Tag: Giorgio Moroder

New Audio: Liela Moss Shares Incisive and Propulsive “Come and Find Me”

Over the course of her 20 year music career, British singer/songwriter and musician Liela Moss has been very busy: She’s a co-founder of The Duke Spirit, whose output has ranged from brawling alt-rock and cinematic ventures. Moss with her The Duke Spirit bandmate Toby Butler are members of synth-rock project Roman Remains. And she has collaborated with the likes of UNKLE, Nick Cave, Giorgio Moroder, The Heritage Orchestra, and Lost Horizons among a list of others. Moss has also served as a muse for iconic designers Alexander McQueen and Philip Lim.

With the release of 2018’s My Name Is Safe In Your Mouth, Moss stepped out into the spotlight as a solo artist. 2020’s Who the Power was a dramatic, synth-driven effort. Moss’ third album Internal Working Model is slated for a January 13, 2023 release through Bella Union. Internal Working Model reportedly bristles with frustration at our disconnected culture but also — crucial — burns with a desire to reconnect: “I’m trying to find a way to plug myself into a new community,” says Liela Moss of her third solo album. “I am imagining a tribe, navigating away from our very centralized culture, dismantling it and revising the way I think things work.” “We see the beneficiaries of the status quo suppress realness and wellbeing by selling you a banal alternative that upholds their agenda. I want to add to the firepower to burn that old house down,” Moss explains.

Internal Working Model’s creation evolved organically between Moss and partner/collaborator Toby Butler, who divided their time between work and parenting to make the album. Moss compares the process to a “slow game of cards,” the duo revealing their hands in a playful spirit. The “third brain in the room,” says Moss, was the modular synth: “You tweak it and it changes the energy. There’s nothing new in that technology, but in terms of the way we’ve worked for years, working with an anonymous synth brain was a new kind of freedom.” 

Thematically, the album is in part an album about selfhood and certainties made unsettled in today’s dystopian theater, somewhat by the pandemic but also as Moss says by the “self-seeking, self-protecting culture” of global economics, where we have forgotten that “competition is just a construct, co-operation is actually the natural way of being . . . Lyrically, I’m laughing and yelling at surveillance capitalism, I’m throwing down sentences that reach out to simply feel good on good terrain, to feel safe on planet earth. There is turbulence, but an understanding that the urge to restructure is growing; human goodness cannot truly be suppressed.” The album is also rooted in Moss’ interest in attachment theory, the idea that the ways we are cared for (or not) in childhood, forge the neurological pathways that build esteem, that shape us — and perhaps the entire world. . “I started to think about the nefarious characters in globalist culture who have such a hold on what’s going on in terms of big pharma, big tech and big political everything. I was thinking, my God, these manipulative people started life needing to be attended to properly and probably were not! All this desperate greed and corruption winds back to maladapted individuals! Then I began seeing them as tiny, neglected humans with an unhealthy attachment cycle.” 

Sonically, the material features Moss’ expressive voice leading the way over fractious synth backgrounds to create something that’s tense yet tender, timeless yet timely; determined to plug into positivity wherever — and whenever — it can be found. “It’s like a carnival of good will,” says Moss, “we see the pretense, the masquerade. Then the realness, the love. That’s why the word ‘empathy’ comes up so much and rolls around amongst the most menacing synths. It cannot be kept down, no matter the weight.” 

In comparison to its immediate predecessor, Moss says that she . . “wanted a more vigorous pulse, I wanted more movement. I wanted to feel friction and for things to feel emotionally disruptive this time around.”

Centered around Moss’ plaintive and yearning delivery paired with glistening synths arpeggios, skittering beats and a relentless motorik-like groove, Internal Working Model‘s latest single “Come And Find Me” is simultaneously sultry, forceful and menacing in a way that brings Peter Gabriel‘s Security to my mind. But the song is rooted in Moss’ incisive sociopolitical commentary and thinking. “The idea running throughout this track is that co-operation is natural, and competition is a construct,” Moss explains. “I’m trying to be the bigger man, always seeing . . .Using empathy as the guide, we could neutralize the bad guys. My favorite lines are these: ‘This should be embodied dream space, should be free space, should be fair. That’s all’. I mean, that is all, right?! It’s such a rhythmic track, and the synth arpeggios layer up in a way that adds electricity and force to the ideas in the song; resistance against obstacles to fairness.”

Back in 2013, Red Bull Music Academy invited the legendary electronic music artist ad producer Giorgio Moroder to speak in front of a small group of music students about music, his creative process and more — and to what was then-billed as his first ever live DJ set at the now-defunct Williamsburg, Brooklyn nightclub Output.

