Tag: Berlin

New Audio: Icelandic Trio Samaris Releases a Seductive and Tense New Single That Reveals an Expansion of Their Sound

Comprised of Þórður Kári “Doddi” Steinþórsson (producton),  Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir (clarinet) and Jófríður  the  Icelandic act Samaris have received national and international attention for minimalist electronic production paired with lyrics that drew from 19th century Icelandic poetry; however, after a […]

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New Video: JOVM Mainstay Sofi de la Torre Returns with a Bold and Feisty New Single and Visuals

“Sit Down,” de la Torre’s latest single is arguably the boldest, feistiest and most in-your-face song she’s released to date — while being a fresh take on the sound that won her international attention. Comprised of a production that features wobbling and stuttering synths, tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats paired with de la Torre’s sultry and swaggering, self-assured vocals the song sound as though it draws from M.I.A.’s incredible work, contemporary electro pop and hip-hop. The recently released music video manages to visually draw from M.I.A.’s work while subtly poking fun at fashion shoots and commercials.

Over the course of the six year history of this site, Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist, DJ and Boys Noize Records label head Alex Ridha, best known as Boys Noize has become one of this site’s earliest mainstay artists; in fact, his Out of the Black landed at number 8 on the site’s Best of List back in 2012. And since then, Ridha has been remarkably prolific as she’s collaborated in musical projects with internationally recognized mega-hit producer, electronic music artist and DJ Skillex and renowned pianist, composer, experimental pop artist and emcee Chilly Gonzales. Additionally, his label recently celebrated its tenth anniversary with a series of collaborative efforts featuring the work of a number of up-and-coming and renowned contemporary electronic music artists and producers including Tiga, Johnny Sack, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Atom TM, Pilo SCNTST and others.

Earlier this year, Ridha released “Overthrow,” a single that revealed the German producer, electronic music artist and DJ has expanded upon his signature sound — in this case, glitchy and chopped up samples, tweeter and woofer rattling bass and beats and enormous drops were paired with industrial clang and clatter and ominously swirling electronics in a song that stomped, strutted, swaggered and threw a vicious haymaker or two. “Euphoria,” which was released last month, sounded as though it drew from the legendary house music pioneer Larry Levan as a looped vocal sample was paired with skittering and propulsive drum programming and glitchy keyboard keys in a song that evoked a woozy rush of blood to the head. “Starchild,” a collaboration with indie electro pop sensation Poliça pairs vocalist Channy Leaneagh’s sultry and plaintive vocals with glitchy and stuttering beats, gentle cascades of twinkling and shimmering synths in what may arguably be Ridha’s moodiest and most pop-leaning single he’s released to date.

As I’ve frequently mentioned on this site in the past, I’m often multitasking while going through tracks and videos and as a result, I’ve serendipitously stumbled onto things I should have known — if I had the time. Now, I recently stumbled upon “Around and Away” off Berlin, Germany-based shoegaze/post-punk/noise rock trio Life As Art 1927‘s 2015 release, Around and Away EP. And from this single, the trio comprised of Almar David, Marc Bijl and Ariana Zustra specialize in a contemporary take on shoegaze as the band pair layers of shimmering guitars fed through delay and reverb pedals, ethereal vocals, a propulsive motorik-like groove with a subtle amount of electronic bleeps and bloops; in some way the song naturally sound as though it draws from 4AD Records‘ heyday while also placing them firmly within the contemporary shoegaze wave that includes bands like BLACKSTONE RNGERS, Lightfoils and the rest of the Saint Marie Records roster.

 

 

New Video: The Trippy and Woozy Video for XO’s “Divine Disaster” feat. James Chatburn

Sumil Heera, best known within electronic music circles as XO is an up-and-coming 20 year old, Staffordshire, UK-based producer and songwriter, who has quickly received both national and international attention for a sound that possesses elements of […]

Back in 2013, I wrote quite a bit about Anika Henderson, best known under the mononym that she writes, records and performs under, Anika . Initially, Henderson spent her professional career as a political journalist, who split time between Berlin and Bristol, UK. While in Bristol, Henderson was introduced to Geoff Barrow, who’s best known for his work with Portishead. And at the time, Barrow was looking for a vocalist, who would work with his band Beak> for what would be a side project. As the story goes, Henderson and Barrow bonded over a mutual love of punk, dub and 60s girl groups — and about a week later, Barrow, Henderson and the members of Beak>  went into the studio to record what would eventually turn out to be Henderson’s 2010 self-titled full-length debut, completely live with Henderson and the band in the same room without overdubs — and in 12 days.

