Tag: Cascine Records

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Releases a Breezy Club Banger

Over the course of this site’s almost nine year history, I’ve spilled quite of virtual ink over the acclaimed, internationally-based synth pop act Yumi Zouma. And as you may recall, the act which is now currently comprised of Christie Simpson, Charlie Ryder and Josh Burgess initially formed in their hometown of  Christchurch, New Zealand; however, since the 2011 earthquake that devastated their hometown and the rest of the region, the members of the band have been split across different locations across the globe with members residing in New York, Paris and Christchurch.

Primarily writing and recorded by email, the band wasn’t initially meant to be a live band but they received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a breezy yet bittersweet, 80s synth pop-inspired sound centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal and tender vocals. Since the release of their Turntable Kitchen released cover of Oasis’ 1995 full-length effort, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, the renowned synth pop act released an EP trilogy, with the last EP, the aptly titled EP III being released through their longtime label home  Cascine Records last September.

The act’s latest single “Bruise” continues the act’s long-held reputation for crafting breezy, hook-driven synth pop with an underlying bittersweet quality — but the new single may arguably be the most dance floor friendly track they’ve released to date, as it also possesses a muscular and propulsive thump. Interestingly, as the band notes the origins of their latest single were steeped in loss, as the instrumental part of the song was written after Sam Perry informed the rest of the band that he was leaving the band and moving to Serbia — but the track has become a beacon for optimism for the band. “We were all distraught until Josh said ‘Cheer me up guys — let’s write a song for Nelly Furtado. Nelly never replied but we came up with a smash.” 

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New Video: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Release John Hughes-like Visuals for Swooning “In Camera”

Over the years, I’ve written quite a bit about the internationally renowned synth pop act, Yumi Zouma, and as you may recall the band which is comprised of Christchurch, New Zealand-born Christie Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder and Josh Burgess has been spread across New York, Paris and Christchurch in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake that devastated their hometown and the region at large. Primarily writing material by email, the band wasn’t initially meant to be a live act — and yet, they’ve received attention for crafting breezy yet bittersweet, 80s-inspired synth pop centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal crooning. After  Turntable Kitchen released their cover of f Oasis’ 1995 full-length effort, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, the synth pop act busily wrote and recorded an EP trilogy — with the last edition of the trilogy been released last fall through their longtime label home Cascine Records.

Centered around reverb drenched arrangement that includes shimmering synths, angular guitar chords, a motorik-like groove, a soaring hook and Simpson’s ethereal vocals, the song sonically nods at A Flock of Seagulls‘ “I Ran (So Far Away).” And while accurately capturing the uncertainty, desperation and swooning urgency of new love, the song is underpinned by a deliberate attention to craft, with the members of the synth pop act revising and bouncing ideas off each other until it’s absolutely perfect.

Directed by Pavel Brenner and starring Charlie Patton, Shawn Denegre-Vaught, Emma Broz, Madisyn Maniff, Cinthia Bouhier, Joannie Ciociola, Alison Williams, Miriam Margolis, and Ainsleigh Douglas, the recently released video is a brilliantly spot-on take on John Hughes movies that’s centered around what seems to be an especially awkward first date that turns into a complex dance routine that includes synchronized swimmers, who miraculously appear out of nowhere. 

New Video: Yumi Zouma Releases a Funky, Dance Floor Friendly, 80s Synth Pop Inspired Jam

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the internationally renowned synth pop act Yumi Zouma, and as you may recall the act, which is comprised of Christchurch, New Zealand-born Christie Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder and Josh Burgess have been split across various locations across the globe — primarily New York, Paris and Christchurch — after the 2011 earthquake that ravaged both their hometown and the region at large. Primarily writing and recorded by email, the band wasn’t initially meant to be a live band; however, they’ve received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a breezy yet bittersweet, 80s synth pop-inspired sound centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal vocals. Since the release of their Turntable Kitchen released cover of Oasis’ 1995 full-length effort, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, the renowned synth pop act has been busily writing and recording an EP trilogy — with the last part of the trilogy EP III slated for a September 28, 2018 release through Cascine Records.

