Tag: Bonobo

With the release of his 2015 full-length debut Elaenia, London-based composer, producer and keyboardist Sam Shepherd and his solo recording project Floating Points quickly rose to international acclaim for a sound that effortlessly meshed 70s jazz fusion, free jazz and glitchy electronica in a way that simultaneously nodded at Return to Forever‘s Romantic Warrior and Bonobo’The North Borders. Shepherd followed that with the expansive, mind-altering yet accessible Kupier, featuring singles “Argente” and “Kupier,” which he performed live at KEXP last year.

Continuing a rather prolific period, Shepherd followed the release of Kupier with Reflections — Mojave Desert, a short film and soundtrack featuring a series of tracks recorded in (and inspired by) the Mojave Desert. His latest single is the sprawling, “Ratio,” a track that he’s developed  and refined as part of his solo, live electronic set at festivals he’s played around the world — and the end result is a slow-burning house music-inspired track that clocks in at a little under 19 minutes and features a production centered around glitchy and stuttering beats, pulsating synths and ethereal synths. And while arguably being one of his most patient compositions/productions, Shepherd’s latest effort reveals a patient, almost painterly quality as sounds are thoughtfully and gently layered upon one another.

The full track was officially released on all digital platforms and is also available on vinyl as a deconstructed mix with the A side featuring the track in two parts — the first nine minutes being identical to the digital version, followed solely by the organ section of the second half. The B side in contract will feature the beats, drum and baseline of the second half of the track in isolation. Releasing the track in such a fashion was deliberately done so that DJs could create their own mixes by bringing the song’s different elements together in whatever way fit their own style.

 

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Slum Sociable is an up-and-coming Melbourne, Australia-based electronic duo, who will be releasing their full-length debut on October 13, and as you’ll hear on the album’s first single “Castle,” the duo specializes in a sound that draws from and possesses elements of jazz, electronica, contemporary electro pop, hip-hop and electro soul paired with earnest and soulful vocals. And while some have compared the Aussie electronic duo’s sound to Animal Collective and Bonobo, there’s a subtle hint at J. Dilla, Portishead and Gnarls Barkley.

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you have most likely come across a handful of posts on Simon Green, a Brighton, UK-born, Los Angeles, CA-based DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and electronic music artist, who has written, recorded and performed under the moniker of Bonobo. Interestingly, Green had long been considered part of a movement of producers, multi-instrumentalists and electronic music artists, who specialized in a sleek, hyper-modern and downtempo-leaning electronic music that included  Four Tet, Jon Hopkins, Caribou and others; however, with the release of his critically applauded 2013 release The North Borders Green revealed a decided change in his compositional approach in which he frequently paired electronic production with lush and stunning arrangements featuring organic instrumentation — wth the end result being a sound that possessed a cinematic quality.

The North Borders was also part of a larger, growing trend among many electronic music artists and producers to not only create a much more evocative and nuanced sound but an attempt to remind listeners, fans and critics that there was actual musicality within their productions besides a person haphazardly tapping away at a laptop or turning buttons and dials on a sampler or a processor.

Since the release of The North Borders, Green has been both extremely busy and rather prolific — he released the Flashlight EP at the end of 2014 while during what would turn out to be a two year period of intense touring across the globe. Green somehow managed to find the time to write and recored the material off his sixth full-length album Migration, which was released earlier this year. Naturally, with an album titled Migration, the material thematically focused on migration. As Green remarked in press notes “It’’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and effect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.” And as a result, the material seemed to possesses a transitory nature — some of the material, including album single “Kerala,” was initially composed while on the road and then was road-tested and revised during Stateside DJ sets. Adding to the album’s transitory nature, it featured guest spots from a number of artists, who have emigrated at some point themselves, including Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based vocalist Michael Milosh of Los Angeles-based indie pop act Rhye, who recorded his vocal tracks while in Berlin, Germany; Australian-born, Brooklyn-based global, indie pop sensation Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, who bonded with the British producer over a shared love of disco; Florida-born, Los Angeles-based Nicole Miglis of Los Angeles-based act Hundred Waters; and the New York-based Moroccan collective Innov Gnawa among others. Adding to the album’s transitory nature, Green also employs the use of found sounds that include a Hong Kong elevator, rainfall in Seattle, an Atlanta-based tumble dryer and a New Orleans fan boat engine.

After completing successful tours across both the European Union and North America to support Migration, Green announced the release of a 3 song EP/single package that features album single “Bambro Koyo Ganda,” an analog version of “Bambro Koyo Ganda” that finds Green stripping the song’s production and sound to the bone — retaining a propulsive, undulating pulse and Moroccan-born, New York-based band Innov Gnawa’s vocals and handclap-led percussion, highlighting the hypnotic groove and vocals. EP closing track “Samurai” was written and recorded during the Migration sessions, and consists of a stuttering vocal sample floating over a sinuous production featuring shuffling drum programming and shimmering, subtly arpeggio synth and wobbling low end. And much like the material from the recording sessions it came from, the song should remind listeners of how much Green’s work draws from classic house and soul, while being paradoxically sensual, intimate and yet cinematic.

 

 

So if you had been frequenting this site earlier this year, you would have come across two posts featuring DGTL CTL, a rather mysterious electro pop production and artist duo, whose overall sound draws from several different styles and subgenres of pop and electro pop; however, beneath the accessible, pop orientated leanings is an underlying tendency towards the avant-garde and artsy.  And for their unique ability to do craft weird yet accessible pop, the duo have begun to receive attention across the blogosphere; in fact, their EP’s first single “Elephant” featured a chilly, ambient and minimalist production consisting of distorted and shuffling beats and gently swirling and undulating synths and achingly tender vocals with an infectious hook. And while simultaneously nodding at Quiet Storm-era R&B, industrial electronica and contemporary electro pop, the song’s narrator describes shyly yet completely falling for someone, that they’re left dumbstruck; he knows the depth and timbre of his feelings and yet can’t figure out a way to express it. The words he puts on paper, just doesn’t seem to quite add up to the longing and desire he feels so deeply, so urgently. He’s left with the proverbially clichéd elephant in the room.

