AyGeeTee “Imminent Orphan”

13 Nov 2014 — Richard Greenan

Words change music. On the surface, Shostakovich's fifth symphony is a heroic piece of socialist realism, Stakhanovite victory trapped in golden oilpaint. Read around and the same tones appear fragile, sarcastic, frightened. This was a composer writing for his life, smile forcibly held in place, frozen by perpetual ovation.

Here we have the latest offering from producer AyGeeTee, Imminent Orphan. Initially this sounds like a crisp, almost jaunty beat tape. "Brothers of Knowledge and his Brothers", and "Closed Door End Call" unroll with a chiselled energy, while the expansive chords and handclaps of "Leaving No Insides Out" hint at a nicely frazzled Balearicism.

But Imminent Orphan is a thing of tragedy, written in the short six weeks between AyGeeTee's father's terminal cancer diagnosis and eventual death. Suddenly the drums loom overhead, crackling electromagnets propelling urgently forward and skyward. But the meanings are yours to construct.

AyGeeTee writes, "if anyone wants to dance, jump up and down or whatever positive reaction you just might feel, please go ahead because I certainly don't want anyone to have a bad time listening to this tape."

Imminent Orphan is out now on limited cassette via Reckno.

Read more →

Tommy Toussaint “Over and Over” (exclusive)

12 Nov 2014 — Henning Lahmann

Been a while since our paths last crossed with fairly recent Los Angeles transplant Tommy Toussaint, one of the artists who used to be associated with Oxford, Mississippi's rad Cats Purring collective. The former Dent May collaborator must have spent quite some time in the last year to master his knack for willfully notalgic yet ultimately timeless, wistful synth ballads, as proven with "Over and Over", the first single off his forthcoming full-length A Cool Kind Of Love: it's lush, a little brittle, and very cool indeed. If someone smuggled this into an 80s night at your local bar (I'm sure you'd never go there, but bear with me for a second), no one would ever notice. Which is a good thing. In this case at least.

A Cool Kind Of Love is about to drop on tape via Chill Mega Chill Records.

Read more →

Leisure “Gone Again” (exclusive)

12 Nov 2014 — Andi Wilson

Some of my favorite projects reflect pop in a much darker matter. It probably stems from my love for cult-bands like New Order and Pale Saints, but it's thrilling to see new acts twist classic styles into their own essence. Part of the reason Brooklyn-based Leisure aka Jon Jurow emulates so much is due to his live recording style and habitual use of first outtakes. The naturally raw, shadowy vocals mixed with jangly guitars and constant cymbal crashes create an absolutely lush disposition. 

Give "Gone Again" a spin, or maybe a few, since it's under a two minute cut. The Gone Again EP is out November 25 via Portland, Oregon's Track & Field Records and look out for a full-length LP in fall 2015. 

Read more →

M-Band “Haust” (exclusive)

12 Nov 2014 — Andi Wilson

Icelandic artist M-Band, moniker of Hörður Már Bjarnason, sheds a new light on how compassionate electronic compositions can be. Throughout his new single "Haust" you're surrounded by surging beats and claps. The beginning quickly unravels as Bjarnason's vocals (somewhat of a mix between Jens Lekman and Dan Bodan) carry endearing lyrics into a vast sea of synths. In its entirety, the track glows with sincere illustrations of wistful desire. Without any doubt, what's so special about M-Band is it's intense, conscious, and full of nurture. Willing to take a listener in with open arms and float to a warm haven.

Expect Bjarnason's debut LP Haust to be released in the UK & Germany November 17. Guided by Projekta in collaboration with Nordic By Nature.

Read more →

sonofdistantearth “Parachute EP”

10 Nov 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski

The much beloved Lobster Theremin continues to impress my eyes, ears, and techno encyclopedia brain. sonofdistantearth's Parachute EP demonstrates upsurging bass and the right amount of chaotic saturation. The artist title itself suggests some appreciation for noise and/or metal band names, methinks, so this observation is not too far off. While noisy and progressive, the EP is plenty repetitious and minimally melodic. "GAZA2" starts off great, wavers into a slightly silly melodic phase before collapsing into itself to come back with a more refined, beautiful melody. "Koan" is tribal, corrugated, and spacious. Occasionally, a paddy synth sneaks up into the prominent percussion work and tinkles into our ears, readying us for the next thing – whether in life or the stream of music – in a most gentle way. It rocks.

