Tag: Moscow Russia

Comprised of founding member and primary songwriter Dan Sheron, Seth Mower, Ben Mower and Carl Osterlof, the now Los Angeles-based indie rock/indie folk quartet Balto can trace their origins back to when its founding member and primary songwriter was 21 and attempting to begin a journalism career in Moscow. After failing at that and suffering through overwhelming personal and professional heartbreak, Sheron felt that his life had collapsed. Without saying goodbye to his friends or bothering to pack his belongings, Sheron took a Siberia-bound train with a child’s guitar and a journal that quickly filled with songs. And as the story goes, at some point the idea of the project was born in a third-class train car, singing and drinking among strangers somewhere east of Novosibirsk.

Naturally, over some time and with the recruitment of Seth Mower, Ben Mower and Carl Osterlof, the project transformed from a songwriting vehicle into a full-fledged band who describe their sound as “a boozy, swaggering style of American music rooted at the intersection of Motown, Big StarPlastic Ono Band-era John Lennon and Jackson Browne” — although they have cited the likes of My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog, Alabama Shakes, and The Arcs among others. Throughout their run together, the band has been fairly busy releasing 2011’s October’s Road, 2012’s Monuments 2015’s Call It By Its Name and last year’s Strangers, which was heavily praised by Seattle-based curators Artist Home as being “a tangle of beautiful messy emotions, wrapped in a sound that’s warmly familiar yet brimming with soul and tiny details that are touched by magic.”

During the past couple of years, the members of Balto relocated to Los Angeles and the move has also influenced their sound, with the band’s sound taking on a sunnier, more textured sound. In fact, their latest single, the shaggy, shuffling and boozy “Black Snake Mojave Blues” sound as though it were influenced by The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Allman Brothers Band as the song is centered by bluesy power chords, a big , muscular and infectious hook and a raucous, bunch of guys jamming together vibe.  In some way, it’s the perfect song for making a road trip without having a clear destination or purpose beyond just being alive and digging whatever you come across. Interestingly, as the band’s Dan Sheron says of the writing process, “I envisioned it as a slow sad song originally, but I’d left my guitar in Open G and was knocking around a blues and thought to try the song a different way.”









Throughout the past summer, I’ve written quite a bit about the Glasgow, Scotland-based synth pop act Free Love, and since their formation back in 2014 under the name Happy Meals, the act which is comprised of Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook quickly established themselves as one of Scotland’s most acclaimed, contemporary electronic music acts; in fact, their 2015 full-length debut Apero received a Scottish Album of the Year nod. And adding to a growing profile. the duo has opened for Liars and The Flaming Lips, and played sets at festivals in Austin, TXMoscow, and Bangalore.

With the release of “Synchronicity,” a track that may remind some listeners of Nu Shooz‘s “I Can’t Wait,” and New Order‘s “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle, the duo further cemented their reputation for crafting utopian-leaning and brainy dance pop centered around shimmering analog synths. As the duo explained in press notes, the song is breaking free from the binds of culturally dictated self-limitation, coupled with the vertigo of complete freedom. The Scottish synth pop duo released two more singles, the ecstatic Giorgio Moroder and New Wave-like “Pushing Too Hard,” and the acid-house-like “July,” which brought Come With Us-era Chemical Brothers and Tweekend-era Crystal Method to mind. The duo’s forthcoming EP Luxury Hits is slated for a November 9, 2018 release and the EP’s latest single “Playing As Punks” will further cement the Scottish duo’s reputation for crafting 80s inspired synth-based New Wave — in this case, much like “Synchronicity,” taking its cues directly from early New Order and early house music as the track sonically is centered around arpeggiated synths, industrial clang-like drum programming and an soaring yet infectious hook; but underneath the dance floor friendly vibes, the song focuses on being here in this very brief moment with the understanding and acceptance of the fact that it won’t last.



New Video: Glasgow’s Up-and-Coming Synth Pop Duo Free Love Release Playful Yet Sensual and Surreal Visuals for Two Club-Bangers

Earlier this summer, I wrote about Glasgow, Scotland-based synth pop act Free Love, and as you may recall since their formation under the name Happy Meals back in 2014, the duo comprised of  Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook quickly established themselves as one of their homeland’s most acclaimed dance pop acts. Their 2015 full-length debut  Apero was nominated for Scottish Album of the Year. Adding to a growing profile, the duo opened for Liars and The Flaming Lips, and played sets at festivals in Austin, TX, Moscow, and Bangalore.

