Tag: The Crystal Method

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.

 

 

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New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Presets Return with a Trippy Live Concert-Based Video for “Martini”

Throughout this site’s eight year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the Sydney, Australia-based electronic music production and artist act The Presets, and as you may recall, the Australian act, which is comprised of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes can trace their origins back to when they met while studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Hamilton and Moyes quickly became recognized for crafting electronic dance music with a swaggering, arena rock energy and vibe, and unsurprisingly, the duo caught the attention of renowned Australian electro pop and dance music label Modular Recordings, who released their first two EPs and their 2005 debut, Beams.

2008 saw the release of the duo’s critically and commercially applauded sophomore effort Apocalypso, an effort that went Triple Platinum in their native Australia and featured four smash hits, including “My People,” one of their biggest songs. Adding to a massive and breakthrough year, Hamilton and Moyes won 5 ARIA Awards — including Album of the Year, 2 ARIA Artisan Awards, the J Award, the FBI SMAC Award for Album of the Year, and they shared the Songwriter of the Year at 2009’s APRA Awards.

The duo’s third, full-length effort, 2012’s award-nominated Pacifica featured Rolling Stone Australia‘s Song of the Year, “Ghosts,” and was nominated for an ARIA Award, shortlisted for the AMP Award, the J Award and was named the Herald Sun‘s Album of the Year, the Daily Telegraph‘s Album of the Year and the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Electronic Album of the Year. The members of the duo spent the next few years collaborating with a variety of contemporary artists — Hamilton cowrote Flume’s “Say It” and contributed tracks to albums by Flight Facilities, Steve Angello and Meek Mill, while Moyes produced an album by DMA’s  remixed tracks by The Drones and The Jezabels and started an underground techno label Here To Hell.

Late last year, I wrote about “Do What You Want,” the first single off Hi Viz, an album that was released earlier this year, and unsurprisingly, “Do What You Want” further cemented the duo’s reputation for festival bangers with enormous, crowd pleasing hooks and thumping beats — but with a looped glitchy sample that recalled Boys Noize’s “ICH R U,” Tweekend-era The Crystal Method and Come With Us-era The Chemical Brothers. The latest single off the album, “Martini” is swaggering, house music-based club and festival banger, centered around layers of arpeggiated synths and thumping, tweeter and woofr rocking beats; but underneath that swagger is a bit of desperate longing for someone, who’s out of the song narrator’s league — and in a way the song subtly nods at Phil Collins’ “Sussudio.” 

Interestingly, as Julian Hamilton enthusiastically explains in press notes, “Martini was a dancer I used to know. She was everything I wasn’t — cool, clear, strong and with a razor sharp edge I found impossible to resist. In the end, she left me completely undone; a crumbled wreck of a man. ‘But was it worth it?’ I hear you ask . . . Every second.

Each time we perform this song I think of her, so it made sense that Martini’s accompanying video is a film of us playing the song live, directed by our new favourite director and…. well hell I’ll just come out and say it… our new favourite person in the entire world SPOD.” And of course, it should give the viewer the sense of what a Presets live show is like. 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Vivid Animated Visuals for Rich Aucoin’s Swooning, New Single “The Middle”

Rich Aucoin is a Halifax, Nova Scotia-born and based electronic music artist and indie rock artist, known as a collaborator and guest musician of his older brother Paul Aucoin’s band Hylozoists — and as an attention grabbing solo artist. Aucoin’s 2007 debut effort, Personal Publication EP was conceptualized as an alternative soundtrack to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which he supported by going on a cross-Canada tour entirely by bicycle to raise money for Childhood Cancer Canada. After he completed his solo tour, he rejoined Hylozoists but during a sudden shift from regular exercise to virtually no exercise at all, the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based electronic music artist and musician suffered through an iron deficiency. But after recuperating, he went on another solo tour, running partial marathons between stops to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

During both of his early solo tours, Aucoin spent time writing and recording the material, which would comprise his 2011 full-length effort, We’re All Dying to Live, an album that featured over 500 guest musicians, including Sloan‘s Jay Ferguson, You Say Party‘s Becky Ninkovic, The Meligrove Band‘s Michael Small and Rae Spoon. The album was long-listed as a nominee for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, with the music video for “Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.” winning a Prism Prize in 2013. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Aucoin released his critically applauded, 2014 effort Ephemeral. 

