Tag: ambient electronica

New Video: The Anthemic, M83-Channeling Sound of Finnish-born, Spanish-based Producer Future Ark

Tero Heikkinen is Helsinki, Finland-born, Seville, Spain-based composer, who has a lengthy career composing music for short films, documentaries and modern dance pieces; however, his solo recording project Future Ark is a sonic departure from his previous work, the project finds Heikkinen employing the use of experimental and contemporary sound design and electronic production techniques, with bits of organic instrumentation while drawing from a diverse array of styles including downtempo, ambient and synthwave.

Heikkinen’s Future Ark debut Joy was deeply inspired by the birth of his second son, which was a roller coaster ride of positive emotions. And as a result, the EP’s first single and EP opening track “Pacific Highway” features an effortlessly slick production consisting of undulating and shimmering synths, skittering percussion, propulsive drum beats, a soaring, anthemic, M83-like hook and an otherworldly, cosmic sheen — while evoking the buzzing enthusiasm and sense of discovery on a trip to someplace completely new.

Because the composition has a summery feel, the recently released music video consists of videos of fan shot footage of beaches from Spain and elsewhere across the world, and in some way the video manages to evoke the hope and excitement that people all over the world feel about summer.

New Video: The Slow-Burning and Ambient Sounds of Vorhees

Dana Wachs is a New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based, classically trained cellist, bassist composer and audio engineer, who writes, records and performs as Vorhees — and can trace the origins of her solo musical career, to when she joined the Holy Rollers when she was 19 and dove deeply into the world of touring and live sound as a renowned audio engineer, who worked at NYC-based Greene Street Recording and toured with St. Vincent, Grizzly Bear and others over the course of the next 20 years.

In 2009, Wachs debuted her solo compositions at Death By Audio and from that performance, she continued to work on her own improvised music, influenced by her surroundings and moods and then released her debut 7 inch “The Orchard,” and composing for modern dance, film and commissioned performances and recordings for fashion designer Rachel Comey. And adding to a growing profile, the New Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based audio engineer and composer has opened for Cat Power, Matmos and Dum Dum Girls and had played sets at Basilica Soundscape and Iceland Airwaves.

Her long-awaited Vorhees debut EP Black Horse Pike was released yesterday through Styles Upon Styles Records and the EP’s latest single is the delicate and patient “SPL” which features Wachs’ gorgeous and ethereal, Bjork-like vocals over ambient synths and electronics in a song that gently ebbs and flows in a subtly psychedelic fashion. And because of its slow-burning nature, the track manages to possess a quietly challenging nature that requires the listener’s full attention; but once there, the song reveals itself through repeated listens based on the artist’s on experiences as the material explores Wachs’ memories of teenage meanderings in New Jersey suburbs, the scars and ghosts of relationships, and the weird and impossible waking unreality of her insomniac tendencies through the world in ever changing hotel rooms and tour bus bunks.

The recently released video consists of fittingly slow-burning and psychedelic-leaning visuals based around the EP’s artwork, created by Wachs’ mother.

Comprised of Jess Labrador and Shannon Madden, Chasms is a San Francisco, CA-based duo who specialize in crafting sparsely, minimalist dirges based around Labrador’s hauntingly ethereal vocals and shimmering guitar, propulsive and pummeling drum programming, swirling electronics and bursts of feedback and industrial clang and clatter. And in some way their sound draws from shoegaze, drone, dream pop, doom metal and ambient electronica as you’ll hear on the “We’ll Go,” the latest single off the duo’s forthcoming, full-length debut effort On The Legs Of Love Purified, which is slated for an October 14, 2016 through felte records. Interestingly, “We’ll Go” may arguably be the most slow-burning song they’ve ever released — and in some way it evokes smoke slowly dissipating before your eyes as Labrador’s vocals and shimmering synths gently drift into and out of focus and reverberate.

But just under the seemingly placid surface, there’s a sense of unease and discomfort, and that shouldn’t be terrifying surprising. Labrador spent most of the year recording the album herself with a hand injury that made guitar playing and production work difficult, laborious and painful.  Then add that the duo recorded the album in an illegally rented rehearsal space and a cramped apartment, struggling to survive financially as artists while facing the constantly looming threat of eviction, as they were frantically trying to finish their long-awaited debut effort. And in some way, that discomfort helps to emphasize the stark and haunting beauty and the visceral ache at its core.

