Tag: trip hop

Lyric Video: Stereonoon Releases a Neo Soul and Jazz-Tinged Take on Trip Hop

Stereonoon is an Italian neo-soul/jazz and R&B inspired collective formed during pandemic-related lockdowns that features core creative duo Verona-born vocalist Anna Polinari and cinemavolt’s creative mastermind Max Tozzi paired with a rotating cast of talented Italian players. Late last year, the act released a straightforward yet vibey cover of Joe Jackson‘s classic “Steppin’ Out,” centered around a sinuous bass line and Polinari’s sultry vocals.

The act’s debut EP Yeah. And Stuff was released late last month and features guest spots from a number of internationally acclaimed musicians including Snarky Puppy’s Mark Lettieri (guitar), Matteo Pontegavelli (trumpet) and Francesco Dondi (tenor saxophone). The EP’s latest single “Inconvenient” is a neo-soul and jazz-tinged take on trip hop centered around twinkling piano, a sinuous bass line, stuttering drumming, an expressive, jazz-inspired guitar solo and Polinari’s sultry vocals. Lyrically, the song is an unflinchingly honest view of a vulnerable narrator examining herself and her longing to be someplace she feels she belongs.

New Audio: Switzerland’s Etienne Machine Releases a Brooding and Uneasy Single

Lausanne, Switzerland-based trip hop act Etienne Machine is a fairly mysterious, emerging indie act. Their latest single “RIFT (Erased Your Face)” is a brooding and hypnotic, Portishead-like take on trip hop centered around twinkling Rhodes, skittering beats, wobbling synths and electronics, shimmering guitars and ethereal vocals.

The song evokes the claustrophobia and unease of a relationship on the brink, full of the complicated and bitter emotions, the contradictory push and pull, the longing and regret that often accompanies relationships.

New Video: Wax Tailor Teams Up with Mark Lanegan on a Brooding and Cinematic Single and Visual

Vernon, Normandy, France-based DJ, producer Jean Christophe Le Saoût is an acclaimed producer and DJ who can trace his career back to the 90s: After a stint as a radio host in the Paris suburb, Mantes-La-Jolie, Le Saoût founded La Formule. In 1998 Le Saoût founded Lab’Oratoire Records and continued to produce material from La Formule, as well as Break Beat compilations and a collaboration with Swedish act Looptrop.

The Vernon, Normandy-based producer and DJ started the critically acclaimed symphonic, trip-hop solo recording project Wax Tailor in 2001, first appearing on a remix of Looptroop and La Formule’s “Deep Under Water.” Since then Le Saoût has released five, critically acclaimed full-length albums — 2005’s Tales of the Forgotten Melodies, 2007’s Hope & Sorrow, 2009 In The Mood For Life and 2016’s By Any Means Necessary — which found the French producer collaborating with an eclectic and diverse array of artists from all over the world.

Le Saoût’s sixth Wax Tailor album The Shadow of Their Suns is slated for release tomorrow. The album is the French producer’s first bit of new material in five years — and album continues his long-held reputation for collaborating with a diverse and eclectic array of artists, with the album featuring guest spots from D. Smoke, Rosemary Standley, Gil Scott-Heron, Del The Funky Homosapien, Mr Lif, Yugen Blakrock, Boog Brown, and JOVM mainstays Adeline and Mark Lanegan.

The Shadow of Their Suns’ material comes as a result of a lengthy period of deliberate and deep introspection inspired by a desire to truly observe and understand life in a way that’s impossible while living in the whirlwind of it all. And considering the horrible events of yesterday, an album that encourages observation, reflection, collaborative discussion, cooperation and collective action seems more urgent than ever.

New Video: Etienne Dorsay Releases a Trippy Visual for Chilled Out New Single

Jean Rochefort is a French singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who has had a lengthy and varied music career: as a teenager, Rochefort learned acoustic guitar, eclectic bass — and by the early 2000s he was one-half of a critically acclaimed electro pop duo that received little commercial success. Rochefort is also the creative mastermind behind the solo recording project Etienne Dorsay, a project that derives its name from a beloved character of 70s French cinema.

Rochefort’s Etienne Dorsay project further cements the French singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer’s long-held reputation for eclecticism while centered around a penchant for electronic production. Interestingly, Rochefort’s Etienne Dorsay debut single is the mellow, “Jack 23.” Centered around a sinuous bass line, wah wah pedaled-guitar, twinkling keys and spoken word vocal samples, “Jack 23” is a psych jazz-like take on trip hop that sounds and feels chill and reassuring — right when we need it most.

