Tag: instrumental

New Video: Los Bitchos Share a Joyous and Seasonal Visual for “Los Chrismos”

London-based instrumental outfit Los Bitchos — Australian-born, Serra Petale (guitar); Uruguayan-born Agustina Ruiz (keytar); Swedish-born, Josefine Jonsson (bass) and London-born and-based Nic Crawshaw (drums) — can trace their origins to meeting at various late-night parties and through mutual friends. Inspired by their individual members’ different upbringings and backgrounds, Los Bitchos have developed a unique, genre-blurring and retro-futuristic sound blends elements of Peruvian chicha, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psych and surf rock, as well the music each individual member grew up with: 

  • The Uruguayan-born Ruiz had a Latin-American music collection that the members of the band fell in love with. 
  • The Swedish-born Jonsson “brings a touch of out of control pop,” her bandmates often joke. 
  • Aussie-born Serra Petale is deeply inspired by her mother’s 70s Anatolian rock records. 
  • And the London-born Crawshaw played in a number of local punk bands before joining Los Bitchos.

“Coming from all these different places,” Los Bitchos’ Serra Petale says, “it means we’re not stuck in one genre and we can rip up the rulebook a bit when it comes to our influences.”

Los Bitchos’ Alex Kapranos-produced full-length debut,  Let The Festivities Begin! was released earlier this year. Recorded at Gallery Studios, Let The Festivities Begin! sees the London-based instrumental outfit further establishing their reputation for crafting maximalist and trippy, Technicolor, instrumental party starting jams — with a cinematic quality. 

The album’s celebratory title is something you might say while toasting dear friends, families and even strangers at a gathering — and hopefully at the of this horrible period of despair and uncertainty, as a way to usher in a period of carefree debauchery. “It’s about being together and having a really good time,” Los Bitchos say in press notes.

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of this year, you might recall that I managed to write about four of the album’s singles:

  • Las Panteras” a funky, mind-bending jam featuring shimmering synths bongos, cowbell, cabasa and wiry post punk meets Nile Rodgers and surf rock-like guitars and a sinuous bass line. 
  • Good to Go,” another mind-bending, genre-blurring composition that begins with a decidedly Western intro with shimmering and reverb-drenched guitar twang before quickly morphing into a a trippy yet chilled out Latin funk meets Turkish psych affair with glistening synths, handclaps and a blazing guitar solo. 
  • Pista (Fresh Start),” a slick and trippy synthesis of chicha, cumbia and psych rock featuring looping guitars and dance floor friendly Latin rhythms. 
  • The Link Is About To Die,” a trippy party friendly groove featuring looping and glistening guitars, twinkling synths and shuffling rhythms.

The rapidly rising JOVM mainstays will cap off a momentous year with two singles “Los Chrismos,” their first-ever Christmas themed composition and “Tipp Tapp,” both which were released digitally and physically earlier this month on a flexi disc bundled with a red vinyl re-press of their debut album. Co-produced, by the band’s Serra Petal and Javier Weyler, the two new tracks were recorded at 5db. 

The first single of the batch, the Christmas-themed “Los Chismos,” is a celebratory party, starting romp with cheers and shouts, centered around a dexterous and looping guitar line, atmospheric synths that’s one-part cumbia, one-part psych rock and 100% unadulterated joy. Considering the continued strange and uneasy state of our world over the past couple of years, “Los Chrismos” is a much-needed joy and hope bomb.

“‘Los Chrismos’ is our ‘80s nostalgic Christmas dreamland. Shoop-shooping down the slopes into a cosy chalet strewn with fairy lights, join us for a glass of bubbly and a cosy Christmas party full of festivities!” The band shares. “We can’t wait to get dressed up and play this song on our Chrismos tour.” 

Directed, shot and edited by Tom Mitchell, the accompanying video continues the 80s vibes of the song: We the women of Los Bitchos skiing down the slopes before meeting up for a meal and bubbly in a cozy, chalet complete with fireplace, seasonal lights — and the exchanging of gifts. If you’re a child of the 80s as I am, the video is a playful and nostalgia-inducing walk down memory lane.

