Tag: Eurosonic Nooderslag

Starting her lengthy career as a member of acclaimed breakbeat outfit The Bombazines, Porto, Portugal-born and based-vocalist and JOVM mainstay Marta Ren has kept herself very busy: after a two-record stint with The Bombazines, Ren contributed her vocals to a number of nationally known acts. Over the past couple of years, Ren, who has long been inspired by 60s funk and soul, has received national and international attention with The Groovelets, releasing 2016’s full-length debut Stop Look Listen to airplay from BBC Radio 6′Craig Charles and Radio France‘s Francis Viel, as well as praise from this site and others.

As a result of a rapidly growing profile, Marta Ren and The Groovelets played sets across the European festival circuit, including stops at Trans Musicales FestivalSziget FestivalEurosonic Nooderslag and Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival. But since then, Ren decided to go solo, further establishing what she has dubbed “Funk & Roll,” while uncompromisingly asserting her own destiny.

Last year, Ren collaborated with Matosinhos Jazz Orchestra on re-interpreted and re-worekd versions songs off her critically applauded debut with The Groovelets, the psych soul barnburner “Worth It” and beloved classics from the American Songbook. The collaboration was so fruitful that it continued with Ren performing with Matosinhos Jazz Orchestra at this year’s Avant Festival, which was aired nationally on Antena3/RTP in her native Portugal. That live set included Ren’s latest single “22:22.”

Centered around a propulsive groove, wah wah pedaled guitar, an enormous horn line and Ren’s self-assured, take-no-prisoners and take-no-bullshit delivery, “22;22” sounds as though it owes a sonic debt to James Brown — in particular The Payback-era James Brown. Thematically, the song finds Ren’s narrator referencing the continuous need to be honest struggling with the need to listen to herself while maneuvering the challenges and pitfalls of pleasing others, who may not be easily pleased.

With the release of their debut EP, 2016’s More Escher and Random Notes, the rising Helsinki, Finland-based indie act The Holy — Eetu Henrik Iivari (vocals, guitar), Pyry Peltonen (guitar), Laura Kangasniemi (bass), Mikko Maijala (drums) and Eero Jääskeläinen (drums) quickly emerged into the Nordic music scene, quickly developing a reputation for an enormous and rousingly anthemic sound that has drawn comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel with Krautrock influences.

Initially cutting their teeth in Helsinki’s small venue circuit, the members of The Holy have taken an explosive and passionate live show to their homeland’s national festival circuit, playing sets at Flow FestivalRuisrockProvinssirock, Iloasarirock and Lost In Music among others. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the members of the Helsinki-based quintet released their full-length debut Daughter last year. The album, which thematically touched upon how the 1990s Finnish economic recession impacted this current generation of its young people was a game-charger for the band, as it the album received praise across both Finland and Europe, eventually garnering a Finnish Grammy (EMMA) Critics’ Choice nomination.

The Holy supported the album with a busy touring schedule across Sweden and the Europe that included the continent’s festival circuit with stops at Eurosonic NooderslagIceland AirwavesReeperbahn Festival, Where Is The Music, JaJaJa Music LondonBerlin, and Vienna. Additionally, while they were touring, German/French TV Arte filmed the band’s set at last year’s Flow Festival in cooperation with Finland’s YLE — and KEXP filmed their Iceland Airwaves set.

Originally scheduled for release this spring and now slated for a November 6, 2020 release through Playground Music, the rising Finnish act’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Mono Freedom is a semi-utopian sci-fi tale, inspired by Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us, which explores a number of scenarios of what would happen to Earth if humans were to suddenly disappear. Set in the somewhat distant future on a dying Earth, the planet’s last humans decide to gather their things, build a rocket and travel to the nearest black hole. They know that there is probably nothing out there but it’s one of humanity’s last desperate ideas and last hopes. In the realm of this world, this is generally seen as a positive, not as an absurdly hopeless, dystopian vision.

