Tag: Amsterdam The Netherlands

New Video: Amsterdam’s Yip Roc Releases an Explosive, Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

Amsterdam-based Yip Roc —  Jorn ten Ham (guitar, vocals), Chrissie Quast (keys), Milan Hartsuiker (bass) and Kasper de Boer (drums) — are a rapidly rising indie rock act: over the past couple of years, the quartet have cut their teeth and horned their sound over the past couple of years, playing over 100 shows in and around The Netherlands and releasing a string of critically applauded by a number of Dutch media outlets for their explosive energy and their use of organs within their material. Building upon a growing profile in their homeland, the rapidly rising Dutch band are ambitiously setting their sights on a larger profile outside of their homeland with the release of their highly-anticipated debut EP 15 slated for release later this year. 

Clocking in at a little over two minutes, “Zubra,” the second and latest single off their forthcoming EP is a furious, mosh pit friendly ripper centered around angular power chords, arpeggiated organs and howled vocals — and at its core, is a tale of frustration from a desperately lonely and sexually unfulfilled narrator, full of self-doubt, self-loathing and confusion. “‘Zubra’ is not only a tale of loneliness, but also of frustration. We can all relate to not being desired enough, leading to feelings of self-doubt,” the band says in press notes. “‘Zubra’ encapsulates the need to release and voice these concerns in a midnight howl. Sometimes you just need to break shit — whether it’s something else or even in yourself.” 

Directed by Hache.MOV, the recently released video for “Zubra” is a glitchy, VHS filmed. fever dream of booze and drug-fueled violence, depravity and self-destruction as we follow a series of desperate, dysfunctional characters. 

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Throughout the course of this site’s almost 10 year history — yes, almost 10! — I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the New York-based electronic music duo and JOVM mainstays Beacon. Now, as you may recall, the duo, which is comprised of Thomas Mullarney III (vocals) and Jacob Gussett (production, keys, synths) have developed a reputation for a minimalist approach and sound that draws from R&B, house and electro pop paired with Mullarney’s achingly tender falsetto.

Beacon’s third album, 2018’s Gravity Pairs found the duo writing material that went off in a completely different direction from their previously released work. They embarked on open-ended writing sessions in which they adopted a more liner style of songwriting instead of thee loop and texture-driven method they had long used. And the initial demos they wrote were essentially built around piano chords and guitar phrases with vocal melodies, which they then edited into a number of iterations, which found them looking through each individual version from a multitude of angles and directions.

Naturally, the duo expanded some songs and pared others back. Much like the bending of light through a prism, the abstract, deeply patient, almost painterly creative process eventually turned the material they wrote into a space in which seemingly different colors, tones and textures — minimalist ballads, elaborate pop spirituals and driving dance tunes — can coexist simultaneously and at different speeds, spreading out like a sort of spectrum. And with each iteration, the duo discovered they could easily expand upon how they presented the material within a live setting: they could play the same material in a straightforward fashion — or they could play the same material in a different fashion that added or subtracted color and shading, depending on the circumstances, their moods and their desires. And while pushing the duo’s songwriting and sound in new adventurous, new directions their work has remained imbued with a vulnerable and aching yearning.

Since the release of Gravity Pairs, the duo have been extremely busy. Last year they went on a successful North American tour with Nick Murphy. They shared a series of stripped-back studio sessions — and they released a remix album featured edits by Elkka, Helios, and CRi. 

Interestingly, Beacon introduced covers into the Gravity Pairs writing process as a way of breaking out of melodic patterns while discovering new sonic spaces within others’ songwriting. The JOVM mainstays start off the new year with a run of live dates in Europe, which includes a January 21, 2020 stop at the Paradiso in Amsterdam — and their first ever studio recorded cover, a cover of the Pixies‘ “Wave of Mutilation.” Inspired by the slower tempo and phrasing of the UK Surf B-side, which showcased the original’s mutability, Beacon’s slow-burning piano-led meditation finds the duo amplifying the playfully morbid surreality of Black Francis‘ lyrics, said to be about the phenomenon of Japanese businessmen taking their own lives after their businesses fail in the 1980 while being hauntingly gorgeous.

