Tag: Portishead Third

New Audio: Hungarian JOVM Mainstays Belau Team Up with Sophie Barker on a Sultry and Brooding New Single

Over the past two years or so, I’ve written quite a bit about the the Budapest, Hungary-based electronic music production and artist duo Belau — Peter Kedves and Buzas Krisztian — and as you may recall, with the release of their debut single “Island of Promise,” the Hungarian duo quickly exploded into the national scene for a buoyant, summery and dance floor friendly sound meant to evoke “cheerful places, filled with sunshine, where one can relax, unwind and find peace and harmony,” as the duo explain in press notes. “Island of Promise” eventually landed #1 on Deezer Hungary, one of the country’s biggest streaming services, and since its release, the track has amassed over 500,000 streams, and was featured in HBO Hungary series Aranyélet, as well as in an international Pepsi ad campaign shown in 33 countries.

The Budapest-based duo’s 2016 full-length debut The Odyssey won a Hungarian Grammy for Best Electronic Music Album — and they supported the album with an intense period of touring that saw them playing 120 shows in 19 countries with stops across the international festival circuit. including Eurosonic, Sziget, Reeperbahn, Untold, and SXSW. Since the release of The Odyssey, the JOVM mainstays released a series of remixes of The Odyssey tracks, and a handful of singles that included “Breath,” a sultry, dance floor friendly collaboration with Sophie Lindinger centered around glitchy beats and a sinuous yet anthemic hook and the Massive Attack-like “Natural Pool.” 

The duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Colourwave was released late last month and the album finds the duo furthering and expanding upon the sound that has won them attention internationally: downtempo electronica with moody atmospheric, shimmering synths and thumping 808s.  Last month, I wrote about “Rapture,” a collaboration with Blue Foundation‘s Kirstine Stubbe Teglbjærg centered around a trip hop-inspired production featuring shimming synth arpeggios, wobbling low end and Stubbe Teglbjærg’s sultry vocals. The album’s second single “Essence” continues the duo’s collaboration with female vocalists — this time, Sophie Barker. Much like its immediate predecessor, Barker’s sultry vocals glide over a shimmering production centered around a looped and reverb-drenched guitar, shimmering synths, skittering beats and an enormous hook. Sonically, the song brings Third-era Portishead and Octo Octa to mind  –but a with a brooding and seductive air. 

New Video: Genre-Defying French Artist MHUD Releases a Bloody Commentary on Violence and Toxic Masculinity

Initially beginning his creative career as a painter, the mysterious Strasbourg-born, Paris-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer MHUD got into music as a creative outlet relatively recently. And in short period of time, the Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist has developed a reputation for material that thematically focuses on man’s spiritual, emotional and intellectual split from himself — paired with a sound that’s genre defying. 

The mysterious Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist’s full-length debut is slated for a March 2020 release, and the album’s latest single “Cheval de Bataille” is a slickly produced track that possesses elements of trip hop, electroclash, electro pop and arena rock as its centered around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, buzzing, distortion pedal-fueled guitar lines, a motorik-like groove, expressive blasts of horn and arpeggiated synths. Sonically speaking, the song — to my ears, at least — reminds me a bit of synthesis of fellow countrymen Black Strobe, Dystopico-era Kriget, Third-era Portishead, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and The Deltahorse.  

Produced by David Garnacho and Nicolas Bouf, the recently released video for “Cheval de Bataille” follows the violent fantasies of a nerdy and relentlessly bullied office drone, who gets his revenge at a team-building paintball game. In the face of psychological violence in relation to economic and societal pressures, some people feel as though the only response they have is to respond with physical violence, the Strasbourg-born, Paris-based artist says of the video treatment. The directors and the artist went with a hyper realistic take on violence — so that the impact it has on people can’t be trivialized or glorified. But on another level. it points out how toxic masculinity can lead to increasing amounts of brutal and senseless violence. 

New Video: The Brooding Visuals for Beliefs’ Buzzing and Abrasive, Industrial-Leaning Single “Comb”

Currently comprised of founding members and primary songwriters Jesse Crowe and Josh Korody, the Toronto, ON-based indie rock duo Beliefs have released two well-regarded full-length albums over the course of their seven years together — 2013’s self-titled debut and 2015’s Leaper. And although the band has gone through a series of lineup changes throughout their history, the band can trace its origins to a shared love of late 80s and early 90s noise pop and shoegaze. However, the recently constituted duo’s forthcoming, third full-length album Habitat, which is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through Hand Drawn Dracula Records. The album, which was engineered by the duo’s Josh Korody and mixed by Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh features guest spots from Leon Tahenny, who’s played with Austra, Death From Above 1979 and Owen Pallet on drums and reportedly finds the band completely destructing, remaking and remodeling their self-conscious shoegazer-based sound to pursue an uncompromising new sound and vision, a a way for the band to find their own unique voice and sound. And interestingly enough, the period in which a band finds their own sound and voice may arguably be one of the most exciting and pivotal periods for any band. “I hope that’s the case,” says Crowe. “That’s always how I feel about bands, too – when you listen to something and it seems like it’s leading to a whole other element of a band, when you feel like you’re in the hallway about to open the door to a whole other space that this band is creating. And I hope that that’s what happens with us. We have no real plans at this point. We don’t want to be a ‘shoegaze’ band anymore.”

