Author Archives: zacgk

Video: Peggy Gou – Starry Night

Directed by Jonas Lindstroem. https://gudurecords.bandcamp.com

Chromatics – Closer to Grey LP

chromatics

Chromatics release their seventh studio album ‘Closer To Grey’ today via Italians Do It Better.

Listen here: http://hyperurl.co/closetogrey

Hior Chronik – One Eternity at a Time

Seductive drone and post cinematic soundscapes between ambient, indie-neoclassical music. These are the best words to describe the vibes of the new album by the Greek/Berliner composer Hior Chronik, entitled “Blind Heaven” out on November 8th via 7K!.

The first single “One Eternity at a time” featuring Francesco Donadello is out today. Available to stream or buy: https://7k.lnk.to/blindheaven

Video: Kraków Loves Adana – Follow The Voice

Kraków Loves Adana are a Hamburg-based duo of Deniz Çiçek and her partner Robert Heitmann. Having recently just signed to Italians Do It Better (Chromatics, Desire, Glass Candy), the band are sharing their new single “Follow The Voice” online now.

Kraków Loves Adana formed in 2006 after eyeing each other for months at the same nightclubs in Germany. The group’s guitar-driven electronic ballads echo dream pop with a melancholic edge.

On Follow The Voice” Johnny Jewel produces the band’s debut single for Italians Do It Better. Deniz Çiçek’s exposed, haunting vocal melodies crash against vivid synthesizers & heavy rhythms to create something unforgettable. Complimenting the sonic landscape of Italians Do It Better staples like Chromatics & Desire, Kraków Loves Adana will be in direct support of Chromatics & Desire on stage for the European leg of the Double Exposure World tour.

The video is directed by the band themselves in Hamburg. Through hypnosis by pendulum, Deniz Çiçek falls into a trance like state – led by a voice, guiding her through a domain that exists just below the threshold of consciousness.

A newly discovered star shining in the Italians Do It Better solar system. They are currently in the studio preparing their forthcoming full length with Johnny Jewel out early next year.

Joris Voorn – Messiah feat. HÆLOS

Dutch DJ, producer and label-owner Joris Voorn today announced his highly-anticipated fourth studio album, ‘\\\\’ [four] will be released on November 15 via his new imprint, Spectrum Music. Along with the news, he revealed the next single from the album, the stunning melodic odyssey “Messiah feat. HÆLOS”.

A proper introduction to his full-length LP, “Messiah” is a collaboration with London electronic quartet HÆLOS whose cross-genre output spans soundscapes from trip-hop to shoegaze. The track sees Joris blend a 90s inspired breakbeat and early rave aesthetic with glistening synth arpeggios, layered atop the ethereal vocals of HÆLOS frontwoman, Lotti Benardout.

Voorn’s 14-track album finds its inspiration in the formative era of Europe’s electronic scene in the mid-’90s where the musical heartbeat of the underground was born. Alongside HÆLOS, the album features collaborations with British electronic stalwarts Underworld, spoken word maestro Lazarusman, and Dutch pianist Michiel Borstlap.

Through to album release, Voorn will perform at some of the world’s most regarded festivals, parties and venues including Connect, ANTS, Rave Rebels, ADE, E1 London and more.

Listen to “Messiah feat. HÆLOS” – https://JorisVoorn.lnk.to/messiahWE

Franz Matthews & Local Suicide – Remixes

Making their debut on Eskimo Recordings this March, Berlin producers Franz Matthews& Local Suicide’s ‘Meditation / Tutan Jamon’ was a heady brew of psychedelic disco that joined the dots between the German capital and the sun soaked souks of North Africa.

Hailed as “propulsive and zen” by Resident Advisor and championed by DJs including Dj T, Red Axes, Perel & Acid Washed, the tracks have now been giving a fresh rub, with Eskimo going one better even than the genie from the Arabian Nights and fulfilling 4 wishes summoning up remixes from Manfredas, Chaim, NTEIBINT and The Oddness.

