Tag: trip hop

 

Born Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws in Bristol, UK and currently based in Berlin, Germany, the British-born, German-based emcee, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Tricky is arguably one of the most influential and important artists of trip-hop  — both as a member of the genre’s pioneering act Massive Attack and as a solo artist, who has also collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including Terry Hall, Bjork, Gravediggaz, Grace Jones, Live’s Ed Kowalczyk, PJ Harvey, and others. And throughout his career, both as a member of Massive Attack and as a solo artist, the British-born, German-based emcee, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer has a long-held reputation for being difficult to pigeonhole as his work and aesthetic draws from American and British hip-hop, rock, dub, reggae, punk rock, New Wave and ambient electronica while blurring the lines between each genre and style in an unrecognizable fashion.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you may recall that I had written a bit about Tricky’s musical project, Skilled Mechanics, a project that he started almost as soon as he relocated to Berlin. And while in a conventional sense, whenever a renowned solo artist would form a band it was largely considered a sign that the artist was sick of the spotlight and desperate to fade into something much larger than themselves, Tricky’s motivations for the project was the opposite — with the idea that Tricky would take more of a leading role with a series of rotating collaborators and friends.

 

Unsurprisingly, the renowned artist and producer has also managed to work on and release solo material, including the critically applauded single “The Only Way,” which managed to be a subtle change in sonic direction with the original version nodding towards the lush, cabaret crooner sound of  Edith Piaf. He then recently, a stopped down mix of the song that emphasized the loneliness and ache at the core of the song; but along with that, Tricky had been working on the material, which would comprise his forthcoming album ununiform. Slated for a September 22, 2017 through False Idols Records/!K7 Records, the renowned trip-hop artist and producer’s 13th album reportedly finds his material reflecting a larger and perhaps more radical step forward — towards happiness and contentment, while he confront his own artistic legacy, his own family and even death.  The album’s latest single “Running Wild” features  Mina Rose’s husky yet soulful vocals singing over a moody yet lush production featuring strummed guitar, shimming strings, stuttering drum programming — but underneath the surface is plaintive and visceral longing that hasn’t been revealed to this extent in his previously released work.

 

 

 

 

 

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Born Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws in Bristol, UK and currently based in Berlin, Germany, the British-born, German-based emcee, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Tricky is arguably one of the most influential and important artists in trip hop — both as a member of the genre’s pioneering act Massive Attack and as a solo artist, who has also collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including Terry Hall, Bjork, Gravediggaz, Grace Jones, Live’s Ed Kowalczyk, PJ Harvey, and others. And whether with Massive Attack or as a solo artist, throughout his career, Tricky has had a long-held reputation for being uncompromisingly difficult to pigeonhole and for being remarkably iconoclastic as his work and aesthetic has drawn from both American and British hip-hop, rock, dub, reggae, punk rock and ambient electronica and blurred lines between each genre and style.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past two years or so, you may recall that I’ve written about Tricky and one of his musical projects — Skilled Mechanics, a project that derived its name “from a documentary about espionage,” as the renowned trip hop pioneer explained in press notes, and started almost as soon as he relocated to Berlin. In a conventional sense, when a renowned solo artist forms a band, it’s frequently considered a sign that the solo artist in question is sick of the spotlight and is desperate to fade into something much larger than themselves; however, oddly enough for Tricky, his motivations were the exact opposite. As Tricky notes, over the years, he’s received quite a bit of criticism for what fans, critics, producers and others have perceived as frustrating habit of playing second fiddle to a variety of collaborators. “People have been asking me for years, ‘Will you ever take charge vocally? Will you ever lead as the singer on one of your albums?’  On Adrian Thaws, my last album, I came to the forefront vocally. I was more in your face on three of the tracks but I wanted to build even further towards a catalogue of songs where I didn’t rely on a girl singer. But I realised it would be hard to do under the name Tricky because people would always associate that name with me using a female singer. I haven’t been alone at the front of the stage on my own since before I released my first album Maxinquaye 20 years ago. I needed to change. It is good to change and to keep on pushing yourself,” Tricky explained in press notes.