“In Camera,” EP III’s first single was a swooning bit of synth pop with a soaring hook that sonically nodded a bit at  A Flock of Seagulls‘ “I Ran (So Far Away)“, complete with reverb fed instrumentation, a cinematic vibe and a clean, super more production sheen — and while seemingly effortlessly breezy, the song is underpinned by a deliberate and very careful attention to craft, as the members of the band refine each song until it’s absolutely perfect.  “Crush (It’s Late, Just Stay)” EP III’s latest single is centered around thumping beats, a shuffling guitar line, shimmering and arpeggiated synths and a sultry and sinuous bass line and while being a hook-driven, dance floor friendly song, it manages to sound as though it were released in 1983 or so, as it recalls Cherelle’s “Saturday Love” and others. 

Interestingly, as the band’s Josh Burgess explains in press notes, “This song began life as an experiment recording with a fellow Kiwi (Liam Finn) at his studio in 2015. The studio was aptly named The End as it was situated at the very end of Greenpoint Avenue overlooking Transmitter Park which was arguably one of the best views of Manhattan at the time. The End hosted a few different studios, including Jacob Portrait’s (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Blouse) who mixed ‘In Camera’ as well as rehearsal spaces (I once walked in on The Congo’s rehearsing!). We smoked on the roof and had a bash at making a song together, which is what we sampled in the verses of ‘Crush’. The working title was ‘First Class Lounge’ because it sounded like some kind of musak that would be playing as background before rich people boarded a Concord. 

Unfortunately, The End had a sad finale courtesy of a fire that ripped through the building. Thankfully no one was hurt, but a lot of the gear was wrecked. My girlfriend lives a couple blocks away and over morning coffees we’ll often stroll through Transmitter looking up at the shell of the studio. Like most things in New York it’s relegated to a memory now, but a lot of great music came out of that building!”

The accompanying video features the classically-inspired artwork of Aiden Koch, set among bold and bright colors, animated by Joseph Brennan — and interestingly, while reminding me of the introductory sequence of an 80s rom com, it manages to evoke the flirtatious nature of the song. 

New Audio: Yumi Zouma Releases a Breezy Yet Bittersweet Summer Jam

Comprised of Christchurch, New Zealand-born Christie Simpson, Sam Perry, Charlie Ryder and Josh Burgess, the members of internationally renowned synth pop act Yumi Zouma have been spread across the world with most of the band’s members relocating to New York and Paris after the massive 2011 earthquake. Primarily writing by email, the project wasn’t initially meant to be a live project — but interestingly enough over the years, they’ve received attention for breezy yet bittersweet 80s synth pop centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal vocals. Since the release of their Turntable Kitchen released cover of Oasis’ 1995 full-length effort, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, the renowned synth pop act has been busily writing and recording an EP trilogy — with the last part of the trilogy EP III slated for a September 28, 2018 release through Cascine Records.
EP III’s first single is the swooning synth pop “In Camera,” a single that will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting summery yet bittersweet pop centered around Simpson’s ethereal vocals, a soaring hook, shimmering synths and guitars. Sonically speaking, the song nods at a bit at A Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran (So Far Away)”, complete with reverb fed instrumentation but with a cinematic air and a clean, modern production sheen. But interestingly enough, the material is underpinned by a careful attention to craft with the members of the synth pop act revising and bouncing ideas off each other until each song is absolutely perfect.

As the band says in press notes “There’s something really special about the EP format. It’s been so long since we worked on one that we all had forgotten how fun and liberating they can be.”

This EP, both in its material and how it was written and recorded, feels really close to EP I & II. Spread again between three countries, bouncing endless revisions of a song until it’s right, falling asleep on FaceTime trying to write lyrics together and the exhilaration of waking up to NEW SONG VERSION 5 – it threw us back to how we worked on material when we thought no one would ever listen.

We’ve completed our EP family. It’s the little sibling none of us had growing up and none of us knew we could love so much.”

Now, as you may recall, Keep Shelly in Athens is an internationally renowned electronic music production and artist duo that has released dreamy, mid tempo electro pop material through Forest Family Records, Transparent Records, Planet Mu Records, Cascine Records and Friends of Friends Records and others — and building upon a growing internationally recognized profile, the duo have played at some of the world’s largest festivals including — Coachella, Parklife Festival, The Great Escape Festival and Fun Fun Fun Festival. Adding to a steadily growing profile, the act has made official remixes for Tycho, Blood Diamonds and Steve Mason among others.