Slated for a March 16, 2018 release, Hold EP is Aucoin’s first batch of new, recorded material in over 4 years, and as you may recall the EP’s first single “Release” featured live drumming from Broken Social Scene’s Justin Peroff in a sprawling yet propulsive, club banger that draws from house music and boom-bap era hip-hop, centered around laws of arpeggiated synths. And while reminding me (to my ears, at least) of The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method and others — but underneath the club banging swagger, there’s a zen-like tranquility. The EP’s latest single “The Middle” is a cinematic yet dreamy and contemplative track that will immediately remind most listeners of M83, as it possesses soaring hook that evokes an earnest and swooning yearning. 

The recently released video by Meags Fitzgerald features hand drawn drawings, animation and live action in a way that emphasizes the both the themes and the lyrics of the song in a vivid fashion. 

New Video: The Lush and Meditative Visuals for Rich Aucoin’s “Release”

Rich Aucoin is a Halifax, Nova Scotia-born and based electronic music artist and indie rock artist, known as a collaborator and guest musician of his older brother Paul Aucoin’s band Hylozoists and as an solo artist. His debut effort, 2007’s Personal Publication EP was conceptualized as an alternative soundtrack to How the Grinch Stole Christmas and he supported the release by going on a cross-Canada tour entirely by bicycle to raise money for Childhood Cancer Canada. When he was finished with his solo tour, he joined Hylozoists on a tour, but after a sudden shift from regular exercise to visually no exercise at all, Aucoin suffered with an iron deficiency; however, after recuperating, he went on a solo tour, running partial marathons between stops to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. 

During both of his early solo tours, the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based musician recorded the material, which would comprise his 2011 full-length effort, We’re All Dying to Live, an album that featured over 500 guest musicians, including Sloan’s Jay Ferguson, You Say Party’s Becky Ninkovic, The Meligrove Band’s Michael Small and Rae Spoon. The album was long-listed as a nominee for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, with the music video for “Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.” winning a Prism Prize in 2013. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, Aucoin released his critically applauded, 2014 effort Ephemeral. 

Slated for a March 16, 2018 release, Hold EP is Aucoin’s first batch of new, recorded material in over 4 years, and the EP’s first single “Release” which, features live drumming from Broken Social Scene’s Justin Peroff is a sprawling yet propulsive, club banger centered around layers of arpeggiated synths and thumping beats. Interestingly, the track finds Aucoin drawing from house music, and boom bap-era hip-hop in a way that’s reminiscent of The Chemical Brothers, The Crystal Method and others — but underneath the club banging swagger, there’s a zen-like tranquility.

Directed by Dave Hung, who may arguably be best known for his work on Kanye West’s “Famous,” the recently released video for “Release,” was filmed on four separate occasions off the coast of Nova Scotia, and features a suit-wearing Aucoin laying in the water, repeating the mantra of there being no shark attacks in Nova Scotia — while the video crew flew drones overhead, safely on shore. Primarily based around one, long and deeply meditative, photographic shot, the video manages to posses a creepy air as it forces to viewer to wonder if the video’s protagonist was at peace — or if he were dead. 

New Video: The Presets Return with an Anthemic Festival Banger Paired with Wild, Psychedelic Imagery

Comprised of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, the Sydney, Australia-based electronic music production and artist duo The Presets can trace their origins to when the duo met while studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Hamilton and Moyes quickly became recognized for crating a sound that electronic dance music with an arena rock energy and vibe — and as a result, the duo signed with renowned Australian dance music label Modular Recordings, who released their first two EPs and their 2005 debut, Beams.

