Ninety’s Story · APO (Unplugged)
Ninety’s Story · APO (Unplugged)
Comprised of Tom, Owen, Clementine (a.k.a. Clem) and Creeda, the Brighton, UK-based indie electro pop quartet Kudu Blue have received attention both nationally and internationally from the likes of Complex, The Line of Best Fit, Wonderland Magazine, Notion Magazine, Pigeons and Planes and airplay on Beats 1 Radio, BBC Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra for a sound that draws from contemporary R&B, electro pop and soul — paired with lush and atmospheric production.
The Brighton-based quartet’s recently released Shaded EP, which was written and then self-recorded and self-produced in each of the bandmembers’ bedrooms — and the EP’s latest, slow-burning, single “Enemy,” will further cement their growing reputation, as the single features a lush and atmospheric-leaning production consisting of shimmering and twinkling arpeggio synths, wobbling bass synth chords, a sinuous bass line and boom bap beats paired with vocalist Clementine’s yearning and soulful vocals. And while sonically bearing a resemblance to Morcheeba but with a subtly contemporary take, the song is loosely based around a rather heated discussion the band’s vocalist had. As the band explains, Clem had come out of a bumpy patch in her life, and was ready to start living her life in a new way — in which she’d just enjoy things and take it day-by-day; however, the people in her life found it difficult to accept that she was attempting to make a purposeful and positive change in your life. Unsurprisingly, as a result, at the core of the song is a bitter confusion over the fact that someone, who the song’s narrator once thought understood them, may actually be one of their worst enemies. Worse yet, you couldn’t have possibly seen it coming either.
Phantom is a Helsinki, Finland-based, newlywed, electro pop duo comprised of jazz-trained vocalist and poet Hanna Toivonen and tech-futurist and producer Tommi Koskinen. And since their formation in 2012, the duo have received praise both nationally and internationally for a sound that has drawn comparisons to Bjork, Morcheeba and The Knife, along with developing a reputation for using new and evolving technologies to further expand and experiment with their sound. In fact, Koskinen built a multi-dimensional technology dubbed The UFO (Ultrasonic Frequency Oscillator) in the duo’s studio space, and as its been described, the user plays and controls the device by flailing their hands above a flying saucer-looking MIDI controller. He also developed a real-time visual projection software called Z Vector, which uses Kinect 3D cameras and audio data from the sounds of their live performances to create an immersive, multimedia-based live set.
MMXII, the duo’s recently released full-length effort derives its name from the year the duo started collaborating together, and the album’s first single “Dance” manages to feature a moody and atmospheric production consisting of scillating synths, twinkling keys, wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, futuristic, electronic bleeps and bloops and shuffling drum programming paired with Toivonen’s effortlessly soulful vocals. and a gorgeous piano-based arrangement. Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though it draws from several different sources — Morecheeba in particular, but also from Portishead, Niki and the Dove and others, complete with a rousing and soaring hook.
The recently release video features the duo performing the song, while an expressive modern dancer dances to the song in front of a giant projection screen — but the video seems to be set in a dystopian future similar to ours.
Phantom is a Helsinki, Finland-based, newlywed, electro pop duo of jazz-trained vocalist and poet Hanna Toivonen and tech-futurist and producer Tommi Koskinen and since their formation in 2012, the duo have received praise both nationally and internationally for a sound that has drawn comparisons to Bjork, Morcheeba, The Knife. Along with that, the duo have also developed a reputation for using evolving technologies to further their sonic experimentation; in fact, Koskinen has built a multidimensional technology dubbed The UFO (Ultrasonic Frequency Oscillator in their studio, and as it’s described, the user plays the device by flailing their hands above a flying saucer-looking MIDI controller. He also developed the real-time visual projection software called Z Vector, which uses Kinect cameras and audio data for live performances to create an immersive live set.
Derived from the year the duo first start, MMXII, the duo’s highly-anticipated full-length debut is slated for a February 24, 2017 release through Vlid Music and from the album’s first two singles “Dance,” a moody bit of synth pop consisting of an atmospheric production featuring oscillating synths, twinkling keys, wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, futuristic, electronic bleeps and bloops and shuffling drum programming paired with Toivonen’s effortlessly soulful vocals. Sonically speaking, the song sounds as though it draws from several different sources — the aforementioned Morecheeba in particular, but also from Portishead. “Lost,” MMXII‘s latest single lyrically is informed by parts of two poems she had written “Enemies” and “Old Man” written during a trip to the 2013 Venice Art Biennale, where Toivonen met a billionaire art collector, who had lived a fascinating life, a pirate and in which Koskinen lost his luggage; but made the beat.The song features a production in which enormous 808-like beats are paired with swirling electronics and distorted synths and wobbling low end reminiscent of The Fragile-era Nine Inch Nails. And just like its preceding single, there’s room for Toivonen’s sultry and soulful vocals to float over the moody mix.
What makes both songs interesting to me is the fact that they balance a hauntingly cinematic quality with an emotional intimacy in which Toivonen seems to be confessing her innermost secrets and desires directly to the listener.
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