Thursday, 28 March 2019

πŸ—ž SLOWTHAI SHARES GORGEOUS FROM DEBUT ALBUM NOTHING GREAT ABOUT BRITAIN

Northampton, UK rapper and producer slowthai has announced his debut album, Nothing Great About Britain (scheduled 17th May), by unleashing a new track called 'Gorgeous'. On a bed of sparkling piano samples, swaggering saxophones and classic yesteryear vocal chops laying down a timeless canvas, slowthai spits bars in that slurring tone of voice he's known for, half growling, half speaking.

Specifically it's a coming of age tune, fitting the vintage lo-fi samples and the temporal clunking clock tick-tocking percussion of the beat, with lyrics that reference being "drunk on vodka" as much as childhood pursuits that have defined a generation of British people: "been the same since Gameboys and stickfights, stabilised push bikes, few shinies / jump off the pushbike, Tony jacked my Yu-Gi-Oh cards..."

Life for many English kids growing up is this running around your estate, your road, your block, whatever it was, on a bike, showing off your trading cards, having them "jacked" (that's stolen btw), all that. And then it seems that before you know it, vodka is the inevitable next stage; bottles of alcohol find their pride of place in your bedroom, next to the trading cards of just a couple of summer before, now veneered with aerosol-scented dust.


  • πŸ”” 'Gorgeous' is taken from the slowthai – real name Tyron Frampton – debut album Nothing Great About Britain, out on True Panther Records/Method Records, 17th May 2019. He calls it "basically my experience of growing up."
  • πŸ”” slowthai Nothing Great About Britain tracklist ::
    1. Nothing Great About Britain
    2. Doorman
    3. Dead Leaves
    4. Gorgeous
    5. Crack
    6. Grow Up feat. Jaykae
    7. Inglorious feat. Skepta
    8. Toaster
    9. Peace of Mind
    10. Missing
    11. Northampton's Child



πŸ“ 
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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

πŸŽ₯ CHAI — CURLY ADVENTURE

In the video for Nagoya-based band CHAI's 'Curly Adventure', curly hair literally becomes synonymous with adventure; the protagonist as animated by LA artist Sean Solomon daydreams the lyrics of the four-piece's thunderous ode to curly hair.

"Long long time ago, my hair is troubling me…" the song begins with singer Mana spinning these hair-based lyrics composed by bassist (and art director) Yuuki.

With the fizzing-crash of the drums alongside a galloping funk of bass, plasma watery synth shoots through this track distorted and fluid all at the same time, a storm of summer-summoning sound; half '90s-remembered sparkly sun-soaked jam, half explosive reaction against the slump of frustration.

Lines in CHAI's song like "curly hair: that is amazing" and "curly hair means being yourself" can resonate with anyone having to alter themselves for the sake of uniformity. And this is reflected in Solomon's video for 'Curly Adventure', with its carefree spirit, popping colours, winding roads and undersea treasure hunts.

Watch it below, obviously.


  • πŸ”” 'Curly Adventure' is taken from CHAI's 2019 album Punk.


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🐣 TSUKI — OXYGEN

⌾ LISTEN TO TSUKI, OXYGEN ⌾
The feel of being bed-bound with the window open and nature spills in. Bright mornings. Birds chirping like book ends wrap the sweetness of the song in pastoral, the synth even feeling leafy and organic in its rhythmic sparrow-sized chords, pastel-coloured trembling with minute vibrato.

'Oxygen' by TSUKI – a duo comprising Chanlar Rose and Levi Chappell (and one of the first songs they wrote together back in 2015) – is part natural idyll, part honest convalescence, an atmosphere conjured by Chanlar's vocals. The lyrics, referencing lungs, oxygen, souls turning black, lacking strength to lend, were written by Chanlar "while she was recovering from a fairly invasive surgery," Levi tells us.

"She was out for a few months and the lyrics are a reflection of the strain that that the entire experience ended up putting on her personal relationships."

The gravity of those lyrics – the way Chanlar's voice vaults into the air, how words seem almost spit out, how light distortion touches them – contrasts with the candy-coated instrumental, resonating only with the thump and heft of the beat, comparatively brutal compared to the delicacy of the cute synths. The birdsong, by the end, is crushed as the song, instead of fading out, decays.


  • πŸ”” You can stream TSUKI's 'Oxygen' variously, but it's on Spotify too.
  • πŸ”” It doesn't feature 'Oxygen', but if you liked this you should probably take a listen to TSUKI's debut album, Severance Package.

