Holy Other – Lieve

British electronic producer Holy Other returns with his first new music since 2012 and announces his new album ‘Lieve‘ is set for release Nov 19th via his own imprint. Now the first single & title-track from the record is streaming online. 

The title track single Lieve breaks almost a decade of silence, finding the language to articulate painful feelings, exhaling, and moving forward.

Emerging from an extended stay at Bidston Observatory on the Wirral, Lieve was recorded throughout 2020 in the North West of England.Using the acoustics of the observatory — the cavernous basement and the geometrically-perfect wooden domes — Holy Other recorded and resampled material that would become the bedrock of Lieve.

A marker in the sand as his first output since 2012’s critically acclaimed debut LP Held, these recordings — including the voice of NYX’s Sian O’Gorman, violin from Simmy Singh and saxophone from Daniel Thorne — were cut, manipulated and pieced together to form Lieve.

“How do you break up with a place?” 

Have you ever tried to leave your problems behind? No matter how hard you try to reshape yourself, your past remains. This is an album about L(i)eaving, coming to terms with the past, and trying to live in the present.

Much like his past work, Holy Other leaves the listener to draw their own semantic conclusions from the record. The lyrics are ambiguous — ghostly voices, whispers and stutters interwoven with his signature sound palette.

Still, the expressive mood from prior releases remains intact, even if these intimate textures and deft rhythms pick up more mature questions about false starts and failed escapes.

Lieve will be released on 19th November 2021 on Holy Other’s own imprint, and available as CD / 12” / download and streaming formats. A limited Dinked Edition 12” will also be pressed. Pre-orders of all formats are available now via ffm.bio/holyother.

Lieve track list:
1. Dirt Under Your Nails
2. Lieve 
3. Absolutes
4. Heartrendering
5. Up Heave
6. Whatever You Are You’re Not Mine
7. Groundless
8. Refuse
9. Shudder
10. Bough Down

Lena Platonos – Balancers LP

Greek electronic music legend Lena Platonos returns to Dark Entries with Balancers, an LP of previously unreleased material recorded between 1982-1985. Athens-based Platonos has worked with the label previously to reissue her three solo LPs – Gallop, Sun Masks, and Lepidoptera – as well as to release three accompanying 12” EPs featuring modern remixes of her work. She is renowned for her forays into cutting-edge electronic experimentation as well as her striking, impressionistic poetry and lyrics, always recited in Greek. 

The twelve tracks on Balancers reveal a murkier side of Lena, one draped in tenebrous washes and oneiric utterances. Ragged analog rhythms feature on several tracks, even breaking into a brooding electro groove on “A Cat in the Corner”, but the predominant tone is sparse and somber. Mournful instrumental “Phaethon” swells to mythological proportions, while “In September” feels small enough to fit in your pocket. Lena’s poetry sits amidst lush pads and Radiophonic Workshop-esque squiggles, her voice setting an intimate tone in the shifting electronic sea. Inspiration is drawn from Greek mythology and architecture, and lyrics evoke a soft sorrow, an ambivalence towards love, life, and the passage of time. Although the material here spans 3 years and features a range of recording fidelities and synthesis techniques, the collection possesses the heft of a singular artist’s vision.

Balancers was remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. Eloise Leigh designed the sleeve, which features a doubled Lena in washed-out burgundy hues, channeling the femininity and mystery of the album. Also included is an insert with lyrics in both Greek and English.

Video: Bonobo – Rosewood

Bonobo has announced “Fragments”, a new album that will be released 14th January, 2022 (Ninja Tune), along with a 2022 world tour.  Along with the announcement, Bonobo has also shared the lead single ‘Rosewood’“Fragments” is the most emotionally intense record that he – aka Simon Green – has ever had to make.  It’s no surprise that it’s also his masterpiece. The album features Jamila WoodsJojiKadhja BonetJordan RakeiO’Flynn and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.  Born first out of fragments of ideas and experimentation, the album ultimately was fused together in a burst of creativity fuelled by both collaboration and Green’s escape into the wild. The artwork for ‘Fragments” is by Neil Krug who returns after creating the art for 2017’s “Migration”. Krug has also made a visualiser for ‘Rosewood’.

“Fragments” is a series of 12 sonic affirmations, featuring some of the hardest and most hip-shaking grooves that Green has ever created.  The ballads are perfectly placed throughout; they capture a world in flux and glow with hope.  Coaxing the ideas out initially took some hard work.  The constantly-touring Green creates best while on the move; the global shutdown forced him to stand still. 

Musical themes began to arise through Green’s exploration of modular synthesis, recordings he had made of harpist Lara Somogyi, his work with arranger and string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, his own playing of the Fender Rhodes and more, as the album was created, recorded and mixed by Green over the past two years.  The album also came into focus as he sought refuge on solo adventures into nature, away from the shutdowns and wild fires and into the blazing California desert. 

