[Audio] AIMES’ ‘Dirtbox’

 

aimes

Brooklyn’s finest is back with another slice of thoughtful, robotic House music. AIMES has been a firm fixture on electronic rumors since he made his début. Sometimes an artist comes along with something about them that makes them stand out from the crowd to us; with AIMES there was both a musicality beyond his contemporaries and a crisp, synthetic, analog sound to his tunes, whether turning his attention to Disco, House or SynthWave his tunes were just that bit more electronic (which obviously appeals to us!).

AIMES has dipped his music toe into a number of genres in his career; but whether Chillwave, Nu-Disco or Indie-Electro his tunes are generally pretty recognisable as he gives the styles his own unique spin. Right about now he’s teamed up with Mexican label Trafico and gone a bit left-field for his latest single. It’s out now, called Dirtbox, and comes loaded with it’s B-side, Prophet Jam, and reMixes from Mexico’s Juan Soto and NYC’s Tunnel Signs.

AIMES keeps things on just the right side of weird on Dirtbox. Hypnotic and undulating, Dirtbox introduces you to the hook early on, amid a sea of hammerfall piano. The hook persists throughout the track, weaving in and out of a symphony of pads, strings and vocal snatches in a tapestry of mysteries dancefloor sounds. Jumping in with some good squelchy Acid riffs is just the icing on the cake. Dirtbox is a track that will draw you in and command you to dance, and even when it’s over it will be ringing round your head and leaving it’s shadow on your feet.

AIMEs is one of a small group of artists who manage to make records that are both full-on funky Disco and House, and yet are quite experimental and intricate in their use of sounds and arrangement. It’s a hard feat to pull off, but AIMEs does it with style.

♫ AIMES – Dirtbox

AIMES’ Dirtbox is out now.

Buy AIMES’ music from:

[Audio] Le Matos & PAWWS’ ‘No Tomorrow’

 

Le Matos

We do love it when two acts that we dig work together. Especially when we had no idea they were connected, in this pairing’s case, at all. Montréal based SynthWavers Le Matos have been cropping up on these pages off and on since way back in 2009. They’re one of a rare breed of SynthWave producers who have managed to keep their tracks consistently top quality and avoid getting repetitive. They’ve also not let himself become to insular on the SynthWave scene, having worked with and reMixed some diverse electronic artists such as We Have Band and Johan Agebjörn & Ercola. Le Matos don’t release new material with the crazy high frequency the SynthWave scene fosters, so when they so it’s something special to pay attention too.

And who have they teamed up with for this new track? Well, it’s none other than Pawws. This North Londoner has also been known to grace these pages on more than one occasion. Lucy Taylor made her way into all our hearts with one of last summer’s best vinyl released, her Sugar EP and we’ve been eagerly awaiting the follow up ever since.

That’s two fine artists right there, opposite sides of the Atlantic, who have both been teasing this collaboration for a while now and have had us itching to hear the results. They’ve brought together to release No Tomorrow, a track taken from form the soundtrack to forthcoming post-apocalyptic BMX flick Turbo Kid. From what we can gather about Turbo Kid it was set to be a retro fuelled thrill ride even before the soundtrack was full of awesomeness. No Tomorrow is out now accompanied by a blue heavyweight vinyl 7” release by Death Waltz, who will be releasing the full Turbo Kid soundtrack later this year.

You know we’re massive fans of Electric Youth here. Bear that in mind when we say No Tomorrow sounds a bit like Electric Youth…but better. Le Matos keep the production light and airy on this one; it’s lead line a raindrop pitter-patter of bright keys flowing gently over a spiky arpeggiated bassline and a wonderfully thick and robust vintage beat. Adding to the tracks breathiness is Lucy’s hushed and lilting vocals with a slightly more typical 80s arrangement than you’d hear on her own Pawws records. The combination of Le Matos’ dreamy, nostalgic sounds and Lucy’s optimistic tone makes for a classic sounding slice of synthesizer euphoria. Effortlessly uplifting and hopeful, No Tomorrow is a ray of musical sunshine with just the right amount of cinematic rhapsody to perfectly soundtrack some kind of beaten-the-odds scene in a movie, which we are presuming it does.

♫ Le Matos (Feat. Pawws) – No Tomorrow

Le Matos’ No Tomorrow is out now.

