[Audio] Keep Shelly In Athens’ ‘Silent Rain’


Keep Shelly In Athens (2)

Keep Shelly In Athens? Keep us on our toes more like. Amirite? we honestly weren’t sure, or indeed confident, about the future of the Greek chiller cabinet ElectroPoppers when the voice of KSiA, Sarah P, departed the duo to follow her own musical path. When her final track with the outfit, Old Time Glory, dropped we we’re slightly pessimistic that this was the last we’d hear of the group. So often, even with the best intentions to carry on, a bad breakup can spell the end of even the most committed musicians; and even when the music keeps flowing, sometimes it’s just not the same.

With a change of line-up, new singer Myrtha, replaces Sarah P and a new label; the baton being passed from purveyors of good taste Cascine (who released Keep Shelly In Athens début official full lengther At Home) to L.A. based tastemakers Friends Of Friends, there could quite easily be a confusion of direction. It could feel like a whole new band, and as Keep Shelly In Athens unleash some brand new material it’s time to find out if they are still a band we dig.

So it was with some trepidation that we met the recent news of Keep Shelly In Athens sophomore (proper) album, titled Now I’m Ready and due out later this month, and it’s lead single, Fractals. If we’re honest, we were on the fence with Fractals, it was very guitar heavy and very shoegazy; it was nice enough but we missed the waves of hazy synths that made us love KSiA. The album’s second single though, Silent Rain, is more up our street.

We can’t help but feel like Silent Rain is Keep Shelly In Athens with a Post-Punk injection. It’s that The Sisters Of Mercy bassline, chugging away amid a sea of lush Dreamwave style synths, that gives the track a mid-80s Indie urgency. This is more of a ‘live’ sounding KSiA than we have been used to, Even Myrtha’s vocals, as they flit from Shoegaze ethereal to early Indie chants, add to the synthesized floppy haired nostalgia. This whole record could go either way, it could be an exciting excursion in electronic soundscapes that draws it’s influences from the wealth of independent records released in the last three decades, or it could be a Goth-Rock record with a few synths here and there. Silent Rain, thankfully, makes us think it will be the former. If the whole album is filled with similar moments of vintage leaning beauty then we will be happy.

Think Electric Youth meets March Violets meets early Lush meets mid-70s Jean Michel-Jarre. If you can.

♫ Keep Shelly In Athens – Silent Rain

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[Audio] Soulwax reMixes Hot Chip’s ‘Huarache Lights’


Hot Chip

Soulwax have reMixed Hot Chip.

We could pretty much just end the article there really. That initial sentence have got everything you need to know in it, but we made a big deal about writing more and whatnot so strap in; words to follow.

It’s not the first time this awesomeness has happened of course, the Belgian live dance music dominators reworked Hot Chips Ready For The Floor back in 2008, now a classic track. Although having been quite, to the point of retirement, in recent years when it comes to original material, Soulwax/2 Many DJs have been knocking it out of the park recently on the reMix front and with their plethora of side-projects (Klanken, Radio Soulwax,the Deewee label, Despacio nights), so it makes sense that they would return to their Chippy chums for this killer mix.

Hot Chip’s Huarache Lights comes from the Indie-ElectroPop experimentalists sixth studio album, Why Make Sense?, released earlier this year. This particular exclusive reMix is taken from the forthcoming deluxe edition of that album, dropping later this month. The new album collection will also feature Hot Chip’s live favourite cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In the Dark.

Pushing the tune’s synths to the point of distortion, Soulwax deliver a reMix that tires, and reasonably successfully succeeds, in capturing their live ‘lightning in a bottle’. The beats are a hypnotic expanse of vintage drum machines, ushered along with one of their trademark EBM-lite juggernaut basslines, gruff enough to be powerful, but emotive enough to carry the song. Spikey and immediate, the synth riffs tower over the track, like a repeated mantra. The all perfectly contrasts with Alexis’ soft spoken vocals, which takes this abundance of sparse and abrasive electronic and brings them together in a song. Top stuff.

