Tag: electronica

New Video: Neon Jesus’ Sultry and Bluesy Banger “Red Lips”

Rising Canadian-born and-based singer/songwriter Neon Jesus can trace the origins of his genre-defying sound — a sound that pairs blues-inspired guitar with pulsing electronic dance music — to when he lived in New York.

While in New York, the rising Canadian artist frequently caught live music, and he noticed a significant and very telling difference in terms of reaction: “I’d be out at a rock show and while people were attentive and taking everything in, the crowd’s reaction was rather lackluster, even amid great artists before them,” Neon Jesus recalls. ““But then I’d head to a rave in Brooklyn and it struck me that people there were uninhibited and just generally more invested in what they were listening to. That was when I started to wonder what would happen if someone were to bring the two genres together.”

Electronic music was uncharted territory for the rising Canadian artist. But rather than mindlessly following the short-lived trends of generic dance music, Neon Jesus invested time to understand the foundations of electronic music and began to create his own beats to accompany his own guitar playing. That approach to production caught the attention of New York-based dance music production Abe Duque, a pioneer of deep house.

Mentored by Duque, Neon Jesus was exposed to underground dance music. Together, they created a live sound featuring synths and drum machines while the Canadian artist played guitar that saw the pair playing off one-another in an improvised manner familiar to the blues and jazz. The pair took their live sound to Berlin, where Neon Jesus became the first artist to play electric guitar at the renowned Berlin-based techno club Berghain.

Interestingly, those performances laid the foundation for Neon Jesus’ forthcoming full-length debut Tabula Rosa. Tabula Rosa‘s first single, the slickly produced and sultry “Red Lips” is centered around a thumping kick drum, glistening and pulsating synths, the Canadian artist’s plaintive wailing and scorching guitar lines reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, Prince and the like. And while pairing bluesy, power chord-driven rock with pulsating electronic dance music, “Red Lips” sonically and thematically reminds me a bit of INXS‘ “Need You Tonight” as the song is about desperate, maddening, obsessive desire — but with a sinister and uneasy undertone. “When you look back at artists like Prince or Jimi Hendrix, the blues was at the heart of their sound,” he declares. For some, this may seem a bit odd. The blues label doesn’t easily stick to them. Rather than mimic what came before them, they took the soul of blues and roots music and grew their own branches from the same tree. That’s the impetus behind my exploration of mixing blues and rock guitar with electronic music. I’m growing my personal branch on that tree.”

The recently released video was shot on grainy Super 8 film and is split between footage of the Canadian artist rocking out in a dark club, a beautiful blonde in knee high boots strutting around NYC. “With the video, we were trying to capture the sensation where love slips into obsession followed by a sudden darkness, where only the Lord can save you from its clutches,” Neon Jesus says.

New Video: FUTURE KULT Delves Deep into our Near-Dystopian Future

FUTURE KULT is a emerging music project featuring Cardiff-based film composer Sion Trefor and Berlin-based musician and art producer Benjamin Zombori. The duo holed up in the remote Mexican region of Hildalgo to write and record their forthcoming self-titled, full-length debut, slated for a February 11, 2022 releaser through AWAL.

The duo’s work fed off what they’ve been seeing in the overall zeitgeist — an uneasy and mad world in conflict, with technology consuming the life and soul of the consumer. Thematically, the album sees the duo questioning what it even means to create art in this particular moment. Has the world accepted the all-consuming algorithm as ruler — or is it possible to make music and art that reflects and comments on our moment?

For the duo, to be human means to be engaged in a battle of retreat against overwhelming technological forces, with the soft-power of our machines hardening into a prison for our minds. They claim that it’s not long clear if humans shape their computers, phones, their avatars and the internet — or if these devices shape us, our desires, our thoughts and our expression.

FUTURE KULT’s first single “Hildago” is an expansive track that’s simultaneously cinematic and menacing, centered around a noisy and dense arrangement featuring buzzing bass synths, skittering boom bap, scorching guitar, brooding horn blasts, layers of glistening synth arpeggios, distorted vocal samples paired with breathy yet ironically detached vocals. This is the sound of our near dystopian present.

