new music

A new Inga Copeland mixtape

23 May 2013

Ever since branching off on their own, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland have not stopped surprising us. Blunt with his high def romanticism in last month’s The Redeemer and Copeland’s dub step deviation in Martyn collaboration Don’t Look Back, That’s Not Where You’re GoingEP, released on Hippos in Tanks in March.

This characteristically impromptu drop of six tracks on her Soundcloud, called Higher Powers, pens with smoky RnB number ‘BMW’ and a pounding ode to apocalypse ‘A World in Danger III’, featuring Scratcha DVA. As no stranger to being alienating and feeling alienated, ‘Faith’ opens with a field recording over which Copeland asks, “Hi, can I have some hope, please?” before dropping into an ear-piercing pitch that obscures and ultimately repulses her very listener. Listen below. **

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Lace Curtain – ‘Falling II’

22 May 2013

Australian synth outfit Lace Curtain are on winning run with eminent label signings this year. Having already released their self-titled EP on DFA in March, they’ll have a new EP, Falling/Running, coming out on another NYC label, Mexican Summer, on June 10. Getting a little more organic with a quivering guitar loop as front man David West’s typically monotone vocal cuts a straight line through its nu disco swagger, ‘Falling II’ is a promising harbinger of what’s to come. Punks should go electro more often.

See track-listing below. **


Side A
1. Falling
2. Running

Side B
1. Falling II
2. Running II

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Aches – ‘Rain’

21 May 2013

Jonathan Fox has released a video under his Aches musical moniker (one of many). Recorded in Bratislava and featuring the artist and producer in some beautiful landscapes indeed, the scenery of ‘Rain’ plays ideal accompaniment to the immersive, slightly eerie electronica, while taking his earlier soundscapes towards weirder, though more structured, musical territory. Glitchy synth elements, pitched down vocals and dark lyrics reflect the weirdness of neotranscendentalism as a Pagan symbol transposes, plays with and manipulates its surroundings. **


Header image by Jan Durina

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A Turkish release from A Hawk & Hacksaw’s label

1 May 2013

Rather than just cherry pick the most exciting elements of Balkan music for their own exciting Eastern-sounding oeurve, New Mexico duo A Hawk & a Hacksaw are also helping promote their influences. They’ll be releasing Bahriye Çiftetellisi by Turkish clarinet maestro Cüneyt Sepetçi and his Orchestra Dolapdere on  LM Dupli-cation, June 25.

Cüneyt Sepetçi.
Cüneyt Sepetçi.

Following up last month’s You Have Already Gone to the Other World, begun as a live soundtrack to Soviet film director, Sergei Paradjanov, Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost have quite a palate and Sepetçi is just another great example.**

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Dean Blunt’s ‘The Redeemer’ out today.

Dean Blunt - 'The Redeemer'.
1 May 2013

Delivering his audience from the evils of anticipation, London-based performer and artist extraordinaire Dean Blunt has dropped his second solo album proper, The Redeemer on Hype Williams label World Music and LA’s Hippos in Tanks.

Littered with subverted pop cultural references, Biblical allusions and samples of very private-sounding answering machine messages the album makes leaps in fidelity and composition. A typically cryptic baring of his soul and a wistful lament over modem love, pastiche and collaboration abounds, with a dedication that reads as follows:

Screen shot 2013-05-01 at 11.27.40 AM

Make of the what you will, buy the album and pay particular attention to ‘Demon’ featuring Joanne Robertson. Hands down, album of the year. **

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DORCELSIUS ‘Isis Nile’ Teaser

30 April 2013

The live chat girl is not only the light of every lonely misfit’s life but skilled in the art of seduction. It makes sense, then, that Paris-Berlin duo  Dorcelsius should utilise the talent of their Russian friend ‘Isis’,  to announce their forthcoming tour dates and Isis Nile seven-inch out on Steak AU Zoo, May 29.