Philokalia, the Athens, Greece-based electronic music duo’s third full-length album is slated for a Friday, September 29, 2017 release through the duo’s own Athenian Aura Recordings, and the album finds the act featuring their newest vocalist, Aussie Award-winning novelist and poet Jessica Bell. Last month, I wrote about album single “Game Over (Daniel’s Theme),” a track that further cemented their reputation for crafting moody and cinematic, mid-tempeo electro pop as the song featured a production that consisted of shimmering synths, swirling, ambient electronics, a mournful string arrangement and stuttering drum programming paired with Bell’s viscerally earnest and heartfelt vocals — and interestingly enough, the song bristles with the self-flagellation and recrimination of someone who’s been betrayed or lied to in some deeply unforgivable fashion.

“Dark Light” Philokalia‘s latest single is a a bit of decided change in direction for the renowned electronic act as it featured Bell with self-assured and in-your-face vocals paired with what may arguably be their most industrial leaning production featuring wobbling and buzzing synths, industrial clang and clatter, stuttering drum programming and a rousing hook while retaining some elements of the dreamy, ethereal sound that has captured the attention of the blogosphere — namely with the song’s introduction and coda. But interestingly enough, the song possesses a dark, sultry seductive quality reminiscent of Version 2.0-era Garbage and Portishead.

Keep Shelly in Athens is an internationally renowned duo that has released dreamy, mid tempo electro pop material through Forest Family Records, Transparent Records, Planet Mu Records, Cascine Records and Friends of Friends Records and others, and building upon a growing international profile, the duo have played at some of the world’s largest festivals including — Coachella, Parklife Festival, The Great Escape Festival and Fun Fun Fun Festival. Along with that, the fact has made official remixes for Tycho, Blood Diamonds and Steve Mason among others.

The act’s third full-length effort, Philokalia is slated for a September 29, 2017 release through their own label Athenian Aura Recordings, and the album finds the act featuring their newest vocalist, Aussie Award-winning novelist and poet Jessica Bell. And while the album’s latest single “Game Over (Daniel’s Theme) will further cement their reputation for crafting moody and cinematic, mid-tempo electro pop — with their latest single featuring shimmering synths, swirling, ambient electronics, a mournful string arrangement and stuttering drum programming paired with Bell’s viscerally earnest and heartfelt vocals that bristle with the self-flagellation and recrimination of someone who’s been betrayed or lied to in some deeply unforgivable fashion.

 

Just the other day, I wrote about Gabriela Jimeno, a Bogota, Colombia-born, New York-based drummer, electronic music artist and producer, who musically grew up in two parallel, underground musical worlds — hardcore and electronic music. And after years of playing in a variety of bands across Colombia and the US, Jimeno relocated to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where she graduated with a dual major in drum set performance and music synthesis. As the story goes, soon after graduation, Jimeno relocated to New York. where she played drums in several rather ambitious bands — while working on her own solo projects and building her own synthesizers and instruments.

After growing bored with the band life, the Bogota-born, New York-based drummer and electronic music artist decided to go completely solo — and under the moniker ela minus, released her debut effort First Words EP. Interestingly, instead of spending time working and releasing one album, the Bogota, Colombia-born, New York-based artist decided to release a trilogy of EPs, which would presumably allow listeners to follow her as her songwriting and musicianship evolved during the trilogy’s completion. Grow, the 2nd EP of the trilogy was released to critical acclaim from The FaderVice and Remezcla, and as a result, Jimeno wound up playing at a number of major festivals across North America, including Estéreo PicnicNRMALSXSWViva Pomona and others. Adding to a growing profile, Jimeno has opened for the likes of Chairlift and Chrome Sparks.

The third and final part of the trilogy Adapt is slated for a February 17, 2017 release through YEBO Music — and as Jimeno has explained in press notes: “This has been like a re-birth for me as an artist: so, like a new baby, first words – grow – adapt. It made sense with the time I was living in too, on first EP everything was changing I didn’t really know what or why I was doing it, in the experience of making the second EP I grew as an artist a lot, and now I am adapting. I learned to learn.” Just the other day, I wrote about Adapt‘s first single “Juan Saint,” which was a moody yet shimmering bit of electro pop featuring twinkling synths, propulsive drum programming are paired with Jimeno’s ethereal cooing in a song that sonically is reminiscent of Empress OfYumi Zouma,  the Cascine Records roster and Kate Bush — but with a subtly bracing iciness at its core.