“During our Daughter tour, I read the science book, The World Without Usby Alan Weisman, and I got inspired and sad at the same time. It seems that humans just took a leap in the evolution progress a million years ago and have been fucking things up since,” The Holy’s Eetu Henrik Iivari explains in press notes. “I started to play with an idea of a space odyssey of the last people on earth, eventually building a rocket and flying into the nearest black hole. And they just don’t make it. They are too dumb to make it. And that’s it. And after a few hundred years, Mother Earth doesn’t even remember it was once occupied by humans.

“And this eventually got me thinking about the Western way of life and the idea of freedom. How one-way, single-minded and boxed-in it is. When you wake up in a modern western city — there is almost nothing you can do that doesn’t rip somebody. It’s late modern capitalism, a jail built on the grounds of believing that you have a choice. And that you make a choice. But most of it is already aimed towards consumerism. We just like to think that we find things by ourselves, but most of it is given. And it’s just so frustrating. To do the right thing from one day to another and navigate in the middle of all this evil around us. 

[But even though the theme is not the lightest in the world, I wanted the album to mirror hope and to be empowering. A friend for people having similar thoughts.”

Earlier this year, the rising Finnish act released a double single, “No Trial In The Dark” and “Twilight Of The Idiots.” “Twilight of the Idiots” is a rousingly anthemic song that immediately brings s A Rush of Blood to the Head-era Coldplay, Peter Gabriel and The Unforgettable Fire  U2 to mind through a combination of earnest emotionality and ambitious songwriting. “No Trial In The Dark” continues in a similar vein but while being much more percussive and cinematic. “I wrote ‘Twilight Of The Idiots,’ ‘Swim,’ ‘The Rocket Song’ and ‘No Trial In The Dark’ very close to each other and we recorded those songs in the same sessions,” Iivari recalls in press notes. “After that I knew what other songs should be on this album and the narrative started to be clear. We followed that path and never turned back.” 

“I Don’t Know,'” Mono Freedom‘s third and latest single continues a run of rousingly anthemic and arena friendly material, centered around deeply earnest songwriting and breakneck yet passionate playing. While sonically, the track brings early U2 to mind — particularly Boy and October — thanks to angular, reverb-drenched guitar chords, forceful and dramatic drumming and Ivari’s plaintive vocals, the song comes from a deeply personal and lived-in place:

“This song is basically about being bipolar. At least on some level. I have no diagnosis and I might not be the right person to talk about it, ” Ivari says “but I’ve been struggling the most part of my life with heavy mania vs. depression and it has taken a huge toll on a lot of things. I have found a way to live with it and function in society nowadays, but it still takes a lot of work every day. It also gives a lot though, being in the deep end of mania is like a drug from the future and I do get a lot of things done. But it’s also super hard to keep that level and it brings you down really really low when you just can’t. 

“I learned from a silly love themed tv show that it’s good to talk about it. To give the people around you some knowledge about it and tools to work with you. So I ended up writing this song and tried to open it slowly. The tune is pretty uplifting and I wanted it to be light and kind of funny, because the last thing I want is to add a shadow of darkness and depression over the matter and keep repeating the pattern of adding shame on this kind of stuff. That it is some mystic dark depressive thing etc. It is just a thing. We all have our things.”

New Audio: Hungarian JOVM Mainstays Belau Team Up with Sophie Barker on a Sultry and Brooding New Single

Over the past two years or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the the Budapest, Hungary-based electronic music production and artist duo Belau — Peter Kedves and Buzas Krisztian — and as you may recall, with the release of their debut single “Island of Promise,” the Hungarian duo quickly exploded into the national scene for a buoyant, summery and dance floor friendly sound meant to evoke “cheerful places, filled with sunshine, where one can relax, unwind and find peace and harmony,” as the duo explain in press notes. “Island of Promise” eventually landed #1 on Deezer Hungary, one of the country’s biggest streaming services, and since its release, the track has amassed over 500,000 streams, and was featured in HBO Hungary series Aranyélet, as well as in an international Pepsi ad campaign shown in 33 countries.