The record will also be getting a release on other labels across Europe, including Stellar Kinematics, Neh-Owh and 51 Beats, and, as a group that has been and will be touring the region heavily, it makes a lot of sense. They’ve also just released Climax Air Climax on Aural Sects, which features a cameo by Low Sea‘s Billie and a remix by Profligate, while in Isis’ words, they’d like you to “come, come, come” to their upcoming shows. Who are you to refuse, really? See their remaining tour dates below, including a performance a Paris’ Vilette Sonique Festival, below.**

08.05.13 The Student -Brussels
09.05.13 Audio Plant – Antwerp
10.05.13 Koffie5Euro – Rotterdam
25.05.13 Vilette Sonique Festival 2013 – Paris

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CocoRosie – ‘After the Afterlife’.

CocoRosie 'After the Afterlife'.
24 April 2013

“Patriarchy is over” says CocoRosie‘s Bianca Casady, in a short Q&A for NOWNESS, who premiered their new video for ‘After the Afterlife’. The single will feature on the forthcoming Tales of a Grasswidow, out on Berlin-based label City Slang, May 26 and, while the freak folk sisters haven’t been mincing their words in press, their haunting vocals that linger between childlike and angelically feminine remain for this video shot by Michael Basich in Hawaii.

Carrying on the prematurely abandoned principles of surreal photography, where transposition and fantastical imagery abounds, the video adds to the rising feminist offensive led by The Knife’s Shaking the Habitual and Planningtorock‘s recent ‘Patriarchy Over & Out’ and ‘Misogyny Drop Dead‘. Less explicit and more alluring, CocoRosie’s contribution is just another face from the many that surround gender equality. **

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PVT – ‘Vertigo (Hype Williams Snapback Remix)’.

PVT - 'Vertigo (Hype Williams Snapback Remix)'.
23 April 2013

As masters of making things awkward, Hype Williams have taken London and Sydney-based trio PVT‘s ‘Vertigo’ and turned it into a sardonic social comment on race. Taking a vox pop from 1984 cult classic Sixteen Candles and placing it alongside another long-winded conversation about interracial relations the band shines a stark light on the stereotypes that live on. Defacing the original rhythms with mindless teen chatter and rendering Molly Ringwald (finally) ‘of her time’, the mangled PVT track is certainly an interesting one, not to mention entertaining.

Hype Williams have been mutating in and out of synchronicity over the past few years, with rumours of a split circulating since before the release of last year’s Black is Beautiful as Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland but while both artists have struck out on their own, Hype Williams lives on and Blunt has an album coming out just next week. PVT’s Homosapien is out now. **

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Dean Blunt – ‘Road 2 Redemption’.

Dean Blunt - 'Road 2 Redemption'.
22 April 2013

In the lead up to Dean Blunt‘s highly anticipated, and we daresay brilliantly promoted, second album, The Redeemer, out on Hippos in Tanks, May 1, the musician, artist and self-made myth, has dropped a new track, not to appear on the forthcoming track listing but enough to get the romantic vibe, his press has been alluding to.

With the upcoming album to include track titles like ‘Seven Seals of Affirmation’, ‘Walls of Jericho’ and ‘All Dogs Go To Heaven’ there’s no mistaking the spirito-mystical bent of Blunt’s recent direction, in line with a growing post-science current towards a sort of neo-transcendentalism that new media artists like Theodore Darst and groups like The Eternal Internet Brotherhood echo. As they say, “where Science fails, God prevails”. See The Redeemer track listing below. **


1. I Run New York
2. The Pedigree
3. Demon
4. Flaxen
5. V
6. The Redeemer
7. Seven Seals Of Affirmation
8. Walls Of Jericho
9. Make It Official
10. Need 2 Let U Go
11. Dread
12. Y3
13. Papi
14. Mmix
15. All Dogs Go To Heaven
16. Imperial Gold
17. Predator
18. Brutal
19. Pa

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Denseland – ‘conncted’.

