In 29th October, the Nottingham-raised and highly-praised musician/DJ/producer Matt Cutler, AKA Lone, presents his 8th album – and first in 5 years – ‘Always Inside Your Head’. It marks two major changes, with both a new label and new approach – featuring vocalists for the first time.
This deeply textural and ethereal artwork is situated high above the clouds, amidst the heavens, occupying a stratospheric state where swathes of synthesized vapour and azure rays sound like a literal breath of fresh air.
A varied selection of music influenced the record, but two main influences were Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine. “I wanted to approach a range of different styles, but attack them from their angle in a way, so for example on ‘Inlove2’ I tried to imagine what a Balearic / acid house tune might sound like if it were produced by Kevin Shields”, comments Lone. The ‘InLove2’ video is an analogue juxtaposition of colours and movements, where ghostly, distorted entities are melted into a psychedelic dream.
Following the release of her debut album Burnheart last year, acclaimed German musician Johanna Burnheart has announced Burnheart Remixed: a new collection of reimagined album tracks from four singularly talented electronic producers.
Dropping alongside the announcement of the EP is a stunning music video for Acid Pauli’s remix of Sisyphos. The video stars Leonie Benesch (The Crown, Babylon Berlin) and is the directorial debut of Sorcha Kennedy: a reimagining of the Greek myth of Sisyphos, who was condemned to repeat the same task, day after day.
British electronic producer Holy Other returns with his first new music since 2012 and announces his new album ‘Lieve‘ is set for release Nov 19th via his own imprint. Now the first single & title-track from the record is streaming online.
The title track single Lieve breaks almost a decade of silence, finding the language to articulate painful feelings, exhaling, and moving forward.
Emerging from an extended stay at Bidston Observatory on the Wirral, Lieve was recorded throughout 2020 in the North West of England.Using the acoustics of the observatory — the cavernous basement and the geometrically-perfect wooden domes — Holy Other recorded and resampled material that would become the bedrock of Lieve.
A marker in the sand as his first output since 2012’s critically acclaimed debut LP Held, these recordings — including the voice of NYX’s Sian O’Gorman, violin from Simmy Singh and saxophone from Daniel Thorne — were cut, manipulated and pieced together to form Lieve.
“How do you break up with a place?”
Have you ever tried to leave your problems behind? No matter how hard you try to reshape yourself, your past remains. This is an album about L(i)eaving, coming to terms with the past, and trying to live in the present.
Much like his past work, Holy Other leaves the listener to draw their own semantic conclusions from the record. The lyrics are ambiguous — ghostly voices, whispers and stutters interwoven with his signature sound palette.
Still, the expressive mood from prior releases remains intact, even if these intimate textures and deft rhythms pick up more mature questions about false starts and failed escapes.
Lieve will be released on 19th November 2021 on Holy Other’s own imprint, and available as CD / 12” / download and streaming formats. A limited Dinked Edition 12” will also be pressed. Pre-orders of all formats are available now via ffm.bio/holyother.
Lieve track list:
1. Dirt Under Your Nails
5. Up Heave
6. Whatever You Are You’re Not Mine
10. Bough Down
Bonobo has announced “Fragments”, a new album that will be released 14th January, 2022 (Ninja Tune), along with a 2022 world tour. Along with the announcement, Bonobo has also shared the lead single ‘Rosewood’. “Fragments” is the most emotionally intense record that he – aka Simon Green – has ever had to make. It’s no surprise that it’s also his masterpiece. The album features Jamila Woods, Joji, Kadhja Bonet, Jordan Rakei, O’Flynn and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Born first out of fragments of ideas and experimentation, the album ultimately was fused together in a burst of creativity fuelled by both collaboration and Green’s escape into the wild. The artwork for ‘Fragments” is by Neil Krug who returns after creating the art for 2017’s “Migration”. Krug has also made a visualiser for ‘Rosewood’.
“Fragments” is a series of 12 sonic affirmations, featuring some of the hardest and most hip-shaking grooves that Green has ever created. The ballads are perfectly placed throughout; they capture a world in flux and glow with hope. Coaxing the ideas out initially took some hard work. The constantly-touring Green creates best while on the move; the global shutdown forced him to stand still.
