Category: trip hop

Jindoss is a mysterious, Saint Malo, France singer/songwriter, who released their debut EP Rendez-vous earlier this year. The EP features “Saturday Night,” a single that quickly and boldly established the French artist’s sound: swirling and brooding shoegaze centered around shimming, reverb-drenched guitars, plaintive wailing and boom bap drumming. The end result was a song that to me seemed like a synthesis of PJ Harvey-like atmospherics and A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve-like textures.

The mysterious French producer’s latest single “Dancing” continues the brooding atmospherics but in this case, the song finds Jindoss’ sound quickly moving more in the direction of Massive Attack and Portishead: plaintive wailing is paired with layers of glistening synth arpeggios and thumping beats. The track slowly builds up in intensity and crests until it’s brooding and slow-burning fade out.

Sneaker Pimps — currently founding members Liam Howe (production) and Chris Corner (guitar, vocals) with newly recruited Simonne Jones (vocals) — can trace their origins back to their formation in Hartlepool, UK back in 1994: The act’s initial lineup of Howe, Corner, Kelli Ali (née Dayton), Joe Wilson and Dave Westlake quickly established themselves as one of the pioneers of trip hop with their critically applauded and commercially successful, full-length debut, 1996’s Becoming X, which featured their signature track “6 Underground.”

Ali left the band after the release of Becoming X. Corner took over on vocal duties and the band went on to release two more albums, 1999’s Splinter and 2002’s Bloodsport. Wilson and Westlake left the band in 2002. Shortly after, Sneaker Pimps’ founding members made a mutual decision to explore other creative avenues: Corner and Howe went on to their own highly successful individual ventures in music and film, collaborating with the likes of Gary NumanLana del Rey and others with IAMX (Corner) and AMP (Howe). During their initial seven-year run, Sneaker Pimps had five UK Top 40 singles — the aforementioned “Six Underground,” “Spin Spin Sugar,” “Low Five,” and “Bloodsport.”

Sneaker Pimps’ founding members, who are currently split between London and Los Angeles ended a lengthy 14 year hiatus back in 2016 with hints of new music. Since then, the act’s fans have been desperately waiting for new material. Five years have passed but earlier this year Howe and Corner announced that they’d be releasing a new album, their highly anticipated fourth album, Squaring the Circle on September 10, 2021. Last month, Corner and Howe, along with their newest member, vocalist Simonne Jones released a double single of album material, “Squaring the Circle” and “Fighter.”

“After 18 years of dormancy and deliberation we (Sneaker Pimps) are releasing not one, but two new tracks,” Sneaker Pimps’ Liam Howe said in press notes. “‘Fighter’ is a plea for courage and strength against prevailing mental health crises. ‘Squaring the Circle’ (via Nietzsche) is a heartfelt ode to eternal returns of love, in the face of desperate adversity. Contrasting in nature, hopefully these songs describe the diversity and essence of the new album.

“It’s taken many years and many false starts to get Sneaker Pimps back in the game,” Sneaker Pimps’ Chris Corner said on Twitter. “Sometimes [you] need to back the fuck off and let the universe take control. I’m proud and relieved to say that it is finally happening. We officially have new music.”

Album title track “Squaring the Circle” is a yearning duet between Corner and Jones centered around a hauntingly sparse arrangement of twinkling piano, atmospheric electronics and layered backing vocals. Sonically, the track is a decided departure from their commercially successful initial run with the cinematic track reminding me quite a bit of Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp. “Fighter” finds the legendary trip hop pioneers crafting a remarkably contemporary sound centered around wobbling synth arpeggios, skittering beats paired with Jones’ sultry vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook. While clearly being wildly different, the tracks are thematically related with both tracks being tales of survival — in desperate and uncertain times.

Interestingly, in the lead up to the act’s highly-anticipated fourth album, the members of Sneaker Pimps released a remix to “Fighter,” done by the band’s co-founder Liam Howe, under APE MINK PRESS, a.k.a. AMP. The remix is packed with a dizzying array of subtle sonic references and hints including krautrock grooves, shimmering synth arpeggios, chiming Japanese-like percussion and more while retaining Jones’ sultry vocal turn and the song’s rousingly anthemic hook.

