Category: Indie Electro Pop

With the release of “Superego,” which received nearly 3 million streams on Spotify, the Vienna, Austria-based indie electro pop duo Leyya, quickly emerged into both the national and international scenes. Adding to a growing profile, the duo comprised of Sophie Lindinger and Marco Kleebauer played sets across the European Union’s festival circuit. including The Great EscapeLiverpool Sound CityTallinn Music WeekPrimavera SoundReeperbahn FestivalIceland Airwaves and a headlining set at Popfest. Along with that the duo have received airplay on Huw Stephens‘ and Phil Taggart‘s BBC Radio 1 shows and Lauren Laverne‘s BBC Radio 6 show, been playlisted on Germany’s Radio 1, as well as praise from Pigeons and PlanesWonderland MagazineClash MagazineKonbiniThe 405 and Consequence of Sound among others.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you’d know that the duo’s sophomore effort Sauna was released earlier this year, and from album single “Drumsolo,” the duo further cemented a growing reputation for crafting ambient and moody electro pop while expanding upon their sound with elements of hip-hop, R&B and jazz in a way that reminded me of Flourish//Perish-era BRAIDS and Clearing-era Softspot but with a coquettish and swaggering self-assuredness. Interestingly, “Wannabe,” is a standalone single, released as a follow up to their critically applauded sophomore effort and the track is a breezy and summery track that finds the duo’s sound nodding at JOVM mainstays Sylvan Esso, as Lindinger’s coquettish and ethereal vocals float over a slick production consisting of layers of stuttering and staccato beats, bubbling synths, gently swirling electronics and an anthemic hook. Lyrically, the song manages to walk a tightrope between spirited animation and deep introspection, which gives the danceable song a palpable yet subtle emotional heft.

As the duo says of the single, “After releasing our second album Sauna we tried to avoid the post-release-down with being creative and writing new music straight away. The song is circling around a problem almost everyone can relate to: Wanting to be like somebody else. Ironically – we find – its often also the other way around.“

 

 

 

 

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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 from “Eyes Out,” the album’s first single, the album’s material is a decided change in sonic direction and approach from his work with Factory Floor; instead of the icy, no wave electronica and industrial techno he’s best known for, Physical’s first single was 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.

“Harder Rhythm,” Physical‘s second and latest single is a sensual, primal, lust-filled track centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, thumping beats — but unlike it’s predecessor it finds Gurnsey leaning a bit more towards industrial house, with the track sounding as though it were inspired by Yaz‘s “Situation” and New Order‘s “Blue Monday.” As Gurnsey explains, “When writing ‘Harder Rhythm’ I was drawing from the two very connected basic primal instincts of sexual attraction and our instilled affinity with rhythm. It’s a straight up celebration of both and the associated feelings of euphoria and tension. A love for the very first drum machine beat I ever heard on Michael Jackson‘s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” definitely made its way in.”

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: Up-and-Coming French Electronic Duo Polo & Pan Release Gorgeous and Childlike Visuals for Breezy “Canopee”

Polo & Pan are a Paris-based electronic music production and DJ duo, comprised of Paul Armand “Polocorp” Delille, and Alexandre “Peter Pan” Grynszpan, both of whom are acclaimed artists in their own right. Grynszpan has developed a reputation for being an insatiable crate digger, who has been known to collect a wide and diverse array of records from musical gems of the early 20th century to contemporary electronica and electro pop to 70s Nepalese psych rock and so on. Unsurprisingly Grynszpan is one of the founders of Radiooooo, an online encyclopedic radio station that was launched back in 2013. Delille is best known for his work with MAD Agency creating workspaces for artists in industrial warehouses but also as a renowned DJ; in fact, both Grynszpan and Delille were resident DJs at Le Baron, and when they met, they discovered a common musical interest — creating a genre- and time-defying sound that manages to be dance floor friendly. 

The duo’s first release Rivolta found the duo meshing 30s Italian standards with 70s Giorgio Moroder-inspired disco, and their full-length debut Caravelle, which was released earlier this year will further cement the duo’s meshing of genres and time periods to create their difficult to pigeonhole yet wildly crowd pleasing sound. The album’s material draws from the sounds of South America, Tajikistan, China, Congo Africa and elsewhere — and the album’s latest single “Canopee” is a breezy and sultry song that draws from French chanteuse-styled pop, flamenco, thumping Italian disco and African percussion with an effortlessly seamless and slick yet soulful production.

Animated and directed by Bleu Garou, a.k.a. Chiara Luber, the recently released animated video is an exotic and vividly colorful visual that immediately brings The Jungle Book, The Little Prince and Babar to mind as it evokes a mischievous and childlike sense of wonder and awe, while being centered around an old-fashioned love story. 

