) along with Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) — can trace their origins back to when its founding members met while attending art school. Bonding over a mutual love of The Residents, outsider communities and the work of John Waters, the duo developed a hands-on DIY craftsmanship that eventually carried into their band: Each member of the post punk outfit shares writing duties and they collaborate on every aspect of their creative work, including videos, album art, merch and the visuals which often accompany their live shows. 

Ganser’s 2018 full-length debut Odd Talk received widespread praise nationally and across the blogosphere with some critics comparing their sound and approach to Sonic Youth and Magazine. Thematically, the album focused on communication breakdowns — namely, the difficulties of being understood, avoidance, intimacy and avoidance. 

2020’s sophomore album, the critically applauded Just Look at That Sky found the members of Ganser thematically probing the futility of striving for self-growth during chorus — all while evoking an all to familiar manic worry and generalized sense of existential dread and doom. It’s an album that seems to accurately captures our slow-burning, omnipresent hellscape. 

Besides last year’s Look at That Sky Remixes EP, the Chicago-based JOVM have been busy working on new material — including their Angus Andrew co-produced, three-song Nothing You Do Matters EP.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “People Watching,” a woozy and expansive ripper that begins with a slow-burning and atmospheric, bass-driven intro before quickly morphing into a feverish thrash featuring slashing guitar attack, relentless four-on-the-four and squiggling bursts of electronics paired with Garofalo’s seething, irony-drenched delivery. 

Arguably the most tense and uneasy song of their growing catalog, “People Watching” captures the mad and desperate senselessness —of well, just about everything right now. 

LIARS’ creative mastermind Angus Andrew recently gave “People Watching,” the remix treatment — and the LIARS remix is bold and mind-bending rework that retains the propulsive energy, rhythm and acerbic vocal delivery of the original but transform the song into a kaleidoscopic, funhouse from hell-like club banger that sounds much like a garbled transmission beamed down from a UFO 20,000 light years away.

“We had worked on the original recording of ‘People Watching’ together at Key Club in Benton Harbor, MI so I was already super entwined with the song,” Andrew explains. “That familiarity gave me a lot of freedom with the remix. My goal was to maintain the great momentum and vocal delivery of the initial recording, but just give it all a big kick in the butt with synths.”

Nothing You Do Matters EP is slated for an October 5, 2022 digital release and a December 2, 2022 vinyl release through Felte Records.

New Video: FOLLO Shares Cinematic Yet Club Friendly “Divine”

FOLLO (born Lucas Dubiez) is a 25-year-old video director and self-taught, emerging, electronic music producer, who can trace the origins of his music career to meeting fellow French electronic music producer Zerolex (born Jeremey Vieille). As the story goes, Vieille encouraged Dubiez to write and record his debut EP, last year’s Lumen.

Dubiez’s sophomore EP, the recently released Écume features five instrumental tracks inspired by French 79, Rone, The Blaze, and the films of Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and Hayao Miyazaki. “Divine,” Écume EP‘s first single is centered around glistening synth oscillations, skittering beats, a relentless motorik groove and an enormous hook. And while sonically drawing from French touch and house music, “Divine” manages to be simultaneously dance floor friendly and cinematic — as though nodding at post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie soundtracks.

Directed by Dubiez, the accompanying video follows a young man as he’s being walked to a weird, virtual reality-like experiment that puts the man in touch with a supernatural — and perhaps divine — force that transforms him.

Over the course of this site’s 12 year history, I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering New York-based electronic music duo and JOVM mainstays Beacon. Their third album, 2018’s Gravity Pairs saw the duo — Thomas Mullarney III (vocals) and Jacob Gossett (production, keys, synths) — radically changing their creative process and writing material that was a sonic left turn from their previously released work.

Mullarney III and Gussett embarked on open-ended writing sessions, in which they adopted a more linear songwriting style instead of the loop and texture-driven method they had developed and honed during the creation of their first two albums. The initial demos they wrote were built around piano chords and guitar phrases paired with vocal melodies, which they then edited into a number of different iterations. Doing so allowed the duo to look at each individual version from a multitude of angles and directions.

As they continued through Gravity Pairs‘ creative process, they expanded upon some songs and pared others back. Much like the bending of light through a prism, the abstract, patient and deeply painterly process eventually turned the material they had been working on into a space in which wildly different colors, tones and textures — in the album’s case, minimalist ballads, elaborate pop spirituals and driving dance tunes — can coexist simultaneously and at different speeds. 

