Tag: Primal Scream

Live Footage: Primal Scream at LEVITATION Festival

ea devised by the members of JOVM mainstay act The Black Angels in the back of a tour van back in 2007: “Let’s invite all of our favorite bands and all of our friends for our version of a music festival.”

The inaugural Austin Psych Fest was in March 2008 — and by popular demand, the festival expanded to a three-day event the following year. Within a relatively short period of time, Austin Psych Fest became an international destination for psych fans across the globe, with the festival featuring lineups that included up-and-comers, cult favorites, legendary and influential acts and a headlining set from the festival’s founders, The Black Angels. A few years ago, the festival was renamed Levitation in honor of Austin psych rock pioneers The 13th Floor Elevators, but in in its almost 15 year run, the festival has helped spark a new, international psych rock movement while inspiring the creation of similar events across the globe, including Levitation Festival events in Chicago, Vancouver, France and a SXSW showcase, as well as other special events in Europe and Latin America.

last year, Levitation Festival’s record label, The Reverberation Appreciation Society announced the launch of a new live album series, Live at LEVITATION. Comprised of material played and recorded throughout the festival’s decade-plus history, the live album series specifically captures and documents key artists in the contemporary psych rock scene. Of course, many of these moments were also important moments of Austin’s live music scene. 

The live series’ first album Kikagaku Moyo — Live at LEVITATION featured two different Kikagaku Moyo sets — their 2014 Levitation Festival set, which was one of the Japanese psych rock act’s first Stateside shows and their return to Levitation back in 2019, during a sold-out Stateside tour, which included a stop at Warsaw that year with Japanese krautrockers Minami Deutsch.
The series’ second album The Black Angels — Live at LEVITATION featured the festival’s founders The Black Angels. The Black Angels live album is comprised of material recorded at Austin Psych Fest 2010, 2011 and 2012, and captures a rare glimpse of the festival’s earlier, more humble days. And of course, for Black Angels fans, like myself, the album features live version of six songs from their first two albums — Passover and Directions to See a Ghost.

e (vocals), Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (keys), Simone Butler (bass) and Darrin Mooney (drums) — have embraced an eclectic and diverse array of styles and sounds from psych pop, degenerate rock ‘n’ roll, euphoric rave and industrial gloom while going through a complicated series of lineup changes that have also included The Stone Roses’ Mani and My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, and the death of beloved guitarist Robert “Throb” Young. They’ve collaborated on material with George Clinton and Kate Moss. And throughout their run, they’ve managed to capture the mood and tone of the UK several times over — while surviving narcotic oblivion and countless personal traumas.

Slated for a November 19, 2021 release through The Reverberation Appreciation Society, Primal Scream — Live at LEVITATION is centered around the British legends’ 2015 LEVITATION set, a career spanning set, which pulled hits from landmark records like Screamadelica, Give Out But Don’t Give Up, XTRMNTR and others. To build up buzz for the album, LEVITATION, The Reverberation Appreciation Society and Primal Scream released two singles off the album: muscular renditions of Give Out But Don’t Give Up track “Jailbird” and XTRMNTR track “Accelerator.” The accompanying live footage serves as a reminder that Primal Scream is one of the best live bands in the entire world.

A/Canada and British and European stores, a Rough Trade vinyl exclusive and a very special American feature as part of the annual Ten Bands One Cause charity initiative. That feature will launch around National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October — and will benefit Red Door Community, where no one faces cancer alone.

New Video: Follow Mera Bhai on a Surreal Day-in-the-Life Journey

Karthik Poduval is a London-born, Indian-British DJ and producer, and founder of the acclaimed tropical psych rock/psych pop act Flamingods. Poduval’s solo recording project Mera Bhai derives its name from the affectionate Hindi greeting, which translates into “my brother.” The project is informed by Poduval’s experiences as a global citizen: he has lived in Italy, Albania, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Nigeria and of course, the UK — and naturally, that has deeply informed his own globe-trotting, border-crossing, genre-defying take on dance music, which incorporates elements of Indian Carnatic, Arabic Rai, 70s disco, acid house, Detroit echo and Tropicalila. “Having grown up all over the world, I was surrounded by a wealth of different sounds — I’m just trying to weave the cultural through line that I hear in music,” Poduval says.

