ISO50

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All posts by Jakub Alexander

Jakub Alexander curates the music selections here at the blog. He also runs his Moodgadet record label out of Brooklyn, NY and does A&R for Ghostly International Records. Links: Moodgadget Records Jakub's Tumblr

Efterklang+SurferBlood+HotChip+S. City

Posted by Jakub


The pleasing Danish popstars Efterklang have stepped it up with a new LP entitled Magic Chairs, the song I grabbed has a Coldplay feel maybe to some people but Efterklang puts more personality into the sound by not taking it to uncomfortably perfect epic studio music. The band still holds their glimmer in my eyes by keeping their lively instrumentals which include trumpets, tubas and shakers.

I recently went to see The Drums play in New York and surprisingly Surfer Blood was on the bill as well. Their singles Take It Easy and Swim really stand out, those songs were something that sounded so easy to like. I hope this makes it in the mainstream but I know most people won’t “get it” but what is there to get? its serenading updated 50’s feeling pop completely transformed into an easy to swallow pill called indie rock.

The new Hot Chip LP is out and they made a great song for all the girls with cats which is pretty much every girl if i’m not mistaken.

If Surfer Blood had a bad boy cousin that did speed and listened too much older Animal Collective and he made music in the basement this Surf City band would be that cousin and I kind of want to hang out with him on weekend nights.

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ISO50 on Hype Machine

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If you haven’t already been on Hype Machine then today might be a good day to jump on and check it out. It’s a stream of select blogs and the music that is being posted on them. The ISO50 blog stream is located here and today we have one of the popular song (Matthew Dear’s remix of The xx) on the charts. The standings only last 14 more hours so click here on the heart and help us vote it up if you’re a member. Also be sure to check out all the other blogs on there, always a lot of great music coming up on there.

AllienApparat+Geist+WagonChrist+Bonobo

Posted by Jakub


I have a couple of staple electronic acts to share with you today. Apparat’s collaboration with Ellen Allien which during its release was the pinnacle of that epic synth techno trying to be pop which others like Josh Holden, Superpitcher, and Nathan Fake also made a name for themselves.

Morgan Geist who you might know from working with Junior Boys and Metro Area puts together dreamy synth melody that I want to hear Erlend Oye sing over.

You probably remember this Luke Vibert project called Wagon Christ, it was the most catchy thing you’ll hear from Luke Vibert that was accepted by the mainstream, I remember going to lounges and hearing it everywhere I went.

NEW BONOBO! just came out in December, I thought this track was a real stand out on his new EP Blur, it has this Four Tet meets Zero 7 feel, he is really sticking to his guns on his sound, I admire that.

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Dear + XXXChange + Steinhoff + Prefuse73

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I’ve been listening to Matthew Dear since 2001 he has come along way with remixes for Hot Chip, David Bowie, Postal Service etc. but this remix of The xx is one that kind of really resonates as something that sounds like Matthew to me personality, i’m expecting more punctual avant pop from him this year from his LP which i’m geeking over to hear.

A pretty sweet go to song for a dance floor, can’t go wrong with Thom Yorke even though I haven’t put on his CD since the day I bought it, not because i didn’t like it but I have to be in the mood and this version is more of what I want to hear.

One of my favorite labels has to be Smallville out of Hamburg which is run by some great guys one of them being Peter Kersten aka Lawrence, if I ever release/make music it would have to come out on Smallville or i’ll just give it away for free. The patient and passionate ones will probably get the most out of this song by Julius Steinhoff , dreamy 4/4 deep dub.

An older classic from P73.

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Shlohmo – Shlomoshun Deluxe

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I first heard Shlohmo from that remix he did that I posted earlier this week and I needed more. I really love his breaks in between the massive low end, shows that he has potential. I read somewhere that someone said it sounded too much like Flying Lotus, well if I was 19 years old and dude said that I sounded too much like Flying Lotus I would probably shake that man’s hand. I see a bright future for this guy if he steers clear of Dubstep only work and keeps pushing forward with tracks like Hot Boxing The Cockpit and Spoons and the wonderful details he includes all the way thru those tracks.

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Various Artists – Music For Our Future

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Pitchfork Media and XLR8R have teamed up and curated a free compilation together which features a ton fresh talent. I picked a few songs from it, the real stand out is the energetic work by Nice Nice, has this feeling of Battles meets Konono N°1, its strong on the tribal tip and the combination of dynamics and uptempo really work well for this sound. Others artists include Willits and Sakamoto, Hudson Mohawke, Lusine, Atlas Sound, and a many more.

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ASettingSun+Johann+Bissonnette+Hecker

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Jay Bodley aka A Setting Sun has been on the blog before with his cover of Air’s Le Soleil Est Pres de Moi but that sound is far different from what he’s brewing which is more of a textured doom metal that you’d find from an artist like Ulver with hints of what a non-metal fan would call beautiful. Raspberry is a song that could be split up into multiple sections where you start off with the unforgiving coldness of the intro and lets you enjoy a bit of familiar acoustic guitar and then fades into an almost ceremonial muted brother of the intro, its grey yet ends on a restful feeling that everything has calmed down.

The mysterious grace that Johann Johannsson shares with us reminds me of what a mad man would hide from anyone that feared him to not show that he has such a passionate side. Think if Tangerine Dream had to make a dark classical piece with Jan Jelinek without beats or glitches.

The label Kranky can never do me wrong, you dig in their back catalog and just find treasures and one song that I found from this Christopher Bissonnette LP made me happy that there were such things as good A+R.

Tim Hecker is a hero in my mind to lo-fi ambient, if I ever drowned this better be playing so its as bittersweet as I could ever imagine it being.

Take your time with these songs if you really want to enjoy them, if this sound isn’t something you usually listen to then I suggest listening to it alone, yet close to you but not overwhelming yourself. Try listening to it as background sound quietly then try listening to it noticing every detail, you might realize how much goes into making this sound appealing.

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