The accompanying video was shot by Zombori in the Mexican desert, just outside of its namesake town. The video shows fragments of a mysterious folk tale centered around a masked hero, who mysteriously arrives to protect the villagers from dark and unseen forces seemingly recorded on a battered VHS tape.

New Audio: Allegories Releases a Left Field Banger

Allegories was a long-dormant experimental noise duo that reappeared in 2014 as an electro pop unit that experimented with genre, meshing eclectic soundscapes with pop inclinations. Gathering further, inspiration from DJ’ing house and hip-hop nights, the act began to create electronic music that often shifts between the mainstream and underground spectrum.

The duo’s latest single “Pray” is a feverish left field take on dance music, centered around `shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats, euphoria-inducing hooks and pitch shifted vocals that sonically is a slick synthesis of Evil Heat era Primal Scream and Sound of Silver era LCD Soundsystem. Or in other words, it’s a bizarre yet winning mix of menace, irony and sincerity within a club banger.

“‘Pray’ feels like a tree grown out of a seed of house music, but its leaves are wild and varied,” the mysterious duo explain. “Sometimes you let gravity take over a composition; you start one way but over time music evolves naturally. At the same time, “Pray” doesn’t function in an uncomplicated fashion. It was written and recorded over many years and each new iteration added conflicting emotional layers. A menagerie of feelings. Owing as much to the overtly sincere as it does the misleading insincere. “

Deriving their name from the tittle of 1993’s “Chemical Beats,” a single which helped establish their sound, the acclaimed Manchester UK-based electronic duo The Chemical Brothers — Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons — can trace their origins back to 1989, when they initially formed as The Dust Brothers. And although they were forced to change their name `in 1995, when they discovered that another act existed with the same name, the Manchester-based electronic duo are considered pioneers of big beat electronica, along with The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and The Crystal Method.

The British duo’s debut, 1995’s Exit Planet Dust, which features the aforementioned “Chemical Beats” went on to sell over a million copies globally. They caught the attention of Virgin Records, who signed the act and released their sophomore album, Dig Your Own Hole, which topped the UK charts. In their native England, the duo have six #1 albums, 13 Top 20 singles — and two #1 hits.

Here in the States, the duo have won six Grammy Awards including Best Rock Instrumental Performance, Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronic Album of the Year, which they’ve won three times in the category’s Grammy history, including as recently as 2020.

With the forced hiatus in touring, the acclaimed Manchester- based duo have managed to remain busy: they have their own Sonos Radio HD station Radio Chemical. The station features some mixtapes that the pair have expertly and loving curated, including their latest “Early Rap and Beyond Mix.” (The mix is available both on Sonos Radio and Mixcloud, which allows anyone to listen to it.)

“In this ‘Early Rap and Beyond” mix we celebrate the moments disco met rap. All mixed from the original 12” records we take you all around the 5 boroughs whilst also finding the space to throw down some other essential b boy curveballs,” the duo explain.

Featuring some deep crate digging obscurities for even the most ardent hip-hop head, like Super 3’s “When You’re Standing on Top of the World,” Pied Piper of Funkingham’s “Clap Song,” Sweaty G’s “We Want to Get Down” and a lengthy list of others (which you can see below), the mix captures a unique moment in the beloved genre’s history: it’s pioneering first decade or so, when it was brand new, and still centered around local block parties. And as a result, each song is a dance floor banger, built around the big breakbeats meant to get the b-boys and b-girls off the wall, and popping and locking.