Denseland. 'conncted'
18 April 2013

While spoken-word in electronic music can often go very wrong, sometimes it can go very right. That’s why we recommend listening to Berlin trio Denseland‘s pitch black ‘slow motion funk’, on their upcoming LP Like Likes Like, out on appropriately-titled Berlin label, m=minimal, May 15.

Hear the bleak-as-hell lyricism of one David Moss’ sprechgesang as minimal techno noise compositions collapse around him, over a track that stands out as something particularly relevant. As Moss barks, “the thing that once connected, now excludes,” over scattered, fragmented rhythms, he offers a warning worth heeding for tech-enthusiasts everywhere.**

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MikeQ performing at House of Trax on Friday.

17 April 2013

Fade to Mind conscript and Vogue DJ, MikeQ, performed brilliantly alongside the likes of Nguzunguzu and Fatima Al Qadiri at last year’s Unsound Festival and now he returns to London’s Birthdays, in Stoke Newington this Friday, April 19, to add to the mix of vogue, footwork, booty and more, that has seen House of Trax distinguish itself as the party to be at in little more than a year of operation.

House of Trax.

That said though, organisers Fools and Rushmore are no newbies, responsible for underground rave ‘Rhythm Talk’ and responsible for inviting the likes of Traxman, Venus X and Zebra Katz since. Long live 90s NYC ballroom. See their Facebook events page for details.**

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Transmuteo’s self-titled album reviewed

17 April 2013

Announced as a “transformative journey”, Transmuteo‘s two long suites for the self-titled debut, are yet another plunge into the holographic dimensions of the cybernetic dolphinarium. Belgium’s Aguirre Records, from whom this LP emerges, utilise shades of blue, 3D crystals and marine life as their emblems. On the surface, Transmuteo’s recording is not vastly different from the rest of the catalogue and, while the inspiration of popular New Age and Internet archaeology is slowly evaporating, its still an intriguing formula. Transmuteo proves that there is yet more to be conveyed through those means.

It’s easy to find echoes of the 1990s in the album aesthetic: Nintendo game Caesars Palace, early Future Sound of London or Humanoid videos, and self-help/re-birthing handbooks. Such outdated reference points could easily be disregarded as a prank by web-savvy designers, poking fun at the shortcomings of past technologies but a second glance reveals the content as surprisingly up-to-date. Web design today involves more innovative, higher resolution graphics and 3D rendering, but computers, magical thinking and the cult of success still go hand-in-hand, exactly as they did two decades ago. Browsing through the Internet, I often come across banners advertising the joys of the spa experience, ‘soul healing’, discovering past lives, personality boosts, brainwave synchronisation and many other traces of the esoteric mind-set in contemporary life. I have a lot of fondness for electronic musicians interested in digital folklore, exploring phenomena that thrive on the fringes of popular culture. There is an obvious satirical edge to what they do but, equally, an amount of insight and reflection. In the case of Transmuteo, the exploratory nature of this project also makes it an interesting proposition from a musical point of view, not merely another net-art exercise in style.

The record opens with repetitive, softly spoken affirmations, mantras for financial success, and meditative bliss. Almost unnoticeably, pastiche eventually morphs into an ambient soundscape with the vague echo of a techno beat, the occasional improvised whirlpool and uneasy tones. There is a dark current running through the two long, slowly evolving, multi-layered tracks, and enough unexpected turns to take them beyond the soothing pleasantries of classic New Age. The undertow of tension emerges into focus periodically – an odd hum, a darker, deeper tone –making Transmuteo stylistically closer to the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never over Dolphins Into The Future. Many releases, labelled, ‘vaporwave’ specialise in gliding across the surface, while practising the art of digital sound collage. Transmuteo offers a more expansive take, oriented towards traditional ambient textures while hinting to neighbouring genres, allowing for an escape route once the vaporwave reservoir runs dry.

Transmuteo’s self-titled LP is out now on Aguirre Records.


Header image by: Transmuteo

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Butterclock’s ‘First Prom’ reviewed.

