Blog Archives

Wendy Bevan – Rose & Thorn LP

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Wendy Bevan will release her debut full length Rose & Thorn on September 16th via Kwaidan Records/!K7 Records. The album was produced by Marc Collin of Nouvelle Vague. Recently she shared the video for “In Ghosts We Trust,” you can watch below. Rose & Thorn is currently available for pre-order here.

ROSE & THORN LP – TRACKLISTING
01. Sweet Dedication
02. Rebel Rouser
03. Rose & Thorn
04. Lover
05. In Ghosts We Trust
06. Be Gentle
07. Love From The Moon
08. Bad Manners
09. Twin
10. Porcelain
11. Black Kat
12. Romance
13. What Kind Of Woman (Bonus Track)

Wendy Bevan is a British musician, visual/performing artist, and photographer. Her work spans an array of media including musical performance, film, visual imagery and immersive, experiential artworks. She strives to maintain a multidisciplinary approach to her work, and believes in creating a universal language and balance in the crossover of these disciplines; known for her surreal, etherial and theatrical, aesthetic Wendy has developed a unique cinematic world and style of her own.

The Living Gods of Haiti – Bone Dry LP

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This August The Living Gods of Haiti, the duo of singer, poet and visual artist Rebekah Dobbins and Parisian producer Marc Collin (Nouvelle Vague, Yasmine Hamdan), will release their debut album ‘Bone Dry’ on Kwaidan Records/!K7. Bringing together a powerful fusion of esoteric imagery and ethereal electronic music, The Living Gods of Haiti have already been hailed by London’s Metro paper as “one for Tricky and Bat For Lashes fans” and by Clash for its “darkly enticing electronics”.

Taking their name from Maya Deren’s documentary film on ritual dance and voodoo, ‘Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti’, the duo set out to create an all encompassing aesthetic, one that drew as much from the writings of EE Cummings, Aleister Crowley or the Zoroastrian Avesta as it did from the music of Dead Can Dance, David Bowie or the Cocteau Twins and with ‘Bone Dry’ have managed just that.

Featuring 13 tracks of atmospheric electronica, sounds taken from around the and beguiling leftfield pop, ‘Bone Dry’ is that rare thing in the music world today, an album that creates its own world. In an increasingly risk averse and controlling industry constantly chasing faded copies of the last big thing The Living Gods of Haiti offer up a much needed alternative, a chance to peer behind the curtain and maybe find that magic still exists in music after all.

Album teaser:

Killing Lotus video:

Pre-order link: https://Kwaidan.lnk.to/BoneDry

Olga Kouklaki – Oxytocin EP

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Olga Kouklaki’s new “Oxytocin” EP is out now via Kwaidan / !K7, featuring two brand new tracks with amazing remixes by Uppermost, Thodoris Triantafillou & Cj Jeff. Get it here.

OXYTOCIN, A TRIPTYCH EP

– INSTINCTIVE: After an electro-pop second album, Olga returnes to her first aspirations: an electronic music instinctively more housy, more deep and for clubs. Four years later, the Greek producer starts this intuitive return to the roots and comes back with a new EP, filled with a bigger desire.

– ORGANIC: Avid to produce a spontaneous music, close to natural and to real-life, Olga choices of keys and sounds are translating, above all else, feelings and emotions.. Texts and lyrics are considered as independant arrangements which amplifying this desire to create a fluctuating, smooth and organic music.

– BIOLOGIC: The sound sensations are led by wooly textures, swinging bass lines and amplified rhythmic top lines. This primitive yearning to realize authentic tracks proves that Olga tends to convey a lively and biological sensitivity
– Olga works on the preparation of a brand new album of which the EP Oxytocin give us a promising foretaste!

Video: La Féline – Zone

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La Féline is a chanson, pop, electronic project, (named after Jacques Tourneur’s 1942 movie), essentially sung in french, led by Paris based singer and guitarist Agnès Gayraud. Her last critically acclaimed LP “Adieu l’enfance” was released on November 2014.

Watch the video for her latest single “Zone” below. Directed by Laurie Lassalle. Out now on Kwaidan Records, backed with a Mondkopf remix.

Jay-Jay Johanson – Opium LP

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After the release of his wondrous 4 track EP, ‘Moonshine’, Swedish producer, songwriter and avant-garde extraordinaire Jay-Jay Johanson returns with his 10th studio album ‘Opium’, out 8th June on Kwaidan Records. With masterful musicianship and soulful, melancholic vocals, Johanson takes us down a dreamlike road, telling 10 stories through 10 songs, inviting us into his dark and all-encompassing world.

‘Moonshine’ is remixed by French producer Joakim, who definitely has “an ear for a pop hook”, transforming the harmonies of the original track into a classy deep house cut with atmospheric vocals and sprung bassline. Check it out below.

