Category: electronic rock

Niko Antonucci is a Prague, Czech Republic-born, Los Angeles, CA-based multi-instrumentliast, singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she received piano lessons when she was 6. As teenager, the Prague-born, Los Angeles-based artist began stealing her father’s guitar as a teen — and when she turned 15, she had cut her first demo and began singing and playing in a number of local bands for a number of years. But at a young age, Antonucci recognized that in order to get the exact sound she wanted, she would need to do it herself and she began producing herself.

With her solo, downtempo/industrial electronica project Resin, Antonucci’s sound is inspired by many of the influences that have been a part of her creative life including Nirvana, Portishead, Nine Inch Nails , The Cure, Chelsea Wolfe, as well as ambient electronica and classic music, while thematically focusing on spirituality, dark magic, being an outsider. and so on. And with “Hoarse,” the first single off her self-produced full-length effort Fidget, Antonucci pairs swirling electronics, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, stuttering drum programming and a soaring hook with her sultry yet achingly vulnerable vocals — and while clearly nodding at Nine Inch Nails and Portishead, the single also manages to remind me of Version 2.0-era Garbage.

 

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New Video: Watch Game of Thrones’ Lena Headley Party with King Richard III in Hilarious Visuals for Kasabian’s Swaggering New Single Ill Ray (The King)”

Currently comprised of founding members Tom Meighan (vocals), Sergio Pizzorno (guitar, vocals), and Chris Edwards (bass) with Ian Matthews (drums), the Leicester, UK-based indie rock/dance punk act Kasabian initially formed under the name Saracuse and  derive their name from Linda Kasabian, a member of the infamous Charles Manson cult. As the band’s Chris Edwards explained in an interview with Ukula, their former guitarist Chris Karloff had been reading up on Charles Manson, and the name Kasabian just stuck with him. “He thought the word was cool, it literally took about a minute after the rest of us head it . . . so it was decided.”  And although the band has gone through several lineup changes — at one point being a quintet before settling on its current lineup, the band can trace its origins to when its founding trio met while attending Countesthorpe Community College. 
The founding trio along with a rotating cast of studio drummers recorded their Scott Gilbert-produced demo EP,  which was finished in December 1998 and featured three songs “What’s Going On,” “Life of Luxury” and “Shine On.” After making their first live appearance to celebrate Edwards’ 18th birthday, the band was signed to BMG by London-based DJ and producer Sam Young, who took over managerial duties for a period of time before both sides had a massive falling out. Since then the band has released six studio albums — 2004’s self-titled debut, 2006’s Empire, 2009’s Pauper Lunatic Asylum, 2011’s Velociraptor!, 2014’s 48:13 and For Crying Out Loud, which was released earlier this year — all of which have further cemented the Leicester-based act’s reputation for crafting a sound that’s been described as a mix between The Stone Roses, Primal Scream and Oasis and for a critically applauded live show. Along with that, the band has managed to be commercially successful in the UK as they received a Brit Award for Best British Group in 2010, won two Q Awards for Best Act in the World Today in 2010 and 2014, as well as one Best British Band at 2007’s NME Awards. 

Produced by the band’s Sergio Pizzorno and recorded at his Leicester-based studio the Sergery, For Crying Out Loud has proven to be commercially successful, as it’s the band’s fifth #1 album on the UK Album Charts, thanks to the success of its first two singles “You’re In Love With A Psycho” and “Bless This Acid House,” both of which continue the band’s reputation for crafting swaggering, arena-friendly rock with shout worthy, crowd rousing hooks. Interestingly, album opening track and latest single “Ill Ray (The King)” is full of hip-hop inspired swaggering braggadocio paired with club-banging beats, buzzing guitars, rousing shout and stomp friendly hooks with a surprisingly disco/psychedelic house-inspired bridge — and as a result, it possesses a riotous “we’ll stomp the shit of you” vibe, reminiscent of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” 

The recently released video was written and conceived by the band’s Sergio Pizzorno and features three-time Emmy Award-nominated actor Lena Headley, who’s best known for playing Queen Cersei in Game of Thrones. The video follows Lena’s character as she meddles with the occult in a weird ploy to bring King Richard III, who was buried in Leicester, back from the dead. And in case you ever wondered what it might be like to drink way too much with a British royal, who has been dead for over 500 years, this video may be your primer. 

