Author Archives: zacgk

Tomas Barfod – Paloma LP

Whomadewho drummer/producer and electronic-pop stalwart Tomas Barfod arrives on Friends of Friends this November with his third album as a solo artist and his second for the Los Angeles label. Assisted by a diverse range of guest vocalists, the Paloma album is an expansive record that takes the dancefloor-friendly bedroom pop of the Salton Sea (Friends of Friends 2012) and Love Me (Secretly Canadian 2014) albums to dazzling new heights. Embracing a divergent array of genres and tempos, Paloma’s 11 tracks create a world of love and heartbreak, hued by Barfod’s broad synth strokes and effortless drum programming. Fans of Barfod’s previous releases on FoF and Kompakt will find plenty to latch onto here, including several vocal features from label favorite Nina K, but Paloma invokes a larger sound than the Danish producer has put forth in the past, a sound replete with higher highs, more dramatic hooks and an even crisper, more pristine production aesthetic.

Following a beatific vocal cut up intro, Paloma begins in earnest with “Things That Matter”, a propulsive dancefloor number featuring a duet from Louise and Sharin Foo and sparkling, hopeful synth work. “Hope in a Box” continues the airy, upbeat vibe of the album before the bass-forward production and R&B stylings of the Jonas Smith-featuring “Family” marks a stylistic departure for Barfod. Throughout the remainder of the album, strains of afrobeat, techno and synth pop enter the mix as Nina K and a host of other vocalists star in turn on the mic. It’s a delicate sonic balance, but Barfod’s major themes shine through loud and clear, showing off the acute pop sensibility he’s demonstrated since his first solo works well over a decade ago.

New to Paloma though is a celebratory quality and a quiet confidence that imbues the album’s arrangements, a quality that comes to the fore in the tough-as-nails drum programming of “Rhodes” and the sky high hooks of “In The Dark”. Barfod’s willingness to experiment has always been a key component of his solo work, but it has never sounded so complete and Paloma is the ultimate example of his songwriting prowess.

label: Friends Of Friends
date: 3rd November 2017

Tracklist
01. Grandiose*
02. Things That Matter ft. Louise Foo & Sharin Foo
03. Hope in a Box
04. Family ft. Jonas Smith
05. Pantheon
06. Better Than I Would
07. In The Dark ft. Nina K
08. Cannonball ft. Jonas H. Petersen
09. Rhodes*
10. Transpose ft. Adine Kjædegaard Fliid*
11. Tidal Wave ft. Nina K
*digital only

Video: Blue Hawaii – Versus Game

 

Last month Blue Hawaii – Montreal duo of Raphaelle ‘Ra’ Standell and Alexander ‘Agor’ Kerby – announced Tenderness (their first new album in 4 years) and shared single & video “No One Like You.” Now, they share the album’s next single and its accompanying video: “Versus Game.” Where “No One Like You” illustrated the down-tempo house elements of the album, “Versus Game” packs a bolder punch and a disco beat, more ready for the dance-floor.

Tenderness Out October 6th via Arbutus.

CCFX – CCFX EP

CCFX is a new supergroup resulting from a merger between two seminal Olympia, Washington pop outfits: CC Dust and Trans FX. On their debut self-titled EP, artists Chris McDonnell, Maryjane Dunphe and David Jaques join forces for a record that is at once a showcase and an aberration of what is currently coming out of the Pacific Northwest.

Recorded and mixed with local OG Captain Tripps, the EP’s sound partially recalls late 90’s/early 00’s indie pop as chiming, melodic guitar parts counter and complement Maryjane’s emotional vocals. In the same vein of the past few decades’ most beloved hitmakers (both in the clubs as well as on the radio), the music feeds on a sense of nostalgia not necessarily specific to any one time or place – sun-kissed riffs seem to go on forever, supported by a steady breakbeat.

The timbre of the music is warm and just slightly fuzzed out, and the expressive quality of Maryjane’s voice is pushed to the front. Without a clear indication as to how, CCFX have struck that rare balance between heartfelt sincerity and calculated disillusionment that many groups strive for, bearing the mark of a project which is as fearless as it is humble and out there living as big as it wants to be. These four tracks grant listeners access to suppressed and superseded feelings from youth, paired with a strange glint of whatever luxury this epoch’s future might still hold.

FFO Saint Etienne, Q Lazzarus, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, dancing, celebrations, success stories, etc.

Video: Chloé feat. Ben Shemie – Recall

Recall EP [LN009] will be out September, 29th 2017 (7inch & Digital) on Lumière Noire. Order now – https://lumierenoire.lnk.to/Recall

Amidst a savage terrain of volcanic rocks, a scintillating metallic graphical object emerges, slicing through the landscape, floating through as though a divinity. A wanderer is attracted, captivated, and ultimate snatched by the omnipresent cube. The object begins to revolve and its rotations entrance the man into a tribal, symbiotic dance. Frédéric Lebain & Grégoire Pédron are Backgammon partners and neighbours who also blend experimentation with art and beauty in the form of the fashion films and music videos they create together.

Video: Lapalux – Petty Passion

Taken from ‘Ruinism’, out now via Brainfeeder.

Video: Jori Hulkkonen – Don’t Believe In Happiness

Directed by Tero Vuorinen. Out September 15th 2017 thru My Favorite Robot Records. Taken from the album “Don’t Believe In Happiness”, out November 24th 2017.

Andrew Weatherall – Spreads A Haze (And A Glory)

Andrew Weatherall’s ‘Qualia’ LP is scheduled for September 29 release via Höga Nord Rekords.

Plastic Flowers – How Can I

samaras

Absent Forever is the newest album from London-based producer Plastic Flowers – his third full-length LP and the second for The Native Sound after Heavenly. Plastic Flowers formed vaguely around 2011 in Thessaloniki, Greece and play a noisy version of Dream Pop filed under Shoegaze, Ambient and Indie. Much like his previous releases on labels such as Crash Symbols, Inner Ear Records or Bad Panda, this new album artfully slips intelligence and experimentation into a dying art form.

Pre-order at bit.ly/absentforever

Video: Orbital – Copenhagen

Video: UNKLE – Sunrise (Always Comes Around)