Tag: experimental electronica

New Video: Camila Fuchs’ Brooding and Uneasy “Mess”

(WARNING: If you have epilepsy, this video employs the use of constant and repetitive flashes that could be dangerous to watch. )

Lisbon-based electro pop duo Camila Fuchs — Camila De Laborde and Daniel Hermann-Collini — formed in London back in 2012. With the release of their first two, critically applauded albums, 2016’s Singing From Fixed Rung and 2018’s Heart Pressed Between Stones, the Lisbon-based electro pop duo quickly established their sound and approach: experimental electro pop with spectral vocals and avant-garde sensibilities. Adding to a growing profile, the members of Camila Fuchs have opened for the likes of Plaid, Actress, Aleksi Perälä, Starcrawler, Charles Hayward, William Basinski, BRAIDS and The Orb — and they’ve played sets at festivals like Mutek Mexico, Primavera Sound and All Tomorrow’s Parties.

Last year’s Peter Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom)-produced Kids Talk Sun was recorded near the sea, wilderness and misty, castle-peaked hills of Sintra, just outside of Lisbon. During the recording sessions, the members of the acclaimed Lisbon-based duo shifted back and forth between the wilderness and the studio. And as a result, the album’s nine songs thematically is an abstract meditation on childhood that touches upon the exchanges between humans and humans and nature. Imbued with a youthful sense of light and wonder, Kids Talk Sun sonically finds the duo sonically reimagining natural phenomena in sonic form.

Kids Talk Sun’s latest single “Mess” is a mesmerizing yet uneasy track, centered around brooding and atmospheric electronics, crunchy and skittering beats, shimmering synth arpeggios and achingly plaintive vocals. While sonically the song may draw some comparisons to Bjork, it manages to evoke the sensation of something creeping from out the shadows, of a slow-burning anxious dread that you can’t quite put a finger on.

“‘Mess’ brings the shadows. It’s the lonely place from where to watch. A social heartbreak where one doesn’t fit in and is always shifting trying to find connections,” the Lisbon-based electro pop duo explain in press notes. “It’s about the lack of communication and the possible void that it can create. It’s about language as the way to get to know each other. It’s such a precise tool. If we don’t use it, are we truly getting to know each other? ‘Love is where we go first with the word but it’s not just about something light and happy and pleasurable. The word calls us deep, deep responsibilities,’ said Elizabeth Alexander. This song is about a place where we’ve all been. It welcomes the sharing, the questioning, the urge and nature of talking, it’s about being open to actively get to know each other.”

Directed by Camia Fuchs’ Camila De Laborde and her sister Manueal De Laborde is an equally brooding and uneasy visual, featuring the duo holding weirdly shaped cut outs in rapidly flashing strobe light, split with footage of the duo standing in front of a plain brick wall. Of course, as the duo move through the flashing strobes, they move about it in a slow motion.

New Audio: Brooklyn’s Wetware Releases a Stark and Menacing New Single

Formed back in 2015, the Brooklyn-based industrial electronica outfit Wetware– Roxy Farman and Matt Morandi — quickly developed a reputation for odd and unpredictable live shows, which they further established with the release of their full-length debut, 2018’s Automatic Drawing. Slated for a June 26, 2020 release through Dais Records, the Brooklyn-based duo’s forthcoming sophomore album, the 11 track Flail reportedly captures disorientating confusion with a concentrated, nosier sound that pushes and pulls against electronic textures paired with frenetically delivered vocals. The end result is material that’s wild and unhinged sonic collage-like dirges.  

“Shiny Face,” Flail’s latest single is a sparse yet menacing track centered around droning synths, relentless clang and clatter and shouted vocals. And while drawing heavily from both industrial electronica and No Wave, the track manages to evoke the anxious unease and paranoia of our contemporary moment, a moment in which there’s no solutions, no answers and no ideas in the face of our near annihilation. 

New Video: Caroline Mason’s Surreal and Minimalist Visual for Brooding “If You Want Me To”

Caroline Mason is an emerging, Portland, OR-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and experimental electronic music artist, who from an early age has been drawn to find a connection between the depths of human emotion and how must has the ability to take us to those places within ourselves. 

