Saturday, 22 December 2012

FAUVE NUITS FAUVES

This might not exactly be the newest thing on the block at the moment, but it's certainly new for me. Well, new-ish. I've been meaning to post this song for ages - you know how it is: stuff gets in the way. Normal.

Anyway, this is FAUVE, self-confessedly more of a 'project' than a band. Although, according to the information on their website, they started out as just three musicians (friends with a desire to express the pathos in their lives), FAUVE now - after many people have joined the project in some capacity or another - count themselves as five musicians plus one videographer.

As for expressing themselves, emptying the overflowing mind, FAUVE seem to have no trouble with that at all. Of course, it's why they got together in the first place. This song, 'Nuits Fauves' (or 'Wild Nights' in English), illustrates perfectly what the band are all about: creating empathy within their listeners. The lyrics this particular song expound on the fear and desire that come hand in hand with the slightly vacuous nights out 'on the prowl' that certain generations of many countries and cultures experience. Luckily FAUVE display lyrics to all of their songs, so you can sing along.

But it's not singing. It's speaking - kind of. It's almost equivalent to the kind of rapping that Mike Skinner does in The Streets. But with this style it's much easier to get emotion across, in the way you speak, rather than with singing which of course always has to stick to a melody. The music fits the mood of the song perfectly, or makes the mood, with a cyclical guitar riff that meekly stretches like a cat in the background as a hip-hop rhythm beats along, in a kind of bleak pastiche of gangster rap. Wonderful atmosphere and dynamic here.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like FAUVE on Facebook
Follow FAUVE on Twitter
Watch FAUVE on YouTube
Visit FAUVE's official site

Thursday, 20 December 2012

XXYYXX ABOUT YOU

Ok, so somehow I missed this amazing song. I've seen people mention the 17-year-old, Orlando-(FL)-based XXYYXX on Twitter so many times, but never thought that I would ever check it out - why? I'm not sure. Probably I was confused: is it a mash-up between The xx and xxxy? Huh? But anyway, I've finally had a listen to this one particular song and I'm amazed - hypnotised is probably a better word. 'About You' has been watched over five million times on YouTube, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this were because of the same thousand or something people just replaying the song over and over again. It's utterly addictive.

But of course, haters gon' hate. Some comments on the song have given it stick because of its blatant simplicity and have implied the old classic: "anyone can do this" - to which I would reply with a new classic: "yeah, but anyone didn't do it, this person did." But anyway, leaving behind the sourpusses of this world, I can safely say that I supremely dig this song.

It is the ultimate chillwave, the most minimalist beat I have heard all year - just an audaciously minimalistic kick and a snare through the whole song - as well as the most minimalist melody, consisting of modulating synth chords switching between two sets of notes. Although on paper it does sound a little sparse, it's actually anything but that. It's entirely gripping, keeping you in its clutches as new parts are gradually introduced, such as this freaky vocal sample that is slowed down to a crazy degree in some parts, and also a random part of some dub-style singing tinged with rattling hi-hats. It all bubbles up, tension rising, until the synth explodes and a wobbling bass kicks in towards the end of the song - it's such a change in dynamic that you can't not be blown away by it the first, second, third, and so on, time(s) that you listen to it. Pure heaven. Love it.

"Is there more?" I hear you cry. Yes, there's a whole album, called XXYYXX, go and listen to it.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like XXYYXX on Facebook
Listen to XXYYXX on SoundCloud
Stream XXYYXX on Bandcamp

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

BRODINKSI DANCE LIKE MACHINES

No, I haven't taken up drawing in my spare time, this is actually the bizarrely titillating, comic-style cover for Brodinski's first ever EP released on his own label - Bromance Records - called Bromance #7 (released 10th December). This is one of the songs from the EP, of course, and the title 'Dance Like Machines' is something that is, well, let's say explored in the video: there are a lot of strippers and there is a lot of dancing. Besides dancing being their jobs, it's no wonder that they're dancing to this latest tasty morsel from Louis Brodinski - I'm almost throwing my clothes off as I type and listen, which as you can imagine is a tricky feat, so I'll stick to the point.

The stabbing synth of this song is addictive, a kind of electronic honky tonk / harpsichord trance style - the kind of sound that you wouldn't mind having in your ears for more than the duration of the song. It's all set to a relentless techno beat that is characterised in its severity by the huge sub bass globulating under everything; it's as if a beautiful table has been set, all the silverware and candlesticks are in place, the wine is just about to be poured, but from out of nowhere the table itself starts expanding and contracting, and the tablecloth is undulating like so many storm-tossed waves. Yes, there's beauty in the brutality of this song - exactly the same as the unlikely beauty that is found in the strip joints in the video. Do I get extra points for that comparison? I hope so.

It's a great song, one that will get you pumped for going out dancing, or one that will aid further in your dancing when you're already out dancing. I love how Brodinski manages to marry the dubstep rhythm of the first part of the song, and throughout, with the thumping, technolicious 4/4 beat that is its mainstay. Enjoy. Some say the video is NSFW, and indeed YouTube removed it on those grounds, but who cares. Watch it wherever. Watch it on the train in front of people or something.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Brodinski on Facebook
Follow Brodinski on Twitter
Listen to Brodinski on SoundCloud
Visit Brodinski's official site
Check Brodinski on Myspace

Saturday, 15 December 2012

FLEETWOOD MAC OH WELL HAIM COVER

Not only is the original of 'Oh Well' by the immortal Fleetwood Mac - whilst Peter Green still fronted - an absolute belter and indeed one of my favourite Fleetwood Mac songs (though it's strange to say because it's such a different style to, let's say, 'Second Hand News'), it's also been done fantastically well by the quickly rising sister-act Haim as you will see in the video below.

In fact, you might have already heard them cover this song if you listened Zane Lowe's show on BBC Radio 1 earlier this week (they did a very nice 3-track session over at Maida Vale studios). You might want to have a look at and a listen to the BBC version because it's obviously better quality than this one, which has just been filmed from the crowd at a random festival. Hmm. On second thought, it's a little dismissive to say 'random festival', so let's get specific: it's at the Twilight Series 2012 on Santa Monica Pier. Imagine that!

So anyway, without further ado, I present to you Haim live with their cover of Fleetwood Mac's brilliant 'Oh Well'.

They do this song to virtual perfection, note for note and beat for beat, it's nearly exactly the same as listening to the original - complete with the quirky rolls on woodblocks. The song steams ahead, the trio of girls rocking out onstage and for the most part it reveals a side of Haim that certainly I didn't know existed: full-throttle rock and roll. I've yet to hear an original song that ploughs waters as turbulent as those of 'Oh Well', but I do hope they write something similar to this because it's pure brilliance. Of course, they give a song an extra dimension, mainly in the vocals department, obviously swapping male for female vocals that lend the song a... sensual swagger? Is that ok to say? If it is, then I'm going with that. If it's not, then it's just different in a 'female way'.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Haim on Facebook
Follow Haim on Twitter
Listen to Haim on SoundCloud
Visit Haim's official site
Learn about Haim on Wikipedia Haim on Myspace

FOALS MY NUMBER

You may already know what I've written about this one. That was live. This is recorded. If you don't like listening to live stuff, and shunned my last post for that very reason, then you can not-shun this post. Let's recap anyway.

