Tag: electronic rock

New Video: Icelandic Post-Punk Trio Fufanu Return with Surreal Sports-Themed Visuals for “Liability”

Over the past couple of months, I’ve written about the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu. And you may recall that the trio, which is currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar, was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation, by the way) along with Erling Bang (drums) can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met while at school. According to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. Quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. And within a month of their friendship and the project’s life, they had began to play shows in and around Reykjavik.

In a strange twist of fate, the studio where Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had recorded their full-length Captain Fufanu album was burgled. And as a result, the album they recorded was presumed lost. Instead of trying to call the material they initially wrote from memory, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson decided that the moment was a perfect time for them to completely reinvent their sound. Interestingly, at the time, Kaktus was in London working on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots and touring with Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics. Simultaneously Gulli had started to create a revised sound, which managed to convey what Kaktus had been thinking at the time. The duo then added guitars and drums, along with Kaktus’ brooding and detached vocals — and with their revised sound, renamed themselves Fufanu.

Their first live set with their new sound and aesthetic was at Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Building upon the buzz they had received, they went into the studio their full-length debut A Few More Days To Go. And with the release of their debut, the duo received a rapidly growing national and international profile as they toured with a number of internationally renowned acts including The Vaccines and have played at JaJaJa Festival. With their recently released sophomore effort Sports, Kaktus and Gulli recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh out their sound as they expanded upon it and its thematic direction.

Now you might remember that I wrote about Sports’ first single, album title track “Sports,” a single that retained the synth-driven sound that first captured national and international attention while pairing it with a tight, motorik-like groove reminiscent of Can, Neu! and Joy Division while nodding at Security-era Peter Gabriel. “Liability,” Sports‘ second single continues in a similar vein as the trio pair angular busts of guitar with shimmering synths that twist and turn through the mix, a sinuous bass line and a mid-tempo groove that nods at the techno that the project once was. However, much like “Sports” the single possesses a dark, enigmatic air while pointing out the mundanity, drudgery and banality of daily life; but just under the surface there’s a broiling frustration and resentment of someone wanting to break free and yet not knowing how to do so.

Co-directed by the members of Fufanu and Gabriel B. Bachmann, the recently released music video for “Liability” continues the sporting leitmotif the band introduced with the “Sports” video; however, the actual sports are reduced to a seemingly surrealistic abstraction in which the members of the band are competing against themselves.

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New Video: Introducing the Anthemic Primal Scream and Kasabian-Inspeired Sound of Adelaide Australia’s The Byzantines

Comprised of Michael Pietrafesa (vocals), David Zammit (guitar), Jose Moucho (bass), and Johnny Zervas (drums), the Adelaide, Australia-based indie rock quartet The Byzantines have developed a reputation across their native Australia and internationally — mostly across the EU and the UK — for an electronic rock sound that’s been compared to the likes of Primal Scream and Kasabian, as you’ll hear on the swaggering and anthemic “Top Boy” off the Australian quartet’s forthcoming EP You’ll Pull It, which is slated for a February 17, 2017 release through Marshmallow Pavement Records.

The recently released music video for “Top Boy” is partially inspired by undercover, police procedurals, workplace comedies and old electronica videos — and in a trippy and mischievous fashion.

Comprised of Emanuele Chiarelli (vocals, guitar), Simone Constantino De Luca (programming, keys) and Fabio Consentino (bass), the Consenza, Italy-based  new wave/synth-gaze trio Electric Floor over their 8 year run together, have developed a reputation for being among their homeland’s more interesting and up-and-coming underground acts. And with their recent signing to Vipchoyo Sound Factory, the label home of internationally acclaimed acts Stella Diana and Vibrissae, the Consenza-based trio have clear plans and hopes to expand their profile internationally with the March 6, 2017 release of their third full-length effort, Fader, an album that finds the band taking their sound in a much more synth pop/industrial electronica-leaning direction as you’ll hear on the propulsive, club-friendly,  Depeche Mode and New Order inspired single “Bluedive.”

