The Holydrug Couple have done a lot of growing since their first release with Sacred Bones Records in 2011. The “couple,” consisting of Ives Sepúlveda and Manuel Parra recorded Noctuary in Santiago, Chile. They put together a home studio and recorded the entire album themselves, from start to finish. Feeling that no one else had been able to capture their sound, Ives decided to take a risk and produce and engineer the album on his own. After four months of obsessively working and barely leaving the house, Ives emerged with a final product of which the band is truly proud. All of this hard work has manifested in a more elaborated, astral sounding album than its predecessor, Awe. While Awe and their Ancient Land EP had a bluesier, woodsy sound, Noctuary plays out like a slow motion 60’s beach party dream that you never want to wake from.
This is not your typical motorik beat kraut album; rather it sounds more like a breezy take on Love or Beau Brummels. The way that songs like “Willoweed” and “Paisley” flow seamlessly into one another, it is easy to see how listeners will become entranced by this new, dream-like world that The Holydrug Couple have created. These two stand-out tracks, as well as “Follow Your Way” really exemplify the growth of this band and signify the new direction they’re headed in.
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Today is a big day for the Suite series (The Rorschach Suite, The Synchronicity Suite, The Nocturnal Suite), the third edition has come out on Ghostly International. The series is a various compilation collection that explores the variety in electronic music. Also, celebrating the 5 year anniversary of Moodgadget we made the last 2 Suites only 4.99 on iTunes which both have 20 songs each, I hope you all can enjoy something on here, there is some major melody going on in these songs, below is a great description by the talented editors at Ghostly:
“Ghostly affiliate Moodgadget Records exclusively releases music by up-and-coming artists; with the Nocturnal Suite, Moodgadget not only “exposes the diversity in electronic music” (the label’s mission statement), it unites dazzlingly talented, like-minded artists working in wildly divergent stylistic fields into a grand, unified whole. Like its predecessors, the Moodgadget-curated Rorschach Suite and Synchronicity Suite, the Nocturnal Suite plays like a lovingly assembled mixtape, compiling brief, catchy, electronic-minded pop songs built for obsessive repeat listening.
The Nocturnal Suite is eclectic, but even among its stylistic diversity (the liquid space-disco of Faux Pas’ “Rose’s Lament (Gadget Edit),” for instance, sits right next to Wild Yaks’ caveman-like “Crazy but Not Afraid,” which flanks 800Beloved’s Psychedelic Furs-esque anthem “Galaxies”), there’s a distinctly nighttime-y mood, folding acoustic guitars and sleepy vocals in with its distressed beats and synths. Daedelus’ remix of Praveen & Benoit’s “Chiaroscuro” clothes a distant clattering beat in ambient reverb swells and wisps of orchestral flutes; Bluejay’s “Blurry” wraps its bedroom electro-pop around a deliciously melancholy hook; City Center’s “Summer School” is an exercise in pastoral dream-beat, a psychedelic fog of a track that drifts like a late-afternoon beachside nap.
The Nocturnal Suite encompasses dance music, indie rock, synth-pop, experimental instrumentals—and, yes, electronic music—but its emotional core is its biggest asset. Even in the closing track, Daniel Johnson’s deadly serious cover of Sophie B. Hawkins’ 1991 classic “Damn (Wish I Was Your Lover),” the pea soup-thick production turns the jaunty original into a much more resonant affair; it’s a fitting end to a compilation that turns every genre it touches into perfect late-night listening.”
Mux Mool – Ballad of Gloria Featherbottom[audio:nocmux.mp3]
Bluejay – Blurry[audio:nocblue.mp3]
Wisp – Arpeggiating Edgar[audio:nocwisp.mp3]
Landau Orchestra – Wheel of Fortune[audio:nocland.mp3]
Faux Pas – Rose Lament (Gadget edit)[audio:nocfaux.mp3]
That huge $11k price tag will buy you an equally huge f/0.95 opening for those low light shots that your $5k Nikon just wasn’t getting. A French magazine leaked shots of the new Leica Noctilux 50mm Lens (pictured above) which will enable you to take shots like this (apparently candle light only):
Whether you intend to take suggestive shots of bare-chested men in dark rooms with it is your business, either way this thing is awesome. $11k awesome? No, but only because I don’t have $11k. By the way, that M8 it’s stuck to will run you another $5k. Start saving! Alternatively, just get this (called "One of the finest DSLRs ever produced") and spend the left over $12,000 traveling around the world and actually taking shots with it instead of leaving it sitting in a drawer which is what most people who can afford Leicas seem to do.