MORE MUSIC BY TSUKILAPSE

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

🐣 LIL BIRTH CONTROL — IF I SEE ANY TOSSED SALAD IN THESE SCRAMBLED EGGS I AM GONNA GO FULL CRANE

⌾ LISTEN TO LIL BIRTH CONTROL, IF I SEE ANY TOSSED SALAD IN THESE SCRAMBLED EGGS I AM GONNA GO FULL CRANE ⌾

Referencing the sitcom Frasier in its deceptively lolious Morrissey-length song title, this morsel of music from Toronto-based producer lil birth control is a simple one, but there's a evocative atmosphere at work here. Though set to intense flurries of overdriven kicks, and the metallic crack of a snare bursting the air later on, 'IF I SEE ANY TOSSED SALAD IN THESE SCRAMBLED EGGS I AM GONNA GO FULL CRANE' is a partition of softness.

"i really put my heart into this lil shit," the musicmaker told us, "and im very glad that it shows."

Glancing gleams of half-sparkle, half-music box synth play a childlike three-note melody throughout, summoning a sort of happysadness. Not necessarily in its simplicity but with the synth that is cocktailed with it, the swirling phasing haze of synth that washes behind it as the backdrop.

And its in this childhood-summoning atmosphere that it actually resembles parts of Jim Guthrie's Sword & Sworcery OST. Maybe 'Little Furnace' or the 'Cabin Music' from the actual game itself (both with a similar sort of basic delicacy in its nursery rhyme major key melodies). Differently to that, however, lil birth control provides a destruction of that carefree atmosphere with the intrusion of crazed kicks—how everyday life is super effective against dreams and nostalgia.


  • πŸ”” Listen to more lil birth control over on SoundCloud.


πŸ“ 
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Thursday, 21 March 2019

🐣 TRUDGE — FROM SORROW TO DARKNESS

⌾ LISTEN TO TRUDGE, FROM SORROW TO DARKNESS⌾
There's something wholly Super Mario 64 about this track from French musicmaker Trudge. But not at first. It begins with a glittering portal—a shoesqueak synth arpeggio that grades into an intense sparkle; a wormhole that spills out into a void where rapid hammering kicks and hi-hats tick urgently and cymbals clash valvelike. All for a minal, mechanical intensity that summons the same sort of drama that begins the theme for 'Hazy Maze Cave' in Super Mario 64.

Rockfalls of cutting rave breakbeats gleam in 'From Sorrow To Darkness' as the kick continues its syncopated thump beneath all the fresh crash of the percussion. Airy synth chords also summon that Mario level: a breathy, breezy sound that feels at once grand and dilapidated simultaneously. From the orchestra at his disposal, Trudge adds and subtracts with compositional attention to detail. Atmospheric and cave-like.

By the end of the track, the musicmaker has conjured the portal again—the arpeggio swirling and growing stormcloudic above and widening into the transportative sheen that it was in the beginning. A dynamic, transforming journey, hefty panic attack flavours of rave rumbles and the dark bump of the kick taking us through the caverns and trailing tunnels of a mind in tumult, lit with the pale gloam of ancient synth.


  • πŸ”” 'From Sorrow To Darkness' by Trudge, a dungeon-like exploration of the mind in techno symphony, is taken from his upcoming 100 EP. This is set for release via 1Ø Pills Mate on 19th April. You may, if you like, pre-order it in vinyl form or digitally from Bandcamp.


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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

🐣 UAH — AFTER WORDS

⌾ LISTEN TO UAH, AFTER WORDS⌾

The piano in 'After Words' explodes on a heavy, storm-summoning chord, and continues dramatic and grounded in the impending trauma at the heart of it. It's the feeling of having tenderness turned on its head, sinking sadly on the sofa; a warm and homely environment where ghosts seep in through the walls and cling to your skin.

High notes tumble and ache, like thoughts on stilts wading through the heaviness of your head - the fine, disturbed lines of London musicmaker uah's dim washed canvas. That fogged feel is nudged along by the gradual gale of phasing ambience that settles into the track, soon made the tormented dominance of it all, piano - all semblance of mindful control fading.

"I wrote 'After Words' when I was trying to make sense of the difficult times a friend was facing," uah types. "I didn't know whether to be stoic or sad or just be true to the trepidation I felt inside. Recording it helped me decide to be all of those, and more."

Starting low and crawling beneath the surface of the detached mist, trails of synth slowly crack the surface, pushed up with the aid of analogue crushing sub, bubbles glooping from the depths. Unsteadily the trails begin, like something reanimated trying to find its feet, until the treble hits a crescendo; the synth gallops in streams, cutting, the phasing surge of ambience like a heavy cloud getting lower.

