Tag: Bjork

 

Comprised of Katrina Mogensen (vocalist), the daughter of Birgir Mogensen, who played alongside Björk in one of her first bands, Alexandra Baldursdóttir (guitar), Arnar Pétursson (guitar), Ása Dýradóttir (bass) and Andri Barter Jakobson (drums), the Icelandic indie rock quintet Mammut formed when its members were just 14 — and they derive their name from from the Icelandic word for “mammoth,” which the band’s Mogensen “plucked out of the air” before their stage debut.

In their native Iceland, the band is — well, huge. They won Iceland’s national battle of the bands, Músíktilraunir and subsequently have been nominated for several Icelandic Music Awards in fact, their third album 2014’s Komdu til Mín Svarta Systir won three of its eight nominations including Pop & Rock Album and Pop and Rock Song for “Salt.” Interestingly, the band’s forthcoming effort Kinder Versions reportedly finds the band at their most ambitious with Mogensen writing and singing lyrics completely in English. And as soon as you hear Kinder Versions‘ latest single “The Moon Will Never Turn On Me,” you’ll quickly get a sense of why the band is so big in their homeland — they specialize in a brooding, dramatic, shamanistic-like and bombastic arena rock sound, complete with rousing hooks; and while there’s also a viscerally earnest yearning and heartache at the core of the song, there’s also a sense of resignation that says “things will be shitty for a while, hold on tight.”  And in fact, as the band explains the song is about that moment when you realize that moment when you have to sit back, let go and embrace every horrible thing that comes in front of you — because after all, it’s temporary and the world goes on spinning regardless.

 

 

 

 

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Comprised of Ben Roth (vocals, guitar, synth), Lance Umble (bass), Zach Dimmick (guitar, synths) and Jonathan Angle (drums), the Seattle WA and Tacoma, WA-based indie rock quartet bod is arguably one of that area’s more accomplished bands as the band features former and current members of several renowned indie bands including Oberhofer, EZTV, Telekinesis, Sloucher, Crater, and BOAT. The recently released True Cinnamon EP is the second release from the band, since their formation in 2013 and the EP’s material reportedly is an aggressive exploration inwards, a sort of adult re-calibration of their sound and thematic concerns, in which they realize the dark and uncertain realities of a world in constant turmoil — and to be constantly overwhelmed by it while drawing influence from a broad variety of artists including D’Angelo, Deerhoof, Can, Cate Le Bon, Bjork, Big Star and others.

True Cinnamon‘s latest single, EP title track “True Cinnamon” is an anthemic bit of Brit Pop-leaning psych rock that reminds me of The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Stone Roses while nodding at Radiohead and others, thanks to a rousing, arena rock friendly hook and blistering guitar work; however, the song possesses a twisting and turning structure and an explosive sense of unpredictability   — both of which evoke a sense of being awoken from a pleasant dream and experiencing a sudden, world-altering, nightmarish trauma.

Although the band recently released True Cinnamon, they’re finishing up work on a full-length album, produced by Telekineses’ Michael Lerner, slated for a fall 2017 release.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Gorgeous and Moody, Post- Apocalyptic Visuals for Phantom’s “Dance”

Phantom is a Helsinki, Finland-based, newlywed, electro pop duo comprised of jazz-trained vocalist and poet Hanna Toivonen and tech-futurist and producer Tommi Koskinen. And since their formation in 2012, the duo have received praise both nationally and internationally for a sound that has drawn comparisons to Bjork, Morcheeba and The Knife, along with developing a reputation for using new and evolving technologies to further expand and experiment with their sound. In fact, Koskinen built a multi-dimensional technology dubbed The UFO (Ultrasonic Frequency Oscillator) in the duo’s studio space, and as its been described, the user plays and controls the device by flailing their hands above a flying saucer-looking MIDI controller. He also developed a real-time visual projection software called Z Vector, which uses Kinect 3D cameras and audio data from the sounds of their live performances to create an immersive, multimedia-based live set.

