Horse Follows Darkness is the second record by Delia Gonzalez, her follow up to the album “In Remembrance”.
The title is taken from a werewolf genre film her 8 year old son Wolfgang had created. At this time, Wolfgang also turned Delia onto a genre of cinema she had always resisted – the American Western.
Delia explains that what she observed “was all relevant – the album is based on our personal experience of moving back to America (from Berlin) and the journey that followed. The record is a manifestation of that, and what one creates for themselves under the given circumstances. Coming back to America, I felt like a foreigner and NYC / America felt like the Wild West. Most Westerns from the 1960s to the present have revisionist themes. Many were made by emerging major filmmakers who saw the Western as an opportunity to expand their criticism of American society and values into a new genre.”
The narrative of the record is one of re-encountering the frontier mentality that shaped the country but somehow never faded. This time as a foreigner. The genre of the Western remains pertinent, many of the same stories of that brutally deromanticised era are still relevant today. America hasn’t changed – the cast, times and settings have, but we still hold onto the same ideal.
Horse Follows Darkness is essentially a modern electronic soundtrack for the Revisionist Western. Even the idea for the record cover is inspired by one of the most well known modern Westerns, Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs Miller.
The album was recorded with Abe Seiferth at Transmitter Park studios, which Delia likens to “going to the finest tailor”. Abe became an integral part of the recording, playing guitar and helping to suggest experimenting with different synthesizers, something Delia was keen to do. Delia refers to Abe as a magical and incredibly intuitive collaborator” regarding the sound of the record.
The music that emerged from these recording sessions combines a range of influences – from the compositions of Erik Satie to ‘Salon De Musique’, the solo piano record by Su Tissue (of the L.A. punk band Suburban Lawns). The record also took on a much different shape and sound with the introduction of the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS, as well as a vintage Korg Poly synth and the Roland SH-101. The golden era Krautrock recordings of bands like Neu!, Cluster & Harmonia were touchstones as well, the repetition, swirling soundscapes and locked-in rhythm tracks.
Delia Gonzalez is a Cuban-American musician and artist, based in both New York City & Berlin. Her disciplines include everything from composer to filmmaker, dancer / choreographer, sculptor, painter & performance artist. Her musical career with DFA Records began in 2004 when the label released the 12” single “Relevee”, followed by the album of cosmic acid-house “The Days of Mars”, with Delia and then musical partner Gavin Russom.
In 2015, DFA released Delia’s first solo album entitled “In Remembrance”, which was a full piano score for a 30 minute filmed ballet, a perfect example of the type of work Delia creates as a multi-disciplinary artist.
Crooked Man’s debut album was one of the landmark releases for DFA in 2016. Crooked Man is Richard Barratt of Sheffield England, one half of Bleep music pioneers Sweet Exorcist (Warp Records).
This remix collection is Volume 1 in a series of forthcoming collections that revisit key tracks from the LP, reinventing them into headier dance floor explorations, without abandoning the undeniable pop hooks that set this whole release apart from your typical full length dance LP.
Whatever/Whatever remixing “I’ll Be Loving You”. Whatever/Whatever are a remix duo that includes famed DJ and musician Justin Strauss.
Juan Maclean remixing epic album closer “Happiness”. The vocals for “Happiness” were actually sung by Amy Douglas, also the singer in Peach Melba with Juan Maclean. So this remix brings the everything full circle in a tidy way.
Barker & Baumecker remixing “Fools & Fanatics”. This duo are recognized musical leaders in the Berlin techno scene originating out of the world of Ostgut Ton Records and the Berghain club. 2016 saw them releasing their epic 2nd LP entitled Turns.
Remixes forthcoming for Volume 2 include Tee Mango, Luke Solomon & Lovefingers.
Crooked Man is currently hard at work on the follow up album, due out in 2017 on DFA Records.
The Juan Maclean return to DFA with a stand-alone single, bursting with deep house elastic bounce and electronic pop flourishes, married to the deadpan earnestness of Nancy Whang’s vocal delivery.