“Here is the first ever Ape Mink Press remix. It’s a journey through Krautrock to Synthwave; via the genius of Japan and the splendour of early Ultravox,” Sneaker Pimps’ Liam Howe says in press notes. “It sets out to track the influences of Sneaker Pimps and creates an historical vignette of their origins. At the same time there are modern influences aplenty.”

Additionally, Sneaker Pimps announced a digital pre-release listening event through Moment House on September 8, 2021 at 11:00am PST/2:00pm EST to celebrate the album’s release. The limited event will include an advance stream of the album in its entirety, and a chance to chat live with the band about their new album. An upgraded ticket is also available that will allow a select number of fans into a live video Q+A session with Corner, Howe and Jones after the album stream. Along with the album preview and the chats, attendees will be treated to exclusive downloads and the chance to win a Squaring The Circle merch bundle. More info is available here: https://www.momenthouse.com/sneakerpimps

Sneaker Pimps — currently founding members Liam Howe (production) and Chris Corner (guitar, vocals) with newly recruited Simonne Jones (vocals) — can trace their origins back to their formation in Hartlepool, UK back in 1994: The act’s initial lineup of Howe, Corner, Kelli Ali (née Dayton), Joe Wilson and Dave Westlake quickly established themselves as one of the pioneers of trip hop with their critically applauded and commercially successful, full-length debut, 1996’s Becoming X, which featured their signature track “6 Underground.”

Ali left the band after the release of Becoming X. Corner took over on vocal duties and the band went on to release two more albums, 1999’s Splinter and 2002’s Bloodsport. Wilson and Westlake left the band in 2002. Shortly after, Sneaker Pimps’ founding members made a mutual decision to explore other creative avenues: Corner and Howe went on to their own highly successful individual ventures in music and film, collaborating with the likes of Gary Numan, Lana del Rey and others with IAMX (Corner) and AMP (Howe). During their initial seven-year run, Sneaker Pimps had five UK Top 40 singles — the aforementioned “Six Underground,” “Spin Spin Sugar,” “Low Five,” and “Bloodsport.”

Sneaker Pimps’ founding members, who are currently split between London and Los Angeles ended a lengthy 14 year hiatus back in 2016 with hints of new music. Since then, the act’s fans have been desperately waiting for new material. Five years have passed but earlier this year Howe and Corner announced that they’d be releasing a new album, their highly anticipated fourth album, Squaring the Circle in the fall. Recently, Corner and Howe, along with their newest member Simonne Jones released a double single of album material, “Squaring the Circle” and “Fighter.”

Album title track “Squaring the Circle” is a yearning duet between Corner and Jones centered around a hauntingly sparse arrangement of twinkling piano, atmospheric electronics and layered backing vocals. Sonically, the track is a decided departure from their commercially successful initial run with the cinematic track reminding me quite a bit of Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp. “Fighter” finds the legendary trip hop pioneers crafting a remarkably contemporary sound centered around wobbling synth arpeggios, skittering beats paired with Jones’ sultry vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook. While clearly being wildly different, the tracks are thematically related with both tracks being tales of survival — in desperate and uncertain times.

“After 18 years of dormancy and deliberation we (Sneaker Pimps) are releasing not one, but two new tracks,” Sneaker Pimps’ Liam Howe explains. “‘Fighter’ is a plea for courage and strength against prevailing mental health crises. ‘Squaring the Circle’ (via Nietzsche) is a heartfelt ode to eternal returns of love, in the face of desperate adversity. Contrasting in nature, hopefully these songs describe the diversity and essence of the new album.

“It’s taken many years and many false starts to get Sneaker Pimps back in the game,” Sneaker Pimps’ Chris Corner said on Twitter. “Sometimes [you] need to back the fuck off and let the universe take control. I’m proud and relieved to say that it is finally happening. We officially have new music.”

Look for Squaring the Circle on September 10.