As the band’s Emanuele Chiarelli explains “‘Bluedive’ is like a surge. It was born during a bad period for us. Initially, it was only messy ideas, but we gradually gave it are form. The lyrics are suspended between romance and sadness, anger and exhortation. Just like the other songs, our lyrics in this one are very emotional and tidal.” And as a result the song possesses a swooning, visceral and passionate urgency based around both the internal dialogue among the members of the band and within one’s psyche, and the confused feelings and sensations romance and heartache inspire within us.

 

 

 

 

Comprised of primary members, their Milwaukee, WI-born, Los Angeles, CA-based frontman and founder Austen Moret (synths and vocals),  Jace McPartland (bass) and Sab Cahrunas (drums), along with a rotating cast of guitarists including friends and long-time collaborators Anthony Francisco, Dan Beltran and Mike Aguado joining the band for live shows, the Los Angeles, CA-based indie rock act Midnight Divide has gone through several inceptions before settling on a synth-based, power chord and big drum-based sound paired with anthemic hooks inspired by TV on the Radio, Radiohead, Imagine Dragons, Vertical Horizon, Snow Patrol and others as you’ll hear on the gorgeously atmospheric, swooning and anthemic “Talking” off the band’s forthcoming sophomore EP, which features Moret’s earnest vocals throughout. At the core of the song is a plaintive plea to a lover (or friend) to work things out; that better times could be had if they can get on the same page. But just underneath the surface is an embittering realization that things may not work out as planned, that things have at time and place — and the result may be heartbreaking yet necessary.

As the band’s Moret explains press notes “‘Talking’ lived inside me for years before I could accept why it existed. But I now know that’s a good thing because it means what I wrote is truly honest. And that’s how all songs should be.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site throughout all or a portion of its history, you’d likely be somewhat familiar with New York music scene vet Kelsey Warren as Warren has spent time as a sideman, frontman and studio hired gun in a number of projects including Denise Barbarita and the Morning Papers, pILLOw tHeORY and a number of others. Warren’s solo recording project Blak Emoji received attention earlier this year with the release of Sapiosexual,”a change of sonic direction for Warren, as the power chord-based pyrotechnics have been pushed to the background for slinky synths and a dance floor friendly sound — while gently nodding at Nine Inch Nails. Warren’s second and latest single continues on a similar vein as “Sapiosexual” as the New York-based music scene veteran’s seductive cooing is paired with slinky synths, a sinuous bass and guitar lines, four-on-the-floor drumming and an infectious hook in a slickly produced, dance-floor friendly song. But underneath the sensual and slick production is a some really smart songwriting that simultaneously focuses on a romantic/sexual relationship, and a decadent and alcohol-fueled night out on the town, hitting up dive bars and trying to get into pulsating clubs — all while nodding at funky contemporaries including Boulevards, Tuxedo and others.

 

 

Over the past 18-24 months or so,  Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist and DJ Lennart Richter, a prolific artist and producer, who has released a series of singles through a number of renowned electronic music labels including Sleazy G, East Project, G-Mafia Records, GUN PWDR, Ensis RecordsBlue Dye, Mondal Recordings and others has become one of a long list of this site’s growing mainstay artists — all while further cementing his reputation across Europe and elsewhere for composing, writing and releasing singles that explored the gamut of electronic music subgenres such as deep house, nu-disco and others with a slick, crowd-pleasing, club-rocking production. And unsurprising, Richter had several Beatport Top 25 releases under his belt, including his Berlin Brawling EP landing at  #10 on the Beatport Indie Dance/Nu Disco Charts.

Earlier this year, the Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist and DJ released an incredibly slick remix of Yes‘ “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” which retained the original vocal track but paired with a densely layered production that featured handclap-led percussion, slowly cascading synths — and while retaining something of the song’s original feel and spirit, turning the song into a mid-tempo club banger. Richter’s latest single “Still Hawt” is a retro-futuristic, 80s-inspired synth rock instrumental track that has the German producer and electronic music artist employing the use of shimmering layers of cascading analog synths paired with some blistering guitar work by Slync. Sounding as though it could have been part of a John Carpenter movie soundtrack, the duo manage to pay homage to a familiar sound while possessing a subtle yet contemporary slickness.