The duo will be embarking on a tour through October and November, which will include a November 16, 2016 stop at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium. Check out tour dates below.

Tour Dates

10.07 Portland, OR @ Lovecraft %  
10.08 Seattle, WA @ Blue Moon
10.09 Eugene, WA @ Wandering Goat 
10.10 Sacramento @ Press Club # 
10.11 San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout ^ 
10.13 La Puente, CA @ Bridgetown DIY ~ 
10.14 San Diego, CA @ The Whistle Stop *
10.15 Long Beach, CA @ 4th St. Vine 
10.16 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo (Part Time Punks) + 
10.29 Berkeley, CA @ KALX (Live Session + Interview)
11.08 Indianapolis, IN @ State St. Pub
11.15 Providence, RI @ Machines with Magnets
11.16 Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium =
11.19 Chicago, IL @ TBA

 

 

New Video: The Patiently Surreal and Gorgeous Visuals for Mark Pritchard’s Gorgeous Collaboration with Thom Yorke, “Beautiful People”

Warp Records released Pritchard’s latest effort Under the Sun earlier this year, and from all accounts the album has Pritchard maintaining the lush and accessible production style that has won him international attention — but while crafting material that may arguably be the least club and dance-floor ready he’s released to date. Interestingly, one of the album’s singles is”Beautiful People,” a lush and ethereal collaboration with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke that pairs Yorke’s plaintive and aching vocals with a slow-burning production that possesses an almost painterly quality as it consists of an airy and gorgeous, looped flute sample, steady yet tribal-like drum programming and cascading layers of shimmering and undulating synths. In some way sonically speaking, the song meshes the ancient and tribal with the contemporary in a way that’s spectral –and in fact, in some way the song reminds the listener that ghosts linger and have a way of haunting your life in unexpected ways. That shouldn’t be surprising because as Pritchard explained in press notes “The original instrumental to ‘Beautiful People’ is a personal song about loss, hopelessness and chaos, but ultimately the message is love and hope. Thom’s contribution to this collaboration captured perfectly what the piece is about. . .”

The recently released video is a stunningly gorgeous video that follows its hooded, central character as it hikes and explores scenery that possess an otherworldly beauty before revealing that the character is a sort of Thom Yorke avatar. As the camera pans out in a cinematic fashion, it manages to reveal how small and insignificant its central character is the proceedings at hand — that is before some amazing gravity defying action at the end. Much like the song that inspired it, the video possesses a patient yet intense quality.

New Video: The Psychedelic Imagery and Brian Eno Channeling Sound of Los Angeles’ Stefan Weich

Los Angeles, CA-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stefan Weich specializes in a dreamy exploration of traditional music structures, alternate guitar tunings and analog synthesizers under a number of monikers, including Das Bowls, Chicle, Couch Baby and others; […]

Imre Kiss is a Slovakian-born, Hungarian-based producer, electronic music artist and designer, who first emerged onto the European electronic music scene with the release of his acclaimed Raw Energy, which was released by London-based label Lobster Theremin Records. (I have to admit that’s a pretty catchy name for a label.)

As the story goes, Kiss’ full-length debut, Midnight Wave, which was released just the other day is essentially a reissue, as the album was initially released as a limited edition cassette tape through Hungarian label Farbwechsel. The cassette was essentially a commercial failure as it was quietly released to little fanfare, but interestingly enough, Lobster Theremin’s label head Jimmy Asquith has a developed a reputation for discovering and signing obscure artists from Bandcamp tapes. Asquith had discovered Imre Kiss’ Midnight Wave sometime after the artist had returned to his hometown just outside of Bratislava, and was impressed by the ambient and atmospheric material, which was heavily influenced by British industrial electronica, Kraftwerk and Chris Carter’s The Spaces Between; in fact, Asquith had made it a personal mission to release the works of an unknown artist, who he felt deserved further attention.

“Gray’s Legend,” the first single off Midnight Wave consists of layers of undulating and cascading synths, skittering percussion, swirling and ambient electronics floating off into the ether, subtle industrial clang and clatter in the distance to create a sound that manages to simultaneously cinematic and intimate while evoking a sense of desperate isolation and loneliness.