Tag: instrumental

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays El Ten Eleven Releases a Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

Since their formation in 2002, the Los Angeles-based post rock duo  El Ten Eleven — Kristian Dunn (double-neck bass/guitar) and Tim Fogarty (drums) — have released eight full-length albums and four EPs, which have helped to establish their reputation for a steadfast DIY approach and for using a dizzying array of effect and looping pedals to create a dense, complex and incredibly cinematic sound. 

As we all know, experiencing an unexpected and tragic loss often inspires a period of deep self-reflection — a time in which one may contemplate their own mortality, as well as their own place and purpose within the larger world. El Ten Eleven’s Kristian Dunn found himself in a similar situation when a beloved family member of his died. And his own reflections on his life wound up emerging in the music he had started to write at the time. The end result is the band’s epic album Tautology, a sonic meditation on the arc of human life, composed in three parts starting from the teenage years, through middle age and then death. 

Sonically, the album echoes Dunn’s own personal experiences, veering from aggressive metal riffs to gorgeous and blissful ambient soundscapes. And while there are shared melodic and harmonic ideas throughout the album, each individual album has its own distinct qualities and character: Tautology I, which represents adolescence is reportedly angsty, aggressive and occasionally depressive; Tautology II, which represents middle aged reportedly features mid-tempo, head-nodding grooves; while Tautology III, which represents the golden years, is reportedly quiet and ambient. As a result, the 3LP album reportedly finds the duo pushing their sound into new territory, experimenting with a range of textures and soundscapes not heard on any previous El Ten Eleven effort. 

Dunn explains in press notes that there’s no right or wrong way to listen to Tautology, suggesting that a deep dive into the full project will yield rewards. “I think someone could listen to any one of the discs by themselves and have a really great experience—even if they didn’t know about the others. But if they do want to go deeper, I think there will be a lot of interesting stuff to discover. It works symbolically and it all connects. I think this is the best record we’ve ever done.”

Tautology I’s first single “With Report” is a decidedly aggressive song — and arguably the most aggressive of their catalog to date. Centered around a subtly expansive song structure, the song features buzzing power chords, thunderous drumming, a propulsive bass line and a rousing, mosh pit friendly hook, the track evokes the energy, and the piss and vinegar of foolhardy youth, “I wanted to represent what my teenage years were like, when I was full of testosterone and depression,” Kristian Dunn explains in press notes.  “When you’re a teenager everything feels so grandiose and dramatic.”

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Mike Slott is an acclaimed singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, beatmaker, and producer who has released material as as solo artist under his own name, as well as a member of the mediative project Mirror Mirror, Heralds of Change with Hudson Mohawke and Lesser Pieces with collaborator Diane Badie. As a solo artist, his Lucky 9Teen EP has been considered one of the most seminal releases in the post-Dilla age of instrumental beat music, while establishing his sound and approach: delicate and ethereal electronics with quivering samples.
Slott’s forthcoming solo effort Vignettes EP can trace its origins back to 2011: Slott first wrote the material as part of a live re-scoring of Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev’s 2003 debut film The Return, which he performed at that year’s Edinburgh International Festival.  Serving as Slott’s return to his old label home, LuckyMe Records and his first release on the label in over a decade, the EP places the material in a different context — but without stripping it of its mesmerizing and shimmering beauty and its cinematic quality. The EP’s first single is the slow-burning and atmospheric “Simple Dreams for Simple Days.” Centered around shimmering and slowly morphing synths, “Simple Dreams” manages to bring Brian Eno to mind while evoking  peaks of springtime warmth and sun slowly appearing through icy cracks.

New Audio: Emerging French Producer Dantec Releases a Trance-Inducing New Single

Mathieu Dantec is a rising Paris-based electronic music artist and producer, who initially developed a reputation across his hometown’s music scene as a sound guy, who has owned his own studio for the past decade. Interestingly, a few years ago, Dantec decided that it was time to finally step out from behind these scenes to pursue a long-held dream of pursuing his own music career. And in October 2018, the rising French electronic music artist and produce released his debut EP under the moniker Dantec, which introduced the listener to his sound, which draws from a variety of his different influences, including heavy rock, 60s-70s rock, world music, reggae, classical music, jazz, techno, trip hop and others. 

Dantec’s sophomore EP will further cement his growing reputation for crafting thoughtful, genre-defying music. The EP’s first and latest single is the shimmering and brooding, Portishead-like “Silence.” Centered around thumping and stuttering beats, looped brass samples, a sinuous bass line, shimmering guitars, DJ scratching and chopped and distorted vocal samples, the trance-inducing track as the French producer and artist explains is an example of some “simple loop-based construction:” the main brass sample was taken from a old take from a recording session at one of his first studios. The musicians were indiscipline and he had to repeatedly shout “Silence!” during the session.  