‘Drowsy’ opens the album unconventionally, with a reverb-laden harmonica playing roadside blues, Johanson describes it as “entering suburbia with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn…”. The intro lulls us into a false sense of knowing before changing tempo and weaving an eerie beat with ‘Too Young To Say Good Night’. It’s colder here than the albums opening would have us believe, it’s here where we enter Jay-Jay Johansons universe, like Alice through the looking glass. He skilfully intertwines touches of jazz piano and a dirty drum beat with a deep, repetitive bass line and echoes of the harmonica that originally invited us in.

Previous single ‘Moonshine’ is a tragic love letter told against a dark, cinematic backdrop, with a pulsating and ghostly beat and heavy electronics. Johanson composed the track with the soundtracks of both Ennio Morricone and John Barry in mind, and explains that “the song tells a story of being in love with someone that might not be the best one for you, but sometimes you just can’t resist the choice of your heart.”

We’re led by the hand into ‘Be Yourself’ next. This slow, sweet love song has a more retrocentric feel to it, close vocal harmonies and a thoughtful brass section, played by Johanson himself, joins from the distance before a rolling fuzz builds into the trip hop beats of ‘I Love Him So’. Here, German duo Funkstörung bring something new to the table, with breakbeat electronics and experimental soundscapes reminiscent of Massive Attacks ‘Mezzanine’. There’s emotion to these crooning vocals, ‘I Love Him So’ was is song about Johanson’s son, written it in the waiting room of a hospital where he was being treated.

‘NDE’, or ‘Near Death Experience’ lays down a harder beat made up of the claps and foot stomps of Johanson and his son, recording together, while ‘I Don’t Know Much About Loving’ shines through with a heavy groove and soulfully wistful vocals atop beautifully dissonant piano stabs.

Jay-Jay Johanson has had a close working relationship with Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins since 1997, having appeared on a number of records together. On ‘Scarecrow’ Guthrie returns to give us a taste of what the two have been working on lately, and a glint of what a future album might sound like together. ‘I Can Count On You’ continues along this path with mellow grooves with pop sensibilities.

As the album winds down, we’re taken down new roads, more otherworldly sounds are introduced, as if this opium induced dream has reached its climax and now we enter the darker corners of Johansons mind. ‘Alone Too Long’ spins its story against a dark, cinematic backdrop and ‘Harakiri’, the only instrumental on the album, leaves us with room for thought as ambient melodies drift atop a vintage drum machine.

‘Celebrate The Wonders’ closes this epic with the sound of water, rushing against rocks, washing us ashore to bring us softly back to land. This rich, textured ballad does well to exit us from the dreamscape, almost transcendental, journey that ‘Opium’ takes us on. It’s grounding, smooth and familiar.

With further touring plans, and future releases already being planned, Jay-Jay Johanson is set to cast his net wide over 2015, and ‘Opium’ is a perfect gateway drug into the rich and diverse world he has created. Album released 8th June on Kwaidan Records.

OPIUM Tracklist:
1. Drowsy / Too Young To Say Good Night
2. Moonshine
3. Be Yourself
4. I Love Him So
5. NDE
6. I Don’t Know Much About Loving
7. Scarecrow
8. I Can Count On You
9. Alone Too Long
10. Harakiri
11. Celebrate The Wonders

Bristol – Bristol LP

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‘Bristol’ is the debut album from Nouvelle Vague co-producer, Marc Collin’s new project of the same name and is due for release on 13th April 2015 on Kwaidan Records. It features fourteen tracks taken from or inspired by the trip hop era and reworked in a 1960s film soundtrack style, injecting some inherent French finesse along the way.

Reinterpretations include ‘Roads’ by Portishead, ‘Overcome’ by Tricky, ‘No Justice’ by Smith & Mighty, ‘Safe From Harm’ by Massive Attack and ‘All Is Full Of Love’ by Bjork. As with Nouvelle Vague, they are sung by a selection of talented young French singers, including Yasmine Hamdan who featured on the soundtrack for Jim Jamusch’s film ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ track listing is as follows:

Tracklist:
1. ‘Safe From Harm’ performed by Clara Luciani
2. ‘Woman’ performed by Cecile de Larentis

3. ‘Roads’ performed by Jim Bauer

4. ‘Moog Island’ performed by Prudence Fontain

5. ‘Overcome’ performed by Dawn

6. ‘No Justice’ performed by Dawn
7. Windows By The Radio’ performed by Clara Luciani and Martin Rahin
8. ‘Paper Bag’ performed by Martin Rahin
9. ‘Gabriel’ performed by Jim Bauer
10. ‘Mad About You’ performed by Jim Bauer
11. ‘It Hurts Me So’ performed by Dawn
12. ‘6 Underground’ performed by Liset Alea
13. ‘Nothing Else’ performed by Martin Rahin
14. 14 ‘All Is Full Of Love’ performed by Yasmine Hamdan

Collin is a massive fan of the Bristol sound of the early nineties that was labelled trip hop, the genre that went on to influence two generations of music and continues to do so to this day. His vision was to re-imagine his favourite songs from this era as sixties movie soundtracks – and this is what he’s does with the Bristol project.

