Thursday, 25 May 2017

๐Ÿฃ INSTUPENDO — PLAY PALETTE

The nebulous wandering sounds at the heart of this track hint at more than just a chilled atmosphere. There is a warmth to this, a ghostly warmth, a warmth of things past and remembered and cherished, something like a loved one coming back to watch over you in their afterlife—almost mournful, almost joyful, this track is clouds pierced by sunlight, sadness sprinkled with glad feelings, it is bittersweetness. It has the touching title of 'play palette' and it was created by instupendo.

Heady nostalgia swirls heavily around the glass sides of this track like a wine saved and savoured. The wonky decaying synth chimes like an ancient musicbox opened and watched and listened to and almost tasted, memories effusing from it, and then the beauty of that piano, dusty and half-dilapidated, the touching ornamentations and flourishes of recollection, the exquisite details of broad emotions. 'play palette' takes us by the hand, driven along by the smart stoic beat, unceasing clean with snapping clarity, the structure of it providing that grounding of reality as the mists of time whirl round our fingers and we try to hold on; the angular frame of the window as we gaze out of it.




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๐Ÿฃ MICRONISM — ENGAGING CAUSELESS MERCY

The muffled roar of rumbling sub-bass, the pulsing vitality of it in organic waves—we could be inside a giant, swallowed up by a gargantuan something and dwelling there. The bio-industrial feeling of the track is evident. The whooshing breeze of sound like the inner workings of this huge being, the organo-mechanical movement of tendons and pneumatics. Acid synth twinkles elastically, delaying and echoing into the distance and creating an illustration of the remote and unfamiliar. The kicks arrive and thud with vigour, heartbeat of these futurist flavours, urgent and interior and solid.

But the alien nature of 'engaging causeless mercy' is remedied by New Zealand musicmaker micronism, balanced by rich chords lilting with horizontal lounge cool, a prescription of chill that quenches the fire flaming in the innards of the gooey magma golem. This new laid-back sound becomes scattered with rhythmic hi-hat shuffling rapidly, rollicking and twisting until the track's finale where the chords become hollower and longer and the beat and other noises fall away and we are left still vibrating still warm from the grand intensity of the track and its unrelenting living body, floating now in this slumbering stream of sound.


  • ๐Ÿ”” This track first appeared on micronism's 1998 album, inside a quiet mind"one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed electronic albums" – which was created entirely without computers and only outboard equipment. It has been recently rereleased by Wellington-based label Loop Recordings and can be purchased as a vinyl LP or digitally on Bandcamp.
  • ๐Ÿ”” The album was originally released by Kog Transmissions, on a very limited CD-only run, where it was mastered by Chris Chetland. He is also behind this re-mastering. "Somehow or another," says Denver McCarthy (the brain behind micronism), "Chris managed to make it releasable 20 years ago, and now he has given new life to the album by a further smoothing of the edges, and polishing it to a level of shininess where it even sounds good in my ute."
  • ๐Ÿ”” fyi: "micronism (plural micronisms). A theoretical microorganism living in the ice or under the surface of Jupiter's ice moon Europa." (Wiktionary).


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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

๐Ÿฃ GLADES — REAL [ๅˆๆผ” • PREMIERE]

Stomping onto the scene is the pump-action rhythms of 'Real', a frosty frenzy of dancehall flavours and futuristic leanings from Colorado-born New York-dwelling musicmaker Glades or sometimes GLZDES. Overdriven kicks provide necessary fidgeting bounce, icy synths paint spooky gleaming sparklescapes from space operas freeflowing and far off, thin misty lasering sounds that provide sufficient otherworldly ambience. As a sidenote, beginning at 1:22 the pingpong syncopation summons the plinky noises that appear in the theme for Stage 3 of Streets of Rage—recollections empower music.

And amidst the luscious shaker sounds with its textured bristling and the clacking percussion that drive the track forward and lend it a popping atmosphere, the thuddy kicks that help it sway away from the "real real real real real" parts, amidst this and between them is the voice of Yoh, his words distant and whirled in fogs of synth and skipping with jazz inflection and agility.

Glades tells us over email that 'Real' is inspired by "the relationship btw Honesty and Promiscuity." Indeed there are two contrasting facets of the track: the unrelenting faster sections vs. the soft nebulous parts. This duality could be mirroring those conflicting concepts. "In Western culture ~ we don't like to let these coexist," he explains. "We like to demonize, shame... we talk about sexual freedom and like to think we are free sexually as a culture, but I don’t believe that’s true, I don’t believe as a culture that we can handle it emotionally."