2013 saw the release of Henderson’s self-titled EP, a collection of covers and remixes that included Henderson’s murky, Portishead and The Velvet Underground and Nico-inspired cover of Chromatics’ “In the City.” And what the self-titled EP revealed is that Henderson, Barrow and company have a way of covering a song with a unique take that makes a song their own — and in the case of Chromatics’ “In The City,” their cover feels as though it was always their song. That’s a rare thing, indeed. Last week, as February was coming to a close, Invada Records, released an icy, lo-tech analog synth electro pop and dub-leaning cover of Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” by the mysterious Invada All Stars featuring Anika on vocals as part of that weekend’s Stop Trident National anti-nukes demonstration in London, a demonstration protesting the renewal of Britain’s nuclear weapons system. Proceeds from the digital single will go to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

Also in that post, I mentioned that Henderson is part of a new project Exploded View — and as it turns out, Exploded View is something of a side project  from her solo work with the members of Beak>. Although the project’s full-length debut is slated for release later on this year through Sacred Bones Records, they will be performing several sets at this year’s SXSW. But before that, the project released their single “No More Parties in the Attic,” that draws from post-krautrock, krautrock, dub and industrial music as the band pairs electronic bloops and bleeps, industrial clang and clatter, buzzing and angular synth and guitar chords with Anika’s signature icy delivery to craft a sound that’s tense and icy  — while evoking the contemporary zeitgeist of trying to navigate in a world that’s gone absolutely mad all the time.

 

 

 

The Internet can be a wonderful and thrilling place as it can inspire the sort of serendipitous discovery that’s necessary if you’re an audiophile or a music blogger; however, the Internet can also be a powerful reminder of the relentless passing of time — and that no matter what, you’re not getting any younger.  Now, as a child of the 80s, Nena‘s “99 Red Balloons” or if you preferred the original German version, “99 Luftballoons” was a mega-hit back in 1984 as it captured and evoked everyone’s fear of nuclear annihilation.

Back in 2013, I wrote quite a bit about Anika Henderson, best known under the mononym that she writes, records and performs under, Anika . Initially, Henderson spent her professional career as a political journalist, who split time between Berlin and Bristol, UK when she was introduced to Geoff Barrow, who’s best known for his work with Portishead. At the time Barrow was looking for a vocalist, who would work with his band Beak> for what would be a side project. And as the story goes, Henderson and Barrow bonded over a mutual love of punk, dub and 60s girl groups. About a week later, Barrow, Henderson and the members of Beak> went into the studio to record what would eventually turn out to be Henderson’s 2010 self-titled full-length debut, completely live with Henderson and the band in the same room without overdubs — and in 12 days.

2013 saw the release of Henderson’s self-titled EP, a collection of covers and remixes that included Henderson’s murky, Portishead and The Velvet Underground and Nico-inspired cover of Chromatics’ “In the City.” And what the self-titled EP revealed is that Henderson, Barrow and company have a way of covering a song with a unique take that makes a song their own — and in the case of Chromatics’ “In The City,” their cover feels as though it was always their song. That’s a rare thing, indeed.

Recently Invada Records, run by Barrow released an icy, lo-tech analog synth electro pop and dub-leaning cover of Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” by the mysterious Invada All Stars featuring Anika on vocals as part of this weekend’s Stop Trident National anti-nukes demonstration in London, a demonstration protesting the renewal of Britain’s nuclear weapons system. Proceeds from the digital single will go to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

Additionally Henderson is part of a new project Exploded View which will release their debut single in March and play SXSW. The project’s debut effort is slated for release later this year through Sacred Bones Records.