♫ Hot Chip – Huarache Lights (Soulwax reMix)

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[Audio] Maya Jane Coles reMixes Nimmo’s ‘Dilute This’



Nimmo And The Gaunttlets are now just Nimmo, although the gauntlets appear to still be around. Confusing, right? We thought Sarah Nimmo might have gone solo, but nope the gang’s all there, Reva Gauntlett is still around. This crew are one of the best live outfits in the UK right now. We’ve been lucky enough to catch them a few times and they have an odd introspection onstage that, rather than alienating a crowd, seems to draw the crowd in and their high energy, upbeat Indie-Electro anthems definitely keep an audience rocking.

Their intense, but fun, ElectroPop seems like a pretty good match for the reMixing talents of Maya Jane Coles, who we’ve made no secret of the fact that we think she is one of the best producers of the last decade. Coming from Bristol we do have a soft spot for our electronic music being bassy and mysterious and Maya superbly wraps that Sci-Fi Dubbyness into infectious House tunes in a way that is just intoxicating; and when she weaves vocals through her tracks the results are right up our street.

Nimmo’s infectious and edgy ElectroPop single Dilute This was released late last month and has been swiftly followed up with a small collection of reMixes featuring Maya’s track, a mix from David Mayer and an Extended version from Nimmo themselves, the Nimmo Night Edit.

MJC’s reMix keeps that enigmatic vibe while introducing the track to a nice peak-time House flavour. Maya’s undulating and shifting beats keep things steady without loosing it’s little Garage skipping. Cole’s premiére talent is her user of atmospheric sounds and pads to create unique grooves. Many people can utilise moody tones to create an ambience, but MJC builds those soundscape layers into something darkly funky. Here that deep and intoxicating pallet turns the sections of Nimmo’s vocals that Maya chose to use from energetic IndiePop hollers to smokey and haunting croons. The perfect lazy afternoon listening that would work equally as well rocking an enchanted dancefloor.

♫ Nimmo – Dilute This (Maya Jane Coles reMix)

Nimmo’s dilute This is out now.

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[Video] PJU’s ‘Give It To Me’


PJU feat Josh Caffe Robert Owens Give It To Me YouTube

Remember Punks Jump Up’s Give It To Me from last year? The track was inspired by 80s Chicago House classic Donnie by The It, and featuring vocals from original Donnie vocalist Robert Owens, and was available on Exploited’s Secret Gold Volume 6 compilation. Well the jacking tribute to all things warehouse is getting a nice reMix package release on PJU’s own Musik Box label. The October release comes equipped with mixes from KiWi, Vanilla Ace & Berber, Musik Box (we guess PJU), Want More and Horse Meat Disco. The original is pretty amazing, we can’t wait to hear the reMixes.

It also comes with this particularly retro video which looks like any number of VHS tapes we have in the back of a wardrobe loaded with dance music videos taped off the telly. The perfect accompaniment to the track.

[PJU’s ‘Give It To Me’ is released 23rd October.

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Every Open Eye’ album


It’s with caution that we approached Glaswegian ElectroPoppers Chvrches sophomore album, Every Open Eye. It cannot be stated enough how much we love their début full length records, The Bones Of What You Believe; it was our album of the year in 2013 and for a long time a whole day didn’t go by without us listening to it at least once. We believe the words “fucking stunning!” were used.

Difficult second album syndrome may be a music industry cliché, but not without cause. A band’s first record is usually made up of tracks they have written along their entire career to date, usually honed my touring and rehearsing with the best of their best making up their premiere collection. The follow up, however, most likely has to be written from scratch. Touring the first album can give new songs some road-testing, but it really does put a band to the test, coming up with the same amount of material as they have in their entire career to date in just a year or so. Some rise to the challenge and prove their talent, some fail miserable.

Thankfully Chvrches fall into the former category.