Recently, I received an email from Ryan Claus, a San Francisco, CA-based designer, composer, producer and electronic music artist, who writes and performs under the moniker Little Glass Men, a side project of his. Describing his sound as a mix of contemporary electronic music production with live instrumentation, along the lines of Mt. Kimbie, Bonobo and Flying Lotus, Claus collaborated with DGTL CTL’s Devereaux Jennings to remix “Elephants,” and as Claus explained to me via email they did some higher register takes for the chorus — and while retaining Jennings’ tender and aching vocals, Claus pairs them with dreamily twinkling keys, shimmering synths, and stuttering drum programming. As a result, it gives the song a vulnerable, awkward, swooning vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

With the release of “Now I’m Alive,” the first single off his forthcoming Refugee EP, the fairly mysterious Tel Aviv, Israel-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer O Mer has been compared to the James Blake, Tame Impala and Arthur Russell; however, the Tel Aviv, Israel-born, Brooklyn-based producer has cited renowned Malian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ali Farka Toure, father of equally renowned Malian singer/songwriter and guitarist Vieux Farka Toure, Greek vocalist Aris San, The Yardbirds and others. “Icarus,” the second and latest single off his forthcoming EP features O Mer’s ethereal and tender vocals paired with a stark and haunting production that features stuttering drum programming, shimmering, arpeggio synth chords. The song manages to evoke a fractured psyche ruled primarily by a visceral and uncomfortable amount of regret and self-loathing while to my ears slightly nodding to Bonobo and others.

Check out upcoming tour dates, below.

Tour Dates

03/16 – Alphaville – Brooklyn, NY
05/27 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY

New Video: The Thoughtful and Gorgeous Sounds and Visuals of MOTSTA’s “Petrichor” featuring Sophie Lindinger

Dittrich’s latest single and EP title track “Petrichor” is a gorgeous and moody production in which Sophie Lindinger’s breathily ethereal and aching vocals are paired with a contemporary and slick production consisting of twinkling keys, layers of shimmering and buzzing synths, ominously swirling electronics, stuttering yet tweeter and woofer-rattling beats and a distorted vocal sample and reveals that the Russian-Austrian-based producer and artist has been experimenting with his compositional approach and his sound to incorporate organic instrumentation. And the result is a song that feels and sounds stately and cinematic while being dance floor ready — and interestingly enough manages to channel Octo Octa’s Between Two Selves and the aforementioned Bonobo, but wth a bracing, winter chill.

The recently released music video is a fittingly cinematic video that features footage of Lindinger pensively singing the song while looking out towards a rainy, cloud and fog strewn day; the sort of grey that envelops its environment; simultaneously, we view Dittrich walking around, day dreaming — all in situations in which men are felt to feel small and insignificant.

New Video: The Trippy and Hypnotic Sounds and Visuals of Bonobo’s “Kerala”

January 13, 2017 will mark the release of Green’s sixth Bonobo effort Migration, and his first full-length release in four years. Fittingly as Green mentions in press notes, the material thematically speaking focuses on migration. “It’’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and effect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve,” the renowned British producer and electronic music artist remarks in press notes. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that the material possesses a transitory nature — some of the material, including the album’s first single “Kerala” was initially composed while on the road and then was road-tested and revised during Stateside DJ sets. And the album’s guest spots feature a number of artists, who have emigrated themselves, including Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based vocalist Michael Milosh of Los Angeles-based indie pop act Rhye, who recorded his vocal tracks while in Berlin, Germany; Australian-born, Brooklyn-based global, indie pop sensation Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, who bonded with the British producer over a shared love of disco; Florida-born, Los Angeles-based Nicole Miglis of Los Angeles-based act Hundred Waters; and the New York-based Moroccan collective Innov Gnawa among others. Adding to the album’s transitory nature, Green also employs the use of found sounds that include a Hong Kong elevator, rainfall in Seattle, an Atlanta-based tumble dryer and a New Orleans fan boat engine.

As for “Kerala,” the single manages to further cement elements of Green’s signature sound while expanding upon it as shuffling and skittering 808s are paired with gorgeous yet arpeggiated and knotted strings. And the song builds up until Green drops a cut and layered vocal sample from Brandy that gives the composition a bit of soulfulness and swooning euphoria while possessing a shimmering and cinematic quality.

Directed by video collective Bison, who has produced videos for Jon Hopkins, London Grammar and Rosie Lowe and starring Gemma Arterton, the video compliments the shuffling and trippy nature of the song by creating slowly staggered looped effects in which Arterton is haunted by both terrors unseen by everyone else around her — until the camera pulls out to see an unidentified flying object hovering at the horizon.

Live Footage: Floating Points Performing on KEXP Radio

Interestingly, as Shepherd announced his tour and the forthcoming release of Kupier, Shepherd released live footage of him and his backing band performing “Silhouettes I, II and III,” “Argente” and “Kupier” in KEXP’s studios last month. Naturally, the live footage should give you a good sense of a live Floating Points set — including as the announced joked a visual display behind the band, which included floating points; but it also should cement Shepherd’s burgeoning reputation as an sonically challenging and inventive composer, whose material also manages to be trippy, expansive and mind-altering while being approachable.

The live session includes a rather revealing interview in which Shepherd discusses the origins of Floating Points, his influences, how he met the members of his backing band and his incredible 10,000 album record collection.