New Video: Union of Knives Release a Brooding and Feverish Visual for “There’s a River”

n‘s Peter Kelly (drums) — can trace their origins back to 2004: Founding members Chris Gordon and Dave McClean met at Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy Bar,where McClean was working as a sound engineer in the bar’s venue space and Gordon was a bartending, while producing and touring with other bands. Gordon and McLean initially started working together as producers and engineers on material for local acts — and on remixes of the work of Snow Patrol and others. 

McLean had met Aberdeen-born, Scotland-based singer/songwriter Craig Grant while doing sound for an acoustic night at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy. After meeting one night at the bar, Gordon and McLean invited Grant to work on some tracks they had started — and the early success of those sessions led to the formation of Union of Knives. With the release of their critically applauded full-length debut, 2006’s Violence and Birdsongquickly established a dark and brooding sound that references goth, industrial, trip hop and warped soul. The album also featured drum work from Peter Kelly, who later would join the band as a full-time member — and album single “Opposite Direction,” which appeared in episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy. Their Atticus Ross co-produced sophomore album was recorded the following year and was shelved due to internal issues with their label.

Since then Gordon has been releasing material with other projects and continuing his production work with artists, Kelly went on to tour with The Kills and Ladyton while also becoming an acclaimed artist with his work being instrumental in the band’s visual aesthetic. Thomas eventually made his way to Scotland, becoming a member of Dope Sick Fly. Gordon produced some of Thomas’ work and after they realized an irresistible musical connection, Thomas officially joined the band last year. Over the course of last year, the newly constituted trio worked on their sophomore album Endless From The Start, which is slated for release through Three Hands Records later this year, ending the project’s 14 year hiatus. 

st moments. The Glasgow-based trio have released two singles to critical praise, “Like Butterflies” and “A Tall Tale,” which features Ladytron’s Helen Marnie. And building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the album’s third and latest single “There’s A River” is a brooding and dystopian track centered around ambient synths, thumping industrial beats, reverb-drenched vocals, sampled Eastern-like vocals and a soaring hook. While sonically bearing a resemblance to Massive Attack, the track reveals the’s act carefully sculptured layered production style.

‘There’s a River’ is a song about going forward with clarity and pushing through the surrounding noise by simplifying the complex,” the band’s Anthony Thomaz says in press notes. The band’s Chris Gordon adds “If you like your dystopian soundscapes with a sprinkling of hope and a dream-like narrative then ‘There’s A River’ is the track for you.” 

The recently released video is shot in a gorgeous and cinematic black and white with the members of Union of Knives at the Scottish shore, near brooding storm clouds and crows — before slowly turning into a psychedelic fever dream

Glasgow, Scotland-based electronic act Union of Knives — currently founding member Chris Gordon (multi-instrumentalist, vocals, production), Dope Sick Fly’s Baton Rouge, LA-born, Glasgow-based Ant Thomaz (vocals) and The Kills‘ and Ladytron‘s Peter Kelly (drums) — can trace their origins back to 2004: Founding members Chris Gordon and Dave McClean met at Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy Bar, where McClean was working as a sound engineer in the bar’s venue space and Gordon was a bartending, while producing and touring with other bands. Gordon and McLean initially started working together as producers and engineers on material for local acts — and on remixes of the work of Snow Patrol and others.

McLean had met Aberdeen-born, Scotland-based singer/songwriter Craig Grant while doing sound for an acoustic night at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy. After meeting one night at the bar, Gordon and McLean invited Grant to work on some tracks they had started — and the early success of those sessions led to the formation of Union of Knives. With the release of their critically applauded full-length debut, 2006’s Violence and Birdsong quickly established a dark and brooding sound that references goth, industrial, trip hop and warped soul. The album also featured drum work from Peter Kelly, who later would join the band as a full-time member — and album single “Opposite Direction,” which appeared in episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy. Their Atticus Ross co-produced sophomore album was recorded the following year and was shelved due to internal issues with their label.