New Video: LCD Soundsystem Returns with Their Most Dance Floor Friendly Track in Several Years

Founded by frontman, multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ and DFA Records co-founder James Murphy in 2002, Brooklyn-based indie rock/electro rock/dance punk act LCD Soundsystem along with acts like  The Rapture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party, Radio 4,  Liars and a few others, are considered pioneers of a dance punk renaissance that saw its height at the early part of this century; but among that group LCD Soundsystem set themselves apart as one of the more commercially and critically successful acts of their era — 2005’s eponymous full-length debut, which featured their most successful single “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” was nominated by a Grammy for Best Dance Recording with the album also being nominated for a Grammy Best Electronic/Best Dance Album. With a growing national and international profile, Nike commissioned Murphy and company to write and record a workout-inspired, workout-friendly album — 45:33 — as part of the Nike+ Original Run series. The members of LCD Soundsystem followed that up with 2007’s critically acclaimed Sound of Silver, which was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album.  2010’s This Is Happening managed to be the act’s most commercially successful, as it was their first Top 10 album in the States; however, by the following year, the band announced it was breaking up and was celebrating a wildly successful run together with a series of farewell shows at Madison Square Garden and Terminal 5, with the events surrounding their final show together, chronicled in the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, and a live album, 2014’s The Long Goodbye, which Murphy painstakingly mastered. 

After LCD Soundsystem broke up, the members of the band went on to pursue a number of creative and business pursuits — Nancy Whang released solo material and DJ’ed; Tyler Pope spent a stint in the touring band of !!!,; Gavin Russom has released solo material under the moniker Black Meteoric Star, collaborated with Viva Ruiz in The Crystal Ark and recently came out as transgender and transitioning; David Scott Stone has collaborated with Melvins, Unwound, Jello Biafra, Mike Patton, No Age, and others; Jerry Fuchs went on with stints in The Juan MacLean, !!!, Maserati and MSTRKRFT; and Murphy arguably being the busiest of the band as he not only continued his production and sound engineering work, working with Arcade Fire during the Reflector sessions, he was in 2014 commissioned by the US Open to create a special set of remixes based on the actual sounds and events of the tournament’s matches. Along with that he remixed David Bowie‘s “Love Is Lost,” for an expanded edition of the legendary artist’s The Next Day and was known to occasionally DJ, including famously DJing to close out DFA Records’ 12th Anniversary Party at Grand Prospect Hall. He also participated in Canon’s Project Imaginat10n, a film project in which the folks at Canon invited 5 different celebrities to direct short films based on pictures uploaded by photographers and other creatives around the world to a special website, with the result being his directorial debut “Little Duck,” set in Japan. And in other non-musical pursuits, with the assistance of Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman, Murphy released his own blend of espresso, and then he opened a critically applauded restaurant in Williamsburg, which he personally designed and chose the menu. And although Murphy had publicly stated that LCD Soundsystem’s breakup allowed him the time and ability to pursue an array of projects, he wasn’t able to do before, he also missed being in a band and creating music. 

Interestingly, in light of those comments, towards the end of 2015, there were rumblings across the blogosphere that Murphy and several members of the band were considering a series of reunion shows for the major festival circuit — and naturally, those rumors exploded upon the release of Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” which the band released on Christmas of that year, marking a big Christmas surprise for fans, who had been clamoring for new material and/or the possibility of a reunion for the better part of 5 years. Naturally, with the release of the single, Murphy and company confirmed that a reunion tour with appearances at several major festivals, a residency to  The Bowery Presents‘ newest venue, Brooklyn Steel and a new album, American Dream, which is slated for a September 1, 2017 release through Columbia Records/DFA Records. 

As my colleagues mentioned, their early Brooklyn Steel sets featured material, which would appear on their new album, including the atmospheric, “Call The Police,” which features Murphy’s archly ironic lyrics and manages to sound like a mesh of the sound of This Is Happening and their incredible cover of Harry Nilsson‘s “Jump Into The Fire” and “American Dream,” a slow-burning track featuring shimmering synths but subtly nods at “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” thanks in part to Murphy’s dramatic crooning, 

“tonite,” the third single off the soon-to-be-released album is arguably one of the more dance floor friendly singles they’ve released to date as it features an unrelenting and propulsive beat paired with wobbling, house music-like bass synth and twinkling keys, and Murphy’s ironic observations on the state of contemporary music, human relationships in the age of constant connectivity and his own random musings. And interestingly enough, despite the 5 years apart, the band manages to sound as though they haven’t missed a beat; in fact, it sounds as though it were the song and the album that they would have made regardless of breaking up — all while subtly nodding at Man Machine-era Kraftwerk. 

