Category Archives: stream
Brisbane artist Emerson Leif has enlisted the creative mind of good friend Golden Vessel for his debut single ‘Hesitate’, which poses some of life’s most important questions.
Golden Vessel and Emerson Leifhave been friends for years, and Leif has also worked on a few of Golden Vessel’s tracks in the past (‘Control’ & ‘Tell The-Girl’), so it just felt right for the two to connect and work Leif’s debut release.
‘Hesitate’ will be available everywhere now including Spotify & Apple Music, and Australian fans can catch Golden Vessel in Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney in February as he takes his recent ‘Right/Side EP’ on the road.
Music For Dreams has recently released the debut album by Bonnie & Klein, entitled ‘Ithaca’ on Friday 8th December 2017.
The Copenhagen-based Music For Dreams label continues to be at the vanguard of the ambient revival as well as being at the forefront of the Balearic, chill, and space disco movement. MFD has generated an excellent string of releases in 2017 from some of the most eclectic and inspired artists. Artists making waves for the label include Jan Schulte, Ruf Dug, Be Svendsen, Copenema, Nordsø and Theill Apiento, Jose Manuel, The Swan & The Lake, Ambala, Oscar Bandersen, DJ Pippi, Leo Mas, Visti & Meyland, Mackrory & Collier, and label boss Kenneth Bager.
Greek producers Bonnie & Klein established themselves in 2015 with tracks such as ‘Beautiful City’ and ‘Total Blue’ on Music For Dreams, both well on the way to becoming new Balearic classics. Embracing and flaunting Mediterranean influences, the duo have created their own distinctive sound – soft electronic rhythms blend with horizontal textures to create a fragile balance of space for the listener’s mind while delivering beats for the beaches.
Tracks like ‘Ithaca’ and ‘Magnolia’ and others reveal a 90s influence of Cafe Del Mar, featuring slow percussion with cinematic strings on a relaxed beat receiving maximum support from the likes of Leo Mas, Moonboots, Jon Sa Trinxa, Kenneth Bager, and of course Balearic originator Jose Padilla. Percussively lilting ‘Coral’ and tango-inspired, xylophone & flute embellished ‘Aguavivas’ fully explore the Balearic beach and poolside soundtrack.
Born and raised in Greece, Bonnie & Klein are the aliases of George Fountzoulas and Thanasis Skouzis, two Balearica devotees who stick their musically beloved heads together to create soul moving music. They have also enjoyed releases on Seamless, Timewarp, Uber and Leng labels.
In the time-honoured tradition of Balearic producers, Bonnie & Klein confirm their authentic sound has been ‘inspired by the sea, forest, sunset, joy and pleasure’.
1. Bonnie & Klein – Ithaca
2. Bonnie & Klein – Coral
3. Bonnie & Klein – Aguavivas
4. Bonnie & Klein – Vrohero Oneiro (Feat. Marie Makropoulou)
5. Bonnie & Klein – Beautiful City
6. Bonnie & Klein – Oneiric
7. Bonnie & Klein – Total Blue
8. Bonnie & Klein – Demode
9. Bonnie & Klein – Magnolia
10. Bonnie & Klein – Someone Who Loves You
This is a hungry time, a time for sweat and teeth, and a loud light in every corner. There is a winter forest inside you, a breath held waiting for the fall of a leaf. Snow crush like a whisper. Though the sun warms your skin, the winter waits inside, a silent hum, dormant until the snow falls again.
On New Path, their second album for DFA, Montreal electronic duo Essaie pas (Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau) take inspiration from Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, a dystopian science fiction classic. The album sounds like the book reads – a voyeuristic, druggy, and paranoid narrative of existence in the surveillance state.
“I read the book a long time ago, maybe 15 years ago, and it had a strong impression on me,” explains Pierre. “In our previous work we always looked to music as inspiration in our lives, but this time we felt the desire to try something different, that’s not based on ourselves but on someone else’s universe. It was going to be more conceptual, more political.”
New Path touches on addiction, loss, and the lingering strength of identity within late capitalism’s mass media paranoia. It pins down the central character’s destructive tendencies, using this as a metaphor to explore the dichotomous rupture between our inner lives and our social environment, one that is often fed and soothed by various kinds of dependences.
“I think it touches us on many levels,” Pierre continues. “We can talk about drug addiction issues, we can talk about the mass surveillance world we live in, but there’s also the experience of loss, of grief. I was surprised by how the book felt so modern and accurate to the time we live in right now. Dick’s visions of surveillance are the reality of social control today.”
Essaie pas possess a wiry, experimental take on the more leftfield end of techno music, in the way of pioneers Chris & Cosey and Cabaret Voltaire, as well as newer acts like Fever Ray, Factory Floor, and Helena Hauff. The album trades in hypnotic pads of strings, punctuated by dramatic stabs and sensual rhythmic patterns, with Marie’s tripped-out, pseudo-scientific verbiage further adding to the ambience. The world the duo have created here offers a tangled vision of tomorrow’s aesthetics, a soundtrack stacked with cold music for cold times.
Chrome Sparks (aka Jeremy Malvin) re-emerges with new single, ‘What’s It Gonna Take’, released via Counter Records (a Ninja Tune imprint). His distinct approach to pop, interwoven with cherry-picked sounds from hip-hop and club music touchpoints, continues to shine through. It’s the Brooklyn-based producer’s third outing for Counter, and it continues in the same trajectory as previous singles ‘Wake’ and ‘All Or Nothing’. Fizzing with vitality, it sees steady-bouncing, trap-tilted drums interplay with bright, melancholy-hued melodies and swells of atmospheric pads. Angelica Bess (part of Body Language, and has previously collaborated with Machinedrum), who featured on 2016’s ‘All Or Nothing’ (supported by Jason Bentley on KCRW and Annie Mac on Radio 1), returns to add a silky, magnetic shine to the track.