The Budapest-based duo’s 2016 full-length debut The Odyssey won a Hungarian Grammy for Best Electronic Music Album — and they supported the album with an intense period of touring that saw them playing 120 shows in 19 countries with stops across the international festival circuit. including Eurosonic, Sziget, Reeperbahn, Untold, and SXSW. Since the release of The Odyssey, the JOVM mainstays released a series of remixes of The Odyssey tracks, and a handful of singles that included “Breath,” a sultry, dance floor friendly collaboration with Sophie Lindinger centered around glitchy beats and a sinuous yet anthemic hook and the Massive Attack-like “Natural Pool.” 

The duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Colourwave was released late last month and the album finds the duo furthering and expanding upon the sound that has won them attention internationally: downtempo electronica with moody atmospheric, shimmering synths and thumping 808s.  Last month, I wrote about “Rapture,” a collaboration with Blue Foundation‘s Kirstine Stubbe Teglbjærg centered around a trip hop-inspired production featuring shimming synth arpeggios, wobbling low end and Stubbe Teglbjærg’s sultry vocals. The album’s second single “Essence” continues the duo’s collaboration with female vocalists — this time, Sophie Barker. Much like its immediate predecessor, Barker’s sultry vocals glide over a shimmering production centered around a looped and reverb-drenched guitar, shimmering synths, skittering beats and an enormous hook. Sonically, the song brings Third-era Portishead and Octo Octa to mind  –but a with a brooding and seductive air. 

New Video: Rising Hungarian Electro Pop Duo Belau Releases a Gorgeous and Mind-Bending Visual for Atmospheric “Rapture”

With the release of their first single, “Island of Promise,” the Budapest, Hungary-based electronic music production and artist duo Belau — Peter Kedves and Buzas Krisztian — quickly received attention across their native Hungary for a buoyant, summery and dance floor friendly sound meant to evoke “cheerful places, filled with sunshine, where one can relax, unwind and find peace and harmony,” as the duo explain in press notes. “Island of Promise” eventually landed #1 on Deezer Hungary, one of the country’s biggest streaming services — and since its release, has not only amassed over 500,000 streams, the song was featured in HBO Hungary series Aranyélet and in an international Pepsi ad campaign shown in 33 countries.

Building upon a growing profile, the duo’s 2016 full-length debut The Odyssey won the Hungarian Grammy for Best Electronic Music Album. The duo supported the album with an intense, two year period of touring int hick they played over 120 shows in 19 countries, as well as appearances at Eurosonic,Sziget, Reeperbahn, Untold, and SXSW. Since the release of The Odyssey, the Hungarian electro pop duo have released a series of remixes of material off The Odyssey, as well as handful of singles that included 2018’s “Breath,” a sultry, dance floor friendly collaboration with Sophie Lindinger centered around a slick, dance floor friendly production featuring glitchy beats, and a sinuous yet incredibly anthemic hook — and the Massive Attack-like “Natural Pool.’ 

The Hungarian duo’s sophomore album Colourwave is slated for a May 29, 2020 release, and the album reportedly finds the duo furthering the sound that won them attention both nationally and internationally, so listeners should expect more chilled out material centered around shimmering synths, 808s and chilled beats. The album’s first single “Rapture” continues a run of  downtempo electronica and trip hop -like material by the duo, centered around an atmospheric and dreamy production of shimmering synths, twinkling percussion, wobbling low end and Blue Foundation’s Kirstine Stubbe Teglbjærg contributing sultry yet ethereal vocals 

Inspired by nature’s immense power, “Rapture” as the duo notes was written as a wish to put put an end to forcing things without taking larger signals and patterns into consideration. The song actually expresses a longing to have life unfold in a completely different way — one that’s more free, open, self-loving and enjoyable. 

The recently released video for “Rapture” takes the viewer on a gorgeous and mind-bending journey through the ocean then time and space: the video begins by taking us deep under the sea — but it turns out to be an aquarium in a pet shop. A boy buys a turtle in the aquarium, and decides to set the turtle free. We then follow the turtle on its adventures through the open sea before pulling out to a global and then universal scale. 

Snowapple is an Amsterdam-based, multi-national, multi-ethnic and multidisciplinary ensemble that specializes in a unique sound that frequently combines diverse and eclectic musical influences, including pop, folk, opera and experimental cumbia among others. Visually, the ensemble uses theatrical elements, extravagant costumes paired with provocative thematic concerns to create epic live sets and videos.