'My Number' is totally groovesome, like a loveable though uncoordinated janitor injected with PURE funk who then discards his drab uniform revealing a huge tattoo of a palm-tree-lounger-cocktail-complete-with-paper-umbrella combo on his chest and then body pops down the corridors of the school he works at whilst the children rush out of classrooms to cheer him on and clap and the teachers are stuttering and flustered and the head teacher is raging as the janitor clicks his heels and makes his final tango out of the main doors of the school - nice, eh?

PRE-ORDER your very own copy of the upcoming Holy Fire - scheduled for release on 11th February 2013 (UK) - by clicking any word of this sentence.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Foals on Facebook
Visit Foals' official site
Follow Foals on Twitter
Read more on Foals' Wikipedia page

Thursday, 13 December 2012

TORO Y MOI SO MANY DETAILS

I'm not sure whether Toro y Moi chose the song title 'So Many Details' because this lovely song of his is positively swimming in lashings of details, or if it's just coincidence, but either way, like I said, it's lovely.

Musically active for around three years now, Toro y Moi (real name Chazwick Bundick - really) is a mainstay of the laid-back chillwave genre and has already released two albums; this song comes as the first single from his upcoming album, Anything in Return - set for release on 22nd January 2013 - and whilst it remains chilled, there are many textures that make it a delightfully rich medley of sounds.

The song begins with a looped, dreamy effect that sounds like the equivalent of a troop of clouds travelling across a clear sky, followed quickly by some clipped and muffled brass-type sounds all bubbling together. Then the beat proper comes in, playing host, for the main part, to a dusty kick drum that underpins the whole, lazy, head-swaying hip-hop mass that cruises along with the the thin falsetto vocals and a soulful yet cartoony and crumbling bassline that warms the soul. There's a hollow, modulating synth breakdown with atonal, glitchy chords before introducing a female vocal sample that floats in like a guest-appearance ghost - lovely touch.

But before the end of the song, over halfway through, around the same time as the once intermittent pinging smacks of delayed guitar chords become more frequent, the song descends into an electro trance, the vocals become more echoing, high-pitched bleeps cascade around and - happily - frantic tribal drum sounds circulate underneath all the mayhem. Wow. If you listen to that song properly (and NO, I don't mean stoned, like 80% of YouTube comments on 'good' songs suggest) it takes you away to some faraway electro playground that isn't cold, dark or damp, but warm, colourful and made expressly for you.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Toro y Moi on Facebook
Follow Toro y Moi on Twitter
Listen to Toro y Moi on SoundCloud
Visit Toro y Moi's official site
Read Toro y Moi's Wikipedia page
Check Toro y Moi's blog

PALMA VIOLETS BEST OF FRIENDS

If you haven't already heard it, I heartily entreat you to listen to this song. It's a real doozie and it's from London boys - Lambeth, to be precise - Palma Violets, who take their name from the iconic British sweets: Parma Violets. The song is called 'Best Of Friends' and it's got a completely throwback sound that smells very much like punk: brazen, energetic, frustrated. In fact, it sounds very much like what The Jam were doing in the late 1970s/early 80s, with regards to maintaining that "angry young man" mentality of their punk contemporaries whilst dressing in suits and incorporating a whole lot of mod-adored rock into their sound. I'm saying it sounds like that, not that it is that, just so you know.

I've chosen to share their performance of this song on Later... with Jools Holland because it is not only the first place I heard it, but - having now listened to the recording - I think it's actually a better quality version, going more hand-in-hand with their slapdash punk/rock sensibilities. Being live, the energy that the band put into their music becomes a lot more evident than merely hearing it on a record - they throw themselves about, embellish instrumentals with shouts and yelps, and generally put every fibre of their being into playing every note, shouting down the microphone, or smashing the hell out of the drums.

Indeed, guitarist Sam Fryer has said:

We want people to really feel it - we want the bass to rip through people's bodies, the bass drum to go straight inside your head.

Here we have distorted chords thrashed out and left hanging in the air whilst the vocals for the verse come out in a slur, before the booming chorus with all the oi-type yelling and shouting as a vessel for the simple, yet heartrending refrain "I wanna be your best friend, I don't want you to be my girl". It's a quintessentially British 'thing' - from their name, to the style of music they play (and how they play it), along with other British nuances like another, slightly strange song of theirs called 'Last Of The Summer Wine', named after a comedy series about a bunch of mishap-making old people in the countryside. These guys are already on the rise (they won NME's Track Of The Year award with this song), which is a fabulous thing; whoever said guitar music is dead? Because, judging from what I can hear, it isn't. And if it is dead, then Palma Violets are carrying it on their shoulders.

And of course, if you haven't, listen to the official, album-quality version of 'Best Of Friends'. Their debut album will be released on 25th February 2013.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Palma Violets on Facebook
Visit Palma Violets official site

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

CORY JREAMZ VAGUE CURRENT VIVID FATED

Whenever a new rapper comes on the scene, the event is usually met with cheers and frantic attempts to compare the new, up-and-coming star to something that's come before - not something that everybody really wants to hear at the best of times, least of all rappers in particular. Thankfully, I won't be comparing Cory Jreamz to anybody.

A Houston-native, he's entirely unique to himself, combining a mix of personal, diary-entry-esque revelations about himself with a nearly confrontational, swaggering delivery, making full use of his voice to blend the words together in a flow that seems at once natural and raw. It's impressive, and it's what you'd hear if you took a listen to Vague Current Vivid Fated (or VCVF for short), his second EP (after Polysemy earlier this year) that was released just over a week ago. With all songs being written at age 18, this for Cory Jreamz himself is a way to get his feelings out in the open whilst doing what he loves most, which is creating music - of course.

In just four tracks, we're taken through all the feelings that go with being 18 - starting with the wild ambition driven by an intense aversion to anything related to failure in first song '18', mixing lyrics imbued with eyes-on-the-prize attitude as well as nerdy, suburban culture like watching Family Guy and going to TGI Fridays. From this, we naturally move to love, with second track 'Bonney', expounding Cory's surprise at his actions and feelings upon finding a girl's conversation better than her body, which was "amazing - mazin'mazin'mazin'mazin'mazin'mazin'mazin". Next, we come back to reality with 'No Castles In The Air', in which he tackles thoughts of the road ahead: "Seriously, I think I'm dead if I don't make this music right"; at which point we come to the despair of 'When The Youth Cut Their Wrist'. It's a whirlwind tour of mixed emotions of a talented rapper determined to make something of himself - have a listen.

But it's not just the lyrics with Cory Jreamz - the music is just as important. This is provided by BeatKnox, ATIRA, LyteSho!, DJ Rhino, his engineer Vince Campos, and of course Cory himself. He has said that each one of these songs has a "deep meaning" to him, so why would he want to leave them as 2-minute-long rap fade-outs? Instead each one is turned into an odyssey - '18' relies on a thunderingly low bass to carry on the attitude long after his voice leaves the track. We get bombarded with distortion and saw-wave bass towards the end of 'No Castles In The Air' before a Middle Eastern-style drumming and chanting takes its place with an epic, kneeling-on-a-clifftop guitar solo squealing over the top. Similarly, 'When The Youth Cut Their Wrist' is actually mostly instrumental, being awash with wavering bass and touching piano melodies that are interspersed with gravelly distortion. Tasty stuff.

To summarise: Cory Jreamz will only get bigger, his lyrics more polished, his music even more suited to the subject matter - he's on the up and you should be following his every move.