MMXII, the duo’s recently released full-length effort derives its name from the year the duo started collaborating together, and the album’s first single “Dance” manages to feature a moody and atmospheric production consisting of scillating synths, twinkling keys, wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, futuristic, electronic bleeps and bloops and shuffling drum programming paired with Toivonen’s effortlessly soulful vocals. and a gorgeous piano-based arrangement. Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though it draws from several different sources — Morecheeba in particular, but also from Portishead, Niki and the Dove and others, complete with a rousing and soaring hook.

The recently release video features the duo performing the song, while an expressive modern dancer dances to the song in front of a giant projection screen — but the video seems to be set in a dystopian future similar to ours.

Phantom is a Helsinki, Finland-based, newlywed, electro pop duo of jazz-trained vocalist and poet Hanna Toivonen and tech-futurist and producer Tommi Koskinen and since their formation in 2012, the duo have received praise both nationally and internationally for a sound that has drawn comparisons to Bjork, Morcheeba, The Knife. Along with that, the duo have also developed a reputation for using evolving technologies to further their sonic experimentation; in fact, Koskinen has built a multidimensional technology dubbed The UFO (Ultrasonic Frequency Oscillator in their studio, and as it’s described, the user plays the device by flailing their hands above a flying saucer-looking MIDI controller. He also developed the real-time visual projection software called Z Vector, which uses Kinect cameras and audio data for live performances to create an immersive live set.

Derived from the year the duo first start, MMXII, the duo’s highly-anticipated full-length debut is slated for a February 24, 2017 release through Vlid Music and from the album’s first two singles “Dance,” a moody bit of synth pop  consisting of an atmospheric production featuring oscillating synths, twinkling keys, wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, futuristic, electronic bleeps and bloops and shuffling drum programming paired with Toivonen’s effortlessly soulful vocals.  Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though it draws from several different sources — the aforementioned Morecheeba in particular, but also from Portishead. “Lost,” MMXII‘s latest single lyrically is informed by parts of two poems she had written “Enemies” and “Old Man” written during a trip to the 2013 Venice Art Biennale, where Toivonen met a billionaire art collector, who had lived a fascinating life, a pirate  and in which Koskinen lost his luggage; but made the beat.The song features a production in which enormous 808-like beats are paired with swirling electronics and distorted synths and wobbling low end reminiscent of The Fragile-era Nine Inch Nails. And just like its preceding single, there’s room for Toivonen’s sultry and soulful vocals to float over the moody mix.

What makes both songs interesting to me is the fact that they balance a hauntingly cinematic quality with an emotional intimacy in which Toivonen seems to be confessing her innermost secrets and desires directly to the listener.

 

 

 

Growing up listening to an eclectic variety of music including Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, Bob James, Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Bjork and The Black Crowes among others, up-and-coming, Edmonton, AB-born, Toronto, ON-based soul artist Tanika Charles quickly developed a reputation locally as an emerging solo artist, whose puts a modern spin on the classic Motown soul sound — frequently meshing it with swaggering, hip-hop-like beats and deeply, confessional and honest lyrics, reminiscent of Mary J. Blige, Kelis and others. And as a result, within Canada’s soul scene, Charles has largely been considered her country’s next big thing; in fact, interestingly enough, over the past couple of years Charles transformed from being an emerging solo artist to being a commanding performer and bandleader, as well as one of the scene’s staples. Adding to a growing national profile, Charles has collaborated with Estelle, Lauryn Hill and Macy Gray, and has made regular appearances on CTV, Global and CBC Radio.

Produced by Slakah the Beatchild, best known for collaborating with Drake, Charles’ latest single “Soul Run” is the first single off her self-titled, full-length album, slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Italian soul label, Record Kicks, and the single will further cement the Edmonton-born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter’s burgeoning reputation for crafting confessional lyrics based around her own personal experiences with “Soul Run” based around Charles’ experience of feeling trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship in rural Canada — until she decided to “borrow” her then fiancée’s car and left for Toronto to start her music career, never looking back. Considering the personal nature of the song, Charles as the song’s narrator expresses regret over her own foolishness that wound up with her being hopelessly trapped in an abusive and fucked up relationship and desperate desire to get away and start over. You can almost picture Charles, jumping into the car with whatever possessions she could manage and hitting the road without an idea of where she was going or what would happen — and yet feeling true freedom to do whatever she wanted.