Poduval’s Mera Bhai debut Futureproofing EP was released earlier this year through Moshi Moshi Records, and if you’ve been frequenting this site this year, you may recall that I’ve written about two of the EP’s singles:

A bootleg remix of Ahmed Fakroun‘s “Jama El F’na,” which retained the shimming instrumentation of the original and Fakroun’s vocals while pairing them with a Tour de France-era Kraftwerk/Primal Scream/Kasabian-like production, featuring layers of arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap beats and industrial clatter. The original is a club banger — but the remix manages to sound as thought it comes from some mixtape that someone brought back from 2038.
“Mañana Groove,” a summery, club anthem centered around an expansive and mind-bending structure that featured shimmering synth arpeggios, hot hi-hat flashes, stuttering tweeter and woofer rocking beats paired with vocodered vocals and samples from a Mr. Bongo Records reissue of Cissé Abdoulaye’s “A Son Magni.” And while to my ears, the song sounds as though it one part Kraftwerk, one part Evil Heat-era Primal Scream and one part deep house, the song as Poduval explains was inspired by Todd Terje‘s “Inspector Norse” while also nodding at 808 State’s “Pacific State,” one of Poduval’s favorite anthems, “which frames summertime feels for me.” And as a result of its summery air, the track at its core, possesses a carefree “let’s worry about it all tomorrow” vibe.

The EP’s latest single, is EP title track “Futureproofing.” The track is a hypnotic, club anthem centered around an insistent, motorik-groove, stuttering four on the floor, shimmering synth arpeggios and trippy instrumental breaks featuring fluttering flute and twinkling sitar. Sonically, the track further establishes Poduval’s hypnotic, globalist and multicultural take on dance music — all while pushing electronic dance music towards a bright and inclusive future.

\“In spirit, the track is about trying to find a balance between the push and pull of life’s responsibilities,” Poduval explains. “I wrote it when I was in India on my escape from the UK and trying to balance constantly being on tour, my relationships, my job and my mental health, and still very much in the process of grieving lost family members. Fortunately, all aspects of my life have been incredibly forgiving to me, but this track feels like an apt representation of the push and pull of things.“

Directed by frequent Fat White Family visual collaborator Niall Trask, the recently released video for “Futureproofing” is fictional and surreal day-in-the-life affair shot on grainy videotape that follows Poduval on a series of adventures as a celebrity chef/influencer that features cameos by My Panda Shall Fly’s Suren Seneviratne and Wear by Local’s Saudi Rahman. Interestingly, while Poduval is busy with Flamingods and Mera Bhai, he has a day job as a chef — and as a result, the video is a bit of a tongue-in-check play on the duality of having a serious day job and being an artist. Along with that, the video is an extended joke on the delusions of grandeur and inflated ego that can come about if you happen to be a remotely successful artist.

“Mera Bhai contacted my agent Desmond Wolf with an idea for a cooking show which I initially refused. After 7 months of no work because of coronavirus I decided I might as well, Niall Trask explains. “As an artist I’m really interested in exploring difficult issues through my work. This piece allowed me to explore subjects such as toxic masculinity, environmental issues, fracking and body dysmorphia. Rather than through the mise-en-scène, I was able to tackle these issues once I was asked by press for a quote and realised I had nothing to say because my brain is empty, so I thought I would appropriate these subjects like everyone else in the world of music videos does.”