You can download the EP Vague Current Vivid Fated FOR FREE from MediaFire.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Cory Jreamz on Facebook
Follow Cory Jreamz on Twitter
Listen to Cory Jreamz on SoundCloud
Visit Cory Jreamz' official site

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

BOT'OX BASEMENT LOVE

As much as I love hearing music in general that I like, I love more to hear music that is not only fresh but wholly loveable at the same time. Often, and this is something I wrote about today in fact, music is reminiscent of something else or is directly derivative, but there is a uniqueness lacking that - for me personally - is something that I crave when it comes to all things in life (not just music). Call that 'hipster' and I'll blow your fucking brains out - I'm sick of that word.

You can imagine my relative joy, then, when I came across this tasty morsel from Paris-based band Bot'Ox called 'Basement Love'; released yesterday (10th Dec) as an EP, the entirety of which you can listen to on SoundCloud or download here, the song comes out as the first of a series of EPs or 'chapters' (released every two months apparently) leading up to an album, expected later in 2013: Sans Dormir, which itself comes two years after debut album Babylon by Car.

'Basement Love' starts as a flies-buzzing-round-a-window build up from a barely heard saw-wave synth into something surprising, a bassline almost like dub and a drumstep rhythm that captivates you from the very first beat. With popping synth arpeggios, a disconcerting voice comes in - the voice of Foremost Poets (or jOHNNYDANGEROUs, who also featured in Bot’Ox’s Perfect Pair EP in 2011) - a voice that is twisted with effects and comes ghostly from the centre of this dirge-paced basement anthem. Playing with dynamics, the distorted synth comes back and rises, flooding your ears with inescapable, raucous sound, scraping and noisy, near-unbearable - then it breaks off, revealing that calm dub and clear-toned guitar chords, small and different after all that loudness.

Reminding me of a cross between alt-J and TOYS (who we wrote about the other day), these guys cover a new, dark ground that still sounds like it has a lot to give. Listen below.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Bot'Ox on Facebook
Listen to Bot'Ox on SoundCloud
Visit Bot'Ox's official site
Bot'Ox on Myspace

PARLEZ-VOUS ANGLAIS? SUNGLASSES & SHIRTS

It's strange, but even the sound of LCD Soundsystem's first album, to take an example, sounds oddly retro now - the reason for this being, perhaps, that James Murphy was himself looking to the past. The reason I mention this is because this song from Parlez-vous Anglais? itself sounds like an act that could've existed alongside LCD back in the electro disco heyday (Oh! those Halcyon, plastic-rainbow days) but no - it's new. It's new music that sounds retro because it was influenced by a guy a few years ago who himself was entrenched in the New York disco sound. And a bit like Calvin Harris (first album, thank Allah). All this history is boring, isn't it? War of the Roses? Only at Christmas time.

Anyway. I am very happy about this song. Despite sounding quite similar to some other stuff, it is - of course - its own creation. The name, by the way, is 'Sunglasses & Shirts' by French band Parlez-vous Anglais?. I love this kind of sound. It reminds me of being at University, reminds me of all the silly nu-raveness back then, the Dulux colour wheels of people who rolled humming snippets of the Klaxons. But, memories of a not-very-old-person-anyway aside, the song is great. It's a brash representation of sheer fun, complete with all the things you like to hear, and all the things that get you up and shimmying around like nobody's business: slapdash guitar, bleepy, whack-a-mole electro sounds, and sung-spoken vocals that ooze attitude.

Laid-back yet ready to spring into a Windmill and impress all the girls at any time, the only thing I'd say thing song is missing is being released in the right season - this is a Summer song. Maybe it's acting as a cure for the season instead of a reflection of it. Deep.


This song comes straight from the boys' new EP, also called Sunglasses & Shirts, which is a foray into the electro indie disco delights of yesteryear. You can listen to that on Spotify, or you could buy the whole thing from iTunes. Lovely stuff.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Parlez-vous Anglais? on Facebook
Follow Parlez-vous Anglais? on Twitter
Listen to Parlez-vous Anglais? on SoundCloud
Watch Parlez-vous Anglais? on YouTube

Monday, 10 December 2012

JESSIE WARE SWEET TALK CYRIL HAHN REMIX

Cyril Hahn does it again. We've been following this man since we first heard about his remix of Destiny's Child 'Say My Name' - now almost legend amongst those who have been following the short and sharp rise to international fame of Cyril Hahn himself. More than once now he has been featured on Annie Mac's show on BBC Radio 1 - you can listen by navigating her programme's page here. Boy does Annie Mac have good taste.

In any case, we're here to talk about Cyril Hahn's house treatment of Jessie Ware's 'Sweet Talk' - the prolific remixer has taken yet another strong female vocal, and instead of chopping it up into many small parts, allows large sections of Jessie Ware's vocal to have a large amount of breathing space. Cyril adds touches of reverb to the vocal, giving it an unearthly, even magical quality, whilst wrapping the whole thing up in his trademark warmth - a musical hot water bottle for this chilly season.

It starts off with a whole lot of attitude, a truncated bassline swaggers as the kick comes in, rumbling beneath everything before the first lot of echoing vocal samples floats in. The temperature heats up, the thickness of Cyril's sounds begin to blanket your ears in the heat of the energy he creates with his various drops, almost always followed by protracted, synth bass notes that clamber for your attention. He builds it up towards the end till the energy is near bursting; a creeping sensation of deep fulfilment with what you're listening to only becoming apparent when the song finishes and you immediately replay it because, yep, that's exactly what a Cyril Hahn remix does to a person: turns them into a serial song repeater. That's the sign of an addictive producer and talented artist who has big things ahead of him.

Yet again, bravo. And Jessie Ware, bravo to her too. She has an amazing voice, which has clearly been shown by Cyril's choice to remix her song, and which he has framed very nicely, very flatteringly, in his own, unique way.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Cyril Hahn on Facebook
Listen to Cyril Hahn on SoundCloud
Follow Cyril Hahn on Twitter
Check Cyril Hahn on Tumblr

KAVINSKY PROTOVISION [VIDEO]

Kavinsky - otherwise known as the real world person Vincent Belorgey - is back with a new album due out early 2013: Outrun. This, 'Protovision', is the first official single from that album - 'Odd Look', a snippet of which we covered a few weeks ago, has actually not been released yet. But, all these technicalities and names aside, I'm just glad to hear that he's back. It seems that a lot of people are giving him a pretty hard time for "pulling a DRIVE" in the video below, but if you've followed Kavinsky for a while, you will see that Kavinsky is itself a creation by Vincent: both the music and the eponymous character form part of the atmosphere that goes with the whole package that is Kavinsky.

Whether or not you like or can even get on board with a conceptual idea like that is besides the point (no matter how cool or not cool you think it is): the point is the music. And as far as the music that comes from the mind of this guy goes, it remains an exciting, dynamic sound that doesn't pull any punches and that remains almost as it has been since the release of his first EP Teddy Boy in 2006.

So in 'Protovision' we are treated to an epically wailing guitar, which is the main star of the 3-minute-long thumper of a track. In typical Kavinsky style we hear a super strong beat that thuds along beneath a grim, fuzzy wave of synth bassline - a showcase of 80s-car-chase-inspired sounds that display and illustrate as much excitement as inspires them in the first place. The only change that has been made to the sound since previous tracks is perhaps a larger dash of wide and epic, cinematic atmosphere that has managed to have been captured within the glowering synth of 'Protovision', yet still it is the small touches that make the most differences sometimes.

