Category: electronica

New Audio: Cuarto Mundo Shares a Woozy, Club Friendly Banger

Deriving their name from a phrase that translates into English as “Fourth World,” an outdated term coined to describe the various groups of the planet’s indigenous people, French electronic duo Cuarto Mundo features:

  • Thomas Lavernhe, a French-born and-based musician, who has a lengthy career playing in a number of different bands and solo projects.
  • Chilean-born, French-based DJ Cosmo Gonik, who once toured with acclaimed outfit Arcade Fire.

Cuarto Mundo sees Lavernhe and Gonik drawing from traditional sounds and styles across the world to shape a mind-bending journey to music’s mysterious — and perhaps mystical roots.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you may recall that I’ve written about two previously released Cuarto Mundo singles:

  • Sabi Lulu,” a slickly produced and mischievously anachronistic track that features electronic production centered around skittering beats and glistening synths paired with a traditional, percussive melody from West Java, Indonesia, written by Mang Koko. 
  • La Cumbia Del Tarot” is a slow-burning bit of psychedelic cumbia featuring traditional cumbia instrumentation, shuffling rhythms, wobbling and twinkling synth arpeggios. Written as a tribute to Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s The Holy Mountain, the track features a guest spot from the famed director’s son, Adan Jodorowsky, who contributes vocals. The end result is a meditative and trippy synthesis of the ancient and the modern.

The duo’s latest single “La Psycho Cumbia Del Tarot” is an expansive and woozy reworking (of sorts) of the aforementioned “La Cumbia Del Tarot” that retains elements of the original: shuffling rhythms, looping guitar lines thumping beats and twinkling synths in the song’s slow-burning intro and outro. The song’s middle section is club rocking and trippy bit of house centered around percussive polyrhythm, oscillating synths, sampled horn and skittering beats. All three parts are held together by Adan Jodorowsky’s sonorous baritone and cumbia rhythm. While continuing to be a synthesis of the folkloric and contemporary, “La Psycho Cumbia Del Tarot” may arguably be the most dance floor friendly song the French duo has released to date.

New Audio: French Producer Poltergeist Shares a New Club Friendly Banger

Poltergeist is a young, mysterious French producer, who quickly emerged into the French electronic and industrial scenes with his debut single “Ich bin ein Kämpfer.”

The emerging French producers full-length debut is slated for release next month — and to build buzz for it, he recently released the album’s second and incredibly trance-inducing single “La Grand Dame.” Centered around tweeter and woofer rocking thump, oscillating synths and wobbling synth arpeggios pared with the French producer’s insouciant delivery and a forceful motorik groove.

While sounding a bit like Depeche Mode — or a goth take on Kraftwerk, the song thematically is about a deep, existential terror — the terror of humanity being punished for having betrayed and mistreated Mother Nature.

Quentin Salomon is a French saxophonist, electronic music producer and creative mastermind behind the emerging solo recording project Human Pattern. Solomon can trace the origins of Human Pattern back to 2016: While on a trip to Berlin, Salomon fell in love with German minimalist techno. He challenged himself to replicate the songs and textures of samplers and synthesizers solely with the saxophone.

While living in Annecy, France, he quickly earned the support of local concert hall and rehearsal studio Le Brise Glace and Feeling and Sound Production, and eventually was signed by indie label Alpine Records. He released his debut EP Rebirth to critical praise from Tsugi Magazine and the local press — and he supported the effort with opening slots for Black Strobe‘s Arnaud Rebotini, Acid Arab, and Cyril Atef.

In 2019, he moved to Villeurbanne, France to share his vision of electronic music with saxophone with the Lyon electronic music scene, to further Human Pattern — and to explore other musical horizons.

His latest single “Stress” off his recently released Animal Instinct EP is a club banger featuring skittering hi-hat and thumping beats, looped and chopped up saxophone bleats and squeaks for the song’s infectious hook paired with a modal saxophone melody. Mixing organic instrumentation and arrangements with electronic production isn’t exactly a new thing — but it adds a human element to the proceedings: It’s a reminder that a living, breathing, feeling human created the song.

Salomon explains that the EP is inspired by and informed by human evolution, and the fact that we have gradually lost connection with our animal instincts. He goes on to say that “Stress” is informed by the emotions and emotional responses we’ve inherited as part of our survival instinct.