“Can You Ever Really Know Somebody” is the kind of slinky song that is easily absorbed and difficult to forget. It is a taste of things to come, as The Juan Maclean prepares a brand new LP for DFA due out in Fall 2017.
The remix is courtesy of LA-4A, aka Ambivalent and legally known as American born producer Kevin McHugh. Stripping out the house music and replacing it with a grinding electro-acid template, LA-4A creates a lovely buzzing new bed of music for Nancy Whang’s vocals to rest on top of it. This is a remix with wildly successful results and a perfect companion to the original.
Norwegian star Nils Bech is a classically trained opera singer, now taking his vocal chops pop, incorporating performance art, electronica, and club culture into his latest LP Echo out now on DFA. Fusing synth pop, classical elements and dance music, the LP – produced by Drippin (LE1F, Cakes Da Killa) and Øyvind Mathisen – marks a pivotal turning point for Bech and something of a radical sonic departure as well.
Now, Bech reveals a brand new remix of “Glimpse of Hope” by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard via Blackbook. In this remix, Goddard takes the tune to soaring, 80’s synth-pop heights, effortlessly showcasing Bech’s acrobatic vocals with sprightly retro-electronica (fans of Yazoo and Erasure take note).
Watch: “Glimpse Of Hope” Video
A favourite of the art world, Nils Bech has performed at such venerable venues and events as Venice Biennial, ICA (London), New Museum (New York) and the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam).
He has also featured in two plays at the Norwegian National Theater, most recently in Shakespeare’s Richard III; where he performed excerpts from his third album Echo out now on DFA Records.
Already a star at home, Echo is Bech’s first album with DFA. The album explores “echoes” of the people in his life over the past five years; their search for love, how love can deceive and destroy, but also be the key to everything. Sonically, the record infuses urban, contemporary dance music with hip hop roots – hard beats in juxtaposition to Bech’s vulnerable bass-baritone
In March of this year, Montreal duo Essaie pas released their DFA debut LP, entitled Demain est une autre nuit, which in English translate to “Tomorrow is another night”. This album has now been remixed to close out the year, bringing together some of the most exciting names in dance music, Orphx, Function, Daniel Maloso, Brooklyn-based techno producer Malory and more.
Check out the Malory remix below:
Emerging from an underground electronic avant-garde scene that also included Dirty Beaches, Bernardo Femminielli & Jesse Osborne-Lanthier, the duo stood out thanks to their dizzying combination of EBM, techno and minimal electro-pop, held together with the sing-song poetry of both members, Marie Davidson & Pierre Guerineau, delivered predominantly in their native French.
The year 2016 comes to a tidy close, as band member Marie Davidson releases a solo LP on the Cititrax/Minimal Wave label, and the duo release the aforementioned remix EP.
Spiked Punch is a new project from 2/3 of Black Dice, Eric Copeland & Aaron Warren. After the third member Bjorn Copeland relocated to Los Angeles in 2015, Aaron & Eric worked on a Black Dice remix commission for Awesome Tapes From Africa, for artist Aby Ngana Diop. Through this creative process, they hit upon a new sort of inspiration for making music and Spiked Punch was born.
These two tracks were born out of long form improvisations between Eric & Aaron. It is most definitely music born of their environment in Brooklyn – the lo-fi bodega beats seeping out of the dozens of delis, trial and error with early sample chopping, watching YouTube tutorials for help, the eerie comfort of late nite local tv, and a sweltering Brooklyn summer cooled and fueled by Tecate. The duo also emphasizes the music was recorded on an iBook from 2004.
The music Spiked Punch have created is wildly percussive and zig zags around tweaked vocal stabs and dubbed out bass lines. When pressed for more personal descriptors for the music the band responded with this: “Coconut bongos, pineapple kick drums, stolen bike vocals, peanut chew bass-lines”.
Make of those phrases what you will. Like this new music, as well as song titles like Vanilla Meatball, it makes no sense and and also perfect sense. Like Black Dice and the solo work from Eric Copeland this duality is one of the greatest gifts of Spiked Punch. Hoping there is more in store….