“A.R.P.,” is the EP’s latest single and sonically the song features Jimena’s coquettish and breathy vocals over a slickly produced bed of stuttering drum programming, shimming and twinkling synth, various electronic bloops and bleeps in a wistful yet breezy bit of synth pop with a tender and aching heart under its icy surface, while being radio friendly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabriela Jimeno is a Bogota, Colombia-born, New York-based drummer, electronic music artist and producer, who musically grew up in two parallel, underground musical worlds — hardcore and electronic music. And after years of playing in a variety of bands in Columbia and the US, Jimeno relocated to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where she graduated with a dual major in drum set performance and music synthesis. Soon after graduation, Jimeno relocated to New York, where she played drums in several rather ambitious bands while working on her own solo recording work, which also included Jimeno spending time building her own synths.  After growing bored with the band life, the Bogota-born, New York-based drummer and electronic music artist decided to go completely solo — and under the moniker ela minus, released her debut effort First Words EP.

Interestingly, instead of working on just one particular album, the Bogota, Columbia-born, New York-based decided to release a trilogy of EPs, which would allow listeners to follow her and her project as her songwriting, musicianship and artistry evolved during the trilogy’s completion. Grow, the 2nd EP of the trilogy was released to critical acclaim from The Fader, Vice and Remezcla, and as a result, Jimeno wound up playing at a number of major festivals across North America, including Estéreo Picnic, NRMAL, SXSW, Viva Pomona and others. Adding to a growing profile, Jimeno has opened for the likes of Chairlift and Chrome Sparks.

The third and final part of the trilogy Adapt is slated for a February 17, 2017 release through YEBO Music — and as Jimeno has explained in press notes: “This has been like a re-birth for me as an artist: so, like a new baby, first words – grow – adapt. It made sense with the time I was living in too, on first EP everything was changing I didn’t really know what or why I was doing it, in the experience of making the second EP I grew as an artist a lot, and now I am adapting. I learned to learn.” The third EP’s latest single “Juan Sant” is a moody yet shimmering bit of electro pop in which twinkling synths, propulsive drum programming are paired with Jimeno’s ethereal cooing in a song that sonically is reminiscent of Empress Of, Yumi Zouma,  the Cascine Records roster and Kate Bush — but with a subtly bracing iciness at its core.

Featuring brothers Alix, Miles and Reece Melendrez and schoolmate Matt Mumician, Decorator  is an up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock/indie soul quartet, who publicly claim a rather wide and diverse array of influences that include the music the Melenderez Brothers heard quite a deal of while growing up — Jimi Hendrix, The Isley Brothers, Bob Marley and contemporary acts like Lauryn Hill, Wu-Tang Clan, Gorillaz and others. And interestingly enough, the project which attribute their name from a famous Frank Zappa quote “without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production headlines or dates by which bills must be paid” can trace their origins to when the Melendrez Brothers taught themselves how to play covers of the songs they heard so much growing up. As high schoolers, the Melendrez Brothers began writing their own music — and their folks drove them to school night gigs in which they played in bars they weren’t even be allowed in without their gear.

 

Wanting to master their instruments and to do their own thing, the Melendrez Brothers enrolled themselves at Silverlake Conservatory of Music, founded by Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ Flea, where they met and befriended fellow student Mumician and started writing music together. However, it took several years before the band took their music out of garage rehearsals and house parties and were able to concentrate on their music full-time, as the band’s youngest member, Reece Melendrez honored his promise to his folks to graduate from high school before making music a full-time effort.

With the release of their 2014 self-released debut EP Transit, the band quickly received a growing local profile and fanbase, including their first headlining set at the renowned Troubadour, thanks in part to a sound that draws equally from classic soul, indie rock, contemporary pop and neo soul — and in a way that manages to be uncompromisingly difficult to pigeonhole. The Los Angeles-based quartet’s latest single sonically speaking seems to owe an equal debt to Tame Impala‘s Currents, the Cascine Records roster, Neon Indian and 80s synth soul as the quartet pairs shimmering and undulating synths with a sinuous groove, an infectious hook and Miles Melendez’s sultry falsetto.  Lyrically, the song’s vulnerable narrator admits to be run around in circles by an unrequited and cruel love interest, with whom he feels desperately and inexplicably pulled towards — and as much as he wants to pull away, to move forward with his life, he feels trapped in a vicious and unfulfilling circle. Certainly, what’s remarkable to me about this band is the fact that their material manages to possess a maturity and self-assuredness that belies their youth.