Tag: Floating Points

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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Comprised of four long-time friends James Donald, Adam Halliwell, Kevin McDowell and
Tom Shanahan, the Melbourne, Australia-based quartet Mildlife, largely inspired by the likes of Can and Herbie Hancock, bonded over the desire to push musical boundaries as far as possible. And interestingly enough the quartet developed a reputation locally for completely live improvised live sets based around am incredibly unique retro-futuristic sound that draws from, prog rock free jazz, jazz fusion, 70s and 80s synth funk, house music, dream pop and krautrock, while also nodding at contemporaries like Floating Points, Caribou, Drakkar Nowhere and others.

Although the members of the band will openly say that they’re not they’re not a studio band, they did spend 2014-2015 off from live shows so they could figure out how to accurately replicate their live sound within the studio — without losing its complexity and nuance. “It makes the performance, the composition, more malleable,” says guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Adam Halliwell. Bassist Tom Shanahan adds “It feels more authentic. The energy can be in the song rather than sitting on top of it. We wanted to leave a lot of room for improvisation.”

The Melbourne-based quartet’s full-length debut Phase is slated for release sometime early next year through Research Records and the album’s first official single “The Magnificent Moon” is rooted around a expansive and kaleidoscopic composition featuring layers of tight, arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line and a propulsive backbeat that’s roomy enough for some funky jazz-like guitar soloing and a cosmic ray-like synth solo, a trippy bridge and razor sharp hooks — and while being decidedly retro-futuristic, the song reveals the members of the Melbourne-based quartet to be among some of their homeland’s most adept and finest musicians, as they manage to walk the difficult tightrope between a deliberately crafted composition and free-flowing improvisation in a way that’s intriguing.

 

 

 

With the release of his 2015 full-length debut Elaenia, London-based composer, producer and keyboardist Sam Shepherd and his solo recording project Floating Points quickly rose to international acclaim for a sound that effortlessly meshed 70s jazz fusion, free jazz and glitchy electronica in a way that simultaneously nodded at Return to Forever‘s Romantic Warrior and Bonobo’The North Borders. Shepherd followed that with the expansive, mind-altering yet accessible Kupier, featuring singles “Argente” and “Kupier,” which he performed live at KEXP last year.

Continuing a rather prolific period, Shepherd followed the release of Kupier with Reflections — Mojave Desert, a short film and soundtrack featuring a series of tracks recorded in (and inspired by) the Mojave Desert. His latest single is the sprawling, “Ratio,” a track that he’s developed  and refined as part of his solo, live electronic set at festivals he’s played around the world — and the end result is a slow-burning house music-inspired track that clocks in at a little under 19 minutes and features a production centered around glitchy and stuttering beats, pulsating synths and ethereal synths. And while arguably being one of his most patient compositions/productions, Shepherd’s latest effort reveals a patient, almost painterly quality as sounds are thoughtfully and gently layered upon one another.

The full track was officially released on all digital platforms and is also available on vinyl as a deconstructed mix with the A side featuring the track in two parts — the first nine minutes being identical to the digital version, followed solely by the organ section of the second half. The B side in contract will feature the beats, drum and baseline of the second half of the track in isolation. Releasing the track in such a fashion was deliberately done so that DJs could create their own mixes by bringing the song’s different elements together in whatever way fit their own style.

 

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New Video: Up-and-Coming Leeds, UK-based Band Koyo Returns with an Arena Rock-Friendly New Single

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the first few months of this year, you may recall a post featuring the Leeds-based indie rock quintet KOYO. Comprised of Kettering, UK-born, Leeds-based founding members Huw Edwards (lead vocals, guitar) and Jacob Price (synths and samplers) along with Seb Knee-Wright (guitar), Dan Comlay (bass) and Tom Hingham (drums). the up-and-coming British indie rock act have received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a sound that reportedly draws from n across the blogosphere for a sound that draws from 90s grunge and alt rock and from Edwards’ and Price’s parents’ classic rock and prog rock-heavy record collections, as well as the electronica and post rock sounds of Floating Points, JOVM mainstays Mogwai and Brian Eno — but manages to sound as though it nodded at the work of Tame Impala, Wish You Were Here and The Wall-era Pink Floyd, 90125-era Yes and Radiohead as you would have heard on “Tetrochromat,” the album title track and first single off the band’s forthcoming full-length debut Tetrochromat.