New Audio: H2SO4 Return with a Strutting and Funky Bop

Formed in Kent back in the late 90s, British electro pop act H2S04 — Graham Cupples (keys, programming), Darren Till (keys, programming) and James Butler (vocals, bass) — features a collection of accomplished musicians: Cupples previously led techno acts Mortal and Code. Till played with Cupples in Code. Butler contributed bass and vocals in indie rock act Lobster, which was once known as Sulpher. 

Initially tracing their origins back to when they started experimenting with a series of remixes, the members of H2S04 began writing original material that blended electronica, rock and techno paired with a special attention to songwriting. Their debut single, 1998’s “Little Soul,” quickly became popular in their native England — and because of its extremely limited release, a collector’s item.

The trio’s 1999 full-length debut Machine Turned Blues featured the aforementioned “Little Soul,” “I Need Feel,” “The Way I Want,” and “Imitation Leather Jacket,” a track that was a favorite among British DJs that also received radio play here in the States. They supported Machine Turned Blues by playing a series of festivals across the British festival circuit, including Glastonbury — and they played shows in Canada and Chicago.

2000’s Glamtronica saw the British trio further establishing their sound while adding a playful sense of satire to the mix. The act largely disappeared until 2015’s Under Control and 2021’s Love and Death

The British trio started off the year with “Fast Cars,” a swaggering Brit Pop meets Big Beat banger that sonically nodded at the likes of KasabianThe Chemical Brothers and Evil Heat era Primal Scream — and meant to be played as loudly as possible.

“Best Shot” the trio’s latest single is strutting bop centered around fluttering and glistening synths, a funky bass line, bursts of funk guitar, congo accents and Butler’s insouciant cooed delivery paired with an infectious hook. Sonically, the track nods at Electronic‘s “Getting Away With It” and The Chemical BrothersCome With Us” but with a chilled out, lounge/salon friendly vibe.

New Audio: H2S04 Shares a Swaggering and Anthemic New Banger

Formed in Kent back in the late 90s, British electro pop act H2S04 — Graham Cupples (keys, programming), Darren Till (keys, programming) and James Butler (vocals, bass) — features a collection of accomplished musicians: Cupples previously led techno acts Mortal and Code. Till played with Cupples in Code. Butler contributed bass and vocals in indie rock act Lobster, which was once known as Sulpher.

Initially tracing their origins back to when they started experimenting with a series of remixes, the members of H2S04 began writing original material that blended electronica, rock and techno paired with a special attention to songwriting. Their debut single, 1998’s “Little Soul,” which featured a foreboding song, quickly became popular in English — and because of its extremely limited release, a collector’s item.

The British trio’s 1999 full-length debut Machine Turned Blues featured the aforementioned “Little Soul,” “I Need Feel,” “The Way I Want,” and “Imitation Leather Jacket,” a track that was a favorite among British DJs, while receiving radio play here in the States. The trio supported Machine Turned Blues by playing a series of festivals across the British festival circuit, including Glastonbury — and they played shows in Canada and Chicago.

2000’s Glamtronica saw the British trio further establishing their sound while adding a playful sense of satire to the mix. The act largely disappeared until 2015’s Under Control and 2021’s Love and Death.

“Fast Cars” H2S04’s first single of 2022 is centered around skittering tweeter and woofer ratting thump, buzzing synths, crooned vocals, relentless motorik groove and enormous, arena rock friendly hooks paired with a swaggering air. The end result is a song that sonically nods at Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers and Evil Heat era Primal Scream meant to be played as loud as humanly possible.

New Video: Neon Jesus’ Sultry and Bluesy Banger “Red Lips”

Rising Canadian-born and-based singer/songwriter Neon Jesus can trace the origins of his genre-defying sound — a sound that pairs blues-inspired guitar with pulsing electronic dance music — to when he lived in New York.

While in New York, the rising Canadian artist frequently caught live music, and he noticed a significant and very telling difference in terms of reaction: “I’d be out at a rock show and while people were attentive and taking everything in, the crowd’s reaction was rather lackluster, even amid great artists before them,” Neon Jesus recalls. ““But then I’d head to a rave in Brooklyn and it struck me that people there were uninhibited and just generally more invested in what they were listening to. That was when I started to wonder what would happen if someone were to bring the two genres together.”

Electronic music was uncharted territory for the rising Canadian artist. But rather than mindlessly following the short-lived trends of generic dance music, Neon Jesus invested time to understand the foundations of electronic music and began to create his own beats to accompany his own guitar playing. That approach to production caught the attention of New York-based dance music production Abe Duque, a pioneer of deep house.