Buy Le Matos’ music from:

[Video] Jean-Michel Jarre & Little Boot’s ‘If..!’

 

Jean Michel Jarre  Little Boots   If..    YouTube

To say we are massive fans of French synthesizer legend Jean-Michel Jarre would be an understatement. We’ve been pretty fascinated by the man ever since Channel 4 aired Destination Docklands in ‘89 and he’s most likely got something to do with our persistent love of electronic music. As you’ll know JMJ has been releasing collaborative singles in the past few months, all in the lead up to a new album, and album which was finally announced over the weekend. Electronica Pt. 1: The Time Machine (there will be a part 2 in Spring 2016) is released in October and contains 16 tracks, each one seeing JMJ teaming up with another, often contemporary, artist.

We’ve approached Jerre’s new material with trepidation. Legends making comebacks have been pretty hit and miss in recent years; and even when they have (somewhat) hit, they’ve still not been able to capture the essence of what made them legends in the first piece (Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers spring to mind) trying to hard to be relevant and up-to-date whilst missing the point of why people loved them in the first place. The fact that JMJ is collaborating with so many current artists rang a few alarm bells.

So far our fears have been, mostly, quashed by what we’ve heard. The first three singles, with Gesaffelstein, Tangerine Dream and 3D were all good, good enough for us to fork out for The Vinyl Factory’s 12” releases of them. Glory, the track he did with M83 was also good. His track with Armin Van Buuren was OK-ish. The announcement of the album came with a list of the remaining team-ups. Vince Clarke, AIR and John Carpenter will no doubt all produce some interesting results (the teasers of the Clarke and Carpenter tracks sound amazing). Fuck Buttons, Moby, Laurie Anderson, Lang Lang and Pete Townsend’s collaborations should be worth a listen. Boys Noize is their too, let’s hope feeling slightly more innovative than his 2007-Boys-Noize-by-the-numbers offerings of recent years.

And amongst those names sits one of right-now’s top tier electronic musicians. Little Boots. The Jarre/Boots collaboration is out now as an album pre-order track. It’s called If..! and, honestly, it’s the best thing we’ve heard from Electronica Pt. 1 to date. It’s just a massive Pop song. Built up over layers of synthesized bass; undulating kick drums pop and pulse coalescing into a summery swing, rolling and shaking from bar to bar. Victoria’s on fine Pop form as she delivers a catchy, carefree ditty wrapped in waves of warm electronics. We’re feeling like this might be the most commercially accessible track on the album and with the right push we could easily see this one charting. It’s definitely got a Jarre production sheen, being a thicker sounding track than the more stripped back production in Little Boots’ recent Working Girl album but with Victoria’s unique left-field take on ElectroPop permeating every second of it. We were around 50% excited, 50% nervous about Jarre’s new album, If..! has done a lot to push the swing-o-meter in the excited direction.

Check out the video below. We’re not 100% sure what’s going on there. There Jarre himself hanging out with some modular synths and lens flares, and some bearded dude and a girl being random. We’re probably missing something. Looks nice enough.

Jean-Michel Jarre’s Electronica Pt. 1: The Time Machine is released 16th October.

Buy Jean-Michel Jarre’s music from:

     

[Mixtape] MiGHty mOUse’s ‘Discolife Episode 1’

 

MiGHty mOUse

MiGHty mOUse – Discolife Episode 1 = Well, after Monday’s jaw dropping announcement/rant/suicide we said we’d still be serving up mixtapes from time to time, and what better way to hold true to that than the first in a (hopefully) long new sequence from the man MiGHty mOUse. The premiére episode of the aptly named Discolife series is an ecclectic, but consistently funky hour and a half (almost) that’s absolutely perfect for setting up your weekend. Y’know, the one that starts right……………now.