“We wanted it to feel uncanny and have the recognition of the original unfold slowly for the listener rather than being obvious or immediate,” Beacon explains in press notes.

The JOVM mainstays will be embarking on a European tour through January. Check out the tour dates below.

Beacon Europe Tour 2020

01.17 Berlin, DE – Musik & Frieden
01.18 Hamburg, DE – Uebel & Gefährlich
01.19 Copenhagen, DK – Vega
01.21 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso
01.22 Cologne, DE – Helios 37
01.23 Brussels, BE – La Machine
01.25 Warsaw, PL – Hydrozagadka
01.26 Prague, CZ – Cafe V Lese
01.28 London, UK – O2 Academy Islington
01.29 Paris, FR – Supersonic
01.30 Bucharest, RO – Club Control

New Video: Intimate Live Footage Centered Video of Rapidly Rising Dutch Artist Ruben Pol Releases a Shimmering and Plaintive New Single

With the release of his breakthrough debut EP Infused Romance, the Amsterdam-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ruben Pol received attention across Europe and elsewhere for crafting shimmering and celestial electro pop. So far Pol’s debut effort has amassed over two million streams and has helped him land work with a handful of renowned fashion brands, including Dior, Gucci, Calvin Klein and Burberry. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile across Europe, the Amsterdam-based Pol has plans to continue releasing new material in 2020 but in the meantime, he closes out this year with “Painting Mirrors,” the first bit of new material from the rising Dutch-based artist since the release of his breakthrough debut. Centered by thumping, organic drum patterns, shimmering and atmospheric synths, reverb-drenched guitars, a soaring hook and Pol’s achingly plaintive vocals, the new single sounds indebted to Within Without and Paracosm-era Washed Out. And while initially seeming placid, on repeated listens, the song has a subtle yet palpable tension and turbulence, as its narrator describes hiding their true self, in order to protect themselves and their partner: love is inevitably pulling them closer to their partner, but the fear of the truth is tugging them away; they’re in love but not fully ready and open — and they’re constantly aware of it. 

“Love can be blinding and it can make you do crazy, sometimes reckless things,” Pol says in press notes. “I myself am guilty of this too. The urge to be with someone can be so strong, it damages the very thing that you are chasing, love itself.” 

Filmed and edited by Victor Griffioen, the recently released video is based on black and white VHS footage of the rapidly rising Dutch artist performing the song live in front of an enraptured audience. 

New Video: Rapidly Rising Afro Pop Act ONIPA Releases a Vibrant Visual for Club Banging Single “Makoma”

Deriving their name from the Akan word for “human,” the London-based Afro pop/dance pop act ONIPA features an All-Star cast of collaborators that includes the act’s core duo, longtime friends, Kweku of Ghana’s and KOG and the Zongo Brigade’s KOG (vocals. balafon and percussion) and Nubiyan Twist’s Tom Excell (guitar, production, electronics) with Wonky Logic’s Dwayne Kilvington synths and MPC) and Nubiyan Twist’s Finn Booth (drums) joining the band for live shows. The act views its work as a message of connection through high energy and deep, dance floor friendly grooves. 

Following an attention-grabbing set at this year’s Felabration at Amsterdam’s Paradiso alongside Pat Thomas and Dele Sosimi, the rapidly rising London-based Afro pop act is gearing up for what may arguably be a momentous 2020: their full-length debut is slated for release next year through Strut Records and they’ll be supporting the album with an extensive tour across the UK and European Union during the Spring and Summer. 