Playlist:

Super 3 – “When You’re Standing on Top of the World”

Count Coolout- “Here to Stay” (Instrumental)

Sugar Baby Weet – “Ah Bam Bam Just Jam”

Fantasy 3 – “It’s Your Rock”

TJ Swann – “Get Fly”

Jackson 2 – “Oh Yeah”

2001 Kazoos “Mr. Magic”

Harlem World Crew -“Let’s Rock”

TJ Swann – “Maximus Party”

Sweaty G – “We Want To Get Down”

Grandmaster Chilly T- “Rock The Message Rap”

Time Zone – “Wild Style”

The Chemical Brothers – “Go”

The Last Poets – “Mean Machine Chant”

Can – “Vitamin C”

Take Two – “The People’s Message”

Pied Piper of Funkingham – “Clap Song”

Xanadu – “Sure Shot”


Stack – “Win Jesse Win”

Troy Rainey “Trouble Tee Rap”

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay LutchamaK Releases a Dubby and Hypnotic Banger

There are few artists I’ve written about as much over the past 20+ months than the frenetically prolific French electronic music producer and JOVM mainstay LutchamaK. During that period, LutchamaK has managed to release an increasingly eclectic array of material — through EPs, albums and standalone singles — that have seen him bouncing around effortlessly between a number of different electronic music styles, genres and sub-genres.

2021 may bee among the most prolific and productive of the JOVM mainstay’s career. He started the year with Pi, a full-length album written and recorded in at three-month inspired burst that resulted in some of the darkest and heaviest material, he has written and released to date. Then he released the Quest EP, an effort, which featured experimental yet very melodic material. A few months after that, he released Rapscallion, which featured the Radioactivity-era Kraftwerk meets 90s techno-like “James Blitz 007.” Then there was Seven Hybrids, which featured the hypnotic club banger “Moonbright,” and the  Larry Levan house music-like “Davai.”

After a mere month hiatus, the prolific, French JOVM mainstay released his latest full-length album Threshold. Threshold, as LutchamaK explains ” . . . an invitation to a post-techno trip with strong electro dub accents.” Album single “Irie Vibrations” may be the best example of what to expect of the album: Tweeter and woofer rattling beats are paired with shimmering, reverb-drenched synths and spacey vocal samples. The end result is a track that meshes elements of Lee “Scratch” Perry-like dub with club friendly trance and house.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays The KVB Offers a Glimpse Into Our Dystopian Future

Currently based out of Manchester, UK, the acclaimed shoegazers and JOVM mainstay outfit The KVB initially started in 2010 as the solo recording project of founder, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Wood. Wood released a series of limited cassette an vinyl releases as a solo recording project; but by 2011, vocalist, keyboardist and visual artist Kat Day joined the project.

In the decade since Day joined the project, The KVB have released several critically applauded albums and EPs through a number of different labels before signing to Geoff Barrow‘s Invada Records,who released 2018’s Only Now Forever. Interestingly, each of the duo’s acclaimed releases saw them crafting a sound simultaneously inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain and Cabaret Voltaire; however, with each subsequent effort, the band has managed to streamline their sound.

Through extensive touring across the European Union, the UK, China, Russia and Japan, the duo have amassed a devoted fanbase globally. Now, as you may recall during the pandemic, Day and Wood relocated from Berlin to Manchester to work on their sixth album, the Andy Savors-produced Unity. Slated for a November 26, 2021 release through Invada Records, the duo’s sixth album will reportedly represent a new and exciting development in their sonic development: Through the album’s ten songs, the duo pull together their trademark components, radiant guitars, textured synths and an near for a moody, brooding melody paired with a renewed dynamism.

Interestingly, the initial writing sessions for their forthcoming album took place in Spain during early 2019, where the duo found influence from the “half built luxury villas, still unfinished from the crash in 2008. There was something eerie and beautiful about the desolate landscapes and concrete in the sunshine,” the band says in press notes. While their sound and approach has always been informed by what seems like our inevitable dystopian future, there is also more of a rapturous release to the material. Thematically, the album combines double meanings and there’s a sleight of hand present.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “World on Fire,” a single that found the duo continuing to refine their sound: Starting with burst of drum machine, the song was centered around buzzing and slashing power chords, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a relentless motorik groove and a euphoric hook paired with the duo’s breathy boy-girl harmonies. Sonically, the track — to my ears, at least — found the duo pushing the boundaries of shoegaze in a similar fashion to Lightfoils, BLACKSTONE RNGRS and others while giving their sound a gauzy, New Order-like sheen. 