“I don’t remember how I got to loop this piece of sound, not on purpose I guess,” Dantec adds. “I first gave it a beat and bassline, and a good friend composed for fun the “trip hop” inspired guitar lead. The dark part imposed itself but was just an idea for years. Later when I had become a studio owner I asked professional rock performers to play on the track, and the original idea finally revealed! [The] last element I’ve added was the trancey-acid 303 in the heavy part: I had my serious mix of influences but honestly I’ve never considered this track (and so many others i plan to release) as ‘serious.’ It’s just for fun . . .” 

Live Footage: Emerging French Multi-instrumentalist, Composer, and Producer Hugo De Luca Performs “Yelsi Hill”

Hugo De Luca is an emerging French multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer. Starting off as a guitarist, De Luca later learned to play bass and to produce music. And by 2017, he started composing and producing his own original material, material that found him meshing several different genres — in particular electronica, jazz, hip-hop and ambient electronica (all of which have influenced him and his work) while focusing on creating moods and telling stories. 

The emerging French multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer has collaborated in a number of projects across a variety of different genres, including rock, funk, jazz, reggae and soul: in 2018, he was featured on Oxmo Puccino’s “Un rien.” Last year, De Luca released his debut EP Unexpected Ending. 

De Luca begins 2020 with “Yelsi Hill,” a sultry instrumental jam indebted to Quiet Storm-like soul and smooth jazz and centered around shimmering, bluesy guitar work and shuffling beats. “The aim was to create a relaxed atmosphere with a bit of a sexy vibe,” De Luca explains. “The title is a reference to a band I like, The Isley Brothers for their famous ‘Between the Sheets.'”

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Magic Sword Releases a Meditative and Cinematic New Single

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about Magic Sword, a multimedia project heavily indebted to 70s and 80s fantasy and sci-fi that features three masked and cloaked members known as The Keeper, The Seer and The Weaver, who are collectively called The Three Immortals. Their ageless story of their particular role in the endless battle between good and evil is told through gravel novels and occasionally online by a character known as The Harbinger. The project’s musical output serves as the soundtrack to the graphic novel series with their debut EP Legend being part of the first chapter of the The Three Immortals’ quest to find the chosen one. 

Released late last year, the Awakening EP was the highly-awaited follow up to Legend. And as the ongoing story’s second chapter, the material continues the ongoing story of The Three Immortals’ quest to find the chosen one, the only one who has the ability to wield the power of the Magic Sword and defeat the Dark One.

The trio have received quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for their material and their live show. Building upon a growing profile, the members of The Magic Sword will be releasing their sophomore album Endless through Joyful Noise Recordings on March 27, 2020. The 11 song album’s first single is the cinematic and meditative “Depths of Power.” Centered around layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, dramatic and propulsive drumming and a sizzling guitar solo, the track manages to be a retro futuristic track that nods at John Carpenter and 80s dystopian movies but with a clean, modern studio sheen. 

New Video: Emerging French Producer Bulletone Releases a Trippy Visual for Swaggering “Endless Love”

Bulletone is an emerging, Argenteuil, France-born DJ, producer, beatmaker and artist, who grew up listening to and being inspired by American hip-hop and R&B — in particular, artists like Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z. Interestingly,  the French-born producer, beatmaker and artist can trace the origins of his musical career when he bought his first MIDI keyboard with FL studio software five years ago.

Shortly after he purchased his first MIDI keyboard, Bulletone began making beats for his rapper and vocalist friends, which lead him to recording material in a professional recording studio. While meeting artists across an increasingly diverse range of genres and styles, the emerging French DJ, producer, beatmaker and artist began to explore different styles, genres and sounds — including hip-hop, pop and electronica among others. In fact, he proudly boasts having broad and eclectic tastes: while his sound generally leans towards trap, future beat and electronic music, he also cites Kaytranada, Phase, Jarreau Vandal, Daft Punk, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Timbaland, Mike Will Made It and 808 Mafia.  

Bulletone then went on to take a course on creative media education at the S.A.E. Institute, where he learned to be a technical sound engineer and made important connections to further his career. Since 2017, he has also managed to establish himself as a DJ, spinning in French clubs like the Recylclerie, Na_m3k, The 45 Tours and others. But he began to make a name for himself with the release of his debut EP, last year’s Interference, which is available on the major streaming services. 

Interestingly, Bulletone’s latest single, the swaggering “Endless Love” the title track off his latest effort Endless Love EP is centered around twinkling and shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking 808-like beats and a looped sample of thunder. But what makes the track — and in turn, the emerging French artist — compelling is the fact that track seamlessly and effortlessly meshes elements of hip-hop, trap, footwork, R&B while subtly paying homage to legendary beatmakers and producers like J. Dilla, Flying Lotus, Kaytranada and others. 

The accompanying video for “Endless Love” is a hallucinogenic-fueled fever dream featuring a young couple, who are madly in love. And in many ways, the video manages to evoke the wild feelings and thoughts of young, passionate and foolish love. 

