Tag: electronica

Sam Arion is an Iranian-born, Toronto area-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, and the creative mastermind behind Mute Choir. Raised in the Toronto suburbs of Richmond Hill and Newmarket, Arion left the ‘burbs when he turned 18 to seriously pursue a career in music. Eventually, Arion had a glimpse of success as a part of a band that signed to a major label, and although countless young musicians across the world would salivate over such an opportunity, Arion quickly saw that the demands of the situation ran counter to his own musical and creative philosophy. And for the Iranian-born, Toronto area-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, the only solution was to make a clean break and take full command over his artists output with his own solo recording project — Mute Choir.

Behind the Bars Arion’s self-produced Mute Choir full-length debut was primarily written and performed by the Iranian-born Canadian singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer himself. “I’d say that 98% of this album was made by me alone on my laptop at 3 a.m.,” Arion admits in press notes. “I’m not a great drummer so I had to get a friend to do that, but I wrote all his parts. As soon as I started playing music when I was 13, I immediately wanted to learn how to produce because I never wanted to be in a situation where someone else was telling me how my music should sound. What’s most important to me is not feeling like I’m faking it, not just with music but all aspects of my life. That’s what this album represents most—it’s a true expression of who I am.”

Interestingly, Arion has dubbed his sound “post-electronic” as a nod to a split musical personality as a balladeer and experimentalist; in fact he admits that his songwriting has almost always been a bit melancholy but that incorporating electronic music elements became almost like meditation, as it has allowed him to lose himself in the music. “Growing up in a generation musically dominated by EDM, I saw how powerful the ability to make people dance can be,” Arion says. “It brings music into the physical realm. I want to bring that out in people, I want people to lose themselves in the music the same way I did making it, but not necessarily as a means of escape. It’s also very important to me to have lyrical content and themes that also allow listeners to think and reflect on their lives.” Thematically speaking, the album reportedly focuses on freedom — particularly, the freedom to live your life however you choose, and the freedom to follow your creative vision wherever it leads. Of course, in order to develop and have a concept of freedom, there has to be the experience of its direct opposite, so the album in some way also focuses on that dichotomy and how it clashes in one’s personal and creative life.

Behind the Bars‘ latest single “Election Season” is an anthemic bit of electro rock/synth rock that immediately brings to mind Empire-era Kasabian — but within an expansive song structure centered around bombastic hooks, arpeggiated synths, thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and a sinuous bass line that features a gorgeous and cinematic string arrangement before building up to a cathartic cacophony. It’s the rare song I’ve heard this year that’s both dance floor friendly and mosh pit worthy but underneath the self-assured swagger is some thoughtful and ambitious songwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Video: JOVM Mainstay El Dusty Returns with a Swaggering, Genre Mashing, Club Banger

Born Horacio Olivera, El Dusty is a  Corpus Christi, TX-based JOVM mainstay producer, DJ and electronic music artist, who has seen attention across the blogosphere as a pioneer of a sub-genre he’s dubbed “nu-cumbia,” which features elements of hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass and house music and samples of classic and beloved cumbia songs — with the end result being a swaggering, club-banging take on Latin music that as you may recall resulted in a Latin Grammy nomination. Adding to a growing profile, the Corpus Christi, TX-based producer, DJ and electronic music artist has bee named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 New Artists You Need to Know, Billboard’s New Latin Act and to Watch and was placed on Pandora’s Latin Artists to Watch. He’s also played at EDC Las Vegas, EDC Mexico, Ciudad Sonido Festival, Fiesta De La Flor, Universal Records’ Latin Grammy Showcase, Brisk Bodega Tour, the Mad Decent Block Party, Austin City Limits, SXSW, and others.

Olivera’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Cumbia City is slated for a May 11, 2018 release through AfterCluv Records, and while the album will further his reputation as one of electronic Latin music’s highly-sought after producers and collaborators, the album also finds Olivera pushing his signature sound in new directions as the album’s material crosses genres, trends and cultures while redefining what both Latin music and electronic music should and could sound like. “This album is cool as hell and funky!” Olivera says in press notes. “This takes the old with the new and it becomes a new style, a new song, a new genre – it is more than Cumbia, it’s electronic styles with live drums and modern beats.” El Dusty adds “I approach the whole album with live recordings in mind. Every sample was re-recorded live to create a mashed up turntable-like production meets a song-like format.” Unsurprisingly, El Dusty’s full-length debut, is deeply influenced by his musical upbringing which included Tejano anthems, Chicano soul music, classic rock, boom bap hip hop, house music, drum ‘n’ bass, turntablism, but mashed up and re-imagined for a new generation of bass-heavy and soundsystem music.

