Watch: Austin Cesear “La Paloma”

08 Sep 2014 — Henning Lahmann

Ever since the release of his superb Cruise Forever on London imprint Public Information in 2012, New York via San Francisco producer Austin Cesear has become one of the spearheads of the lo-fi undercurrent within contemporary dance music, consistently following up his acclaimed debut with a cassette on Opal Tapes and a 12" on Anthony Naples' Proibito Records. Against this backdrop, the most striking thing about "La Paloma", the first track of his upsoming mini album West Side – with which the artist returns to PI, is not so much the music itself. Cesear's work is still muffled, analogue, distorted techno, albeit now with added bleakness that would fit well on Berghain's main floor on a Sunday night. Rather, it's the juxtaposition of this established sonic formular with director Paul Clipson's crisp, cool and alienating impressions of nocturnal urban landscapes that so oddly yet perfectly work against each other, creating a mesmerizing, druggy experience.

West Side is out September 29 on Public Information.

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Delicate Features “Kiss By The Sea”

08 Sep 2014 — Henry Schiller

The whimper of a Space Ghost transforms into the subtle deluge of seaside IDM. Synthetic tones jitter nervously between caterwauling vocalizations; mouth sounds which Delicate Features seem to slug softly, aimlessly and with the pensive force of a little league pitcher. Delicate Features hail from St. Petersburg but the electronica team's mnusic now comes to us via Los Angeles. This unusual combination of locales is very apparent on "Kiss By The Sea". Euro-sharp synthesizers dart out of mesmerizing could-be samples of a California coastline; “Kiss By The Sea” is a blithe, brilliant marriage of the former’s fragmented chilliness and the latter’s oceanic chillness.

The Passenger CS is out now on Not Not Fun.

 

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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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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.

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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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