New Video: French 79’s Intimate and Contemplative Visual for “Code Zero”

Last month, I wrote about Simon Henner, a Marseille, France-based electro pop producer and artist, best known for his solo recording project French 79. And with the release of his first two releases — his debut EP Angel and his full-length debut Olympic — Henner quickly and boldly emerged into the French and international electro pop scenes. 

Henner’s latest French 79 album Joshua is slated for a Friday release through Alter K Records, and the album reportedly finds Henner drawing from his past — in particular, his love of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Soft Machine, the soundtracks of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner and Jacques Cousteau. Each of Joshua‘s songs are meant to evoke a lived-in moment, relationship or experience during Henner’s childhood.

Now, as you may recall, album single “By Your Side” was centered around thumping beats, shimmering synth arpeggios and Ocean Springs, MS-born, Paris-based vocalist Sarah Rebecca‘s plaintive vocals to create a nostalgia-inducing track that recalls — to my ears, at least — From Here To Eternity . . . and Back-era Giorgio Moroder, and the Stranger Things soundtrack. And while being remarkably dance floor friendly, the track is a sweet declaration of loyalty that feels delightfully old-school. 

“Code Zero,” Joshua’s latest single is lush, instrumental track featuring twinkling Wurlitzer, shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats and a motorik groove. And while subtly recalling Tour de France-era Kraftwerk, Daft Punk and the aforementioned Giorgio Moroder, “Code Zero” the track possesses an intimate quality, as it feels like a contented sigh in a rare moment of peace. In press notes, Henner explains that the track, which also references his passion for sailing is “about how I find a path, how I use my music compass to move forward.” 

Directed by Vincent Desrousseaux, the recently released video is an intimate look at Henner’s creative process, as he writes the song in a gorgeous, sun-dappled apartment with with vintage gear — and it includes a brief moment in which Henner pauses to watch the 1983 motion picture War Games on his laptop. 

Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Will Lowery grew up in a deeply musical home, one in which both of his parents were classically trained musicians — and as a result, Lowery learned to play piano at a young age. As Lowery got a bit older, he became infatuated with jazz, soul and funk. Lowery’s love of jazz, soul and funk has deeply influenced his latest musical project pantology.

Lowery’s panotolgy debut, ““Never Enough” revealed an emerging artist and producer, whose sound and approach owed a debt to Flying Lotus, Bill Evans and J. Dilla: instrumental beatmaking, centered around completely original compositions. Now, as you may recall, the Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer’s pantology debut EP 2Q19 is slated for release this month, and the effort reportedly showcases an artist, who’s further honing his sound while delving into darker conceptual territory.

Last month, I wrote about the atmospheric EP single “Descent,” a track that reminded me a bit of Miles Davis‘ electronic era, Robert Glasper, Terence Blanchard and others but paired with tweeter and woofer rocking beats, wobbling low end and Sergej Avanesov‘s expressive Kamasi Washington-like saxophone playing. “False Step (AWOL),” 2Q19‘s latest single manages to clock in a relatively brief 2 minutes plus — but it manages to be an expansive track that begins with a fuzzy, lo-fi introduction complete with altered vocals before rapidly shifting to a shimmering and twinkling bit of neo-soul, centered by a sinuous bass line and head bopping groove and stuttering beats. The track evokes an escape into a shimmering and altered world — before a sudden crash into reality. Ultimately the track suggests that escapism is at best temporary and rarely sustainable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Magic Sword Releases an Epic Funky New Single off Their Soon-to-Be Released Sophomore EP

Magic Sword is a multimedia project heavily indebted to 70s and 80s fantasy and sci-fi: featuring three masked and cloaked members, only known as The Keeper, The Seer and The Weaver, who are also collectively known as The Three Immortals. Their ageless story of their role in the battle between good and evil is told through graphic novels and occasionally online by a character known as The Harbinger. Magic Sword’s musical output is the soundtrack to their graphic novel — and unsurprisingly, their debut EP Legend was the first chapter of The Three Immortals quest to find the chosen one. 

Slated for release this Friday through Joyful Noise Recordings, Awakening EP is the highly-awaited follow up to Legend. As the second chapter, the material continues the ongoing story of The Three Immortals’ quest to find the chosen one, the only one who has the ability to wield the power of the Magic Sword and defeat the Dark One. Now, earlier this year I wrote about the EP’s first single, the epic retro-futuristic John Carpenter-inspired soundtrack meets 1984-era Van Halen-like title track “Awakening.” The EP’s latest single “Lady of Light” may be the funkiest track on the EP, as it’s centered around a funky and strutting bass line, layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, reminiscent of Daft Punk — and much like its immediate predecessor, the track finds the act balancing slick production with a decidedly retro-futuristic soundtrack vibe.