Norwegian instrumental tropical funk/pop outfit Orions Belte — Øyind Blomstrøm (guitar), Chris Holm (bass) and Kim Åge Furuhaug (drums) — features members who have spent the bulk of their lives and professional careers as touring musicians. Naturally, they’ve been on the road — a lot. As the story goes, when Blomstrøm’s and Holm’s paths crossed for what seemed like the umpteenth time, they bonded over a mutual desire to create instrumental music, and they then decided to start a band together. The duo then recruited Holm’s Bergen scene pal Kim Åge Furuhaug to complete the band’s lineup.

With the release of 2018’s Mint, the Norwegian trio quickly established a genre-defying, style-mashing sound that draws from a wide and eclectic array of sources including 70s Nigerian rock, postcards from French Riviera, Formula One traces at Monza and 1971’s “Fight of the Century” between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.

2019’s Slim EP featured inventive reworkings of songs they love by artists they love, including Ghostface Killah‘s “Cherchez La Ghost,” Milton Nascimento‘s Tudo O Que Você Podia Ser”– and an original cut that pays homage to Norwegian beat group The Pussycats and the Mac Miller. 

Although the past two years may arguably be some of the most challenging years in recent memory for musicians and other creatives, the Norwegian trio haver remained extremely busy: In 2020, they released a handful of singles including “Bean” and 600m per minute, an EP of experimental compositions that derived its title from an elevator in Tokyo that can transport 40 people at a time a maximum speed of 600 meters per minute. The EP found the trio pushing the boundaries of instrumental music as they possibly could.

Last year’s sophomore album Villa Amorini derived its name from a popular Bergen nightclub; the place in town where everything happened — and where you needed to be, to be a part of it. Originally opened in the 80s as a fine dining spot, the business gradually evolved into an extravagant nightclub, where you’d see artists and DJs in loud t-shirts and oversized sunglasses. The album saw the trio meshing elements of underground pop, psych and world music, while further cementing their reputation for their ability to pull in listeners of diverse genres and styles. And with that understanding in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that the album’s material sets up a particular scene: the energy and vibe of a busy downtown sidewalk with intricately layered arrangements meant to draw you in and leave the listener wondering where it will lead.

A few weeks after Villa Amorini‘s release, the trio followed up with a Lagniappe Session EP in collaboration with Aquarium Drunkard. That June saw the release of their first live album, Scenic Route, which featured recordings from their live-streamed outdoor shows from the previous year.

Continuing their reputation for restless prolificacy, the Norwegian trio will be releasing a 3LP box set consisting of a solo album from each member — just like KISS did in 1978, they’ll gladly mention. The full 3LP box set is slated for November 18, 2022 release through Jansen Records: Chris Holm’s solo, self-titled album, a trippy psych pop-inspired affair was released last November. Øyvind Blomstrøm’s solo self-titled album, a funky mix of psych folk, psych funk, and psych blues was released earlier this year.

Last but not least, the band’s Kim Åge Furuhaug will be releasing his solo, self-titled album on November 18 2022, which coincides with the release of the of the box set. Furuhaug’s solo album is a sonic left-turn from Furuhaug’s work with Orions Belte: The album is a jazz album co-written and co-produced with Matias Tellez that features some of Norway’s finest jazz musicians, including Ole Morten Vågan (upright bass), Andreas Ulvo (piano, keys, organ) and Lars Horntveth (saxophone, clarinet, percussion, guitar).

“Jangle Med,” the first single of Furuhaug’s solo album is a meditative and expansive composition that seems indebted to classic bop jazz — in particular, Kind of Blue-era Miles Davis comes to mind. The arrangement is roomy enough for a warm and dreamy introduction featuring bursts of pedal steel, followed by gorgeous and soulful piano and clarinet solos from Horntveth.