First out of the trap is Lithuanian producer Manfredas. Having made a name for himself with releases on labels like Les Disques de la Mort, Multi Culti and I’m A Cliché, Manfredas turns in a head spinning remix of Tutan Jamon, teasing out and extending the track in a masterclass of delayed gratification that eventually dissolves into acidic bleeps and drones.

Tel Aviv’s Chaim remix of Tutan Jamonmeanwhile sees the sometime Bpitch Control and Disco Halal producer up the tempo whilst losing none of the original’s exotic vibe. In his hands the track becomes a propulsive nu-disco number perfect for late summer parties under the stars.

Eskimo stalwart NTEIBINT is up next with his reinterpretation of Meditation. Once again the Greek producer goes to show just why the label has him on speed dial, delivering a stunning remix with Vamparela’s vocals and a hypnotic bass line combining to mesmerising effect.

Finally fresh from remixing Satin Jackets Australian rising star The Oddness returns to Eskimo with his own spaced out take on Meditation. Keeping the tempo slow and low the Melbourne producer unravels the track, pulling apart its constituent parts and allowing them all to float free.

Video: Jacques Greene – Do it Without You

LuckyMe anounced the release of Dawn Chorus last week, the new album from Jacques Greene (out October 18th.) It was unveiled alomngside sinfle “Do It Without You,” which premiered via Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC 6Music. Today he shares the tracks stunning visual which, a pretty 16mm new wave looking video with Japanese fashion styling and a pill made of light. It was directed by Mathieu Fortin.

If Greene’s 2017 debut album, Feel Infinite, was the soundtrack to a dream pregame – amping you up to lose yourself in the club – then Dawn Chorus resides in the post-rave reflective moment. A time of heightened sensuality and latent possibility.

Greene approached the making of Dawn Chorus as if he were a band. He lived in the studio for five months this past winter – half the time at home in Toronto, the other half in Hudson Mohawke’s studio in L.A. – and wrote these songs in a sprint to capture this chapter in his life. Ten years into the game and not yet in his thirties, his perspective on the value of dance music and where it rests with his daily life and inspiration bare out on this album. While samples played a big part in his early output, his creative process for Dawn Chorus revolved around recording a stellar cast of musicians, arranging new parts.

To craft the sound of the record, he thought about the artists he held dear and researched the gear they used as a means of being in dialogue with their emotional tenor. Some of the gear he sourced included the delay that My Bloody Valentine was renowned for, as well as a compressor used by French Touch producers Alan Braxe and Fred Falke. Working with mix engineer Joel Ford (of Ford & Lopatin), he created a rule book for the album’s sonics that saw each part, from the drums to the pads, be processed in a specific way, through guitar pedals and outboard equipment.

Now 29, Greene has been making music “about the club” for over a decade. His sound could be described as an emotional haze, in that its balance of sonic elements work to illuminate the overlapping feelings that lie between the familiar binaries. Outside of his own releases, Greene has explored his relationship with the club in a variety of contexts, from remixing Radiohead to producing for Katy B and Tinashe and touring with The xx.

He will tour Dawn Chorus in Europe and North America this October. An intimate first live show at the St Pancras Old Church is already sold out in London and another show has been added.

‘DAWN CHORUS’ IS OUT OCTOBER 18TH VIA LUCKYME

Jacques Greene Tour Dates:
Thu Oct 17 – Berlin, DE @ Burg Schnabel
Fri Oct 18 – London, UK @ St. Pancras Old Church (Sold Out)
Fri Oct 18 – Manchester, UK @ Warehouse Project (DJ set) (late show)
Sat Oct 19 – London, UK @ Five Miles (DJ Set)
Wed Oct 23 – Brooklyn, NY @ National Sawdust
Fri Oct 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
Sat Oct 26 – Montreal, QC @ Ausgang

Ramin Djawadi – Game Of Thrones (Sander & Stephane Salerno Reinterpretation)

The Cinematic Orchestra – Wait For Now EP

The Cinematic Orchestra have always defied category and convention. Neither an orchestra nor a band, not a pure jazz act but full of its influence, not electronic but originally rooted in a London based electronic scene. Musical trends come and go but TCO – now comprising of founder Jason Swinscoe and long-time collaborator Dominic Smith – have assuredly and defiantly stuck to their principles for over 20 years (their debut album, “Motion”, was released in September 1999). A refusal to compromise, to bend to classification, to follow convention.