Interestingly, with each iteration they created, the JOVM mainstays quickly discovered that they could easily expand upon how they presented Gravity Pairs‘ material in a live setting: They could play the album’s material in a straightforward fashion — or they could play that material in a very different fashion that added or subtracted color and shading, depending on the circumstances, their moods and their desires. 

While Gravity Pairs found Beacon boldly pushing their sound and approach in adventurous, new directions, the material remained imbued with the vulnerability and yearning that they’ve long been known for. 

A couple of years have passed since the release of Gravity Pairs, but the JOVM mainstays have been busy: Back in 2019, they opened for acclaimed Aussie electro pop artist Nick Murphy during his North American tour, which included a stop at Brooklyn Steel. The duo shared a series of stripped down, live studio sessions — and they released a remix album, which featured remixes and edits by ElkkaHelios, and CRi. 

2020 saw the release, of a meditative, piano-led take on the Pixies‘ “Wave of Mutilation” inspired by the slower tempo and phrasing of the UK Surf B-side, which showcased the song’s mutability. Just before the pandemic struck, the members of Beacon embarked on a headlining European tour.

Beacon capped off 2020 with the release of “Feel Something,” which saw Mullarney III and Gussett continuing to prioritize the creative process behind Gravity Pairs while painting a surrealistic and disturbing vision of desire, longing and control that feels like a lived-in perspective of a codependent and dysfunctional relationship — with a person or a situation. 

Yesterday, the JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated fourth album Along the Lethe will be released on September 9, 2022 through their own imprint, Apparent Movement. The pandemic forced the duo to change their creative approach again but reportedly, the end result is a gorgeous and brooding album meant to make the listener stop and reflect.

Now, as you might recall, last month, I wrote about “Until Next Time,” the first bit of new material from the duo in over two years. The single revealed a fresh, new aesthetic rooted in contrasts: Rumbling electronic feedback and noise gives way to a swirling and twinkling piano-led melody paired with Mullarney’s achingly delicate falsetto, trembling metronomic beats and swirling static, which rises and crashes into Mullarney’s vocals. 

“Until Next Time” is the start of a new chapter for the dup with more music to be released throughout the year. “It really captures some key dynamics of our new work,” Beacon’s Gussett reveals. “Shifts between rich, delicate piano and intense electronic noise are defining characteristics of this genre-bending, soft-loud direction.”

To celebrate the album announcement and to build up buzz for the new album, the JOVM mainstays have shared two new singles from the forthcoming album:

“Can’t Turn Back,” a stunning and seemingly effortless mesh of electronic music genres, timbres and moods centered around UK garage-like rhythms, twinkling synth arpeggios, skittering beats and atmospheric pads while Mullarney III sings of losing himself “in the constant dark” with achingly delicate vocals. As part of an album largely written during pandemic-related quarantines, the specter of hopelessness, uncertainty and struggle looms large — and yet, the song attempts to keep the existential doom at bay, while looking upward.

“Ostrich” is a mesmerizing piano-driven song featuring contributions from multi-instrumentalist Colin Stetson, who contributes fluttering and mournful horns and woodwinds into the song’s gently swelling electronic noise. Inspired by a tuning technique used by The Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed and John Cale, “Ostrich” required all strings of every stringed instrument to be tuned to the same note. And with that foundation, Gossett and Mullarney III improvised on the synths and instruments in their studio, which gives the song a hypnotic and dreamy atmosphere.

“Colin delivered his performance a day before Christmas Eve in 2021,” Thomas Mullarney III explains, “and with it being the first demo written for the record in late 2019, ‘Ostrich’ is both the oldest song on the record and the last to be finished.” Stetson adds “What a joy to spin and whirl and call out into the ether with these lovely Beacon folks. Many thanks for having me on.”

Beacon will be embarking on their first tour in two years this fall, and the tour starts off with a September 10, 2022 stop at Public Records. The rest of the tour dates are below.  

2022 WORLD TOUR DATES

Sep 10th – Brooklyn, NY @ Public Records

Sep 13th – Boston, MA @ Middle East

Sep 14th – Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5

Sep 25 – Chicago IL @ Schubas

Oct 6 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz 

Oct 15 – Portland, OR @ Holocene

Oct 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room

Nov 15 – Haarlem, Netherlands @ Patronaat

Nov 17 – Budapest, Hungary @ Turbina

Nov 18 – Glasgow, UK @ The Hug &w Pint

Nov 19 – Manchester, UK @ YES

Nov 20 – London, UK, @ Nells