 

Led by Makara Bianco and featuring production from prolific French producer débruit, KOKOKO! is a pioneering Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo-based DIY electronic collective inspired by a growing spirit of protest and unrest among Kinshasa’s young people. Unsurprisingly, these young people, much like young people everywhere have begun to openly question centuries-old norms and taboos, and have openly begun to denounce a society that they’ve perceived as being paralyzed by fear — namely, the fear of inclusiveness and change. And they’ve begun to do so with an fearless, in-your-face, almost punk rock-like attitude. In fact, the collective’s name literally means KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK! with the collective viewing themselves as the sound of a new generation boldly, loudly and defiantly banging on the doors and walls, yelling “OUR TIME IS NOW!”

I’ve written quite a bit about the collective, and as you may know, the collective’s members operate in a wildly inventive DIY fashion, creating self-designed and self-made instruments from recycled junk, flotsam and jetsam and claptrap. They even built a recording studio out of old mattresses, found wound and a ping pong table. Fueled by the underlying notion that desperate survival fuels creativity, the collective exploded into the international scene with their debut EP Tokoliana an urgent, forward-thinking, avant-grade-like effort centered around a sound that nods at disco, post-punk, hip-hop, reggae, retro-futuristic funk, Afro-futurism and traditional regional music — from a sweaty and grimy, post-apocalyptic future in which the ghetto and club are one and the same. It was arguably one of the most unique and exciting debuts I’ve come across in some time and unsurprisingly as a result, EP single and title track “Tokoliana” was one of my favorite singles last year.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Congolese collective’s TONGOS’A EP was released last year, and the EP found the members of the collective further exploring themes of survival within the desperate and uneasy sociopolitical climate of their homeland — sometimes being forced to focused on small, deeply human pleasures and concerns. TONGOS’A‘s first single, EP title track “Tongos’a” (which translates roughly into “’til the morning light” in English)” was a sweaty, sultry and raunchy banger, centered around skittering drum programming and African percussion which helped to further cement the song’s overall theme — the necessity of getting good sex.

“Azo Toke,” the Congolese collective’s first single of 2018 features a production consisting of explosive blasts of static and feedback, tribal percussion, thumping and stuttering, tweeter and woofer beats, glitchy bursts of synth, throbbing low end, call and response vocals and subtly shifting moods and tempos — and while seemingly post apocalyptic, the track will further cement the act’s inventive approach to dance music, in which they seamlessly mesh African traditions with forward-thinking, hyper modern production.

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays SOFI TUKKER Release Mischievous and Brightly Colored Visuals for Thumping “Good Time Girl” feat. Charlie Barker

I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed, New York-based electro pop duo SOFI TUKKER throughout the course of this site’s eight year history, and with the release of their debut EP Soft Animals and their full-length debut Treehouse, which was released earlier this year, the duo have quickly built a blogosphere dominating, internationally recognized profile, thanks in part to a thumping, tribal house sound that subtly drew from Latin, African rhythms and other music; in fact, album single “Best Friend,” was a smash hit that received a Grammy nod, and was featured in an ad campaign for the iPhone X.

Treehouse’s latest single “Good Time Girl” is a sultry and percussive classic house music-inspired track centered around thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, arpeggiated synth, blasts of strummed guitar and bass and an infectious, club rocking hook — and over that, SOFI TUKKER”s Sophie Hawley Weld and Charlie Barker trade equally sultry and breathy vocals. Sonically speaking the song is a seamless synthesis of DFA Records and Giorgio Moroder with a fearlessly mischievous vibe; but as Hawley Weld and Halpern explain in press notes, “This is a really personal, tongue-in-cheek song about navigating this nebulous thing called a ‘casual relationship.'”

Directed by Freddie Frantos, the video for “Good Time Girl”  was released just ahead of the renowned, JOVM mainstays European, Summer festival run, and the video features the members of SOFI TUKKER goofing off and hanging out with Charlie Banker’s houseboat. And much like their previously released video, “Good Time Girl” will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting playful, high energy visuals in which they wear neon bright clothing. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Canadian Born Producer and Electronic Music Artist Bruno Belissimo Releases Surreal, Mischievous Visuals for Sultry Retro-futuristic “Boloña Baleárica”

Born the son of Italian immigrants who moved to Canada in the 70s, Bruno Belissimo is a Toronto, Ontario, Canada-born and -based electronic music producer, multi-instrumentalist and electronic music artist, who grew up in a rather creative environment — his father owned a movie rental store and directed independent sci-fi movies and his mother managed a small cafe in the  St. Clarens neighborhood, best known as an enclave of Italian immigrants. As the story goes Belissimo showed a predisposition for music at a very young age: at 8 he was the best vocalist of his Baptist Church’s The Little Lord Singers and as he got older he won a scholarship at Toronto’s Royal Conservancy of Music, where he studied upright bass and composition. As he got older, Belissimo got interested in electronic music, and began producing his first tracks, quickly established his own style and sound, centered around disco-inspired programming and deep grooves. 