They are set to release a new single ‘Wait For Now’, taken from their acclaimed latest album “To Believe”, featuring the vocals of soul singer Tawiah (who has worked with Mark Ronson, Wiley and Blood Orange), and recorded between Los Angeles and London. Also included on the release are two new remixes, a rework of “Wait For Now” by Ghostly signed LA Harp innovator and collaborator Mary Lattimore (Thurston Moore/Kurt Vile/Jarvis Cocker), and a remix of the album track “To Believe” featuring Moses Sumney on vocals by New York based producer Anthony Naples, riding high from his acclaimed latest album Fog FM. Rounding off the package is the album version of the lead single, ‘Wait For Now/Leave The World’, which also features the masterful keys work of Dorian Concept (Brainfeeder/Ninja Tune), adding extra texture to the track’s twinkling effervescence, and underscoring the far-flung connections which sit as the album’s foundation.

Tawiah (whose own debut album arrives on 18th October via First Word Records, an exploration of her identity as a queer woman of colour raised in a Pentecostal family) says of the track “For me it’s about freeing yourself, not letting fear dictate your life and living in the now. I also think this crazy journey called life that we are on is to be shared, we all mess up “guilt + pain has made me honest once again” confronting that and communicating will always make a peak situation not feel as overwhelming. It’s all about a safe space with people that vibrate on your frequency.”

Dominic Smith said of Tawiah’s feature, “The lyrics as with everybody (on To Believe), discuss concepts about engaging with consciousness. Tawiah took that concept into both a personal and universal place, which was the most we could have hoped for, it’s visceral, micro and macro.”

“To Believe” was released on 15th March 2019 on Ninja Tune to widespread acclaim, with The Observer lauding it as “a triumph” and “heartbreakingly brilliant” in their 5* review, it has received praise from the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, Q Magazine, GQ, Bandcamp and many more. The record debuted at #19 on the Official UK Album Chart and was #1 on the UK vinyl chart, with the band performing three mesmerising shows at London’s iconic Roundhouse as part of their UK & EU tour, inviting a host of guests across the three nights in support and most recently the BBC 6 Music Festival. They will be touring in North America this Autumn, bringing their spectacular, immersive live show there for the first time in over a decade. The extensive run includes shows at New York’s Brooklyn Steel and DC’s 9:30 Club, and will conclude with a very special performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles on November 23rd. Photay, who has been supported by Gilles Peterson and released on Astro Nautico and PBDY, who is set to release his debut album on Brainfeeder, will be supporting on all dates. Patrick Watson, who famously collaborated with TCO on ‘To Build A Home’ will be a special guest in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

On “To Believe” they enlisted album contributions from collaborators old and new: Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend, Dorian Concept and Tawiah. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson features on strings, Dennis Hamm on keys and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept. A call for self examination, a more critical approach to political interaction and a need for empathy felt more and more relevant as divisions widened globally. “To Believe” is a meditation on our consciousness in this moment, a question, not an answer, an album that bucks the trend of making 3 minute tracks and try to give an alternative, something increasingly rare. The record was mixed by multiple Grammy winner Tom Elmhirst in Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios. The album artwork comes courtesy of The Designers Republic.

Get it here: https://tco.lnk.to/waitfornow

Video: Portico Quartet – Offset

Following two sold-out headline shows at The Roundhouse last year, Portico Quartet return with ‘Memory Streams’, their fifth studio LP continuing the journey first started with 2008’s Mercury-nominated debut ‘Knee Deep in the North Sea’. It’s a creative path that has seen the band embrace new technology and explore ambient/electronic influences alongside minimalism, jazz and beyond. It is a process that has encouraged change, with each album seeing them expand the scope and explore new trajectories.