Along with his long-time collaborator and musical director Chris Cox, the electronic music legend played a 75 minute set of re-arranged and exclusive remixes of some of his massive hits, medleys of other big songs, an exclusive song commissioned by Google — and famously, his collaboration with Daft Punk, “Giorgio by Moroder,” which appeared on the French electronic outfit’s last album, Random Access Memories.

Moroder’s DJ set is an encompassing and thoughtful primer on his pioneering work and sound, as well as roughly 50 years of disco and electronic music. Importantly, the set is a bold and swaggering reminder that along with Kraftwerk and a handful of others, Moroder is part of a Mount Rushmore of electronic music, who helped create an enduring “sound of the future” while popularizing the use of synthesizers in just about anything and everything since.

Personally, Moroder’s Red Bull Music Academy set brings back fond and very dear memories during the most formative periods of my life: I can vividly picture myself as a small boy and watching my mother cleaning and singing along — incredibly off key, I should add! — to Donna Summer‘s “Bad Girls,” “I Feel Love”Hot Stuff,’ and “Love to Love You, Baby” as though it were yesterday.

Moroder turns 82 today and we should give the legendary man, his flowers because his work is that important — for all of us. Happy birthday, Giorgio! May there many, many more!

New Video: Acclaimed Canadian Multimedia Artist Sook-Yin Lee Releases a Euphoric and Playful Banger

Sook-Yin Lee is a award-winning Canadian filmmaker, musician, actor, visual artist and broadcaster, who has immersed herself in myriad creative collaborations across a wide array of media. Many of those collaborations were made with her life partner and frequent co-creator Adam Litovitz, including their 2015 electroacoustic album jooj.

While financial difficulties and external pressures contributed to the end of their romantic relationship, Lee and Litovitz remained best friends and creative partners, eventually continuing to work on the material that would eventually comprise their sophomore album together jooj two. As he was busy working on a soundtrack for Netflix, Litovitz gave Lee his blessing to continue working on their second album without him. Increasingly, Litovitz struggled with anxiety and depression, compounded by a prescription drug dependency that exacerbated insomnia and pain. Tragically, Litovitz committed suicide on July 16, 2019.

Litovtiz’s death’s a profound loss for Lee — and for those who loved him. As it turned out, Lee saw pieces of Litovitz’s irrepressible spirit — as well as the story of their relationship — contained within jooj two’s material, and was determined to share it with the world. With the assistance of Steve Chahley, Lee finished the album, which was released last month through Mint Records.

Despite the tragic circumstances that surround its completion, jooj two is a celebration of life — especially Litovtiz’s. Much like its predecessor, jooj two’s material its centered around the duo’s life-long love of pop music and playful experimentalism. Interestingly, the album features songs that tap into moments across pop’s vast history paired with a unique songwriting approach that initially came about when Lee responded to a musical phrase with vocal melodies and stream of consciousness lyrics. Litovitz transcribed and interpreted this experiments and retuned them to Lee, who would further refine them. The end result is an album that evokes the feeling of being thrown into the shorthand created between those who intimately know each other.

jooj two’s latest single “Ship It Out” is a euphoric and playful dance floor friendly banger featuring buzzing synth arpeggios, thumping beats, an insistent, motorik-like groove, bursts of cowbell and syrupy, stream-of-consciousness delivered lyrics. Sonically the track — to my ears, at least — manages to recall a slick, hook-driven synthesis of Lipps, Inc.’s 1979 smash-hit “Funky Town,” Kraftwerk’s “The Man Machine” and Giorgio Moroder’s Munich Machine. Personally, if the song doesn’t make you get up and start dancing, there’s something wrong deep in your soul. “When Adam and I made ‘Ship It Out” it made us laugh hard and of course dance!” Sook-Yin Lee recalled in press notes. “I have no idea where the syrupy vocal chorus bubbled up from inside of me… but I’m glad it did!”

Directed by Lee and Dylan Gamble, the recently released video follows an Earthling protagonist — played by lee — as she stumbles upon a curious, interstellar traveler, who engages her sense of curiosity and wonder. Fittingly, the interstellar traveler and our Earthling protagonist initially communicate through dancing. Eventually. the traveller reveals the secrets of the Universe to her, and it includes an urgent warning about the fate of the world she inhabits. Maybe we all need to heed that warning, huh?

