Producers Tessela and Truss (R&S, Perc Trax, Poly Kicks), also known as brothers Ed and Tom Russell, once again join forces as Overmono to remix one of the outstanding cuts from Nathan Fake’s fourth album “Providence”, recently released via Ninja Tune. Accordingly, ‘DEGREELESSNESS’ – featuring the heavily distorted vocals of Prurient – is re-imagined as a shadowy four-on-the-floor cut.
“I really wanted Overmono to remix ‘DEGREELESSNESS’ as I love the way they use melody alongside heavy, but kind of abstract techno rhythms.” explains Nathan. “They’ve kept their mix pretty close to the original, but I love the Reece bassline outro”.
Forest Swords, aka Merseyside producer Matthew Barnes, returns with ‘Panic’, the third track to be lifted from forthcoming album “Compassion”, out 5th May via Ninja Tune, and announces headline European and North American live tour dates.
The track journeys between a rumbling cello loop, chiming bells and clattering beat, pulling in a reworked northern soul sample for the track’s ecstatic hook. It is accompanied by a video directed by Barnes and AV collaborator Sam Wiehl, produced by Barnes’ new experimental creative studio Dense Truth.
“Most of the tracks on ’Compassion’ were started in quite a heavy place but all managed to move towards the light the longer I worked on them” says Matthew. “’Panic’ is the point where tension and stress boils over into a sort of euphoria.”
Barnes will be Skype screening, one-on-one, an extended edit of the song and video to a number of people who add him (username: densetruth) over the next two days. It follows an experiment earlier this month where Barnes sent out unreleased tracks to anyone who messaged him personally via Whatsapp.
“I’d been thinking about communication and connections while I was making the record” says Barnes of the experiments, “and ways we can perhaps use all these existing channels in different ways. Social media still feels impersonal and clunky to me, like you’re shouting over a wall at someone, so I wanted to try to connect a bit more directly and see what would happen”.
Forest Swords will tour Europe and North American across September to December, including a headline performance at London’s Village Underground and festival stops at Glastonbury, Field Day, Sonar, Latitude and Dekmantel.
Amidst the waves of praise Bonobo has received both for the release of his latest record Migration and the live tour he and his band have recently embarked on comes a video for the new single ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’, an expansive track featuring vocals from Moroccan by-way-of New York City band Innov Gnawa. Perhaps more than any other tune on the album, ‘Bambro’ sonically embodies what Migration is – a journey through cultural and locational displacement and the strange familiarity that inevitably surfaces out of transient life. The single (a highlight of the live show) effortlessly weaves Moroccan styles into his signature dance music and culminates in a near-mystical experience as Innov Gnawa’s chants echo over a dizzying, house-driven groove that manages to mesmerize and relinquish in one fell swoop. The video, directed by Stylewar, depicts scenes from around the world that unfold in synchronicity with the track, with the pulse of the environment lining up perfectly, and subtly, with the song’s beat. It reflects the universality and singularity of the world seen through the eyes of a traveller; no matter the disparate location there is a common rhythm.
As Migration was born out of an itinerant phase in Bonobo’s life– a time that saw him touring around his last album The North Borders for nearly three years fixed to no address– it’s only fitting the Migration World Tour is the sort of pinnacle and completion of his journey and one that’s received exuberant praise from all circles. Bonobo and his band will tour through the remainder of the year, with a headline slot at Wilderness Festival, dates at Fuji Rock and Manchester International Festival and a run of new European headline dates just announced, among others. The live show is an event not to be missed and the record, which peaked at #1 on the iTunes Electronic Album charts in over 50 territories and landed within the Top 5 on the main UK album charts, has proved itself to be a touchstone for both Bonobo’s career and to an audience in search of a place to land.
Quote from the Director Stylewar on the video:
“The music of Bonobo is incredibly rich and colorful. It feels as if it was inspired by the indescribable beauty of the natural world. I wanted the video to have an equally inspired and colourful feeling. The world is full of music and rhythm — look carefully and it’s everywhere you go. It’s at the core of our wonderful planet, and I wanted the video to celebrate that fact.”
“The video is a vast collection of material, including some footage shot specifically for this video as well as existing footage from around the world. Then, through the magic of editing, we endeavored to make every movement in the video correspond to the movement of the music, whether to its rhythm or to the very notes themselves. If you look closely, you should notice that the smallest details have been tweaked to sync the music to the movement. Like the music of Bonobo, it celebrates the rhythmic beauty of our world.”
