Tag: Kraftwerk

Throwback: Happy 58th Birthday, Biz Markie!

JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates the 58th anniversary of Biz Markie’s birth.

Wojmann is a mysterious and emerging French electronic music producer and electronic music artist with a rather unique and interesting back story: Born somewhere in Southern France during the late 20th century, the emerging French artist suffered from a severe case case of amnesia, a case that has essentially erased his past. Found in front of a small Provence town’s public pool last April, the only memories that Wojmann seems to have is a haunting rhythm in his head that he tries to transcribe to music. 

Acclaimed French electronic label Sinners released the mysterious French producer’s debut EP Vars earlier this year. Building upon a growing profile in the electronic music scene, Wojmann has quickly followed up with the OT EP. The EP’s A-side single, title track “OT” is an expansive and cinematic take on deep house centered around layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, an insistent motorik groove and tweeter and woofer rocking beats. Sonically the song — to my ears at least — reminds me of bit of Tour de France and Computerworld-era Kraftwerk.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays New Bleach Team up with Ariane Roy on an Atmospheric and Brooding New Single

Quebec City-based indie pop act and JOVM mainstays New Bleach features a duo known throughout Quebec for their work in acclaimed Francophone indie rock act Caravane — — Dominic Pelletier and Raphaël Potvin. And with the release of New Bleach’s first four singles, Pelletier and Potvin’s newest project proved to be a marked sonic departure from their work in Caravane: 

“Awake,” the duo’s debut as New Bleach was an Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT-like single centered around a profound philosophical question: “What if death was just a dream?”
“Silver Lining,” a Quiet Storm R&B meets Beacon-like track that’s one part old-school love song and one part plea for hope in a seemingly hopeless and bleak world. 
“High.” Kraftwerk meets 80s New Wave-like track centered around the age-old desire to get into the car for a road trip — and maybe pull over to do some hallucinogens and daydream. 
“You,” a slow-burning and atmospheric track full of the aching longing and regret of one’s lingering ghosts that featured Ghostly Kisses‘ Margaux Sauvé. 

The JOVM mainstays started 2021 with a gorgeously cinematic live session filmed in the Le Massif de Charlevoix, Quebec. Filmed in a mountainous forest cleaning, just off the coast of the St. Lawrence River, with a morning fog gently lifting, the sessions take place over the course of a day and night with the duo performing behind a futuristic lighting rig. The session features three singles I’ve written about previously — “Awake,” Silver Lining,” and “High.” The setting is breathtakingly gorgeous — in a way that only could be Quebec. 

Building upon a growing profile, the Quebec City-based duo’s debut EP Impressions was released last Friday through Coyote Records. And just before the EP’s release, the Quebec City JOVM mainstays released “Stranger,” a breezy and vaporous synth pop number centered around delicate and shimmering synth arpeggios, ethereal vocals, skittering polyrhythm and a sinuous bass line that sonically brought 80s synth soul and pop like Billy Ocean to mind. But at its core, the song asked thematically big, existential questions — namely, if true happiness is actually possible.

Interestingly, the EP’s latest single is the slow-burning and atmospheric “Night.” Centered around an achingly tender vocal melody and boy-girl harmonizing between New Bleach’s Dominic Pelletier and Ariane Roy, twinkling synths, a propulsive bass line, the song evokes brooding, late night/early morning solitude while slowly unfolding into a rousingly anthemic coda. Written in a single night of solitude, the song invites the listener to meditate on the simple things that keep life worth living — and keep us alive.

Rising Dutch producer and DJ Cliff de Zoete has released a couple of attention-grabbing releases through French electronic music label Sinners including the astral “Spacesuit Required” and the tongue-in-cheek “Are You Afraid of the Boogieman?”Iridescence” EP, which featured the hypnotic and minimalist “Are You Afraid of the Boogieman?

“Orbit,”de Zoete’s expansive third release through the renowned French electronic music label continues a run of Kraftwerk-like material — in particular, Computerworld and Tour De France with the track being centered around a slowly developing groove centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, thumping beats and a sinuous bass line. Simply put, the track is late night, deep house that will make you dance and sweat into the wee hours.