Album title track “Cumbia City” is a swaggering track around tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats, trap snares, an iconic sample from San Jacinto,  Colombia-born cumbia star Andres Landero and Boogat spitting fire in Spanish — and while mischievously bending and playing with genre boundaries, it’s an anthemic and crowd pleasing banger.

Set on the streets of Corpus Christi, the brightly colored video for “La Cumbia” is a cinematically shot video that features dancers of all ages and from a variety of the city’s cultural traditions — from the ancient and contemporary — to the song’s thumping beats.

New Video: Benin City Returns with a Thumping, House Music-Inspired, Club Banger

Comprised of Joshua Idehen (vocals, spoken word), Shanaz Dorsett (vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Tom Leaper, the London-based trio Benin City have received both national and international attention for a sound that meshes Afro-pop, hip-hop, spoken word and electronica in a seamless, club banging fashion. The trio’s forthcoming sophomore effort Last Night is slated for a April 6, 2018 release through Moshi Moshi Records, and the album reportedly is an ode to London’s nightlife and club scenes with the trio commenting on what their hometown’s nightlife scene has meant to them while expressing anger, frustration and weariness over a rapidly disappearing scene.

For countless people across the world, especially those in a city like New York, the disappearance of beloved clubs, bars and music venues create much larger, universal questions: What does it mean for your town and its culture? What does it mean socioeconomically? With nightlife being both an escape from the soulsucking horrors of the daily grind and a way for weird kids passionate about dance, music, art and fashion to find a supportive loving alternate family, where do these kids go to find that kind of support and love? What happens to them if they never find the support and love they needed? Where do they find a sense of belonging and purpose? And if they have found all of that in a beloved club or bar, what happens when that spot closes?

Interestingly, each individual member of Benin City has spent the past decade in London’s nightlife scene in a variety of roles including artists, ravers, bartenders, bouncers, bar backs, scenesters, drinkers, partiers and weekend warriors, and as a result the album’s material emphasizes a deep, inconsolable sense of loss. As the trio’s Joshua Idehen explains, “London nightlife has been our way out, our release, our daily escape. We’ve been clubbers, barmen, part / full-time drinkers. We’ve served cocktails and downed shots. We’ve found ourselves on dancefloors and lost our dinners on nightbusses. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve engaged in dumb drunken squabbles and we’ve found ourselves in strangers’ houses. We’ve danced to songs we didn’t know the name of. We made landmarks out of hidden corners of London: Passing Clouds, Ghetto, Trash Palace, Plastic People, Vibe Bar, Cable, Crucifix Lane. Those places, and the stories they held are gone for good as London becomes pricier and ever more grey. On this album are some of those stories: this is an ode to London’s nightlife.”

Towards the end of last year, I wrote about album single “All Smoke, No Fire” a track that featured a minimalist yet propulsive and club rocking production consisting of stuttering beats, an eerily repetitive and chiming synth line and an enormous yet sinuous hook over which Idehen and Dorsett rhyme about prototypical club situations — while noting that those who engage in and love nightlife culture need it to survive with their dignity and sanity intact, even if the bouncer is a no-neck having asshole or if someone spilled their drink over that dope new outfit you brought just for that one night of freedom; but underneath it all is a subtle and undeniable sense of loss and unease over your personal headquarters disappearing — forever.

Last Night’s latest single “Final Form” is a thumping and sinuous house track production featuring arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, chiming percussion paired with a rousing and anthemic hook — and in some way,  the song strikes me as a swaggering and modern synthesis of Snap!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer,” and Stardust’s club classic “Music Sounds Better With You” but with an ecstatic yet deeply personal bent. As the British act’s Joshua Idehen explains, the song was inspired by a night at Zoo Bar, “I once went to Zoo Bar in the West End with a poet I really fancied. It was a Saturday night, and neither of us drank but we felt like dancing. They were playing soulful house (this was back in the noughties). Spurring and daring each other on, we started with the running man and ended up at last orders, dripping in the worst sweat, making up entirely new dance moves, downing large glasses of tap water. She, a Dragonball Z fan, kept saying ‘nah, you haven’t seen my Final Form. Next song I will be over 9000.’ Obviously, that stuck with me.”

As for the video treatment, Idehen explains, “Our last video for “All Smoke, No Fire” was in memory of all the clubs that have shut in the last five years, so we wanted our next video to celebrate the mainstream and alternative scenes still thriving in London. Working with George Bushaway, we crafted a narrative of two clubbers working up the courage to lose themselves in three very different dancefloors: Lindy hopping with Swing Patrol in Holborn, Jungle/Garage raving in Fire down [in] Vauxhall, and a soca night at Ruby Blue, Leicester Square.” The video focuses on these two lonely men, feeling self-conscious, awkward and as though they couldn’t possible belong — that is until they figure out a way to let go, and embrace the moment, absorbing the joy, ecstasy and community of the room they’re in, while being authentic to themselves.

