Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Biceps new single "ATLAS" is out on Ninja Tune

The beloved duo return with a melancholic anthem.

Anyone else have déjà vu? It's "Unreleased Bicep" all over again. "Atlas" is the first new single from the duo since the 2017 blockbuster album that made Bicep mainstage headliners, and it has a lot in common with "Aura," that LP's first single. Fans salivating over pre-release clips? Check. Breakbeats? Check. Swooning trance synths? Of course. A nagging sense of melancholy? Yes, even that. "Atlas" is so on-point it feels like the duo have set out to make an archetypal Bicep track. It's hard not to feel instantly pleased by the result.

"It would've been unthinkable to foresee the circumstances this track would be released in when we were making it," Bicep said. "Our frame of mind was so positive then, fresh off the back of our live tour, full of excitement for the next phase." They also describe "Atlas" as "euphoric." But that's not quite right: this is house music with a worry rumbling in its gut, music that commiserates with you while you try to dance out your anxieties. What better track to drop in the midst of a crisis?

Bicep's new single "ATLAS" is out today on Ninja Tune. Listen via the visualizer below + pre-order the 12" here:

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Laima presents Anxiety, Home and Future

"Anxiety" is a track about not knowing what comes next, and our constant battle in choosing things to do and thinking too much and planning, planning, planning,” Laima says of the performance’s first track. “Now it’s quite interesting, there’s no space to plan because we don’t know what’s gonna happen.”

This episode was directed remotely in real time by fact mag, and shot using camera equipment left at Laima’s house – after being disinfected and dropped off at a two-metre distance, of course. Filming was handled by Laima’s husband Iggor Cavalera (who she performs with as Mixhell) and their daughter, Raissa Cavalera, with lighting and stage design by Laima herself.

Laima’s album Home is available now via The Vinyl Factory and her new single ‘Disco Pregnancy’ can be bought here. Laima will also be performing a full streamed performance of her album, Home from Home, on DEEWEE’s Instagram Live soon.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Osheyack takes aim at deepfakes on new EP, Memory Hierarchy

Contemporary rave sounds for exposing online artificiality and abstraction.

“One of the great truths of today’s reality is that it’s mostly fake”, reads the press release for the new EP from SVBKVLT stalwart Osheyack. Memory Hierarchy takes aim at the contemporary phenomenon of deepfakes, exposing our inability to tell truth from fiction online.

The record was performed live for the first time at the 2019 edition of Unsound Festival, and saw the late artist Adam Dupré, who the EP is dedicated to, capturing and live-streaming the movements of the audience in real time.

The EP follows the producer’s soundtrack for artist Shuang Li’s installation I Want to Sleep More but by Your Side, which is showing at Berlin-based gallery Peres Projects until April 3.

Memory Hierarchy arrives on April 24 and is available to pre-order now. Check out the cover art and tracklist below.


01. ‘Liar’s Dividend’
02. ‘Mutual Shaping’
03. ‘Tertiary’
04. ‘Memory Hierarchy (Parc Fermé Club Mix)’

Vladislav Delay - Multila

This 2000 album on Chain Reaction split the difference between dub techno and clicks n' cuts, to intoxicating effect.

It feels like Sasu Ripatti is revered in electronic music circles despite his best efforts. The Finnish artist has repeatedly expressed his distaste for the hype machine, even when his more accessible Luomo project teetered on the brink of crossover success in the early '00s. He views Vladislav Delay as his most stubbornly personal, unfiltered work, and it's been an amorphous entity since its first EP, 1997's The Kind Of Blue. The style of the project has shifted with each release, the only constant being a slipperiness that often made it tricky to grasp. This elusive quality found a perfect balance on Multila, where the knotted intricacy of systems music meshed with the wisened textures of dub to create vast, swirling pieces of grainy time-slippage without beginnings or endings.

When it was released in January of 2000, Multila reflected an interesting moment in techno-oriented electronic music. Chain Reaction and its parent label, Basic Channel, had helped define the sound of dub techno in music from Substance, Vainqueur, Monolake and Porter Ricks. Ripatti appeared on Chain Reaction in the label's twilight years, releasing the Huone and Ranta 12-inches, which would subsequently be merged to make up Multila. The Chain Reaction sound was rooted in a kind of old world, elemental palette—rhythms and textures hewn from wood and stone, effects that billowed like untamable weather fronts. At the same time, a new vanguard was emerging that tested the possibilities in software-led production, specifically around the minimalist abstraction of the clicks n' cuts movement. There was fluidity between these trends. Acts like Oval, Kit Clayton and Pole were as indebted to dub aesthetics as they were to precise programming, but their neatly sculpted sound design felt much more futuristic than the original dub techno set.

