Tuesday, 12 June 2018

🐣 LYCORISCORIS — FLIGHT

Bustling and crackling with organic buzz and with a heartbeat thudding like the constancy of living and breathing against the melancholic backdrop of the ever-shifting seasons, the rising strings all emotive and tear-jerking, a never-ever feel to it, a will-I-ever feel to it (a la Jon Hopkins) this is Tokyo-based Lycoriscoris aka real life human Yunosuke Senoo. The motion of it suits the name 'Flight', but other than the clear image of something literally flying, what else do we have here?

Well, with its trickling percussion like icicles melting, and the frosty frosty touches of piano sparkling like sun on snow summons a stark landscape, wintry, but with the hope of spring and summer on the horizon, the rising nature of those strings are like the possibility of new life; a mix of depression and hope, it charts the cusp of the year where life teeters between holed-up against the snow and taking tentative steps below freshly unfurling leaves.




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Lycoriscoris Internet Presence ☟
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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

🐣 SANTINO LE SAINT — MAGIC

Somewhere in a desolate wasteland between completely despairing of your situation and carnal pleasures, the trade-off between sex and happiness, feelings and sparing feelings, is the incredibly feel-tastic lamenting lovesong that is 'Magic'. Created by London model, producer, singer and musician Santino Le Saint, it's a tract of scalding synth sounds winding between just a few notes making it feel cyclical – the going-round-in-circles of a restless mind in love – set against a trap beat that rumbles like gurgling lava, sharp industrial snares and ticking hi-hats like a sense of stomach-churning immediacy.

Obviously there is this trap heaviness to it. And to add to the lamenting vibe of this literally magical track there's some serious shredding going on, a Latin-infused '80s-metal guitar solo cavorts in aching interludes in the midst of 'Magic', before becoming the coda of the track, crying out, rapid-fire and raucous. But vocally it feels like an R&B-flavoured slow-jam—Santino Le Saint's satin voice skillfully lilts from the sensually stark and beautifully confused first few lines:

"You should fuck me in the back of this Uber, baby
I know this isn't something you're used to baby
Life's changed and I'm still getting used to it lately
Nothings what it used to be baby..."

Yet it's coated in this metallic decay, as if those words are already ruined, already not worth communicating to whomever they're directed. It's continues thoughtful and reflective: "I was sitting in the passenger, flicking through the calender, thinking about the shit we've done""If we were in a different situation we'd be better off." And doubtful: "Now you're saying that I love you but you never know..." And at times it's like a storytelling Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque stream-of-consciousness, e.g. "but if we're gonna die young then / you'd better promise me if you can shoot then drive""...and if they try and pull us over put the metal to the floor."

"I actually wrote the first line of 'Magic' whilst I was drunk in the back of an Uber on my way home from a party," said Santino Le Saint, talking about the track. "I like to arrive on a track with impact and this was so direct and to the point... I sort of forgot about the lyrics, and a few months down the line the concept came back into my mind and the rest of the track fell into place. You know when you're drunk or high, feeling yourself and just fantasise about shit, that's 'Magic'."

In all, the track brings an everyday, an everynight, Uber ride to a startlingly evocative and cinematic height, from where it drips greatness and sharpness onto you like tears and static—and in a unique vessel that crosses the epic poetry of guitar solo with R&B's sensuality and emotion.


  • πŸ”” This lovely piece of music is taken from Santino Le Saint's recent XENO EP, three-track offering that acts as a composite of these guitar, vocals and beat in a modern-day slice of Prince-esque compounding. You can – and most definitely should – listen to it over on his SoundCloud.


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Santino Le Saint Internet Presence ☟
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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

🐣 JOHNNY JEWEL — RED DOOR

Just about two minutes of blissful-abrasive noise, of arching plumes of synth that seem to wash across your mind like clouds careening across a curdled sky; thinner more modulated chords raising the tone, raising the mood just slightly, but with thinner tracts of sound spelling out some sort of indefinite threat, and scratchy nanobot insectoid chirrupings like malicious electronic signals. Yes, this is ominously titled 'Red Door' by Johnny Jewel, a maelstrom of seemingly innocuousness, like the beautiful azure tide of the sea receding as it laps a beach to reveal a carpet of shattered bones; a paradise lost, bountiful beauty at crippling cost.

Of course, Johnny Jewel has had a hand in the soundtracking of much anticipated Twin Peaks: The Return (albeit with Chromatics in one of its episode's musical endings) so it may explain the dual-minded mood of 'Red Curtain' - as well as its name - so much of the Twin Peaks atmosphere is an uncomfortably close juxtaposition of terror and humour, safety and danger, and thus this track soothes but it also scathes somewhat—it is a comfortable haunting.