Mentored by Duque, Neon Jesus was exposed to underground dance music. Together, they created a live sound featuring synths and drum machines while the Canadian artist played guitar that saw the pair playing off one-another in an improvised manner familiar to the blues and jazz. The pair took their live sound to Berlin, where Neon Jesus became the first artist to play electric guitar at the renowned Berlin-based techno club Berghain.

Interestingly, those performances laid the foundation for Neon Jesus’ forthcoming full-length debut Tabula Rosa. Tabula Rosa‘s first single, the slickly produced and sultry “Red Lips” is centered around a thumping kick drum, glistening and pulsating synths, the Canadian artist’s plaintive wailing and scorching guitar lines reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, Prince and the like. And while pairing bluesy, power chord-driven rock with pulsating electronic dance music, “Red Lips” sonically and thematically reminds me a bit of INXS‘ “Need You Tonight” as the song is about desperate, maddening, obsessive desire — but with a sinister and uneasy undertone. “When you look back at artists like Prince or Jimi Hendrix, the blues was at the heart of their sound,” he declares. For some, this may seem a bit odd. The blues label doesn’t easily stick to them. Rather than mimic what came before them, they took the soul of blues and roots music and grew their own branches from the same tree. That’s the impetus behind my exploration of mixing blues and rock guitar with electronic music. I’m growing my personal branch on that tree.”

The recently released video was shot on grainy Super 8 film and is split between footage of the Canadian artist rocking out in a dark club, a beautiful blonde in knee high boots strutting around NYC. “With the video, we were trying to capture the sensation where love slips into obsession followed by a sudden darkness, where only the Lord can save you from its clutches,” Neon Jesus says.

New Video: FUTURE KULT Delves Deep into our Near-Dystopian Future

FUTURE KULT is a emerging music project featuring Cardiff-based film composer Sion Trefor and Berlin-based musician and art producer Benjamin Zombori. The duo holed up in the remote Mexican region of Hildalgo to write and record their forthcoming self-titled, full-length debut, slated for a February 11, 2022 releaser through AWAL.

The duo’s work fed off what they’ve been seeing in the overall zeitgeist — an uneasy and mad world in conflict, with technology consuming the life and soul of the consumer. Thematically, the album sees the duo questioning what it even means to create art in this particular moment. Has the world accepted the all-consuming algorithm as ruler — or is it possible to make music and art that reflects and comments on our moment?

For the duo, to be human means to be engaged in a battle of retreat against overwhelming technological forces, with the soft-power of our machines hardening into a prison for our minds. They claim that it’s not long clear if humans shape their computers, phones, their avatars and the internet — or if these devices shape us, our desires, our thoughts and our expression.

FUTURE KULT’s first single “Hildago” is an expansive track that’s simultaneously cinematic and menacing, centered around a noisy and dense arrangement featuring buzzing bass synths, skittering boom bap, scorching guitar, brooding horn blasts, layers of glistening synth arpeggios, distorted vocal samples paired with breathy yet ironically detached vocals. This is the sound of our near dystopian present.

The accompanying video was shot by Zombori in the Mexican desert, just outside of its namesake town. The video shows fragments of a mysterious folk tale centered around a masked hero, who mysteriously arrives to protect the villagers from dark and unseen forces seemingly recorded on a battered VHS tape.

New Audio: Allegories Releases a Left Field Banger

Allegories was a long-dormant experimental noise duo that reappeared in 2014 as an electro pop unit that experimented with genre, meshing eclectic soundscapes with pop inclinations. Gathering further, inspiration from DJ’ing house and hip-hop nights, the act began to create electronic music that often shifts between the mainstream and underground spectrum.

The duo’s latest single “Pray” is a feverish left field take on dance music, centered around `shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, euphoria-inducing hooks and pitch shifted vocals that sonically is a slick synthesis of Evil Heat era Primal Scream and Sound of Silver era LCD Soundsystem. Or in other words, it’s a bizarre yet winning mix of menace, irony and sincerity within a club banger.

“‘Pray’ feels like a tree grown out of a seed of house music, but its leaves are wild and varied,” the mysterious duo explain. “Sometimes you let gravity take over a composition; you start one way but over time music evolves naturally. At the same time, “Pray” doesn’t function in an uncomplicated fashion. It was written and recorded over many years and each new iteration added conflicting emotional layers. A menagerie of feelings. Owing as much to the overtly sincere as it does the misleading insincere. “