Category: New Audio

23 year-old Simon Ebener-Holscher is an up-and-coming German jazz pianist, singer and producer, whose solo production and recording project Moglii has started to receive attention for a sound that employs the use of analog synthesizers, soulful vocal samples, live, acoustic instrumentation and self-made field recordings — that frequently include recordings of coffeemakers, shopping bags, cactuses and other random things. Ebener-Holscher is also the creative mastermind and founder of Moglebaum, a quintet who has performed at festivals across their native Germany, Bulgaria, The Netherlands and India.

19 year old NOVAA is an up-and-coming German singer/songwriter and producer and pioneer of a a new, attention-grabbing subgenre that she has dubbed “Organic Electronic” — a sound that draws from electronica, electro pop, folk and pop. And as a result, the young German artist has been compared favorably to the likes of Björk and Grimes. The two German artists bonded over a shared love of organic, natural soundscapes and higher thinking and as a result they began collaborating on their forthcoming 5 track EP Down Under.

“Down Under,” the EP title track and the EP’s latest single is a glitchy and wobbling track that thematically “”focuses on the connectedness and circulation of energy that is felt, rather than seen” — and sonically, the song pairs shuffling and skittering drum programming, fluttering and undulating synths, wobbling low end, ambient and swirling electronics and raindrops with NOVAA’s and Ebener-Holscher’s vocals bubbling up and then serenely floating over the surface. The song’s shifting rhythms and time changes add to a woozy and trippy feel while keeping the ethereal song from floating off into space — while being remarkably subtle.

 

 

 

 

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If you had been frequenting this site during the end of 2015 and the beginning of this year, you may recall coming across a couple of posts on Chicago-based R&B vocalist and singer/songwriter The Elle and her collaborations with Minnesota-based singer/songwriter and emcee Blaccout GarrisonHungry Soulful EP — in particular, “Strawberry Cheesecake Dessert.” which was produced by Dthr33 and featured Jackson, WY-based emcee Abstract, had Abstract and Garrison trading charmingly old-school-inspired lyrics about the ladies they loved over, while The Elle sang the song’s soulful and sensual hook over the soulful and jazzy sample that comprises A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Bonita Applebum.” Hungry Soulful‘s second single was the  P-Soul-produced “Wishing On A Star,” which paired a subtly chopped up old-timey, twinkling piano sample and boom-bap drum programming with Garrison rhyming about focusing on one’s dreams and overcoming life’s frustrations and obstacles. The Elle contributes the song’s introductory verses and the soulful and thoughtful hook.

 

Slated for release next month, Soul Art Music is the Chicago-based vocalist’s forthcoming full-length effort and the album’s latest single “Your Love” was produced by South African producer Keith Virgo. The track begins with an introductory sample of Eartha Kitt, setting up the song’s theme as the legendary actress and singer candidly shares her thoughts about love — and in her mind, real love is essentially a process of learning how to share yourself with yourself and others. The song pairs Virgo’s subtly cosmic and trippy production consisting of layers of twinkling and shimmering synths, tumbling percussion, boom bap drums,  electronic bleeps, bloops and beeps with The Elle’s sultry vocals about a love that has made her narrator feel as though she had found her truest self. Within the turn of a phrase The Elle reveals a narrator who is strong yet unafraid to be vulnerable and open, and absolutely appreciative of stumbling about this person at this juncture. Lucky and rare are those who experience such a love.

 

Zak Waters is a Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, DJ and producer, who has started to grab the attention of the blogosphere with his solo recording project Pretty Sister, a project that specializes in what Waters had dubbed Z Funk, a sound that is equally indebted to Parliament Funkadelic and 90s G-funk hip-hop; but with modern production techniques and a shamelessly frank lyrical sensibility that focuses on things like booty-call texting, long distance love and sexual frustration and so on. And with Waters’ latest single, the sensual come on “Come to L.A.,” you’ll quickly see why the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, producer and DJ has received praise from the likes of Vice Noisey, HillyDilly and others as the song consists of a sinuous bass line, silky and cascading organ and keyboard chords paired with Waters’ sultry and effortlessly soulful vocals. Sonically speaking, the song strikes me as being the oversexed lovechild of Rick James and Parliament Funkadelic while fitting in comfortably with the contemporary neo-soul and funk movements that have won over the blogosphere lately.

Lyrically, the song and its narrator is focusing on sexual frustration of his long-distance love not being near — and it’s full of naughty sexual innuendo, double entendres and outright sexual come-ons that will make the listener both blush and get incredibly horny, while being a two-step worthy, slickly produced jam.

