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Rainbow Arabia – L.A. Heartbreak LP

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Arriving three years since their mesmerizing new age-tinted synth-pop offering ‘FM Sushi’, Rainbow Arabia’s third full-length album ‘LA Heartbreak’ wades through familiar neon waters but even more deliberately – keeping the focus on what distinguishes them from the sea of electronic pop acts out there – Danny Preston’s adventurously exquisite arrangements, sturdy songcraft, and Tiffany Preston’s potent vocal delivery.

‘LA Heartbreak”s dreamy, melodic machine pop takes cues from Tangerine Dream, OMD, Moroder, Jan Hammer – confidently painting with bolder strokes with leaner, brighter production and infectious hooks evoking 80s radio pop that skew more towards Madonna and Cyndi Lauper rather than darker post-punk influences referenced on Rainbow Arabia’s earlier albums.

Recorded at home in Los Angeles, ‘LA Heartbreak’ was born out of tumultuous time for the duo with lyrical themes waxing on failing relationships, mortality, and change. In the 3 years since their last record, the couple have been co-running the left-field leaning electronic label Time No Place, while slowly piecing together songs for LP #3 inspired by the diverse selection of electronic and dance music scenes in LA they are engrained in. However, after many arduous months of recording, further exacerbating the fracture in their musical partnership and marriage, that album was scrapped. They opted to instead start new and record something more direct and honest.

The resulting 9 songs on ‘LA Heartbreak’ benefit from the duo’s best instincts. By deciding to write and record the album quickly, a sense of immediacy shines within this vital collection of prismatic synth-pop.

Rainbow Arabia’s L.A. Heartbreak is out November 11th, 2016.

Tracklist:
Modern Contemporary
Followed
Plena
Top Hat
Acid Pool
I’m Over You
Mixolydian
Computerized Romance
Juneau

The Orb – COW / Chill Out, World! LP

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The duo known for their genre-bending curiosity and surprising sonic detours, that explore experimental soundscapes as well as club-friendly beats, legendary and celebrated ambient kingpins, The Orb, premiere their 16th album, “COW / Chill Out, World!” this week via The Vinyl Factory, offering the LP as a free stream before it’s release on Kompakt this Friday, October 14.

In support of the LP release, The Orb kick off the first leg of their North American tour on October 19, which sees them bringing their critically aclaimed live shows to both the east and west coasts. A performance The Times gives a four star review saying, “Less a ‘gig’, more of a happening with a sense of vast sonic irreverence.”

The duo comprised of accomplished soundsmiths Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann are also celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their seiminal debut album ‘Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld.” US audiences are in for a rare treat as they’ll perform their greatest hits and select songs from the forthcoming “Chill Out, World!’

Dates include NYC’s Webster Hall, Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse, and San Francisco’s Pier 70, where the duo close out their tour aboard the Ghost Ship Halloween event on 10/29 alongside co-headliners DJ Dan and Mutaytor.

Featuring only the occasional presence of buoyant, gently rhythmic pulses and loops, Alex Paterson describes COW as “Our most ambient album yet”. Sounds bubble, flutter and float through various atmospheres and moods, from bucolic and picturesque, childlike wonderment, the texture of bygone memories, to the universe’s infinite depth.

Pre-order here.

The Orb – COW / Chill Out, World! LP

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On October 14th Kompakt present The Orb’s 16th album, COW / Chill Out, World!, which marks a creative renewal for the duo. It also features contributions from Youth and Roger Eno, and is encased in minimal ‘ambient cover art’ courtesy of The Designers Republic.

Despite apparently clear connotations to their history, influences and peers (like Alex Paterson’s uncredited role in the KLF’s ‘Chill Out’ album, or the cover cows of Pink Floyds ‘Atom Heart Mother’), the album’s title is actually an instruction, or at least a friendly suggestion. Whilst Alex calls it “a protest album in reverse”, Thomas Fehlmann further explains, “We didn’t intend to rehash old chill out vibes. On the contrary. It’s the 21st century and it seems like a good idea for people to sit back and chill the fuck out, before continuing to act destructively. To chill out is to act consciously, guided from a calm centre.”

Featuring only the occasional presence of buoyant, gently rhythmic pulses and loops, Alex Paterson describes COW as “Our most ambient album yet”. Sounds bubble, flutter and float through various atmospheres and moods, from bucolic and picturesque, childlike wonderment, the texture of bygone memories, to the universe’s infinite depth.

COW’s creation came together in different circumstances with a different working method to their last album. As ‘Moonbuilding 2703 AD’ was originally commissioned by the English National Opera, the duo immersed themselves in that new world and maintained a close, continuous dialogue with the opera’s orchestrator and technicians. The production fell through due to budget cuts and the recordings were then adapted for album format, hence its 6 year gestation period.

COW on the other hand, took just 6 months to make. One of main reasons for its speedy completion was Alex’s recording of sounds whilst touring the world, straight to Ableton, using his iPhone. Field recordings were easily captured, whilst the countless hours of ‘downtime’ travelling, or at sound-checks became valuable moments for spontaneous creative laptop productivity.

