Wednesday, 22 October 2014

BLAZ – SINK

Waaaaa! Wows. This is a really cool sound. You fall through a wormhole into the centre of the Earth and come out the other side and realise you're in a different dimension where everything glints towards bioluminescence and in the air there is the aroma of biological immortality achieved through hundreds of years of research on Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish and transdifferentiation. Everyone lives forever and nothing is sacred yet we wonder still why and how everything is as it is. Humanity bulges in our corner of the universe and religion is a fairytale and we are all individualist libertarians.

Anyway, like, that's kinda what I felt when I listened to this track. It's by a person from Austin, Texas, who makes music under the name of Blaz. The track itself is called 'Sink' and, well yeah, it's kinda like sinking. First inspired to make electronic music whilst living in France a few years ago, Blaz calls it "very shiny and digital" and that's it on a basic level. In an email to Y/N, Blaz also shared some background information about the song: "The inspiration for it was old N64 video games... and a desire to take some of the recent PC Music sound, which I love, and twist it into something a little darker and heavier."

From the start, eternal arpeggios stream into your ears like schizoid pulsar stars, glassy galactic fog breathing with it, spiralling towards the main body of the track.

Tumbling fragmented kicks ba-dum-ba-dum-dum beneath, which become a regular beat punctuated with kung-fu-punch snare-claps, occasioned with stark synth chords blasting, which break into a melody towards the end alongside rollicking snares for building up and virtuoso popping sounds in what could be one of the regular favourites at the juke-specialising Club Satellite orbiting the earth (circa 2376), a slowdown retro sample ringing out: "This is how we—" ("—do it," I guess).



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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

MUS.HIBA – SLOW SNOW

Never before has a song sounded so much like its title. Well maybe it has but anyway… This is 'Slow Snow' by mus.hiba and yes, it basically sounds like slow snow. It is a delicate and gentle song, artfully spanning the four minutes of its existence with a snowscape of sound, a soundscape of snow; it falls from the evening sky in slo-mo spirals, highlighted in streetlights that grace the already fallen layer of snow on the ground – no one is around in the frozen streets. It sure does paint a picture.

The track is all set to a slow and carefully considered beat that summons the laid-back style of southern hip hop and trap, giving substance to the hugely expansive synths that satisfyingly dip in volume with each heartbeat kick. Dancing with these synth chords are piano melodies and clusters of gravity-defying glockenspiel, chiming evermore towards the end of the track.

On vocals it features not an actual person but one of the voices or even personalities taken from voicebank freeware UTAU, called Yufu Sekka, the gentle sounds of whom whisper like breezes in the synthetic snow-swirls of mus.hiba's production. Using this hyperreal technique, mus.hiba has created an entire album of music centred around themes of snow and winter, "to express the fragility of a two-dimensional character singing." I very much like this idea. Top marks.

  • The album is called White Girl, it is scheduled for release 10th December (suitably wintry) on the Japanese Noble Label and it will be very, very beautiful if 'Slow Snow' is anything to go by. Go buy it here.
  • Also check out the fragmented prettiness and gradual intensity of the other song released from the album so far, 'Moonlight'
  • Fun fact: Yufu Sekka = Yufu, ユフ, inverse of fuyu (winter); Sekka, 雪歌 ("Snow Song") – so there you go.



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Monday, 20 October 2014

LEMONADE – COME DOWN SOFTLY (ET ALIAE REMIX)

From the first organic twinklings of this track, it's a joy to listen to from start to finish, and marks a slightly harder sound for its creator, the one who remixed 'Come Down Softly' rather, London musicmaker et aliae. The kicks, locked into syncopation with the smart synth chords, seem to thud with more rumbling punch than they ever have done, yet she retains the sense she brings to all her songs, that of floating in a known unknown, a substantial cloud of nothingness travelling down glossy new waterslides in the slacker capacity of ride tester; you don't have to queue for this shit, it's instantly accessible.

The original track by Brooklyn band Lemonade (who can now count et aliae as a labelmate; this remix marks her induction to supernice label CASCINE) is a reverbing wash of sound with an oceanic feel, one that et aliae has channeled into fluid streams and angularly winding rivulets through her use jazz-flavoured chords and more legible beats than feature in the original, abounding with virtuosic hi-hats and tropically lilting shakers, and retaining the phantomic reverbing of the original's vocals.

I guess this is it. A very nice remix of a tasty song, which has helped to illustrate the power of internet music: even without pretence, it WILL BE and HAS BEEN noticed.



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