ACTRESS RELEASES SECOND SINGLE ‘DANCING IN THE SMOKE’, FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM “AZD” (OUT 14TH APRIL ON NINJA TUNE)
As usual, no one can describe Actress’s work better than he can himself. ‘Dancing In The Smoke’ is, he says, concerned with “that moment in the club, in the side room which is less habituated where the music is more diffused from the main club, smoked out and disorientating.” Already you get some sense of the piece, all angular rhythms, woozy synth pads and disembodied vocal refrains. “The DJ has locked on a groove,’ he continues, ‘and you’re there in your own space pulsing with the music. As the different spaces start to merge and turn with the effects of your prescription for the night, that alien cacophony of lasers and tone trip the buzz for a flight into that kind of euphoria that only spacing to the rhythm of the metropolis can bring.”
Forest Swords, aka acclaimed Merseyside-based producer Matthew Barnes, returns with his eagerly anticipated new full-length record.
“Compassion”, the follow-up to 2013’s critically lauded debut “Engravings”, will be released on 5th May 2017 via Ninja Tune. The album will be followed by a set of projects across multiple mediums by Forest Swords’ own Dense Truth, a new experimental studio and record label, including a series of music videos.
“Compassion” engages with an uncertain world we’re experiencing, distilling it into a unique sound territory: Barnes’ exploration of the mid-point between ecstasy and frustration, artificial and human feels timely and affecting. The result is an assured, compelling body of work, tying together the ancient and future: weaving swathes of buzzing digital textures, field recordings, clattering beats and distorted jazz sax with fizzing orchestral arrangements.
“Like many, with all that’s been going on since I started making the record, I’ve struggled to see any kind of light at the end of the tunnel,” says Barnes, “so I realised there’s some sort of power in trying to create our own instead. I’m inspired by the ways we’re communicating now, for better or worse, and thinking about new channels we can distribute ideas. The idea of looking for flexible future ways of expression and language, that bends to our needs quicker, really excites me”. Barnes launched the record with a unique experiment in new ways to disseminate music, personally sending album tracks through messaging app WhatsApp to anyone who asked.
The album shifts from ‘The Highest Flood’s skeletal bounce to ‘Panic’s claustrophobic paranoia; the rapturous hyperballad ‘Arms Out’ to the windswept and cinematic ‘Knife Edge’, navigating through the orchestral glitch of ‘War It’ to decaying jazz thump of ‘Raw Language’. The album is equal parts disorienting and immersive, balancing bold sweeping gestures and crumbling textures; tracks seemingly disintegrating and reassembling at points across the album. Blending both digital and specially recorded brass, strings and vocals, Barnes’s processing never truly makes it clear what’s new or old, sampled or unique, constantly blurring and toying with the line between digital and acoustic.
There will also be a variety of multidisciplinary projects set to run through his Dense Truth umbrella over the coming year: collaborations across dance, performance, film and music. Previous Forest Swords projects include devising and scoring contemporary dance piece ‘Shrine’, composing for the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ video game, collaborating with Massive Attack on their new music, and scoring the first movie made entirely with drones – ‘In The Robot Skies’ – which debuted at the BFI London Film Festival.
Central to this enthralling world is “Compassion”, an album that’s as weighty as it is vulnerable, sculpting the most striking parts of his previous work into something that feels urgent and necessary, and cementing Barnes as one of the UK’s most significant electronic artists and composers.
Watch the video directed by Sam Wiehl:
“A ceremonial passing of power and a celebration of the eyebrow”
There are people who thought Actress, otherwise known as Darren Cunningham, to friends as DAZ, had retired. They were a bit premature. He’s ready instead to return with a new album, now on Ninja Tune and a new music system called “AZD” (pronounced “Azid”), a chrome reflected journey into a parallel world. And to prepare you for what lies ahead here’s the album’s lead track, ‘X22RME’ (pronounced “Extreme”) which elegantly plays between the lines of Oriental classic rave and Balinese warehouse Techno machined in a Rotherhithe lock up welding the grooves into a seamless cracked joint. Read an interview via Dazed now…
“I did fifty versions of the tune” Cunningham recalls. “Different parts were on tape, CD, different old computers and USB sticks, so it was quite intimidating to revisit and complete. The track was in the end built out of 3 hours of different passages”. The finished work is harsh and beautiful all at once, its incredible complexity never overwhelming its drive.
An artist who has always preferred to make music than to talk about it, in “AZD” he has achieved another remarkable landmark, one which is as resistant to interpretation as it is demanding of it. ‘X22RME’ is a key note example of the influence the Black artists James Hampton and Rammellzee had on the creation of the album – men who created art through “Sourcing castaway materials from their environment and reinterpreting them into absolute majesty given from the fourth dimension”.