Since then Gordon has been releasing material with other projects and continuing his production work with artists, Kelly went on to tour with The Kills and Layton while also becoming an acclaimed artist with his work being instrumental in the band’s visual aesthetic. Thomas eventually made his way to Scotland, becoming a member of Dope Sick Fly. Gordon produced some of Thomas’ work and after they realized an irresistible musical connection, Thomas officially joined the band last year. Over the course of last year, the newly constituted trio worked on their sophomore album Endless From The Start, which is slated for release through Three Hands Records later this year, ending the project’s 14 year hiatus.

Endless From The Start reportedly finds the band further establishing their brooding and cinematic sound while revealing material that’s diverse yet uplifting — even in its darkest moments. The Glasgow-based trio have released two singles to critical praise, “Like Butterflies” and “A Tall Tale,” which features Ladytron’s Helen Marnie. And building upon the growing buzz surrounding them, the album’s third and latest single “There’s A River” is a brooding and dystopian track centered around ambient synths, thumping industrial beats, reverb-drenched vocals, sampled Eastern-like vocals and a soaring hook. While sonically bearing a resemblance to Massive Attack, the track reveals the’s act carefully sculptured layered production style.

“‘There’s a River’ is a song about going forward with clarity and pushing through the surrounding noise by simplifying the complex,” the band’s Anthony Thomaz says in press notes. The band’s Chris Gordon adds “If you like your dystopian soundscapes with a sprinkling of hope and a dream-like narrative then ‘There’s A River’ is the track for you.”

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Lyric Video: Stereonoon Releases a Neo Soul and Jazz-Tinged Take on Trip Hop

Stereonoon is an Italian neo-soul/jazz and R&B inspired collective formed during pandemic-related lockdowns that features core creative duo Verona-born vocalist Anna Polinari and cinemavolt’s creative mastermind Max Tozzi paired with a rotating cast of talented Italian players. Late last year, the act released a straightforward yet vibey cover of Joe Jackson‘s classic “Steppin’ Out,” centered around a sinuous bass line and Polinari’s sultry vocals.

The act’s debut EP Yeah. And Stuff was released late last month and features guest spots from a number of internationally acclaimed musicians including Snarky Puppy’s Mark Lettieri (guitar), Matteo Pontegavelli (trumpet) and Francesco Dondi (tenor saxophone). The EP’s latest single “Inconvenient” is a neo-soul and jazz-tinged take on trip hop centered around twinkling piano, a sinuous bass line, stuttering drumming, an expressive, jazz-inspired guitar solo and Polinari’s sultry vocals. Lyrically, the song is an unflinchingly honest view of a vulnerable narrator examining herself and her longing to be someplace she feels she belongs.

New Audio: Switzerland’s Etienne Machine Releases a Brooding and Uneasy Single

Lausanne, Switzerland-based trip hop act Etienne Machine is a fairly mysterious, emerging indie act. Their latest single “RIFT (Erased Your Face)” is a brooding and hypnotic, Portishead-like take on trip hop centered around twinkling Rhodes, skittering beats, wobbling synths and electronics, shimmering guitars and ethereal vocals.

The song evokes the claustrophobia and unease of a relationship on the brink, full of the complicated and bitter emotions, the contradictory push and pull, the longing and regret that often accompanies relationships.

New Video: Wax Tailor Teams Up with Mark Lanegan on a Brooding and Cinematic Single and Visual

Vernon, Normandy, France-based DJ, producer Jean Christophe Le Saoût is an acclaimed producer and DJ who can trace his career back to the 90s: After a stint as a radio host in the Paris suburb, Mantes-La-Jolie, Le Saoût founded La Formule. In 1998 Le Saoût founded Lab’Oratoire Records and continued to produce material from La Formule, as well as Break Beat compilations and a collaboration with Swedish act Looptrop.

The Vernon, Normandy-based producer and DJ started the critically acclaimed symphonic, trip-hop solo recording project Wax Tailor in 2001, first appearing on a remix of Looptroop and La Formule’s “Deep Under Water.” Since then Le Saoût has released five, critically acclaimed full-length albums — 2005’s Tales of the Forgotten Melodies, 2007’s Hope & Sorrow, 2009 In The Mood For Life and 2016’s By Any Means Necessary — which found the French producer collaborating with an eclectic and diverse array of artists from all over the world.

