Category: instrumental

New Video: Los Bitchos Releases a Horror Film Inspired Visual for Trippy and Groovy “Pista (Fresh Start)”

London-based instrumental outfit Los Bichos — Australia-born, London-based Serra Petale (guitar); Uruguay-born, London-based Agustina Ruiz (keytar); Sweden-born, London-based Josefine Jonsson (bass) and London-born and-based Nic Crawshaw (drums) — features individual members with different upbringings, who have developed a unique, retro-futuristic sound that blends elements of Peruvian chicha, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psych and surf rock, as well the music each individual member grew up with: The Uruguayan-born Ruiz had a Latin-American music collection that the members of the band fell in love with. The Swedish-born Jonsson “brings a touch of out of control pop,” her bandmates often joke. Aussie-born Serra Petale is deeply inspired by her mother’s 70s Anatolian rock records. And the London-born Crawshaw played in a number of local punk bands before joining Los Bitchos. “Coming from all these different places,” Serra Petale says, “it means we’re not stuck in one genre and we can rip up the rulebook a bit when it comes to our influences.”

The band can trace its own origins through its members meeting at all-night house parties or through various friends. Los Bitchos’ highly anticipated Alex Kapranos-produced full-length debut,  Let The Festivities Begin! is slated for a February 4, 2022 release through City Slang Records

Recorded at Gallery Studios, Let The Festivities Begin! sees the London-based instrumental outfit further establishes their reputation for crafting maximalist and trippy, Technicolor, instrumental party starting jams — with a cinematic quality.

The album’s celebratory title is something you might say while toasting dear friends, families and even strangers at a gathering — and hopefully at the of this horrible period of despair and uncertainty, as a way to usher in a period of carefree debauchery. “It’s about being together and having a really good time,” Los Bitchos say in press notes.

In the lead-up to Let The Festivities Begin!‘s release next month, I’ve managed to write about two of the album’s singles:

  • Las Panteras” a funky, mind-bending jam featuring shimmering synths bongos, cowbell, cabasa and wiry post punk meets Nile Rodgers and surf rock-like guitars and a sinuous bass line.
  • Good to Go,” another mind-bending, genre-blurring composition that begins with a decidedly Western intro with shimmering and reverb-drenched guitar twang before quickly morphing into a a trippy yet chilled out Latin funk meets Turkish psych affair with glistening synths, handclaps and a blazing guitar solo. 

Let The Festivities Begin!‘s third and latest single “Pista (Fresh Start)” is a slick yet trippy synthesis of chicha, cumbia and psych rock centered around looping and glistening guitars, shuffling Latin rhythms meant to get even the party’s wallflowers moving and grooving. We are so excited to put out this track. Some people may recognise it and we hope you enjoy the sassy makeover we gave it for the album,” the members of Los Bitchos say in press notes.

Directed by frequent collaborator Tom Mitchell, the recently released video is the final installment of the story told in the videos for “Las Panteras” and “Good to Go.” The video begins with the ladies of Los Bitchos living in hiding in a witness protection program after being acquitted in the game show meets courtroom show from hell. The band seems to enjoy a quiet life in the country full of domestic errands, goofing off and jamming at a campfire. But it isn’t what may seem. Things are lurking in the shadows.

“The video transports you to our life in witness protection following our game show/courtroom victory – the good life and new beginnings. Things aren’t quite what they seem though… We had so much fun shooting this video and didn’t want to leave our cosy, wholesome nest! Thank you to Dario Argento and Are You Afraid of the Dark? for inspiring the final installment of this trilogy.”