Deriving their name from the computing term “soft error” — or a fault occurrence in a digital memory system that changes an instruction in a program or a data value, Soft Error is an accomplished production and DJ duo of Tim and Rupert, who have been well-regarded in electronic music scenes and composition for film, theater and TV respectively. Their full-length debut Mechanism which is slated for a January 6, 2017 through Village Green Records was recorded at Valgeir Sigurðsson’s renowned Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland and draws from 1907s Krautrock, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Cliff Martinez, John Carpenter and Jon Hopkins — while also dimly nodding at the likes of Kraftwerk  and contemporary acts like Collapse Under the Empire.

“You Caught Up,” the duo’s cinematic and retro-futuristic debut single and first single off their forthcoming full-length was written and recorded in Paris, arranged in London and mixed in Iceland, consists of layers of shimmering and cascading synths, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming and a gorgeous wind section arrangement. Interestingly, the composition reveals a painterly nature, as each note and each chord adds a bit of texture and color like a brushstroke upon a canvas — while sounding as though it should be part of a soundtrack to a futuristic thriller.

Comprised of friends and collaborators Ben Greenberg (guitar, production), who has spent time as a member of The Men and  with his solo project Hubble, and is the producer and engineer, who has worked on most of the Sacred Bones Records catalog; and Michael Berdan (vocals), who has spent time as a member of Drunkdriver and York Factory Complaint, the New York-based duo of Uniform can trace their origins back to 2013 when the duo had reconnected and recognized that they were both in the same place musically. Desiring as intimate of a recorded and live experience as possible, the duo decided that they had to keep the project as a duo, eschewing a live rhythm section for drumming programming and low end synths paired with Greenberg’s guitar work and Berdan’s vocals. And the immediate result of Greenberg and Berdan’s collaboration was a 12 inch single, quickly followed by their full-length debut Perfect World.

The “Ghosthouse” 12 inch is the duo’s first proper release through Sacred Bones Records and while retaining the us of drum programming, low end synths paired with Greenberg’s guitar and Berdan’s vocals, the duo have expanded upon their sound to include the sounds of war and violent conflict including shots, explosions, implosions, things collapsing, along with industrial clang and clatter to create a murky and abrasively confrontational sound — the sound of the fearful, vicious and uncertain contemporary age we live in while being paired with lyrics that are influenced by Berdan’s own struggles with depression and insomnia.

The duo’s latest single is a Ministry and black metal-like cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Symptom of the Universe” that’s abrasive, punishing and fatalistically bleak — essentially turning the song into a love letter from the grave.

Look for the duo’s sophomore effort sometime in 2017.

 

Perhaps more popularly known as a co-founder of renowned indie electro pop act M83, Nicholas Fromageau, who left the project after the release of the act’s seminal album Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts, Fromageau (vocals, guitar) founded his own project, Team Ghost recruited fellow French musicians Christophe Guérin (vocals, guitar),  Benoit de Villeneuve (vocals, guitar, keys), Félix Delacroix (drums), and Pierre Blanc (bass) to flesh out the project’s overall sound. Following the release of several EPs, 2013’s full-length debut Rituals, tours with Crystal Castles and a set the inaugural Pitchfork Paris Festival, the members of the band found themselves in a bit of a creative rut before they ultimately found inspiration in an old analog synthesizer, along with the Blade Runner soundtrack and Kanye West‘s Yeezy among other things while blending it a bit with elements of feedback-filled guitar chords played through effects pedals, inspired by Sonic Youth and Slowdive. And the end result is the retro-futuristic and cinematic “The Riser,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming self-titled sophomore effort, slated for a December 2, 2016.

While possessing an icy and abrasive feel, and vocals fed through layers of vocoder, the song not not manages to be larger-than-life and anthemic, it simultaneously manages to nod at Chateau Marmont, Milemarker, Kraftwerk, and John Carpenter soundtracks while evoking an Orwellian, post-apocalyptic world of cyborgs, clones, nuclear waste, pollution, deprivation and unending strife. However, just underneath the icy and uneasy surface, there’s an aching and human yearning for much more — for another world in which the song’s narrator could truly be free.