Category: trip hop

 

Belau is a Budapest, Hungary-based electronic music production and artist act, comprised of core duo Peter Kedves and Krisztian Buzas. Their debut single was one of Deezer Hungary’s top hits — and as a result, the song appeared in a number of HBO Hungary series and in commercials. The video for the single amassed over 500,000 views while winning the Hungarian Music Video Festival.

The Hungarian electronic act’s debut album, which featured their attention-grabbing debut single won a Hungarian Grammy for Best Electronic Music Album. But since its release, the act’s profile has expanded internationally: a single off their latest remix EP received airplay on BBC Radio 1 — and over an 18 month period, the act (which expands to a quartet featuring Kedves, Buzas and touring members Benji Kiss and Bobe Szesci) played over 120 shows in 19 countries across the European Union, including stops at Eurosonic Nooderslag, Reeperbahn, Sziget Festival, Untold Festival and even SXSW. 

The duo’s latest single “Natural Pool” is centered around stuttering beats, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, shimmering guitars, atmospheric electronics and chopped up vocal samples. And while seemingly inspired by 90s trip hop — in particular Massive Attack— the song manages to possess a cinematic quality.

 

 

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New Audio: Les Flâneurs’ Trip Hop Inspired Debut

Alessando “Alex” Marchetti is a multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known for his work in Italian indie band Il Disordine delle Cose, an act which has released three albums through Quite Please and Warner Chappell Music.

Marchetti’s solo side project Les Flâneurs — Les Flâneurs  in French means “stroller,” “lounger” “saunterer” or “loafer” — can trace its origins to when the Italian multi-instrumentalist began writing and recording material with a different vibe and feel from his primary gig; but with artists he had met while as a member of Il Disordine delle Cose. Sonically, the project’s sound features elements of indie electro pop, indie electro folk, complete with synths, drum machines and orchestral sections.

Interestingly, Marchetti views his work with Les Flâneurs as part director, part producer, in which everyone brings their talents to create — or improve upon the material. So far, the Italian producer and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with an array of up-and-coming internationally based artists including Italy’s Carlot-ta, Sweden’s Hanna Turi and Brazil’s Priscila Ribas among others.

Marchetti’s Les Flâneurs debut single, the slow-burning and contemplative  “Dark Souls,” is centered around a sparse and atmospheric production featuring twinkling piano, stuttering beats and Alice Greco’s haunting and expressive vocals. Indebted to 90s trip hop — in particular Dummy-era Portishead and Massive Attack, the song manages to possess a chilly and air,  evoking a walk in a brisk and clear night. 

New Video: Lunar Twin Releases a Brooding Late Night Visual for Trip Hop-like “Leaves”

Deriving their name from a scientific theory that suggests that Earth may have had a second moon, a twin moon that was destroyed in a massive collision during the earliest moments of our solar system, Lunar Twin, which is comprised of vocalist Bryce Boudreau and multi-instrumentalist and producer Chris Murphy can trace their origins back to 2011’s Denver Underground Music Festival when Boudreau joined Murphy’s goth band Nightsweats as a guest vocalist. And by 2013, the duo started collaborating together full-time.

With the release of their debut, 2014’s self-titled EP and 2017’s Night Tides EP, the duo which is currently split between Hawaii and Salt Lake City have developed a unique take on chill wave/dark wave that draws from and possesses elements of synth pop, shoegaze, dream pop and others. A couple of years have passed since I’ve written about Lunar Twin — and as it turns out, the duo’s Chris Murphy has been busy sharing the stages with a growing list of acclaimed and renowned artists including Grimes, Bonnie Prince Billy and Peaches through other projects he’s worked in. But the duo have also been working on their long-awaited third EP Ghost Moon Ritual, which is slated for a February 16, 2020 release through  the band’s own imprint, Tropical Depression/Desert Heat. 

Ghost Moon Ritual reportedly finds the duo expanding upon the sound that caught the attention of this site and elsewhere with some of the material nodding at psych folk and desert noir-themed late night moon music. The EP’s latest single, the moody and atmospheric “Leaves” is centered around Boudreau’s sonorous, Mark Lanegan-like baritone, layers of buzzing and shimmering synths and thumping beats. And while simultaneously nodding at trip hop and dream pop, the song evokes — for me, at least — a a specific late night loneliness I’ve known — wandering a new town, a new country on your own, as a stranger, a man from far away. 