Mason’s latest single “If You Want Me To” is a brooding yet atmospheric song centered around a sinuous bass line, reverb and delay pedaled guitar, gently accumulating layers of wobbling, arpeggiated synths, Mason’s plaintive vocals and an infectious, ear worm of a hook. Sonically recalling Us-era Peter Gabriel, the song thematically touches upon honestly facing oneself and pushing away old habits, old fears and old selves for a bold new future. 

Directed by filmmaker and stylist Christal Angelique, the recently released video was inspired by English fashion designer Gareth Pugh and finds Mason dressed up in a custom, futuristic piece made by Portland-based designer Kate Towers. And in the video we see Mason in the desert, accompanied by a marching army of her doppelgängers. Angelique wanted the piece to be relatable for anyone facing fears and parts of themselves that needed to go. “It is about overcoming the battles within so one can move into their stronger, future self,” Mason says of the song.  

 

Internationally acclaimed, Amsterdam-based electronic trio Cubicolor, founding members and 16BL production duo Ariann Olierook and Peter Kriek and London-born singer/songwriter Tim Digby-Bell, features a lineup of accomplished musicians and producers:

  • Olierook, who acts as the public face of the Cubicolor and 16BL has been writing and recording music professional over the past 20 years — and has toured globally for the past 15 years. Described as a “student of music” by his Cubicolor bandmate Tim Digby-Bell, Olierook has developed reputation both within the project and without as constantly learning, honing techniques, restlessly experimenting and trying new ideas and building his own instruments. including custom modular synths, mixing decks and speakers that trio uses for their recording sessions.
  • Digby-Bell is a London-born singer/songwriter, poet and playwright, who began to learn the guitar when he turned seven — and when he was growing up, he was heavily influenced by Nick Drake and others. Before he joined the Amsterdam-based electronic act, the British singer/songwriter was best known for being in London-based indie quintet Duologue.

    Duologue quickly became a buzzworthy act with their earliest releases, and as a result, they wound up signing to a major label. Sadly, while on their first Stateside tour – a momentum and career building tour, at that – one of Digby-Bell’s bandmates was diagnosed with leukemia. With an uncertain future looming in front of them, the band spilt up. Since the band’s breakup, that now-former bandmate has recovered from his illness.

    Roughly two years after Duologue split up, Digby-Bell was introduced to Olierook and Kriek and after collaborating with the duo on “Falling,” became a permanent member of Cubicolor in 2016.

  • Kriek is the most mysterious and enigmatic member of the act. He grew up outside of Amsterdam, attended university and started a successful IT company while co-founding 16BL and Cubicolor with Olierook. Roughly 15 years ago, Kriek decided to withdraw from much of normal life, leaving his company and living a monastic-like and solitary life on a houseboat, which doubled as recording studio.

    Reportedly, Kriek doesn’t listen to much modern music and is generally unreceptive to new ideas – and although his living situation and habits are challenging to deal with, his 16BL and Cubicolor bandmates will openly admit that he has an non-Western ear for melody and is one of the most talented musicians and producers they’ve ever met or worked with.

Since Cubicolor’s formation in 2014, the act has released three EPs and a handful of singles through Anjunadeep Records that found the act’s sound moving from progressive house to experimental electronica. The acts breakthrough,  full-length debut Brainsugar was heavily supported by Spotify‘s Austin Kramer, Pete Tong, Joris Voorn and Kölsch, received airplay throughout the UK and KCRW and received critical praise from Mixmag, RA, Thump, Consequence of Sound and DJ Mag, which gave the album a 9/10 review. Brainsugar album tracks were remixed by Patrice Baumel, Lindstrom and Prins Thomas— and those tracks received support and play in clubs. And adding to a growing profile, the album has amassed over 40 million streams globally.