Taken from ‘Veriditas’ LP by Helios out August 31, 2018.
On respective edges of America — Oregon and Maine — Keith Kenniff records quiet music at night. “When things are calmer,” he says. “My mind is less distracted when I know that everything is dark outside.” For over a decade, such has been the mode — nocturnal, unrushed, using the same mini-cassette recorder, “a lovely little imperfect way to treat sounds” — for one of the country’s most understated composers. Kenniff has housed dozens of ambient releases under the name Helios since 2004, alongside post-classical output as Goldmund, shoegaze pop with his wife Hollie as Mint Julep, and commissions for film and television. It is a reliably transportive body of work that’s earned Kenniff a cult following, and a genuine modesty that’s kept him on the fringes, right where he prefers, in the dark.
Kenniff mostly lets his music breathe free of explanation, open to interpretation. As listeners, we follow subtle suggestions — the fiery sky on the cover of 2012’s Moiety, the countryside daydream of 2015’s Yume — extracting meanings from imagery and inscriptions. Veriditas, the sixth Helios full-length, shares its name with twelfth-century philosopher Hildegard von Bingen’s notion of “the greening power of the divine,” the term derived from the union of two Latin words: green and truth. Bingen saw the abundance of the earth as vitality to be cultivated, interconnected with the body and spirit. Take the concept in concert with Veriditas’ vistas of sound, gazing beyond the tree-lined wonder on its artwork, and we undoubtedly recognize the album’s rooting. Kenniff elaborates, “While I’m not a very spiritual person as it relates to a religious belief, I do feel an overwhelming connection between the aesthetics I find pleasing in my experience of nature and my experience of writing music.”
Veriditas introduces unusual shapes and landscapes to the Helios catalog. Whereas past songs have followed traditional structures — discernable bell curves with beginnings, arcs, and ends — the focus here is texture and harmony. “I wanted to explore emotionality within something more static.” Synth-tones radiate and hum as vignettes, often crisp and cloudless, other times smeared to a queasy Boards of Canada-like unease. The latter burbles below the last moments of “Eventually” and looms over the opener “Seeming” like darkness inching across a forest. Tracks cease at will. “Seeming” fades just after a sliver of light cuts through the mossy pillars. “Latest Lost” mists for just one minute. “Row The Tide” for two, hovering like a helium balloon lost to the horizon. “Even Today” hangs above the snowcaps, suspended in an upper arboreal sequence, as shimmering surges of static trace the treetops below.
Moments on Veriditas pass quickly, but as a series of moments, they are fluid, almost regenerative. Disassembling the album by instruments is difficult. Unlike past Helios work, there is no percussion. The one straightforward use of guitar appears on the ambling “Upward Beside The Gale,” strummed solemnly as if over end credits, watching the greenery lapse to grey in the twilight. In the second half of “Dreams,” crystalline piano chords converse with washes of orchestral notes and deep drone, advancing towards temporal clarity, a lookout point, that once presented evaporates.
In a way, Veriditas parallels the path of the Helios project to date: patient, immense, and wondrous without ostentation. Kenniff continues to find a soothing and centering quality in his craft. Aligned with Hildegard von Bingen’s philosophy, Kenniff looks towards sound, like many do to nature, for momentary vigor, for elemental and nourishing prolificacy. Here, in pursuit of viriditas, with precise textures and harmonies, he humbly extends that verdant expression outward, wide and pliable.
Dynamic ambience with this much detail and finesse is hard to come by, it doesn’t rely on repetition and seems to be one-upping itself constantly. I usually write off all new pitched vocal material right away but here Michael Wright works it in as an accent to a casual vocal part that lifts the song off the ground and brings it into the clouds, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Broken Deck is the project of East London electronic producer Michael Wright. Emerging with his debut EP Finisher on Proclectic Records at the beginning of 2015, Broken Deck has quickly resurfaced with Helter, his 2nd EP of the year and his first on Seattle-based label Hush Hush. Helter continues to showcase his rich, masterful style that confidently fuses textured ambience, punchy rhythms, haunting melodies, rumbling low end, and shadowy vocal samples.