Detractors might say that Kavinsky is always the same - if you don't like that sound, then lack of change is bound to annoy you. Personally, I think this sound is one that Vincent Belorgey should tenaciously cling onto and hold close because it's one that, like a loveable or memorable character, people will not tire of hearing.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Kavinsky on Facebook
Follow Kavinsky on Twitter
Listen to Kavinsky on SoundCloud
Kavinsky on Myspace
And Stream Kavinsky on Bandcamp

Sunday, 9 December 2012

FOALS LIVE @ WEST END CENTRE ALDERSHOT

I never thought I'd be writing a post that even mentioned Aldershot, let alone one that actually featured this fair town's name in its title - yet, here we are. And there we were, in Aldershot, in a spookily empty pub at an acceptable drinking hour waiting to see Foals live at the West End Centre. Measuring the minutes with alcohol (what else?) the time quickly whizzed by and, before we knew it, we were en route to the gig itself; 'exciting' didn't cover it.

This rather intimate gig - the venue is officially 175 capacity, although Wikipedia cites it as something more like like 200 (what's 25 more people, eh?) - is just one in a series of rather intimate gigs, that started in Sheffield and will end in Tunbridge Wells in two days' time, stopping off at Derby, Stoke, Southampton, Bournemouth and Brighton on the way. It's a kind of teaser tour, according to the band themselves:

Thanks to everyone who bought tickets for our mini tour this winter. like we said elsewhere it is only a tease, and for us to get back "into it", so don't stress if you missed out, or if we weren't coming near to your home... because there will be many, many more shows coming up.

So there you have it. A mini-tour. Getting back "into it". Of course. That's what it was.

But it really didn't sound anything like that. It sounded like a polished gig. An actual gig. After the danceable grooves of support Trophy Wife, the main event came down on the crowd like a veritable ton of bricks. With Yannis Philippakis, Foals' frontman, typically animated and fully imbued with the feeling of the very music he's playing, a kind of perpetual motion machine in which he is driven by the music in order to drive the music and so on - a cyclical relationship where energy swaps hands between the band, usually culminating in Yannis getting very excited and jumping from whatever pinnacle the stage happens to offer into a sea of outstretched hands and, seemingly refreshed by crowdsurfing in pure adoration, onto the stage again - the gig was suitably frenzied.

They hopped between big tunes from their back and current catalogue, fever-pitch anthems and let's-have-a-breather tunes that nevertheless had everyone screaming. Starting with muscle-beach-evocative 'Miami' they moved onto 'Blue Blood' and new tune 'My Number', whose unquenchable funk had the whole crowd displaying whatever fancy footwork they could muster. Other songs included the now old-school, sweaty indie disco anthem that is 'Balloons' and the epic builder-upper 'Spanish Sahara', which cooled, calmed, and subsequently set ablaze the room with the band's sheer mastery of dynamics.

After a premature departure from the stage, the band returned to the wild shouts of the crowd to launch into the heaviest-ever-Foals-song 'Inhaler', blowing everybody away, bursting many an eardrum, and getting the whole crowd bouncing around and headbanging - not something you expect from Foals, but something that gives a teaser to their own diverse tastes in music (for instance, I noticed that the drummer, Jack Bevan, was wearing a HEALTH vest - +1 point). Then came the ending: 'Two Steps Twice'. This is Foals' usual gig-closer and, with its addictive beat and that chanting-in-the-stands breakdown and Yannis's brave walk from the stage into the crowd itself, bringing everyone together in shouting out this wordless anthem - a beautiful moment.

Foals are certainly a band that needs to be seen live - not only does their energy onstage lend itself to a better quality of sound (because they really do play for all their worth when onstage), but it leads to an exciting show: they are animated and totally gripped by the energy of their own music, lost in a trance like a whirling Dirvish, none more than Yannis, who steals the show with his daredevil jumps from the speakers and his fearless forays into the crowd itself. Phew. Get tickets to the tour proper next year if you know what's good for you.

The night ended with a maniac running out of his car with a golf club and all the pent up aggression of a 17-year-old with a frigid girlfriend. Not typical Aldershot behaviour, I'm sure.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Foals on Facebook
Visit Foals' official site
Follow Foals on Twitter
Read more on Foals' Wikipedia page

Saturday, 8 December 2012

POLIÇA WANDERING STAR TROPICS REMIX

Ahh, Tropics - his music is so tasty, like a well-deserved Nando's or forgotten-about Magnum Caramel that you re-find crouching in your freezer. Yes, we can confirm that Tropics is just as fantastic as everybody is making out. Just a smigden over a month ago Chris Ward, the man - the brain - behind Tropics, released his first EP, Popup Cinema, to much acclaim; I mean, we liked it (and you can read that right here), so what more do you need to know? It was a delightful jig into a calming sea of soulful vocals and ambient synth sounds that gave you sunny pop with one hand and presented experimental twists and turns with the other. Beautiful.

But that aside, what has Mr. Ward gone and done now but remixed a song? He's actually shadowed the original, his remix standing tall like a majestic palm tree under a full moon and a pebble beach of stars. Where were we...

Oh yes. He's remixed a lovely song by Poliça called 'Wandering Star'. The original is a sparse mix of doleful bass, slapdash drums and vocals that seem to stretch forwards and backwards in time, dripping with lashings of reverb. Listen to this below:

But now, below, we have the remix with the Tropics Touch - a chillwave kind of magic wand, I guess. It takes the heart of the original and puts it into a new body, and a very nice body at that, one that vibrates non-stop with a wavy bass, one that offers up synthy organ tones, one that participates in an orgy of sound, a dazzling, near-jazzy confetti that leads us towards the end of the song over a supremely laid-back beat. A fantastic use of vocal samples at the beginning and end of the song shows Tropics' talent for chopping the right bits and repeating them the right amount of times, like a skillful sound-butcher - and actually, on the subject of vocals, the singing on the track seems to fit Tropics' remix more than the original. Is that a bad thing to say? Not sure, but it's the true thing to say. Feast your ears on this.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Tropics on Facebook
Listen to Tropics on SoundCloud
Follow Tropics on Twitter
Check Tropics on Tumblr

Saturday, 1 December 2012

KRYONE WITHOUT YOU

I'd never heard of this guy before, but now I'm rather glad that I've discovered Kryone. He's a Mexico-based producer and DJ currently signed to forward-thinking Mexican label PIR▲.MD, established just last year and determined to release to the world a new sound of electronic hip hop music from its various artists. Kryone is one such artist and, boy oh boy: what a sound he's developed.

His song 'Without You' - released just a few days ago - is a great example of the new sound that has been in a state of emergence over the past couple of years: electronic music with the swagger and attitude of hip hop, mixed with a dark and moody sensibilities inherent in, well, I don't know what, gothic music or something? Not sure. Either way, I like it.