His idea was that Skilled Mechanics would be a rather loose collaborative project that would allow him to work with a variety of musicians and artists while pushing his imitable vocals to the forefront as much as possible. And interestingly enough, the project’s earliest collaborators included DJ Milo, who is not only one of Tricky’s oldest friends but also the first person the Bristol-born, Berlin-based artist ever recorded with, as well as his introduction to The Wild Bunch sound system, which eventually evolved into Massive Attack. The other early collaborator on the project is Luke Harris, who is the drummer in Tricky’s backing band — but as a vocalist. As the story goes, Harris’ vocal talents were discovered by complete accident: Harris was covering for Tricky’s regular vocalist Francesca Belmonte during a quick bathroom break during soundcheck. Tricky was so impressed by Harris that he asked him to take part in his next musical project. The trip hop pioneer and his band recorded a full-length album, Tricky Presents: Skilled Mechanics and while the album featured collaborations with with Oh Land, Ann Dao, Ivy 艾菲, Francesca Belmonte, Renata Platon, and Xdare, as well as a murky and ominous lullaby-like re-working of Porno for Pyros’ “Porpoise Head,” “Diving Away.”

Unsurprisingly, Tricky has continued to work on solo material, including the recent release of a new single “The Only Way” to critical acclaim earlier this year. Interestingly, the track managed to be a subtle change of sonic direction as Tricky pairs his vocals with a lush, 50s and 60s cabaret crooner production featuring strummed guitar, twinkling piano and a stunningly  gorgeous string arrangement — all of which give the track a cinematic sweep while subtly nodding at the work of Edith Piaf. Recently, Tricky released a new mix — a stripped down mix of the song that pairs his vocals with a murky and ambient production featuring droning and twinkling keys and ominously swirling electronics that emphasizes the loneliness and ache at the core of the song. The mix came about by accident”  Tricky explains  “I was working on something else, playing around on the keyboard, and when I heard the 3 chords I was playing I knew instantly it was a special vibe but it didn’t work with what I was working on at the time.  So rather than finish the track I was trying to do, I carried on with this track and did vox of ‘The Only Way’ on top  —  it was just meant to be.”

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 FitWonderland MagazineNotion 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.

 

 

 

Many influential artists and characters once played at renowned and long-defunct clubs like CBGBs, Max’s Kansas City and others during the mid-to-late 1970s — including a now cult-favored local-born artist Annie Bandez, who known as Annie Anxiety (and later as Little Annie) was the frontperson of punk act Annie and the Asexuals. After several years of attempting a series of unsuccessful creative pursuits, Bandez relocated to the UK, where she would up joining the famed anarchist commune Dial House, led by activist Penny Rimbaud. And while a member of Dial House, Bandez quickly established herself as an artist with a singular voice with the release of her solo debut single “Barbed Wire Halo,” which was released through Crass Records.

Interestingly, when Bandez relocated to the UK, a number of punk rock artists including Bandez herself had begun shifting towards a much more diverse, multicultural approach, exploring dub, rocksteady, ska and other Caribbean genres. In the summer of 1983, Bandez along with legendary dub producer Adrian Sherwood and members of Crass, Family Fodder, African Head Charge, Flux of Pink Indians, London Underground and Art Interface went into the studio to record her stark, industrial dub-based solo debut Soul Possession, which would be released by Corpus Christi Records in 1984. And it resulted in a number of lengthy collaborations with Nurse With Wound, Coil, Current 93, Swans and Marc Almond.

33 years after its initial release, Dais Records will be re-issuing Soul Possession on January 6, 2017 and the re-issue’s first single “Burnt Offerings” is an ominously apocalyptic and minimalist bit of industrial dub featuring mechanical clang and clatter and twinkling keys paired with Bandez’s half-spoken vocals that manages to bring to mind Annika Henderson‘s solo work and her work with Exploded View — and in some way it wouldn’t be surprising if Bandez’s work influenced Henderson and producer/collaborator Geoff Barrow at some point.