“Unité,” Unity‘s latest single may arguably be their most dance floor friendly track of their growing catalog: Centered around thumping beats, shimmering synth arpeggios, and a relentlessly hypnotic, motorik groove paired with Kat Day’s ethereal deadpan delivery, “Unité” sounds as though it could have easily been part of the Trans Europe Express or Man Machine sessions. The duo explains that the new single is “a homage to our time living in Berlin, with the pounding kick drum and grinding electronics.” Te song is a perfect example of the Manchester-based duo meshing dark and light sensibilities in a seamless fashion: while being a euphoric club banger, the song references urbanization and its dystopian potential.

The recently released video is set in a dystopian future, much like that in Minority Report, in which the viewer is inundated by advertisements and screens.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay El Dusty Teams Up with DJ Buddha and Hitz on a Club Banger

Over the past handful of years, Corpus Christi, TX-born and-based Latin Grammy-nominated producer, DJ, songwriter, arranger and electronic music artist and JOVM mainstay El Dusty has been simultaneously hailed as the inventor of cumbia electronica and a pioneer of nu-cumbia while establishing a swaggering, genre defying, club friendly sound with elements of hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, house music, trance, electronica and cumbia inspired by its mastermind’s experiences growing up near the US-Mexico border.

Since the release of the JOVM mainstay’s full-length debut, 2018’s Cumbia City, the Corpus Christi-born and-based producer and artist has been extremely busy: he’s the founder and head of his own label Americano Label — and through the label, he has produced and released new material, including his popular Americano Beat Tape Vol. 1 and a boatload of acclaimed one-off collaborations. 

It’s been close to a year since I’ve last written about the Corpus Christi-born and-based JOVM mainstay but he’s been continued upon a long-held reputation for being prolific: so far, he has released two new singles — and his latest single, a collaboration with DJ Buddha, and Hitz titled “Socumbia,” a club banging mix of cambia and soca rhythms, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and soca delivered lyrics that will make you want to wine down with that pretty young thing nearby.

New VIdeo: Holy Fuck Teams Up with Kero Kero Bonito’s Sarah Bonito on the Frenetic “Airport Dreams”

Acclaimed Toronto-based electronic rock outfit Holy Fuck — Brian Borcherdt, Graham Walsh, Matt McQuaid and Matt Schultz — have developed and honed a long-held reputation for playing and crating by their own rules, while never being overly concerned about chasing the limelight or after genre-based trends. Along with that, they’ve established a unique, gritty, analog-based sound created through the use of both organic instruments and non-instruments including a 35mm film synchronizer, toy keyboards and toy phaser guns to achieve electronic-sounding effects without the use of laptops, programmed backing tracks, splicing and so on.

The Toronto-based act’s fifth album, last year’s Deleter found the band boldly pushing their sound in a new direction: polyrhythmic and euphoric, the album’s material meshed elements of krautrock, deep house and trance fittingly paired with relentless motorik groove. Thematically, the album explored what happens when humanity and technology coalesce into one big semi-organic celebration of the joys of spontaneity, repetition and individuality. As the band puts it, “the robots are smarter than ever, and the algorithm knows more and more what we like as individuals, but we have to remind ourselves that there is music in the margins that can go missing and that that music is more important than ever.”

Of course, much like countless other acts across the globe, the pandemic threw a monkey wrench into the acclaimed Canadian act’s plans to tour to support the album. But interestingly enough, they’ve managed to work on a new single, “Airport Dreams,” a collaboration with Kero Kero Bonito‘s Sarah Bonito. Interestingly, the new single sees the members of Holy Fuck continuing to push their sound in new directions — this time in a decidedly pop friendly direction: Featuring a more polished production, the track features snappier beats, razor sharp hooks and Sarah Bonito’s coquettish vocals while retaining the fuzzy and dusty analog texture of their previously released material.

Thematically and lyrically, the song evokes the frustration, boredom and longing for the places, people and things we couldn’t enjoy and experience as a result of pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions — and the hope of being able to travel, to see and do things, to see and be around others.