“It all started with a post on Instagram where I play drums on keyboards on a slow ass bass line I made with a Rickenbacker sound on logic,” Rochefort recalls. “I was not planning to make a track out of it but I posted it and added some funny caption on it like a fairy tale story about a girl that dances for a Maharahjah… Yeah, I was pretty high.

“Anyway, had a small success with this post and that short clip, and then some dude puts this comment : ‘Yo can you please make this into a song so I can listen to it on repeat. I kid you not this is stuck in my head. You’ve got the creativity, so focus for a bit, Buckle down and finish this shit and you’ll be golden.’ Well, I really wasn’t working on the song after the short post on Instagram but this comment made my day.

“I thought, if somebody tells you that you need to focus on one track to maybe finish it, then it has to be done. Yeah people, we artists are lazy as fuck when it comes to finishing something that could become something. So that gave me some motivation to get back to it and finish the track. And from another perspective, if it can make one person happy, it’s already a great thing isn’t it?

“Anyway… Then I made a very rudimentary clip to go with it. Didn’t spend too much time on the editing…and I kinda regret it but I know that this can be replaced later anyway…. Added some psychedelic lava lamp shots I found over the net years ago. ⁣⁣ Some are authentic from the 60’s made by the Joshua Light Show which was the top to work with back in the days when this was the thing to project those kinda forms and colors over a white sheet in the background…you know, the hippie vibes. ⁣⁣”⁣

Officially forming just a few months ago, the Montreal-based trio T1M3 — Frederick Leblanc (vocals, guitar), Samuel Tessier (bass), Jonathan Noesi (percussion) — can trace their origins back several years before: the individual members of the band met each other while in college and after a series of late night jam sessions, started a failed music project with two more friends in 2018.

After that initial project failed, the band put their musical ambitious on hiatus while they all focused don their personal lives. But after an existential crisis that led to a phone call between T1M3’s members, the members of the band decided it was time to pursue their lifelong dreams.

“Silent Witness,” the Montreal-based act’s debut single is a decidedly trip hop-leaning single that brings Portishead and Sneaker Pimps to mind: jazz-tinged drumming, a sinuous bass line and shimmering guitars, twinkling keys and atmospheric electronics are paired with Leblanc’s grungy crooning. But as the band explains in press notes, the song is centered around a pointed social criticism, in which they boldly denounce how social networks can lead to desensitization to humanitarian issues.

s.

New Video: LOO & MONETTI Release a Trippy Visual for Brooding “Talk to me”

Initially starting his music career in the 1990s as the frontman and drummer of French alt rock act STICKBUZZ, French-born and-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, drummer and vocalist Christophe Menassier has composed scores for TV, commercials, movies and online features since 2001. And as a result of his work, he has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious and well-regarded brands, including Louis Vuitton, Jaeger-Lecoultre, Bulgari, Yves Saint Laurent and others. 

Over the past two decades, Menassier has been prolific: In 2003, he founded COLLECTIF K, a ten member band, which released one album, Resurrection. The following year, he released his solo debut, Marseille Marseille, a ten song album featuring compositions that were written to evoke life in the French Mediterranean city. 2008’s Picture Shop, a collaboration with Quentin Leroux that was inspired by American movies and it further established Menassier’s sound and aesthetic.

Back in 2011, Menassier and his spouse Ann Wisely founded LOO & MONETTI, an electro pop act that has released two albums:  2012’s Marla’s song and last year’s Broken Inside, as well as a handful of EPs and one-off singles. As a band, Menassier writes the music, using synths, keyboards and drums while Wisley writes lyrics and vocal melodies and contributes vocals — and although they have wildly varying tastes, their collaboration finds the duo effortlessly meshing their various tastes and interests. The French duo’s latest single “Talk to me” is centered around twinkling and arpeggiated keys, atmospheric electronics, thumping beats and Wisley’s plaintive vocals — and while being a brooding track, it may arguably be the most trip-hop like track in their catalog, with the track bringing Portishead to mind. 

The recently released video features old home movies and footage of people dancing and rocking out at shows. In many ways, the video is an eerie of the small joys we can’t have at the moment. 

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 Audio: Scrachattic’s Old School Hip-Hop Influenced Take on Trip Hop

Scratchattic is a Lille, France-based trip-hop/hip-hop duo — Davio, a beatmaker, who loves trip hop and dub mixing techniques and DJ Sharky, who is a hip hop head, with a strong focus on classic turntablism, scratching and old school beats — that can trace its origins back to 2017, when the duo started the project in an attic-based studio, where the French duo spent their time experimenting and crafting a sound that’s inspired by Ninja Tune Records, Amon Tobin, High Tone, Mad Professor and The Herbaliser among others. 