Last summer, Toronto-based psych rock duo Lammping — vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mikhail Galkin and drummer Jay Anderson — released their critically applauded full-length debut Bad Boys of Comedy. Bad Boys of Comedy featured teh noise rock meets shoegazer rock “Greater Good,” a perfect example of their difficult to categorize take on psychedelia, inspired by Tropicalia, Turkish psych pop, old-school New York boom bap hip-hop and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Shortly after Bad Boys of Comedy‘s release, the Toronto-based psych duo started working on new material that found them pushing the boundaries of psych music in bold, new directions: while still rooted in Anderson’s thunderous drumming and Galkin’s melodic riffs, the duo have added sampling, drum machines and a variety of instrumentation to their sonic palette. The duo’s sophomore album Flashjacks is equally indebted to the likes of StereolabDe La SoulKraftwerkBlack SabbathBlue Cheer and Sleep. The end result is material that finds the Canadian duo eschewing cliched stoner and psych rock tropes while pushing towards a new path in terms of creating heavy music.

Flashjack‘s latest single “Lammping” is a strutting mix of fuzzy 60s psych rock and 70s melodic AM rock paired with hi-hat driven boom bap-like drumming, enormous hooks and an expansive song structure. While seeming describing tripping on hallucinogens, the song is thematically a mission statement of sorts with the band continuing to push heavy music into a new and mischievous direction.

Flashjacks is slated for a summer release through Echodelick Records. Be on the lookout.

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 Audio: JOVM Mainstay LutchamaK Releases a Euphoric Banger

There are few artists I’ve witten about as much over the past 18-20 months than the frenetically prolific French electronic music producer, artist and JOVM mainstay LutchamaK. And during that same period, LutchamaK has released an increasingly eclectic array of material — through EPs, albums and standalone singles — that see him bouncing around endlessly between different electronic music styles, genres and sub-genres.

2021 may the the most productive and prolific year to date for the JOVM mainstay: he started this year with Pi, a full-length album written and recorded in a three month burst that may be among the darkest and heaviest he has released. He quickly followed that up with Quest EP, an effort that featured experimental but melodic material.

The JOVM mainstay continues on an insanely prolific period with yet another four-song EP, Rapscallion. Clocking in at a radio friendly 3:36, the EP’s first single “James Blitz 007” is a slickly produced synthesis of Radioactivity-era Kraftwerk, 90s house and techno and drum ‘n’ bass featuring tweeter and woofer rattling beats, chopped up vocal samples and euphoric hook that invites the listener to get up and dance.

New Video: Berlin-based DJ and Producer Dan Curtin Releases a Trippy Visual for Hypnotic “Soul System”

American-born, Berlin-based producer and DJ Dan Curtin released his latest effort Soul System EP through Sound of Berlin earlier this year. Meshing elements of several different electronic music genres and sub-genres, ranging from house, funk, […]

Deriving her stage name from the Idlewood district of San Andreas in Grand Theft Auto: San AndreasEleanor Idlewood is an emerging, 23 year-old, Bordeaux-based electronic music producer and artist, who can trace the origins of her music career to when she was 14: Idlewood explains that her best friend received music programming software and they shared the software with her. Ever since then she’s been making her own original music, inspired by the sounds of the 80s and 90s — including Depeche ModeFrankie Goes to Hollywood, The Human LeagueKraftwerkVangelisPet Shop BoysMadonnaJean-Michel JarreMobyTelepopmusikTestu InoueStephane PompougnacWilliam Orbit and a lengthy list of others. (Unsurprisingly, the emerging French electronic music artist and producer proudly admits that she’s obsessed with the 80s: she owns some vintage synthesizers from the 80s and owns vintage dresses, boots and other items from the 80s that she regularly wears.) 

After releasing a handful of singles that found the young, emerging, French electronic music producer and artist experimenting with darkwave and New Wave, Idlewood released her full-length debut, last year’s Little Secrets, which featured the brooding, John Carpenter soundtrack-like “Not Your Fault.” Building upon the attention she received with Little Secrets, Idlewood will be releasing its follow-up, Little Secrets: Remixes and Fantasies. Little Secrets: Remixes and Fantasies‘ first single “Akito’s Madness” is a decidedly Tour de France-era Kraftwerk-inspired single, centered around a hypnotic, motorik groove, shimmering synth arpeggios and thumping beats.

“Kraftwerk is a major influence for this electronica track,” Idlewild says. “Made with some sequencer, vocalic for the vocal, Korg MS-20, Volca Modular and other sound design.”