Ripatti was more likely to be associated with the latter crowd. Some of his other projects, like the decidedly funky Luomo debut album Vocalcity and excellent <>Vapaa Muurari Live (released Uusitalo) were released on the key clicks n' cuts label Force Inc. Music Works. That same year, another key Vladislav Delay album, Entain., came out on Mille Plateaux, the label that coined the term "clicks n' cuts" in the first place. Given how long it took to get a handle on just one of Ripatti's gelatinous albums, fully grasping this many at once posed a considerable challenge.

"The Helsinki period," Ripatti once said in reference to Multila and its neighboring releases. "I have no clear memory of it, as there was lots of freewheeling in the studio—a period of power producing, where I wrote lots of music and didn't do anything else."

Multila has its fair share of pointillist crackle, but there are other atmospheric forces at work, too. There comes a point in "Pietola" when ASMR pockmarks merge with a lower frequency percolation. It's a sticky, tactile sound, one that feels more natural than the pristine digital veneer of so much left-field electronic music of its time.

The album is full of moments like this. The mid-range groove on "Viite" sounds not so much dusty as salt-eroded, like a coastal relic exposed to too much sun and sea air. The chords that linger in the background radiate a cosy familiarity, belying the sheer madness of the track's undertow. The sub bass seems completely untethered, arrhythmic even in isolation, making it the perfect vessel for the flotsam and jetsam Ripatti scatters on top. (This is not the only Chain Reaction release to inspire nautical imagery, though Porter Ricks were more explicit in their intentions.) It's this sense of arrhythmia that makes Multila so fascinating to sink into. There is some kind of funk at work, but it completely defies standard expectations of groove, as though amplifying and exaggerating the imperfect rhythms inherent in natural ecosystems.

Multila's crowning moment adheres to a more tangible structure. The 22-minute "Huone" is an audacious statement by any artist's standard. It grows from a smart, crooked slice of minimal techno into a head-spinning, polyrhythmic labyrinth overshadowed by a distant mechanical hum. In the comparatively sparse mid-section breakdown, the interlocking rhythms are wonderfully bewildering, until the kick modestly reenters the fray to guide the clamouring mesh of sound into its final half.

"The first things [I made] I really didn't know what I was doing," Ripatti once told Electronic Beats. "I wasn't in control. Sometimes it brings the best results, but I don't like this kind of accident."

His statement holds true. Multila has the loose characteristics of a series of experiments. It's a far cry from the scathing precision of his latest album, Rakka, where he stripped back his toolkit and tried to make something reflecting the violence in nature. Not everyone can gamble with sound and come up trumps, and the unsteady balance between masterful complexity and impulsive chaos is largely what defines Multila. This is music as a living, breathing force with the impression of self-determination beyond the exact control of its creator. It was here that the freewheeling experimentation of his "Helsinki period" brought the best results.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Peter Ulrich Collaboration Release Brilliant New Record “Final Reflections”

One of the coolest releases of the year is the new Peter Ulrich Collaboration- "Final Reflections". With a sea-swaying rhythmic vibe and darkened melodic tone, this new collection of songs are most impressive in a variety of ways. The instrumentation is unique, featuring everything from xylophones to strings, songs about pirates and sleepwalking witches. There are notable influences of Nick Cave and Polly Jean Harvey. Ulrich seeks a path to beauty through the darker channels of lyrics and love. Mythical inflections and folklore are conjured up from song to song in the same way a film score is conceived. The compositions are hallucinatory and vivid, like music drunk on moonshine from a classical century.

'Lessons of Love' opens with a delicious lead vocal as sweet as any R.E.M. song. Much like the unplugged era of R.E.M., the instrumentation is very 1960's, something like the classics of The Byrds and The Zombies. The album swiftly moves to a totally different vibe in 'Severely Blessed' which is like the great poets of rock and roll- Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave. It's a character study of a man back from the dead, hovering over polyrhythmic drum patterns. An interesting turn of spirit for Ulrich, an accomplished percussionist himself, formerly of the group- Dead Can Dance. 'Hawk Dreams' is another stand out track, a strong lead vocal, dreamy and eloquent music slithering above slide guitar and Twin Peaks atmospheric ambience. 

