Suddenly I have a new favourite band. I love playful music; anything that sounds like fun to make, which is why artists like Animal Collective and Kishi Bashi were instant hits for me. Way Yes are a 5 piece band from Columbus, Ohio, and boy do they know how to produce great sounding music. The first song I heard from them was called Cinnamon, I instantly sent it to my friend and was like, ‘Oh my god it’s Kermit the Frog singing’. The song couldn’t help stretch a smile across my face, but at the same time I was thinking, ‘this sounds bloody good’.
I proceeded to checking out all their other releases. Cinnamon came from their first EP Herringbone, they released a full length album in 2012 called Walkability, and now they have just released their latest album, Tog Pebbles. Like good cheese; their sound has matured from Herringbone (2010), to what is now a cool combo of upbeat and chilled tracks that employ a mix of jungly beats and synthy-pop sounds.
The vocals have taken a step back in the mix too, adding greater importance to the instrumental parts in the songs. Two tracks from Tog Pebbles really stick out for me,Holy Drop and Colerain, because besides the feel-good crescendos, the lyrics carry an unexpected, meaningful weight . They also have the best album art designed by John Malta. We don’t rate music on Universal Wax, so i’m just going to give this artist my most prestigious seal of approval. Now go check them out!
Toward the end of last month Kratos Himself dropped his new EP A Town Called Imaginarium. Days later I stumble upon it on another enlightening bandcamp weekly and before I know it, it’s found a permanent place on my computers hard drive.
Satisfying my eardrums immensely for the last week, the Dutch downtempo wizard has released a fine slice of electronic music which encompasses a slight world music vibe, warm bass, chilled beats and some organic and delicate production. It’s by the numbers, but when the numbers sound this good there’s nothing to complain about. Kratos Himself, or Jethro Hopmans as he is otherwise known, has caught my attention and has me positively salivating for a full length of this calibre.
You can pick up A Town Called Imaginarium for ‘buy now or name your price’ over at bandcamp.
1. Imaginarium (03:57)
2. Remember (04:54)
3. Ayahuasca (04:38)
4. Lucid (05:31)
5. This Town (04:08)
6. Don’t Call Me (06:02)
7. Till We Meet Again (05:16)
Typhoon, the 11 piece band known for creating a big sound while maintaining an intimate level of storytelling have just announced their new album, White Lighter set to be released August 20th. Their previous album Hunger and Thirst released last year stirred a lot of excitement, in particular their track CPR / Claws Pt. 2 was greatly commended, and is a personal favorite. They have pre-released a track from the new album called Young Fathers which is very enjoyable and hints that the new album is going to be a goodie.
Basic//Complex is a surprise, not to discredit Polytype whatsoever, but this is a deep and rewarding album that manages to pluck ideas from various genres and meld a wonderful, warm yet precise sound that works so well you might not have seen it coming and may be left in your playlist for weeks to come. Continue reading →
I first learned about the Icelandic band Sigur Rós in 2008. It had just stopped raining and I was sitting outside my tent at the Lowlands Festival waiting for some sun. My tent was located close to one of the stages and I could hear this music coming from there that suited the weather and festival feeling perfectly. And if it wasn’t the music, I would at least have noticed the crowd which exploded in a deafening applause every 15 minutes or so. Even though I was as close to the stage as the bird flies, actually getting there would have cost me at least 45 minutes, so I decided to stay. And that is how I enjoyed the music of Sigur Rós at what would later be known as the most legendary concert at Lowlands ever. Continue reading →
James Holden talking about writing Blackpool Late Eighties:
‘Ah! I wrote this one in an airport hotel in Schiphol. I couldn’t catch my flight because of snow, so I took the train, bought a big bag of weed, came back to the hotel for the night and wrote that. I told you about Blackpool already. This song has the warmest kind of VHS-nostalgia.
Normally I don’t write on the road, but now since I had a bag of weed it seemed like a good idea. Otherwise a hotel room is just a low-oxygen environment and then I don’t really am in the mood for it. I started Ableton Live and found all the free VSTs (Virtual Studio Technology – digital music instruments ed.) I could download with the hotel room internet. Afterwards I touched it up in the studio.’ www.trouwamsterdam.nl
This crazy Spanish band have been seriously entertaining my ears with this track, Koñoko. The progressive psyadelic and flamenco style of it sounds as though it should be in a Tarantino film. I love how this track starts and finishes as something else. It’s Asia meets the Wild West. Don’t be urged to stop listening before you reach halfway as that’s where it really starts to kick off.
