Blog Archives

AKASE – Graspers LP

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!K7 is proud to announce ‘Graspers’, a debut album from UK live and studio duo, AKASE, aka Harry “Midland” Agius and Robbie Redway.

Due for release in January 2016, this first full-length offering has been an unhurried project conceived over various recording sessions in the last three years. It finds Agius, who has released an assured and rugged brand of bass heavy house and techno on labels like Aus Music as Midland, team up with long time friend Redway, a multi-instrumentalist and singer who has played with, and written for, a number of different artists. Their sound is a fresh fusion of electronic soundscapes and emotive vocals, between hook-laden sounds and beat driven loops.

Their debut album was recorded over the course of two years in Harry’s studio in South East London. Both members of the group had equal input, putting to good use their respective backgrounds and influences, in the end coming up with something new, fresh and absorbing. With a helping hand from legendary producer and studio wizard Ewan Pearson of Kompakt Records association, this album has come together naturally, at its own pace, with no outside pressures, and that really shows.

At just 44 minutes long, Graspers is all about capturing emotions and brief moments in time, and it does that expertly. Kicking off with the broody, swelling ‘Adrift,’ the album unfolds through glitchy beats and pained vocal lines on ‘Rust’ before tracks like ‘Beseech’ de-humanise Redway’s vocals into fractured organic textures.

Percussion ranges from crisp and sharp to slick and uplifting and Redway’s voice takes on many different forms. At once pained, at other times carefree, it lends a compelling edge to the variously frazzled, floating, staccato and sombre drums and synths that frame and drive each track.

This is a timeless album that stands up to intimate headphone listening, but it also works for post break-up nights in and emotionally laden post club afterparties. With live shows also in the pipeline, Graspers is sure to resonate across 2016.

Out 22nd January 2016 on !K7.

Watch/listen :
“Rust” music video
“Murmur”
“Rust” (Midland Dub)
“Murmur” (Ewan Pearson dub)
“Under The Pressure” (War On Drugs cover)
“Murmur” (live in London) video:

AKASE – Under The Pressure (The War On Drugs Cover)

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AKASE (the brainchild of Harry Agius aka producer Midland and songwriter/vocalist collaborator Robbie Redway) reveal The War On Drugs cover “Under The Pressure”. Download for free here.

This song really struck a chord with us when it was released last year — upon first listen it has a real classic rock feel to it but below the surface is a psychedelic introspective quality that permeates the whole album. The song has a feeling of relentless motion and is laden with intricate hooks and details, but when you dissect it it’s actually beautifully simple, which made adapting it a deeply rewarding process for us.

AKASE – Murmur (Ewan Pearson Dub)

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The darkest and smartest corners of club culture seem to have a way of spitting out the best electronic-pop duos, and so it is in 2015 with AKASE.

The brainchild of Harry Agius (aka producer Midland) and songwriter/vocalist collaborator Robbie Redway who met at Leeds Uni, it exists in the innovative cracks between genre boundaries. As much influenced by the rugged sound-system culture of nights like Leeds’ Subdub as it is by François K’s work with Depeche Mode or the widescreen electronica of Jon Hopkins.

Murmur’ is the second single taken from the forthcoming album ‘Graspers’ which is due out in 2016 on !K7. It was engineered in Berlin by production maestro and Kompakt staple Ewan Pearson, whose previous work with M83 and Ben Watt has earned him a revered reputation as an engineer and producer par excellence

The single plugs into the creeping sense of disquiet of ‘Violator’-era Depeche Mode with a sound palette that nods back to a two-step skip and ultra-modern synth grain of Midland’s releases on Aus Music.

There is a feeling of uncertainty and tension on our album. It’s a weird time to be young, you’ve got so many options but you’re being fed everything. It’s quite a melancholy record’ explains Harry. ‘But we find melancholy music quite uplifting’ finishes Robbie.

AKASE – Murmur

akase

The darkest and smartest corners of club culture seem to have a way of spitting out the best electronic-pop duos, and so it is in 2015 with AKASE.

The brainchild of Harry Agius (aka producer Midland) and songwriter/vocalist collaborator Robbie Redway who met at Leeds Uni, it exists in the innovative cracks between genre boundaries. As much influenced by the rugged sound-system culture of nights like Leeds’ Subdub as it is by François K’s work with Depeche Mode or the widescreen electronica of Jon Hopkins.

‘Murmur’ is the second single taken from the forthcoming album ‘Graspers’ which is due out in 2016 on !K7. It was engineered in Berlin by production maestro and Kompakt staple Ewan Pearson, whose previous work with M83 and Ben Watt has earned him a revered reputation as an engineer and producer par excellence.

The single plugs into the creeping sense of disquiet of ‘Violator’-era Depeche Mode with a sound palette that nods back to a two-step skip and ultra-modern synth grain of Midland’s releases on Aus Music.

There is a feeling of uncertainty and tension on our album. It’s a weird time to be young, you’ve got so many options but you’re being fed everything. It’s quite a melancholy record’ explains Harry. ‘But we find melancholy music quite uplifting’ finishes Robbie.

The EP is out on October 16th 2015 on !K7.

AKASE – Rust (Midland Dub)

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Following signing to !K7, AKASE, the new collaborative project between Harry Agius (better know as Midland) and Robbie Redway reveal Midland’s dub remix of their debut single ‘Rust‘.

Formed in Leeds, written in London and finished in Berlin under the influence of Ewan Pearson, ‘Rust’ is the debut single from their forthcoming collaborative album. Fans of state of the art, electronic soul music look out for full album details to come.