In the midst of the album, one gets the feeling of a loner, a world traveler singing autobiographical songs about life and loss. There is a beautiful sadness in the lyrics like Tom Waits crooning under the moonlight sky. 'Nightwalker and Love Witch' is filled with an assortment of percussive shakers, marching snare drums and exquisite string arrangements. This is one of my favorite songs off the LP. With repeated listens, one continuously discovers new sounds and colors from this mammoth palette of instruments used for this record. 

For the casual listener, blog critic or skilled musician, this album is a remarkable artistic achievement, far and beyond any previous release of the year. I can only wonder what new ground, new sonic territory Peter Ulrich will explore in the future. Brilliant to say the least, my ears are glued to this project with excitement I haven't felt in a long time.

The Peter Ulrich Collaboration is a collaboration helmed by Peter Ulrich, former percussionist for the iconic Dead Can Dance, the brilliantly innovative band that music historian Ian McFarlane described as world music that "constructed soundscapes of mesmerizing grandeur and solemn beauty... with African polyrhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chants, Middle-Eastern mantras and art-rock". Ulrich met Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, the founders and cornerstones of Dead Can Dance, in London in 1982 and joined the band on drums and percussion. After leaving DCD and after releasing a string of critically acclaimed releases as a solo artist, Peter's next big step was The Peter Ulrich Collaboration.

The Collaboration is the brainchild of Ulrich and Trebor “Big T” Lloyd of City Canyons Productions as producer and a principal collaborator. The Collaboration mixes folk rock, world rock, art rock and psychedelic music with a world view that encompasses alternative history, fictional universes, Steampunk, and Goth, and recalls the exquisitely crafted soundscapes of Dead Can Dance. The group features songwriting by Ulrich, Lloyd, and New York songwriters Anne Husick, Sara Wendt and Kathy Sheppard among others with vocals by David Steele, Wendt, Ulrich, Jen Elliott, Shane Chapman, Stephanie Linn, Timothy Dark and other bright American and English talents. The vocalists are backed by a crackerjack band playing rock, post-rock, world and folk influenced music.

The "Empirical Truth" and Blues of Mark Newman

Mark Newman is a modern day bluesman. Contemporary blues is a path for the troubadour, the one who sings you songs about your everyday life. The barstool philosopher in song form...

On his newest release "Empirical Truth", Newman presents his most rockin' songs with a hell of a tremendous backing band. Reminiscent of the great Duane Allman and Lowell George, this is some of the best slide guitar playing anyone's ever heard! A twelve song powerhouse album filled with prime songwriting and a couple of kick-ass covers too. (Little Feat “Roll Um Easy” and John Oates "Mississippi Mile”) 

The album rolls through a pack of road songs, the kind of music you hear in the background of a bar in a Quentin Tarantino movie. It's a collection of swampy blues mixed with some killer acoustic tracks. Newman's vocals are as raw and vibey as his guitar playing. "Empirical Truth" shows a lot of variety, like a jukebox shuffling between every style of the blues, and acoustic songs that stick in your head for days. 

"Sharin' The Blues" is a throwback to old fashioned bar room blues. A song for every nine to fiver, getting by check to check. There's nothing like the healing medicine of an authentic blues number like this one. It's gritty and bass rumbling, like most of The Stones' "Exile on Main Street". The band sounds like they're in a smoke filled studio, very analogue sounding, smooth production. Newman's vision of the blues is a bit upgraded though, like a player who's studied all the classics from Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan, taking the genre to the next level. This album and new direction is the coolest thing happening in blues rock today. Catch Mark Newman live and see for yourself!

A New York native, Mark Newman’s musical prowess has taken him around the world several times over, playing with an eclectic mix of noted musical talents from Sting to Elvis Costello, and Travis Tritt as well as his own solo work. A multi stringsman, Mark has mastered electric/acoustic/lap steel guitar as well as the mandolin and dobro, and with a voice reminiscent of many rock and blues men before him- it has the familiarity of an old friend yet the power and soul of many of today’s rock, soul, folk and R&B icons. For over five years, Newman and fellow songwriter Naomi Margolin have run the “Music From the Hive”  Singer/Songwriter Series, and for the past three years- “The Original Music Series” for bands, in an attempt to keep original music alive and thriving.

Félicia Atkinson announces new EP, Everything Evaporate

Shelter Press will release Félicia Atkinson's next record this Friday.

Written after a year of travel, the five-track EP Everything Evaporate employs gong, piano, marimba, bells and Félicia Atkinson's own vocals.