Download and order sonofdistantearth's Parachute EP from Lobster Theremin here.

Read more →

Populous “Fall (Feat. Cuushe) [Blue Hawaii Remix]”

06 Nov 2014 — Andi Wilson

Populous means to draw people together, sometimes creating an overcrowded effect in a particular space. Territories of so-named Italian producer and moniker of Andrea Mangia borders on creating an opposite result. The imagined essence of such aura described parallels running through a tangled jungle and once reaching the end of breath, meets an open plain field hovered by starry skies. "Fall" initiates by highlighting breathy vocals of Kyoto native, Cuushe which amplify the track into a masterpiece comparable to a flower blooming in forward-motion. Blue Hawaii's addition to this dream-cast is like an edgy cherry on top with immediate recognizition of haunting glitches and roomy abstract beats, conveying grimy tension to a sentimental pop statement.

Populous' latest full-length, Night Safari, is available now via Berlin-based label Bad Panda Records. Furthermore, don't miss Blue Hawaii's recent one-off single "Get Happy" along with an edit of the song, "Get Happier"

Read more →

Empty Taxi “IRIZAJN EP”

06 Nov 2014 — Evelyn Malinowski

Get ready for combative, moody electronic pop, likely influenced much by The Knife, My Brightest Diamond, and, yes, perhaps a little by the Lords of Acid. Brussels-based artist Zoë Mc Pherson, aka Empty Taxi, has recently released the IRIZAJN EP, which is delicious, driven, and emotionally wholesome. It has an eye on the bigger picture of the planet, and this comes across through both the lyrics and diverse musicality.

From the opening of the EP, we're confronted with exciteable, seductive percussion along with robotic R'n'B frequencies. These come together to meet world music motifs, like the flute solo towards the conclusion of "Eskimo." Contextually, the lyrics of said song bolster the observation that world music tropes are present, as it is explained how Inuit peoples make sounds to defy language in order to have their spirits better understood. "Éfe Forest" displays a sample that seems like an indigenous song, accompanied by quick and encouraging, ceremonial beats.

Mc Pherson's voice is deep and captivatingly wrapped around her song structures, bearing political and world-aware messages, especially in "Brainsculpt." Meanwhile, "Bending" is a nasty, more Knife-like, techno piece. The EP's closing track is a beautiful, expansive vibe, hosted by a poetic title and zero lyrics: "Bars in Ljubljana Castle."

Stream Empty Taxi's IRIZAJN EP below, or purchase the cassette here.

Read more →

Rollercoasterwater “Bog” (exclusive)

05 Nov 2014 — Henry Schiller

Rollercoasterwater’s “Bog” is hides avant-garde music, just barely, behind the driven rhythm of ready-to-dance electropop. The Los Angeles duo (Chuckie Behring and Robin Levy) claim Donkey King and salvia as influences, but instead of a Saturday afternoon in a freshmen dorm, the end result of this combo is a beautiful swirl of digitalized ambient and rhythm-smart pop. “Bog” is a delightfully prickly mess of grinding guitar and electronics; vocals that – like distant smoke signals – act as obscure hints towards language  as opposed to actual speech. This molten experimental structure is garnished with a quick-tempo handclapping rhythm – a noticeable departure from the unspoken rule that tone and melody rest on top of the beat, not the other way around.

Divorced from its athletic beat, “Bog” might be a somber piece of contemporary ambient music in the vein of work like Grouper or Julianna Barwick. But the cheerleader style rhythm work gives the track a more extroverted feel, almost to the point of "Bog" sounding like it could be a remix of itself. The track’s tonal and melodic structures are like a dense bog (I mean fog) that its beat must navigate, all while being clawed at and clasped after by wispy tentacles of vocals and grinding electronics. The influence of Gameboy music is palpable: the beat on "Bog" is sharp enough to be heard clearly over small speakers, and it is prickly enough for tiny ears to grab ahold of and stick to like it's warm, chewed up gum.

Listen to more from Rollercoasterwater here, and check out the exclusive premiere of “Bog” below:

 

Read more →