Video: AKASE – Rust

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New on !K7, AKASE, the collaborative project between Harry Agius (better know as Midland) and Robbie Redway reveal their first video for debut single ‘Rust’ out Monday 29th June 2015.

Formed in Leeds, written in London and finished in Berlin under the influence of Ewan Pearson, ‘Rust’ is taken from their forthcoming album.

Harry Agius has built a reputation for releasing delicately brilliant bass driven house and techno, and over the course of his various releases he has hinted at a desire to explore sounds away from the dancefloor. Coupled with the songwriting talents and vocals of Robbie Redway, this is the first taste of that exploration.

Speaking about the single, Harry and Robbie say; “having been writing for about 6 months on and off, ‘Rust’ was the first track that truly clicked for us, it was the catalyst by which the album started to take shape and the AKASE sound started to form.”

Will Saul, Aus Music boss and their A&R at !K7 says “AKASE is steeped in the lush, intricate and textured sound of Midland (an artist I’ve worked with for his entire career – so fitting its my first singing to !K7) but Robbie Redway brings a whole other dimension to this project with his thought provoking songs and rich vocals.

Fans of state of the art, electronic soul music look out for full album details to come.

Akase – Rust

akase

Following last week’s signing to !K7, AKASE, the new collaborative project between Harry Agius (better know as Midland) and  reveal their first piece of music.

Formed in Leeds, written in London and finished in Berlin under the influence of Ewan Pearson, ‘Rust’ is the debut single from their forthcoming collaborative album.

Harry Agius has built a reputation for releasing delicately brilliant bass driven house and techno, and over the course of his various releases he has hinted at a desire to explore sounds away from the dancefloor. Coupled with the songwriting talents and vocals of Robbie Redway, ‘Rust’ is the first taste of that exploration.

Speaking about the single, Harry and Robbie say; “having been writing for about 6 months on and off, ‘Rust’ was the first track that truly clicked for us, it was the catalyst by which the album started to take shape and the AKASE sound started to form.”

Will Saul, Aus Music boss and their A&R at !K7 says “AKASE is steeped in the lush, intricate and textured sound of Midland (an artist I’ve worked with for his entire career – so fitting its my first singing to !K7) but Robbie Redway brings a whole other dimension to this project with his thought provoking songs and rich vocals.

Fans of state of the art, electronic soul music look out for full album details to come. “Rust”, backed with a Midland remix, is out 29th June 2015 on !K7.

Video: Howling – Stole The Night

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After exploding onto the scene with an accidental hit, ‘Howling,’ the unexpected duo of Australian singer/producer/cult folk artist Ry X (of The Acid) and Berlin’s 4/4 innovator Frank Wiedemann (of Âme and Innervisions) are now on the heels of an equally surprising debut album, Sacred Ground. Set for release in 4th May 2015 as a collaboration between MODESELEKTOR’s Monkeytown Records and Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records, Howling’s lush LP unfolds as subtly and instinctively as their artistic process.

Often recorded on-the-fly between rehearsals and while on the road for their European tour, their acoustic/electronic compositions incorporate delicate instrumentation, warm strings and organs, driving analogue sounds, gentle field recordings, and of course Ry X’s unmistakable voice. Although there are distinct traces of both artists present throughout all 10 tracks, as a duo they’ve created a sound that veers away from anything expected. ‘Signs’ – the album’s first single – is a hypnotic capturing of their unique new sound, with Ry’s ethereal vocals floating through a divine minimalistic landscape.

howling video

Watch the powerful Ry X & Dugan O’Neal directed video for “Stole The Night” below. Listen to the Âme mix here & Midland mix here.

Some words on the video:
Dugan and I always set out to capture the emotional essence of imagery in connection to music. In this ‘Stole the Night’ video we wanted to hold an open conversation about a few things… one was the concept of being ‘tamed’ by our current society… that we are all inherently wild and of the earth but are kept into belonging by the structures of our imposed ‘world’. Concrete and cereal, K-Mart and aesthetic importance of self. What if some of us better suit the wild. The earth. Belong more there, than within walls.

And the second thing we explored was the fragility of human psyche. My sister is quite heavily ‘schizophrenic’ by medical world standards and has struggled, as has our family, with it for more than 15 years. Though I have reason of heart to believe ‘Mental Illness’ can change with our perceptions of it. It is shown in many indigenous cultures that when someone the western world might label as ‘mentally ill’ is instead supported by the community and given purpose and love, the ‘imbalances’ soften and there is connection to human spirit and heart. Holding the mind in a more stable place.

When a great meditation teacher I know was asked about mental illness he said (paraphrased from memory) “We are all mentally ill. We can only see the degrees of how much we are by how much we hurt one another”. So the video touches on a lot… but perhaps more than it needs to tell the exact story by narrative, it is the emotion of the struggle of what frees us, and what keeps us grounded. Of how relationship can serve and hinder. Of how our journey is not only of the realm in which we spend most of our time… in shopping malls and work places, but that also of nature, and even more so, that of the heart and mind.

Boards of Canada – Olson (Midland Re – Edit)

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London-based DJ/producer Harry Agius aka Midland has shared for free download his great re-edit of Boards Of Canada’s “Olson”. As he says: “I did this edit about 4 years ago, and put it in my Fact Mix and gave it away at the time but the link died and I still get messages from people asking me for it. So if you want to download it, the mastered WAV is up on my Soundcloud.”