A diverse and distinctive UK streak runs throughout the EP’s four tracks, each song morphing into its own world while flickering shades of influential artists such as Burial, Andy Stott, and Actress. “Outmodeled” and “Total Return” explore Broken Deck’s more introspective side, focusing on spacious beats and arresting atmospherics while the upfront rhythms of “Voxer” and “Endless” contain a leftfield pulse primed for adventurous clubs. Fitting perfectly into the nocturnal-leaning catalogue of Seattle’s Hush Hush Records, Helter is another impressive early step in Broken Deck’s budding discography.
Wild Nothing released today a video for the track Paradise off their new album Nocturne which stars actress Michelle Williams, who also recorded the monologue that can be heard in the video. Paradise was also featured in our latest ISO50 Playlist 15.
Directed by Matt Amato
If you saw Tycho on tour last time in the US you saw our ambient R&B support Jacob & Tom of Beacon, I asked them to put together today’s playlist, would love some feedback, their No Body EP is out, they DJ tomorrow with Yeasayers at Cameo Gallery
Keyboard Kid – $$$$$$
Producers without their counterparts have been dominating my speaker time lately. $$$$$$ off Keyboard Kids 2011 Video Games and Blunts mixtape is a stellar track full of his signature futuristic synths and dirt filled percussion. The chopped and pitched repetitive hook always seems to swell around in my head long after it finishes.
Filterwolf – Nocturne (Bodycode aka Portable remix)
I’ve been listening to so much Alan Abrahams AKA Portable AKA Bodycode lately. I love the way his baritone vocal harmonies in this remix become the warmest incantations, summoning love from some wandering spirit.
Ayatoholla – NAG Champa
This throwback keeps making it into my steady rotation. NAG Champa , the opening track off of Ayatoholla’s 2006 Now Playing, drops all the right sounds in all the right places. Its one of those loops I want to listen to for hours. With a perfect blend of soulful vocal samples, smooth drum work and swells of melodic strings its an example of a producer who gives only what is needed.
Blood Orange – Champagne Coast
The really special thing about this Blood Orange song is the way the slow funk groove in the beginning eventually opens into very triumphant love song of Koto patterns, warm synths and Devonte’s insistent vocal finish.
It was a pleasure as always to visit Toronto, I really appreciate everyone who came out to the Function 13 gallery and the show afterward at Nocturne, I had a great time at both. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera (it’s a long story, but some last minute baggage issues didn’t leave room) so I don’t have many pics from the night. Luckily, Sean Pollock from The Buzzout Room (a great radio station by the way, you can stream it here) brought along his Canon 5D MK2 and got a couple shots of the gallery (shown above).
A couple others brought out their cameras — among them Bram Timmer who also has a 5D MK2, I was pretty jealous — so I’ll try to get some shots from them and post up a full set of the gallery. If anyone has some decent shots let me know.
As you can see I went with the bulldog clips for mounting the prints. Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions in the original gallery post. I experimented with neodymium magnets but had some issues with grip, the posters kept slipping from between them. I ended up spray painting bulldog clips white and hanging them over long, thin nails so that the piece stood off the wall a little. There is a strip of 2″ tall foamcore that runs the width of the print clipped behind each at the top and bottom. This helped straighten everything out and give a “mounted” feel without the need to damage the back print. I was really pleased with the results, under the gallery lighting the whole thing really came off dramatic. The lack of a frame and the inch between the wall and the print really made the piece feel more accessible and hilighted the texture and feel of the Hahnemühle German Etching paper. Thanks again to the guys from Function 13 for helping out with everything.
If you missed the gallery opening night you can still catch the show, it will be up until mid-January at Function 13 Gallery, 156 Augusta Ave Toronto. If you were there and missed out on getting a piece before it sold, some of the designs can be had at the ISO50 Studio Shop or the ISO50 Merchline Shop.
Thanks again, see you all again in April at FITC Toronto.