‘Tides’ featuring Chicagoan singer and poet Jamila Woods, acted as a catalyst, and the album began to click into place around it.  “I knew I had a centrepiece, I knew how it was all going to sound,” he says.  Working with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, musical themes began to emerge.  Recording orchestral musicians in actual studios helped bring the songs “out of the box” even more. 

A rhythmic framework started to come together too: the structures of UK bass music and rave began to seep into beats that would become tracks like ‘Otomo’ (eventually co-produced by O’Flynn and featuring a sample of the Bulgarian choir 100 Kaba-Gaidi), and ‘Sapien’.  The ”old school, Detroity, Moodymann and Theo Parrish inspired” ‘Shadows’ was recorded with friend Jordan Rakei ‘Rosewood’, ‘Closer’ and ‘Counterpart’ each start with an ecstatic snap to them, but snake down surprisingly different paths. Somogyi’s harp and Atwood-Ferguson’s strings mingle together on the beatless ‘Elysian’.  Two ballads flesh out the second half of the record: ‘Day by Day’ featuring Kadhja Bonet and ‘From You’ featuring Joji

It’s about the dancefloor in many ways, about how “I remembered all over again how much I loved crowds and movement and people connecting with each other,” Green reflects.  But the positivity isn’t just in the uptempo rhythms: even the most introspective and melancholic pieces have joy in them.

Sissi Rada – Maps feat. Lena Platonos

On November 19th Gomma records’ new offshoot imprint Kryptox presents ‘Nanodiamond’ – the enchanting album by Athenian harpist, singer, electronic alchemist and star-in-waiting Sissi Rada. It features co-production by Brian Eno and Andi Toma of Mouse on Mars, with guest vocals from cult Greek heroine Lena Platonos.

Abstract and experimental but not difficult, instead the record is a friendly good trip, like a strage but pleasant dream, or an endorphin-fuelled flight through the cosmos. This treasure trove of glowing Aegean beauty entices listeners to luxuriate in its balmy georgeousness, where rich vocals reverberate inside sparkling, jewel-encrusted grottos of sound. 

Although standout and singular, Rada’s unclassifiable leftfield songs bring to mind the likes of Kate Bush, Van Dyke Parks, ‘Kid A’ era Radiohead, Katie Gately and Georgia’s ‘All Kind Music’.  Atmospherically, there’s a kinship with Coil, Karen Gwyer and Deux Filles, whilst her magical harp draws contemporary links to Mary Lattimore and Brandee Younger, plus historical nods to Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane.  

In addition to making weird-and-wonderful works such as this, Sissi is also one of the best classical harpists in Europe. She is a member of the New York Times endorsed Teodor Currentzis’ musicAeterna orchestra, and frequently collaborates with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Sissi combines skills in writing that only musicians with huge knowledge and compositional ability have, with an intuitive approach to electronics that’s creative, but not technically advanced. She incorporates lo-fi, noisy textures, random samples and raw sound design, which, when combined with her voice and instrument, merge and become sumptuous.

The melodic, harmonic and sonic concepts of ‘Nanodiamond’ are routed in an impressionistic heritage which is a favorite of her’s (and many of the great Russian classical composers too). Like impressionist paintings, this is based on eschewing exactitude, and instead using unconventional techniques to capture a feeling.

Rada met Brian Eno while both were working in Paris for the world premiere of Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s ambitious film / installation project, ‘DAU’. They ended up performing together at a late-night impromptu show, involving Eno and members of Orchestra MusicAeterna, at Théâtre de la Ville. He liked what Sissi did and invited her to his studio. Their collaboration on album track ‘81948 (2000 OM69)’ “just happened”, when she began improvising on one of his keyboards.

Sissi was born in Athens, studied in Amsterdam and Berlin (at Universität der Künste), and has since lived in Berlin, where she met Andi Thoma in the city’s fertile underground scene. 

Tracklist:  

A1) ‘Karaburun Peninsula’ A2) ‘Athena’ A3) ‘Nanodiamond’A4) ‘Maps’ featuring Lena Platonos (produced by Andi Toma) A5) ‘Ichthys’ A6) ‘Pyrametron’ A7) ‘Debris’B1) ‘Too La’ B2) ‘Φ ‘B3) ‘81948 (2000 OM69)’ (produced by Brian Eno) B4) ‘Blueblack Tomb’ (produced by Andi Toma) B5) ‘Sorrow’ B6) ‘Elegierig’

Video: Dlina Volny – Tomorrow

New tears from the capital city of Belarus. Dlina Volny announce the track list for their new album “Dazed”, via Italians Do It Better on November 5th. Mixed by Dean Hurley, the trio employs the mechanized action of motoric rhythm machines, vintage synthesizers, & Post-punk bass lines to put their spin on classic Dark Wave. Masha Zinevitch lights the rain-soaked streets of Minsk with her contralto swoon in a post-soviet reality of fear, love & rebellion. Watch the short film for the album’s incredible closer “Tomorrow”, directed by Yauheni Sinichenko.