In 2018, the band had written, recorded and finished what was supposed to be their sophomore full-length album Trick of Light. The album was delivered to their label and to the digital streaming platforms. A full press campaign for the album was planned and then shortly before the official announcement of the album, the band decided to cancel release and scrap the album. Three album singles were released off the canceled album — “No Dancers,” “Counterpart,” and “Boxed Out.” “Counterpart” received airplay on the BBC Radio 1 programs of Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Phil Taggart and Kölsh. Adam Port’s remix of “No Dancers” was a club hit. “We got home and listened to it, then got on the phone with each other and decided to drop the whole thing,” the band’s Tim Digby-Bell recalls in press notes. “The next week, we went back into the studio and started again. We didn’t keep anything, we shut ourselves on the boat in Amsterdam where we work and didn’t stop until we made the record we wanted to make.

“There were a lot of moments when we weren’t sure we’d ever find what it was we were looking for,” Digby-Bell continues. “On the way, we lost friends, lost loves, battled health issues, lost an album, lost each other and came back together again Looking back now, it was pretty crazy but the world keeps spinning and I guess we just don’t want to put out anything that wasn’t true to ourselves as a band, and the very best we can do as musicians, no matter how long it took.”

The trio’s latest album, the long-awaited, Hardly A Day, Hardly A Night is partially inspired by the seemingly endless cycles of space and time and is centered around an unwavering dedication to earnestness of emotion and purpose. Thematically, the album themes at points are more personal than others — in fact, Digby-Bell written single “Points Beyond” is a loving tribute to a dear friend of his, who died last year. Other album tracks are meant to evoke the uncertainty and fear that the band felt during the writing and recording process. Overall, the album’s material paints an intimate and provocative picture of the trio’s evolution as artists and as people.

“Rituals,” Hardly A Day, Hardly A Night‘s latest single is centered around looping and twinkling piano, thumping beats, Digby-Bell’s plaintive vocals, shimmering synth arpeggios blasts and a soaring hook. And while sonically bearing a resemblance to Floating Points and Bonobo, the track manages to be cinematic and remarkably intimate.

 

New Audio: Good Fuck Returns with an Atmospheric New Single

Late last year, I wrote about Good Fuck, a self-described exploration of experimental literary techniques and adventurous production and beats, comprised of Tim Kinsella, a Chicago, IL-based musician, author and film director, who’s best known for stints in a number of bands, including Cap’n Jazz, Joan of Arc, Make Believe, Owls, Friend/Enemy, Everyoned and others, and for an extensive solo career, releasing material under the name Tim Kinsella(s) and Jenny Pulse an electronic music producer and artist, who has released two full-length albums — 2017’s Spa Moans/Obedient Vibrations and  Marmalade, which was released earlier this year. 

Seeking an intimate creative environment to develop their aesthetic and sound, the duo decided that they needed to be in total isolation. “We packed the car and drove 13 hours to The Millay Colony in upstate New York: an artist’s colony in The Berkshires, miles down a private road, next to 100,000 acres of national forest,” Kinsella says in press notes. As soon as they arrived, the couple devised a unique artistic process to work from. Described by Kinsella as a “collaborative conscious alignment,” lyric writing was centered around 12 books, including Don Quixote, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and others that the couple felt were relevant. Then they came up with various systems to collapse and collage them into each other in different combinations. The result was a sort of literary mash up in which content and structure were scrambled into a totally new product. “We might take the form of an Eskimo genesis myth, but use words from Anaïs Nin,” Kinsella explains.

Sonically speaking, the project draws from Kinsella’s extensive background in genre-pushing rock and Pulse’s ear for minimalist electronic sounds — and interestingly enough, they managed such an artistic symbiosis together that “To a large degree we don’t even know who programmed what beat, and who programmed what synth line,” Kinsella reflects.  According to Kinsella, he and Pulse were “stunned” by what they had created, the entire process was far from perfect. “Of course there were snags, technological and psychological. And of course we threw a good amount away. But what was left was not the result of trying to write songs, but the effortless evidence of what emerged when we got clear in our intentions and then just let it out,” Kinsella says. 