2018 was a big year for the French trip hop duo: they participated in that year’s Tour de Chauffe, eventually winning the competition. They built up on a rapidly growing national profile with the release of their debut EP Gears in Motion, which they supported with nearly two years of touring, including 50 dates with artists like Dope D.O.D., Reverie, Al’Tarba, Senbeï, Hugo Kat, Guts or Inch and others. 

The duo released their latest effort The Wild Scope EP earlier this month, and the EP’s latest single “Strange World” is a swaggering bit of trip hop that prominently features boom bap beats, some furious scratching, atmospheric electronics and chopped up vocal samples  too create an ambitious tweeter and woofer rocking, Golden Era hip-hop-inspired take on trip hop that sounds like a synthesis of Massive Attack with DJ Premier — with a strong focus on creating blissed out, meditative vibes. 

 

Fold is a Leeds-based collective currently centered around its core quartet Seth Mowshowitz (beats, keys), Kane Rattray (drums), Ben Walsh (bass) and Sam Hutchinson (guitar) with contributions from collaborators like Emma Johnson (saxophones), Simon Dennis (trumpet), Rosie Nicholl (trombone) and Kieran O’Malley (violins). The act’s sound is informed and influenced by hip-hop, trip-hop, downtempo, soul, Brazilian and funk and others — and as a result, they employ as many organic instruments as possible, avoiding the use of click tracks or pre-sequenced material in any context.

The act explores different ways in which narrative and poetry can be interwoven into music — with the aim of honestly reflecting out contemporary world, to speak truth clearly and to represent diverse perspectives across space and time, encouraging a sense of empowerment, understanding and unity among listeners. Focusing on diverse voices and perspectives has allowed the rising British collective an opportunity to collaborate with an eclectic array of emcees, poets, vocalists and historical figures. Since their formation, the act has quickly developed a reputation as a rising act in England: BBC 6 Music‘s Lauren Laverne chose the collective to represent Leeds and the region for a special Record Store Day eve broadcast at Huddersfield‘s Vinyl Tap Records

Fold’s forthcoming album is a concept album that pays tribute to Civil Rights activist and acclaimed playwright Lorraine Hansberry. Hansberry is best known as the author of A Raisin in the Sun — and as the first Black woman to have her work performed on Broadway. As a result, Hansberry’s voice and ideas is the heart and core of the album’s material. Featuring some old-school turntabilism and scratching, a sinuous bass line, stuttering boom bap-like drumming, soulful horns played through delay and reverb, the  track is centered around Hansberry’s husky voice imploring the listener to use their cognitive gifts to steer themselves towards the light. But perhaps more important, as the band notes, Hansberry reminds us that in order to progress — hell, even to survive at this point — that we must always be adaptable. Sonically, the track reminds me a bit of Makaya McCraven‘s bold reimagining of Gil Scott-Heron‘s We’re New Here but with a J. Dilla-like swagger. Both efforts put each visionary’s voice and work in a new and very different context but while reminding contemporaries that their work is even more vital and necessary than they could have ever imagined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Emerging French Producer Dantec Releases a Trance-Inducing New Single

Mathieu Dantec is a rising Paris-based electronic music artist and producer, who initially developed a reputation across his hometown’s music scene as a sound guy, who has owned his own studio for the past decade. Interestingly, a few years ago, Dantec decided that it was time to finally step out from behind these scenes to pursue a long-held dream of pursuing his own music career. And in October 2018, the rising French electronic music artist and produce released his debut EP under the moniker Dantec, which introduced the listener to his sound, which draws from a variety of his different influences, including heavy rock, 60s-70s rock, world music, reggae, classical music, jazz, techno, trip hop and others. 

Dantec’s sophomore EP will further cement his growing reputation for crafting thoughtful, genre-defying music. The EP’s first and latest single is the shimmering and brooding, Portishead-like “Silence.” Centered around thumping and stuttering beats, looped brass samples, a sinuous bass line, shimmering guitars, DJ scratching and chopped and distorted vocal samples, the trance-inducing track as the French producer and artist explains is an example of some “simple loop-based construction:” the main brass sample was taken from a old take from a recording session at one of his first studios. The musicians were indiscipline and he had to repeatedly shout “Silence!” during the session.  

“I don’t remember how I got to loop this piece of sound, not on purpose I guess,” Dantec adds. “I first gave it a beat and bassline, and a good friend composed for fun the “trip hop” inspired guitar lead. The dark part imposed itself but was just an idea for years. Later when I had become a studio owner I asked professional rock performers to play on the track, and the original idea finally revealed! [The] last element I’ve added was the trancey-acid 303 in the heavy part: I had my serious mix of influences but honestly I’ve never considered this track (and so many others i plan to release) as ‘serious.’ It’s just for fun . . .”