 

 

 

 

 

Last December, I wrote about Sophie Stern, the Los Angeles-based creative mastermind behind the (mostly) solo recording project Sophie and the Bom Boms. Initially, Stern’s career began behind the scenes as a songwriter, who was signed to mega-hit producer and songwriter Dr. Luke’s camp. After spending couple of years as a go-to songwriter, Stern decided that it was time for her to go out on her own as a solo artist.

 

Inspired by a diverse array of artists including diverse array of artists including Erykah BaduTom Tom Club and a lengthy list of others, Stern began collaborating with two rather renowned producers, David Elevator, who won 3 Grammys for his work on Beck‘s Morning Phase and Dan Dare, who’s best known his work with Marina and the DiamondsCharli XCX and M.I.A. for her debut EP. The EP’s first single “Big Girls” was a breezy and infectious pop confection that paired big boom-bap beats, cascading synths, anthemic hooks and Stern’s effortlessly soulful vocals in a way that was reminiscent of Nu Shooz‘s “I Can’t Wait” while sounding remarkably contemporary.

The EP’s second and latests single “Appetite” will further cement Stern’s reputation for crafting incredibly infectious, breezy and anthemic pop as you’ll hear boom bap beats, handclaps, twinkling synths and an anthemic, hashtag worthy hook paired with Stern’s ballsy and bratty vocals in a song that’s a tell off to fuckboys, deadbeats, drama kings and queens and parasites everywhere — with the sort of sense of humor that would likely remind you of things you may have heard or said back in the schoolyard.

Sonically and thematically speaking the song manages to nod at Australian-born, Berlin-based indie pop artist Phia, Gwen Stefani‘s “Ain’t No Holla Back Girl,” and TLC‘s “No Scrubs” as it possesses the same “girl power/girl, drop that loser/girl, drop that deadbeat friend” air but backed by slick, modern production techniques.

 

 

 

Currently comprised of Jon Davison (vocals), Steve Howe (guitar), Billy Sherwood (bass), Geoff Downes (keys) and Alan White (drums), the London, UK-based prog rock quintet Yes can trace their origins to when founding members Chris Squire (bass) and Jon Anderson (vocals) formed the band back in 1968. Much ink has been spilled throughout the band’s nearly 50 year run but what I will say that the legendary act has not only been pioneers of prog rock but they’ve also managed to be remarkably successful — 9 of the band’s 22 full-length albums have reached the top 10 in either the UK or US with two reaching number 1 in the UK. And the band has sold 13.5 million albums in the US alone. In the early 80s, Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart” was a mega-hit song — and a song that I remember quite fondly as a child.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 13 months or so, you may recall that I’ve written about Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist and DJ Lennart Richter. Prolifically releasing a series of singles through renowned electronic music labels Sleazy G, East Project, G-Mafia Records, GUN PWDR, Ensis RecordsBlue Dye, Mondal Recordings and others, Richter quickly developed a reputation across his native Germany and internationally for exploring the gamut of electronic music subgenres including deep house, G house, nu-disco and several others with a slick, crowd-pleasing, club-rocking production. And as a result, Richter can claim several Beatport Top 25 releases under his belt, and his last EP, Berlin Brawling landed at #10 on the Beatport Indie Dance/Nu Disco Charts.

The Berlin-based electronic music artist, producer and DJ closed out 2015 with the release of “Hold Up,” a nu-disco and house track comprised of layers of shimmering and cascading synths, propulsive drum programming led by explosive cymbal shots and a looped vocal sample that comes in and out of the haze. Sonically, the song reminded me quite a bit of Octo Octa’s “His Kiss” an “Please Don’t Leave” off his fantastic Between Two Selves — or in other words, it manages to possess both a bracing iciness and a thoughtful soulfulness. Richter builds on the success of the past year with the release of a remix of Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart” that retains the vocal sample but pairs it with what sounds like ukulele, handclap-led percussion, swirling electronics and slowly cascading synths, which essentially turns the electro rock song into a slickly produced, densely layered, mid-tempo club banger — while retaining something of the song’s original feel and spirit.