2008 saw the release of the duo’s critically and commercially applauded sophomore effort Apocalypso, an effort that went Triple Platinum in their native Australia and featured four smash hits, including “My People,” one of their biggest songs. And adding to a breakthrough year, Hamilton and Moyes won 5 ARIA Awards — including Album of the Year, 2 ARIA Artisan Awards, the J Award, the FBI SMAC Award for Album of the Year, and they shared the Songwriter of the Year at 2009’s APRA Awards. 

The duo’s third, full-length effort, 2012’s award-nominated Pacifica featured Rolling Stone Australia’s Song of the Year, “Ghosts,” and was nominated for an ARIA Award, shortlisted for the AMP Award, the J Award and was named the Herald Sun’s Album of the Year, the Daily Telegraph’s Album of the Year and the Sydney Morning Herald’s Electronic Album of the Year. And although, it’s been some time since I’ve personally written about the acclaimed, Aussie electro pop duo, the duo have been busy collaborating with a variety of artists —Hamilton cowrote Flume’s “Say It” and contributed tracks to albums by Flight Facilities, Steve Angello and Meek Mill, while Moyes produced the DMA’s latest album, remixed tracks by The Drones and The Jezabels and started an underground techno label Here To Hell.

“Do What You Want” is the first single from the duo in over four years, and it’s also the first single off the duo’s highly-anticipated fourth, full-length album slated for release sometime in 2018  — and unsurprisingly, the new single will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting festival bangers with enormous, crowd rousing hooks and thumping beats; but interestingly enough, the new single features a looped, glitchy sample reminiscent of Boys Noize’s “ICH R U,” while also nodding at Tweekend-era The Crystal Method and Come With Us-era The Chemical Brothers. 

Directed by Kris Moyes, the recently released video is a wild, psychedelic homage to doing whatever the fuck you want, as long as it floats your boat, doesn’t harm anyone and is relentless and ridiculous fun. 

New Video: Introducing the Playful Visuals and Soulful Sounds of French Electronic Music Producer and Artist FKJ

Vincent Fenton is a self-taught, Paris, France-based producer, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and sound engineer, best known in electronic music circles as French Kiwi Juice — or FKJ. For Fenton, music has always been a part of his life somehow; but he can trace the origins of his musical career to when he started to write and compose songs at 13 and recorded his first track at 14 in his uncle’s studio. And with the release of his debut EP, 2013’s Time For A Change and its follow up EP, 2014’s Take Off, found the French producer, electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer establishing himself in a contemporary electronic music scene that includes M83, Uppermost and others while developing an international profile with tours in Asia, North America, the rest of the EU and Australia; however, unlike his contemporaries Fenton has described his sound as being influenced by jazz and soul, while equally drawing from hip-hop and funk in a rather sophisticated and smooth fashion.

Interestingly, Fenton’s highly-anticipated self-titled FKJ full-length debut was released yesterday and the album’s latest single “Skyline” is a swaggering dance floor friendly yet soulful track that nods at Jamiroquai, The Chemical Brothers and The Crystal Method as Fenton pairs a slick and silky smooth production consisting of cosmic bursts of twinkling arpeggio keyboard, whirring and wheezing electronics, shuffling drum programming and a sinuous bass line paired with Fenton’s ethereal and dreamy falsetto and an equally slick yet understated hook.

The recently released accompanying video features a relatively simple concept — Fenton leading a small group of bicyclists, riding the sort of bikes Pee Wee Herman rode in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure through an extremely European and gothic-looking forest at sunrise and dusk with Fenton singing the song as he’s riding with his crew.

 

With the release of their first two tracks “Margarita” and “Dark ‘N’ Stormy,” the mysterious production and electronic music artist duo The Modern Strangers quickly emerged into the blogosphere. Building on the buzz the mysterious electronic music duo have received, the duo recently released their latest single “Vanilla,” a densely layered, slickly produced track that features handclap and cowbell-led percussion, enormous boom bap beats, a sinuous and ridiculously funky bass line, angular, Nile Rodgers-like guitar and a rousingly anthemic hook comprised of buzzing power chords, swirling electronics paired with falsetto vocals in an arena rock-friendly bit of electro pop that’s reminiscent of Big Data and The Crystal Method among others.