New Audio: French Producer Samy Jebari Shares Slow-Burning “Rainy Nights”

Samy Jebari is an emerging and somewhat mysterious French singer/songwriter, producer and DJ. Jebari’s latest single, the slow-burning lo-fi “Rainy Nights” is centered around woozy and pitchy synths and syrupy, skittering beats. The end result is a song that to my ears, manages to evoke chilly and damp fall nights, hearing the rain hit your windowsill.

London-based instrumental outfit Los Bitchos — Australian-born, Serra Petale (guitar); Uruguayan-born Agustina Ruiz (keytar); Swedish-born, Josefine Jonsson (bass) and London-born and-based Nic Crawshaw (drums) — can trace their origins to meeting at various late-night parties and through mutual friends. Inspired by their individual members’ different upbringings and backgrounds, Los Bitchos have developed a unique, genre-blurring and retro-futuristic sound blends elements of Peruvian chicha, Argentine cumbia, Turkish psych and surf rock, as well the music each individual member grew up with: 

  • The Uruguayan-born Ruiz had a Latin-American music collection that the members of the band fell in love with. 
  • The Swedish-born Jonsson “brings a touch of out of control pop,” her bandmates often joke. 
  • Aussie-born Serra Petale is deeply inspired by her mother’s 70s Anatolian rock records. 
  • And the London-born Crawshaw played in a number of local punk bands before joining Los Bitchos.

“Coming from all these different places,” Los Bitchos’ Serra Petale says, “it means we’re not stuck in one genre and we can rip up the rulebook a bit when it comes to our influences.”

Los Bitchos’ Alex Kapranos-produced full-length debut,  Let The Festivities Begin! was released earlier this year. Recorded at Gallery Studios, Let The Festivities Begin! sees the London-based instrumental outfit further establishing their reputation for crafting maximalist and trippy, Technicolor, instrumental party starting jams — with a cinematic quality. 

The album’s celebratory title is something you might say while toasting dear friends, families and even strangers at a gathering — and hopefully at the of this horrible period of despair and uncertainty, as a way to usher in a period of carefree debauchery. “It’s about being together and having a really good time,” Los Bitchos say in press notes.

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of this year, you might recall that I managed to write about four of the album’s singles:

  • Las Panteras” a funky, mind-bending jam featuring shimmering synths bongos, cowbell, cabasa and wiry post punk meets Nile Rodgers and surf rock-like guitars and a sinuous bass line. 
  • Good to Go,” another mind-bending, genre-blurring composition that begins with a decidedly Western intro with shimmering and reverb-drenched guitar twang before quickly morphing into a a trippy yet chilled out Latin funk meets Turkish psych affair with glistening synths, handclaps and a blazing guitar solo. 
  • Pista (Fresh Start),” a slick and trippy synthesis of chicha, cumbia and psych rock featuring looping guitars and dance floor friendly Latin rhythms. 
  • The Link Is About To Die,” a trippy party friendly groove featuring looping and glistening guitars, twinkling synths and shuffling rhythms.

The rapidly rising JOVM mainstays will cap off a momentous year with two singles “Los Chrismos,” their first-ever Christmas themed composition and “Tipp Tapp,” which will be released digitally and physically on November 18, 2022 on a flexi disc bundled with a red vinyl re-press of their debut album. Co-produced, by the band’s Serra Petal and Javier Weyler, the two new tracks were recorded at 5db.

The first single of the batch, the Christmas-themed “Los Chismos,” is a celebratory party, starting romp with cheers and shouts, centered around a dexterous and looping guitar line, atmospheric synths that’s one-part cumbia, one-part psych rock and 100% unadulterated joy. Here in the States, we haven’t gotten to Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving but that’s besides the point. The song is a much-needed and infectious burst of fun and hope.

“‘Los Chrismos’ is our ‘80s nostalgic Christmas dreamland. Shoop-shooping down the slopes into a cosy chalet strewn with fairy lights, join us for a glass of bubbly and a cosy Christmas party full of festivities!” The band shares. “We can’t wait to get dressed up and play this song on our Chrismos tour.” 

