Tag: electronic music

New Audio: Zola Jesus’ Subtle Yet Eerie Remix of Blanck Mass’ “Please”

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about Blanck Mass, the solo side project of Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power, and as you may recall 2015’s Dumb Flesh was written and recorded over the course of the preceding year in several different locations — including Power’s Space Mountain Studios, a windowless attic space in Hatch End, North London and his Edinburgh home. Reportedly, frequently changing recording spaces influenced the album’s dark and sprawling compositions, which thematically focused on the inherent frailty of the human body — with the material evoking the sensation that our flesh isn’t enough to protect us from certain catastrophe. Blanck’s critically applauded, third album 2017’s World Eater was inspired by our current sociopolitical climate full of suspicion, teeming anger, despair and anxiety. And as Power has explained in interviews is that the material was meant to evoke a wild, untamed beast chewing and gnawing at civilization and the bonds that hold it together. “The title is a reference to both the inner beast inside human beings that when grouped en-masse stops us from moving forward towards good,” Power explained in press notes.

Interestingly, while on an extensive world tour to support World Eater, an idea emerged to him: that he should throw the album’s material open to other artists’ interpretation — but not with the idea of inviting renowned remixers and producers to retool the material to be more dance floor friendly; rather, Power contacted artists whose work he admired, asking them if they could imbue his work with their own sense of meaning. And with World Eater Re-Voxed, which was released digitally today, the remixers — Zola Jesus, Naked, Gazelle Twin, and M. Lamar have each added their own lyrics and vocals to a World Eater track of their choosing, giving each song a completely different and deeply personal tone and meaning. As Power explains in press notes, “The theme with this remix EP was to see how a group of other artists visualize and reassess my world sonically and more importantly here, lyrically,” Power explains. “The use of human vocals is prominent in my more recent work although I try and steer more towards an emotional language as opposed to conventional syntax, so this was an interesting exercise in interpretation.”

The slow-burning and expansive World Eater single “Please” is arguably one of Power’s more spectral and downright ambient tracks as it features a production consisting of subtle industrial clang and clatter, chopped up vocal samples, stuttering drum programming and swirling, ominous electronics.  Zola Jesus’ remix while cutting the song in half, retains most of Power’s moody and spectral production with the addition of some thumping, tribal-like beats over which the acclaimed Zola Jesus’ vocals ethereally float over. And although Zola Jesus subtly adds her touch to the song, it manages to remain hauntingly eerie, evoking the sense of humanity inching towards the precipice of annihilation, and a plaintive vulnerability. 

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New Video: Introducing The Gorgeous and Atmospheric Visuals and Sounds of Stockholm’s boerd

Bård Ericson is an up-and-coming Stockholm, Sweden-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and electronic music artist, whose recent solo recording project boerd is heavily influenced from a stint playing double bass with the Swedish Royal Opera, Swedish Radio Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as drawing from the likes of Burial, Bibio, and Aphex Twin — and with boerd, Ericson has received attention for a delicate sound that pushes the boundaries of atmospheric electronica, with a painterly attention to detail and texture. In fact, as you’ll hear on “Blind,” the latest single off his forthcoming mini-album, Static is a slow-burning and spectral track featuring twinkling synths, shuffling drums, bursts of strummed guitar paired with aching yet dreamy vocals fed through layers upon layers of vocoder, that evoke a feeling of transience — of accepting the fact that both good and bad things in one’s life often find a way to fade away. And as a result, the song possesses the dull yet palpable ache of regret and lost chances.

Directed and edited by Bård Ericsson and starring Olle Darmell and Susanna Risberg, the recently released video for “Blind” features a couple driving in car, as a larger metaphor for a relationship. “I thought driving a car with someone could be a metaphor for a relationship,” Ericson says in press notes. “You’re not always sure where you’re going or when (and if) you’ll arrive somewhere, etc. The song is about a relationship that’s not in complete balance, where something is a bit off. It’s a song about feeling vulnerable, which can really suck but also bring you close to someone. Rather than having the video tell a specific storyline, I tried to capture that bittersweet mix of uncertainty, vulnerability and affection.” Interestingly, the video’s director — Ericson, himself — sits in the backseat observing and singling the song’s lyrics. Throughout the video, there’s an obvious sense that there’s something wrong with the relationship, and they don’t quite know what to do about it or how to get out of it without hurting themselves or the other. 

Renowned electronic music label Anjunadeep Records will be releasing Static on April 6, 2018.  

New Video: Swedish-born Multi-Instrumentalist and Electronic Music Artist Thornato Connects New York and Ghana In Visuals for Club-Banging New Single “Back It Up”

Thor Partridge is a Swedish-born Cypriot, whose mother encouraged his interest in music at a very young age; in fact, it was common to hear traditional Greek, African and Caribbean music in his home. As the story goes, Partridge’s family relocated to New York when he was a child, and he eventually studied classical piano, jazz guitar and bluegrass banjo. Partridge quickly showed a penchant and interest in production and remixing, when he found that he couldn’t help tinkering with classical piano arrangements. 

