Young Braised “Middle Class Homie Quan” (exclusive)

09 Dec 2014 — Henning Lahmann

In August 2013, Vancouver-based Jaymes Bowman surprised us with his supremely manufactued debut as Young BraisedJapanese Tendencies. Toxin-enhanced stream of consciousness-lyrics over slow-burning, cloud rap-infused productions, the release could hardly have been more topical. Despite Considerable acclaim, however, while spending some time in New York City and Montréal last winter, Bowman made a real effort to further step up his game. And rather successfully at that: follow-up Northern Reflections is a much more matured and accomplished effort. Produced by Karmelloz and a i r s p o r t s, the 30-minute long tape is – in the best of West Coast traditions – both laid-back and nocturnal, embracing a more dystopian feel juxtaposed in opposition to a calm, serene attitude that characterises Bowman's lyricism. Listen to "Middle Class Homie Quan" exclusively below.

Northern Reflections is out December 25 on 1080p.

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Silver Pools “Carbon Cadence” (exclusive)

08 Dec 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski

Introducing Silver Pools, Toronto-based Todd "Mandolin" Macdonald's new spawn intended to serve as music genre androgeny for sonic healing. Macdonald has an extensive musical past and present, so introducing him isn't exactly accurate. Reaching from his legendary mandolin playing in Montreal's The Winks, he continues to play his superpower instrument as well as drums in several different projects in Toronto, including his own alter moniker, Norvaiza.

"Carbon Cadence" is taken from Silver Pool's upcoming freshmen release Memoirs of an Oblong Sphere. The Eno-esque melodic work, steady drudging, and, yes, cadence-like emo feel, reflect the well-curated aesthetic of the project: blue hues, the way indecisive skies effect our lives, relentless patience, space race nostalgia and moog synthesizers. The album overall is subtly gorgeous, with intrumental bridges and interludes being the most captivating parts. Learning that a younger Macdonald endured a polyp in his throat, which engendered a recession of singing and speaking, the album's moods of forbearbance, post-op listlessness, and summoning of shards of optimism, all seem quite deliberately pursued for the purpose of convalescence. This is a work one might easily curl up to during the darker corners of the cold season, as the winter tears us up into rudimentary, nostalgic pieces, when the snow doesn't sit so fresh. There is an undeniable warmth sweetly situated in this music which awaits your ears.

Stream Silver Pools' debut single "Carbon Cadence" below.

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Night Sports “Kids In Europe (Der E-Kreisel Remix)” (exclusive)

08 Dec 2014 — Henning Lahmann

Copenhagen native Caspar Bock's latest project Night Sports is a head-on trip into nostalgia: composed with synthesizers, samplers and drum machines from the late 70s to mid-80s, his EP Kids In Europe makes no attempt in being progressive. Squishy and drenched in analogue warmth, the traditional synth pop arrangements are made to sound like being played on 25-year old tape decks. Retromania? You bet. We won't blame him, though – the melodies are just a little bit too perfect to be mad at Bock. Whether it was really necessary to top it all off with a found VHS documentary from the beginnings of Kosovo's rave scene in the early 90s – as riveting as completely unrelated – is another question. Berlin-based Der E-Kreisel pulls "Kids In Europe" back into the 21st century with a slick, clean house production that may almost serve as an antithesis to the original. Take a listen below.

The Kids In Europe EP is out on Motor Entertainment.

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Stream: Antoine93 “Maybe Unlock My Heart” (exclusive)

05 Dec 2014 — Henning Lahmann

In the times we live in, citing this woman as a major influence will hardly provoke outrage, yet ignoring the abundance of post-modernist ironic fad for a second, it probably makes a whole lot of sense for someone emerging from Montréal's infinte well of pop music talent. Dion's impact is, after all, hard to evade within Québec. So despite surely tongue-in-cheek, Antoine93 might well be sincere. And indeed, his debut Maybe Unlock My Heart is nothing but pop in its pure and shining gestalt – yet never timeless, agreeable, or in any other sense aiming at the top 40. Quite the contrary, what we have before us is a work that's knee-deep in contemporary post-Internet currents; a little vaporish here, some extravagant, heartbroken crooning there, the Montréal artist who wrote the majority of this piece while being based in Berlin Neukölln, is certainly aware of what's going on in the musical corner of the www. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. Unsure if we'll come back to Maybe Unlock My Heart in five years time for reasons other than revisiting the pinnacle of 2014's pop culture? Maybe not. In any case, it shouldn't bother us now. So stream the whole release in full below. Right now, we promise you won't regret it.

Maybe Unlock My Heart is out on cassette and digitally via Berlin's new imprint Mansions & Millions – which sets out to specialize on Montréal's new guard – next Friday, December 12.

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Auclair “Second Signal (Semaphore Remixes)” (exclusive)

02 Dec 2014 — Richard Greenan

In September London-based singer and producer Auclair offered up a beguiling set of electro-psych pop swirlers entitled Semaphore. Calling on a gifted roster of artists and buddies, she now presents Second Signal – four mirror versions, deformed, pepped up or lugubriously stretched out to form a weird echo of the original quartet.

Second Signal has the pleasing sequencing pattern of catchy / weird / catchy / weird. Shape Worship recalibrates the spiralling prog of 'Mersea Mersea Me' with dense, fidgety grooves and globules of bass undulation. Italian headspace master Sebastian Palomar promptly flings us from this solar system into the inky deep, Auclair's crushed and obliterated vocal a wail of existential horror or ecstasy.

Taking on 'Here Come The Planes', Toby Gale scrubs it clean as a whistle before festooning with springy, wayward bleeps and gorgeously wonky keys. Finally, the great Anna Meredith completely rebuilds the closer, draping Auclair's voice in bafflingly elasticated chords and creaking, ravey arpeggios. The whole thing is quite bizarre and brilliant.

Second Signal will be released as a free download on Dec 8 via Kit Records. You can stream it below.

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Stream: Mongo Skato “I Don’t Give It” (exclusive)

01 Dec 2014 — Henning Lahmann

The press release nails it: New Zealand outsider producer Mongo Skato's debut I Don't Give It is arriving "virtually completely out of nowhere". And indeed: of all the things we hadn't really anticipated would happen this year (there are a few), this super hi-energy piece of AHDH techno certainly comes as a surprise – we've never come across this name, and we hadn't sincerely dealt with the possibility of this heavy yet euphoric footwork/jack-induced dancefloor bastard to emerge from the other side of the planet either. Sure enough, it might have to do with the fact that Mongo Skato's label's mastermind Richard MacFarlane is, though nowadays based in Vancouver, a Kiwi himself, so there might be some actual insight involved that we lack. However, I Don't Give It should be received as a refreshment in any place. The cover art might hint at techno's gritty late 80s/early 90s beginnings, but even though the producer clearly isn't ashamed to reveal his influences, every single of the eight tracks on the tape makes sure to avoid getting stuck in stale retromania. Playful 4/4 galore, if there's one release we want you to give your little sister for Christmas, let it be this one. Stream the release in full exclusively below.

I Don't Give It is out tomorrow, December 2, via 1080p.

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Sleep Thieves “You Want The Night”

01 Dec 2014 — Andrew Darley

You Want The Night is the first full-length album by the Irish synthpop outfit Sleep Thieves. Since their initial EP release in 2009, the band have taken their time to develop their style and identity. Their debut album confidently slinks in with sultry synthesizers on its opener "City of Hearts". Exploring the excitement and loneliness of living in a city, lead singer Sorcha Brennan gazes “I wanted not to be lonely but still alone” before its wistful chorus arrives. She commands focus as the album shifts between several moods, from the shadowy world of the title track to "Sparks", a song that could sit amongs a classic John Hughes soundtrack. The bewitching heart of the record is "Through A Sea". Opening with sparse synths, the song laments a lover who fled. After two ominous minutes it takes an unexpected turn as beats start to stutter in and steers it into full force dance-pop. The trio appear to have an experimental approach to songwriting that is simultaneously rooted in a love for melodies, like the unforgettable bassline of "French Kiss". For their first album, Sleep Thieves have crafted sensual and brooding electronic pop with lyrics that encapsulate the sprawling feelings of our inner worlds.

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Stream: The NFOP Show on BCR: Kometenmelodien Preview

01 Dec 2014 — Henning Lahmann

As mentioned last week, we've partnered with Kometenmelodien to curate an extraordinary night at Berghain Kantine this week Wednesday, December 3rd, featuring copeland, Jabu, and Lief Hall. In anticipation of the event, we made a little special on our show on Berlin Community Radio last Friday. If you've missed it, stream it now below.

Tracklist:

(1) Baba Yaga "You'll Never Know"
(2) Jabu feat. Kahn "Still"
(3) El Mahdy Jr & Jabu "They Come for You"
(4) Jabu "Chamber"
(5) Young Echo "Voices on the Water"
(6) Hype Williams x Drake "Ooovrrr"
(7) Hype Williams "untitled"
(8) Hype Williams "The Throning"
(9) Inga Copeland "Trample"
(10) Inga Copeland "B.M.W."
(11) Inga Copeland "Speak"
(12) Copeland & Gast "Strict"
(13) Inga Copeland "obsession 2"
(14) copeland "Inga"
(15) Lief Hall "Glass Machine"
(16) Jabu "Empty Days"
(17) Dean Blunt feat. Inga Copeland "The Narcissist (aka Choice of a New Generation)"
(18) Lief Hall "Destination"
(19) Hype Williams "Infinity (live)"

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