Directed by San Francisco-based Zoey Nyguen, the recently released video is set in a raw, late night, neon cityscape — her neighborhood of Russian Hill. ” I wanted to embody the song with visuals from my within my neighborhood and local surroundings and to include basically a collage of clips from different time periods and eras of the City,” Nyguen says in press notes. “I made the video as a simple Creative Commons project and then approached the group about a possible collaboration and then filmed them performing to add to the story I had built around their song into something more” 

“Collaboration with a new person is always a surprise creatively and I thought her vibrant and imaginative approach visualizing the song to be just right .. to curate this version of this songs story,” Bryce Boudreau says of the video. “Her choice of imagery really melds with the track. I’m very happy with the way the video develops and encapsulates everything we are trying to express musically” Chris Murphy adds in press notes. 

Laura Burhenn is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, musician, activist and restless creative mastermind behind The Mynabirds, an act that has released four critically applauded and stylistically different albums through Saddle Creek Records — 2010’s What Was Lose in the Fire, 2012’s Generals. 2015’s Lovers Know and 2017’s Be Here Now. Burhenn also had had stints as a touring member of critically applauded and commercially successful acts The Postal Service and Bright Eyes. Burhenn has helped found Omaha Girls Rock, a non-profit that helps young girls find their creative voices — and she has given a TED talk based on her New Revolutionist photo project, which explored what it meant to be a revolutionary woman in this day and age. (Before all of that Burhenn was a member of Washington, DC-based indie act Georgie James with Q and Not U’s John Davis and released two-self produced solo albums through the label she founded, Laboratory Records.)

Interestingly, this year marks the 25th anniversary of Portishead‘s classic debut Dummy, an album that was highly-influential to Burhenn. “Dummy was my all-time favorite make-out record in high school and is in my permanent top ten, period,” Laura Burhenn says in press notes. To celebrate the occasion, The Mynabirds’ creative mastermind recently released a Patrick Damphier-produced cover of “Glory Box” that retains the original’s slow-burning and sultry nature and quietly defiant feminism — but while giving it a subtle, old-school country vibe. “That Beth Gibbons slid that feminist anthem into my teenage brain — that song completely rewired me.” Certainly, when women’s rights are being edged backwards, the song and its refrain “I just want to be a woman” would have to feel more powerfully necessary than ever before.

The track was released through Our Secret Handshake, a womxn-driven, women-focused creative strategy collective that Burhenn co-founded last year. A portion of the proceeds from the single will benefit Omaha Girls Rock.

 

was·sail

/ˈwäsəl,ˈwäˌsāl/

ARCHAIC
verb
gerund or present participle: wassailing
  1. 1.
    drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way.
  2. 2.
    go from house to house at Christmas singing carols.
    “here we go a-wassailing”

 

  1. drink plentiful amounts of alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way.
  2. to go from house to house at Christmas singing carols.

 

Featuring a former member We Were Evergreen, an act that toured across the UK and opened for the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Slow Club, Metronomy, Nick Mulvey, Villagers and others, the up-and-coming London-based indie electro pop project Wassailer derives its name from the word “wassailing” — and was discovered by the artist while looking for an anagram on a Scrabble website. With the help of a Tyneside-born girlfriend, Wassailer’s mastermind fell in love with a variety of different things that wound up influencing him — including Irish folk songs, grime, Auden’s poetry, Indian cuisine, UK garage and the peacefulness of the lake district.

Wassailer’s somewhat mysterious mastermind has since relocated to Lewisham, where he’s joined a contemporary crop of singer/songwriters, who are influenced by folk, jazz and soul as much as they are by electronic and urban productions. His latest single, “Ghosts” is a soulful trip hop production featuring looping, twinkling piano, brooding and mournful flugelhorn and trumpet from Johnny Woodham, thumping beats, soulful vocals from Wassailer and Demi Ma and a sinuous hook. And while seemingly drawing from Portishead and The Brand New Heavies, the track as Wassailer said via email was written while reading an article about the British Royals, who were refurbished their private properties with taxpayers’ funds — ” . . .and humbly aims at blending folk with modern urban beats and neo jazz in a pop song.”

 

 

Leee Zimmer is an Essex, UK-born, French-based electronic music and sound designer, who has worked with brands like Vivo Barefoot, Clark’s, Soul Of Africa and others. He started his solo recording project iD3 and since then he’s released a handful of EPs and a full-length album. Zimmer’s latest effort, the independently released Simple Beats is inspired by his love of contemporary soundscape-based producers including Bonobo, Four Tet, Flying Lotus, Amon Tobin, and jazz.

Interestingly, Simple Beats‘ latest single, is the slow-burning and nocturnal “Joy of a Kind.” Centered around an atmospheric production featuring twinkling synths, boom bap-like beats and a mournful, reverb-drenched trumpet line, the noir-ish track is one part Toto-era Miles Davis, one part Portishead, on part The North Borders-era Bonobo.