New Audio: Delvon Lamarr Trio Releases a Strutting and Soulful Bit of Funk

Acclaimed Seattle-based soul jazz outfit Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio formed back in 2015 and currently features:

  • Delvon Lamarr, a self-taught virtuosic musician, with perfect pitch, who taught himself jazz — and can play several different instruments, besides organ
  • Jimmy James, a guitarist, whose style meshes acid rock freak outs with slinky jazz
  • Dan Weiss, the Reno, NV-born drummer, the band’s new full-time drummer, who’s best known for his work with the soul and funk collective The Sextones

Since their formation, the Seattle-based trio has released two albums of what the band dubs “feel good music” that includes 2018’s full-length debut, Close But No Cigar and last year’s critically and commercially successful sophomore effort I Told You So, which debuted on the top of multiple Billboard Charts: #1 on the Contemporary Jazz Album Chart, #3 on the Jazz Album Chart, #4 on the Tastemaker Album Chart, and #12 on the Heatseaker Album Chart.

I Told You So also received praise by Under the Radar, AllMusic, American Songwriter, Popmatters, KEXP, Live For Live Music, Jazziz, Jambase, Glide Magazine and NPR, who named it one of their favorite albums of the first half of last year.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio’s third album Cold As Weiss is slated for a February 11, 2022 release through Colemine Records. Cold As Weiss is the first recorded output with Weiss, the band’s newest member. And while finding the band at its tightest, the album reportedly finds the band continuing to push funky instrumental music to a new generation of fans.

“Don’t Worry ‘Bout What I Do,” Cold As Weiss‘ second and latest single derives its title from a quote by the band’s Jimmy James. “No matter what you say to this cat, ‘Yo bro, your butt crack is showing,’ he always says the same thing: ‘Man . . . don’t worry ’bout what i do,” the band’s Delvon Lamarr explains. “Don’t Worry ‘Bout What I Do” is an old-school pimp strut, centered around an expansive arrangement featuring Weiss’ quickly building up a tight, rhythmic swing, Lamarr’s sultry organ lines and James’ psych rock-like guitar lines. The end result is a composition that seems indebted to the likes of The Meters and Booker T and the MGs.

Chris Sherman is a Cincinnati-born and-based bassist, best known as Freekbass. Sherman, who graduated from his hometown’s School for Creative and Performing Arts started his career in earnest, when Bootsy’s Rubber Band vocalist Gary “Mudbone” Cooper recruited Sherman to record a track, which would appear on a Jimi Hendrix tribute compilation.

Sherman was introduced to the legendary Bootsy Collins, who had given him his stage name. In 1992, Sherman along with guitarist Chris Donnelly formed SHAG. Two years, later the band released their debut effort, Bootsy Collins Presents SHAG Live.

In 1998 Freekbass went solo, releasing his full-length debut, 1998’s Ultra-Violet Impact. Since then, the Cincinnati-born and -based bassist has gone to release seven more albums leading his own band, including 2019’s All the Way This. All the Way That.

Freekbass begins 2022 with the Eddie Roberts-produced “Under Krameria,” a swaggering and strutting bit of gritty funk that seems indebted to Funkadelic and Mandrill, centered around Freekbass’ thumping bass playing creating woozy melodies, Sky White’s soaring organ chords and some old school breakbeats. It’s the sort of soundtrack for strutting down the street in your finest threads.

After the session, the band was waiting for a title to come to them and found their van stopping under the Krameria street sign in Denver. As the story goes, the band realized that this odd bit of happenstance worked. It also manages to mirror, the song’s organic nature.

New Video: Lyon, France’s Ashinoa Releases A Trippy Visual For Mind-Bending “Disguised in Orbit”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2019’s Sinie Sinie, the Lyon, France-based experimental synth act Ashinoa quickly exploded into the national and international scene: Sinie Sinie saw the French act establishing a minimalist krautrock approach.

The members of the Lyon-based act supported the album with tours around France opening for JOVM mainstays METZ and Flamingods, Warrmduscher, Bo Ningen, Kikagaku Moyo and others. Ashinoa’s forthcoming sophomore album L’Orée is slated for a March 25, 2022 release through Fuzz Club, and the album reportedly sees the band building upon the minimalist karutrock of their debut while taking the listener on a journey through the wilderness through shape-shifting, psychedelic electronics.