With the release of 2018’s full-length debut Slices, the Stockholm-based psych act Phogg quickly established a buzz-worthy sound that critics across Scandinavia and elsewhere compared to Ariel Pink and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Building upon a growing profile, last year’s sophomore album Mofeto: Mashine Adamkosh, an album about “robots that take over the world,” featured two attention grabbing singles:

  • Three Shirts:” a motorik-groove driven single that to my ears brings TOY‘s Join the Dots and Primal Scream‘s Evil Heat to mind.
  • Pearls:” an expansive and lysergic track that’s one part explosive psych rock freak out ripper and one part melodic and jangling guitar pop held together by a sinuous and propulsive groove.

Much like everyone else, 2020 has been a difficult year for the members of Phogg. Riding high from the critical reception of their sophomore album, the band began the ambitious challenge of working on two different albums simultaneously with the goal of working on each album in parallel — and then releasing them at the same time. But as the old saying goes: “The best laid plans of mice and men go awry.” Recording two different albums at the same time, wound up being a terrible decision with the band experiencing burn out and fatigue. And for a period of time, the band sort of floated around with no direction and no goal, waiting until their creative instincts returned.

During that the period, the band had deep-seated philosophical questions that tied into their own creative process. What does it really mean to be a rock band these days? Does anything even matter? The legendary days of rock have faded into the ruthless fart of the pandemic era. It’s not fun to make songs about the end times when you are in the middle of it.”

Phogg’s forthcoming third album The Sharkness is informed by and influenced by the harrowing events and emotions of the pandemic, an existential crisis and a recent heartbreak. The Sharkness‘ latest single “Corme (Rental Palace)” is a brooding yet meditative instrumental jam centered around shimmering guitars, atmospheric and twinkling keys, a propulsive rhythm section before turning into a gallop towards the song’s last half. Some dexterous guitar work darts in and out of the song’s propulsive rhythm, giving the song a subtle surf rock air. Interestingly, the track may be among the most brooding yet heartfelt tracks of their growing catalog.

Rising Geneva-based act Cyril Cyril features two of the city’s most acclaimed experimental musicians collaborating together:

  • Cyril Yeterian: In Geneva, Yeterian may be best known for being the frontman and accordion player for acclaimed Cajun blues trio Mama Rosin, an act that released four albums of material that evoked the ghosts of the Mississippi Delta and Mardi Gras before splitting in 2015. Yeterian also co-founded the forward-thinking, global, taste-making record store and label Bongo Joe Records.
  • Cyril Bondi: Bondi is a stalwart figure in the Swiss experimental scene, best known for being the founding member of Plaistow and for leading the Insub Meta Orchestra, an experimental ensemble featuring 60 musicians. Bondi has also collaborated a number of acts including diatribes, La Téne and Komatsu.

Interestingly, Cyril Cyril can trace its origins back to 2017. With the duo both seeking new creative challenges, Yeterian took on the banjo, adding a shit ton of effect pedals to it, so that it began to sound more like a bouzouki (a Greek, long-necked lute) or a krar (a five or six sting lyre, played mostly in Ethiopia and Eritrea) — and simultaneously, Bondi cobbled together a cannibal drum kit with massive jingle bells and tropical nut shells embedded into his marching bass drum.

2018’s full-length debut, Certaine Ruins quickly established their unique sound, a sound that generally meshes the tough plucking and rhythmical patterns of Lebanon, The Levant and North Africa. The duo supported the album with rapturously received, relentless touring across the European Union which helped the band develop an electric live show which was equally at home on a big festival stage as it was in a small, sweaty club.

Building upon a rapidly growing profile across the European Union, the duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Yallah Mickey Mouse is slated for an October 16, 2020 release through the aforementioned Bongo Joe Records and Born Bad Records. The album’s title is derived from a true incident: Yeterian and Bondi were touring with Swiss experimental transppop duo Hyperculte through the Middle East. While on a trip visiting the pyramids, Hyperculte’s Vincent Bertholet (double bass) rode a camel hilariously named Mickey Mouse. “He [Betholet] was so uncomfortable riding a camel, it was such a scene,” Cyril Cyril’s Cyril Yeterian recalls in press notes. “Watching him tell with a very French accent  ‘yallah’  to the camel to have him step forward on the sand.  So  ‘yallah mickey mouse’  was born. We immediately thought about the power this sentence had politically speaking. No words to add. Arabic world vs. American imperialism? Is there anything to say people don’t know already?”  