As 'After Words' fades, the camera focused on the warmly lit room zooms out in time, showing the window, other windows, the building - night.




πŸ“ 
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Monday, 18 March 2019

🐣 MR LITTLE JEANS — FORGETTER (CHE REMIX)

⌾ LISTEN TO MR LITTLE JEANS FORGETTER REMIX BY CHE ⌾
Mr Little Jeans' original 'Forgetter' inhabits a dark, swaying world entrenched in sub-bass, sometimes pillowed with sun dappled breeziness. But completely destructing this darkness, turning on the light, and transporting it from the gloomy forest of the original, Che hops on a remix of 'Forgetter'.

Now psychedelic, the track cuts a groove with suburban by-the-lake bass that pops and lingers and stumbles happily along; sparkling liquid guitars fall slow motion from one chord to the next with sloppy lustre; just part of the original vocals survive, simmered thin and garbled into each other.

It's a whole new plane of existence, one into which we're inducted and ejected from with cosmic tunnels of thick synth. Mystery and pyschedlia mix in the semi-idyll of Che's remix, propelled by the gentle thump of a beat, well away from the trap dilution and shaded inflections of the original 'Forgetter'


  • πŸ”” There's actually a free download of Che's weed-soaked remix of 'Forgetter' by Mr Little Jeans, which is nice.
  • πŸ”” And you should check out Shuco by Che, an album he released with Astro Nautico last year. You can listen to it and everything else on Bandcamp.


πŸ“ 
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Monday, 11 March 2019

🐣 R23X — TERRA_II

⌾ LISTEN TO R23X TERRA_II ⌾
Described as an "adventure to a long-forgotten space station/arcade orbiting the now-vacated planet once known as Earth," the two morsels of music that comprise R23X's latest release – Terra_II – act like a soundtrack to an imaginary videogame. They set the mood, induct you seamlessly into the world at the heart of this project.

The two parts to this single represent of the adventure to the eponymous space station/arcade: Terra_II. Partly summoning the steady pace of a space shuttle journey with its swaying march of layered beats, this track for the most part feels like walking around an abandoned space station.

There are the hollow synth boops that summon this sense of forlorn loneliness, the emptiness of robots with nothing to do—something once great rediscovered. But there's a cheerfulness to the coldness in the track: the two-chord vox sounds, the cut sample in the background, the videogame noises throughout that still erupt from the forgotten arcade machines.

But the last part of the track changes tack. Following a tiny break, where you feel the silence of creeping through a dripping tunnel to a new area on the station, the airy, analogue chords (conjuring the soundtrack of Final Fantasy VII) change dramatically. A now brooding, maybe more monstrous atmosphere hides in the hallways.

Part of the "mystery" at the heart of Terra_II as a whole.

'G.A.I.A. Probe' represents the (perhaps) discovery of something that might shed light on how the "thought-to-be destroyed space station has thrived and adapted in ways thought previously impossible."

It's just 54 seconds of sound, but for the duration of its series of rising, textured synth chords it shifts between beauty and decay, discovery and devastation. Synth vox suggests a hint of eerie humanity, no matter how long ago; the clinking bleeps ping a simple melody of inevitable but untimely shutdown.

Equal parts delicate and laden with the possibilities of space, shades of human emotion mingle with overtones of the sad uselessness of prodigious machines mired in neglect. In Terra_II, R23X marries with vivid colour and detail a scene of moody mystery with that strange lightness and gravity with which videogames consume and enthrall.


  • πŸ”” Part of a project called EarthCade, created by R23X (Marc Junker) and Drew Wise (game developer, artist), which originally began as a game idea: "an exploration of bright and colourful animal characters who built a a self-sufficient arcade (The EarthCade) where everyone is welcome and included."

    Junker explains a little further. "We started the project with the idea of donating a portion of profits from every item sold to various charities (VOKRA, WCS, etc) that may prompt the audience (or their kids) to discuss/think about ways they can change/contribute for a better future on Earth!"

  • πŸ”” Terra_II is available now on Yetee Records, an offshoot of The Yetee, purveyor of art, apparel and more, where both Junker and Wise are both art directors. You can purchase Terrace_II on Bandcamp, if you like. And you can find more EarthCade products here.
  • πŸ”” We first stumbled across R23X in 2014. Check out the track that introduced us to R23X, 'Dry Summer'.


πŸ“ 
R23X Internet Presence ☟
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