Bandez will be on touring Europe throughout the Spring with Swans. Check out tour dates below:

Tour Dates, Spring 2017:
3/08  Rockefeller – Oslo, Norway
3/09  Kraken Sthlm – Stockholm, Sweden
3/11  Grey Hall – Copenhagen, Denmark
3/12  VoxHall – Aarhus, Denmark
3/14  Fleda Club – Brno, Czech Republic
3/15  Taba Ka Kulturfabrik – Kosice, Slovakia
3/17  Legendos Klubas – Vilnius, Lithuania
3/19  Sentrum – Kiev, Ukraine
3/22  FORM Space Club – Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3/23  Control Club – Bucharest, Romania
3/24  MKC – Skopje, Macedonia
3/25  Dom Omladine – Belgrade, Serbia
3/27  Pogon Kulture – Rijeka, Croatia
3/28  Rote Fabrik Ziegel oh Lac – Zürich, Switzerland
3/29  FZW – Dortmund, Germany
3/30  Kompass Klub – Ghent, Belgium
3/31  Paradiso Music Hall – Amsterdam, Netherland

New Video: Gonjasufi’s New, Cinematic Visuals and Sounds

Ecks’ soon-to-be released effort Callus is reportedly his most soul-baring and cathartic material released to date as the album thematically is about embracing pain, hurt and anger to create something that could potentially resonate with someone else. The album’s fourth and latest single “Vinaigrette” finds the renowned producer and electronic music artist pairing layers of abrasive and droning synths, propulsive drumming, wobbling and buzzing guitar and equally wobbling bass, industrial clang and clatter with Ecks’ croaky, aching vocals singing a song that’s actually quite playful. As Ecks explains in press notes “The truth is I wasn’t trying to get too serious with this song. It was recorded when the world was in a better place, hence the mood is light. I imagined a runway model struggling with her own skewed perception. A girl who was trying to run away from herself, only to find out she only has herself at the end of the day.”

The recently released music video is shot in a cinematic black and white for the first 2/3rds of the video and nods at Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Vol 1. and others, as it features a contemplative female protagonist, who hits the road and literally runs away only to be hopelessly trapped within her own subjective interiority. No matter what, her own thoughts, memories and perceptions follow her along, and in a subtle fashion the video will remind the viewer that the only one you’ll ever have is yourself.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the release of his critically applauded full-length debut, Brooklyn-based electronic music producer, DJ and artist Krycek saw a growing national profile; in fact, Buzzfeed, Fresh Beats 365 and others compared the Brooklyn-based artist’s sound to Nine Inch Nails and CHVRCHES. And although to some extent those comparisons are fair, as you’ll hear on his latest single “My Limit,” Krycek’s sound possess a swaggering sensuality that owes a debt to hip-hop and trip hop as the song nods at Sneaker Pimps, Portishead and Tobacco while sonically,  the Brooklyn-based DJ, producer and electronic music artist pairs woofer and tweeter rocking, boom-bap beats, funky and angular burst of guitar, murkily atmospheric synths and wobbling low end with his sultry and breathy vocals.

WDL is a Swedish producer and electronic music artist, who has received attention nationally in his homeland for remixes of fellow Scandinavians  and Tove Lo, and for “Bob’s Beat,” the official anthem of the 2015 Swedish Cricket World Cup team.

Building up on the attention, that the Swedish producer has received, his full-length debut, No Wings Airline, is slated for release soon, and the album’s first single a collaboration with renowned Danish vocalist and emcee, Ellinor Miranda Salome Olovsdotter, best known to music fans as Elliphant. The single pairs swirling and ambient electronics, twinkling piano, sweeping strings, handclaps, boom bap-like drum programming, distorted vocal samples and sharp hooks with Olovsdotter’s Lauryn Hill-like dexterous reggae-like flow and sultry R&B vocals. Sonically, the song sounds as though it draws an influence from Geoff Barrow‘s work with Portishead and Anika, as well as Sneaker Pimps — in other words, murky and ominous trip-hop but with an upbeat message at its core.

as well as the official anthem for the 2015 cricket world cup in ’Bob’s Beat,’ the latest testament to the young Swede’s production dexterity sees vintage piano and airy strings support raspy, captivating vocals courtesy of Elliphant. Released in partnership with Spotify, ’Stardust’ aims to set the tone for an album of diversity, authenticity and creativity.