Sandra Kolstad “Zero Gravity State Of Mind” (exclusive)

04 Sep 2014 — Henning Lahmann

There's something about Berlin via Oslo artist Sandra Kolstad's music that we can neither properly grasp nor even clumsily frame into words, and that is certainly not to be sufficiently explained by referring to that sad old cliché of the Scandinavian pop genius (a trope that we, gentle reader, love to invoke both ironically and in all seriousness). "Zero Gravity State Of Mind", title track and second single taken from Kolstad's upcoming third full-length, is not only more complex and rich in detail than perhaps any other straightforward pop song you'll come across in 2014, effortlessly stuffing more ideas into a single bar than your average internet phenomenon has had during their entire career, it's on top that also flawlessly titled: the song's playful loftiness triggers just that, a worry-free four and a half minutes that are probably the closest you'll get to finding your peace of mind this week. Listen to the premiere of "Zero Gravity State Of Mind" below.

Zero Gravity State Of Mind is out October 6 via Red Eye Transit.

Sandra Kolstad will be performing live at Nordic By Nature's Our/Berlin Music Week showcase tomorrow, September 5, at 8pm. Find out more over here.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Soft Vision “Feel It Coming On” (exclusive)

21 Aug 2014 — Parker Bruce

Soft Vision aka Kelly Winchester and Bradley Barr, an Austin pair, know how to make quietly stately music. Case in point, their song "Feel It Coming On", which can be found on a debut 7" of the same name that will be out on August 26. The reserved, almost dirge of the tune calls to mind the songs by Computer Magic (i.e. "Victory Gin," "Grand Junction," and "Everyone Feels That Way Sometimes") as it marches and trudges with droning organs yet also a miraculous sense of airiness, brevity, and lightness as if we all had our heads in the clouds.

Get the two songs through Lexington, KY label Acoustic Division's burgeoning subset, Hi-Definition, come next week. Drone on.

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