 

 

 

Brighton and London-based indie label Catskills Records celebrates their 20 anniversary and just like Fluff and Gravy Records, the label which can trace their origins to its first release by Sonorous Star, featuring label founders Khalid and Amr Mallassi just released a compilation of music from some of their wildly genre-spanning artists, artists who have specialized in electro pop, hip-hop, punk, country, prog rock and others titled Catskills Records: 20 Years of Victory. And along with the retrospective look of where the label has been and their overall aesthetic, the compilation includes two new tracks from label mainstays Pepe Deluxe and Husky Rescue

Finish electronic music act Husky Rescue have developed a reputation across both their native Finland and Scandinavia for a songwriting approach that focuses on restless experimentation — and for material that sonically and aesthetically walks a very careful tightrope between anxious tenseness and childlike innocence.  Now if you had been frequenting this site last year, you may recall that I wrote about two singles off the expanded Long Lost Friend album, “Deep Forest Green,” a track that sonically seemed to draw from Bjork, and Talking Heads while the album’s second single “Far From The Storm” seemed to draw from  Moonbabies fantastic Wizards on the Beach and Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” — or in other words, cinematic dream pop with an even breezier nature and catchy hooks.

The Finnish act’s contribution to the Catskill Records compilation is the slow-burning and tense “My Shelter,” a single that pairs Ringa Manner’s aching yet powerhouse vocals with gently undulating and twinkling synths, swirling electronics and a cinematic sweep to create a sound that’s reminiscent of Kate Bush and Bjork while being a swooning, romantic ode. As the members of the electronic act explained to the folks at Clash Magazine “‘My Shelter’ is a previously unreleased track we wrote in the midst of a long hiatus. We had recently gotten to know singer Ringa Manner and felt she might have just the right voice for the song. And so she most certainly did: forceful and fragile all at once. Which is pretty much what the song is all about.”

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve come across a few posts on NYC-based electro funk/neo disco production and artist duo Holy Ghost!, comprised of Alex Frankel and Nicholas Millhiser. And with the release of their 2011 self-titled debut, 2013’s Dynamics through renowned indie dance label DFA Records and their self-released remix album Work For Hire, the duo quickly earned a national and international profile; in fact, as a result, the duo have remixed the work of Katy PerryLCD SoundsystemMoby and a lengthy list of others; made national TV appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show with David Letterman; toured with the legendary New Order; and played sets at some of this country’s and the world’s biggest festivals including CoachellaOutside LandsPrimavera Sound and Bonnaroo.

Earlier this year, the duo released their Crime Cutz Ep and from the EP’s first single and title track, “Crime Cutz,” the material further cemented the duo’s burgeoning reputation as artists for crafting slickly produced, retro-futuristic electro funk as Frankel and Millhauser paired shimmering synths, 808-like breakbeats, 8b it electronics and a sinuous bass line with sensually cooed vocals. And as I said of the song at the time, “Sonically, the song seems to draws so much influence from Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rockit,’ that it sounds as though it could have been easily released back in 1983″

Recently, Frankel quietly released his solo debut EP Negative Space, an effort that was mixed and mastered by the renowned, super-producer and electronic music Alex Epton, who has worked with and/or remixed the work of Bjork, TV on the Radio, FKA Twigs, Spank Rock and others, and interestingly enough, the EP was released to praise from the likes of Stereogum. Interestingly, the EP’s second and latest single “Get Back” will further Frankel’s reputation for crafting retro-futuristic electro funk as the single pairs Frankel’s sensual cooing with enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking 808-like beats, cascading layers of shimmering synths and Nile Rodgers-like guitar in a swaggering, dance floor friendly song that sounds as though it could have been released in the early 80s.

 

 

Preview: Full Moon Festival 

Matte Projects is a creative production company that focuses on the conception, production and promotion of music-related events, perhaps more famously known here in New York for creating the Full Moon Festival six years ago, a carefully curated festival and dance party, largely inspired by Thailand’s world-renowned full moon parties. And although it’s been a couple of years since JOVM has covered the Full Moon Festival, its sixth year marks a return to Governor’s Island for two days of partying, art installations, and dancing from early afternoon to late in the night with one of the most enviably gorgeous views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty around – and under this month’s blue moon, no less.