It's made up of slow attack synth that buzzes like some nocturnal flying thing, competing in their soft chords above a killer, solid bass that bores straight through you, vibrating every bone. Before you know it, a snare begins to roll faster and faster, so fast that it sounds like a door hinge squeaking in agony, as a prelude to the end of the moody, ambient bass of the song - it gives way to swirling, modulating sawwave synth, an incredible change in sound and dynamic. Some people call this kind of music 'Trap' (I've labelled it as such, too) but I have no comprehension at all of this bizarre term, so let's just go with it for an easy life. It reminds me a little of White Ring and Rritualzz - who is, in fact, another Mexican artist. Perhaps there is something of a scene in Mexico surrounding the artists, and their consumers, of this deep, dark music.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Kryone on Facebook
Kryone on Twitter
Kryone on SoundCloud
Kryone on Bandcamp
Kryone's page @ PIR▲.MD Records

Friday, 30 November 2012

PLATY∏ (PLATYPI) LASSITUDE

May look like Russian, but that right there is actually Platyπ or Platypi - plural of Platypus, using the fun pi (π) symbol to stand in for that plural inflection. In any case, what we have today is some lovely, ear friendly music from this guy called Platyπ (real name Alistair Hill, a Brighton, UK native) - the kind of music that's wonderfully suited to a gentle start on a Friday morning, where anything more intense or heavier could quite easily send you crashing down into some kind of coma (a worse coma than you may already be experiencing), whereas this song 'Lassitude' performs in quite the opposite way: it snuggles down with that comatose feeling and caresses that zombified mind of yours. Without doubt, this is hypothetical; of course if you aren't already comatose, it's an entirely relaxing tune.

With its soul sturdily rooted in the flighty church of glitch, the school of bleep, it makes measured and controlled use of clipped samples, halfway houses of electronic surges that trip their way through all 2 minutes and 22 seconds of this song. A truncated vocal sample hops teasingly in and out of earshot whilst the beat etches its fluttering hip hop pattern throughout. A veritable joy - and this song, apparently, was the first to come from Platyπ's university degree and with that in mind it's a fine start to a hopefully long and illustrious future back-catalogue.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Listen to Platyπ on SoundCloud Like Platyπ on Facebook

Thursday, 29 November 2012

JULIO BASHMORE HUSK

Coming from Bristol, home to one of the UK's biggest dance music scenes, it makes sense that Julio Bashmore grew up to become a DJ and producer of music in his own right. Finding inspiration in the buzzing vibe of a night out in Bristol, and encased with a dream to deliver his love of music personally, as a DJ to ecstatic crowds, he embarked on his journey, being signed rather fortuitously by Claude VonStroke's (whom we like) label Dirtybird and from there quickly becoming one of house music's successful sons. His new song, 'Husk', kinda proves that.

He teases out a long intro filled with a globular, pulsating kick and smart, whispy hi hats. A synthy, reverberating sequence of notes dots the way towards a steadily modulating siren-type noise, and soon the snare rolls and the cleanest bassline you've ever heard drops in like a giant, groovesome boulder (in the video this part is in sync to a guy lifting some huge weight) that bounds along relentlessly.

All of it seems heavenly and ethereal: there's something otherworldly almost in the pulsing soundscape that Julio Bashmore has created here, something that builds up again and drops into that lone, get-your-teeth-around-this kind of bassline. This is the kind of song that has no regard for anything except itself: it makes no external references, all its power coming from its utter lack of pretention and instead from within where energy just pounds out. Love it love it love it.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Julio Bashmore on Facebook
Follow Julio Bashmore on Twitter
Listen to Julio Bashmore on SoundCloud
Watch Julio Bashmore on YouTube
Visit Julio Bashmore's official site

EONE MONOCHROMATIC WORLD [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Really loving the ultimate chill of this song. It's called 'Monochromatic World' and comes from Evil1, a recent signing to a Passive Front Records. Surprised that stuff like this isn't more well known sometimes, because not only is it good, it's also interesting - the creation of ambience with intensity is something that you don't get often, and something that Evil1 seems to be very good at.

The sound reminds me of a balloon being alternately inflated and deflated, the synths railing over the top of everything in particular grow and expand to almost infinite proportions, easing back and almost disappearing before growing once again. Overall, the sound is one of a lounge song - with teeth.

Before you know it you're blown away with this bulldozer bass that underpins the whole sound perfectly and moves in ways you don't expect it. The percussion is spot on, too, providing a lightly tribal feel in certain parts. I want the beat to be louder, for those snare claps to actually reach out of my headphones and slap me in the face - but it's still a well patterned beat. The vocal sample is nicely used as well, imbuing the song at its last parts with the spirit that truly would make up a monochromatic world.

Ambient, loud, quiet, dynamic. Looking forward to hear the progression of this artist. Oh, and if you like it you can download it for free. Isn't that lovely?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Evil1 on Facebook
Follow Evil1 on Twitter
Listen toEvil1 on SoundCloud

EMPRESS OF CHAMPAGNE + DON'T TELL ME [FREE DOWNLOAD]

This is a pleasant surprise. To start today, we have the intriguingly named Empress Of with her very first release, the sufficiently bubbly 'Champagne' and its more moody B-side, 'Don't Tell Me'. What Empress Of, the project of Brooklyn-based musician and producer Lorely Rodriguez, has created here is a lovely old school sound, drums straight from an 80s drum machine - or so it seems - busy choruses that soar with intermingling synth patterns. For a debut release it's really good, and an extremely promising start to what could be a well-received career.

The release itself, 'Champagne' is a slow-bounce two-step, fun and bristling with little guitar sounds that seem like miniature fireworks. I like the swift change in dynamic between the relatively sparse verse, with its nonchalant vocals, and the jangling, near-psychedelic busy electric sounds of the chorus. The video for this number is below, featuring Empress Of herself, eating watermelons. Fun. Oddly fitting.

But then there's the B-side to this song: 'Don't Tell Me'. It's much more sombre, with slow-dance, epic drum sounds, long synths, a touchingly sweet vocal drenched in reverb and echo, imploring to remain in blissful ignorance. A heartbreaking ballad-style song that drips with nostalgia and the power of emotion that can be conveyed by talented artists through music: Empress Of is one such example of this, displaying feeling with her electric and wholly dreamy sound.

And good news: 'Champagne' can be downloaded below FOR FREE! Holy moly, Amaterasu-ōmikami on high, what a treat! (But hurry up about it.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Empress Of on Facebook
Follow Empress Of on Twitter Listen to Empress Of on SoundCloud
Visit Empress Of's official site

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

KWES. ROLLERBLADES

There's not much of this around, touching and understated pop songs. Not as far as I have heard anyway. If you've heard 'em, send 'em, and I'll listen to 'em. But for the moment, we have Kwes. (yes, with the full-stop apparently) with a lovely new song called 'Rollerblades'.

You heard of Kwes. before? No, neither have I. Let's discover him together. He comes originally from South East London, gaining an interest in music - and sound recording particularly - at an early age. He also has colour synesthesia, which means he sees colours when listening to music, which are associated to certain notes. Sounds cool to me, but he plays it down, saying: "it doesn't annoy me, or it doesn't amuse me, or it doesn't make me feel good, it's a normal occurrence to me." There you go.

Believe it or not, he's been quite active in the field of producing, having done work with The Xx and Micachu in the past. But, above all, he's a solo artist in his own right, and an interesting one at that, as this song 'Rollerblades' quite nicely illustrates.

It comes from the EP he released earlier in spring of this year, Meantime. But what exactly is it? It's kinda an experimental indie pop sound, but with hooks and progressions in the melody that are more pop pop than anything else. It's an altogether sparse sound, which is, the more you listen to it, actually more interesting than it first seems - there are little percussive sounds that dot the beat like simple little decorations, the bassline is on the surface quite simple but is doing a few more forward rolls and arab springs than you think, the glitchy blips that do zip in and out of earshot, and the lyrics as well are beautifully mundane (about how somebody's hair looks, going out for dinner, and above all - rollerblading).