Los Bitchos will close out the year with a number of festival dates, along with select dates opening for Franz Ferdinand during their October and November UK tour. They also will open for Pavement in London. December will see the band playing across the UK and European Union. All tour dates are below.

Tour Dates: 

Oct 15 Leeds, UK – Live at Leeds ‘In The City’ 

Oct 19 Manchester, UK – O2 Victoria Warehouse – w/ Franz Ferdinand 

Oct 20 London, UK – Alexandra Palace – w/ Franz Ferdinand 

Oct 21 Cardiff, UK – Swn Festival Weekend 

Oct 24 London, UK – The Roundhouse w/ Pavement 

Nov 5 Brighton, UK – Mutations Festival 

Nov 10 Glasgow, UK – OVO Hydro – w/ Franz Ferdinand 

Nov 12 Glasgow, UK – The Great Western Festival 

Nov 13 Kortrijk, BE – Sonic City Festival 

Dec 2 – London @ Heaven^ 

Dec 7 – Berlin @ Silent Green* 

Dec 8 – Amsterdam @ Paradiso Noord* 

Dec 9 – Luxembourg @ Rotondes* 

Dec 10 – Bern @ ISC Club* 

“Los Chrismos” Headline Tour Dates w/ support from: 

* – Takeshi’s Cashew 

^ – audiobooks

New Audio: Rival Consoles Shares Glistening “Running”

Ryan Lee West is a critically acclaimed, London-based electronic music producer, best known as Rival Consoles. Over the course of his 15-year career, the London-based electronic music producer’s work has diversified from the challenging electronic output of his early EPs to gradually become more conceptual and metamorphic: 2020’s Articulation used drawings and sketches to imagine and developed each track while last year’s Overflow explored themes of the human and emotional consequences of life surrounded by advancing technologies, including social media — and was composed for horeographer Alex Whitley‘s contemporary dance production of the same name. 

West’s consistent desire to create a more organic, humanized sound often sees the acclaimed British producer often developing early ideas on guitar or piano; forming pieces that capture and evoke a sense of songwriting behind the electronics. His eighth album Now Is, is slated for an October 14, 2022 release through Erased Tapes. Reportedly featuring some of the most playful and melodic material of his catalog in some time, the album draws from music, as well as art, film, colors, shapes and human emotions. 

“The title of the record Now Is interests me because it is the beginning of a statement, but it is incomplete. I like art that is open and suggestive of ideas even if they are inspired by very specific things,” West explains. “With my previous record Overflow being very dark, heavy and almost dystopian, I wanted to escape into a different world with this music and ended up creating a record which is a lot more colorful and euphoric.”

So far I’ve written about two singles off the forthcoming Now Is:

  • The Autobahn-era and Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk-like album title track “Now Is,” which features a a relentless motorik pulse and glistening synth arpeggios that manage to evoke prismatic bursts of color exploding before the listener’s eyes.
  • World Turns,” which also features a relentless motorik pulse built from a propulsive bass lines, glistening synths and twitter and woofer rattling industrial thump paired with a gently morphing song structure that sees tempo and tone shifts throughout. The end result is soulful, thoughtful electronic music with a human soul and beating heart.

Now Is‘ latest single, “Running” is a deceptively simple composition centered around a single melodic idea built from a glistening synth line that subtly morphs and bends throughout. The synth melody is paired with skittering thump and a motorik pulse that propels the song towards its conclusion — a gentle fade out.

“I am very into classical music and the kind of structures and ideas they often use, and love the works which take a single melodic idea and create multiple variations from it,” West explains. “That is what I tried to do with this piece, where every single thing is a variation on the opening ten second theme. I spent over one year exploring a huge amount of variations from light to very heavy. Over much time I ended up being more inspired by the subtler, gentler variations, which allow the idea to breathe, which is a theme on this record.”