Fehlmann also sees the duo’s relentless live schedule as a formative influence. “The countless gigs we’ve played in recent years – probably up to 300 – have brought us closer as a musical unit. Our concerts consist mostly of non-verbal communication and improvisation – a fertile process that we’ve brought to the studio, where we operate with very simple rules of engagement (in this case ‘ambient’) and go wherever the flow takes us.” It’s an approach that one might expect from traditional acoustic instrumentation, not necessarily an electronic set-up, but for The Orb it works wonders. “We’re quite happy and a little bit proud that we’ve reached this level of unscripted levity with purely electronic means. We’re finessing ourselves, sort of, always looking for the next sonic surprise that leaves us rubbing our eyes about how the heck we got there.”

“COW / Chill Out, World! is an off the cuff, immediate album”, adds Thomas. “We produced it in the span of half a year, trusted our first instincts and allowed the ideas flow freely. We’ve gained self confidence in our continuous search for surprises, and in many ways it’s a naivety we’ve found again, that lets us treat each tune as if it were the first.”

To highlight Fehlmann’s point, the modern ambience of ‘4AM Exhale’ (Chill Out, World!) has an innocently optimistic mood, with distant fragmented soul samples also creating a warmly reassuring sense of nostalgia. A weightless J Dilla orbits from afar too, his influence like the flickering light from a distant star, on both this track and the subsequent ‘5th Dimensions’.

“Making the album became so natural for us that a track like ‘9 Elms Over River Eno (Channel 9)’ consisted only of material collected at North Carolina’s Moogfest in May – second-hand records from local stores, found sounds, live samples from gigs that we liked, and of course an excursion to the Eno river, which actually exists”, recalls Alex. “I discovered it on Google maps, whilst looking for somewhere to chill out. The name stood out, for orbvious reasons! This geographic intimacy and spontaneity are among the top reasons why we love this album.”

Paterson and Thomas’ ability to work in a simple, efficient and simpatico way was then used as a strong creative base upon which they added additional colouration by bringing occasional Orb member Youth on board, who then hooked the pair up with acclaimed composer Roger ‘Reverend’ Eno.

Laden with samples played backwards, a planet sized bass tone and piano, Eno’s first appearance is on The Satie-esque ‘Wireless MK2’ which is, Alex explains “a nod to my dad, who worked for Cable and Wireless and helped build the Telstar satellite”, whilst the track’s “jazzy trumpet” Paterson adds, “is a reference to the jazz bar in Fulham where my Mum and Dad met.”

Eno appears again on ‘The 10 Sultans Of Rudyard’ (Moo Moo Mix), which plays with familiar, ambient staples and new ‘post classical’ elements. Sounding refreshed but classic, innocent but deep and extemporaneous, but beautifully crafted, COW finds The Orb at their most stunning and transcendent peak to date.

Hunter/Game – Adaptation Remixe

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Hunter/Game released their debut full length on Kompakt in February – an immersive collection that followed their two Resident Advisor chart topping singles released on Kompakt Extra (Speicher 83, Speicher 87). With previous releases on Innervisions, Diynamic, Last Night On Earth and their own imprint Just This, this Italian duo have proved to be a leading force of the underground.

We here at Kompakt love a good remix package and this is definitely one of the best we have put together in some time. Enjoy this well balanced meal served up by the elusive Redshape, Panorama Bar resident Nick Höppner, up and comers Woo York, Holland’s best kept secret Nuno Dos Santos and a special version of “Bermuda” by Hunter/Game.”

Video: Coma – Happiness

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‘Happiness’ is taken from COMA’s second album ‘This Side Of Paradise’ which is out now via Kompakt. The single features fellow German singer/producer Marius Lauber, aka Roosevelt, on drums. Video directed by Lenny Rothenberg.

Video: Hunter/Game – Silver

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Known for dramatic dance tunes that previously found their way onto labels such as Innervisions, Last Night On Earth or global event brand / record imprint Just This, Italian duo Hunter/Game has evolved its sound into a uniquely expressive, yet subtly arranged variant of techno – music that confidently takes centre stage, but never puts the sonic means before its aesthetic goal.

It is said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and indeed nothing could be more applicable to Adaptation where the duo presents a full-length exploration of a distinct sound cosmos, at once coy and bold, and with each cut focussing on yet another artfully executed twist supplementing the no-fuss, all-impact setting of beats, bass and synths.