The members of the Dutch ensemble have brought their unique and epic live show to the international festival circuit with sets at Eurosonic Nooderlsag, Cervantino, Ollin Kan, Oerol and Larmer Tree — and they’ve made appearances on a number of TV stations around the world, including Canal11, TV Azteca, and Canal22. Adding to a growing international profile, the act has also received airplay on BBC Radio multiple times.

Snowapple is currently working on their new festival set 4 Lunes, the follow-up to the act’s 2019 theater shows Mr. Moon and Project Lucy and to their political program La Llorona — Ser Mujer (The Weeping One — Being a Woman), which raises awareness of femicides in Mexico. But in the meantime, the act’s latest single, the David Ott-produced “Simple Things” is an adaptation of Armando Tejada Gomez‘s and Cesar Isella’s “Las Simples Coasas,” which has been performed by Chavela Vargas, Mercedes Sosa and countless others. Centered around a cinematic, genre-mashing arrangement that’s one part tango, one part chanson and one part Tropicalia, the Dutch act’s rendition evokes smoky cafes, narrow and foggy European streets and the work of David Lynch but imbued with an aching nostalgia. And as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the song takes on a heightened and deeper meaning: there’s a longing for the things, places and experiences we may never get back — with the acknowledgment that there are things we often say goodbye to way too quickly, not noticing how much they meant to us until they’re gone.

 

 

 

New Video: Swiss Instrumental Act L’Eclair Release a Hallucinogenic Visual for Shimmering and Funky New Single “Carousel”

Through the course of their first three albums, 2017’s Cruise Control, 2018’s Polymood and last year’s Sauropoda, the Geneva, Switzerland-based instrumental act L’Eclair have perfected and established a difficult to pigeonhole sound, centered around their unique groove-driven vision of instrumental music, which fearlessly blends genres and styles. It shouldn’t be surprising that at one point, the Swiss instrumental act managed to describe their sound in a number of different ways on their Facebook page, including referring to their sound as being “as if Booker T and the MGs came from Eastern Europe,” an obscure 70s movie soundtrack and as “kraut-exo-soul, brutal funk and Turkish groove.” Interestingly, the act closed out last year with a collaborative 7 inch with The Mauskovic Dance Band.

Building upon a growing profile, the Swiss sextet has toured to support those albums across Europe, bringing the funky grooves to audiences in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Luxembourg and the UK, including thee European Festival circuit, playing sets at Montreux Jazz Festival, Bad Bonn Kilbi, Les Transmusicales, Eurosonic Nooderslag, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and others. 

Continuing the momentum of the past couple of years, the Swiss sextet’s latest effort, Noshtta EP is slated for a May 22, 2020 leas through Bongo Joe Records, and the EP reportedly continues a run of material that’s specifically crafted to make you dance and cry at the same time. “Carousel,” Noshtta EP’s latest single is centered around an expansive and free- flowing arrangement of shifting tempos, shimmering and reverb drenched guitars, propulsive four-on-the floor, twinkling keys and a sinuous and funky bass lines. The track finds the act seamlessly meshing funk, jazz fusion, disco and kraurtock with a mischievously anachronistic retro-futurism — and it may arguably be the most dance floor friendly track they’ve released to date. The recently released video is a trippy mix of old-school CGI graphics, videotape hiss, and geometric shapes undulating in syncopation to the song.

 

With the release of their debut EP, 2016’s More Escher and Random Notes, the rapidly rising Helsinki, Finland-based indie act The Holy — Eetu Henrik Iivari (vocals, guitar), Pyry Peltonen (guitar), Laura Kangasniemi (bass), Mikko Maijala (drums) and Eero Jääskeläinen (drums) quickly emerged into the Nordic music scene, quickly developing a reputation for an enormous and rousingly anthemic sound that has drawn comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel with Krautrock influences — and for an explosive live show. 