Pet Shop Boys – Home And Dry (Utimono Remix)

“Home and dry” was never a massive hit for Pet Shop Boys. It’s a “misunderstood” love ballad with beautiful chords and a chorus that will stick in your head and will sing it in the shower. Well… here’s my trance remix to add a bit of club sexiness sound to it. Enjoy it as much as I did creating it 🙂

Utimono

Free download : https://hypeddit.com/track/ka6dso

Video: Radiohead – If You Say The Word

‘If You Say The Word’ is taken from ‘KID A MNESIA’ out 5th November via XL Recordings. Pre-order ‘KID A MNESIA’ here: https://radiohead.ffm.to/kid-a-mnesia

Kadhja Bonet – For You

LA-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Kadhja Bonet returns with her first solo release since 2018’s acclaimed ‘Childqueen’ album, sharing the hypnotic new single ‘For You’, which arrives on her new label home: Ninja Tune.

Featuring Kadhja’s dreamy vocals layered with warm synths, ‘For You’ is a personal and heartfelt ode to creating space for yourself and “showing up for yourself in any form that may take”, she says. The track showcases her undeniable talent as a vocalist and songwriter but also hints at a new alternative direction for the artist, “I wanted to create something new for myself, not to overthink or be held onto a certain genre,” she explains.

It arrives as Kadhja’s first solo music to be released since 2018, following a run of impressive collaborations with Childish Gambino, Free Nationals, SiR and Anderson .Paak to name a few. She was most recently featured on Khruangbin’s “Mordechai Remixes” project and opened for the group at Red Rocks Amphitheater. But new single ‘For You’ finds her excited to “shift gear” and work on her own music again, arriving after an extended period of reinvention and reflection. “My forced hiatus from music has created an urgency in brand redirection,” says Kadhja. “I began making music to get to know myself and fortify connections, and in many ways, I have derailed from that intention. I reflect on my last few years as a recording artist and see someone trying desperately to fit the mold, despite making music that does not. To be pretty, to be liked, to be relevant, good, or accepted”.

‘For You’ is out now marking Kadhja Bonet’s first release for Ninja Tune, with more music coming soon.

Radiohead – If You Say The Word

‘If You Say The Word’ is taken from ‘KID A MNESIA’ out 5th November via XL Recordings. Pre-order ‘KID A MNESIA’ here: https://radiohead.ffm.to/kid-a-mnesia

ITALIANS DO IT BETTER release 20 track Madonna covers album

ITALIANS DO IT BETTER
– Release 20 track Madonna covers album
– Executive produced by Johnny Jewel featuring 19 artists incl. Desire, Glüme, Jorja Chalmers, Sally Shapiro, JOON & more

Since 2006, listeners have been curious about the origin of our label name Italians Do It Better. Some say it’s an homage to Italo Disco, others guess it’s related to ancestry, but in fact it’s a nod to the iconic T-shirt Madonna wears in the “Papa Don’t Preach” video circa 1986.

Fast forward to a world pandemic last year… To encourage creativity & lift spirits, Italians Do It Better President, Megan Louise asked every artist “If you could cover your favorite Madonna song…What would it be?”

As a tribute to their label muse & the impact Madonna’s music has had on the world around us, Italians Do It Better are sharing a compilation of covers simply titled “Italians Do It Better” on Madonna’s birthday, August 16, 2021. One of the tracks (“Lucky Star” by Club Intl) is even produced by Max Kamins, the son of Mark Kamins, the New York DJ who helped break Madonna in the early 1980’s. From the experience he says “Dance music was the soundtrack of my early childhood. Working on “Lucky Star” reconnected me not only to my father, but also reminded me that a good song is timeless”.
 
Executive produced by Johnny Jewel, the compilation is a passport to 20 covers from the bedrooms of 19 artists across 10 different countries. 

Get into the groove…

Listen here on Spotify:

Listen via other streaming services here:https://idib.ffm.to/italians-do-it-better

Track list:
1. Joon – Papa Don’t Preach
2. Desire – Angel
3. Sally Shapiro – Holiday 
4. Dlina Volny – Hollywood
5. Farah – Gang Bang
6. MOTHERMARY – Like A Virgin
7. Club Intl – Lucky Star
8. Love Object – Frozen
9. Orion – Into The Groove
10. Number One Popstar – Hung Up
11. Double Mixte – La Isla Bonita
12. Juno Francis – Beautiful Stranger 
13. Glüme – Material Girl
14. In Mirrors – Addicted To Your Love
15. Causeway – Crazy For You
16. Jorja Chalmers – Justify My Love
17. MOTHERMARY – Like A Prayer
18. Pink Gloves – What It Feels Like For A Girl
19. Lou Rebecca – Burning Up 
20. Bark Bark Disco – Borderline