As you can imagine, over the course of the six year history of this site, there have been an increasing number of artists who have become mainstays — including Victoria + Jean, a Stockholm, Sweden-based avant […]
Currently comprised of Jon Davison (vocals), Steve Howe (guitar), Billy Sherwood (bass), Geoff Downes (keys) and Alan White (drums), the London, UK-based prog rock quintet Yes can trace their origins to when founding members Chris Squire (bass) and Jon Anderson (vocals) formed the band back in 1968. Much ink has been spilled throughout the band’s nearly 50 year run but what I will say that the legendary act has not only been pioneers of prog rock but they’ve also managed to be remarkably successful — 9 of the band’s 22 full-length albums have reached the top 10 in either the UK or US with two reaching number 1 in the UK. And the band has sold 13.5 million albums in the US alone. In the early 80s, Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart” was a mega-hit song — and a song that I remember quite fondly as a child.
Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 13 months or so, you may recall that I’ve written about Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist and DJ Lennart Richter. Prolifically releasing a series of singles through renowned electronic music labels Sleazy G, East Project, G-Mafia Records, GUN PWDR, Ensis Records, Blue Dye, Mondal Recordings and others, Richter quickly developed a reputation across his native Germany and internationally for exploring the gamut of electronic music subgenres including deep house, G house, nu-disco and several others with a slick, crowd-pleasing, club-rocking production. And as a result, Richter can claim several Beatport Top 25 releases under his belt, and his last EP, Berlin Brawling landed at #10 on the Beatport Indie Dance/Nu Disco Charts.
The Berlin-based electronic music artist, producer and DJ closed out 2015 with the release of “Hold Up,” a nu-disco and house track comprised of layers of shimmering and cascading synths, propulsive drum programming led by explosive cymbal shots and a looped vocal sample that comes in and out of the haze. Sonically, the song reminded me quite a bit of Octo Octa’s “His Kiss” an “Please Don’t Leave” off his fantastic Between Two Selves — or in other words, it manages to possess both a bracing iciness and a thoughtful soulfulness. Richter builds on the success of the past year with the release of a remix of Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart” that retains the vocal sample but pairs it with what sounds like ukulele, handclap-led percussion, swirling electronics and slowly cascading synths, which essentially turns the electro rock song into a slickly produced, densely layered, mid-tempo club banger — while retaining something of the song’s original feel and spirit.
http://cache.vevo.com/assets/html/embed.html?video=GBBGB1500163&autoplay=0 Currently comprised of Bobby Gillespie (vocals), Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (keys), Simone Butler (bass), Darrin Mooney (drums) and Barrie Cadogan (guitar), the Glasgow, Scotland-based quintet Primal Scream can trace their origins back to […]
Towards the second half of 2015, the Brazilian indie psych rock quartet Boogarins quickly became a JOVM mainstay, and if you had been frequenting this site over that period dog time, I had written about a couple […]
Nigerian-born, Montreal-based producer Teck-Zilla emerged as an up-and-coming producer with the release of Son of Sade: An Ode, an 18 minute instrumental mixtape that was intended as a tribute to both the renowned British-Nigerian vocalist Sade and the producer’s mother, who coincidentally is also named Sade. Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past two years or so, you might remember that I wrote about the Nigerian-Canadian producer’s Afro Bootleg EP, an EP that had the producer revisiting his birthplace, as he remixed some of Nigeria’s biggest hits with a populist, globe-spanning, crowd-rocking sound that would get asses moving in clubs across New York, Montreal, Lagos, London, Ibiza an others.
Although it’s been a little while since we’ve heard from Teck-Zilla, the Nigerian-born and Montreal, QC-based producer has been prolific, as he’s released a number of mixtapes, including the aforementioned Son of Sade and Afro Bootleg EP, as well as Souled Off: A Dedication to Molly Molls. His third and latest instrumental mixtape Joe Jackson Kids has the producer paying homage to Michael Jackson — mostly Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson as the mixtape features snippets of interviews with Michael Jackson and his family, as he was becoming increasingly uncomfortable and uncertain about his fame, and a variety of chopped up samples of Jackson 5 songs and Michael’s solo work. While reminding the listener that Michael Jackson’s ghost looms large in contemporary pop — hell, contemporary music in general — the mixtape also manages to create nuanced and empathetic portrait and interpretation of the young Michael Jackson. But ironically, the EP’s title comes from a playful, inside joke that the Nigerian-born, Montreal-based producer had with his brother. As Teck-Zilla explains in press notes “I got the title from one of my favourite Jeru the Damaja records, ‘Whatever,’ off his Wrath of the Math LP. That line always cracked me and my brother up every time, so it was kinda like an inside joke for both of us. Just remember to say ‘check it out’ after the title.”