Although centered around a largely synthesizer-driven soundscape, L’Orée‘s material sees the members of Ashinoa exploring a much more natural, organic sound than their previously released work, a sound that at times is percussive and dance floor friendly and other times hypnotic and expansive — thanks in part to the environment it was written and recorded in. Recorded in a house, tucked away in the French countryside, which bordered on a surrounding forest, the band recalls that the album sessions were spent soaking up their immediate surroundings with a number of collaborators coming in and out to play on the record:

“The house we recorded the album in was kind of in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by Douglas Pine trees. From this proximity to the forest, we wanted to take our soundscapes to a place we’ve never been before,” the members of the French-based experimental act explain. “Before we were surrounded by concrete, and then far from it. We were looking for a new listening place, to discover new intriguing sounds. We had laid down the basis of the album and then musician friends that would visit us at the time were invited to participate in the making of the album, each one of them bringing a touch of their own.”

L’Orée‘s first single “Disguised by Orbit” is banger centered a trance-inducing, trippy groove, polyrhythmic breakbeats and undulating synths. The end result — to my ears — is a slick synthesis of L’eclair and Mildlife-like cosmic grooves, old school boom bap and Brit Pop swagger.

“This song feels like those beautiful night skies,” the members of Ashinoa explain. “You’re feeling tipsy, a bit high maybe. When the colours surrounding you aren’t really what they seem. Everything sparkles like crazy as if everything was disguised.”

Directed by Jeremy Labarre and Matteo Fabri, the recently released video for “Disguised by Orbit” follows a mutton chop wearing man as she angrily walks through a damp European downtown before encountering a gorgeous robe that encourages him to strut, vamp and dance through town. We also see a woman in the same rob, dancing in the desert.

New Audio: French Artist Lafin Releases a Bruising and Brooding Single

Lafin is the solo recording of a mysterious French musician, who cut his teeth drumming in a number of Paris-based doom metal and post hardcore acts, including Forge and Remote.

He started Lafin two years ago as a way to pair electronic sound textures, weird ambiance and acoustic drums in a way that was aggressive, modern and human.

The French artist’s full-length debut Umwelt was released earlier this year. The album’s first single “Head VI (F.B. 1949)” is a brooding mix of industrial metal, stoner rock, post rock and others, centered around thunderous drumming, layer of glistening and oscillating synths within a slow-burning and cinematic song structure. The end result is a song that — to my ears — sounds a bit like a forceful meeting of John Carpenter soundtracks and One Day As A Lion.

Live Footage: Mysterious French Artist Kwoon Launches Guitar into Space

Kwoon is the musical project of a rather mysterious French musician, producer and composer, only known as Sandy. And with his full-length debut, 2006’s Tales & Dreams, the mysterious mastermind behind Kwoon quickly established the project’s sound — a dreamy take on post-rock and prog rock, seemingly inspired by the likes of Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, and even Pink Floyd.

Sandy followed up with 2009’s When the flowers were singing and 2011’s The Guillotine Show, which was released through Fin de Siécle. Over the past year or so, the mysterious French producer and musician has released a series of live performances shot in some truly mesmerizing locations including a vocal and cliff on the island of Lanzarote, the Tévennec Lighthouse, near the stormy Breton sea.

Kwoon’s latest single, “Stratofear” continues a run of dreamy, slow-burning and cinematic material. But in this case, with the composition centered around shimmering, pedal effected guitars, a soaring string sample and skittering beats. Interestingly, “Stratosfear to my ears sees the mysterious French artist meshing elements of textured A Storm in Heaven-like shoegaze, neo-classical and Sigur Ros and Collapse Under the Empire-like post rock.

Shot at Quiberon Airport, in Quiberon, France, the live footage features the mysterious artist performing the composition on their airfield, next to a Wright Brothers-era airplane. Just behind him, a balloon with a guitar attached is launched into space. And as he performs the song, we see footage from the perspective of the newly-launched space guitar. It’s gorgeous, trippy and badass.

Throughout their decade-plus turn together, the Seattle-based octet Polyrhythmics specialize in a genre-blurring sound that meshes elements of funk, rock, jazz, Afrobeat, Latin soul and more with arrangements generally centered around keys and percussion.