Butterclock. Psychic_Paradox.
15 April 2013

Where does inspiration come from? It’s a question that has perplexed and provoked artists throughout history, and, evidently, for the Parisian-born itinerant Butterclock (aka Laura Clock), it comes from contradiction. Confrontational in its vulnerability and beautiful in its ugliness, the staunchly independent producer’s new EP, First Prom, on o_F_F_Love’s own FANTASY Music, April 15, moves away from Clock’s roots in subverted pop and dark RnB, while staying true to a singular honesty, shrouded in illusion.


Continue reading Butterclock’s ‘First Prom’ reviewed.

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Jessie Ruins – ‘Laura Is Fading’.

Jessie Ruins - 'Laura is Fading.
12 April 2013

It’s unclear as to where Japanese performer Nobuyuki Sakuma’s solo project-cum-trio, Jessie Ruins, is basing itself these days but that’s the beauty of a band that inhabits the proverbial ether of post-punk and new wave exploration. With this single, ‘Laura Is Fading’, from their forthcoming album debut A Film, out on Lefse Records, May 21, there are easy comparisons to New York’s Blonde Redhead.

Grown within the glaring light of their heavenly musical projections, haunting vocals add to a firm foundation of a steady drumbeat from Yosuke Tuchida, as Sakuma’s cadenced vocals glide coolly through a synthesised stargaze. **

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oOoOO – ‘Stay Here (feat. M.L.)’.

oOoOO - 'Forlorn Dub'.
11 April 2013

San Francisco-based producer Chris Dexter doesn’t always like to make things easy for our search engines. That’s not least for calling his project oOoOO but now he’s released a hauntingly beautiful track, ‘Stay Here’, featuring vocals by the entirely unsearchable M.L. on his new label and autocorrect nightmare Nihjgt Feelings.

Since severing his long-time relationship with NYC based label Tri Angle, Dexter has been slowly moving away from his associations with the much-maligned ‘witchhouse’ tag, to develop a sound, mired in ambience and a gender-bending autotune, entirely his own. And that’s just in time for his full-length debut, Without Your Love, due June 24.**

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Dominique Young Unique – ‘Mmmmmm (Bad Ass)’.

Dominique Young Unique - 'Mmmmmm (Bad Ass)'.
10 April 2013

Florida rapper Dominique Young Unique challenges aqnb favourite Zebra Katz to a contest on who can say ‘bitch’ the most in a single song. The latter’s ‘Ima Bitch’ probably wins but there’s certainly a mean beat to Young’s latest single, aptly-titled ”Mmmmmm (Bad Ass)’. It’s the first we’ve heard since she signed to Sony Music UK and another rich yield from her long time working relationship with UK Yo!Majesty producer, David Alexander.

Presenting those famous staccato lyrics over more devastating beats, her 2010 release ‘Show My Ass‘ presented, not only a similar preoccupation with posteriors, but led to her laying vocals over a track by Mad Decent trap artist Branko. Hopefully we’ll see a proper release soon. **

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Mykki Blanco – ‘BUGGED OUT!!!!’

7 April 2013

So, Mykki Blanco‘s promise of a March EP, Betty Rubble: The Initiation, is yet to eventuate. But in the meantime the NYC rapper has dropped another single to follow February’s ‘Feeling Special‘, produced by one-half 5kinandbone5 member Matrixxman. BUGGED OUT!!!!, courtesy of Ms Mykki and Chicago’s Supreme Cuts  here, seems to be going down a similarly posturing pastiche of macho hip hop tropes.

Where Michael Quattlebaum’s subversive ‘teen raptress’ gives way to a growling masculinity, as he attacks his bigoted detractors with a, “oh, they saying no homo, look at this nigga swingin’, money changes everything.” This, over ephemeral, panning instrumentals, anchored by sub bass tones that eventually fade into an uncharacteristically emotional a capella closer. Witness the evolution of Mykki Nicole Blanco. **



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