New Video: La Femme Releases a Dreamy Visual for Shimmering “Le Jardin”

Parisian psych pop act La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the then-unknown band had managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DIY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut, that year’s Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of La Femme returned to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success that found the act completely reinventing the sound that initially won them internationally attention while winning a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile, the Parisian psych pop act released 2016’s Mystére to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Last year, the acclaimed French JOVM mainstays released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme.” Striking while the proverbial iron was red-hot, the members of La Femme quickly followed up with three more singles, which I managed to write about:

“Cool Colorado,” a cool yet bombastic single that seemed indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s — and to Colorado, the first American state to legalize cannabis.
Disconnexion,” a surreal what-the-fuck fever dream centered around pulsating Giorgio Moroder-like motorik grooves, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric electronics, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and operatic caterwauling.
“Foutre le Bordel,” a breakneck freak out that meshed Freedom of Choice-era DEVO and Giorgio Moroder with ’77 punk rock nihilism.

Now, as you may recall, the acclaimed Parisian JOVM mainstays announced that their long-awaited and highly-anticipated, third album Paradigmes will be released on April 2, 2021 through the band’s own label Disque Pointu and distributed through IDOL.
Continuing to build buzz for Paradigmes, the members of La Femme recently released the album’s fourth and latest single, the dreamy and achingly sad lullaby of sorts “Le Jardin.” Interestingly, the song is the band’s first song written and sung in Spanish — and the song can trace its origins to a trip that the band’s members took to Spain a few years ago. “This is kind of an old-school slow dance which underlines how fate can be random and fragile,” the band explains. “The moments we go through, sometimes very sudden, from shadows to light, and vice-versa.”

Directed by the band, the recently released video for “Le Jardin” was shot in Southern Spain between Granada and Sevilla. The video itself is a gorgeous fever dream in the middle of gorgeous Romanesque architecture, “where the Holy Virgins are omnipresent on the walls, overlooking at mankind and its madness.”

New Audio: Rising French Artist Clio Releases a Shimmering Pop Confection

Clio is a rising French singer/songwriter and pop artist, whose work is inspired by the spirit and aesthetic of short films with the rising French artist attempting to capture fleeting moments with intense, novelistic detail. So far, her previously released work has received over five million YouTube streams.

The rising French singer/songwriter and pop artist’s third full-length album is slated for a 2021 release, and the album’s latest single , the incredibly cinematic and melancholy pop confection “Vertige.” Centered around Clio’s ethereal cooing, shimmering synth arpeggios and a motorik groove, “Vertige” brings (to my ears, at least) Giorgio Moroder and Little Boots to mind; but while telling a a story of a girl, who ran away so much that she finally got lost — both mentally and emotionally.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays La Femme Releases a Motorik Groove Driven Freak Out

Parisian psych pop act La Femme — currently, founding members Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée, along with Sam Lefévre, Noé Delmas, Cleémence Quélennec, Clara Luiciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and Lucas Nunez Ritter — was founded back in 2010, and the then-unknown band had managed to hoodwink the French music industry by lining up a DIY Stateside tour with only $3,000 euros and their debut, that year’s Le Podium #1.

After playing 20 gigs across the States, the members of La Femme returned to their native France with immense interest from the Parisian music scene. “The industry was like, ‘What the fuck? They have an EP out and they are touring in the US and we don’t know them?” Marlon Magnée told The Guardian. “So the buzz began to start. When we came back to France, it was red carpet. Fucking DIY.”

2013’s full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin was a critical and and commercial success that found the act completely reinventing the sound that initially won them internationally attention while winning a Victoires de la Musique Award. Building upon a rapidly growing internationally recognized profile, the Parisian psych pop act released 2016’s Mystére to praise by Sound Opinions, The Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, AllMusic, BrooklynVegan and a lengthy list of others.

Last year, the acclaimed French act released their first bit of new material in four years with the critically applauded single “Paradigme.” They promptly followed up with two more singles, which I covered on this site:

“Cool Colorado,” a cool yet bombastic single that seemed indebted to Scott Walker and Ennio Morricone soundtracks while being an “ode to the San Francisco of the 70s — and to Colorado, the first American state to legalize cannabis.
Disconnexion,” a surreal what-the-fuck fever dream centered around pulsating Giorgio Moroder-like motorik groove, a fiery banjo solo, atmospheric elecvtroincns, twinkling synth arpeggios, a philosophic soliloquy delivered in a dry, academic French and operatic caterwauling.