“Is There No End” is an a rambling five minutes of shuffling techno where a spoken-word vocal describes a man’s stream-of-consciousness journey to the club, only to get kicked out at the party’s peak. Narrative vocals are brilliantly delivered by Jayson Green, former lead singer of punk bands Orchid & Panthers.
Remixes are handled by New Jackson (Hivern, Permanent Vacation) & Khotin (1080p, Normals Welcome). Both remixers deliver long form, gorgeous slow motion disco interpretations of the original, foregoing the manic vocals and creating what might be two alternate come-downs to an indulgent and night on the tiles.
Today marks the release for ‘Echo’ by Nils Bech — a busy stage actor and singer already well known in his native Norway for three albums released on Oslo’s Fysisk Format, The keys to the seachange lie with Bech’s new collaborator, the young underground DJ, producer and beatmaker Drippin, known for his work with American rap artists such as LE1F and Cakes Da Killa. As a result, where his previous work was strange, ethereal and otherworldly – completely and utterly unique – Echo throbs with a renewed sense of vigour and urgency, without losing any of the idiosyncratic beauty which marked Bech’s work out before.
The sound created here is strange and immediate. Stuttering sharp bass kicks combine with clanging 5-alarm snare drums made of glass, orchestra stabs and melancholy piano lines jump in and out of the arrangements. These new elements and ideas are married to the already singular voice of Nils Bech, with Echo becoming something new, exciting and 100% Norwegian – homegrown and ready for the world. Just listen to new track “Waiting” for evidence of his truly inimitable vision, as martial drums anchor Bech’s floating, weightless vocals, to create something swoonsome, beguiling and defiantly its own creature.
The music comes to full fruition when performed live, as proven at two packed performances at the 2016 By Larm Festival where Nils was joined onstage by both Drippin & Øyvind Mathisen, who also produced, arranged and played on the album alongside Bech. Make sure not to miss the completely original and striking sound of Nils Bech.
“I wanted to make an album where romantic harmonies meet hard beats, with sudden transitions between the painful and the beautiful. Just like love.” – Nils Bech
Too Little Too Late
Glimpse Of Hope
A Sudden Sickness
Today (August 19) sees the release of Factory Floor’s sophomore album 25 25 via DFA Records. Stripped to a mesmerising dance of percussion, fragmented voice and melody, 25 25 captures the next vital stage in the evolution of one of the UK’s most restless and exploratory groups. Featuring lead singles “Dial Me In” and “Ya”, the album has garnered praise from the likes of NPR, Pitchfork, FADER, SPIN, MTV, Stereogum, The Verge, Nerdist, + many more.
Following the release of their debut album in 2013, Factory Floor – consisting of Nik Void and Gabriel Gurnsey – slimmed down to a duo. Having already boiled the scorched textures of their early singles down into their debut’s hallucinatory club-not-club stomp, they both seized the opportunity to voyage further along the pathway, mixing 25 25 with razor-sharp precision via David Wrench (FKA Twigs, Caribou).
Inspired by playing a growing number of late night club shows, the pair’s music gradually evolved into the sound captured on their second album and in their current live incarnation: a stark, ultra-minimalist and eerily soulful dancefloor pulse, yet one that still bears Factory Floor’s unmistakable hallmarks of hypnotic repetition and jagged, punkish intensity.
Crooked Man aka Richard Barratt (Sweet Exorcist, Warp) second EP for DFA Records is a full release for ‘Preset / Scum’, originally released on the Crooked Man label as a limited edition 12″.
“The song ‘Preset’ got started when we were flicking through sounds in an old soft synth. We were actually searching for something completely different, but this preset rhythm suddenly came out and inspired a new song. The lyric gently mocks religion and notions of fate. The “it’s my destiny” bollocks so often spouted on tv talent shows, the thanks to God on the back of a record sleeve. ‘Scum’ was written in the aftermath of the 2007 financial crash, and actually deals with a similar thing to Preset. Where v.rich people decide they must have more merit than people who’ve got less money. Meritocracy in action, the self-creation of a 21st century gentry.” – Richard Barratt aka Crooked Man.