The album’s latest single “Lost in the Kingdom” continues in a similar vein as its preceding single as it clearly draws from prog rock and art rock while being remarkably accessible, thanks in part to a rousingly Brit Pop-like hook; however, “Lost in the Kingdom” may arguably be one of the most ambitious and adventurous songs the up-and-coming British band may have written and released to date. In fact, the song sounds as though the band actively were trying to write an arena rock anthem that nodded at the likes of U2, Coldplay and others, while retaining a buzzy psychedelia.

Filmed and edited by Barry Hoffman at Soundyoucansee with additional footage by Joseph Burn and Joseph Burn Video Production and Kayla Cosgrove at Loving Lotus, the recently released music video for “Lost in the Kingdom” employs kaleidoscopic footage shot in the desert, superimposed with footage of the band performing the song, followed by other surreal and dream like imagery — and it’s done in a way that sort of reminds me Candlebox’s “Far Behind” and others.

Currently comprised of co-founding members Huw Edwards (lead vocals, guitar) and Jacob Price (synths and samplers), along with Seb Knee-Wright (guitar), Dan Comlay (bass) and Tom Higham (drums), the Leeds-based indie rock quintet KOYO‘s sound draws from several varied sources — including 90s grunge and alt rock, Edwards’ and Price’s parents’ classic rock and prog rock-heavy record collections. Although recently the band has started to incorporate a variety of electronica and post-rock such as Floating Points, JOVM mainstays Mogwai and Brian Eno‘s influential ambient soundtracks, and as a result the band expanded to a quintet to fully flesh out their sound to incorporate their expanding influences and sonic palette. Naturally, the band’s forthcoming full-length debut is slated for release later this year will reportedly mesh psych rock, prog rock and ambient electronic in a way that will remind listeners of Tame Impala, Pink Floyd, Yes and Radiohead — but with a decidedly modern turn, as you’ll hear on the atmospheric, moody and slow-burning “Tetrochromat,” the album title track off the band’s forthcoming debut, Tetrochromat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Sultry and Classic Soul Sound of Bristol’s Hannah Williams and The Affirmations

Produced by The Heliocentrics’ Malcolm Catto, who has produced Mulatu Astatke, Orlando Julius and the iconoclastic author/auteur/film producer/actor/musician Melvin van Peebles, and collaborated with Floating Points, Quantic, DJ Shadow and Madlib, Williams’ much-anticipated sophomore effort was recorded, mixed and mastered to tape at London’s Quatermass Studios, Williams’s highly-anticipated sophomore full-lenth effort Late Nights and Heartbreak will be released Stateside and elsewhere on Friday through Record Kicks Records. Interestingly enough the effort not only marks the first time Williams has worked with Catto, it also marks the first recorded effort with her new backing band, the Bristol, UK-based The Affirmations — and from the material I’ve heard off the album, the band comprised of James Graham (organ, piano and Wurlitzer), Adam Holgate (guitar), Adam Newton (bass), Jai Widdowson-Jones (drums), Nicholas Malcolm (trumper), Liam Treasure (trombone), Victoria Klewin (baritone saxophone) and Hannah Nicholson (backing vocals) are not just an incredibly tight unit, but they can give the world-famous Daptone Records bands a run for their money.