Directed by Joel Kefall, the recently released video for “tonite” features a handful of members performing the song, while others look cooly detached, reading or staring into space on a spinning stage, lit by explosively bursts of concert lighting. And the entire time, the band’s frontman sings with a tape recorder strapped to him. 

 

Brooklyn-based indie rock act LCD Soundsystem was founded by frontman, multi-instrumentalist, producer, DJ and DFA Records co-founder James Murphy in 2002, and along with acts like The Rapture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party, Radio 4, Liars, and lengthy list of others are considered pioneers of a dance punk act renaissance that saw its height at the early part of this century. Interestingly enough, LCD Soundsystem may arguably be one of most critically and commercially successful acts of their era — 2005’s eponymous full-length debut, which featured their most successful single “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House” was nominated by a Grammy for Best Dance Recording with the album also being nominated for Best Electronic/Best Dance Album.  With a growing national and international profile, Nike commissioned the band to write and record a workout-inspired album — 45:33 — as part of Nike+ Original Run series and they followed that up with their 2007 critically acclaimed sophomore album Sound of Silver, which was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album. 2010’s This Is Happening was the band’s most commercially successful, as it was also their first Top 10 album in the States; however, by the next year, the band announced that it would be breaking up and celebrating with a series of farewell shows at Madison Square Garden and Terminal 5 — with the events of the final show chronicled in the documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits and was released as a live album, 2014’s The Long Goodbye.

After LCD Soundsystem broke up, Murphy and the members of the band went on to pursue a number of creative and business pursuits — with Murphy being the among the busiest in the band. Over the years Murphy has continued his production and sound engineering work, working with Arcade Fire during the Reflektor sessions, created a special set of remixes from the 2014 US Open, based on the actual sounds and events of matches and remixed David Bowie‘s “Love Is Lost,” for an expanded edition of the legendary artist’s The Next Day. He also occasionally DJ’d, including an incredible set to close out DFA Records’ 12th Anniversary Party at Grand Prospect Hall.  As far as other pursuits, Murphy participated in Canon’s Project Imaginat10n, which invited 5 different celebrities and personalities to direct short films based on pictures uploaded by photographers and other creatives around the world to their website — and the result was his first directorial effort, “Little Duck,” set in Japan. And interestingly enough, with the assistance of Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman, Murphy released his own blend of espresso and a few years later, Murphy opened a critically applauded restaurant in Williamsburg. Though Murphy publicly stated that LCD Soundsystem’s breakup allowed him the time and ability to pursue a wild array of projects in a way he had never before, he also missed being in a band. Interestingly, towards the end of 2015 there were rumblings that the members of LCD Soundsystem were considering a series of reunion shows for the major festival circuit — and those rumors went wild when the members of the band released “Christmas Will Break Your Heart” ironically enough on Christmas, the first single they released in over 5 years.

After the release of “Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” Murphy and his bandmates confirmed a reunion tour, with appearances at several major music festivals, and a new album, which is slated for release sometime this year. Now, if you’ve been following the blogosphere, you know that Murphy and company had a series of hometown shows to open The Bowery Presents‘ newest venue, Brooklyn Steel and those live shows included two new singles, which will make appearances on the band’s new album — the atmospheric, Berlin Trilogy-era Bowie meets Roxy Music “Call The Police,” which features Murphy’s archly ironic and cynical lyrics and nods a bit at This Is Happening and their incredible cover of Harry Nilsson‘s “Jump Into The Fire” and “American Dream,” a slow-burning track featuring shimmering synths but subtly nods at “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” thanks in part to Murphy’s dramatic crooning, Certainly for fans, who have been waiting for new material for the past 18 months, it’ll give them a good hint of what they might expect from the new album, while also suggesting that the band has continued forward as though they never broke up.