As described by the artists themselves, “Silver is inspired by Icelandic landscapes, as we made this track with Fanned Osk from the band Kúra. The lyrics and mood are about December trees that live alone in a kind of desolate heaven, a different world. In this rough and desolated world an imaginary silver fox is walking alone into the desert territory with no other place to go…” (Self-Titled)

So we mainly used some live drums percussions samples, processed by delays and effects. The arpeggiator we recorded in Copenhagen with the Kúra guys from a Nord lead 4x they have in their studio. The result sounds kind of crazy and it was too far from the band’s sound so we agreed to use it for our album.” (FACT)

View the video for Silver here:

Hunter/Game – Adaptation LP

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Known for dramatic dance tunes that previously found their way onto labels such as Innervisions, Last Night On Earth or global event brand / record imprint Just This, Italian duo Hunter/Game has evolved its sound into a uniquely expressive, yet subtly arranged variant of techno – music that confidently takes centre stage, but never puts the sonic means before its aesthetic goal. Honing a satisfying punch and mesmerizing melodies, the two producers based out of Milan and New York have already turned in two installments for our Speicher dance couture series, with “Hexagon” (Kompakt Extra 83) reaching the coveted 31 chart of Resident Advisor’s monthly DJ Top 50 – all the while prepping an equally thrilling live set that feeds off a deep, hand-cranked groove in collusion with ebullient licks and percussive fervor.

Emmanuele Nicosia and Martino Bertola’s album debut Adaptation bundles the most accomplished facets of their output so far, but also refines it – produced during the hot Milanese summer, the pair decided to retreat to a chalet in the Dolomite Alps, near a ski resort closed for the season, where they’d find just the right dose of inspiration in the deserted landscape. “That is basically where the Hunter/Game monicker is coming from“, they explain, “walking alone through the silent nights, in the darkness of the mountains. It just has this profound impact on you, seeing a place that you only know bustling with human activity uncovered and naked, realizing to what extent human presence has somehow contaminated that piece of nature.” It’s a place “where you go for a walk and can still find fossils, and this precisely where we came up with the concept for ‘Adaptation.”

Contemplating biological evolution and the development of contemporary society side by side, the album’s track titles and sonic details refer to “the adaptation of the human being to the modern metropolis as well as the adaptation of music to a collective technological era that has become the manifesto of our generation“. While that might seem like a particularly broad and abstract scope for a techno album, it evidently informs its flow, from the gauzy Intro (Walking Unobserved) and the slowly unfurling, string- laden Declino to the sweeping title track, the brooding banger Origins or the lyrical, tribalistic Silver. Morphing ideas, melodies and textures with consummate ease, Hunter/Game constantly find missing links between sounds, switching from foreboding melancholy to glorious serenity in a heartbeat – while keeping the arrangements clearly outlined and impactful.

With a background in painting, sculpture, architecture and a distinct interest in abstract expressionism, both Emmanuele and Martino are well-equipped to deal with complex concepts in an immediately comprehensible manner – as can be seen in the cover artwork for their own imprint Just This or for their album debut at hand: inspired by Moebius and M.C. Escher, and produced in conjunction with long- standing creative partner Artiva graphic design studio, these deceptively simple forms aim to expand their two-dimensionality into a third dimension by pure imagination – “just like the music“, as the artists like to add. It is said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, and indeed nothing could be more applicable to Adaptation where the duo presents a full-length exploration of a distinct sound cosmos, at once coy and bold, and with each cut focussing on yet another artfully executed twist supplementing the no-fuss, all- impact setting of beats, bass and synths.

Hunter/Game – Adaptation LP is out 05 February 2016 on Kompakt Records.

Tracklist:
01. Intro (Walking Unobserved)
02. Declino
03. The Path
04. Adaptation
05. Hexagon
06. Origins
07. Radius
08. Silver
09. Ashes

Hunter/Game – Speicher 87

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Wrapping up a short summer break, Speicher returns with a powerful double bill from rising duo Hunter/Game. It’s the Italian producers’ second contribution to the series, after having amassed quite a few nods with sneaky club anthems “Hexagon”and”Bermuda” (Kompakt Extra 83).

This was followed by their strong rework of Weval’s “Gimme Some” – a much- acclaimed highlight of our Total 15 compilation (Kompakt 340 cd 125). The new material sees them digging even deeper into the hardware circuits while cranking up the momentum a notch or two: opening banger ‘Adaptation’ doesn’t feel the need to ease you into the experience, dropping you right in the middle of its frenzied staccato synth throb instead.

Meanwhile, ‘The Path’ opts for rich, saturated colors and epic melodies, slowly building its case until it’s ready to blow its lid. These are two extraordinary techno tunes that will command your attention and leave no floor unturned – an essential release for both the label and the artists.

Both tracks are taken from their new album forthcoming on Kompakt in February. They’ll be performing their first ever live show during Kompakt’s label night at ADE. More info here.

Get the vinyl here.

PILOOSKI – Isola EP

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French producer (and also member of Discodeine) Pilooski is back with a new EP, called “Isola”, that pays tribute to Wolff Schoemaker’s 1933 masterpiece Villa Isola. The EP features guest contributions from Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, Judah Warsky, Narumi Hérisson (of Tristesse Contemporaine), and French writer Simon Liberati.

Pilooski’s “Isola” EP is out on October 26th via Dirty/Kompakt. Stream in full below.

Video: COMA – Lora (Robag Wruhme’s Fandara Qualv NB)

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Watch the video for Robag Wruhme’s Remix of Coma’s new track “Lora“. Video by www.artbastard.de. ‘Lora’ EP is out now via Kompakt.