As if the record itself isn’t enough, Cunningham is preparing a new show, to be debuted at Convergence, Village Underground on March 24th. Presented as AZD, Cunningham says it “will be a test frame for linking circuits using various forms of language — Midi globalised language, Lyrical language, Tikal Graffiti code and various other Synthesiser language — to create one intelligent musical instrument called AZD, if successful it will produce the first translucent, non-soluble communication sound pill synergised through impressionistic interpretations of technological equipment. This is the music vitamin of the Metropolis”.
The simplest you could say about “AZD” is that it’s art – the unique creation of a unique mind. There will be few more distinctive, brilliant or visionary suites of music released in 2017. Call him what you will, this is the year that Darren ‘Daz’ Cunningham – aka Actress, aka AZD – asserts more clearly than ever before his complete independence.
Watch the Dan Emmerson directed video now. “This quote from Darren was an inspiration, it’s also about the language of communication and interpretation: ‘translucent ambience coming from an incognito slightly on the edge but eternally fixed paradigm’.
2. UNTITLED 7
4. BLUE WINDOW
8. FALLING RIZLAS
9. DANCING IN THE SMOKE
10. FAURE IN CHROME
11. THERE’S AN ANGEL IN THE SHOWER
“HoursDaysMonthsSeasons is a reference to the amount of time that kept passing that I hadn’t made music, or addressed problems and thoughts that I’d been having,” explains Nathan. “It’s about watching time slip away pointlessly, feeling a bit hopeless that you’re wasting your life… but it’s kind of a positive vibe too, the track builds up and has a bright ending, because there was an ending to feeling like that.”
“Providence” is released on 10th March 2017 on vinyl, CD and digital formats. The “Providence” World Tour runs from 7th March through April and May 2017 – for more information / tickets see here, full list of dates below.
Album pre-order link:
Nathan Fake Live – Tour dates:
Last Friday saw Bonobo release his sixth studio album and one of his most personal works to date– Migration– an exquisitely delicate record that explores the relationship between transience and identity and one that has already received droves of praise from audiences and critics alike. Migration currently sits in the Top 4 in the official UK album midweek chart (reflected in 8 other countries). It has already secured a top 5 position in over 20 countries overall on iTunes and claimed #1 in their Electronic iTunes chart in 8 territories including the UK and US. Additionally, the album’s first two singles have had over 10 million Spotify streams to date. Reception from the press has been overwhelmingly positive, with reviews and features in from such lauded publications as The Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Wall Street Journal (not to mention a Mixmag cover feature), among many others.
Building on the record’s success comes the music video for recent single ‘No Reason’, featuring vocals by longtime friend and now collaborator Nick Murphy (formerly Chet Faker). Oscar Hudson (Pulse Films), the UK Music Video Awards’ ‘Best New Director’ winner, is the maestro behind the video’s bizarre trip. More akin to that of an art piece than a music video, the work takes subtle cues from such iconic films as ‘Alice in Wonderland’ & ‘Birdman’ as its character grows larger inside a Japanese house whose items shrink and expand through time. The video fits neatly into the albums themes of the transitory relationships to place and time, seen with Art Director Neil Krug’s distorted realties in the Mojave Desert for the art and “Break Apart” video and also Bison’s work on the Gemma Arterton featuring visuals for “Kerala”.
The music video was filmed entirely in real life, in-camera with no post work or VFX, to which the end result is an effortlessly fluid and visually mesmerizing experience.
Oscar Hudson said the following of the video…
“‘No Reason’ is such an evocative track and it was clear from the start that our video would need to reflect this potency. Simon/Bonobo mentioned the inspiration behind the new album came from his relationship to landscape and place whilst on tour. Whilst researching these themes I learnt about the Japanese phenomenon of the Hikikomori- young Japanese people who become so overwhelmed by the pressures of life that they retreat to their bedrooms for years at a time. This felt like a such a fascinating intersection of physical & psychological spaces, and so from this I set out to make a film that through an inventive physical concept tried to link environment directly to psychology. We achieved the film using only in-camera physical effects and we designed an entirely new way of moving our miniature camera to get it to fit through the tiny doorways. Doing this film with CGI would have been a thousand times easier, but for me, it’s physicality & imperfections are what make it different, and I hope better.”