 

 

 

 

Anthony Scott Burns is a Toronto, ON-based film director, visual effects artist and electronic music producer, who has released a number of instrumental albums — mostly as stand alone vinyl releases — with his solo recording project PILOTPRIEST. His soon-to-be released Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is slated for an April 28, 2017 release through Waxwork Records — and while the label releasing the 22 track, triple LP effort is best known for releasing the soundtracks of Taxi DriverThe ThingThe WarriorsRosemary’s BabyNosferatuC.H.U.D.Goosebumps and others, Burns’ latest effort marks some interesting, new territory for the label, as it’s the first release of originally composed material that’s largely inspired by the soundtracks of 80s cult-classic films like Body DoubleManhunter and Legend And unsurprisingly, the album’s first single “Switchblade,” manages to be mischievously anachronistic — while clearly using analog synths to create a chilly, retro-futrustic and almost dystopian sound reminiscent of the great John Carpenter, backed by boom-bap beats, the song manages to reveal slick, modern production techniques that make it both cinematic and dance floor friendly.

 

 

Over the course of the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on the Brooklyn-based JOVM mainstay post-punk act The Harrow. Deriving their name from a name of a device used to punish and torture prisoners in the Franz Kafka short story “In the Penal Colony,” the band can trace a portion of their origins back to 2008 when its founding member Frank Deserto (bass, synths and electronics) started it as a solo recording project that expanded into a full band in 2013 when Deserto recruited Vanessa Irena (vocals, synths and programming), Barrett Hiatt (synth, programming), and Greg Fasolino (guitar) to flesh out the project’s sound. As a quartet, the Brooklyn-based act released the “Mouth to Mouth”/”Ringing the Changes” 7 inch and their full-length effort Silhouettes to critical praise across the blogosphere including The Deli MagazineThe Big TakeoverImposeAltSounds as well as this site for a sound that is deeply indebted to The CureSiouxsie and the BansheesJoy Division, and others —  although with Silhouette, the material, which was mixed by friend and frequent collaborator, Automelodi’s Xavier Paradis revealed a band that had been subtly experimenting with and expanding upon their sound, as their sound took on a bit of an industrial feel, as though nodding at Depeche Mode and New Order.

Up until relatively recently, some time had passed since I had written about them; however, in the last few weeks, the band announced that they will be releasing a remix album Points of View, which would be comprised of remixes, re-workings and re-imaginings of the material off Silhouettes by various friends, collaborators and associates as part of a “living” album that will grow as they receive additional contributions to the album.  And fittingly, the album’s first single was Xavier Paradis’ propulsive, dance floor-friendly remix of “Kaleidoscope” in which industrial clang and clatter and tweeter and woofer rocking beats are paired with the original’s shimmering guitars and Irena’s ethereal vocals — and as a result, the remix retained the spirit and mood of the original, while being a subtle new take.

Interestingly enough, if you had been following the site since the early days, you may recall that I wrote about the Brooklyn-based synth pop duo Azar Swan. Comprised of singer/songwriter Zohra Atash, who was a touring vocalist with A Storm of Light and multi-instrumentalist and producer Joshua Strawn, who was a member of Blacklist, Vaura, Vain Warr and others, the duo’s current project can trace its origins to when Atash and Strawn ended their previous project Religious to Damn in 2012. And much like it, The Harrow it had been some time since I had written about them — that is until now, as the duo remixed The Harrow’s “Secret Language,” giving an already stark minimalist song an even moodier, retro-futuristic John Carpenter soundtrack vibe.

Featuring core members, founder and creative mastermind Isaac Flynn (vocals), who comes from a family of musicians and whose parents own Lawrence, KS‘ well-regarded guitar store, Mass Street Music; Eric Davis (keys, synths) and Garrett Childers (guitar, vocals), the Kansas City-based indie rock act Hembree received regional and national attention with the release of “Can’t Run Forever,” a shimmering and slickly produced, dance-floor friendly track that simultaneously nods at 80s New Wave, St. Lucia, and Interpol simultaneously.

Building upon the success of “Can’t Run Forever,” a track that has seen as of this post, over 500,000 Spotify and YouTube streams, the members of the Kansas City-based band went to record new material at Los Angeles-based Sunset Sound Studios with Chris Coady, who has worked with Beach House, Future Islands and Yeah Yeah Yeahs; but when Flynn returned home to Kansas City, he decided that those sessions should be tabled, and that it was time for the band to take a much different approach. “After ‘Can’t Run Forever’ came out, I was feeling the pressure to make our second single bigger and better, and found myself putting limitations on my writing,” Flynn explained in press notes.. “After being frustrated for several months, I decided to record whatever I want; just let it all pour out.” And with that mindset, Flynn, his bandmates Davis and Childers recorded their latest single “Holy Water,” with Foreign Fields’ Eric Hillman contributing additional production and Joe Visciano, who has worked with The Kills, Jamie xx and Beck mixing the proceedings.