“Makoma,” the full-length album’s first single is a buoyant and vibrant club banger centered around looping and shimmering guitars, stuttering polyrhythm, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, call and response vocals and a raucous, crowd pleasing hook. Mischievously nodding at soca, the Pan African song features lyrics sung in Twi and Sisaala while sonically being indebted to the sounds of The Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as Ghana — primarily soukous, but with a slick, modern production. 

The recently released video for “Makoma” features a collection of beautiful African people within a vibrant color palette riding bicycles across the African countryside for a bit, before stopping to sing and dance along to the song, The video captures the simple and profound joy of being with your friends and enjoying your favorite song, 

With the release of her debut Down at the Root, Part 1, the Amsterdam-born and-based Ghanian-Dutch singer/songwriter  Nana Adjoa began to receive attention across the European Union for an easy-going, 70s radio-like soulful sound reminiscent of Bill Withers and others. The Ghanian-Dutch singer/songwriter can trace the origins of her musical career to  being accepted at the prestigious Amsterdam Conservatory, where she would study jazz  — electric bass and double bass; however, she found the experience wasn’t what she imagined it to be. “It was very much like school,” she says in press notes. er/“We thought we wanted to go to the most difficult department, that we wanted to be the best, but it wasn’t a very fun experience.”

Interestingly, around the same time, the Ghanian singer/songwriter began to experience a growing divide between the restrictive and theoretical compositions she was studying and the melodic, free-flowing music she’d play while outside of the school environment. Adjoa quickly began to realize that pursing a solo career was the direction she needed to take, and so she formed a backing band and started record her original songs (which resulted in Down at the Root, Part 1 and Down at the Root, Part 2).

Several months have passed since I’ve last written about Adjoa — and as it turns out, she’s been busy working on new material that is slated for a release some time over the course of 2020. But in the meantime, Adjoa’s latest single finds her tackling the legendary Ghanian-born and-based singer/songwriter, composer, bandleader, arranger and guitarist Ebo Taylor’s “Love and Death.”

Adjoa’s take on Taylor’s “Love and Death” retains the original’s melody while being centered around an atmospheric and shimmering production and arrangement featuring a sinuous bass line, stuttering beats, twinkling keys, African polyrhythms, shimmering, angular burst of guitar — and most important, Adjoa’s easy-going yet expressive vocals.  Subtly recalling, Omega La La-era Rubblebucket, Adjoa’s take on Taylor’s “Love and Death” is imbued with the ache of inconsolable loss, while revealing an artist, who is adventurously pushing her sound in new directions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Two New Shimmering Psych Pop Freakouts from Amsterdam’s Acclaimed Altin Gun

Deriving their name from the Turkish phase “Golden Day,” the Amsterdam-based Turkish psych pop act Altin Gun, comprised of founding member Jasper Verhulst (bass) with Ben Rider (guitar), Erdinc Ecevit Yildiz (keys, saz, vocals), Gino Groneveld (percussion), Merve Dasdemir (vocals) and Nic Mauskovic (drums), can trace their origins to Verhulst’s deep and abiding passion for Turkish psych pop and folk of the 60s and 70s — and to frequent touring in Istanbul with a previous band. During his stops in Istanbul, Verhulst discovered a lot of music that just wasn’t readily available in his homeland. But as the story goes, he wasn’t content to just listen as an ardent fan, he wound up having a vision of where he could potentially take the sound he loved.

“We do have a weak spot for the music of the late ’60s and ’70s,” Verhulst admits in press notes “With all the instruments and effects that arrived then, it was an exciting time. Everything was new, and it still feels fresh. We’re not trying to copy it, but these are the sounds we like and we’re trying to make them our own.” Although the material, they’re playing has been a familiar and beloved part of Turkish life for a few generations, the Dutch-based act actively interpret and reimagine it through a contemporary, 21st century lens. “Of course, since our singers are Turkish, they know many of these pieces. All this is part of the country’s musical past, their heritage, like ‘House of The Rising Sun’ is in America,‘” Verhulst explains.