'Real' pops with minimalism and intensity, compels with hazy floating sounds and crucial tactile ones, grounded but cloudbound, it's the far-off future where things merge and work together and concepts are as free and flexible as the ones that dream them, a heartgasm of isolation in idealism.


  • ๐Ÿ”” 'Real' follows two weeks in the wake of 'Turbulence', another track taken from a forthcoming release called VISCERAL. Glades revealed that all its songs were all like a purge the past few years, the times I could let it all go and be most honest.""Now I realize the best way for us all to live is to be full honest all the time, but I did not know this at the time." The project is due for release on 2nd June.


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Friday, 19 May 2017

๐Ÿฃ ORIGINAL DODGER — MILLIONAIRE FEAT. DAECOLM, P MONEY, DAVINCHE

Before grime came garage, and amidst the forefront of its mainstream popularity was Southampton duo Artful Dodger, brained and piloted by original members Pete Devererux and Mark Hill. Amongst their famous tracks was 'Re-Rewind', which kickstarted the career of Craig David in 1999. However, the moniker itself has since changed hands leaving its founders for "legal reasons" needing to define themselves as Original Dodger for this, their first single together in 15 years. The effortless skitter of the beat, its insectoid shuffle and buzz, fluid and fluent, fast and bustling but whirling easily chilled and free through the track, this garage foundation is the steely stalwart of 'Millionaire'.

And with that the clean bulging bass blossoms subtly below, syncopated and measured the booms of it bounce along with the same rapid rhythm effused by the beat itself. Icicles of synth chime out coldly glittering in their effective and simple grime-ish melody, maybe the influence of featuring grime producer veteran Davinche, this icy sound gleaming as the two-part hook courtesy of up-and-coming London singer Daecolm, his vocal plays out first quick, low, layered and catchy and then slower with a rich balladic tone, aching and weaving through the thicketing beats. Topping it off, it's grime MC P Money in the verse, stoic triumphal muted chords playing as his red carpet, his flow laid-back and competent seeming to stride easy over the skipping beat—"i pick up the mic and leave chilblains / got em baffled when i talk grime."

All this talent and then that message, anti-ostentatious, "I ain't no millionaire" in the hook, not needing to front, being content with yourself, positive and refreshing—and then you remember, like this isn't an ordinary cake but a special one let's say red velvet because when do you ever eat that or imagine any other favourite food but augmented, its best version, but yes: it's the return of the actual Original Dodger.


  • ๐Ÿ”” 'Millionaire' is one of eleven productions from Original Dodger's project Soundtrack, scheduled to be released one-by-one throughout summer.


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Thursday, 18 May 2017

๐Ÿฃ RAPHAร‹L D'HERVEZ — RรŠVES

Until now Raphaรซl D'herves was better known as the brain behind French dreampop unit, Pegase, as well as the more electro Minitel Rose, but now he ventures into the music world under his own name, gracing our ears with a luscious debut called 'Rรชves'. It's the beginning of an ambitious project in which D'hervez aims "mix Christophe (french singer from the 70's), contemporary R&B artist such as Frank Ocean, and classious french production (Air)."

The classious (classy) part is certainly right. The production is elegant, dripping with clarity and distinguished sheen; from the offset of the track it only takes one element to attract and bewitch the listener, and that is the handclap, the clopping delicious dolcelatte unaffected unpretentious untamperedwith handclap. From here, ahh, the jacuzzi satisfaction of those blomglomming heavenly vibraphone, the dusty percussive rasp of the bongo, the deep crisp simple bass groove, the antsy excitement of the shaker's roving rattle. The clear quality of the vocals as they weave catchy melodies throughout, warmly layered in the chorus. The sparkle of electric guitar arpeggios.

And towards the end of the track, the soaring violin, the rising tide of electronics, the glimmering decayed crescendo of it all, provides a magnificent finale to what started off so simply, each instrument each sound slotting in with precision to build the vision of D'hervez. Watching the video for the track, as each instrument gets its well deserved close-up, each one making up this audio treasure trove, you can see the pure love of sound, giving literal ocular illustration for what can be heard well enough: passion for making music.


  • ๐Ÿ”” 'Rรชves' is taken from a forthcoming four-track EP by Raphael D'hervez called L'Oiseau Tonnerre, which literally means "thunder bird", out 2nd June on Nantes-based label FVTVR, of which D'hervez is the founder.
  • ๐Ÿ”” The video for 'Rรชves' was directed by the artist's brother, Tristan D'hervez, filmed at the studio where the EP was recorded. In addition the track features Antonin Pierre on electric and acoustic guitar, Jordane Saunal on violin, with choral vocals supplied by Ana Benabdelkarim.


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