Interestingly, the Parisian JOVM mainstays announced that their highly-anticipated third album Paradigmes is slated for an April 2, 2021 release through the band’s Disque Pointu/IDOL. And along with the album’s announcement, the members of La Femme released Paradigmes’ latest single Foutre le Bordel,” a breakneck, nihilistic, motorik-groove driven, freak out that sonically seems like a slick synthesis of Freedom of Choice-era DEVO and Giorgio Moroder with a ’77 punk rock nihilism. The approximate English translation of the words chanted in the song’s chorus is: “It’s the return of terror, all the kids sing in unison, I wanna fuck it up!” And as a result, the song is a decided dance floor meets mosh pit ripper specifically designed to turn a crowd upside down.

The recently released video for the song was animated and directed by the members of the band — and the visual is a neon colored, lysergic freakout that includes a surfing guitar player, musicians, who’s innards are revealed and other weird imagery. It’s La Femme at their best — being a wild head fuck that you can bop to.

New Video: French Elelctro Pop Artist DeLaurentis Releases a Cinematic Visual for Shimmering “Life”

DeLaurentis is a French-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and interpreter, who can trace some of the origins of her own music career to watching her father play music. She quickly understood that music notes would spring up and fly away from her arms, hands and fingers — that music was essentially a part of her.

After spending several years studying in the conservatory, DeLaurentis returned back home, where she began working on material with keyboards, sequencers, computers and other electronics. Inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Max Richter, Brian Eno, Oneothrix Point Never, and Laurie Anderson, DeLaurentis eventually developed and honed a lush and cinematic sound centered around modern and vintage analog synthesizers, piano, loop machines and arpeggiators paired around her ethereal vocals.

The French electronic music artist and producer relocated to Paris, where she released her first two EPs, which featured some attention-grabbing videos. Several tracks wound up being placed in commercials and American TV shows. Building upon a growing profile, the French electronic music artist and producer began working on what would be her full-length debut Unica in a spacious and luminous Paris studio intensifying her relationship between her instruments and technology over a two year period.

Unica is a synth pop concept album that tells the tale of the fusion between woman and machine. Interestingly, the album features a track recorded with artificial intelligence, supervised by Benoit Carré, a pioneer in A.I. Additionally, the album finds DeLaurentis collaborating with Dan Black, Yaron Herman, Daymark and Fabien Waltmann.

“Life,” Unica’s cinematic first single is centered around shimmering, Giorgio Moroder-like synth arpeggios, soaring strings, skittering, tweeter and woofer rocking trap beats and DeLaurentis’ ethereal and plaintive vocals singing lyrics that draws from one of the more famous lines in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “It is a tale/Told but an idiot, full of sound and fury,/Signifying nothing.” Thematically seeming as though it were influenced by Spike Jonze’s Her or Steven Spielberg’s AI, “Life” tells the tale of Unica coming alive and bursting out from the screen that contained her. The song goes on to have the fictional DeLaurentis and Unica meeting each other and observing each other with curiosity — and a bit of fear of what may be next for both.

Directed by the directorial collective ACCIDENT and production company Noside, the recently video is inspired by the collaborators fascination for sci-fi androids in films like Blade Runner and Ex-Machina and others. Visually, it’s a brooding and symbolic fever dream seemingly set in a dystopian world that’s not too far from our own.

As the collaborators explain the concept behind the video was to introduce the main concepts and themes behind the Unica with the video serving as a visual origin story into DeLaurentis’ Unica. “We wanted to develop this idea of birth and this coming alive process by infusing it with graphic and metaphysical references,” the collaborators explain. “The idea is to minimize the robotic aspect and to focus on the ambiguity of its double. In order to make the final revelation even more powerful: this entity that we thought was human is in fact driven by artificial intelligence. The choice of focusing on the hand is not trivial, it is in our opinion the strongest symbolism of humanity and the most powerful member on a visual and emotional level.”

The music video uses hybrid techniques combining real shots and 3D computer graphics to give life to a robotic hand, supervised by Laurent Hamery and Raphael G. while the Parisian teams of the ACCIDENT collective developed the environments and mood maps.

New Audio: Vancouver’s Pannekoek Releases a Shimmering and Trippy New Single

Andrew Pannenkoek is a Vancouver-based musician, producer and DJ, who has a lengthy history of playing local punk and rock bands. The Canadian artist is the creative mastermind behind the new electronic music project Pannekoek, a project that can trace its origins to his long-held passion for experimenting with music software.