Bristol played their debut show – appropriately enough in Bristol – last December to a warm reception. They have just announced two UK shows:

14th-15th May 2015 – The Great Escape
15th June 2015 – Jazz Café, London

Nouvelle Vague shot to fame in 2014 with an album of mostly British post punk covers re-worked in a Bossa Nova style, including ‘ Too Drunk to Fuck’, ‘Guns of Brixton’ and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. With three albums, a million record sales and over 600 gigs in the last 10 years, the band are still touring and have a massive worldwide following.

Video: La Féline – Les Fashionistes (au loin)

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A video music by La FélineLes Fashionistes (au loin)“. Directed by Laurie Lassalle. Adieu l’enfance LP is out now on Kwaidan Records.

La Féline – Adieu l’enfance LP

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A tall brunette with dark hair singing lilting dreampop with an electric guitar and synthesisers. Like songs from a siren, she weeps for the oceanic sentiment that you lost at some point in your life and will never recapture. These are ruthless, bitter, ironic times: Agnès of La Féline is anything but.

Born in Tarbes in the south of France, Agnès’ mother was from Andalucía and her father was nowhere to be found. She grew up a caring, sweet, melancholic girl, studying philosophy, writing a blog and thinking about music… before making it herself.

For the past five years, as La Féline – the French title of the 1942 classic “Cat People”, and also the name of a Stranglers album – this curious, sensitive creature has been feeding the French underground with a very personal selection of singles and ep’s: the electronic explorations of Cent mètres de haut (A hundred metres high) with a stunning remix by Mondkopf, the finely-crafted pop of Wolf & Wheel, sung in Spanish and English and championed by Jarvis Cocker on his Radio 6 Sunday Service show, and the spectral cover versions of Joe Meek and Julee Cruise on Echo, recently available on vinyl in Rough Trade stores.

Now, La Féline says goodbye to childhood, “adieu à l’enfance”, and announces an album that is set to bring her to the attention of the world, released on Kwaidan Records, the same label that once nurtured French stars Nouvelle Vague.

It’s a record of a rare purity.

Aided by the keyboard and arrangement skills of Xavier Thiry, Agnès has developed a lyricism without vulgarity, fervour without fakery. She knows how to move people so well that she refuses to use the false ornamentation of pop pzazz. She captivates without lying, bewitches without deceiving. The essence of the album is simple and beautiful, both synthetic and organic: vocals, a guitar, a bass guitar, a synthesiser and a drum machine are sufficient, threaded together in a sort of patient asceticism.
For casual listeners only, the sounds will be reminiscent of the 1980s, but La Féline’s music has nothing to do with any sort of revival – it’s the deep, pop biography of a little French girl who grew up in a town far from Paris listening to eighties radio stations before moving on to dark, literate pop from The Cure and Young Marble Giants (handed down by her siblings), then on to lyrics by The Smiths and minimal techno.

Nourished by these fond memories, La Féline sings in French, brings together synthpop and Baudelaire, church singing and 808s, making something you’ve never heard before. Think “La Question” by Françoise Hardy, or “Desertshore” by Nico, the bizarre pop elegance of Stereolab or the sound textures of Elisabeth Fraser. You can feel the profound musical personality in the vocals and the lyrics.

Sounds from the stars, sun on a stained-glass window, byzantine lyrics that ring in your head long after hearing them… the album is akin to a voyage into the depths of childhood. It talks of the passage of time, both intimate and destructive, where nonetheless a soul is formed. It starts with the iridescent world of the “Fashionistes”, a parade of adolescent dandies – grave and conscious – who think they are going to die but don’t realise that first they’ll have to grow old, and finishes with the sublime “Parfait Etat” (Perfect State), a line drawn in the darkness by an emotional, moving psyche, towards the most natural of lights. And in this darkness there is no complacency, for beneath its black lace, Adieu l’enfance warms the heart. La Féline carries this hope within her: that the most beautiful of things will survive the shadows and one day be remembered again. There’s no doubt that she herself has this talent: a talent for transforming sadness into night-blue beauty. Following her into these nocturnal lands will be your pleasure.

Pre-order “Adieu l’enfance” here. Available on October 27th 2014 on Kwaidan Records.

Tracklist:
Les fashionistes (Au loin)
La ligne d’horizon
Zone
Dans le doute
Adieu l’enfance
Rêve de verre
Midnight
Moderne
La fumée dans le ciel
T’emporter
Le parfait état
Nordet (Bonus Track)