The last minute or so of this pretty ditty are turned into an atonal mash of electro sounds and pinging percussion vague beats and only a hint of stability. This is quite exciting because it means that, alongside singing in is plaintive voice about going rollerblading set to catchy beats and melodious hooks, he can also lay down some truly experimental sounds, electric in nature and style. Good job Kwes.!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Kwes. on Facebook
Kwes. on Twitter
Kwes. on SoundCloud
Kwes. on Tumblr
Kwes. on YouTube
Kwes.' Wikipedia page
Kwes.' official site

DON RIMINI THE FUTURE IS OURS

I'm finding it really difficult to enjoy anything at the moment because I have a headache. It feels like the moon has been teleported into my head. As you can imagine, it's kinda painful. Anyway - on with the show and all that.

So this is French producer Don Rimini (real name: Xavier Gassemann) with a right banger (sorry) called 'The Future Is Ours', coming from his recent EP, (FOMO) Fear Of Missing Out, which is out now. He's been around since 2007 and made it particularly big off the back of a song called 'Let Me Back Up', released in 2008, which is an epic glitchy electro-house number making full use of the glorious repetition of sounds and rising and falling dynamics that characterise this kind of music.

So this time around, it's kind of different. 'The Future Is Ours', as the title suggests, is decidedly relentless, grab-em-by-the-balls kind of song. It's a very funky number, embracing the true house style with an endlessly looping bassline and a hard-not-to-love vocal sample, emphatically asking the question "Can you dig it?". It's one that overpowers your body and mind - even with a headache, right now I am more than enduring this song: I'm enjoying it. Muchly. And you should too!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Don Rimini on Facebook
Follow Don Rimini on Twitter
Listen to on SoundCloud
Watch Don Rimini on YouTube
Read about Don Rimini on Wikipedia

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

TANLINES NOT THE SAME

This is something that I seemed to have missed this summer, and wow how I wish I hadn't missed it. This was the album released by Tanlines, called Mixed Emotions. It was, from what I've read, a quite wonderful album that was (or is), to use that old adage, all killer and no filler. Will be playing catch up with that one.

However, Tanlines have released three songs from the album so far that have been turned into videos. This one, 'Not The Same', is the third. It's a collage of different sounds that really works quite fantastically and, after the fifth or sixth listen this time alone, truly shows no sign of letting up in its sheer addictiveness.

Beginning with some throwback stabs of a naked piano, aping the many a house song's rhythm, it goes on to include live 4x4 drumming that features cymbal crashes, delicious percussion, as well as the layering of synth to make that original melody one that turns pretty electronic pretty quickly. The vocal melody is something that's so madly familiar that its not hard to think, "Have I heard this before?" - that's before you realise, "No, I've actually heard nothing like this before."

It's this collage of sounds, from that familiar vocal melody (even the voice itself sounds a teensy bit like the guy's from TV On The Radio), to that can't-go-wrong house rhythm on the piano and synth, the amalgamation of live, acoustic sounds with a heart entrenched in dance sensibilities, that give it the plain status of an instant hit. It's bricolage at its very best - even the video, with the additions of various instruments and people, illustrates the hotch potch of influences present in this glorious song. Listen, listen... and listen again.

And if you like it enough, you can buy the album Mixed Emotions here.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Like Tanlines on Facebook
Follow Tanlines on Twitter
Watch Tanlines on YouTube
Visit Tanlines' official site

Monday, 26 November 2012

KAVINSKY ODD LOOK

Last time we heard anything from Kavinsky it was all in the general and understandably ecstatic furore that surrounded Drive last year, and in particular his most famous addition to the soundtrack: 'Nightcall'. Since then, there hasn't been anything much, but people have been hungry to hear more from this pretty enigmatic and exciting producer. The latest titbit we have from him, however, is from an advert made by JWT Paris for the new BMW i, and it's a track called 'Odd Look'.

Thankfully, it is typically Kavinsky and I love it. Even though the clip is only one minute long, you can get a very good idea of how the sound of this artist has progressed.

We hear the usual electro sounds, mega-modulated and distorted synths, a slow, steady beat, and an atmosphere that seems to be at once uniquely cinematic. But even though his new song, 'Odd Look', seems to retain the sound that so allured everybody the first time around, at the same time it seems as if the sound is becoming more distinguished, more layered, more ambiently mechanised with other synth tricks and added, vocal effects, that will hopefully add up to one very exciting release in 2013. Dubbed Outrun, I have no idea when it will be released, nor when exactly, but I know one thing: I'm excited.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Kavinsky on Facebook
Kavinsky on Twitter
Kavinsky on SoundCloud
Kavinsky on Myspace

HOT CHIP DON'T DENY YOUR HEART [VIDEO]

What a weird video. Directed by Peter Serafinowicz - who has been in a kind of creative relationship with Hot Chip also directing some of their other videos, including 'Night And Day' - it's all about... Football. But it's not your regular football game. No. In fact, it's never your usual football game when all the players succumb to an impassioned desire for a homoerotic orgy right there on the pitch, then merging to form a giant person who then begins to slow dance with another giant person made up of footballs (which, by the way, had already rained down from the sky, just before a load of polygonal gold men started dancing in a circle on the pitch). Does that sound bizarre enough for you? 'Don't Deny Your Heart' indeed...

As for the song itself, it's not 'regular' Hot Chip either (every time I hear a new song of theirs I think back to their first album and realise how different they are now), but a more decidedly pop-infused foray into feel-good, 80s-type music that makes use of a bassline that glides from high to low, complete with a funky disco breakdown - sounding like a cross between 'diet' version of MJ's 'Thriller' and Paul Simon's 'You Can Call Me Al' at times. Exploring new sounds, however, is always more exciting than treading over the same ground - perhaps the video is an illustration of as much.

This is Hot Chip's latest single and it's out today.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hot Chip on Facebook
Hot Chip on SoundCloud
Hot Chip on Twitter
Hot Chip on Myspace
Hot Chip's official site

PAPA PUT ME TO WORK

Over a year ago, we wrote about the fabulous indie rock infectinator 'I Am The Lion King' by PAPA, but now they are back with another belter to keep us going until a promised full-length release comes to us early in 2013 (as yet unnamed). If first EP A Good Woman Is Hard To Find is anything to go by, we should be in for a treat. New single 'Put Me To Work' makes the new release seem pretty hopeful as well.

Whilst much less focused on a groove than some previous efforts ('I Am The Lion King' being the prime example), 'Put Me To Work' is a rollicking rock number, complete, even, with rock piano - something you don't hear very much of these days. The song itself reminds me of The Killers and even Gaslight Anthem, to an extent, but both of these bands have their own, more-Springsteen-aping sound and, naturally, PAPA have their own sound, too. It's a warmer, heavier, altogether thicker sound, but still a lot more stadium-chasing than I thought it was going to be. The haphazard style of guitar is something I can really get on board with, as is the relentless breakdown towards the end of the song.

It's a night-time drive kind of atmosphere, however, as opposed to the relatively sunny delight of their first EP, but still I get the feeling that 'going Springsteen' is neither PAPA's goal nor their intention: just another dimension to add to their already quite varied sound. I am looking forward to hearing how the rest of this next album's songs are going to sound compared to this.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
PAPA on Facebook
PAPA on Twitter
PAPA on SoundCloud
PAPA on Myspace
PAPA's official site

Friday, 23 November 2012

MR OIZO UNRELEASED UNFINISHED UNPLEASANT [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Today is just full of treats isn't it? First a new Cyril Hahn number, then lovely hip hop, and now: the news that Mr Oizo (aka Quentin Dupieux) has released some previously unreleased, and evidently unfinished and unpleasant tracks, on an album wistfully entitled Unreleased Unfinished Unpleasant. What's more, it's available as free download from www.oizo3000.com, "Mr Oizo's lazy website". Free download, no caps: just what the doctor ordered.