MiGHty mOUse – Discolife Episode 1

The tracklist:
01. Pink Murder – Fresh & Made (Demi Re-Edit)
02. Arling & Cameron – Club Fashion
03. David Shaw & The Beat (Feat. Jennifer Cardini) – In The Ballroom
04. Shura – White Light (Gabe Guernsey Factory Floor reMix)
05. Pedestrian (Feat. Maribou State) – The Clown (Axel Bowman reMix)
06. Inaky Garcia & Alfredo Magrini – Destination (Afro Club Mix)
07. Groove Junkies & Solara – Sunshine (Timmy Vegas Paradise Mix)
08. Tigerbalm – The 80s (Oscar P reMix)
09. Deadbeat – Berghain Drum Jack (2015 Edit)
10. The Housemaster Boyz – House Nation (Club Mix)
11. M.Caporale – Dune (Original Mix)
12. DJ T.I.C, Koncrete & DJ Oats – Dhumba (Main Mix)
13. Groove Armada – Paris (Andhim reMix)
14. Bicep – Just (Original Mix)
15. Felipe Gordon – Galactico
16. Terranova – Kepler 186F (Original Mix)
17. Gardens Of God – Zulu (Original Mix)
18. Nicolas Alisferi – Across The Universe (Original Mix)
19. Slam Dunk’d – No Price (Robosonic ‘Disco Break’ reMix)
20. Pariah – Railroad (Original Mix)
21. Floating Points – K&G Beat (Original Mix)

MiGHty mOUse’s current single, Dusk, is out now.

Buy MiGHty mOUse’s music from:

[Audio] Liskka’s self-titled EP

 

liskka

When last we checked Liskka were an all girl trio, now we’re not so sure. Formed from the ashes of Boy/Girl swirly Indie-Electro outfit Happy Hunting, Jana Tyrell enlisted Susie Wedderburn and Hannah Ashman to form her new group, launching with the effervescent As It Goes (I Give). Now, however, it appears that Liskka are, well, a Boy/Girl Indie-Electro outfit (again). The giveaways being copious amounts of male vocals on the new tracks and a Mr. Rick David listed as Jana’s other band member. Anyway, whatever the make up of Jana Tyrell’s band of troubadours; Liskka have just released their début proper EP via Pink Bird Records, a five track affair loaded with experimental Popisms and a wealth of influences.

You’ll find As It Goes (I Give) squeezed onto the end of the EP, a cacophonous Future R&B track wrapped in Chillwave duvet. Eclectic percussion meeting girl harmonies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. As with most of the EP, the track battles with chaos and brings the charm out of the noise; at once alarming and enchanting, the track kinda’ gets under your skin.

Of the new tunes present Cold really stood out for us on the EP, a symphony of broken samples, reverb washed chords and ethereal vocals. Still keeping an R&B swing, but pushing it to it’s most unrecognizable limits as Liskka’s sonic experimentalism layer the organic with the synthetic to haunting effect. The enigmatic arrangement and obscure instrumentation made human by Jana’s versatile voice. Far From Us is more traditionally Shoegaze, a tad to guitary for our tastes and features male vocals prominently; as does the EP’s opener Night Terrors, a perfectly pleasant IndiePop anthem but we do feel Liskka works best with an intangible female voice at the fore.

The self-titled EP’s remaining track, Ghost In The Machine, certainly delivered on everything we love about Liskka and was the other stand out new track in our humble opinion. Building it’s own majesty on an multiform swing groove and a mystical sound pallet. Switching things up a little, Liskka play around with breakbeats and fuller synths as the song builds, resulting in the most powerful track on the EP. Disjointed and dissonant elements coming together in Liskka’s talented hands to create a beautiful whole. Which is much like Liskka in general actually, and the EP in total. Sometimes it doesn’t work, more often it does; and when it does it delivers something truly captivating.

♫ Liskka – Ghost In The Machine

♫ Liskka – Cold

♫ Liskka – As It Goes (I Give)

Liskka’ Liskka EP is out now.

Buy Liskka’s music from:

 

[Audio] Hot Natured’s ‘Off World Lover’

 

Hot-Natured

2013’s Different Sides Of The Sun, by robotic House supergroup Hot Natured is still one of our favourite albums of the decade so far. The outfit, consisting of London SynthPop turned synthetic House master Ali Love, Chicago DJ superstar Lee Foss, Wales’ fines Jamie Jones and CazalsLuca C delivered an instant classic in their début full length record. Sounding unlike anything else around at the time, the album grabbed house and took it down a decidedly 80s Electro alleyway for a good seeing to. Ali Love’s futuristic, Sci-Fi themed vocal performances, paired with a host of quality guests, and an array of stripped down & groovy, analog dance tracks made Different Sides Of The Sun something both compelling and unique. It’s an album that still in heavy rotation round these parts.