Cutting their teeth in their hometown’s small venues, the members of The Holy have built up a national profile, playing sets across the Finnish festival circuit, including Flow Festival, Ruisrock, Provinssirock, Iloasarirock and Lost In Music. But last year, was a momentum changing year for the band: The band’s full-length debut Daughter, which thematically touched upon  the 1990s Finnish economic recession and its reflection on the youth of its time received praise across Europe and Finland, resulting in an EMMA Nomination for Critics’ Choice.

Building upon a growing profile, the band has supported their recorded output with tours across Sweden and the European Union with festival circuit stops in Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Austria, playing sets at Eurosonic Nooderslag, Iceland Airwaves, Reeperbahn Festival, Where Is The Music, JaJaJa Music London, Berlin, and Vienna. Last year, the German/French TV channel Arte filmed the band’s set at last year’s Flow Festival in cooperation with Finland’s YLE — and KEXP filmed their Iceland Airwaves set, which will be published on their YouTube channel in the near future.

Slated for an April 17, 2020 release, the rising Finnish act’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Mono Freedom is a semi-utopian sci-fi tale, inspired by Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us, which explores a number of scenarios of what would happen to Earth if humans were to suddenly disappear. Set in the somewhat distant future on a dying Earth, the planet’s last humans decide to gather their things, build a rocket and travel to the nearest black hole. They know that there is probably nothing out there but it’s one humanity’s last ideas and last hopes. All of this is seen as positive, not as a dark, hopeless dystopian vision.  

During our Daughter tour, I read the science book, The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, and I got inspired and sad at the same time. It seems that humans just took a leap in the evolution progress a million years ago and have been fucking things up since,” The Holy’s Eetu Henrik Iivari explains in press notes. “I started to play with an idea of a space odyssey of the last people on earth, eventually building a rocket and flying into the nearest black hole. And they just don’t make it. They are too dumb to make it. And that’s it. And after a few hundred years, Mother Earth doesn’t even remember it was once occupied by humans.

“And this eventually got me thinking about the Western way of life and the idea of freedom. How one-way, single-minded and boxed-in it is. When you wake up in a modern western city — there is almost nothing you can do that doesn’t rip somebody. It’s late modern capitalism, a jail built on the grounds of believing that you have a choice. And that you make a choice. But most of it is already aimed towards consumerism. We just like to think that we find things by ourselves, but most of it is given. And it’s just so frustrating. To do the right thing from one day to another and navigate in the middle of all this evil around us. 

But even though the theme is not the lightest in the world, I wanted the album to mirror hope and to be empowering. A friend for people having similar thoughts.”

Interestingly, instead of releasing a one-off single, The Holy have specifically released a double single “No Trial In The Dark” and “Twilight Of The Idiots.” “Twilight Of The Idiots,” the first single is an atmospheric yet enormous, arena rock friendly song centered around shimmering guitars, twinkling keys,  rousingly anthemic hooks and Iivari’s plaintive vocals, the song sonically brings A Rush of Blood to the Head-era Coldplay, Peter Gabriel and The Unforgettable Fire U2. And as result, the song finds the rising Finnish act balancing intimate observations with earnest emotions and ambitious songwriting. “No Trial In The Dark” continues in a smilier vein — and while being the most percussive and dramatic of the pair, it may also be the most cinematic of the pair.

“I wrote ‘Twilight Of The Idiots,’ ‘Swim,’ ‘The Rocket Song’ and ‘No Trial In The Dark’ very close to each other and we recorded those songs in the same sessions,” Iivari recalls in press notes. After that I knew what other songs should be on this album and the narrative started to be clear. We followed that path and never turned back 

“I feel that No Trial In The Dark and Twilight Of The Idiots do set the stage for the album. The first conflict and the hopeless overview of the modern times. I always wanted them to go out at the same time and they do follow each other on the album for a reason. They open the window to The Holy’s inner world of 2020 – way deeper than just releasing a regular one-off.”

 

 

 

 

 

Belau is a Budapest, Hungary-based electronic music production and artist act, comprised of core duo Peter Kedves and Krisztian Buzas. Their debut single was one of Deezer Hungary’s top hits — and as a result, the song appeared in a number of HBO Hungary series and in commercials. The video for the single amassed over 500,000 views while winning the Hungarian Music Video Festival.