Old Quentin Dupieux has been something of mystery, everyone wondering: Just when the arse-ing hell is there going to be more Mr Oizo shiz, by Jove?! Well, he's been busy making films. That picture tells you enough. But if you would like to know more about the film, Wrong, which he showed at Sundance this year, here's an interview with the man himself.

So, about Unreleased Unfinished Unpleasant. It contains unreleased stuff from 2004 to 2012 (tracklisting on the second screenshot of his website below) and is, as you'd expect, typically Oizoian: electro house with ear-twisting sounds and funky melodies set over some seriously spiky, abrasive beats, best shown off on 'Tissu' whose paranoic, frantic synths could share a room with the nervous, space-invadery sounds on 'Hidolls'. Then you have the barely-a-song songs like 'Mositif' with the refrain "End of the world", you have, weird shoes-squeaking sounds of 'Gunzeon', the unexpected ghostly head-banger that is 'Coco', menacing big synth in the heart-pounding 'Flip Bat'... I could go on, but you get the idea: It's new Mr Oizo! Boogie on down to Oizo3000.com and get downloading if you know what's good for you.

To reiterate that tracklist for you it's...
1. Kylie
2. Duck Guts
3. Hidolls
4. Tissu
5. Mositif
6. Pepa & Pepa
7. Gunzeon
8. 143
9. Flip Bat
10. Coco
11. Moto44 (Crashed)
12. JC Dus

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mr Oizo on Facebook
Mr Oizo on Twitter
Mr Oizo on SoundCloud
Mr Oizo's Wikipedia page
Mr Oizo on Myspace Mr Oizo's lazy website

FITZ AMBRO$E CREPWME

Here's a right treat for this Friday: an album called crepwme by Tokyo-based producer Fitz Ambro$e, who originally comes from eastern Canada. Released 25th October of this year, crepwme (who knows what that means) is a glitchy, electro-doused mega-dose of hip hop, and I love it. There's something about that hip hop rhythm, the laidback offbeat that forms the base for so, so, so many songs that you cannot help but fit into, like a slipping into the most comfortable marshmallow-consistency armchair, cannot help but bop your head to. It's the perfect kind of music to accompany any normal everyday activity - and this kind of hip hop particularly, brimming as it is with fizzy, blippy, whizzy bubblings of electronica, makes everyday life just that bit more exciting. Sometimes a good soundtrack is all it takes to brighten up someone's day.

The whole album from start to finish is delicious, like an endless platter of tasty treats that do not get any less tasty as you float your way through them. Each song winds into the next one flawlessly, creating an atmosphere of continuity that is expertly pockmarked with different vibes from track to track. Reminding me at times of the kind of glitteringly electronic and experimental hip hop that seems to be the overriding trend in Japan at the moment (must be some kind of influence), yet with enough sunny sounds as to retain a North American heart, listening to this whole album is a ride you'll not regret getting on.

From the heartwarming chill of songs like 'hun dipz (feat. eLan)' and end song 'prease', to more frantic and intense sounds - though still light and delicate in flavour - of 'lovzap', with its slightly menacing vocal sample and melting synths, and the endlessly fizzing 'sterio z', there is a great variance in what is essentially the same hip hop foundations: the sign of a good producer, surely.

Some of the songs seem a little short - for example, the simple sounds of 'fluzies' could go on for another 5 minutes at least, just because they are so lovely to hear: thin snares, a delicate synth chord hook, and gentle synth strings. It's the minimalism in songs like that and 'whaanye' - which features this weird, slurred, slow rap that totally fits the style - which, when contrasted with thicker-sounding songs like 'mr swervon', makes this album such an interesting listen. One minute, it's about the spaces in between the sounds, the next, it's about the sounds themselves. You can listen to the whole thing below, but if you fancy a taster before you delve right in, watch this video of a general mix of the album to get a feel for this intriguing artist's sound:

……

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Fitz Ambro$e on Twitter
Fitz Ambro$e on SoundCloud
Fitz Ambro$e on Bandcamp

HAIM DON'T SAVE ME CYRIL HAHN REMIX

This man just cannot stop making excellent remixes - the songs he chooses to remix are as a surprise as ever. Yes, it's Cyril Hahn again and this time he's remixed Haim track 'Don't Save Me'. Starting with a more feel-good than the awesome heartbreakingness of his previous efforts (due, in part to the massive, known-by-all pop songs he chose to remix), this wonderful remix quickly dives into the layering and warm textures that we all know and love him for. This one certainly has more of an electro indie pop edge than his others, but that is of course to do with the choice of band, the LA-based all-girl Haim, and song - we can only assume that he builds the music around the vocal track, so he would have to go for something that fits naturally.

Hence the majorly distorted sawwave synth that provides the main electronic hook beneath the beat, and hence the intro, too. He caters for the vibe, or feel, of whatever track he happens to be remixing, whilst remaining quite at liberty to put his own stamp on it too, what with that synth so high pitched and faraway-sounding that ends up soaring after each successive drop into the chorus. Ooh yes, listen below:

This is a direction I didn't exactly think that Cyril Hahn would be going in; honestly I thought he would stick to the recent-years' worth of pop songs - and pure pop songs only. However, remixing a song by Haim shows us that his talents do not lie with just one genre in particular and it also shows us his personal taste in music - you don't actually get to see this with other artists or bands unless they also remix stuff, or unless you ask them. It marks a relatively big step for Cyril Hahn, in my opinion, who has now left people guessing what he'll do next - a clever way to create a good amount of intrigue over a well-deserving artist.

One question: how far away are we from a Cyril Hahn album, or even an EP, featuring his remixes? I for one would be ecstatic to learn some wonderful fact like that.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Cyril Hahn • Facebook / SoundCloud / Twitter / Tumblr
Haim • Facebook / Twitter / SoundCloud / YouTube / Official site

Thursday, 22 November 2012

BIG BLACK DELTA BETAMAX

After wowing the UK with first song 'IFUCKINGLOVEYOU' (which I apparently missed), and earning praise from the likes of Jay-Z and Dave Navarro as a result, Big Black Delta is back with another single from his ('him' being Jonathan Bates) forthcoming album, scheduled for release in early 2013. We don't have a name yet, as much as we'd like to tell you what it is.

For the moment though, we can just be happy that there are these two singles to enjoy until there are more songs to enjoy. This newest one, which will be released Monday 26th November, is called 'Betamax' and it's a great tune.

I like the whole vibe of this song. From the lovely chord changes in the arpeggios of synth that trickle down for the duration of the song like analogue raindrops, to the vocals that sit perfectly within the colossal blanket of electro goodness that is the grounding of the song, even to the epic crashing slap of the snare, it's a joy from start to finish. The last fifth (or so) of 'Betamax' however is a towering giant of music, dubstep rhythm drums that sound vast and all-encompassing, and a blaring horn that drills through everything else making for a sound that puts you under its spell right away. Brazen.

On second listen, better. The nuances of the song, the dynamics, the pop hook that keeps it catchy, a sense of experimentalism, all work and create a sound that you would be a fool to miss out on. Video below - enjoy!