Last year, I had written a bit about the acclaimed Bristol, UK-based electro pop/trip hop act The Desert, and as you may recall, the act which is centered around the longtime collaboration between singer/songwriter Gina Leonard and producer/guitarist Tom Freyer can trace its origins to when Freyer had produced some of Leonard’s solo work. And as the story goes, while working together, the duo quickly hit upon a formula of Freyer taking the songs that Leonard had initially written with an acoustic guitar and adding layers of electronics and lush, detailed production.

Slated for a March 8, 2019 release, the acclaimed act’s forthcoming EP Winning You Back builds upon a busy 2018 that saw their first live dates, accompanied in the UK with live backing members Ryan Rogers (bass) and Jonny Parry (drums, electronics), a sold-out hometown show and a BBC Introducing session — and the EP comes right before their first appearance at this year’s SXSW. The EP’s latest single, the ethereal and atmospheric “Bitterness” is built around Leonard’s breathy and achingly tender vocals and shimmering synths and stuttering beats; however, unlike their previously released material, the song has a sense of sighing resignation. In press notes, the act’s Gina Leonard describes how the song is “about coming to terms with being screwed up over and accepting it, and moving forward because it won’t do any good to stew in bitterness. I had written some angry songs, but they’d didn’t sit right and didn’t have a good message, so I was happy when this one came out.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Centered around the collaboration between singer/songwriter Gina Leonard and producer and guitarist Tom Freyer, the acclaimed Bristol, UK-based electro pop/trip hop act The Desert can trace their origins to when Freyer had produced some of Leonard’s solo work. And as the story goes, the duo quickly hit upon a formula of Freyer taking the songs that Leonard had initially written with an acoustic guitar and adding layers of electronics and lush, detailed production.

With the release of “Just Get High,” the first single off last year’s debut EP Playing Dead, the act received airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6 and Radio X. And with the release of further tracks off the EP, the British electro pop/trip hop, the act received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a sound that some have described as being a mix between Little Dragon and Portishead. Building upon a growing profile, the act’s sophomore EP was released last week, and from the EP’s first single “Gone,” the act has revealed a decided evolution of their sound and approach while retaining the cinematic quality that first won them attention; however, the song possessed a desperate, urgent air with a hint of uneasy hope.  The EP’s latest single “Distract Me” is a much more intimate, sensual track centered around a hauntingly sparse arrangement of strummed guitar, plinking, jazz-like piano, Leonard’s achingly plaintive vocals — with synths and electronics added towards the last third. In some way, the EP’s latest track manages to remind me of the film noir-ish tone of Goldfrapp’s Tales of Us.

Lately, the act has been busy working on new material and playing their first batch of live shows across the UK — and for their live shows, Leonard and Freyer have recruited Ryan Rogers (bass) and Jonny Parry (drums, electronics).

 

 

 

With the release of last year’s debut EP Playing Dead, the somewhat mysterious Bristol, UK-based quartet The Desert quickly received attention for a sound that some have described as being a mix between Little Dragon and Portishead. Building upon a growing profile, the act’s highly-anticipated sophomore EP is slated for release sometime early next year, and from the EP’s first single “Gone,” the act has revealed a decided evolution of their sound and approach — while possessing a cinematic quality, the track is centered around a urgent and desperate air, with a hint of uneasy hope at the end ; in fact, as the band explains, “’Gone’ is about losing something or someone abruptly and how that can make you go a bit crazy. Gina’s voice is quite hoarse in the recording, which helps convey the desperation& frustration. There’s also a kind of excitement in that ‘fuck it’ feeling. The track is overall more positive than negative with each chorus ending ‘but I’ll find somewhere to put it.'”

 

 

 

 

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New Video: The Gorgeously Cinematic Visuals for Uma E. Fernqvist’s Lush and Textured “For U”

Best known as one of the world’s most acclaimed professional dancers for more than 20 years, the Swedish-born dancer (and singer/songwriter) Uma E. Fernqvist has taken her love of movement and music to inspire her debut EP Reverse. Interestingly, the material on the recently released EP is largely inspired by Lamb, Massive Attack, and Portishead — and as you’ll hear on the hauntingly mesmerizing and lushly textured single “For U,” Fernqvist’s tender vocals ethereally float over a minimalist yet cinematic production consisting of pulsating and thumping beats, shimmering synths and atmospheric electronics; but under the chilly surface, the song trembles with a vulnerable, human need.

Directed by Joakim Envik Karlsson and Peter Svenzson and produced by  Nåck Creative, the recently released, cinematic video for “For U,” features Fernqvist and a diverse cast of dancers dancing in inky and murky shadows and brilliant sunlight, seemingly symbolizing a deeply human struggle.