“Holy Water” is a decided change in sound, as the swaggering and propulsive track nods at Kasabian and Primal Scream as the band pairs an an arena rock and dance floor-friendly hook with a slick production featuring layers of undulating synths, twinkling keys, enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats with a “we’re ready to take over the world right this fucking moment” feel. Interestingly, part of the song’s anthemic nature stems from the song’s overwhelmingly positive message. As Flynn says of the song, “The song started with me making a conscious decision to stop letting the bad win. It was time to start embracing the obstacles and then doing my best to overcome them. I really just want to be true to myself and good to others, and I want the same for other people. Perhaps that’s the message from this song.” Certainly, considering how maddening and dire everything seems on a daily basis, any positive message seems desperately necessary.  Unsurprisingly, since the single’s release at the end of last year, the song has seen regular rotation on 10 Midwestern radio markets including Columbus, OH; St. Louis, MO; and the Kansas City area — and the track has seen over 250,000 Spotify steams as of this writing.

 

 

The band will be going on a run of tour dates in the Midwest, with the first show of the tour, finding the band opening for Cold War Kids. Check out the tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
3/25 Columbus, Express Live
3/27 Omaha, Reverb
3/28 Iowa City, The Mill
3/29 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
3/30 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/24 Omaha, Reverb
4/25 Davenport IA, Raccoon Motel
4/26 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
4/27 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/28 Kansas City, Record Bar
4/29 Columbia MO, Rose Music Hall

New Video: Barry Adamson Returns with Sexy Slasher Film-Inspired Visuals for Latest Single “They Walk Among Us”

If you’ve been frequenting this site at some point over the course of its almost 7 year history, you’ve come across a couple of posts on the renowned Manchester, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer and filmmaker, Barry Adamson. Tracing the origins of his musical career to stints a member Magazine, Visage, The Birthday Party, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Adamson has had a lengthy and critically applauded solo career, in which he’s recorded and released 8 full-length albums, 7 EPs and a retrospective compilation, including I Will Set You Free, one of my favorite albums of 2012.

Now up until last year, it had been some time since I had written about or heard from Adamson. In 2013, the Manchester-born and-based musician and singer/songwriter rejoined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for the recording of Cave’s critically applauded Push the Sky Away and over the subsequent few years, Adamson was busy composing soundtracks and getting more involved in film; however, Adamson released Know Where to Run last year, an effort that found the renowned multimedia artist and multi-instrumentalist pushing his sound in a number of different directions with the album’s material drawing from film noir, pop standards, jazz, dub, trip-hop and indie rock — but in Adamson’s imitable style.

Adamson’s 8th EP, Love Sick Dick is slated for an April 14, 2017 release and reportedly the EP will thematically explore the deepest, inner workings of a lovelorn, sad sack bastard in all of his downhearted, paranoid, self-flagellation and grief paired with a sound that the renowned British artist and producer has dubbed “futuristic blues” — and as he explains in press notes, ‘The blues is the blues and if the heart aches then that’s the sound that will come out, whether you are playing guitar, a synth, a piano or performing futuristic guitar solos on your iPhone!” Of course, Love Sick Dick will also further cement Adamson’s reputation for writing, playing, sampling and recording every note, frequently employing the use of new technology to replicate his sound both in the studio and live.

Love Sick Dick’s second and latest single “They Walk Among Us” is a sultry and propulsive track in which Adamson’s husky baritone crooning is paired with a dance floor-friendly production featuring stomping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of shimmering arpeggio synths, ominously swirling electronics, a sinuous bass line and an infectious, ear worm of a hook to create a song that evokes the murkily foreboding, late night prowl of someone looking for action while being remarkably cinematic — as though it could easily be part of a soundtrack of a psychological horror film. Interestingly, as Adamson explained to the folks at Dangerous Minds the song and its accompanying, “‘They Walk Among Us’ explores the conviction of who or indeed what lies beneath the mask we present. The fantasy, the illusion, and all too often foreboding reality.”

Directed by Adamson himself, the recently released video also stars the Manchester, UK-born artist as a debonair English gentleman walking back to his flat, when he comes across a stunning woman, who he invites back to his place — but it ends with a horrible and bloody conclusion that hints at the fact that people aren’t what they seem or what they really are.