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Big Black Delta on Facebook
Big Black Delta on Twitter
Big Black Delta on SoundCloud
Big Black Delta on YouTube
Big Black Delta's official site

PEGASE DREAMING LEGEND EP

This fuzzy synth wonder that I came across the other day is something that I'm very happy to have found. It's a lovely sound that evokes continuation, galloping progress, gripping delicately onto the reigns of tomorrow.

What we have here is Pegase (pégase is french for Pegasus), so as far as flying through the air on a horse with wings goes, just the right amount of ethereal and ephemeral sounds have been wound around these two songs to paint a splendidly beautiful, electronic picture of that very mythicality.

These two songs are from Pegase's Dreaming Legend EP, which was released this Monday 19th November. Beginning with the first, which lends its name to the title of the EP itself, it begins as if in anticipation of some kind of take off. No sooner have the stuttering synth chords started than we are whisked off on the wide, soaring wings of this song. With a pulsing beat, it drives forward, leaving space for ambient, organ-type sounds and a voice that sullies forth as if from a dream, wrapped in a swaddling of reverb and echo. High, string or harmonica sounds begin to erupt, dropping the song into a break before a veritable nosedive into the layered beats and sounds that take us spiralling back to the ground. Below is the video for the said, beautiful song, 'Dreaming Legend' - a dreaming legend, indeed:

Next, we have the more grounded, more sombre, but no less beautiful near-sitar sounds of 'Ladybug'. Sounding more like a lo-fi dancefloor disco number, the vocals are more pronounced, and the beat is less electronic and closer to that of a real drumkit - albeit one with an 80s production quality. I love that the main melody of the song is provided for by tropical, beach-spun steel pans - one of my favourite sounds in the world. Both of these songs give us a clue of the different kinds of dynamic that Pegase can belt out whilst retaining the same, dream-pop kind of style that is not only easy, but also really lovely to listen to at the same time.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Pegase on Facebook
Pegase on Twitter
Pegase on SoundCloud
Pegase on YouTube
Pegase on Myspace
Pegase on Bandcamp

PEACE WRAITH

Something nice and easy for this morning. Something by a band with a name that corresponds to many a person's wish for the world: Peace. You won't exactly get peace by listening to Peace, but you will get a taster of a happier life where people party nicely with each other and where everybody is fashionable, but not so fashionable as to cause fallings-out between the cuttingly fashionable and the pinprickingly stylish. Everyone's as they are and everything's how it should be.

Got carried away, sorry.

Here is Peace with new single 'Wraith'. Despite the name, there is actually nothing wraith-ful nor phantom-like nor ghost-esque about this song. There's a great number of merits to this song, which shows itself instantly as a pop-fuelled indie-type maraca-shaking offbeat-guitar hook kind of a song, with vocals that perform some level of acrobatics against that backdrop. The chorus is delightfully infectious and it has been cycling, wrapped in tiki lights, around my head for most of the morning. Right away, you could make a comparison between that descending guitar lick that is like the song's frontispiece and the kinds of melodies you find in songs by the likes of Foals, and other tempo-bending acts that I can't list right now.

However, the overall pop of 'Wraith' is very much different to a band such as Foals, taking Peace across a threshold that marks a transition between unknown and soon-to-be-known - thanks, in part I suppose, to a record deal with Columbia Records. Good on them!

Utterly inoffensive, though at the same time not something that I am wetting myself about, this band certainly has the potential to conquer the indie-pop palaces of the world and win over many a heart and mind. And let them - they are good enough to deserve any success that comes their way.

Their Delicious EP is out now.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Peace on Facebook
Peace on Twitter
Peace on SoundCloud
Peace on YouTube
Peace's official site

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

VILLAGERS NOTHING ARRIVED

Last time we spoke about Villagers it was for their song 'The Waves', which actually is wildly different to the song that we're talking about today: 'Nothing Arrived'. Both songs, as far as I am aware, come from their album {Awayland} scheduled for release on 14th January 2013 (UK - and 9th April for USA), but both couldn't be more different. Whilst 'The Waves' combines acoustic sounds with electro-pop beats and synthy seasonings for a zeitgeistical, collage-like sound, 'Nothing Arrived' arrives on a wagon flying the flag of folk - in a way.

That's not to say that 'Nothing Arrived' isn't without its merits, however. With a chorus that soars in harmonies and a verse that shows off the clear, sharp tones of the vocals, it's an anthemic kind of song in that the sing-along elements are all there: namely, catchy melodies. And those hooks are in everything from that vocal of well-written lyrics, to the nearly honky-tonk piano and the have-I-heard-this-before chords of the guitar.

Whilst it starts like a little ditty, it certainly delivers with a climactical last part that brings all instruments up to an intense volume, everything becoming layered, strings slicing in here and there, to create this wonderful sound that, ironically considering the title of the song, sounds as if something definitely has arrived - indeed, that last part turns it from a morsel into a condensed feast.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Villagers' official site
Villagers on Facebook
Villagers on Twitter
Villagers on YouTube

TOYS NOISE [NATURAL PLASTIC EP]

It's amazing what you can miss out on when you simply just don't know what you're missing out on - if that makes any sense. Being recommended a song here and there is a good way to keep up with not just new music, but music that people themselves have taken a liking to in recent months, serving a dual purpose. In that way, I have been very quickly and effectively been won over by the sounds of Paris-based TOYS.

Their debut EP, Natural Plastic came out 10th September this year, and featured two original songs, 'Noise' and 'T-O-M', and two remixes of 'Noise'. It's a massively threadbare introduction to some new talent that sounds like it could get very big indeed. Therefore I am waiting with anticipation for something new from TOYS, whenever that may be.

For now, even just 'Noise' will suffice. It's a song with a unique sound that could be listened to any number of times without growing any less fond of it at all. The video for the song is below, and was filmed around the Barbès-Rochechouart Mètro station in Paris - an area that's notoriously rough and that clearly holds some kind of nostalgic meaning for the duo who make up TOYS: Paul Prier and Bastien Doremus. Have a listen.

With a bassline that could have been lifted right out of a dub song, and a beat that naturally locks in with that offbeat bass to create a head-nodding sensation of a track with an unreal groove, 'Noise' is an instant hit from its very beginnings. Add to this the frenetic analogue synth that dips in and out like a bizarre, scratchy, modular fanfare, and you have a very different-sounding song. The vocals, too, like an announcement hold up against these competing sounds wonderfully with a chunky degree of feeling. I can't tire of listening to it, honestly.

The second original of the EP, 'T-O-M', is a much more laid-back affair. It bursts open like an 80s slow-jam, with a get-on-down bassline that gradually gives way to effortless, near-whispering vocals, before a sensual synth solos over the top, making everything sound like the after-disco vibe outside a disco from Streets Of Rage 2 that may never have existed at all. It's all palm trees and neon signs and you can listen to it here.

As for the remixes of 'Noise', you can listen to those below. The first, by Fausto Garraud, turns the original into a galloping deep house number, adding in some extra funk with a constant, rumbling bass. The second, by Sayem, keeps closer to original but speeds it up a little, features a crunchy interlude, makes use of spaces in between sound, before launching into a full-on electro mash in the second half that puts extra meat on the original.

As I said earlier, I am eagerly anticipating more from TOYS after their teasingly short Natural Plastic EP and I hope, after listening to them, so will you be too.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
TOYS on Facebook
TOYS on Twitter
TOYS on SoundCloud
TOYS on YouTube