Now, as you may recall, the self titled album’s first single “Secret Meetings” was centered around a minimalist electronic production featuring whirring, buzzing and industrial clang and clatter, brief blasts of arpeggiated synths, chanted lyrics and a sensual and sweaty groove — with the end result being a track that was esoteric and cryptic, wildly adventurous and yet accessible. Interestingly, “Jenny Dreams of Pies,” the self-titled album’s second and latest single is a slow-burning, atmospheric track with thumping beats and glitchy electronics. Sonically speaking the song nods at The Fragile-era Nine Inch Nails and The Beat Escape’s Life’s Short The Answer is Long — but while superficially placid, the song possesses a tense and anxious undertone, that gives the song a nightmarish feel. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays No Joy with Sonic Boom Release Surreal and Experimental Visuals for Their Most Unusual Song To Date

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you would have seen that I’ve written quite a bit about Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based shogeaze duo No Joy, and as you may recall, the duo, which is comprised of primary songwriter Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd can trace their origins to when White-Gluz, who was then living in Los Angeles began collaborating with the Montreal-based Lloyd via email — and their collaboration eventually lead to White-Gluz returning to Montreal, so that they could play their first show, with Husker Du’s Grant Hart. As the story goes, after that show, White and Gluz continued collaborating, playing a number of shows locally, including with Best Coast, whose frontwoman Bethany Cosentino became an early champion of the act. 

Building upon the growing buzz surround the Montreal-based duo, White-Gluz and Lloyd signed to renowned indie label Mexican Summer, who released their debut 7 inch single “No Summer”/”No Joy,” an effort that allowed them to book their own national headlining tour with Katy Goodman’s, La Sera. The 7 inch quickly sold out, and by November 2010, the duo released their full-length debut Ghost Blonde to critical praise from the likes of Pitchfork, AllMusic.com, The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan, The Guardian and others. No Joy followed that with the British release of the “Hawaii” 7 in, a release that featured a remix of “Indigo Child,” by Stereolab‘s Tim Gane, which they supported with a UK tour with  Surfer Blood, an opening spot in London for Wire, and an appearance at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival.

The  members of No Joy spent the better part of 2011 touring across North America — and it included a busy SXSW schedule, a tour with Vivian Girls, and a co-headling tour with Marnie Stern with whom they released a split single, which featured No Joy’s cover of the Shangri-La’s “He Cried.” Since then, the band has released 2012’s Negaverse EP and Wait to Pleasure, 2013’s Pastel and Pass Out EP, 2015’s More Faithful, 2016’s Drool Sucker, the first of a planned series of EPs and last year’s Creep, which was released through the band’s new label Grey Market Records.

Interestingly, this year finds No Joy’s White-Gluz collaborating with Spacemen 3‘s and E.A.R.’s Sonic Boom (a.k.a. Peter Kember), and although the collaborators can’t accurately remember how they met or when they met, what they do clearly remember is that the idea of collaborating together was brought up in an email exchange back in 2015. At the time, No Joy had finishing touring to support their third album More Faithful, an album that the duo has considered one of their most difficult and demanding efforts they’ve worked on together, and White-Gluz was eager to try new ideas and do something different. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” White-Gluz explains in press notes. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

Initially, the collaboration began as a bit of exploration between two friends, who admired each other’s work with each one passing songs back and and forth with White-Gluz writing and producing songs in her hometown of Montreal and Kember writing, arranging, and producing in Portugal. The end result was their collaborative EP together — four tracks that reportedly walk the tightrope between electronica, trip hop and experimental noise.  As White-Gluz says in press notes, “I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”

The EP’s latest single “Triangle Probably,” continues in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor “Slorb,” as it features a minimalist production featuring swirling wobbling electronics, twinkling and droning synths and industrial clang and clatter paired with  Gluz-White’s ethereal crooning, which make the song one of the most experimental songs not the EP, as it finds the duo nodding at Amnesiac and Kid A-era Radiohead — but with murky feel. 

Created by Jacob Cooper and Ride or Cry, the recently released video for “Triangle Probably,” features live screen grabs from independent, open source and free Unity/3D simulators and the hodgepodge nature further emphasizes the experimental tone and vibe of the song.