Out April 3rd, the record makes the French experimental composer, poet and visual artist's first release since her 2019 LP, The Flower And The Vessel, also for the French label. In late 2018, she collaborated with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma on Limpid As The Solitudes.

01. Everything Evaporate
02. I Can't Stop Thinking About It
03. Transparent, In Movement
04. Don't Assume
05. This Is The Gate

Shelter Press will release Everything Evaporate on April 3rd, 2020.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Greg Fox marries tripped-out jazz drumming with lysergic visuals on ‘From the Cessation of What’

Taken from his new album, Contact.

Multi-talented artist and teacher Greg Fox returns to RVNG Intl. with Contact, a new album of “gestural jazz and metal mathematics.”

For the album’s first single, ‘From the Cessation of What’, Fox marries tripped-out jazz percussion with the beautifully animated work of artist Emma Kohlmann, who provides suitably lysergic visuals for the mind-expanding composition.

Today also marks the launch of a campaign raising funds to go towards the opening of Studio Te, a public-facing music studio in Brooklyn founded by Fox. For more information, head over to the Kickstarter.

Contact arrives on May 29 and is available to pre-order now. Check out the album artwork and tracklist below.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, artists need our support more than ever. You can support Greg Fox by buying his music from Bandcamp.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

These People are back! LISTEN TO "PAST TENSE" NOW

Today we have been treated to new music from Long Beach, New York indie band, These People.

This is 100% THESE PEOPLE at their best. The verses and choruses are unpredictably unique in rhythm and feel. The song goes in puzzling directions from 80's new wave verses to trippy progressive parts. It's a refreshing new step into the catalogue of the band's material.

'Past Tense' is dreamy and intimate, a pumping rock song with 
dissonant guitar riffs and haunting melodies. It feels like glooming post-punk at times, similar to Gang of Four and Wire. This is a new sound for them, a departure from the last single 'A / B Vision', which was more like grandiose Syd Barrett on psychedelic tranquilizers.  

The production is flawless and smooth, mixed and produced by T J Penzone, Co-produced by his brother Rick Penzone, the result being a completely transcendent sound with a sonic variety of musical flavor and tone. The band explains:

"Past Tense has been around for a while in many forms. It started with a drum machine loop and busy guitar part, then evolved into something very different. Right before I had to turn my final mix in, my brother had the idea to totally change the bridge. He took out some of the music and added acoustic. At first the thought weirded me out cause we were running out of time, but it quickly became one of my favorite parts. Overall I’m really happy how this one turned out. I wouldn’t change a thing... again"

Konradsen - The Year is Over

Norwegian duo Konradsen share the tender lead single from their new EP Rodeo No. 5, out May 1st on Cascine.

Konradsen were an obvious Band To Watch choice. After one listen to debut album Saints And Sebastian Stories last year, it was clear the Norwegian duo is exceptionally good at what they do: seasoning their pretty coffeeshop indie with notes of post-rock and ghostly R&B, drawing listeners into something powerfully intimate. It’s just insanely beautiful music, sophisticated and tender. I love it.

Blessedly, the band is back this spring with a new EP called Rodeo No. 5. They explained the project in a statement: “While last year’s album was crafted meticulously, this EP is focused on fleeting, immediate moments — trying to capture the raw fragments that drift by in everyday life. It’s an ode to the small choices we make everyday.” Lead single “The Year Is Over” welcomes us back into the warm embrace of Jenny Marie Sabel’s vocals, which bob gracefully across the shapeshifting soundscape she constructed with Eirik Vildgren. “This song in particular is about leaving home,” Konradsen write, “about that small gap in your life when everything is new and you feel invincible.”

Rodeo No. 5 is out 5/1 on Cascine. Pre-order it here.

Thomas Priest "Wake Up Call" is a rocker!

This is one of the hottest EP's to drop all year! Thomas Priest is a singer/songwriter from New York with songs you won't forget!

'Pop Rock' is led by young artists today like Thomas Priest. The songs are upbeat, catchy melodies with a smart lyrical charm. The first three songs are full throttle rockers. "Safe Tonight" features awesome chorus harmonies with Lindsay Mac, easily one of the best tracks I've heard all year. "Ignorance" is more experimental and synth-ambient, changing the course of the EP's direction to a more mellow tone. "What Do We Do" is the greatest Noel Gallagher song he wish he wrote! An epic closing ballad to a perfect EP.