In a personal statement, Holy Fuck dive into the background behind the creative inspiration:

“Contrary to our usual method of recording ‘live off the studio floor’ where we prefer to hash out and capture the core of our songs together in the same room, we found ourselves, like a lot of people in 2020/21, working remotely. This meant building up tracks and song ideas separately at our own various recording and rehearsal spaces and then sharing them with each other online. In spite of the physical distance, we still dug into our classic ‘holy fuck spirit’: embracing whatever tools we have at hand to make the music we want. Voice memos of drum ideas Matt Schulz recorded of himself playing at home were shared, then edited together, forming the rhythmic foundation for ‘Airport Dreams.’ This later gave life to Matt McQuaid’s bass parts which were recorded over WiFi from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to Toronto, Ontario. Situations are not always ideal, but can be used to an advantage – idea over execution. Branching even further into the spirit of collaboration, we sent these ideas to an incredibly talented artist, Sarah Bonito (of Kero Kero Bonito). Sarah’s super catchy and inspiring vocal parts were initially intended for a different song altogether. Their frenetic energy, however, became the catalyst for what is now called “Airport Dreams”. 

“During lockdown, I was having recurring dreams about being at the airport catching a flight every night,” Kero Kero Bonito’s Sarah Bonito says of the new single. “I feel like my mind was trying to break free from the physical constraints by travelling the universe whilst I slept. We are all free in our dreams!”

The recently released video for “Airport Dreams” features footage of the members of the acclaimed Canadian electronic act performing the song, superimposed with aviation and travel stock footage — people boarding planes, planes taking off and people exploring foreign places. We also see Sarah Bonito playing with her phone, goofing off and sleeping, presumably dreaming of the places she’d go if she were able to. Ah, how that feels so very familiar!

New Video: Immersion Team Up with Laetitia Sadier on an Atmospheric Yet Uplifting New Single

Malka Spiegel and Colin Newman are a husband and wife team and the creative masterminds behind Immersion. Although they’re individually known for their acclaimed and influential work with Minimal Compact and Wire respectively, their work in Immersion provides an outlet for their ongoing fascination for crafting enthralling, unique musical soundscapes through five albums and three EPs released between 1995 and 2018.

er, run by Speigel and Newman, alongside writer, broadcaster and DJ Graham Duff and promoter Andy Rossiter. The night features a range of influential and cutting edge acts but the unique aspect of it all is that each show ends with a one-off collaboration between Immersion and that night’s headliner: with one notable exception, the songs have been written and recorded in the studio a few days before the show.

we had these recordings” Malika Spigel adds. The recordings have been since further developed with Speigel and Newman heading up production duties. The end result may arguably be the duo’s most unique yet beautiful albm to date. “I think the really interesting thing is how different everybody is,” says Spigel. “Both as people and creatively.”

Nanocluster Vol. 1 sees Immersion collaborating with some of the most acclaimed left field artists of our day — Tarwater, Laetitia Sadier, Ulrich Schnauss and Scanner. The album’s latest single “Riding the Wave” sees Spigel and Newman collaborating with Laetitia Sadier. Initially making a name for herself as a member of Stereolab, Sadier has since become an acclaimed solo artist, who has created a number of applauded solo works. Centered around atmospheric synths, a sinuous bass line and shimmering and spidery guitar lines, “Riding the Wave,” features a plaintive lead vocal from Newman on the song’s verses and a sunny vocal delivery from Spiegal and Sadier on the song’s uplifting chorus, which finds them singing “Things have a way of working out.” Considering how uneasy everything in the world is at this moment, the slow-burning and atmospheric song may unexpectedly be the anthem — and mantra — we need right now.

The accompanying video for “Riding the Wave” features some gorgeously shot footage shot in what appears to be the English seaside and countryside — and while beautiful, the visual is imbued with the bittersweet reality that all things pass.

Oxydane is a new series of free, monthly tracks written and recorded by artists on French electronic music label Lake of Confidence. The latest single in the monthly series is “Venus” by the young, mysterious Bastia, Corsica, France-based producer Yiós. Centered around layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, a relentless motorik groove, the incredibly cinematic “Venues” sonically brings John Carpenter soundtracks to mind, as it seems to come from a dystopian future much like our own.