Altin Gun’s sophomore album Gece, the highly-anticipated follow-up to last year’s breakthrough On was released earlier this year through ATO Records. Interestingly, the album finds the Altin Gun further establishing themselves as masterful interpreters of a beloved Anatolian rock and folk history with the band bringing together music and sounds from several different sources. Additionally, the band further establishes themselves as a new voice from a rapidly growing, global psych scene. Now, as you may recall, earlier this year I wrote about the rising Amsterdam-based band’s hypnotic and swooning take on Muzaffer Sarısözen’s “Süpürgesi Yoncadan,” which was centered around shimmering and arpeggiated Casio-like synths, complex polyrhythm, thumping beats and a propulsive, club-banging hook.

Since, the release of Gece earlier this year, the members of Altin Gun have been rather busy: the band went on a critically applauded Stateside tour that included a July stop at Rough Trade. The band will be returning back to the States for their second ever Stateside tour with a handful of Midwest dates opening for Tame Impala, an appearance at this year’s Desert Daze Festival and a handful of headlining dates that includes an October 19, 2019 stop at Elsewhere. (You can check out the rest of the tour dates and specifics below.)

To build up buzz for their upcoming Stateside tour dates, the Dutch band have released two new singles off Gece — “Gelin Halayi” and “Div Div.” “Gelin Halayi” is a mischievously anachronistic, and slinky  take on psych pop centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, dexterous lute playing, a sinuous bass line, propulsive percussion and a sultry yet ethereal vocal that’s a feverishly hallucinogenic club banger. “Div Div” is any incredibly uptempo and percussive gallop centered around a plaintive vocals, a chugging motorik-like groove, dexterous lute and guitar that’s one part stomp and one part psych rock freak out. Both songs continue to reveal a band that’s introducing an amazing and unfamiliar sound to new audiences.

Live Footage: Influential Post Punk Act Returns with a Reworked and Remixed Version of a Live Favorite

Minimal Compact, comprised of Berry Sakharof (guitar, keys, vocals), Malka Spiegel (bass, keys, vocals), Samy Birnbach, a.k.a. DJ Morpheus (vocals), Rami Fortis (guitar, vocals) and Max Franken (drums), initially formed in Amsterdam back in 1980. The band were part of the original post-punk explosion — and interestingly enough, they have long been considered one of the genre’s most unique. The members of Minimal Compact developed a sound centered around propulsive rhythms, spacious bass lines, lush keys, mesmerizing guitar lines and vocal melodies with a Middle Eastern inflection through the release of a couple of ground-breaking and influential albums, including 1984’s Deadly Weapons, which featured the club hit “Next One Is Real” and their most commercially successful album, 1985’s Raging Souls. 

In their short time together, the members of Minimal Compact toured around the world, from Poland to Japan, gaining a reputation for energetic, unpredictable and intense live shows. However, their studio recordings seldom captured their live sound and energy. The band broke up in 1988 with each of its individual members continuing onwards with a variety of creative projects including releasing solo efforts, hosting radio shows, having  art exhibitions, collaborating with a number of artists, DJ’ing, running record labels, hosting TV shows and the like. But during the next 20 years, their influence began to grow exponentially. In fact, by the time the band reunited for a handful of shows in 2004, they had begun to be recognized as influential originators. Since 2004, the members of the band have reunited for live shows just a handful of times — but each and every time, the individual members of the band recognize an undeniable magical quality between them. 

Recently, the members of Minimal Compact reconvened and went into the studio with their longtime producer and collaborator Colin Newman to finally capture their live sound with several of their signature songs being re-recorded using a mix of live recordings and studio-tooled performances — with the end result being the band’s forthcoming album Creation is Perfect. 

Slated for an October 25, 2019 release through the band’s own Minimal Compact label, the album will reportedly be a timely reminder of how essential and forward-thinking the band has been — and still is. Interestingly, Creation is Perfect’s first single is a reworked version of a live favorite, “Statik Dancin,” that captures the feel of their live set while retains the original’s spastic and fidgeting energy, angular hooks and dance floor friendly groove. But the new version also features a slick, studio polish reminiscent of Gang of Four’s Return the Gift. 