As an electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, who writes, records and performs as Thornato, Partridge quickly received international attention with the release of 2016’s groundbreaking, electronic music/drum ‘n’ bass EP Things Will Change. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Partidge’s full-length album Bennu found the up-and-coming multi-instrumentalist becoming a go-to collaborator and producer, contributing to Bollywood scores, as well as playing clubs across the globe. 

Friday will mark the release of the Swedish Cypriot’s latest EP Back It Up and the EP’s latest single, title track “Back It Up,” finds the up-and-coming producer, collaborating with Ghanian vocalist  Zongo Abongo in a song that lovingly draws from the sounds of the African Diaspora as the song draws from several distinct genres and styles, including 90s Jamaican dancehall, Afro-pop, Champeta, and Dembow in a way that’s simultaneously seamless yet nostalgic, anachronistic yet incredibly post-modern — and perhaps most important of all, the song manages to be a breezy and infectious club banger with quite a bit of thump. 

Directed by Justin Conte, the video features Ghanian vocalist Zongo Abongo and dancer Soraya Lundy connecting across the Atlantic Ocean with a bright orange landline phone, essentially sharing a sensual dance between New York and Accra. 

With the release of their critically acclaimed full-length debut La Allianza Profana and its follow-up, Serpiente Dorada, the Lima, Peru-based electronic production and artist duo Dengue Dengue Dengue, comprised of Rafael Pereira and Felipe Salmon quickly received attention for a sound that possesses elements of traditional cumbia, dub, dancehall and techno — and for being at the forefront of an expanding electronic cumbia movement.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout the course of its eight year history, you may have come across a couple of posts featuring the Peruvian electronic production and music duo  — in particular Siete Raices‘ album singles, “Guarida,” a hauntingly ambient track that meshed ancient and traditional Peruvian sounds with contemporary, electronic production in a timeless fashion, and “The Enemy,” a glitchy and percussive track that nodded at El Dusty‘s club-banging, nu-cumbia but with a subtly menacing and uneasy vibe.

The Lima, Peru-based duo’s latest album Son de Los Diablos (which translates into English as Sound of the Devils) derives its name from a traditional dance that was brought to Peru by the Spanish conquistadors, which consists of a procession of dancers and musicians taking to the streets wearing devil masks. By enlisting Lima’s sizable African slave population, this procession increasingly incorporated the rhythms and dance styles that would eventually become known as Afro Peruvian — one of the main elements of modern Peruvian music and culture, which also informs Dengue Dengue Dengue’s sound. Interestingly, Son de Los Diablos‘ latest single “Cobre” features breezy and minimalist production consisting of looped woodwind instruments and stuttering African percussion. While the song  evokes a slow procession of marchers stomping to a throbbing beat, it possesses a murky and menacing undercurrent.

 

 

 

Eric Sharp is a Los Angeles, CA-based electronic music producer, artist, DJ and promoter, who has developed a reputation for being one of the most accomplished tastemakers on the West Coast. As a DJ/producer and electronic music artist, he has a reputation for crafting intelligent, sophisticated house music that could comfortably fit at an intimate private party, at the club and at massive festivals simultaneously. And with material that ranges from deep and nuanced to the driving and syncopated, the Los Angeles, CA-based producer and artist has had his music licensed by Major League Soccer, SonyCSI: Miami, Hitachi, and others.

2010 saw the launch of Sharp’s label Rock It Science Laboratories, a label and platform for like-minded producers and artists, many of whom played at the warehouse parties he tirelessly promoted. Eventually, Sharp retooled his focus from underground warehouse parties to major club residencies and appearances on the festival circuit — including Coachella, Outside Lands, Amsterdam Dance Event, Decibel Festival, SXSW, Symbiosis Gathering, Miami Music Week and others. Interestingly, a growing profile in the electronic music scene coincided with a relocation from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and as a result he found himself collaborating with a number of his new hometown’s up-and-coming artists including Anna Lunoe, Daisy O’Dell, Siouxsie Black and George Cochrane on his 2013 EP Sharp Cuts.  Additionally he has remixed the material of Melanie Martinez, Jars of Clay and others, which have expanded his profile.

Last year, Sharp ramped up his output of original music significantly, releasing collaborations with Capital Cities’ Spencer Ludwig and up-and-coming artist Gavin Turek and others and it has continued well into 2017 with a number of Hype Machine chart topping songs.  Building upon the release of Hype Machine #1 track “Take This Time,” feat. Zhao, Sharp’s latest single “Night Turns To Day” is a shimmering and mid-tempo house track featuring arpeggiated synths, thumping and stuttering drum programming and a sinuous hook paired with Somme‘s sultry vocals — and much like Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves Sharp’s latest single possesses an bracing iciness while managing to walk the tightrope between chill out session and club banger.