The Seattle-based outfit is currently working with Color Red to re-master and re-issue their fourth album Libra Stripes. And to build up buzz for the forthcoming re-mastered reissue of Libra Stripes, the members of Polyrhythmics and Color Red released, the re-mastered album’s first single “Pupusa Strut.” Centered around a catchy and buoyant horn line, wah-wah pedaled guitar, Afro-Latin percussion and playful bursts of flute, “Pupusa Strut” is a funky and upbeat pimp strut that sonically brings The Funk Ark‘s High Noon to mind.

New Video: Parisian Electronic Act Voie81 Releases a Nostalgia-Inducing Visual for “1989”

Deriving their name from the French of word for “track” while simultaneously being a bit of a punny joke based on the French word or voice — voix — and for 1981, a paradigm shifting year that saw massive technological and societal changes, the Paris-based electro pop/New Wave outfit Voie 81 prominently features three female vocalists hailing from Paris, Madrid, and Berlin, who sing unifying and socially conscious lyrics in German, English, Spanish and French. 

Their full-length debut, Ralentir, which translates into “slow down” in French finds the act further establishing a sound that’s heavily indebted to and influenced by the analog synth sounds of the 80s while thematically focusing on humans’ resistance to an unfair and unjust world — and the hope fora much better, fairer world.

Last year, I wrote about album track “Nirvana,” a euphoric track with an arena friendly hook and sultrily delivered French vocals that — to my ears — that reminded me a bit of early-to-mid 80s New OrderGiorgio MoroderTour de France-era Kraftwerk and even contemporaries like DBFC.

“1989,” Ralentir‘s latest track is centered around a relentless motorik groove, glistening synth arpeggios, angular guitars, thumping beats and brief bursts of industrial clang and clatter. The end result is a song that seems to mesh John Carpenter‘s retro-futuristic soundtracks with New Order. As the band explains “1989 is more than the last year of the 80s! It symbolizes a pivotal stage, when everything has accelerated : technological, climate and enormous geopolitical changes.”

Directed by the members of Voie 81 and, the recently released video, which was also edited by features stock footage of some of the world-changing technology and events that happened in 1989 from new video games, the fall of the Berlin Wall, as well as young people partying and just enjoying life.

Moscow-based instrumental funk outfit The Diasonics — Anton Moskvin (drums), Maxim Brusov (bass guitar), Anton Katyrin (percussions), Daniil Lutsenko (guitar) and Kamil Gzizov (keys) — formed back in 2019 and in a relatively short period of time, the Russian quintet quickly amassed a cult following while honing what they’ve dubbed “hussar funk,” a blend of hip-hop rhythms, 60s and 70s psychedelia, Eastern European flavor within cinematic arrangements

Since their formation, The Diasonics have released ten highly celebrated singles and various in-demand 45 vinyl records through funk labels like Funk Night Records and Mocambo Records. Their highly-anticipated full-length debut, Origins of Forms is slated for a January 28, 2022 release through Italian funk and soul purveyors Record Kicks.

Recorded on an Otari MX-5050 MK III at Moscow’s Magnetone Studio and mixed by The Cactus Channel‘s and Karate Boogaloo‘s Henry Jenkins in Melbourne, the album’s overall aesthetic is firmly rooted in the early 60s and 70s. Last month, I wrote about “Gurami,” Origins of Forms‘ first single, slow-burning and soulful strut, centered around shimmering, wah wah pedaled guitar that’s a mash up of Turkish psych, boom bap breakbeats, organ jazz and trippy grooves. The end result, a song that sounded as though it could have been part of the soundtrack of a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western or an deep instrumental soul obscurity sampled by the RZA and then later played by El Michels Affair

“Andromeda,” Origin of Forms‘ second and latest single features boom bap breakbeats, looping guitar lines, cosmic grooves, congo drum and shimmering organ in an expansive composition that mashes prog rock, jazz fusion, Turkish psych and komische musik. Sonically, “Andromeda” reminds me of Mildlife and L’Eclair — with a subtle Western tinge.