From the gentle charm of their breakthrough debut’s inimitable mix of jazz, world and minimalist influences, the tight-knit brilliance of ‘Isla’, the electronic infused eponymous ‘Portico Quartet’ to ‘Art in the Age of Automation’ (their most electronic statement to date), they have never been artists to look backwards. Each record has been its own world, its own statement and offered its own meaning. It’s the mark of a singular group that has always stood its own higher ground, above being tarred with certain genre brushes, separate from any scene and prepared to challenge itself, find new things to say, and push its own limits.

It is an approach that has encouraged the band to plough their own furrow, with saxophonist Jack Wyllie commenting, “I feel more connected to other musicians these days and those relationships influence the sound we have in some way, but I wouldn’t say we feel a part of a supposed movement or fit in any pigeonhole. It still feels quite out on its own, which is cool, because it helps the music feel unique”.

The new longplayer ‘Memory Streams’ is part of the same continuum and yet, as the name hints, there’s a sense here of a remembering, shards of past influences, and hints of ideas re-forged. For Wyllie, Memory Streams “feels in some ways about the identity of the quartet, about the records we’ve made before, and the memory of them”. whereas for drummer Duncan Bellamy it suggests “a torrent of imagery, accessing and reliving archived memories, which perhaps aren’t even your own”.

Sonically, ‘Memory Streams’ embraces the classic PQ palette of drums, saxophone, bass and hang-drums, but nonetheless the output has modulated, become more modern, whilst still channeling the beauty and mystery which has always marked the very best of their music. It’s the sound of an outfit at ease with itself, who after a dozen years of recording and playing together, are able to simultaneously explore and embrace their own identity.

‘Memory Streams’ also marks a return to a more predominantly band orientated sound than ‘Art In The Age…’ and its partner release ‘Untitled’. Bellamy says “we wanted to create something that had texture, fibre and space to it. Something that felt vivid, real and alive”. During recording they re-amped a lot of the sounds, a process which lends a sense of depth and spaciousness to the audio. Wyllie adds, “we tried to reduce the elements to what really identified the group and also as a way to help us write – it’s not easy if you have unlimited possibilities. But it was also an interesting challenge, as it was about writing something new that felt like a development, whilst also drawing on the past”.

One of the first tracks they wrote for the new album, ‘With, Beside, Against’ has an expansive, quietly unfolding quality that makes it the perfect opener. ‘Signals’ is a creeping, mysterious piece that captures the spirit of the record. It’s hypnotic, rolling quality builds throughout with shades of a classic PQ tune, but with a tougher edge. The outstanding ‘Gradient’ is a more produced piece; mixing lo-fi and beautifully recorded acoustic parts together, it grows from a simple, repeated drum motif, outwards into a searching hypnotic crescendo. ‘Ways of Seeing’ is a synthesis of minimalism and more dancefloor-oriented rhythms. A lone pulse from the drum machine cuts through a haze of chiming, swirling hang-drums and pads built from shards of looped sax.

‘Memory Palace’ is a distant echo of the motif from ‘Gradient’, and is a bare, slow piano piece shrouded in a mist of saxophone noise. The punchy ‘Offset’ is all about motion and tension and Bellamy’s drums pound in response. ‘Dissident Gardens’ is an intricate, hypnotic track in 3 parts – almost prog-like in rhythm, but with a strong minimalist element, with Farfisa organs as the repetitive top lines. ‘Double Helix’ begins with string swells – stopping and jolting as if someone is switching TV channels before locking into a deep groove. The beautifully sparse, emotional heft of ‘Immediately Visible’ sits in a powerful lineage of Portico Quartet tracks like ‘Line, Rubidium’ and ‘Beyond Dialogue’. It was largely improvised in the studio and offers the perfect ending point for the album with its sense of journey and deep well of feeling.

An LP that locates their music in an age where we have unfettered access to a vast and ever-expanding archive of imagery and ideas, ‘Memory Streams’ both embraces and builds on Portico Quartet’s own unique music and legacy, and locates them firmly in the present.