“From the tweaking of the delay to the slow driving of the filter, musicians find the most lush ways to transform sounds in deeper realm of the dance world. Capturing that lifeblood is what I focused on in this mix.”
-Jakub Alexander, Heathered Pearls
Things happen fast these days. So fast in the case of Kllo that the Melbourne duo barely had a Facebook page or a proper song before a wave of interest began to build around their breakthrough EP Cusp. What a telling record title; in the year since its release, cousins Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul have played sold-out shows and festival slots throughout Australia, racked up millions of plays on Spotify, and landed on several Artists to Watch lists. Now they’re about to chase steely pop singles like “False Calls” and “Make Me Wonder” with the next logical step: Well Worn, an EP that enhances Kllo’s high-gloss hooks even further. Guided by the ghosts of UK garage and like-minded strains of underground dance music, “Bolide” sets a skittish beat against a clipped chorus; “Walls to Build” melds Lam’s wobbly synth lines with Kaul’s vapor-trailed verses; and the one-two punch of “Sense” and “On My Name” build a couple piano-laced ballads from a pillowy sound bed of laid-back loops and lovelorn melodies. “Don’t Be The One” is deceivingly simple as well, bringing the record to a close alongside a rubbery, elusive rhythm and a growing sense of tension and release. Catchy, yes, but also compelling enough to leave us all longing for the pair’s inevitable LP.
Hotflush Recordings is delighted to announce the arrival of a second full length from Sepalcure, the American duo made up of Travis “Machinedrum” Stewart and Praveen “Braille” Sharma. Arriving four and a half years since their acclaimed debut, 11 track album Folding Time is a singular and tender statement that lands in May 2016.
This special coming together of distinctive musical minds produced a much-loved, self-titled debut LP in 2011, plus six EPs between 2010 and 2013, all of which suggested a penchant for broken beats and bright melodics. Both have since furthered their accomplished solo careers – Braille released his debut solo album Mute Swan, while Machinedrum’s experimental exploration of Vapor City landed on Ninja Tune – that have kept them busy in the studio as well as on the road. As such, and owing to their insistence that any production work had to be done in person “since that results in a certain sound and experience you just can’t recreate remotely”, the new record took some time to come together.
The album, written over many bottles of whiskey, is made up of brand new music, but also tracks that have been worked on, forgotten, then revived over many years. Its title comes from the fact that, “it felt like we were connecting the present with the past. Going through each session was like digging through old memories.” Stylistically, of course, this pair have very different musical DNAs, but that means studio work cooks up many surprises along the way and results in an album that is awash with everything from field recordings to guitars and electric piano. It is a mix of playing and programming, has many multilayered tracks full of intimate and personal easter eggs and is, essentially, “two homies hanging out and having fun; a meeting of our minds.”
Right from the distant vocal mutters and blissful guitar licks of opener ‘Fight For Us’ featuring Rochelle Jordan there is a seductive r&b sensibility to proceedings. Tumbling drums and pained vocals have you in a love locked free-fall before ‘Not Gonna Make It’ gets to the point with Sepulcure’s trademark stuttering drums and fractured vox. ‘Devil Inside,’ featuring the pair’s long time friend and collaborator Angelica Bess, is future pop from a perfect world, ‘No Honey’ strips things back to a harmonic headspace of bumpy rubber kicks and percolating jungle percussion, then ‘Been So True’ shows a playful side, lovable sense of sampling and broken reggae rhythm. The second half of the album explores direct dance floor grooves on ‘Hearts in Danger’, snaking synths and reverb rich beats on ‘Loosen Up’ and deeper, more introspective moments on tracks like ‘Dub Of’ and ‘Brother Forest’ before closing down with a brace of blissfully melodic and dreamy excursions to a beach during sun down.
With plenty of well paced peaks and troughs along the way, as well as an underlying sense of humour and a very real human warmth, this is an album that works on both head and heel in equal measure.
Look at this golden nugget thats just sitting up on Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s soundcloud. Its funny even the bigger name accounts always have some sort of gems floating around.
Christmas 2014. By Ruban Nielson. Riley Geare on drums in the first section. Kody Nielson features on piano at 11:00. Like SB-01 one year earlier, this was available as a free download for Christmas day PST only 2014.
Don’t get scared off by the first belting out, its worth sticking around for this. I have veered away from anything that touches folk or even something like this on the blog because I just don’t hear anything that catches my ear anymore. This track was a unique one, I was caught off guard by the vocal then just road along for the next 2 and a half minutes because of the animated video styling. Both paired very well, I love than panning of a still drawing and mixing that along with some gif versions of the screens drawn in, it really holds its own.
I’ve been waiting for the full album stream to share this release with you but I got antsy, you need to hear this release. Future lush dance music that opens up and tunnels down through virtual pipes and opens in spaces we’ve never seen, sooo happy to have him on Ghostly.
As half of Teengirl Fantasy, Logan Takahashi is best known for making glassy, expansive tracks. On his debut solo album NoGeo, however, he creates an intimate world of fertile, furtive rhythms. Throughout the album, techno-tinged patterns unfurl with zeal and digital melodies slowly rise and fall. If the music of Teengirl evokes widescreen, technicolor club scenes, NoGeo is a zoomed-in study of timbre, rhythm, and melody. “I started a lot of these tracks almost as etudes for myself,” Takahashi explains. “I was trying to draw on my experiences both from the last few years of my life working with TGF and from my musical experiences beforehand.” Takahashi grew up studying classical violin as a child and attended Oberlin Conservatory out of which TGF was born. “There are many things that I still either use or try and consciously reject from my musical upbringing and this was a way for me to explore some of that.”
Much of NoGeo was composed using Elektron’s Monomachine, which contributes to its minimalist aesthetic. There’s a uniformity to the tracks on NoGeo; though each has its own distinct, vibrant shape, all of them are cut from the same cloth—built on a sturdy rhythmic foundation that’s ornamented with buoyant candescent, sounds. “People talk a lot about borderlessness in dance music, and indeed I’ve always been most drawn to music that exists in or a works to create new grey areas,” Takahashi explains. “From the late ‘80s Japanese Neo Geo genre to the early ‘00s Brooklyn tabletop electronics scene, I’ve always been inspired by the notion of being able to create your own vocabulary.
As Takahashi points out, the album’s title is a nod to the musical style that Ryuichi Sakamoto spearheaded, one that fused Japanese and Western influences. Sometimes that influence was direct: the track “Kazoku Ogawa” was inspired by Takahashi uncovering a box of lost letters written by his grandfather containing family secrets from Japan. Others, like the somber, quietly cruising “Rekr,” simply use the idea of obscuring borders as an abstract starting point. “There’s an idea that I’ve been pretty inspired by for the past 5 or 6 years, and it’s the idea of viewing technology and computers as ‘organic,’” he says of the thought-process behind “Rekr.” “We normally think of ‘technology’ and ‘organic’ as two separate things, but computers are made of crystals and metals and magnets from the earth. That idea is interesting to me.”
Binding everything is Takahashi’s steady hand and clear musical voice. While each track has its own distinct, vibrant shape, there’s a oneness to NoGeo; it is the sound of Takahashi standing on his own for the first time.
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