Culinary Delights

Although I’m a music blogger and journalist first and foremost, I fucking love food – I mean, who doesn’t right? – and when I covered the festival back in 2014, one of the best food highlights was The Brooklyn Star’s fried chicken waffle cone. Picture a waffle cone stuffed with popcorn fried chicken on top, mashed potatoes and coleslaw and topped with your choice of honey sriracha sauce (which was frankly the best thing I’ve ever had) or a ranch-based sauce.

 

Two years later and I’m still talking about it; that’s how fucking good it was – and I might kill someone to have another one.


(Photo Caption: Brooklyn’s fried chicken waffle cone may be the reason the terrorists hate us. And the person who came up with it is a genius.)

This year will continue the festival’s reputation for culinary delight as Matcha Bar, Mile End, Best Pizza, Pokito, Pig and Khao, Clean Shave Ice and Chalk Point Kitchen will all host pop-up stands throughout the festival. I’m starting to salivate over the possibility of some pork belly Adobo, pastrami sandwiches, pizza – well, all the food, really. And whatever weight you put on, you can sweat it off dancing all night.

Music

Full Moon Festival’s sixth edition may arguably have one of the most musically diverse lineups in its history and some of the must see sets will include the following:

Day 1, August 20, 2016

Led by its creative mastermind, producer and electronic music artist Aaron Jerome, SBTRKT (pronounced as “Subtract”) has developed an internationally renowned reputation for remixing the work of M.I.A., Radiohead, Modeselektor, Basement Jaxx, Mark Ronson and Underworld, and for releasing two critically applauded full-length albums, a few EPs and a number of singles – all of which have either received airplay or have been playlisted by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6. Interestingly, throughout his recording and performing career Jerome has preferred to be as anonymous as humanly possible and during live shows he’s been known to perform wearing modern interpretations of native and indigenous society ceremonial masks designed by A Hidden Place, as well as performing with frequent collaborator Sampha.

Earlier this year, Jerome announced a new project that he described as a “non album,” a collection of songs specifically designed to be an ongoing listening experience, while bringing new music to fans in a faster fashion than the traditional album cycle.

Born Terrence Thornton, Norfolk, VA-based emcee Pusha T is perhaps best known as one-half of critically applauded and commercially successful hip-hop duo Clipse, with his brother Gene “No Malice” Thornton. And with the help of their friend, Norfolk, VA-born producer, multi-instrumentalist and eventual mega-hit artist Pharrell Williams, the duo quickly exploded into the national scene with the release of their 1997 full-length debut Exclusive Audio Footage. And as a result, Pusha T has made a number of guest spots over the years including on Kelis’ “Good Stuff,” Nivea’s “Run Away (I Wanna Be With You),” all while recording three more albums as a member of Clipse, including the duo’s critically applauded and commercially successful third album Hell Hath No Fury. After the duo’s fourth album, they announced that Clipse would be on hiatus while each individual member would pursue solo projects and other creative endeavors.

In 2010 Pusha T was signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music and made guest appearances on a number of labelmates’ releases including “Runaway” off West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and West’s GOOD Fridays singles series and as a solo artist Thornton has collaborated with an increasingly lengthy list of artists and producers including Swizz Beatz’s Monster Mondays series, Lloyd BanksH.F.M. 2 (Hunger For More 2), Future, Tyler the Creator, Jay Z and others. Interestingly, over the last few years Thornton has been incredibly prolific, releasing a handful of mixtapes and his solo debut, My Name Is My Name. Adding to a growing profile, last year Kanye West personally appointed Pusha T to take over the reins at GOOD Music. And we should be expecting a full-length in the near future.

Born Nkosinathi Maphumulo, the internationally acclaimed,  eThekwini, South Africa-born and Johannesburg, South Africa-based producer and DJ Black Coffee can trace the origins of his recording and performing career to when he majored in Jazz Studies at Technikon Natal. While as a student there, he worked as a backup singer for Madale Kunene before forming an Afro-pop act S.H.A.N.A (short for Simply Hot and Naturally African) with classmates Mnqobi Mdabe (Shota) and Thandukwazi Sikhosana (Demor). The somewhat short lived act was signed to Melt 2000; however, his DJ and production career explored when he was selected as one of two South African participants during 2003’s Red Bull Music Academy – and with an increased buzz around him, he released “Happiness,” which was featured on the DJs at Work compilation; in fact, by the release of his sophomore effort, Have Another One, Black Coffee had become a household name in South African electronic circles for a propulsive, forceful tribal sound and for putting on locally-based artists and producers, all of whom have started to receive attention across Africa, Europe and elsewhere.