Interestingly, Habitat was the first time that the band’s founding duo had written an album together, and as Crowe continues, “we wrote 80% of it in a room in four days wth no previous material. It’s as spontaneous as can possibly be” — with material being derived from extensive jam sessions. Adding to the spontaneous nature of the material, the album was recorded and tracked in 16 days and was recorded with no grand design or plan at play; however, interestingly enough the material manages to be influenced by each individual member’s unique interests and obsessions while gravitating towards unfamiliar instruments and instrumentation. Lately, Korody has had an increasing interest in modular synths and avant industrial  sounds, partially influenced by his solo recording project Nailbiter while Crowe had been listening to a great deal of 90s hip-hop — in particular, Portishead‘s Third.  “It’s a dark record, for sure,”  Crowe says of their new album. “I feel like we were drawing a lot more from, like, me being a Goth teenager and Josh only wanting to listen to Aphex Twin and me only wanting to listen to Portishead’s Third for the last year and stuff like that. But also it was time to embody the elements of being a ‘wall-of-sound’ band with some space and the idea of being able to be quiet when you should be quiet, and you can’t do that with three guitars. There’s no space. It just becomes all push and no pull.”

Now, as you may recall I wrote about album single “1994,” a sleek and atmospheric Xiu Xiu, Antics-era Interpol-leaning single that was reportedly a sort of sequel  Leaper‘s “1992,” thanks in part to a song that eschews a traditional song structure; in fact, much like Antics, the song is focused on creating and sustaining a particular mood than whether a chorus should be placed in a particular part of the song or not. “Comb,” Habitat’s latest single is a noisy and abrasive, industrial and mosh pit worthy track consisting of layers of buzzing synths paired with forceful and propulsive drumming and shout worthy, nihilistic lyrics. And while nodding at Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, the song has an almost dance floor friendly stomp at its core. 

Directed by Andrew Matthews and Ivy Lovell, the recently released video for “Comb” features Crowe and Korody with the members of their touring band performing the song  at Toronto-based music venue Baby G under shadowy lighting and strobe lights. 

New Video: Beliefs Dark and Moody Cabaret-Inspired Visuals for “1994”

Although they’ve gone through a series of lineup changes and are currently constituted as a duo featuring its founding members and primary songwriters Jesse Crowe and Josh Korody, the Toronto, ON-based indie rock duo Beliefs have released two well-regarded full-length albums over the course of their seven years together — 2013’s self-titled debut and 2015’s Leaper; but the band can trace their origins to a shared love of late 80s and early 90s noise pop and shoegaze. Interestingly, the Canadian duo’s forthcoming third full, length effort Habitat was produced and engineered by the band’s Josh Korody and mixed by Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh, who’s also mixed albums by Preoccupations, Alvvays and METZ, and features Leon Tahenny, who’s played with Austra, Death From Above 1979 and Owen Pallet on drums, finds the band completely destructing, remaking and remodeling their self-conscious shoegazer-like origins in pursuit of an uncompromising new sound in which the duo has stopped being defined by the sum of its influences and finds their own unique voice and sound — and that period can often be one of most exciting and pivotal periods for a band. “I hope that’s the case,” says Crowe. “That’s always how I feel about bands, too – when you listen to something and it seems like it’s leading to a whole other element of a band, when you feel like you’re in the hallway about to open the door to a whole other space that this band is creating. And I hope that that’s what happens with us. We have no real plans at this point. We don’t want to be a ‘shoegaze’ band anymore.”

Interestingly, Habitat was the first time that the band’s founding duo had written an album together, and as Crowe continues, “and we wrote 80% of it in a room in four days wth no previous material. It’s as spontaneous as can possibly be” — with material being derived from extensive jam sessions. Adding to the spontaneous nature of the material, the album was recorded and tracked in 16 days and was recorded with no grand design or plan at play; however, interestingly enough the material manages to be influenced by each individual member’s unique interests and obsessions while gravitating towards unfamiliar instruments and instrumentation. Lately, Korody has had an increasing interest in modular synths and avant industrial  sounds, partially influenced by his solo recording project Nailbiter while Crowe had been listening to a great deal of 90s hip-hop — in particular, Portishead’s Third.  “It’s a dark record, for sure,”  Crowe says of their new album. “I feel like we were drawing a lot more from, like, me being a Goth teenager and Josh only wanting to listen to Aphex Twin and me only wanting to listen to Portishead’s Third for the last year and stuff like that. But also it was time to embody the elements of being a ‘wall-of-sound’ band with some space and the idea of being able to be quiet when you should be quiet, and you can’t do that with three guitars. There’s no space. It just becomes all push and no pull.”

Habitat, the band’s third full-length effort is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through Hand Drawn Dracula Records and Outside Music and the album’s latest single “1994” is reportedly a sort of sequel to Leaper’s “1992” and is a sleek and atmospheric track featuring ominously cascading synths, shimmering and angular guitar chords and propulsive drumming — and while allowing enough room for Crowe’s husky vocals to float and dart around the mix, the track sonically reminds me of Xiu Xiu, Antics-era Interpol, and others but with an eerily spectral vibe; as though the track was possessed by the lingering ghosts of one’s life. And they manage to do so within a song that eschews discernible or traditional song structures; in fact, much like Antics, the song is focused on creating and sustaining a particular mood than whether a chorus should be placed in a particular part of the song or not. 

Produced and edited by Christopher Mills, the video features Crowe and Korody performing in a dark room cabaret style –but the video manages to bear the appearance of old VHS tape, as it possesses a grainy quality in between cuts, nodding at the quality of the video for “1992.”