“Boloña Baleárica,” Belissismo’s sultry, new single features a swaggering, retro-futuristic production consisting of shimmering, arpeggiated synths reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder, tribal drum programming and warm yet soulful blast of horns. Sonically, the song sounds mischievously anachronistic — it could have been released in 1982, 1992, 2002 or today. As the Canadian producer, electronic music artist and multi-instrmetnalist says of the track “Boloña Baleárica is an homage to the sweaty and sweltering city of Bologna burnt by the sun in the scorching summer season. High cliffs instead of hills, fresh fish instead of Ragù and the surrounding sea instead of the city. This is the perfect soundtrack for your holidays in Bologna.”

Directed by Maison Blame, the video follows Stefano, the body builder, who’s obsessed with his physical shape and is like 100% muscle; Anna, a tourist; and Bellissimo through a sultry and sweaty Italian vacation in beautiful Bologna. 

Last year, I wrote about the Vancouver, BC experimental pop/electro pop act I M U R, and as you may recall, that with the release of 2015’s debut EP Slow Dive, the Canadian trio,  which is comprised of Jenny Lea (vocals, keys), Mikey J. Blige (live production, guitar) and Amine Bouzaher (electric violin, bass) have received attention in Vancouver’s underground scene and elsewhere for a sound that draws from 90s R&B, 90s soul, contemporary electro pop in a rather unique fashion. Interestingly, that EP at one point landed at #5 on Spotify Global Viral Charts.

Building upon a growing profile, the Vancouver-based pop trio has received attention and praise from a number of national and internally known media outlets, including Vice NoiseyExclaim!, Hiphop Canada, Beatroute Magazine and Winniecooper.net, who listed the trio as one of Vancouver’s Top Acts to watching out for in 2016. They’ve also played at a number of festivals across their native Canada such as  Shambhala Music Festival, World Ski and Snowboard Festival,Astral Harvest, Center of Gravity and Rifflandia.

Last year, the members of I M U R released their full-length debut Little Death, and the album further cemented their reputation for crafting material that thematically explores and focuses on extremely dark subjects — namely drugs, booze and sex, as well as the prototypical pop themes of heartache, resiliency and intimacy with a fearless lack of inhibition. Interestingly, the slow-burning “Miss You, Hate You” the first single off the trio’s forthcoming THIRTY33 EP is a deeply intimate account of Jenny Lea’s personal struggles with addition rooted around the duality of her life — both as an addict and as a former addict. As Lea explains, “This was a very important but difficult song for me to write. I’m opening up about a very private part of my life in hopes to connect with others that might be struggling, and to let them know that they’re not alone.”

As the trio mentions via email, the track was self-recorded in the bedroom of their temporary Montreal apartment last spring, and sonically the track is centered around a sparse production consisting of shuffling beats, swirling and undulating electronics paired with Lea’s sultry jazzy and confessional delivery; in some way, the song is late night secret, whispered among friends or lovers — with the understanding that while it won’t get out of that room, that it’ll make you much closer.

New Video: Up-and-Coming Australian Producer and Electronic Music Artist MUTO Releases Cinematic Yet Surreal Visuals for “Tessellating” feat. Oliver Dibley

MUTO is a 20-something, Sydney, Australia-born and-based electronic music producer, who quickly emerged into the national scene with the release of two attention grabbing, incredibly unique yet soulful, chart topping singles “Wildfire,” and “Say Nothing.” The up-and-coming Australian electronic music producer’s first single of this year “Tessellating” will further cement his reputation for crafting slick, soulful and crowd pleasing electro pop — but while pushing his sound in a new, experimental direction as it’s centered around a production consisting of layers of glitchy electronics, arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, weird, asymmetrical textures which Oliver Dibley croons in a sultry and plaintive fashion about the interchanging and confusing nature of a relationship. In this sense, relationships can change and bend dependent on the lens and perspective you’re looking through, much like light refracting through a mirror.

Directed by  Visitor Studio’s Melbourne, Australia-based, award winning duo Lukas Shrank and George Thompson, the recently released video while cinematically shot possesses a surreal and dream-like logic that suggest that love — whether romantic or platonic — can frequently feel like being free fall, and landing in some random place without explanation or reason.