“We still play “Statik Dancin’” like we always did: driving, minimal, a bit moronic but still catchy,” the band’s Malka Spiegel says in press notes. “This version has a combination of the energy of the live version plus a fresh sounding production”.

Live Footage: JOVM Mainstay Alice Phoebe Lou Performs “Galaxies” at Berlin’s Zeiss Planetarium for Majestic Casual Sessions

Over the past year or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the  Cape Town, South Africa-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and JOVM mainstay  Alice Phoebe Lou. And as you may recall, Lou grew up in a very creative home — her parents were documentary filmmakers, who took a young Lou to piano lessons. As a teen, Lou taught herself guitar; but when she turned 16, she went on a life-altering trip to Paris to visit her aunt. While in Paris, armed with an acoustic guitar, the young artist met some of that cit’s buskers and street performers — eventually learning poi dancing from some of them.

After completing her studies, Lou returned to Europe, first landing in Amsterdam, where she made money as a poi dancer. She then relocated to Berlin, where she quickly developed a reputation as a well-regarded busker and for a fierce, punk rock-like DIY approach to her musical career. With the release of 2014’s self-released debut EP, the Cape Town-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist began to receive national and international attention, which resulted in performances at a number of  TED events in London and Berlin during the following year.

Lou’s sophomore effort, 2016’s Orbit was nominated for Best Female Artist at that year’s German Critics’ Choice Awards. And building upon a rapidly growing profile both nationally and internationally, she played at the 27th Annual Conference for the Professional Business Women of California, which featured keynote speakers Venus Williams, Judy Smith, and Memory Banda and shared bills with Sixto Rodriguez, Boy & Bear, and Allen Stone before ending the year with three, sold-out multimedia events at the Berlin Planetarium. (The Berlin Planetarium shows were so popular and in such high demand that she had to add two additional shows there to her tour schedule in 2017.)

Additionally, the live version of “She” amassed over 4 million views on YouTube and was featured in the major motion picture Bombshell: The Heady Lamar Story — all before the studio version of the single was even recorded or released. But for most of 2018, Lou worked on her Noah Georgeson-produced sophomore effort Paper Castles, which was released earlier this year. And as Lou explains, the album is “about nostalgia, about growing into a woman, about the pain and beauty of the past, about feeling small and insignificant but finding that to be powerful and beautiful, about acknowledging that childhood is over but bringing some of it with you.”

“Something Holy,” the album’s first single was a slow-burning 70s AM rock meets 70s soul-like track centered around shimmering guitar line, hushed drumming, a sinuous hook, a psychedelic tinged bridge and Lou’s aching vocals with the song’s narrator taking a deeply introspective and unvarnished look into her complicated relationships with sex, love, men and ultimately, with herself. The song reflects, as Lou explained in press notes, “the moment that I managed to get over the main hurdle of my past traumas with sex, with men and with my own deeper understanding of intimacy and what it means to be intimate.” 

Paper Castles’ latest single is the gorgeous and expansive “Galaxies.” Beginning with a shimmering and spacey introduction and Lou’s plaintive wailing, before the song turns into a spacey 70s jazz funk number, centered by a sultry, reggae-like bass line and a mournful saxophone solo and then morphs back into a shimmering and spacey coda — and while the song seamlessly shifts back and forth in a fashion reminiscent of Heatwave’s “Boogie Nights,” the song is imbued with a cosmic sheen. 

Majestic Casual invited the JOVM mainstay for a live session of “Galaxies” that was fittingly shot at Berlin’s Zeiss Planetarium.  Game of Throes star Maisie Williams opens the live session with a spoken word piece musing on humanity’s place within the cosmos directly inspired by the song.