It’s been eighteen months since the last new tune from this foursome. We’ve had reMix singles in the meantime (including the amazing Luxry mix of Benediction) but new in terms of original track. Well the wait was finally over with the announcement of Off World Lover. The single is due out in September, as a prelude to the group’s sophomore album that is slated for a 2016 release and will feature a remix from Bristolian producer Will Clarke.

Appropriately released on Jones and Foss’s Emerald City label, Off World Lover continues deeper along their visionary House journey. From a title that brings BladeRunner to mind, to Ali’s interplanetary lyrics, to the otherworldly lead lines this is definitely SynthPop and House music for futurists.

Hot Natured have this knack of making raw, analog sounds sound rich and full. Like most Hot Natured tunes, Off World Lover is quite minimal in it’s arrangement, but never feels like it. In lesser producers hands this synthetic orchestra might sound lacking, but these four maestros can eschew flashy, cheap, modern production tricks and still sound as bombastic as any of today’s big, overproduced, dance tunes. With a growling, rumbling bass undulating over a skippy House beat the foundations are laid for this galactic opus. Synthesizers bleep, sounding like the alerts of a spaceship’s computer while electronic strings zip past like starlight and an otherworldly hook plays in the distance like a half-heard Theremin. Over this Ali’s passionately delivers his long-distance lament, calling out between the planets to his long lost love. Howe Hot Natured manage to sound like this, and never once stop being unbelievably funky is a mystery. But they do, and we’re all thankful for that.

♫ Hot Natured – Off World Lover

Hot Natured’s Off World Lover is released 18th September.

Buy Hot Natured’s music from:

[Audio] Ben Macklin’s ‘Think Of Me’

 

ben-macklin_thumb

We reckon you’d all know London based producer and all-round nice guy Ben Macklin by now. Not only one half of the UK’s answer to Chromeo, Cassette Club, but label boss and particularly talented producer in his own solo right too. Ben delivers the sound of the summer each and every time with warm, laid back tunes that draw on the wealth of Disco, House, SynthWave and SynthPop. Ben’s tune are just…nice. we’re not sure of there’s a better word to describe them, like a sunshiney afternoon spent with good friends and good drinks, for four minutes a Ben Macklin production can make you forget your worries and let you sink into the comfortable groove.

The man is pretty prolific these days, even if there isn’t nearly as much new Cassette Club material as we would like going around. Regular releases have been coming out on his Modal label over the past year and a half or so. Barely a month goes by without a new single and, surprisingly these days, this hasn’t for a second translated into a drop in quality. Take his latest offering, Think Of Me. The track’s release has been perfectly timed to coincide with a break in the UK’s bizarre gloomy mid-summer period and as we write this piece the sun is blazing down and Ben’s new single is the perfect soundtrack. The release sees him once again teaming up with fellow Londoner Emma Brammer (of Dare and It’s Over fame) on vocal duties who’s smoky croon lends an air of enigma to the track.

For such a cosy tune, the bassline in Think Of Me is pretty spikey. A razor sharp digital Funk bass that would impose a robotic dominance over any other track, but Macklin tempers it with washes of glowing and intimate tones that breeze between lush pads and starlight chimes, all rolling over a solid, but unobtrusive House beat. Leading the way on Think Of Me is a soothing electric piano hook and Emma’s enticing vocal. As Ben peppers her voice with the occasional Dub-like effect to weave it in and out of the tune, Emma’s slightly melancholic holiday daydreaming carries you away as much as any element of the music. In the car, in the headphone, on the boombox, DJ’ed by the pool; this one should be enjoyed in the outdoors in good company.

If Think Of Me makes you want to relax in the sunshine, then AIMES stellar reMix of the track will have you heading straight to the dancefloor. injecting the tune with a little Boogie, a little Italo and a little vintage Disco; one of Brooklyn’s finest, AIMES, hits the end of those big snare rolls running with orchestral stabs and the unrelenting machine Funk of the reMixes’ machine gun bassline. Mid-way point the reMix explodes in a symphony of strings and intertwining synth lines, all perfectly crafted to keep the dancefloor energy at it’s highest. Hold tight for the killer synth solo! Likewise, German synthesizer head Final DJs (‘Final DJ’ goddamnit!) delivers a densely layered electronic odyssey.