Explaining the themes behind the track, Malvin says, “We’re all passengers on the emotional tilt-a-whirl of a budding romance at some point. It can be thrilling and exhausting and maddening and inspiring and so hard to pin down. ‘What’s It Gonna Take’ is Angie’s and my take on that ephemeral unrest you feel when getting to know somebody intimately.” The single precedes more new music to come soon on Counter, as well as a co-headline North American tour with Machinedrum in 2018.
Monophonics are back with a six-song EP that fuses the complimentary and explosive soul, rock and funk influences, proving themselves to be the rightful inheritors of the Bay Area’s impressive psychedelic soul sound. Mirrors is comprised entirely of cover tunes, except that I doubt you’ve ever heard of half the deeply funky and soulful originals that inspired these soulful, tastefully produced, and timeless Monophonics treatments. “We wanted to do a couple songs that were more familiar to people and then shine some light on groups we’re big into,” lead singer, keyboardist and co-producer Kelly Finnigan explains. It takes a lot of guts to cover your favorite songs, your van jams, that song you play as a shot of inspiration to break-up a marathon studio session. “Not only are these great songs, but these are artists that we listen to and are influenced by.”
“It’s not about making records that sound old, it’s about making records that sound cool,” Kelly says. Not that he and the other five members of Monophonics mind if you confuse their albums for classic-era recordings. Even musician friends regularly mistake a sweaty and greasy Monophonics original for an unheard Bar-Kays’ side, or a deep soul cover tune might pass for an original to a novice ear, except that Kelly makes sure to give credit where credit is due, which is what they do explicitly on this EP, Mirrors.
Even the familiar tunes, iconic, better said, receive a fresh treatment as instrumentals, despite their ubiquity as vocal songs. The EP opens with a ‘tip of the cap’ to The Main Ingredient’s version of “Summer Breeze” before the band unfolds a hazy, mellow-funk opus worthy of inclusion on a Bob James CTI album. The next four songs, all featuring vocals, range from the lowrider soul ballad, a cover of the The Invicibles’ “My Heart Cries” (video: https://youtu.be/PG107nMMCeo0) with a pleading and plaintive vocal by Nicole Smith, to the psychedelic blues stomp, “Lying,” originally by the archetypical psychedelic soul band nearly signed to Motown, Black Merda. Add in Kelly’s monster vocal take on Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Northern Soul classic, “Beggin” (to be released as a 7” single with an instrumental version on the b-side), and the deep-funk pop-soul of Nu People’s “I’d be Nowhere Without You” with back-up vocals by Jeanine Jones and Veronica Johnson, and you have a highly-entertaining, toe-tapping, backbone-slipping, masterclass in deep funk and soul.
The final tune is the band’s singular take on the Mamas and the Papas hippie standard, “California Dreaming,” as an explicit and heartfelt tribute to their fans in Greece. The discerning music lovers of Greece fell in love with Monophonics after their 2012 hit “Bang Bang” resulting in multiple tours of the Mediterranean, where these native Californians imbibed on the fine ouzo, good vibes, and Grecian hospitality. Gifted a prized bouzouki (a traditional Greek guitar) by a local fan, Monophonics’ guitarist Ian McDonald and band infused this classic pop song with a soulful cinematic air and Mediterranean flavor, evoking a tune from an imagined Fellini film with a soundtrack by David Axelrod.
Catch the band on the road this Spring to hear some of these songs, favorites and new tunes from their forthcoming LP.
With his Familiar Five EP, London-based producer Marcus Marr has taken his darkest and most thrillingly outré turn yet. Recorded through the long dark nights in the splendid isolation of his Brixton studio, lead single “Familiar Five” is a tale of bizarre transformation that points up the fragile boundaries between dreams and reality.
“Familiar Five” feels like an outsider anthem. “It’s about being a freak and accepting it – being happy to be a freak,” notes Marr. He narrates the song with his finest deadpan lip-curl, managing to make the lyrics sound suggestive, malevolent and wildly empowering all at once. “It was sounding quite sinister as I was making it, and I thought a voice would sound good on it,” recalls Marr. “I was reading Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kafka’s Metamorphosis as well,” he remembers. Other diverse influences setting the track’s fabulously unnerving tone include Marr’s readings about “familiar spirits” – the occult animals believed to assist medieval witches in their nefarious deeds.
The other songs featured on the Familiar Five EP include “Love Release,” which taps into the energy and live power of his DJ sets; “High Times,” a track that’s influenced by his love of early 80’s dance music (“I was definitely thinking of Nile Rodgers in 1979, 1980, there… I have a bit of a thing for that period at the beginning of the ‘80s before drum machines took control of dance music.”); and previous single “Rocketship.”
Brooklyn Vegan has shared Baths remix of WHY”s track “Easy”. Prior to this, Consequence Of Sound shared the remix of “Proactive Evolution” which is done by Nick Diamonds of Islands. Both tracks will be featured on the expanded edition of WHY”s 2017 album ‘Moh Lhean’.
Rising Bristol-based electronic artist Henry Green is announcing his debut album ‘Shift’ today, which is set for release March 30th via Akira Records. He’s also sharing his new single “Another Light” online now.
Speaking about the track, Green said “I had a really vivid image/moment in mind when I wrote “Another Light”. I was sat on a silent beach in the early hours of the morning, slightly hazy from the lack of sleep and I wanted to write about the whirlwind of colours and textures, both in the landscape but also in my mind at that moment. So much change had happened in such a short amount of time and I was just reflecting on it all.”