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’d be familiar with JOVM mainstay, the Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist, DJ and Boys Noize Records label head Alex Ridha, best known in electronic music circles as Boys Noize; in fact, his 2012 effort Out of the Black landed at number 8 on this site’s Best of List that year. Ridha has been rather prolific since the release of Out of the Black as he’s collaborated with mega-hit electronic music artist Skrillex, renowned pianist, composer, experimental pop artist and emcee Chilly Gonzalez among others — and along with that Boys Noize Records recently celebrated their tenth anniversary with collaborative efforts featuring the work of Tiga, Johnny Sack, Totally Enormous Extinct DinosaursAtom TMPilo  SCNTST and others.

Last month, Ridha released “Overthrow” a single that revealed the German producer, electronic music artist and DJ expanded upon his signature sound — glitchy samples, wobbling, tweeter and woofer rattling beats and bass, and enormous drops are paired with industrial clang and clatter and ominously swirling electronics in a song that stomps, struts, swaggers and then throws haymakers, while reminding electronic music fans that Ridha may arguably be one of best and sadly under-appreciated electronic music artists and producers around. His latest single “Euphoria” sounds as though it draws from house music pioneer Larry Levan — a repetitive chanted vocal sample is paired with skittering and propulsive drum programming, heavy breathing and shimmering and glitchy keyboard keys as the song evokes a woozy and euphoric rush of blood to the head on the dance floor and under strobe light.

 

 

Comprised of Graham Patzner (vocals, guitar, violin and piano), Will Lawrence (bass and mandolin), Nick Cobett (drums and guitar) and Charles Lloyd (guitar and sitar), Oakland, CA-based quartet Whiskerman quickly developed a reputation in the Bay Area for a unique folk-rock sound that paired lush instrumentation and profound lyricism — and for a passionate live show that often featured Patzner singing at the top of his lungs while playing the fiddle.

The quartet’s 2011 self-titled debut was the culmination of several years of songwriting and performing; however, over the subsequent few years the band has expanded their sound as the material has drawn from a wider array of influences, and the individual members of the band have had more freedom to showcase their unique talents. And as a result, the band has found ways to eschew easy categorization — 2014’s  Bad News EP featured funky, soul-leaning material, complete with a horn section while last year’s Nomad featured orchestral string arrangements and electronic flourishes around art school rock. Whiskerman’s forthcoming album Champions will further cement the band’s reputation for a genre-mashing, difficult to categorize sound as the material reportedly draws from barroom rock ‘n’ roll, blue-eyed soul, pastoral folk, blues, and ragas while thematically the material focus on life and love, success and failure, and what it means to be alive in a world in which everything is seemingly small and insignificant.

 

The album’s latest single “Waking Up in Providence” is a bluesy and soulful song that sounds as though it were deeply indebted to the classic rock sound of the 70s, AM radio rock, and singer/songwriter confessionals as the song balances swaggering, arena-friendly bombast, complete with a horn section and a slick guitar solo with a hard-won and earnest introspection, as the song’s narrator talks frankly about the ups and downs of his life — and how love was the force that pushed him through every single thing.

 

 

With the release of “Apertures” through 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, a self-titled EP through Cut The Cord That . . . Records and the “Escapement” 7 inch, along with what’s been described as a “head-turning” live show, San Francisco, CA-based post-punk quartet Synthetic ID — comprised of Nic Lang, Jake Dudley, and siblings Will and Paul Lucich — have developed a rapidly growing local and national profile, which caught the attention of Jim Dwyer, frontman of Thee Oh Sees and label head of Castle Face Records, who invited the band to play at Castle Face Records’ SF Holiday benefit show a few years ago. And as the story goes, the members of the band managed to keep in touch with Dwyer after his relocation to Los Angeles.

The San Francisco, CA post-punk quartet’s full-length debut Impulses  is slated for an April 22 release through Castle Face. Produced by Phil Manley, best known for his work with Trans Am and Life Coach, the album was recorded during one day at EL Studio and as you’ll hear from the album’s first single “Ciphers,” the material possesses the tense, urgency of the desperate and obsessively neurotic. Sonically, the band pairs slashing and angular guitar chords, propulsive four-on-the-floor-like drumming and a and throbbing bass line with the song’s minimalist shouted lyrics. In some way, sonically speaking the song sounds as though it draws from The Stooges, Gang of Four, Wire and  A Frames and others — in particular, I think of Gang of Four’s “Not Great Men,” and “At Home He’s A Tourist,” Wire’s “Three Girl Rhumba” and “Dot Dash,” The Stooges’ “1969” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog”  A Frames “nobot” and others. And much like those songs sonically and lyrically speaking, “Ciphers”captures and evokes a deeply post-modern sensation — that feeling that you’re somehow absolutely incapable of changing a ridiculous and dangerous repetitive cycle of emotions, thoughts and actions that you can only dimly comprehend; worse yet that you inexplicably feel drawn to compulsive thinking and actions and repetitive thoughts — to the point of obsession. It gives the song an unbridled, unresolved and desperate frustration that’s palpable and lingering.

