Following his recent signing to Ninja Tune, Leon Vynehall announces his debut album Nothing Is Still – a record that sees him digging deeper into the family history that has always inspired his most iconic tracks, whilst returning to his own musical roots.
Nothing Is Still is, at its core, an album dedicated to Vynehall’s grandparents. Emigrating from a leafy south east U.K. to New York City in the 1960s, their seven-day journey via boat from Southampton to Brooklyn, and the stories that followed, have only truly come to light upon the passing of his grandfather four years ago. “I knew they had lived in the U.S. and heard many anecdotes, but it was only after Pops died and my Nan presented these polaroids of their time there; of her waitressing at the New York Mayor’s Ball in ’66, or Pops with horses on a ranch in Arizona, that she delved deeper into their story, and I started to become overtly inquisitive about it” Vynehall says, following in depth conversations with his Nan to find out as much as he could about this part of his family history that was – in a way that easily resonates with us all – seemingly hidden in plain sight. “I felt the need to document this period for her, and it all just sort of snowballed from there.”
The result happened quite naturally, those early conversations going on to form an album of immense scale, physicality and wonder as well as two accompanying elements – a Novella and short films which expand the scope and context of the narrative. This is extended further through the use of visual artist Pol Bury’s ‘George Washington Bridge, NYC’ from his ‘Cinétisation’ collection as the album artwork; with permission granted to Vynehall by Bury’s wife – the artwork was created in New York by Bury at the same time as the album’s story takes place.
Clearly, that aforementioned feeling of exploration resonates with Vynehall creatively too. Vynehall has released two extended EP’s so far, his 2014 breakthrough Music For The Uninvited (3024) – a record inspired by the funk, soul and hip-hop tapes his mum used to play on car journeys which finished the year on a plethora of ‘Best of the Year’ lists including Pitchfork, FACT and Resident Advisor who called it “one of the most eclectic and rewarding house records you’ll hear all year” – and 2016’s Rojus EP (Running Back) which saw Vynehall building more layers and broadening the depth of his music to widespread critical acclaim including DJ Mag’s ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best New Music’ from Pitchfork for fan favourite single ‘Blush’. On both, he was crafting luscious grooves that were destined to dominate dancefloors. Nothing Is Still however, is defiantly atmospheric and textural, and finds him harnessing his passion for early contemporary minimalist composers such as Gavin Bryars as well as records like Philip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi and Terry Riley’s A Rainbow In Curved Air.
Written and predominantly performed by Vynehall with additional musicians including a ten-piece string section arranged by Amy Langley, Finn Peters (saxophone and flute), and Sam Beste (piano) whom completed the final recording sessions that took place at Konk Studio’s – Nothing Is Still was mixed by Blue May in London before making its own transatlantic flight to New York, where it was mastered at Sterling Sound by Greg Calbi.
As well as being respected for the strength of his musical output, Vynehall has a global reputation as a DJ and curator. He has hosted and curated all-night-long residencies worldwide and has become a mainstay at many festivals including Glastonbury, Field Day and Sonar.
NOTHING IS STILL BY LEON VYNEHALL — OUT ON 15th June 2018
The return of Jon Hopkins and his new album, Singularity, his first since 2013’s breakthrough, Immunity. Singularity is due for release on 4th May 2018. Along with news of Singularity, Hopkins has shared ‘Emerald Rush’ the first track to be released from the album.
Singularity begins and ends on the same note: a universe beginning, expanding, and contracting towards the same infinitesimal point. Where Immunity – his hypnotic breakthrough LP – charted the dark alternative reality of an epic night out, Singularity explores the dissonance between dystopian urbanity and the green forest. It is a journey that returns to where it began – from the opening note of foreboding to the final sound of acceptance.
Shaped by his experiences with meditation and trance states, the album flows seamlessly from rugged techno to transcendent choral music, from solo acoustic piano to psychedelic ambient. Its epic musical palette is visceral and emotionally honest: with a destructive opener full of industrial electronics and sonic claustrophobia and a redemptive, pure end on solo piano.
Exploring the connectivity of the mind, sonics and the natural world, Singularity reflects the different psychological states Hopkins experienced while writing and recording. It is a transformative trip of defiance from his initial sense of frustration at the state of the contemporary world to the ultimate conclusion that a true sense of peace and belonging can only come from nature.
Singularity is intended to be listened to in one sitting, as a complete body of work.
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Following the first two elegiac notes to our dear lost Cindy, Palmbomen II’s third dedication arrives with the last 12” available independently of the four piece set and a new episode of Real Talk.
Throughout Memories of Cindy Pt. 3, voicings from the Palmbomen II paradigm are pared down to their vascular essentials. Pumping iridescent, melodic acid house through club fog and Californian smog on “Ultimate Lovestory Fantasy,” “Teleac,” and “Disappointment Island,” the nearly hymnal qualities of “Wilco’s Funeral” and “Fat Director” counter the dance cuts and commemorate Cindy with colors reminiscent of Schmoelling-era Tangerine Dream as twisted by Kai Hugo’s melon.
Words from Nils, October 2017:
“In the process of completion, any album not only reveals what it has become but, maybe more importantly, what it hasn’t become. All Melody was imagined to be so many things over time and it has been a whole lot, but never exactly what I planned it to be. I wanted to hear beautiful drums, drums I’ve never seen or heard before, accompanied by human voices, girls, and boys. They would sing a song from this very world and it would sound like it was from a different space. I heard a synthesiser which sounds like a harmonium playing the All Melody, melting together with a line of a harmonium sounding like a synthesiser. My pipe organ would turn into a drum machine, while my drum machine would sound like an orchestra of breathy flutes. I would turn my piano into my very voice, and any voice into a ringing string. The music I hear inside me will never end up on a record, as it seems I can only play it for myself. This record includes what I think sticks out and describes my recent musical discoveries in the best possible way I could imagine.”
Daniel Avery returns to Phantasy for a 4-track limited edition 12” vinyl EP, Slow Fade, featuring the title track and first single from his much-anticipated sophomore LP, upcoming, April 6th 2018 via Phantasy.
A prelude to the LP’s sonic exploration of the twilight world of a personal, transient life spent between clubs, hotel rooms, airports and home, Slow Fade captures the expanded foundations of Avery’s sonic palette. Arresting club moments linger under the surface, but the focus is on the smudged ambience that underpin Avery’s grasp on rave euphoria.
As a re-entry into a broader musical universe, ‘Slow Fade’ is immediately compelling, combining neo-acid, feedback loops and pure atmosphere at a patient but restrained pace. Meanwhile, ‘After Dark’ alters this aesthetic to it’s raw, pensive elements, stripping Avery’s distinctive drums completely, revealing a meditative, ambient fog.
‘Radius’ announces itself with industrial intent, before unfolding seamlessly into a wistful electronic hymn, the perfect soundtrack to brooding London skies, and eventually evolving into slow-motion motorik. Closing the EP, ‘Fever Dream’ finds Avery at club tempo, but in a somewhat agitated state, on this occasion focusing on a paranoid rhythm that emerges clean from eerie, even paranoid territory.
Close your eyes, press repeat.
Song For Alpha:
01. First Light
02. Stereo L
06. Citizen / Nowhere
09. Days From Now
11. Slow Fade
14. Quick Eternity
Pre-order Song For Alpha