To celebrate the album announcement, the Geneva-based duo released three singles from the album:

  • “Les Gens,” Yallah Mickey Mouse‘s first single is a hypnotic and hallucinogenic fever dream centered around galloping African polyrhythm, shimmering banjo arpeggios played through tons of effects, dub-like reverb, punchily delivered call and response vocals — and of course MORE COWBELL! Sonically, “Les Gans” is a slick synthesis of Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, Levitation-era Flamingods and traditional Middle Eastern and African music. Yes, it’s the genre-defying sounds that I’ve long championed — but it’s only possible in a borderless, genre-less world. “The idea of the song was paradoxically born at a moment where we were completely fed up with how extreme tourism had become in both the most popular spots close to us and all around the world.” Cyril Yeterian explains in press notes. “What turned out really odd is that a few months later, everything was stopped by the Covid. And suddenly there was no one in the streets, and we realized our song could be understood as the nostalgia we have about the time we were gathering altogether. So we invite anyone to get this song the way they prefer!”  
  • “Al Boustan,” the album’s second single is centered around a hypnotic, dance floor friendly groove, shimmering banjo and organ and a forcefully insistent thump. While clearly drawing from the Middle East, the song seems to also hint at Bollywood as a result of the song possessing a cinematic expansiveness. It’s mind-bending — and if you put yourself in the right situation, the song can help you head to a higher plane of existence. “’Al Boustan’ looks at how our narcissism and the narrow fascination of ourselves deserve to come up against the unalterable force of the elements that decorate our daily lives,” the duo explain. “The trees will always grow and the moon will rise and set as long as a human eye looks up to the sky. Nevertheless. Against everything. We are many and we are nothing.”
  • “X-Crise,” the album’s third single is centered around driving polyrhythm, percussive banjo arpeggios, punchy melodies and an infectious hook. This song sounds as though it comes from a much-older place, something far older than time, when our earliest ancestors sat in front of the fire telling stories about the origins of everything. And in some fashion, it’s the most Tinariwen-like track of the three — but while brimming with a mischievous sense of adventure.

All three tracks reveal two things to me:

  • Bongo Joe Records is releasing some of the wildest, most forward-thinking music out there today.
  • Cyril Cyril may arguably be one of Geneva’s most forward-thinking and uncompromisingly challenging acts.

I’m looking very forward to the album and more of the labels’ releases — and to this album.

New Video: Flamingods’ Kartik Poduval Returns with a Kaleidoscopic Visual for Summery Club Banger “Mañana Groove”

Karthik Poduval is a London-born, Indian-British DJ and producer, best known as a founding member of the acclaimed tropical psychedelic band Flamingods. Poduval’s latest solo project Mera Bhai, which derives its name from the affection Hindi greeting “my brother,” is informed by his own personal experiences: he’s spent time living in Italy, Albania, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Nigeria — and naturally that experience has seeped into his own globe-spanning, border-crossing, genre-defying take on dance music, which incorporates elements of Indian Carnatic, Arabic Rai, 70s disco, Acid House, Detroit techno and Tropicalia. “Having grown up all over the world, I was surrounded by a wealth of different sounds — i’m just trying to weave the cultural through line that I hear in music.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about Poduval’s Mera Bhai debut, a bootle remix of Ahmed Fakroun‘s “Jama El F’na,” which retained the shimming instrumentation of the original and Fakroun’s vocals but sped the tempo up quite a bit, to give the song a decided Tour de France-era Kraftwerk/Primal Scream/Kasabian-like feel to the proceedings: layers of synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap and industrial clang and clatter. Both the original and its remix are club bangers — but the remix manages to sound as though it could have been released in 1992, 2002, 2020 or 2032.