Probably the biggest highlight on the mixtape is “Human Nature (Jackson Jones Flip)” which not only turns the original song on its head, but also reminds the listener of how influential the song has been to hip-hop and to R&B as Teck-Zilla weaves bits of Nas‘ classic Illmatic including “It Ain’t Hard to Tell,” “The World Is Yours” and others songs while subtly nodding at Off the Wall. “Letter to Michael” is a headbanging take on Michael’s work that sounds as though it were indebted to J. Dilla while “Goodbye (Last Call)” is a sensual closer that features twinkling percussion, handclaps and chopped up bits of Michael singing in a way that creates an entirely different song. “JJ Kids” features the sample that inspired the title before quickly turning into the warm, twinkling soul instrumental that’s nods to J. Dilla and Pete Rock. But perhaps most important, the entire mixtape reveals Teck-Zilla to be a remarkably playful yet thoughtful producer, whose sound has become increasingly warm and soulful.
The last few days have been insanely busy in the JOVM world — and as a result I haven’t been able to post as much as I would have liked; however, it’s been a fun weekend of a lot of live music from all over the world and time spent with some very dear friends. Naturally, there are a lot of photos and stuff but expect a ton of stuff over the next couple of weeks . . .
In any case, as you all know, I receive quite a bit of emails from an incredibly diverse array of artists, labels, publicity firms, band managers and other folks from all over the world. I recently received an email from London-based quintet Blank Bibles. The British quintet’s latest single “Abigail West” sounds as though it draws heavily from The Smiths as shimmering guitar chords, propulsive drumming, soaring strings and anthemic hooks are paired with plaintive and lovelorn vocals. Unsurprisingly, the Abigail West at the heart of the song seems to be one of the loveliest women in the entire world — the sort of woman that you’d happily sing and dance in the street without a care in the world.
Comprised of Emma Wigwam, Mark Jasper and Ed Shellard, Witching Waves emerged from the London, UK DIY scene with a tense sound consisting of angular guitar chords, propulsive drumming and anthemic hooks reminiscent of 90s alternative rock, as you’ll hear on “Twister,” the latest single off the band’s new album, Crystal Cafe. Sonically, the song sounds as though it draws equally from Wire, Gang of Four and Sleater -Kinney — while lyrically, focusing on the contemporary, modern condition. And as a result, the song evokes the sensation of constant tumult, uncertainty and danger, desperate alienation, stagnation and misdirected anger. It’s being pissed off and not always understanding why or how — and not knowing where to direct it because you’re so angry all the time over everything. If that doesn’t describe the life of a great deal of young people, nothing else really will.
With the release of a now sold-out 12,” and their Young Ones EP, the London-based duo Formation, comprised of siblings Will and Matt Rinson quickly exploded into the UK electro pop scene; in fact, the duo’s […]
As an unabashed child of the 80s, Depeche Mode holds as much of a place in my heart as New Order; after all, so much of their material has managed to be part of my life’s soundtrack. More than enough ink has been spilled throughout the act’s influential career, so delving into their biography is largely unnecessary. Interestingly, over the past 20 years, an in impressive and growing number of artists have covered, remixed and reworked Depeche Mode including Smashing Pumpkins, Deftones, A-ha, Monster Magnet, Scott Weiland, The Cure (yes, seriously, The Cure!), Tori Amos, Nada Surf, Linkin Park‘s Mike Shinoda, Breaking Benjamin, Royskopp, Placebo and more.
Comprised of Paris-born and London-based duo Axel Basquiat (composer, vocals, bass) and Vincent T. (production, sound engineering and keys), The Penelopes are an indie electro pop act, production and DJ duo who have developed a reputation for propulsive, Giorgio Moroder-like remixes of Lana Del Ray, Pet Shop Boys, We Have Band, Night Drive, The Ting Tings, Alt J and a growing list of others, and for their own original material — which critics internationally have compared to Daft Punk, M83 and Air, among others. The Parisian-born, London-based duo add their names to a growing list of artists, who have covered Depeche Mode with their rendition of “Never Let Me Down Again,” which turns the slow-burning and moody industrial/goth song into a shimmering and anthemic, club-banger with a sinuous bass line and propulsive drum programming with Basquiat’s breathy baritone. And although The Penelopes uptempo rendition is warmer and dance floor friendly, it retains the original’s sense of longing and desire.
Check out how The Penelopes cover compares to Depeche Mode’s original below.