As the sun finally beats down on England and the days reach their longest of the year it’s high time we had some music to go with the weather and Damien Beebe, or Day as he is better known, delivers with one of the freshest and summeriest records of the year.
Land of 1000 Chances is a wonderful collection of instrumentals crammed with catchy melodies and soulful vocal samples effortlessly blending jazz and downtempo grooves to give that classic hip-hop vibe. It’s cut and paste nature moves it along at a steady pace, shifting continuously but never out of character, diverse yes but also tastefully mixed.
The idea for all of this was to go back to my roots and encapsulate the last few years of what was going on in my life. I needed to get away from the clean, over-produced music I was making that had slowly put me in a creative corner cover the last 5 years. I was stuck. It’s not in me to make electronic music (I suck at it to be honest) and I didn’t want to re-hash the cut and paste stuff I had done before, so what the fuck do I do now? I go back. Back to the first album I ever made in a bedroom in Palm Springs with an EPS, my cousins drum kit and some records. I had to get back to where I came from in order to harness where I was now. Fuck layering and smothering songs to oblivion. These needed to breathe. Keep it intentionally sparse and simple. It had to be about creating a vibe and sticking to it. Not throwing in a random dance cut or having it cluttered with guests. It had to be honest and real. Somewhere along the way, I ended up drinking way too much, traveling and hanging out way too much and on the precipice of divorce. They say write what you know, so I did. – Day
It may not be that adventurous, nor entirely unique, but it’s undoubtedly well crafted and that’s all we ask for in a record like this. Suitable for driving with the windows down soaking up those summer vibes, or laying on a warm beach with a beer this record suits the sunny season no end.
So after a whole month of not posting anything, it seemed like the right time to to compile one of my mixtapes. I’ve tried to keep it quite current, however I couldn’t help from posting some stuff from the last couple of years that may have gone unnoticed – or at least I completely missed until now. So without further ado, let’s kick off with Francois and the Atlas Mountains.Continue reading →
Random Access Memories (RAM) is the fourth studio album from Daft Punk and was released following an intensive promotional campaign, including teaser commercials on SNL. The campaign lead to much anticipation and hype and now we can finally listen to the result of five years of development.
Daft Punk has always been trying out new directions and have been at the forefront of EDM since their first record. This time they lead us both back, as well as forward in time. With funky songs that remind you of old disco classics and music from the seventies and eighties they try to – as one of their songs is called – “Give Live Back To Music”. They are definitely trying to make a statement with this album; by hardly using any samples and heavy use of real instruments they have tried to find a new form of dance music, maybe reflecting David Grohl’s words on the lack of a human element in EDM. One way they did this is by collaborating with many artists who have inspired them over the years. To name a few: Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams and Panda Bear are featured in one way or another during the trip that is this album. The song “Giorgio by Moroder” features a short interview with Giorgio Moroder and that serves as a great example to show the amount of detail that was put into the production of the record. From using the best available studios and equipment, to the tiniest details nobody will notice. For example 3 different microphones were used in the recording of the interview with Giorgio Moroder. One from the sixties, one from the seventies and a modern one. The one used is linked to the different time period he was talking about.
This sort of detail won’t be noticed by most of the (casual) listeners and that may be the only problem with RAM. This is more a listeners record than a club album and people who were fans mostly for the electronic part of or their portfolio might feel a little left out. But make no mistake, this is still a Daft Punk album. A lot of the recognizable elements are there including the synthesized robotic voices and funky danceable beats. Also the record closes with the song “Contact” (stemming from a 2002 performance) that is more in line with the previous work, like the TRON soundtrack. It’s just that RAM is so much more than that, what makes this the best Daft Punk album for me. I originally wanted to write that the album is very good, but not worth the full hype. But it just might be. It keeps growing on me the more I listen to it, which has been pretty much non stop the last week.
Unfortunately Daft Punk have announced they will not tour in 2013, but the album is out now and available from iTunes.