"I was about a year deep into recording what would become Windswept when I heard that David [Lynch] was making Season 3 [of Twin Peaks]," he explained. "It's been a year since Chromatics performed at the Roadhouse. With disintegrated memory through the haze of television snow, I wanted to share a glimpse behind the red curtain." And here it is captured: the eternity and mortality in those anxious pre-show moments, the mystery of backstage ritual.


  • πŸ”” The haunting/comforting 'Red Curtain' is taken from new Johnny Jewel album, Themes for Television. Released back in late May, the project began "as a sonic exploration of the sounds I was hearing in my nightmares," said Jewel in a press release. "I wanted to find my way out of the maze by focusing on beauty over fear — like the way the fractured sunrise looks in a dream."

    You can grab it on vinyl

  • πŸ”” The atmospherically relevant video for 'Red Door' was directed by Radka Leitmeritz; with its slow-motion and lingering fades, its enigmatic steely-eyed star Czech model Eva Klimkova and the monochrome-except-for-red colour scheme, it's a spiritual cousin to the track itself.


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Johnny Jewel Internet Presence ☟
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Monday, 21 May 2018

🐣 RIVAL CONSOLES — MEMORY ARC

You know that feeling when the sun is too bright, and it's too hot, and humid, and the brightness of the sun is so much that you can basically feel the UV toasting your skin, and you can smell the heat. That piercing abrasive sunlight feels like the sounds in 'Memory Arc', created by English musicmaker Rival Consoles; primarily this is a heavenly harp sound that is degraded and decayed, the scorch of retinas as humans look upon gods, the curse of theophany. Like a molten zither it plays—or like inverse steel pans for an inverted paradise.

Because there is that flipside to tropical beauty and to the beauty of nature in general, and that is in the danger of it, the undesirable and uncontrollable; survival at nature's mercy. The sweltering heat, dehydration, poison and venom, infection, insects. It feels as if the lower tones of Rival Console's monolithic track provide the looming menace, of something primeval and earth-shaking, whilst the scorching sweeps of melody above paint a picture of the parched sun.

And so there is this sense of wonder, but at no time does it feel triumphant, or chilled. The feelings here, in the drawn-out nature of it, the abrasiveness, the actual progression of the notes, the feelings are of anxiety at its root, the basest worries in the midst of a world a million times bigger than ourselves; a concept that is reminiscent of a similar one in The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard, where global warming has taken our minds back to a world of prehistory. With these sweeping threats and glittering terrors, 'Memory Arc' may represent our most primordial collective recollections.


  • πŸ”” The looming 'Memory Arc' is taken from Rival Consoles' new album Persona, released back in April on Erased Tapes.


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Rival Consoles Internet Presence ☟
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Thursday, 17 May 2018

🐣 JON HASSELL — PASTORALE VASSANT

This collage of sound comes from musicmaking veteran Jon Hassell, a collection of almost random knockings and thudding perucussion, striking bright piano feeling chords and twinklings, insectoid and creeping and with satisfactory edits to almost be venturing into the zippy world of breakcore. Tumbling soft chimes and bassy bell synths roly-poly throughout, helping with that sense of speed and motion. Background noise comes and goes, fizzing and whooshing as new and sharper chimes set in, this time real, organic, and which (sort of) give the track its title: 'Pastorale Vassant' (meaning 'Hillside Pastoral' in Catalan)—How though?

"I was staying in Deya, on the island of Mallorca," explains Hassell in the track's description on SoundCloud, "where flocks of goats roamed in the hills at night, each one with a slightly different neck bell. One balmy Summer midnight I stayed awake to record this floating, constantly-changing "gamelan" that enters in the distant background halfway into the piece."

You can hear in the track that nocturnal sound, the feel of mild still-awake night terrors, the what's-out-there wonder of the dark, and then the homely but lonely sound of these goats' bells, by themselves yet together, no other human around. All the other flighty noises of the night, the harsh abrasions of the ambient sound of the air like the esoteric recordings of a cryptozoologist, but above all the constant flutter of a mind churning and churning... And then: that blissful chord at the end, disparate to everything else that has come before, chimes into earshot rich and radiant, a dream of digital dimensions as the organic gives way to the synthetic, and sounding beautifully similar to the PS2 startup sound by Takafumi Fujisawa—that same full emptiness, empty fullness.


  • πŸ””
  • πŸ”” 'Pastorale Vassant' is the second track to be taken from Jon Hassell's upcoming album Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One), following the urgent, relentless glitter of 'Dreaming'. You may pre-order it on Bandcamp ahead of its 8th June release on Ndeya Records, Hassell's own newly launched label.


πŸ“ 
Jon Hassell Internet Presence ☟
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