"Wake Up Call" is indie rock waiting for the mainstream to drink its morning coffee. This is the jolt we need on the radio today. Priest has a soulful voice, warm in tone and emotionally resonant. His lyrics are very relatable and sincere. Some of the tunes sound like something The Strokes or Stereophonics would do, but more modern and sharper production. There is a fresh in-studio organic vibe, very well-recorded with high level quality and top notch musicians. Keep em coming Thomas!

Thomas Priest is a fast rising music star from East Northport, Long Island. On his 13th birthday, Thomas began jamming on the electric guitar and realized that he had a real passion for music, immersing himself in the art and quickly learning to play the acoustic and bass guitars as well. He began songwriting and playing live a few years later; his first performance being at his High School’s talent show when he was just 15. Over time, Thomas learned he also had a knack for singing and within a year of that first show the now competent and confident Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist began writing and recording his own songs in a studio. After completing two incredible tracks which immediately became the talk of his hometown, Thomas set his sights on making his dream to become a professional nationally touring musician come true.

Earlier this year, Thomas had the pleasure of recording his second EP in Nashville, TN with Rian Dawson of All Time Low as Producer. The fruits of their labor can be heard on this brand new EP entitled "Wake Up Call", which is now available everywhere. Thomas Priest isn't looking back, he’s charging forward. No prayers needed; he’s got the drive, determination and most of all the exceptional talent required to truly succeed. Listen online and decide for yourself. You’ll want to catch him performing LIVE in a city near you very soon!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Sleaford Mods – The New Voice of British Punk

Music’s come a long way since Bob Dylan played three chords and the truth. Sleaford Mods, one of Britain’s most exciting duos, have discarded the three chords for the electro beat: but they’ve placed emphasis on their truth. The Independent described them as “electronic minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class.” Without Joe Strummer, John Lydon or John Lennon there to speak for them, vocalist/lyricist Jason Williamson has taken verbal swings at the many people he feels deserves them.

“Life is chaotic; the human form is chaotic.” Williamson recently told The Guardian. “As Alan Moore once said, we’re speeding towards a brick wall in a fast car. We’re animals. There are no solutions. But this music isn’t hate music at all. It’s good street music. And on the street, it’s never nice. Regular life, for the most part, is pretty crap, and this is what it talks about.” His words echo the street-sampled poetry John Cooper Clarke emits, Williamson and Clarke railing against their enemies with razor-sharp images. With titles ranging from “Wage Don’t Fit” to “In Quiet Streets.” you wouldn’t be wrong to say the band wasn’t being subtle. You’d just be missing the point.

Bandmate Andrew Fearn has collaborated with Williamson since 2012. Those who watched the pair perform “Jobseeker” on Later..With Jools Holland could see his louche posturing beside the laptop. With their tossed caps and shirts, the men look the part and they had both the beats and words to prove it. Just as The Beatles refused to water down their Liverpool voices, Williamson sings/shouts with proud East Midland poise. Their work is unpretentious, honing in on the everyday struggles of the average record buyer.

Much of their output is excellent. The polemically titled Eton Alive (written, no doubt, in response to the panoply of Public School graduates who eventually become Prime Minister) might be their strongest work. It’s certainly their most wholly satisfying to listen to in one sitting, the punchy loop tapes calling attention to the raging wordplay at hand.

2017’s English Tapas proved a national smash, hitting the enviable #12 position on the UK Albums Charts. The bass-driven “B.H.S” sounded pleasantly similar to the first two Gorillaz albums, while the pounding “I Feel So Wrong” is performed with gut-rendering angst. Released through Rough Trade Records, the album echoed the many who were despondent in their reactions to the 2016 Brexit vote. Recorded in Steve Mackey’s (former Pulp bassist) garage, the album paved the way for the band’s first North American Tour. As a spokesperson in the shadow of Paul Weller, Billy Bragg, and Noel Gallagher, Williamson admitted to The Independent that he’s more of a fighter in song than spirit. “I’ve never been a fighter…I’ve probably had two fights in my life. I stay away from ’em. The fights I have had have left me depressed, causing harm to someone else. The act of it is not to be taken lightly, punching someone, invading someone’s space, it’s not right. It doesn’t stop me from feeling aggressive, though.”

Words in their construct can fill energies. Nobody for one minute believed Lennon was ever willing to give up his possessions, but it was the thought, not the action, that struck people. Lydon’s anarchic energies came from the violence of his performance; he didn’t need to be a violent person. And then there’s Strummer, whose work on “White Man (In Hammersmith Palais)” and “This Is England” seem more chillingly relevant in death than life. British punk needs a new voice. Even if Williamson would rather belt out in voice than fist, he’s the one to fill the space.