♫ Ben Macklin (Feat. Emma Brammer) – Think Of Me

♫ Ben Macklin (Feat. Emma Brammer) – Think Of Me (AIMES reMix)

♫ Ben Macklin (Feat. Emma Brammer) – Think Of Me (Final DJs reMix)

Ben Macklin’s Think Of Me is out now.

Buy Ben Macklin’s music from:

[Site News] Everything’s changing. Everything’s staying the same.

 

10724991_978206688869741_1509910498_n

Picture of me ‘cos this is just me talking now…

I don’t know what the point of writing this post is. To the casual reader there isn’t going to be that much difference in their visits to electronic rumors; but for me it’s big change.

I’ve been feeling (increasingly, but a lot of the past couple of years) that the site has strayed so far away from what I wanted to do when I started ER almost seven years ago, to be honest I’m not sure it ever was what I wanted it to be, and I need to do something about it before I just want to call it quits entirely.

People have been writing about music on the internet since…well, the internet; but when I started electronic rumors music blogging (as opposed to blogging about music) was a relatively new ‘thing’. Written by passionate music fans who felt the need to express themselves and enthuse about the sounds they loved, new or old; rarely was music sent to them by PR people, only occasionally by musicians or labels themselves and never ever by majors. They would spend their days hunting down new music (not necessarily to blog about, but because it’s what they did anyway) or re-discovering old favourites and expressing to the world about what was exciting them at the time. That artist got a tiny bit of free promotion was a happy side-effect, there was a fire in these writers belly that compelled them to talk about music. These were music nerds. These were fanzine writers before the internet (as was I for years). These were band obsessives. And through these people I discovered an outlet for my own mania.

There was, briefly, a golden age of music blogs. A scene had formed of ardent writers. Music blogs were always well worth a read (yes, read!) whether the author was writing about their latest discovery or a classic album, their favourite band’s new single or an obscure nostalgic gem. These are the blogs that inspired me to start writing (also, it was either that or continue to bore my mates down the pub about whatever new music I had come across that week). These are the blogs I wanted to be like. Shamefully I have never achieved that ideal.

If you’ve ever read any interviews with me on music blogging you’ll probably know I’m weirdly self-hating about music blogs in general. Perhaps disappointed that I never achieved what I set out to I hold everyone to the standard to which I held (and failed) myself. Which is pretty self centred of me; but let’s face it, a lot of music blogs are utter shit. Posting music with no commentary at all, or posting music with the barest of sentences about release date and who the track is by, or just setting up an IFTTT recipe to automatically post any track you favourite on SoundCloud to a Blogger blog and calling yourself a ‘Music Blogger’…I mean, really, what’s the point of any of them? What do they really add to musical discussion? Just curate a playlist on Spotify and be done with it!

I think the slippery slope from passionate and articulate music fans shouting into the void about their audio loves to “look at me, I post SoundCloud links and that makes me part of the music industry!” began with HypeMachine, particularly their (now rescinded) policy of only featuring the first blog to post a particular track on their homepage. This fostered an atmosphere of competition in the music blog world. Those petty blogs that concerned themselves with traffic (often to bolster their meagre advertising earnings) had to be the first to post a new track or they could kiss their traffic goodbye. Obviously this meant people began posting without taking the time to comment on the music, without taking the time to offer their opinion and in extreme cases without taking the time to actually listen to the music. No time to listed and absorb, it was all about being first.

And those that were first got the traffic, which meant they could start talking about premières (which make for more ‘firsts’) which meant that other bands wanted premières on the site that X band was on, which meant that music PR now had a free way to accommodate the bands who paid them. And thus, the music blogging industry was born.

I’ve long been of the opinion that the main audience for music blogs is other music blogs, along with bands and PR people. I have never met a person in real life who used HypeMachine, and very rarely meet anyone who reads music blogs (who isn’t in a band or a producer).

PR people love blogs because it’s free coverage for the artists who pay them. Premières make bands especially happy for the bragging rights. Bands, musicians and producers love blogs because it’s coverage they can talk about, premières can be particularly boasted about. Blogs love PR people and bands because they get free music from them and, when they are courted for coverage, they get to feel special (more-so if it’s a band the are a fan of) and feel like they are part of the music industry, an insider. It’s intoxicating. So this little circle of everyone making each other happy forms, blissfully unaware that what they are doing has most likely next to zero affect on the consciousness of the general public, even music fans in general, or anyone outside of the circle.