With the release of “Synchronicity,” a track that may remind some listeners of Nu Shooz‘s “I Can’t Wait,” and New Order‘s “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle, the duo further cemented their reputation for crafting utopian-leaning and brainy dance pop centered around shimmering analog synths; in fact, as the duo explained in press notes, the song is about breaking free fro the binds of culturally dictated self-limitation, coupled with the vertigo of complete freedom. After playing at The Great Escape Festival, the duo have sets lineup at Bestival and will be supporting Django Django at the Edinburgh International Festival later this month; but in the meantime, the duo have released two new singles — the ecstatic, Giorgio Moroder and 80s New Wave-like “Pushing Too Hard,” which is centered around arpeggiated, analog synths and thumping beats, over which Rodden sings lyrics in an ethereal yet sultry French. “July,” on the other hand takes its cues from acid house, centered around distorted synths, explosive blasts of hi hat, thumping beats — and in some way the track reminds me of Come With Us-era Chemical Brothers and Tweekend-era Crystal Method.

The decidedly DIY visuals for “Pushing Too Hard” and “July” manage to nod at Andy Warhol and The Factory, as well as 80s-era MTV as it’s a weird yet successful balance of insouciance, brooding, coquettishness and surrealism.

Live Footage: Acclaimed Russian Electro Pop Act D-Pulse Perform “Get Lost” at Moscow’s New Space

Initially formed in Izhevsk, Russia, when its members Anton Kochnev, Semyon Perevoshikov, Klim Suhanov, and Sam Konyakhin were teenagers, the acclaimed St. Petersburg, Russia-based electro pop act D-Pulse have largely been influenced by French and Scandinavian electro pop, and disco — namely, the likes of Daft Punk, Phoenix, Air and others but with their own unique take, as they’ve been known to experiment with combining live recording sessions, complete with analog synthesizers, guitars and machines with sampling, cutting and processing from their own material.  In fact, when the quartet moved to St. Petersburg, they found their disco-leaning sound out of place within a scene that has been largely dominated by sparse techno but within a relatively short period of time, their sound and approach set them apart; in fact, over the past fe years, the members of the St. Petersburg quartet have released material on Island, Tirk, OM, Kitsune and Ministry of Sound — and they recently signed to Nick Murphy’s Detail Co. Records.

Detail Co. and Downtown Records released D-Pulse’s sophomore effort Serpentine earlier this year, and adding to their growing internationally recognized profile, the quartet recently released a remix EP featuring remixes of album single “Get Lost” by acclaimed electronic music artists and producers Juan Maclean, Photay, Attic Chefs and Babak — but in the meantime, album single “Get Lost” is an incredibly sleek and slick single that features a disco era influenced bass line paired with shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a soaring, feel good hook and a tight groove within a song that finds the act nodding at funk, disco, psych pop and electronica simultaneously.  Interestingly, the song reveals a deliberate attention to craft while being ambitiously crowd pleasing in a “why not have a little bit of everything and make it funky while you’re at it?” fashion.

The live footage of the band performing “Get Lost” at Moscow’s The New Space features the band pairing their dreamy yet funky sounds with a vivid audio-visual display.

Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop artist Adam Finkel, best known as Alek Fin has worked with a number of Los Angeles-based producers and artists including Robot Koch while Moscow, Russia-based producer Sergei Galunenko, best known as Galun initially crafted a career collaborating with a variety of Russian artists as a renowned beatboxer — and interestingly enough Finkel and Galunenko’s collaboration can trace its origin to when the duo were individually included on the same blog’s Top 100 Tracks of 2013. As Galunenko explains in press notes, geographical distance wasn’t an issue, “I found him and I knew I wanted to work with him. I thought we could really add something to each other’s music, despite us leaving 6,000 miles apart. Finkel was equally impressed by the Moscow-based producer’s “manipulation of vocal percussion and inspiring melodies.”

The duo’s previous collaboration together Golden, Blinding was critically applauded and with the recently released Strannik EP, which will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting a sound that effortlessly blended electro pop/electronica and chillwave; in fact, the duo’s sound has been favorably compared by some of my colleagues to the likes of Bonobo, James Blake, Future Trend and Deco Child. And when you hear Strannik‘s latest single “Ionosphere” you’ll see why as Finkel’s plaintive and ethereal vocals are paired with an atmospheric production consisting of shimmering synths, stuttering drum programming, wobbling low end and ambient electronics in a song that’s eerily spectral while gently nodding at Portishead and others.







EP Stream: Edu Imbernon and DROOG’s Forward-Thinking Yet Accessible Spectral

Edu Imbernon is a Valencia, Spain-based songwriter, producer, remixer, DJ and head of renowned indie electronica label Eklektisch Records. Imbernon has received international attention for a sound that possesses of electronica, house music, and pop — […]