Poduval’s latest Mera Bhai single “Mañana Groove,” a summery club banger, centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, hot hi hats, stuttering tweeter and woofer rocking beats and vocodered vocals within an expansive mind-bending song structure. Sonically, it’s one part Kraftwerk, one part Primal Scream and one part deep house. And its core is a carefree, let’s worry about it all tomorrow vibe, which feels so very appropriate right now. While continuing upon his growing reputation for synthesizing a wide variety of sounds, “Mañana Groove” is inspired by Todd Terje’s “Inspector Norse” and features a samples from Mr. Bongo Records reissue of Cissé Abdoulaye’s “A Son Magni.” “I wanted to take this tune that’s already in my DJ record bag to another dimension,” Poduval says. “It also gives a nod to one of my favourite anthems ‘Pacific State’ by 808 State, which frames summertime feels for me. 

“I wrote this track during a pretty tumultuous time of my life where I was grieving recently lost family members and coming to terms with fraught relationships,” Poudval recalls. “I escaped to India for a few months by myself and set up my studio there, and this was one of the first tracks that I wrote.”

Having started on the path to total sobriety, he continues: “I really needed to feel the carefreeness that comes with being in a club/festival environment and wanted to know that I wouldn’t be excluded from feeling that by being sober. I also felt the need to free myself from what I was going through and transmute my challenging experiences into something positive and happy, and that I could share.”

Adds Poduval, “it’s a sun-soaked anthem to blast out the windows as you cruise out of town. It’s a careless, ‘I’ll do it mañana’ answer to life’s responsibilities, a getaway tune, here to take us out of lockdown into sunnier times ahead.” 

Directed by Niall Trask, the recently released video for “Mañana Groove” is an appropriately kaleidoscopic and hallucinogenic VHS taped fever dream that follows a our protagonist as he plays a racing game and rocks out to an album on his record player. 

Mera Bhai’s debut EP Futureproofing is slated for an October 9, 2020 release through Moshi Moshi Records. 

Noosa, Australia-born, London-based twin siblings Toma and Andy Benjamin grew up in a musical home, and as a result they wound up joining the local church band when they were teenagers. Coincidentally, that same church band was where the Banjamins met their future Tempesst bandmates Kane Reynolds and Blake Mispeka.

The Banjamin Brothers eventually left home and discovered a whole new world of music, ideas and ways of living that weren’t part of their previous purview: after a short stint in the UK, the Banjamins wound up in Brooklyn, where they soaked up the DIY ethos of the  late 2000s Williamsburg scene. They started to develop their own ideas, starting home recording projects initially inspired by Joni Mitchell, Al Green, Wings, Electric Light Orchestra and others.

After a year in Brooklyn, an expiring visa forced the Banjamins to relocate to Hackney, where they hunkered down and got serious about writing and recording material. They recruited Swiss-American Eric Weber (guitar) and reconnected with their fellow Aussies Reynolds and Mispeka — and at that point, the rising London-based indie act Tempesst started.

Unsurprisingly, the need to practice, write and record in a city like London helped facilitate the creation of their own studio. “We started out with a basic production studio that Tom kept at his house but one of the biggest challenges in London is that you can’t make noise,” the band’s Andy Banjamin recalls. “So we began looking for a rehearsal space and came across this warehouse, which was way bigger than anything we were looking for but got us wondering about what it would actually take to set up a proper studio.”

Naming the space Pony Studios, the band started to convert the warehouse into multiple studio rooms and practice spaces. Simultaneously, the band started Pony Recordings, which helped changed the way the band had approached their work.  “These days artists are expected to do so much themselves and we have always been slight control freaks anyway,” Andy Banjamin says in press notes. “DIY is part of everything that we do, so that extends to our label, the studio, the videos, all of it and really it’s just how the indie music scene has evolved.” Toma Banjamin adds “With the studio, we have time to work on all the key things that have become quintessential to our sound but also experiment and add an element of surprise, whether that is a weird synth solo or a key change. It’s those little departures that keep the listener on their toes.”