The Hungarian electronic act’s debut album, which featured their attention-grabbing debut single won a Hungarian Grammy for Best Electronic Music Album. But since its release, the act’s profile has expanded internationally: a single off their latest remix EP received airplay on BBC Radio 1 — and over an 18 month period, the act (which expands to a quartet featuring Kedves, Buzas and touring members Benji Kiss and Bobe Szesci) played over 120 shows in 19 countries across the European Union, including stops at Eurosonic Nooderslag, Reeperbahn, Sziget Festival, Untold Festival and even SXSW. 

The duo’s latest single “Natural Pool” is centered around stuttering beats, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, shimmering guitars, atmospheric electronics and chopped up vocal samples. And while seemingly inspired by 90s trip hop — in particular Massive Attack— the song manages to possess a cinematic quality.

 

 

New Video: Marta Ren and The Groovelets Release a Sleek and Gorgeously Shot Visual for Psych Soul Barnburner “Worth It”

In her native Portugal, the Porto-born and-based vocalist Marta Ren has been a part of the country’s music scene since the mid 1990s and she may be best known for her stint as the frontwoman of the acclaimed breakbeat outfit The Bombazines with whom she recorded and released two full-length albums — and for contributing her vocals to a number of nationally known acts. Interestingly, Ren has long been inspired by the funk and soul sounds of the 60s and over the last few years, the Porto-born and-based vocalist decided it was time to step out into the spotlight with her own soul and funk project, under her name. She eventually hooked up with her backing band The Groovelets, with whom she released her critically praised, attention-grabbing debut Stop Look Listen, an effort that received airplay from BBC Radio 6′s Craig Charles and Radio France‘s Francis Viel.

Building upon a growing international profile, Ren and her Groovelets played across Europe to support her critically acclaimed debut effort, including the Trans Musicales Festival, Sziget Festival, Eurosonic Nooderslag and Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival. Interestingly, the strutting, Emre Ramazanoglu-produced “Worth It,” is the first batch of material from the Portuguese soulstress in a couple of years — and reportedly, it’s the first taste from her highly-anticipated sophomore album, slated for an early 2020 release through Record Kicks. And while retaining elements of the classic 60s soul that first caught the attention of this site and elsewhere, Ren an The Groovelets’ latest single is a sultry, slow-burning and cinematic track that finds their sound nodding at psych-tinged soul that finds Ren taking names and kicking ass with stomping aplomb.

Directed by Pedro Coquenão and Vasco Mendes, the recently released video for “Worth It” is set in an empty yet gorgeous and opulent, old theater and focuses on a broken-hearted Ren, getting herself ready to perform. And at points, the video has Ren as a larger-than-life, force of nature. 

In her native Portugal, the Porto-born and-based vocalist Marta Ren has been a part of the country’s music scene since the mid 1990s and she may be best known for her stint as the frontwoman of the acclaimed breakbeat outfit The Bombazines with whom she recorded and released two full-length albums — and for contributing her vocals to a number of nationally known acts. Interestingly, Ren has long been inspired by the funk and soul sounds of the 60s and over the last few years, the Porto-born and-based vocalist decided it was time to step out into the spotlight with her own soul and funk project, under her name. She eventually hooked up with her backing band The Groovelets, with whom she released her critically praised, attention-grabbing debut Stop Look Listen, an effort that received airplay from BBC Radio 6′s Craig Charles and Radio France‘s Francis Viel.

Building upon a growing international profile, Ren and her Groovelets played across Europe to support her critically acclaimed debut effort, including the Trans Musicales Festival, Sziget Festival, Eurosonic Nooderslag and Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival. Interestingly, the strutting, Emre Ramazanoglu-produced “Worth It,” is the first batch of material from the Portuguese soulstress in a couple of years — and reportedly, it’s the first taste from her highly-anticipated sophomore album, slated for an early 2020 release through Record Kicks. And while retaining elements of the classic 60s soul that first caught the attention of this site and elsewhere, Ren an The Groovelets’ latest single is a sultry, slow-burning and cinematic track that finds their sound nodding at psych-tinged soul that finds Ren taking names and kicking ass with stomping aplomb.