New Video: SSHH Returns with a Club Banging Industrial Electronica-Influenced New Single Paired with Trippy Visuals

Comprised of Bondi, Australia-born, London UK-based Sssh Liguz (vocals) and Zak Starkey, the son of Ringo Starr, a multi-instrumentalist, best known as a touring drummer for The Who and Oasis (guitar), the London-based electro punk duo SSHH received attention with the release of their 2016 debut effort, Issues, which featured the duo collaborating with some of rock’s most renowned rhythm sections, including members of The Sex Pistols, Mott the Hoople, the backing bands of Marilyn Manson and Peter Tosh — to benefit charity.

The propulsive, industrial techno-like single “Rising Tide” which features heavily arpeggiated synths with thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and an infectious hook is the duo’s first bit of new material since Issues and the club banger was born, as Liguz told Earmilk “from a fiery argument” while “driving in a heavy rainstorm.” “I remember being furious beyond belief. Not only because we were having a huge fight, but because even though we were acting like assholes to each other, I couldn’t stop thinking how much I loved him,” Liguz recalled. “Just like I couldn’t stop the rain from falling, or the stars from shining, I just can’t stop loving this man!” Liguz continued, “There is anger in the happiness and a little hate in the love. At the end of the day, passion rules.” And as a result, the song possesses a raw and unbridled tension at its core, influenced by the tempestuous push and pull between love and hate in a fiery and passionate relationship.

BMG released the single globally today, and the single comes with 7 additional remixes and re-workings of the tracks, including re-workings by the likes of YOUTH, Sondrio, Acaddamy, Secret Space, Jevo,  and the members of SSHH.

Co-directed by the band and Billy Zammit, the recently released video for the song manages to subtly draw from rave and electronica culture, as well as psych rock, as it features the duo performing the song in strobe lights and projections.

 

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.  

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.

 

New Video: The Presets Return with an Anthemic Festival Banger Paired with Wild, Psychedelic Imagery

Comprised of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, the Sydney, Australia-based electronic music production and artist duo The Presets can trace their origins to when the duo met while studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Hamilton and Moyes quickly became recognized for crating a sound that electronic dance music with an arena rock energy and vibe — and as a result, the duo signed with renowned Australian dance music label Modular Recordings, who released their first two EPs and their 2005 debut, Beams.

2008 saw the release of the duo’s critically and commercially applauded sophomore effort Apocalypso, an effort that went Triple Platinum in their native Australia and featured four smash hits, including “My People,” one of their biggest songs. And adding to a breakthrough year, Hamilton and Moyes won 5 ARIA Awards — including Album of the Year, 2 ARIA Artisan Awards, the J Award, the FBI SMAC Award for Album of the Year, and they shared the Songwriter of the Year at 2009’s APRA Awards. 

The duo’s third, full-length effort, 2012’s award-nominated Pacifica featured Rolling Stone Australia’s Song of the Year, “Ghosts,” and was nominated for an ARIA Award, shortlisted for the AMP Award, the J Award and was named the Herald Sun’s Album of the Year, the Daily Telegraph’s Album of the Year and the Sydney Morning Herald’s Electronic Album of the Year. And although, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about the acclaimed, Aussie electro pop duo, the duo have been busy collaborating with a variety of artists —Hamilton cowrote Flume’s “Say It” and contributed tracks to albums by Flight Facilities, Steve Angello and Meek Mill, while Moyes produced the DMA’s latest album, remixed tracks by The Drones and The Jezabels and started an underground techno label Here To Hell.

“Do What You Want” is the first single from the duo in over four years, and it’s also the first single off the duo’s highly-anticipated fourth, full-length album slated for release sometime in 2018  — and unsurprisingly, the new single will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting festival bangers with enormous, crowd rousing hooks and thumping beats; but interestingly enough, the new single features a looped, glitchy sample reminiscent of Boys Noize’s “ICH R U,” while also nodding at Tweekend-era The Crystal Method and Come With Us-era The Chemical Brothers. 

Directed by Kris Moyes, the recently released video is a wild, psychedelic homage to doing whatever the fuck you want, as long as it floats your boat, doesn’t harm anyone and is relentless and ridiculous fun. 

 

Xavier Bacash is a Copenhagen, Denmark-based producer and electronic music artist, who writes and records with the moniker Sonny — and with “Some Velvet Morning,” the latest single off his recently released C.E. EP, Bacash’s sound features elements of retro-futuristic jazz fusion and slick electronica in a way that will likely remind some listeners of Floating Points, Bonobo and others, as the composition is a cinematic and elegantly lush soundscape featuring live, drumming from frequent collaborator Jim Rindfleish, a soaring string sample and subtly arpeggiated synths.

Unsurprisingly, the song is reportedly inspired by and evokes a breathtaking sunrise, just before a long trip out of the city and into the country.