After releasing a handful of critically applauded, buzz worthy singles and EPs, the Aussie-born, British-based members of Tempesst will be releasing their highly anticipated full-length debut, the Eliot Heinrich co-produced Must Be a Dream. Slated for a September 30, 2020 release through the band’s own Pony Recordings, Tempesst’s full-length debut reportedly finds the band boldly taking a step forward with their songwriting and their sound. Generally leaning towards folk-tinged psychedelia, the album’s material nods at Spiritualized, The Flaming Lips, and The Beach Boys — but with a modern melodic sensibility.

Sonically, the material is deceptive: complex musical ideas are centered around seemingly simple melodies.  Seemingly sun-kissed, the album thematically explores themes of longing, love, loss, substance abuse, the death of loved ones — and yet remembering the beauty just underneath all of it. “This record is the first time that I feel like I’ve had the uninterrupted ability to create and have full control at our own pace,” Toma Banjamin says in press notes. “With this LP, we’ve created something we’re really proud of that truly cements our identity as a group. The joy of taking these songs live is something that we’re really excited about.”

Earlier this year, I wrote about Must Be A Dream‘s first single, the Brit Pop meets psych psych rock “On The Run,” a track centered around shimmering and reverb drenched guitars, layered vocal harmonies, an enormous hook and Toma Benjamin’s serpentine-like vocals. And while superficially being a sun-kissed, summery anthem, the song is actually much darker, as the song thematically focuses on substance abuse, death and the loss of innocence — that feels haunted by the weight of heartache. “High On My Own,” the album’s third and latest single sounds as though it draws influence from Electric Light Orchestra, The Beach Boys and Primal Scream, as the song is centered by a  motorik groove, shimmering guitars and a soaring hook within an expansive song structure. But underneath the trippy, feel good vibes the song finds its narrator — and in turn, the band — juxtaposing their lives with those of their peers back home. Recognizing that settling down and having the family life at this moment isn’t for them, the song’s narrator does the brave thing — setting their own path in their own way.

“I grew up near Noosa, a small beach town in Australia. In my town, a 30 year old man was typically a family man, with a normal job, a mortgage etc.,” the band’s Toma Banjamin explains. “The kind of guy who had a balanced life and what seemed to be contentment as a byproduct. These guys had beliefs, they lived by a code that guided each decision with a brand of certainty that I envy and in my subconscious, this archetype framed the kind of firm identity one should expect to acquire by age 30. A couple of decades on, here I am, 30, still wandering, without the beliefs or certainty I expected to have.”

New Video: Maltese Indie Act Beesqueeze Releases a Trippy and Summery Anthem

Beesqueeze is a Siggiewi, Malta-based duo, comprised of Kriz Zahra (guitar, bass, synth, vocals) and Chris Mallia (drums, vocals, guitar, effects) that specializes in what they’ve dubbed alterdelic (alternative + psychedelic) dance rock, influenced by The Strokes, MGMT, Tame Impala, Gorillaz and Pixies among others. And with their debut EP, 2017’s Crowd Control, the duo quickly established their unique sound, as well as a reputation for an explosive live show. 

The band is currently holed up in their small home studio working on their full-length debut, which is slated for an Autumn 2020 release. In the meantime, the Maltese duo’s latest single, the David Vella co-produced “Say You Do” is breezy and anthemic track centered around propulsive synth arpeggios, thumping kick drum, strummed acoustic guitar, a blazing guitar solo, and breathily delivered vocals. And while being a summery, dance floor friendly track that reveals the duo’s unerring knack to craft an infectious hook reminiscent of Evil Heat-era Primal Scream, the song encourages the listener to be bold and express their desires. By doing so, you may actually get what you want you want and need. 