Before anyone indignantly comments; yes, obviously there are exceptions. There are blogs (mostly not like the ones I am talking about) who do have influence on radio programmers, and promoters, and can do real good. And artists who have really benefited from blog coverage (Little Boots and Ellie Goulding spring to mind, but not really anyone new for a long time), but there rare cases where the right artists, the right writers and the right people paying attention just happen to be in the same place at the same time. That’s not how it works out for most people.

Don’t even get me started on blogs who end up posting laughably un-researched gossip rather than music. Seriously, what are they for?

And in amongst all this sycophancy, throwaway posts, fast moving updates, and premières the passion for music has been lost amongst the self-importance and bragging rights.

Not by everyone of course. There are still those pillars of music blog integrity that don’t play the game and still compose posts with passion and humour. Breaking More Waves springs to mind. Robin has been a constant inspiration to me in terms of his writing considered pieces and not caring what anyone else is blogging about. He, and a handful of other ‘good guys and gals’ have kept the spirit of music blogging alive; but they are the exception, not the rule.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go any anybody without having a go at myself. For one reason or another; insecurity (“I want to be relevant too!”), hubris (“I’m an important part of the music industry!”), obligation (“I’ve made a lot of good friends of artists I have featured, I don’t want to let them down!”) or whatever other reason, I am as guilty as the worst of them (well, maybe not the worst, I have always at least tried to write something considered, even if I am a shit writer who is strapped for time), but at least I’ve largely always acknowledged how shit the whole circumstance was.

Returning to the point of this post. This has to stop. It doesn’t make me happy.

What makes me happy is writing about music that excites me.

Not being a news outlet.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Essentially it’s going to boil down to ‘write more, post less’. Currently, and shamefully to me, the thought process is to write about everything I hear that I really like. A catalogue of music I dig. Sometimes, though, I can like a track sooooo hard, but just struggle to find the words to write about it.

From now on I’m only writing about music that seriously compels me to hit the keyboard, music I can’t help but say some words about. Music I actually have some words to say about. Rarely will I post a track on the day it’s released (unless I’ve had a promo copy in advance) as I’m going to want to spend more time with the music I write about; to gather my thoughts. It might not even be new music at all, I might be listening to an album from decades ago, or from earlier in the year, and just want to say something about it.

I want to be like the music sites that inspired me in the first place.

Those who know me know that this has been a long time coming.

I’m sure this is going to piss a few people off, and for that I’m sorry. I know there are artists out there that rely on electronic rumors for coverage and there may be times that I’m just not that outlet anymore (there may also be times that I still am that outlet; depending on the track, my mood, my schedule etc…), there’s even PR people who know they can come to me for coverage, and that may not always be the case moving forward. There may even be readers who come to the site for certain genres latest releases, and I’m sorry if we’re not always up-to-date in the future but hopefully the posts themselves will be a more satisfactory read.

In the end, I’m not happy with the site, so I’m changing it. If you don’t like it you can fuck off (or start paying me) ‘cos its my site.

The label side of electronic rumors will be unaffected by this shift in attitude, except maybe I’ll have more time to devote to it (and possibly get less coverage from music blogs after this post….).

So that’s that then. You know what music I like, if you’re into it keep coming back for more of my bullshit…but about less music…but more choice music maybe.

Sweet Raptor Jesus, do you remember when I was posting, like, ten posts a day! What a twat!

See you tomorrow for a post about some music I like.

MUSIC BLOGS ARE DEAD! LONG LIVE MUSIC BLOGS!

Laterz

Clive.

P.S. Synthesizer Zen isn’t going anywhere.

P.P.S. I might still throw up quick Video and Mixtape posts occasionally. Haven’t decided yet.

–Update— Not really an ‘update’ update as I’m posting this at the same time, but I wrote this on Saturday and over the weekend showed a draft post to a few select artists, PR people and bloggers. Interestingly, in private, every single one of the agreed with me 100%, and supported both my decision to change attitude and my decision to say this publically (which I was a little worried about). Thanks guys!