Musical themes began to arise through Green’s exploration of modular synthesis, recordings he had made of harpist Lara Somogyi, his work with arranger and string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, his own playing of the Fender Rhodes and more, as the album was created, recorded and mixed by Green over the past two years. The album also came into focus as he sought refuge on solo adventures into nature, away from the shutdowns and wild fires and into the blazing California desert.
‘Tides’ featuring Chicagoan singer and poet Jamila Woods, acted as a catalyst, and the album began to click into place around it. “I knew I had a centrepiece, I knew how it was all going to sound,” he says. Working with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, musical themes began to emerge. Recording orchestral musicians in actual studios helped bring the songs “out of the box” even more.
A rhythmic framework started to come together too: the structures of UK bass music and rave began to seep into beats that would become tracks like ‘Otomo’ (eventually co-produced by O’Flynn and featuring a sample of the Bulgarian choir 100 Kaba-Gaidi), and ‘Sapien’. The ”old school, Detroity, Moodymann and Theo Parrish inspired” ‘Shadows’ was recorded with friend Jordan Rakei. ‘Rosewood’, ‘Closer’ and ‘Counterpart’ each start with an ecstatic snap to them, but snake down surprisingly different paths. Somogyi’s harp and Atwood-Ferguson’s strings mingle together on the beatless ‘Elysian’. Two ballads flesh out the second half of the record: ‘Day by Day’ featuring Kadhja Bonet and ‘From You’ featuring Joji.
It’s about the dancefloor in many ways, about how “I remembered all over again how much I loved crowds and movement and people connecting with each other,” Green reflects. But the positivity isn’t just in the uptempo rhythms: even the most introspective and melancholic pieces have joy in them.
New tears from the capital city of Belarus. Dlina Volny announce the track list for their new album “Dazed”, via Italians Do It Better on November 5th. Mixed by Dean Hurley, the trio employs the mechanized action of motoric rhythm machines, vintage synthesizers, & Post-punk bass lines to put their spin on classic Dark Wave. Masha Zinevitch lights the rain-soaked streets of Minsk with her contralto swoon in a post-soviet reality of fear, love & rebellion. Watch the short film for the album’s incredible closer “Tomorrow”, directed by Yauheni Sinichenko.
‘If You Say The Word’ is taken from ‘KID A MNESIA’ out 5th November via XL Recordings. Pre-order ‘KID A MNESIA’ here: https://radiohead.ffm.to/kid-a-mnesia
Ross From Friends—AKA British producer Felix Clary Weatherall—returns with ‘Tread’, his keenly anticipated new album, due for release on 22nd October via Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint.
On ‘Tread’ Ross From Friends dials up the intricate and emotive qualities of his production style that have previously led Mixmag to praise his “idiosyncratic dexterity that not only makes your heart ache, but dance right out of your chest”. An artist who demonstrates an ever-increasing mastery of his craft, ‘Tread’ is a record that is at once sleek and melodic but also eminently danceable, nostalgic but brilliantly modern, with nods to sounds and styles that are not so much reflected but refracted and recontextualised through Clary Weatherall’s lens.
Lead single “The Daisy” exemplifies the spirit of the album. A bewitching club track that skips out of the speakers, the peppy 2-step drums cosying up to swollen pads that tug on your heart strings. Drawing its name from one of the opening steps in solving the classic Rubik’s Cube puzzle, the single also comes alongside a video which peers into the world of competitive speed-cubing. Directed by Rudá Santos and commissioned as part of Crack Magazine’s ‘Three Minutes’ program, the video also features a cameo from Felix as a speed-cubing competition judge.
GRAMMY® Award-winning UK singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer James Blake has announced his new album, Friends That Break Your Heart, due out September 10, 2021 – Available for pre-order HERE, via Republic Records. Blake joined Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 for “Hottest Record in the World” to premiere the album’s first single, “Say What You Will”. The single was accompanied by the release of the official music video starring Finneas alongside James Blake – Watch HERE.
Of the single, James says, “The song is about finding peace with who you are and where you’re at regardless of how well other people seem to be doing. Comparison really is the thief of joy.”
Friends That Break Your Heart, follows the recently released Covers EP. A collection of Blake’s favorite covers, including his critically acclaimed cover of Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed,” which generated over 5 million views on TikTok.
This is James Blakes’ first new full-length album in three years. With Blake calling Friends That Break Your Heart a “concept album.”