“I do some work in a cool friendly bar and many times I get newcomers asking me to do a special drink or cocktail or something that’s not on the menu so I usually say ‘yes.’ I go head getting this [drink] together, now this always happens: I can notice one of the regulars staring at me, giving the look, like [they’re’] trying to say ,’Hey, what’s that. That’s new! I want it!’ but says nothing. So then I’m like ‘Hey due, if you want one, just say you want one, it’s okay,” the band’s Chris Mallia says of the song’s inspiration. 

“The song came together fast. We were preparing for a small show and I thought this new synth I got off a friend on the same day just for fun. Chris was on guitar going through these chords and I just plugged in the synth, and it happened like that,” Kriz Zahra says of the song’s creative process. “10 minuets later, we were listening to it on this lo-fi recording and we thought it was good. So we recorded it a few days later. I remember it was a quick and smooth process, just how we like it.” 

Directed by the members of Besqueeze, the recently released video features the band performing the song in front of bright, neon colored backgrounds and trippy effects — and as a result, the video captures the band’s energy and the song’s overall lysergic feel. 

CARRÉ · Freeform

If you’ve been following this site over the past few months, you may know that Carré is a rapidly rising Los Angeles-based indie electro rock act featuring:

  • Julien Boyé (drums, percussion, vocals): Boyé has had stints as a touring member of Nouvelle Vague and James Supercave. Additionally, he has a solo recording act Acoustic Resistance, in which he employs rare instruments, which he has collected from all over the world.
  • Jules de Gasperis (drums, vocals, synths, production and mixing): de Gasperis is a Paris-born, Los Angeles-based studio owner. Growing up in Paris, he sharpened his knowledge of synthesizers, looping machines and other electronics around the same time that Justice, Soulwax and Ed Banger Records exploded into the mainstream.
  • Kevin Baudouin (guitar, vocals, synth, production): Baudouin has lived in Los Angeles the longest of the trio — 10 years — and he has played with a number of psych rock acts, developing a uniquely edgy approach to guitar, influenced by Nels Cline, Jonny Greenwood and Marc Ribot.

Deriving their name for the French word for “square,” “playing tight” and “on point,” the Los Angeles-based trio formed last year — and as the band’s Jules de Gasperis explains in press notes, “The making of our band started with this whole idea of having two drummers perform together. It felt like a statement. We always wanted to keep people moving and tend to focus on the beats first when we write.”

The act specializes in a French electronica-inspired sound that blends aggressive, dark and chaotic elements with hypnotic drum loops. Thematically, their work generally touches upon conception, abstraction and distortion of reality through a surrealistic outlook of our world. Visually, their work features geometric shapes and patterns.

The French-born, Los Angeles-based trio’s self-titled EP is slated for a Friday release through Nomad Eel Records — and so far, I’ve written about “This is not a band,” a propulsive club banger that brought Factory Floor, The Rapture, Primal Scream, Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers and The Crystal Method to mind—  and the Ministry and early Nine Inch Nails-like “Urgency.” “Freeform,” the EP’s latest single is decidedly free flowing and improvised jam centered around glistening synth arpeggios, shimmering blasts of guitar an insistent motorik groove, hi-hat led four-on-the-floor, ethereal samples and vocodered vocals. And while the song sonically brings Uncanny Valley-era Midnight JuggernautsTour de France-era Kraftwerk and Primal Scream to mind, it also reveals an incredibly tight band of musicians, who are pushing each other and their work into new and trippy dimensions.


New Audio: Human Love Releases a Cinematic and Otherworldly New Single

Formed in 2010, the critically applauded New York-based act The Dig — Emilie Mosseri (vocals, bass), David Baldwin (vocals, guitar), Erick Eiser (keys, guitar) and Mark Demiglio (drums) released two albums and two EPs — 2010’s full-length debut Electric Toys, 2012’s Midnight Flowers and 2013’s Tired Hearts EP and You & I EP. Last year, the member of the New York-based act relocated to Los Angeles. and the move managed to spark  a major period of transformation for each of the individual bandmembers — with each member pursuing their own creative projects. Notably, Emilie Mosseri established himself as a film and television composer, who earned widespread acclaim for crafting the score for A24 Films‘ critically applauded Last Black Man in San Francisco, as well as the scores for the TV series Homecoming, which currently stars Janelle Monae and Kajillionaire, which will star Miranda July.