The Vancouver-based musician, producer and DJ has spent the past 15 years working as a bike messenger — but a recently embraced sobriety has allowed him to realize his passion and interest in electronic music. Interestingly, the project finds Pannekoek putting a modern, sophisticated and trippy twist on a unique blend of sounds he heard growing up as a child of the 80s — in particular TV shows, going to mall, listening to the radio and video games.

“Polyester,” Pannekoek’s trippy debut single is centered around layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, skittering beats and wobbling low end within an expansive and mind-bending song structure. Sonically, the playful yet cinematic track seems indebted to 70s synth disco and hip-hop — in particular, Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa immediately come to mind.

New Video: Emerging French Act Voie 81 Releases a Shimmering, Synth Pop Banger

Deriving their name from the French of word for “track” while simultaneously being a bit of a pun for the French word for voice voix and for 1981, a paradigm shifting year that saw an incredible array of changes in technology and across society, the Paris-band electro pop/New Wave duo Voie 81 prominently features three female vocalists hailing from Paris, Madrid, and Berlin, who sing unifying and socially conscious lyrics in German, English, Spanish and French.

The act’s full-length debut Ralentir which means “slow down” in French finds the act further developing a sound that’s heavily influenced by the analog synth sound of the 80s while thematically touches upon humans’ resistance to an unfair and unjust world and the hope for a better, fairer world. The album’s first single “Nirvana” is a euphoric track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, angular guitars and an arena friendly hook paired with vocals delivered in an ethereal yet sultry French. Sonically, the track finds the emerging French act nodding at early-to-mid 1980s New Order, Giorgio Moroder, Tour de France-era Kraftwerk and even contemporaries like DBFC.

Directed by the members of Voie 81, the recently released video for “Nirvana” is set in an industrial train yard as we follow, a boombox carrying dude and a gorgeous dancer, hang out and dance together before pulling out to follow a train track across the French train ride. The video manages to be playful and decidedly DIY.

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Born to an English father and Italian mother,  Paris-born and-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer and electronic music artist, Frank Woodbridge grew up in a passionate, musical household: at an early age, the Woodbridge family spent their evening listening to their vinyl record collection in front of their huge stereo. “My father loved The KinksThe BeatlesThe Bee Gees and Al Jarreau. My mother introduced me to Stan Getz, Carole King and the romantic refrains of the crooners that reminded her of her childhood,” Woodbridge recalls fondly in press notes. “From the age of ten, I was already deep into The CureDepeche ModeU2. My teenage neighbor had decided to perfect my musical education. And then, Bernard Lenoir on Inter, the many weekends in London . . . I was an indie kid, that was my life.”

After spending many years in rock and electro pop groups as a singer/songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Woodbridge has spent the past few years focusing on composing for films, the web, TV, as well as  sound design for events and stage music for theater. Currently, Woodbridge works with Andre Manoukian on his daily chronicle for the Daphne Burki-hosted TV show, Je T’aime, ETC — and he wrote a comic book Inversion, which follows its composer protagonist.

2020 has been a busy year for the French artist: companies like Kenzo Parfums and Oris Watches commissioned him to compose music for web campaigns and for a series of 10 films. He also composed the soundtrack for Florie Martin and Melissa Theuriau’s documentary  Seine Saint Denis Style, which aired on French station C8 earlier this year. Woodbridge also released an album of original compositions LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC earlier this year.  

I’ve written about two of LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC’s singles so far:

  • Lola dans le bus” a melancholic and cinematic M83-like track specially composed to drive to or daydream along with, inspired by personal experience: Woodbridge ran into an ex-girlfriend he had lost contact with. He saw her on a bus and waved at her but unfortunately, she didn’t see her. And as a result, the song is punctuated with a profound sadness over a missed connection, as well as nostalgia for something you can’t ever really get back.
  • To The End” is an optimistic, motorik-groove driven track, reminiscent of  New Order and From Here to Eternity and From Here to Eternity . . . and Back-era Giorgio Moroder As Woodbridge said at the time “It is music driven with an urge, a dream for something else, a lot of energy and yet peacefulness coming from inner strength and will, I composed it thinking of movies I love, where people are at a turning point of their lives knowing it or not, and heading for their future. Although slightly melancholic, it has a positive light and effect.”

LOLA LIFE DEATH ETC‘s lats single “Je me souviens de tout,” (which translates into English as I remember it all)” is a dreamy, downtempo track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios and thumping beats paired with a a heartfelt mantra as its main lyric, a lyric that simply says ” Love, in the end, is just love.” Interestingly, the track is one of the few off the album with lyrics — and was specifically written as a way to “escape gravy and access an inner light” as Woodbridge explains in press notes.