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.
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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.
A stunning EP from Zach Saginaw, personally I think its his best work to date. Very moody and heavily melodic, tons of tasteful effects on the signature gear that you always hear him on.
Two years after Shigeto released his second full-length, No Better Time Than Now, the busy Detroit polymath, born Zach Saginaw, has finally taken a break from his endless hustle to update everyone on his current musical headspace. “I’ve been on the road for a long time now and also have been working on other projects,” he explains. With projects that include working on a new live ensemble arrangement, playing electronics in a jazz quartet, recording with Detroit rappers, and building a new studio, it’s no wonder we haven’t heard much from him since 2013.
“I haven’t found the next step for me yet. I’ve been making loads of music as always, but I’m still looking for that concrete new path.” Shigeto’s Intermission EP takes its title quite literally, then, presenting a snapshot of the artist’s transition between ideas and inspiration. Indeed, listening to these six eclectic tracks evokes a dynamic sense of exploration, excitement, and stylistic freedom.
Saginaw describes Intermission as a collection songs that “point to the past, present, and future.” His inimitable hallmarks are certainly there: the heavy drum-machine knock and jazzy synth flourishes of “City Dweller”, that airy thumb piano in beat suite “Do My Thing”, and “Pulse”‘s percussive, polyrhythmic grooves. They mingle with some fresh sounds from Shigeto, too. Mystic pads creep into the mix—especially on beatless, textural drifts “Gently” and “Deep Breathing”—and there’s a decidedly unhinged touch to how the producer uses samples, almost like he’s teaching himself a new language. But don’t get it twisted, there’s no grand vision this time out. “They’re not meant as a strong message,” Saginaw clarifies, “but more of a taste, like a halftime show of sorts.” So if Intermission is here to hold us over until Shigeto’s next big event, the record’s palpable depth and complexity say quite a lot about where the man is now and where he’s headed.
This album by Viers has been on repeat, i’m always a sucker for dub techno, its the buried swells in the repetition and the right amount of change throughout the album. Give it a go on some headphones and dive into detailed design work, it won’t disappoint.
Like a glittery rework of something from Koyaanisqatsi, Anenon is back with an almost 8 minute cut to announce his new EP on Friends of Friends.
As a solo artist, head of Non Projects and one of Los Angeles’ most talented contemporary jazz musicians, Brian Allen Simon aka Anenon has managed to meld disparate forms of electronic and classical music, bridging the gap between eras, technologies and sonic space. The ‘Camembert’ EP is Anenon’s first release on Friends of Friends and functions as a sort of introduction to ‘Petrol’, a full length set for a January 22 release date. ‘Camembert’ exudes the range in expression and breadth of talent that Simon represents, touching on jazz improvisation, techno and palatial ambient over its four tracks without ever seeming to lose focus. It’s not everyday that an EP traverses genre barriers and balances the experimental with the populist, but Anenon has the sheer musical ability and refined sensibilities to walk the line between all of it.
A late night post usually ends up with late night vibes, some deep chord work from Californian duo Darnum Samp. Some line blurring between house and adult contemporary has been the sound of the blog lately.
The man that was born in the wrong decade, hands down George Clanton effortlessly writes pop lyrics as a good as Tears For Fears. When I heard the some Bleed live for the first time I had goosebumps head to toe, it wasn’t because of the huge crashes or his way with the crowd, I just couldn’t believe a song like that was created by his generation. His uphill battles are trend and revival but that shouldn’t stop him, he just needs to be on the road and deliver a passionate condensed live show with a large audience and the hashtag genre dropping will fade away.
Don’t let go of summer yet, Bing & Ruth is here. I’ll just set this right here and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you enjoy the video in full.
Before Bing & Ruth’s halcyonic opus Tomorrow Was the Golden Age, there was City Lake. Initially pressed in an unusually limited edition five years ago, the ensemble’s stunning full-length debut is now released in simultaneously refined and expanded form. With bonus tracks and new, visceral mastering, the album gleams all the more and signals a spree of live performances this fall revisiting the material.
As the principal leader of Bing & Ruth, David Moore assembles his orchestral roster according to the scope of each piece and recording setting. For City Lake, Bing & Ruth consisted of eleven members: two clarinetists (Jeremy Viner and Patrick Breiner), two cellists (Greg Heffernan and Leigh Stuart), two vocalists (Becca Stevens and Jean Rohe), a bassist (Jeff Ratner), a lap-steel player (Myk Freedman), a faithful tape-delay engineer (Mike Effenberger), a percussionist (Chris Berry), and Moore on piano.
City Lake is shepherded into concrete pastures by Moore’s weightless piano melodies, immersed as they are in grand shapes of breath-like horn, string and voice phrases. Augmented with more percussive proclivity than TWTGA, City Lake establishes Bing & Ruth’s ambient brand through a greater gamut of material mediums. If TWTGA opened its shutter to the imperceptible shifts of transitions between darkness and light, City Lake was composed to be less ethereal, instead embodying a group-oriented musicality and physicality.
On City Lake, there are instances of Reich-ian excitement with the hand clapped rhythms of “Rails” and a seance of sorts excorsized by the brush-tapped “Put Your Weight Into It.” Dual track “City Lake / Tu Sei Uwe” culminates the urbanized form of ambience with tonal elements in free-fall, piling-up in a harsh denouement of the album’s title piece. Further into the program David Moore’s intrigue with Gavin Bryars and Thomas Newman finds delicate voice in the hibernative “Here’s What Your Missin,” a track redolent of all the narcotic power of which Bing & Ruth are capable.
City Lake sets the standard met by Bing & Ruth’s sonorous sophomore journey Tomorrow Was The Golden Age. In this earlier portrait, the ensemble graces its listeners with gail-force movements from the wake of Bing & Ruth’s gliding wings leaving trails in the skyline. City Lake was RVNG’s chance introduction to Bing & Ruth, mistakenly handed off as unmarked test pressings by the vinyl manufacturer.
Bing & Ruth’s City Lake will be released on November 13, 2015 on RVNG Intl. as a limited edition double LP, CD and digital formats.