James worked closely with artist Miles Johnston to design a cover reflective of the album. The result is a visual encapsulation of the emotions brought forth throughout the body of work.
FRIENDS THAT BREAK YOUR HEART Tracklist
1. Famous Last Words
2. Life Is Not The Same
3. Coming Back (feat. SZA)
5. Frozen (feat. JID & SwaVay)
6. I’m So Blessed You’re Mine
7. Foot Forward
8. Show Me (feat. Monica Martin)
9. Say What You Will
10. Lost Angel Nights
11. Friends That Break Your Heart
12. If I’m Insecure
After signing to Italians Do It Better recently and releasing her debut album ‘Dream Again‘ last week, Maltese musician and producer Joon has shared a new video for her standout single “Whisper“.
‘Dream Again’ arrives fully formed ten years after she began writing songs, after a life-changing car accident clarified her musical ambitions. The 12 cuts of glacial synth pop on Joon shimmer with positive affirmations, heralding a new star in the Italians Do It Better cosmos.
Joon is inspired by dream worlds, mysticism and the supernatural, from her ethereal vocals and celestial synths to her self-directed music videos that take cues from B-movie tropes. Her lyrics are peppered with messages of hope for her listeners, which glide around cushioned beats and woozy layers of electronic sound, making her essential listening for fans of Fever Ray, Grimes and Molly Nilsson.
Growing up in Malta, Joon (aka Yasmin Kuymizakis) had no female role models for making electronic music. It was when she moved to London to study that she took a sound production course on a whim, and was encouraged by a tutor to pursue her own music. Soon after she suffered a devastating breakup and then a serious car crash which she was lucky to survive, a series of events which snapped her ambitions into sharp focus. “The car crash was a wake-up call,” she says. “It made me realise that life is precious. We only have one life – I started living the one I felt was worth living.”
Now, making music is a process Joon uses to overcome negative feelings and emotional pain, from loneliness and heartbreak to the need to belong somewhere: “During the writing of most of my songs I was sad about something – but I was dealing with it through making music. I make music to give advice to myself and to be optimistic. I’m trying to make myself feel better, by helping myself come out of that pain.”
The album opens with the irresistible extra-terrestrial ‘E.T.’ – a story of alienation via heartbeat dancefloor pulse and space-age laser melodies, where Joon flips between the fierceness of Karen O to the ice cool uncanny of The Knife. ‘Watch The Sky’ glitters with city lights on midnight drives, and the silky night-time pop of ‘Good Times’ takes airy cues from K-pop, flexed through a Julee Cruise soft late night lens. ‘Meaningful Life’ is a reflective manifesto for love and living well, sung with breathy melancholia and ‘Home’ is a song to the unknown stars, carrying radio echoes of Laurie Anderson’s legendary O Superman in its synth-soaked vocal lines and the hazy ‘Feathers’ dances on the edge of sleep in soft pastels.
Joon now lives in a town on the highest point of Malta, an island nation between Sicily and North Africa with a population of just 500,000 people, and where in her teenage years she could see no path for herself in music. After deciding she couldn’t sing, she instead began buying unimposing quirky instruments – a Stylophone and a small beatbox, among other things – to play around with for her own pleasure. Now, a decade later, she has upgraded to a Moog and a Korg, taught herself the software she needs, and has come to love her distinctive singing style.
After returning to Malta from London, Joon found only one other woman making electronic music on the island. Driven by a desire to make music possible and accessible for the next generation of women in a way she did not experience, she and founded the Maltese Sound Women’s Network with composer and academic Jess Rymer in 2017 (inspired by the Yorkshire Sound Women’s Network) aiming to encourage and support other women making electronic music in Malta. Now, the group has over 800 members in its online network.
Executive produced by Italians Do It Better’s visionary Jonny Jewel, Joon’s debut is a new star in the label’s glittering universe, an inspirational and a much-needed dose of inspirational pop that processes the bad and looks forward to the good, giving us all a way to move forward with hope for the future without ignoring the past. “There are always running themes of love, hope, and positivity in my songs,” says Joon. “Even if I’m sad or heartbroken, I remain optimistic. I want to grow old with no regrets.”
Dream Again track list:
2. Watch The Sky
3. Just Can’t Get Enough
4. Good Times
6. Meaningful Life
9. Orqod (video)
11. Me & My Sea