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Daniel Lee (vocals), Lane Halley (guitar), April Ailermo (bass) and D. Alex  Meeks (drums), the Toronto, ON-based quartet Hooded Fang have developed both a national and Stateside profile for lush instrumentation and harmonies meant to evoke a swooning urgency; however, over the past couple of years, the band has gone through a radical change in songwriting approach and sonic direction with their material becoming much more abrasive and forceful “Impressions,” the latest single from the band’s forthcoming Venus on Edge has the band pairing Lee’s sultry crooning with jagged and scorching guitar chords, and a driving rhythm consisting of a throbbing bass line and spastic drumming to craft a song that feels anxious and uncomfortable within its own skin, and evokes the screeching of metal upon metal while sounding as though it was informed by the likes of Thee Oh Sees and the Castle Face Records roster. And in a similar fashion, “Impressions” is equally forceful and punishing.

Certainly, the palpable sense of discomfort within the song shouldn’t be very surprising. As the band told the folks at Consequence of Sound “You know, in E.T. how when he came down, everyone aside from a few got scared and paranoid, and basically ruined what could have been a beautiful mutual learning relationship? This song is about those types of encounters. When people come from a different place and get treated awfully out of fear, jeopardizing possibilities of positivity. This song is written about the visitors that get shunned, and what a loss that is for everybody. ” In our current political climate in which our fears, anger and discomfort are being openly exploited, such a message seems desperately needed.

 

 

 

 

 

February 2016’s JOVM Spotify playlist will likely continue the wild variety I’m so proud of but with a number of mainstay artists including tracks by Victoria + Jean, Anna Rose, Rene Lopez, Anika, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Gosh Pith, Marco Benevento, New Order, Boulevards, Mavis Staples, Sofi Tukker, Charles Bradley, Majid Jordan, La Sera, Pr0files, Atmosphere, We Are Temporary, Beacon, Elephant Stone, Caveman, Octo Octa and several others who you’ve become familiar with through this site. But you’ll also come across a couple of tracks from one of my favorite new artists of the year, Sophie and the Bom Boms, some classic blues from Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and George Thorogood, porto-metal and stoner rock and countless more. Check it out!

Jean Deaux is a Chicago, IL-based electronic music artist, whose sound draws from house, R&B and hip-hop. Her latest single “Father Time” is the first single released off Downtown Records‘ newest imprint Downtown Singles Club, a carefully curated selection of singles that are sent directly to subscribers via email, and the single pairs skittering drum programming, gently undulating synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and industrial clang and clatter  with Deaux’s sultry vocals and swaggering rhyming before ending with some soulful yet shimmering synths. The song and its production defy easy categorization — it clearly possesses elements of R&B, house, hip-hop, neo-soul, industrial house and industrial techno but it’s a slickly produced, trippy and sonically experimental work that manages to be approachable and dance-floor ready. And it does so while possesses a deeply existential bent, with its narrator exploring her complex and ambivalent relationship with time.

You can catch the up-and-coming electro pop artist when Deaux and friends play Elvis’ Guesthouse on March 26.

 

Perhaps best known as the frontwoman in Bay Area-based band King Woman, Kristina Esfandiari‘s solo side project Miserable over the course of two EPs Halloween Dream and Dog Days has developed a reputation for a evocative and wistful brand of moody shoegaze reminiscent of PJ Harvey and others. Her long-awaited full-length debut as Miserable, Uncontrollable was written over the course of a year and is reportedly one of the most emotional and saddest works she’s released to date as the material focuses on a narrator wrestling with her own insecurities, grief and a lingering feel of being controlled by forces and influences larger and more powerful than her. And as a result, the album’s latest single “Violet” is a slow-burning and broodingly atmospheric song that pairs towering and droning power chords and slow, thundering drumming with Esfandiari’s hauntingly siren-like vocals in a song that slowly builds up tension with seemingly no real form of release. But underneath it all is an unresolved and urgent ache.

As Esfandiari explained to the folks at The Fader “I ‘Violet’ with my close friend Evan James (Far Away Places, Grey Zine). ‘Violet’ is about being in the same friend group as someone you’ve had an intense falling out with and how shitty it feels when your friends constantly bring them up. It’s about reminiscing on how beautiful things were and how they’ve faded from your life. How vindictive people can be once you bruise their ego or hurt their heart. How quickly people turn on each other. Beneath all of the pain is longing for a mended friendship.” At some point, many of us have been there and have felt a similar overwhelming heartache and frustration and the song evokes that with an uncanny accuracy.