 Working separately proved to have a unifying effect on the band’s individual members — they were emboldened to take new risks, which resulted in a completely new musical project for its longtime collaborators — the newly named Human Love. Black Void EP, Human Love‘s Sonny DiPerri-co-produced, four song debut EP was released last week and Black Void sees the longtime collaborators changing up the creative process they established during their run as The Dig.  “In the past, one person would bring in an idea and we’d build everything from there, but now the process is so much more collaborative, with everyone bringing in their specific perspective to everything we make,” the band’s David Baldwin says in press notes. “I think there’s something beautiful about us going in different directions and then coming back together like this,” EmilIe Mosseri adds “We’re taking what we’d explored on our own and feeding it back into this music, and pushing everything forward to create something completely new.”

So far I’ve written about two of the EP’s previously released singles, the  This Is Happening-era LCD Soundsystem-like “Goldmine, and the Evil Heat-era Primal Scream-like “Lemon Dove.”  The EP’s third and latest single, EP title track “Black Void” may arguably be the most cinematic of its released singles. Centered around Kamilah’s otherworldly and ethereal vocals, reverb-drenched guitars, stuttering beats and atmospheric synths, “Black Void” sounds as though it were influenced by Ennio Morricone and the soundtrack for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

“I initially wrote the seed of what became the title track ‘Black Void’ for Terence Nance’s show Random Acts of Flyness.  I recorded Kamilah, who also sang on Last Black Man In San Francisco, singing this melody that was designed for a theremin,” Mosseri says in press notes. “I didn’t know it could be sung by a human voice because of the sweeping range of the thing, but we gave it a shot and she produced this amazing sound.  The band later re-recorded and fleshed out the track up at recording studio Panorama House in Stinson Beach for the Human Love EP.  I love what Kamilah brought to the track, this sort of alien yet human sound that felt old and new all at once.”

New Audio: Flamingods’ Karthik Poduval Releases His Solo Debut — A Club Banging Remix of Ahmed Fakroun’s “Jama El F’na”

Karthik Poduval is a London-born, Indian-British DJ and producer, best known as a founding member of the acclaimed tropical psychedelic band Flamingods. His latest project Mera Bhai is informed by his own personal experiences: he’s spent time living in Italy, Albania, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Nigeria — and naturally that experience has speeded into his own globe-spanning, border-crossing, genre-defying take on dance music, which incorporates Indian Carnatic, Arabic Rai, 70s disco, Acid House, Detroit techno and Tropicalia. “Having grown up all over the world, I was surrounded by a wealth of different sounds — i’m just trying to weave the cultural through line that I hear in music.” 

Poduval’s Mera Bhai debut is a bootleg remix of Ahmed Fakroun’s “Jama El F’na.” While retaining the shimmering instrumentation and Fakroun’s vocals, Poduval’s remix speeds up the tempo a bit and adds a decidedly Tour de France-era Kraftwerk/Primal Scream/Kasabian-like feel to the proceedings: layers of synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap and industrial clang and clatter. Both the original and its remix are club bangers — but the remix manages to sound as though it could have been released in 1992, 2002, 2020 or 2032. 

It was on his [Fakroun’s] record Mots D’Amour released through French label Celluloid as his crossover to the Western music industry, heavily influenced by Europe and dance music. His marrying of Libyan influences with his love of Western music is very much something that mirrors my story,” Poduval says of his remix of Fakroun’s song. “I guess I’ve subconsciously taken his Western crossover and made it my own.”