After two recent singles showcasing the dynamic range of “Migration”, Bonobo returns with a song that perhaps exemplifies the record. ‘No Reason’ (premiered via NPR) features the vocals of Bonobo’s long time friend, and now collaborator, Nick Murphy (formerly Chet Faker) ‘No Reason’ is dance music at its deepest, a beautiful house song with fragile melodies underpinned by a tough-edged groove and razor-sharp arpeggio. The song came about when Simon Green (AKA Bonobo) and Nick were discussing a shared love of disco. Si played the instrumental of No Reason, and Nick instantly fell in love with it. After laying down demo vocals in that first session, the pair recorded the final version in NYC, Si’s former home, and Nick’s current one.
Migration, which is out this Friday, 13th January, has already yielded two songs to a rapturous reception. ‘Kerala’, which premiered via Pitchfork, hit #1 on the Spotify Global Viral Chart with over a million streams in its first week, and now over 4 .5 million total. The official video became the 4th most trending on YouTube. Next came ‘Break Apart’ featuring Rhye, which Vogue.com premiered alongside Spotify, who placed the track at the head of their New Indie Mix playlist. A hypnotic, drone-shot video by Neil Krug was unveiled by Creative Review (who have also gone deep on the album artwork today).
Teasers / Ghost Versions for album tracks ‘Second Sun’, ‘Ontario’, ‘Figures’, ‘Bambro Koyo Ganda’ and ‘Surface’ featuring Nicole Miglis of Hundred Waters have been made public over previous weeks.
In addition, Bonobo’s forthcoming live band show at Brixton Academy sold out in seconds, so quickly that another date was added and that too immediately sold out, as did every other UK date and many EU ones. The Bonobo band will play a twenty two date American tour in Spring, including a slot at the legendary Red Rocks Arena in Colorado (a co-headline with Nick Murphy) and dates at Coachella.
His 2013 album “The North Borders” went Top 30 in the UK and was number 1 in the electronic charts in both the US and UK. In support of that record, the 12-piece band Green fronts played 175 shows worldwide to over two million fans, including a sold out show at Alexandra Palace. Bonobo has built a large, loyal and engaged global fanbase: over half a million album sales and over one hundred and fifty million streams on Spotify point to the levels of success achieved by this quiet, self-effacing man.
The signs are all there: “Migration” will take Bonobo’s beautiful, emotive, intricate music to an even bigger audience. “My own personal idea of identity has played into this record and the theme of migration,” Green explains. “Is home where you are or where you are from, when you move around?” The personal, it seems, can also be universal.
Simon Green AKA Bonobo presents “Break Apart” featuring Rhye, the second track taken from his sixth album, Migration.
It’s a song which, in its very conception, illustrates the transitory nature of the album and also shows how deftly broad Bonobo’s dynamics are as a composer. The chord sequence to “Break Apart” (premiered in conjunction with Spotify & Vogue) was sketched out by Green on a flight, Michael Milosh (AKA Rhye) then recorded the verses in Berlin, horns were added in London, then Green did the final mix in his own LA studio. Over a harp device, Bonobo builds a shuffling, emotional drumbeat, those aforementioned horns, piano and bass, over which Rhye delivers a stand-out vocal performance—achingly sweet, full of longing, perfectly understated. It’s extremely beautiful and one of the highlights of an album full of highlights.
Rhye has said of the song:
“I’m so happy Simon asked me to work on this song with him. From the moment I heard the instrumental track it spoke to me more than I can express in words. Being able to work with an artist that continuously makes me envious, like Simon, is where I always want to be.”
The recent release of the single “Kerala” (which premiered via Pitchfork) has been rapturously received. It was #1 on the Spotify Global Viral Chart with over a million streams in its first week and the official video became the 4th most trending on YouTube. In addition, Bonobo’s forthcoming live band show at Brixton Academy sold out in seconds, so quickly that another date was added and that too immediately sold out, a pattern seen across many of the dates of his world tour.
His 2013 album The North Borders went Top 30 in the UK and was number 1 in the electronic charts in both the US and UK. In support of that record, the 12-piece band Green fronts played 175 shows worldwide to over two million fans, including a sold out show at Alexandra Palace. Bonobo has built a large, loyal and engaged global fanbase: over half a million album sales and over 150 million streams on Spotify point to the levels of success achieved by this quiet, self-effacing man.
The signs are all there: Migration, which also features Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker), Nicole Miglis of Hundred Waters and Moroccan band Innov Gnawa, will take Bonobo’s beautiful, emotive, intricate music to an even bigger audience. “My own personal idea of identity has played into this record and the theme of migration,” Green explains. “Is home where you are or where you are from, when you move around?” The personal, it seems, can also be universal.