 

Hymns To The Night, the attention-grabbing full-length debut from post-punk duo Lea Porcelain was written and recorded over a two year period in Berlin, Germany‘s famed Funkhaus, a broadcast house created under Soviet supervision that now houses one of the world’s biggest recording studios. Interestingly enough, while the duo describes their sound as being “atmospheric, cinematic and melancholic,” the material on their debut reportedly finds the band subtly bending and playing with genre boundaries; however, album single “Warsaw Street” manages to be a decidedly post-punk single, nodding at Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics-era Interpol.

Recently, the acclaimed British DJ, producer and owner of Hotflush Recordings Paul Rose, best known as Scuba remixed the song adding thumping beats, clave and layers of undulating synths and a dance floor-friendly motorik-like groove and although he retains some of the original’s atmospheric vibe, the remix manages to focus primarily on mood and groove, creating an altogether new song with a completely different feel.

 

 

 

Perhaps best known as the frontman of renowned indie rock act Black Moth Super Rainbow, TOBACCO has developed a reputation as a solo artist, who crafts abrasive yet anthemic electronic music that channels Daft Punk,  The Black KeysKraftwerk and Boys Noize, but from some industrial, dystopian and fucked up future — perhaps immediately post Trump? — in which rusty and forgotten machinery and instruments whirr, mash and grind together.

Last year saw the release of Sweatbox Dynasty, the long awaited follow up to Ultima II Massage and while album singles “Gods In Heat,” “Human Om” and “Dimensional Hum” further cemented his reputation for scuzzy and abrasive electronic music, underneath the murky surface was a breezy and dreamy melodicism that added a strange, zen-like calm to the proceedings. Interestingly, TOBACCO recently released a stand-alone single “Get Wet in the Bomb Shelter” and the new single manages to sound as though it was a forgotten Sweatbox Dynasty B side, as the song consists of cascading layers of whirring and buzzing synths, stuttering and propulsive, boom bap-like drums and a glistening melody — and much like the material on Sweatbox Dynasty, the song upon repeated listens reveals a subtle push in a new sonic direction.

 

 

New Video: Pattern Language Returns with Retro-futuristic Visuals for Kraftwerk and John Carpenter-Inspired New Single “Le Choc des Etoiles”

Last month, I wrote about the Boulder, CO-based multi-instrumenalist Chris Frain. And although he’s arguably best known as a keyboardist in indie pop act The Giranimals and the bassist in power prog rcock trio Tanuki, Frain can […]

New Video: The Retro-Futuristic Sounds and Visuals of Pattern Language’s “By The Time We Get There”

Perhaps best known as a keyboardist in indie pop act The Giranimals and the bassist in power prog rcock trio Tanuki, the Boulder, CO-based multi-instrumenalisdt Chris Frain can trace the origins of his latest, solo recording project Pattern Language from both his experience as a member of The Giranimals, where he developed a love of the sound of the Minimoog and Mellotron synthesizer — and from a chance viewing of the BBC4 documentary Synth Britannia. And unsurprisingly, as you’ll hear on “By The Time We Get There,” the first single off Frain’s Total Squaresville mini-album, Frain’s sound is largely inspired by Kraftwerk, Thomas Dolby and others; in fact, the song reminds me quite a bit of Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk as Frain develops a deceptively simple melody and pairs it with a motorik groove — but on repeated listens, the track reveals subtle twists and turns that hints that the material was much more improvised than anyone would initially think.

As Chris Frain explains in press notes, “Each one of the pieces on this album were started from some very basic idea about sound or structure or primary influence and yet I was surprised by all the twists and turns they took through the stages of composition, recording and mixing. It’s still fun to listen to each piece and how they took on a life of its own to become something new and unexpected — even to me.”

Created by 75 Ohms’ Cheyenne Grow, the recently released music video uses obsolete, 20th century, corporate video equipment and from generating real-time video landscapes and infinite textures, and as a result it has an appropriately retro-futuristic vibe.

Live Footage: Up-and-Coming Australian Electronic Trio The Nights Perform “Other Issues”

Comprised of Rob Campbell, Thomas Marland and Walter Flamenco, the Sydney, Australia-based electronic music trio The Nights have developed a reputation for being among the most accomplished acts in their hometown’s electronic music scene, as the act features a sound designer at Sydney’s Vivid Live, and a former member of Future Classic Records act PANAMA — and since their formation in 2013 for a unique sound and songwriting approach influenced by fleeting human emotion.

The trio’s recently released sophomore EP Beyond Desire reportedly finds the Australian electronic music trio pushing their production capabilities and sound to new places as EP singles “Double Slit,” “Other Issues” and “Close to You” have received attention for deep, driving rhythms, polished tempos and shimmering melodies. Interestingly, just as the EP was released, the trio released live footage of “Other Issues” and while retaining elements of the recorded sound — the single’s wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, shimmering arpeggio keys, a soulful vocal sample and a forcefully proposal groove that nods at classic house, the live version is a bit looser, finding the trio stretching out the groove and expanding upon it to give the song a trippy, cosmic feel, while revealing the simpatico that each member of the trio has; in fact, you can sense that they all know when they’ve hit a groove and know when to lead and follow. And the live footage serves as a teaser for the trio’s national tour later this year.