The album’s first single “Tame in the Water” has Williams and The Affirmations pairing her incredibly soulful vocals with a tight and funky groove, shuffling drumming, twinkling keys, shimmering guitar chords and a bold horn line to create a sultry, mid-tempo torch song with a narrator, who has had enough of her lover’s shit and wants out, knowing that she deserved and still deserves much better — all while sounding as though it could have been released in 1964 or so. And in some way, the song nods a bit at Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man” but with a visceral sense of heartbreak that’s devastating.

The charmingly goofy music video follows the relationship between Williams and a anthropomorphic rabbit, who she discovers is a no-good, cheating, irresponsible lout, which follows the song’s narrative. And towards the end we see an extremely pissed Williams packing her stuff and calling a friend to give her a ride while her former lover gets sloshed — and then kicked out of a bar.

The album’s second single is an amazing, mind-blowing psychedelic soul rendition of “Dazed and Confused” that draws equally from the original version written by Jake Holmes, Led Zeppelin’s legendary cover and The Temptations’ “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” — but with a swaggering, self-assuredness. And from both singles a few things are apparent: Hannah Williams can fucking sing her heart out — and I can guarantee that you will be hearing about her and the Affirmations for quite some time; the chemistry and simpatico between Williams and the Affirmations is undeniable, as they’ve created some of the tightest and funkiest music of their young careers.

 

Over the past couple of months I’ve been experimenting with a monthly Spotify playlist that covers the songs I’ve reviewed over the course of the past month, along with the songs I’ve referenced. And although some songs almost always seem to be missing during the initial compilation, I think it still manages to be a fairly comprehensive look at the past month on JOVM. (Just an early world, December will be pretty interesting as there will be a monthly playlist and I will be doing a Best of List primarily through Spotify as an additional experiment. But we’re jumping ahead here.)

November’s playlist continues the eclectic and tasteful curation that this site has long been known for and includes Aroc!‘s collaborations with Eric Bellinger, the gorgeous sounds of Floating Points, the socially conscious psych rock of Brazilian superstars Boogarins, JOVM mainstays Rene Lopez, Escort, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Pr0files, White Reaper, Beacon, New Order and Freddie Gibbs and others among a lengthy list. You’ll catch new singles from the Houston, TX-born, New York-based indie soul artist Melany Watson, several singles off Coke Weed‘s excellent Mary Weaver, two singles off The Giraffes kick ass, stoner rock album Usury, a new single from Swedish psych rock sensation Caviare Days, anthemic singles from Brandi Carlile‘s powerhouse country album, The Firewatcher’s Daughter and Canadian trio Red Moon Road, a few singles off Neon Indian‘s club-friendly VEGA Intl. Night School and more. There’s quite a bit of funk on this list as I make references to The Whispers, The Gap Band, Kool and the Gang, Chic, Rick James, and others. And there’s quite of synth pop including Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, The Human League and more.  Check it out and tell your friends while you’re at it!

Sam Shepherd is a London-based composer/producer, whose solo recording project Floating Points will be releasing his debut effort, Elaenia through Luaka Bop Records in the States and Pluto Records in the UK on November 6. And the album’s first single “Silhouettes I,II, III” pairs a jazz fusion-inspired arrangement consisting of keyboards and drums paired with layers of glitchy and undulating, ambient electronics in a way that’s reminiscent of Bonobo‘s The North Borders and Return to Forever‘s Romantic Warrior, as the composition is slow-burning and gorgeous while being simultaneously cinematic and intimate.

Shepherd is embarking on a tour to support the soon-to-be released effort and it’ll including a set during the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. And from what I understand, Shepherd will be performing material of Elaenia with an 11 piece orchestra. So that should be something else, if I must say so, myself.

Check out tour dates below.

Floating Points Live Tour Dates

Oct 30 – Utrecht, NL – Catch Festival
Oct 31 Leuven, BE – Het Depot
Nov 2 – Paris, FR – New Morning
Nov 5 – Turin, IT – Club to Club
Nov 7 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg. Ticket info HERE.
Nov 17 London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall