Via App “I Came To Win”

03 Sep 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski

I was telling Henning the other night that I love sloppy, hypnagogic, noisy dance music. I like how it's sort of funny, and carries some anarchic syncopation while conveying both slimy and metallic quality. Controversially, I think it's the only actual new thing to have happened in electronic music in the last ten years, apart from slow disco and stretch. Learning that Via App is an exceedingly young American producer (20-year-old Boston-based Dylan Scheer), turns my entire perception of this track over: where did she get such a succinct understanding of techno song structure? "I Came To Win" starts quite bare, then explodes with some chopped and pitch-bent vocal sample, braided tightly around the beat. Then the 1970s sounding guitar sample corrals the beat into an adjusted assortment before the entire track strobes into your ears. It transforms into absolute magnetic, telekinetic chaos. I get so excited by this track, I can only think of what context to apply it to to pipe back down. For me, this song would be best played either as the last track before turning the wheels over to the second DJ, leaving him or her with a tumbleweed to work out from (be sure and wink so they know you're fooling around), ONLY if the crowd is hyped enough from sugary cocktails and the venue caters to this type of experimentation with nightlife rituals; or first thing during the morning of an important day, like your wedding or something, over a blood mary.

Pre-order Via App' Dangerous Game from 1080p here.

Read more →

NFOP Presents: Girl Band at ACUD

03 Sep 2014 — Henning Lahmann

While we had to admit to be mildly irritated by their name, The Quietus thinks of Girl Band as "Dublin's finest exponents of hulking, screech-laced noise rock", and who were we to argue with London's finest analysts of contemporary dude rock? Right. There's a brand new video for the band's latest single "De Bom Bom", which we called fresh and angry and aimless, and while avoiding the word "rock" like the plague, we did say noise and forceful and revolt and put all these words into one single sentence, which now makes us seem like the palest imitation of the London lads' mighty wordsmiths; so the joke's really on us, basically. Anyway, what we wanted to point out originally was that the release of said video is only too fitting, as Girl Band are coming to town this Saturday, September 6, more precisely to the wonderful ACUD in Mitte, and the whole thing is presented and warmly recommended by, who would have thunk, No Fear Of Pop. So come by, if only in order to punch us in the face while we're providing pre- and post-show DJ mimicry, playing music that will probably feature noise, but certainly no rock.

Ignore what we just said and check out the event details right here.

Read more →

Win Tickets for the CTM Showcase at Berlin Music Week

01 Sep 2014 — Henning Lahmann

As part of our commencing cooperation with CTM Festival's Berlin Current, we are presenting this Friday's night at Urban Spree within the framework of Berlin Music Week's showcase programme First We Take Berlin, as reported earlier. The line-up looks sublime – if you've somehow missed out on Sarah Farina, Ketev, Moon Wheel, Lief Hall, Phoebe Kiddo, and Opium Hum so far, this will be your ultimate chance to make up for it. And if it's still not enough reason to spend money on it or you find yourself to be short on Euros at the moment, here's the deal: We're giving away 1x2 tickets for the showcase on Friday. Send an email to submissions@nofearofpop.net with the subject "Berlin Current" and a friendly message before Thursday, 12pm.

See you there.

Read more →

Stream: Temple Volant “Daydream Drawings” (exclusive)

26 Aug 2014 — Henning Lahmann

Working with an ElecTribe sampler and taking as source material various field recordings and collected drones, Montreal artist Sami Blanco aka Temple Volant evokes faint memories of The Skaters circa 2008, seemingly aimless noise interventions that have become so rare since Ferraro has gone all vapor on us. For all the excitement the radiant artificiality of the cyber underground's younger exegets sparked for a while, it is a sheer delight to revisit the muddy sonic waters of classic hypnagogia. This here is not a Qatari shopping mall, it's your subconscious transmitting. It's interesting to see 1080p mastermind Richard MacFarlane repping the style again, considering his history as one of hypnagogic pop's chief advocates in his Rose Quartz days. Is this some sort of inverse, second-level nostalgia I'm sensing here?

Daydream Drawings is out on 1080p. Get it on cassette or digitally over here and stream it in full below.

Read more →

Watch: Mirage “Do You Remember”

26 Aug 2014 — Henning Lahmann

There are quite a few, actually a lot, things to say about Mirage – and avid followers of this publication should be able to recognise the musician from three other past projects that were all written about on No Fear Of Pop. For now however, suffice it to refer to this post about the artist, written by Olde English Spelling Bee's Todd Ledford, to provide you with some of the context that you might or might not find necessary. That aside, what we have here is without doubt one of the most talented pop musicians of the past years, even though despite what others are saying, of course this LA native is not 19 anymore – and his name is not Robin Nydal, either. But really, who cares about the detail if the melody is so compelling. Watch the brand new video for "Do You Remember", a song from Mirage's proper debut album Blood For The Return. Highly recommended stuff.

Blood For The Return is out digitally via Olde English Spelling Bee and Weird World, with a proper vinyl release following in October.

Read more →

Boeoes Kaelstigen feat. Name the Pet “Be the Lights (Gabriel Gassi Remix)” (exclusive)

26 Aug 2014 — Henning Lahmann

When Swedish producers Tor Rauden Källstigen and Leo Nathorst-Böös aka Boeoes Kaelstigen dropped their single "Be the Lights" featuring vocals by Name the Pet back in April, Pitchfork expressed astonishment given the duo's evolvement from straight-up minimalist purism towards a more accessible, pop-friendly sound. And as per usual when dealing with pop music from Scandinavia, references were quickly at hand; in this particular case, Robyn and Röyksopp, which is of course as obvious as it is somewhat misguided. As if almost taken aback by the reaction, Boeoes Kaelstigen now follow up with a remix EP of "Be the Lights" that cautio recaptures the dancefloor. Or rather, at least Bjorn Akesson's two trance-infused reworks do, while CANVAS refits the tune for the sultry afterhour, and Stockholm-based producer Gabriel Gssi takes the middle ground with a very compelling Italo Disco version. Out of place neither on the floor nor on your headphones, the latter is the highlight of the bunch, and we're happy to premiere it below.

The "Be the Lights" remix pack will be released by Adrian Recordings on August 29.

Be sure to catch Boeoes Kaelstigen at Nordic By Nature's Our/Berlin Music Week showcase during First We Take Berlin next week on Friday, September 5. Check out our Berlin Music Week preview over here.

Read more →

James Vernon “The Actor (feat. Jasiel Berg)” (exclusive)

25 Aug 2014 — Sam Clark

James Vernon is no stranger to an eclectic musical taste. As a founding member of San Francisco’s Li Xi, Vernon has become well-versed in psychedelic explorations, and he’s taking it one step further with his new side project. Recording under his own name, Vernon is set to release Criminals digitally on September 9. The album is already supported by the lead single “Old Ghost”, and today No Fear of Pop premieres its second offering.

“The Actor” draws on Vernon’s psych-pop vernacular as much as his interest in more ambient, dance-based sounds, with gritty synths and processed guitars hitting in tandemed stutter, West Coast post-dub drum loop. Floating over the top is the hazy guest vocal spot from Jasiel Berg, whose delivery immediately transforms “The Actor” into an apt companion for waning summer nights, regardless of geographic location. Stream it below.

Read more →

Preview: Torstraßen Festival 2014

25 Aug 2014 — Henning Lahmann

Summer might be on its way out, but luckily that mostly means that the city's live music landscape is getting more interesting again. Last week, we told you what to do and see during the upcoming Berlin Music Week with its attached showcase festival First We Take Berlin, and we also told you that you might not want to spend your money on Berlin Festival (though we want to emphasise that if The Editors really happen to be your thing, you certainly have our blessing too, we're not judgmental – not all the time at least). If new and under-the-radar stuff is what you're looking for – and we assume it is, because why would you even read this website if it were not? – then FWTB will certainly offer plenty for you, but in that case we'd even more warmly recommend the fourth edition of the glorious Torstraßen Festival, happening this Saturday, August 30, in numerous bars and small clubs on and around Berlin Mitte's Torstraße. Especially if you're wondering what's hot among Berlin-based artists at the moment, there's probably no better occasion to find out, considering the organisers' well-informed and aware booking which focuses heavily on the home-grown crop.

Regarding specific recommendations, there are really too many artists to mention, as we think the line-up this year is seriously the best yet. However, let us mention that it would be a real shame if you missed NFOP favourites Alexander Winkelmann, Yohuna, Magic Island, and Fiordmoss. Also, we'd like to point out that our friends at Berlin Community Radio are hosting the stage at St. Oberholz, and the program there looks really compelling, so you might want to check that out, too.

While unlike last year, we won't have our own curated stage this time around, but No Fear Of Pop will be present at the festival in collaboration with our friends and partners of Cartouche magazine:

Happening at Kim Bar (Brunnenstraße 10) and starting at 2pm, we offer DJ sets by Montana-based musician Experimental Housewife and indie pop duo absurd&hanebüchen who will present outré pop tunes from both past and present, followed by a live performance by krautrock outfit Ej Bekot at 8pm. But there are even more reasons for you all to drop by: Cartouche magazin is going to celebrate the release of its fifth issue, which is set to feature pieces on some of the artists performing that day at Torstraßen Festival 2014. Stratosfear, the label curated by the people behind Berlin-based blog No Fear Of Pop, will display and sell its 7″ vinyl singles. And to top it all off, a cherished if forgotten popcultural ritual will be revived: autograph sessions with selected artists of the festival! Finally, your culinary desires will be taken care of by Neukölln café Two Planets, serving their celebrated authentic New York bagels and brownies all afternoon.

Update: Unfortunately, Experimental Housewife had to cancel. In her stead, Robin (aka rkss) and Cory (aka Kohwi), who aready rocked our four-year anniversary party back in February, will play unexpected and underappreciated electronic music for two hours. Should be just as much fun!

Find the details about our event here and about the festival in general over here. Get your ticket now online for the reduced price of 13 Euros. It will be 15 on the day of the festival. Check out the schedule plus an extensive Soundcloud playlist of all performing artists below.

Read more →