Le Saoût’s sixth Wax Tailor album The Shadow of Their Suns is slated for release tomorrow. The album is the French producer’s first bit of new material in five years — and album continues his long-held reputation for collaborating with a diverse and eclectic array of artists, with the album featuring guest spots from D. Smoke, Rosemary Standley, Gil Scott-Heron, Del The Funky Homosapien, Mr Lif, Yugen Blakrock, Boog Brown, and JOVM mainstays Adeline and Mark Lanegan.

The Shadow of Their Suns’ material comes as a result of a lengthy period of deliberate and deep introspection inspired by a desire to truly observe and understand life in a way that’s impossible while living in the whirlwind of it all. And considering the horrible events of yesterday, an album that encourages observation, reflection, collaborative discussion, cooperation and collective action seems more urgent than ever.

New Video: Etienne Dorsay Releases a Trippy Visual for Chilled Out New Single

Jean Rochefort is a French singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has had a lengthy and varied music career: as a teenager, Rochefort learned acoustic guitar, eclectic bass — and by the early 2000s he was one-half of a critically acclaimed electro pop duo that received little commercial success. Rochefort is also the creative mastermind behind the solo recording project Etienne Dorsay, a project that derives its name from a beloved character of 70s French cinema.

Rochefort’s Etienne Dorsay project further cements the French singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s long-held reputation for eclecticism while centered around a penchant for electronic production. Interestingly, Rochefort’s Etienne Dorsay debut single is the mellow, “Jack 23.” Centered around a sinuous bass line, wah wah pedaled-guitar, twinkling keys and spoken word vocal samples, “Jack 23” is a psych jazz-like take on trip hop that sounds and feels chill and reassuring — right when we need it most.

“It all started with a post on Instagram where I play drums on keyboards on a slow ass bass line I made with a Rickenbacker sound on logic,” Rochefort recalls. “I was not planning to make a track out of it but I posted it and added some funny caption on it like a fairy tale story about a girl that dances for a Maharahjah… Yeah, I was pretty high.

“Anyway, had a small success with this post and that short clip, and then some dude puts this comment : ‘Yo can you please make this into a song so I can listen to it on repeat. I kid you not this is stuck in my head. You’ve got the creativity, so focus for a bit, Buckle down and finish this shit and you’ll be golden.’ Well, I really wasn’t working on the song after the short post on Instagram but this comment made my day.

“I thought, if somebody tells you that you need to focus on one track to maybe finish it, then it has to be done. Yeah people, we artists are lazy as fuck when it comes to finishing something that could become something. So that gave me some motivation to get back to it and finish the track. And from another perspective, if it can make one person happy, it’s already a great thing isn’t it?

“Anyway… Then I made a very rudimentary clip to go with it. Didn’t spend too much time on the editing…and I kinda regret it but I know that this can be replaced later anyway…. Added some psychedelic lava lamp shots I found over the net years ago. ⁣⁣ Some are authentic from the 60’s made by the Joshua Light Show which was the top to work with back in the days when this was the thing to project those kinda forms and colors over a white sheet in the background…you know, the hippie vibes. ⁣⁣”⁣

Officially forming just a few months ago, the Montreal-based trio T1M3 — Frederick Leblanc (vocals, guitar), Samuel Tessier (bass), Jonathan Noesi (percussion) — can trace their origins back several years before: the individual members of the band met each other while in college and after a series of late night jam sessions, started a failed music project with two more friends in 2018.

After that initial project failed, the band put their musical ambitious on hiatus while they all focused don their personal lives. But after an existential crisis that led to a phone call between T1M3’s members, the members of the band decided it was time to pursue their lifelong dreams.

“Silent Witness,” the Montreal-based act’s debut single is a decidedly trip hop-leaning single that brings Portishead and Sneaker Pimps to mind: jazz-tinged drumming, a sinuous bass line and shimmering guitars, twinkling keys and atmospheric electronics are paired with Leblanc’s grungy crooning. But as the band explains in press notes, the song is centered around a pointed social criticism, in which they boldly denounce how social networks can lead to desensitization to humanitarian issues.

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