Adding to a rapidly growing international profile, Black Coffee has played at some of the world’s biggest and most renowned clubs and stages including Southport Weekender, Panorama Bar, Circo Loco and Boiler Room and has made appearnaces at a number of music festivals including SummerStage, ADE and Red Bull Music Academy in his hometown of Johannesburg, Coachella, Ultra Music Fesitval and others. I’ve seen the brother do his thing live and he’s arguably one of the best electronic music arists, producers and DJs in the entire world. And as much as I want to see some of the other acts on the bill – i.e., Marcus Marr, Santigold and others – I think that Black Coffee may well be worth the price of admission.

Day 2, August 21, 2016

Largely influenced by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Devo, reggae, Fela Kuti and a ton of Nigerian music, Philadelphia, PA-born singer/songwriter and producer Santi White is best known under the monikers Santogold (which she performed under between 2003-2009) and Santigold has throughout the course of three full-length albums Santogold, Master of My Make-Believe and her most recent effort, 99¢ has developed a reputation for a sound that has at times been compared favorably to the likes of M.I.A. as her work sonically manages to blur, mesh and completely destroy genre lines as you’ll hear elements of techno, house music, dub, reggae, alt rock and others while ironically commenting on our sociopolitical zeitgeist. Interesting, as the result of a growing national and international profile, White has collaborated with an equally impressive list of artists and producers including Diplo, Jonnie “Most” Davis, Yeah Yeah YeahsKaren O., Switch, Q-Tip, TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, has opened for the likes of Jay Z and Kanye West during their co-headlining tour, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the aforementioned M.I.A., Bjork and has a number of singles make prominent appearances in ad campaigns, including a 2013 campaign for Honda Civic among others.

Comprised of Matthew Correia (drums), Spencer Dunham (bass), Miles Michaud (vocals, guitar) and Pedrum Siadatian (guitar), Los Angeles-based indie rock sensations Allah-Las can trace their origins to when three of the four band members worked at renowned record store Amoeba Music. Formed back in 2008, the Southern California-based have received both local and national attention for a sound that draws entirely from the 60s and includes elements of folk rock, psych rock, surfer rock and garage rock – while firmly establishing themselves as part of a burgeoning retro/garage rock scene that includes The Mystery Lights, The Black Angels, Raccoon Fighter and others.

London, UK-based producer, electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and DJ Dhas received international attention over the last few years for a number of critically acclaimed singles released through renowned dance pop/electro pop label; in fact, “Brown Sauce” was mentioned in Pitchfork’s Tracks while “The Music,” appeared in the major motion picture Pusher and landed at number 3 on Spin Magazine’s Best Dance singles in 2013. And if you were frequenting this site over the course of 2015 you might recall that Marr collaborated with internationally acclaimed indie pop artist Chet Faker on an EP that featured the slickly produced Daft Punk and Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson leaning track “The Trouble With Us.”

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of its six-year history, you’d know that the New York-based neo-disco/electronic dance music/funk collective ESCORT have been mainstay artists. And over that same period of time, the collective founded by producers Eugene Cho and Dan Balls featuring frontperson Adeline Michele as members of a core group of five that frequently expands to 17 for live shows has received local and national attention for an incredible live show of funky, danceable tunes, their two full-length albums and for their frontperson’s incredible stage presence, cementing their reputation as a must-see live act.

Tickets are still available — and for a two day festival out on gorgeous Governor’s Island, the tickets are pretty affordable. [Purchase Tickets]

JOVM will be there to cover the festival. Expect some live tweeting, a lot of Instagram and more. And if you weren’t following me, here are the socials:

Twitter: @yankee32879 and @williamhelms3rd

Instagram: @william_ruben_helms