That said, Every Open Eye is a widely different album to The Bones Of What You Believe. Sure, critics not so in deep with SynthPop are probably saying it’s more of the same, critics with narrow views of synthesizer music are probably saying Every Open Eye is straight-up ElectroPop; but they would both be wrong. It would be far too easy to say that this is Chvrches flexing their tried and tested formula, that it is a return of vintage electronic music (which was always an odd comment, there’s very little vintage in Chvrches crisp electronic sound. There has been SynthPop since the 80s y’know!) but all that would be to miss the real beauty of Every Open Eye, and album teaming with contemporary influences (it’s an incredibly Indie album, there are flairs of R&B too) to be spotted by the electronic music aficionado..

We’ve been living with Every Open Eye for a couple of weeks not, and one of the biggest things that struck us about it is the notion that this is an album written by a band that has been touring pretty heavily over the past couple of years. This is a album written by a band who plays live to play live. Loaded with bombast and big crowd pleasing moments, Every Open Eye revels in anthems and chants in a way the more introverted The Bones Of What You Believe didn’t. If the previous album was singer Lauren Mayberry’s exposed raw nerve, Every Open Eye is a defiant manifesto. Mayberry’s lament replaced with an invitation to join in the anger and euphoria of the eleven track contained within.

Every Open Eye really does hit the ground running. The opening salvo of Never Ending Circles and Leave A Trace is one of the best album launches in recent memory. Never Ending Circles is pure anthem material. A lurching bassline drives forward a symphony of all those elements that make Chvrches Chvrches. Sampled and chopped up backing vocals, thunderous drums, Lauren in optimism lined with bitterness mode, massive chords and sweeping choruses. Never Ending Circles, combining these elements, could have quite easily turned out to be Chvrches-by-numbers but the trio manage to avoid the formulaic trap with stellar songwriting. It’s a superbly spine-tingling opener who’s elevation is continued in the album’s lead single, Leave A Trace. A impassioned, and personal, song that combines Lauren’s proud opus with a soundtrack of emotive electronics that melds atmosphere with a rock solid groove.

Keep You On My Side is the first of many tracks on Every Open Eye that seems to be written with live performance in mind. It’s high BPM and frantic arpeggios complement the chant-a-long vocals will no doubt become a Chvrches live set highlight, but in a listening scenario gave us our first frown of the record. Highlighting a rawer production style that is present through the album. At times the sparse, upfront mixing style of Every Eye Open works well to convey this live energy contained within so many of the tracks, but at times we did miss the more cohesive, more comfortable, production style of The Bones Of What You Believe. This continues into Make Them Gold, and Indie anthem made synth that sees the first appearance of Iain’s chugging bass, here underpinning Every Eye Opens most euphoric and rousing refrain.

Which brings us to Clearest Blue, another of the album’s standout tracks. Revelling in the history of SynthPop (particularly early Depeche Mode), Clearest Blue serves up a high-energy and heartfelt track that seems to be one big build. Again, this is a song crafted for live enjoyment featuring a couple of moments that were surely written for their ‘crowd going mental’ appeal; when the drop comes, it comes hard.

No Chvrches album would be complete without Martin stepping up to the mic. This time High Enough To Carry You Over comes thick with a synth-Funk as Doherty croons, strangely like a Scottish Dave-1 from Chromeo. It seems more relatable, and to our minds slightly better, that his outing on The Bones Of What You Believe but after this quick aside where dropped straight back into the live focused monster tunes with Empty Threat. More of Ian’s powerhouse bass, more of Lauren and the kind of massive vocal performance that has no business coming out of such a small frame. Empty Threat is possibly the best of the crowd-pleasers, it’s resonant lyrics and crisp vocals being something to shout about.

Moody Future R&B infiltrates the record in one of Every Open Eye’s quieter moments, the smokey sweet Down Side Of Me (a personal highlight) as waves of Lauren’s (in this instance) gentle vocals intertwine with pinprick synths and warm keys to provide a little respite amid the juggernaut numbers. The following tune, Playing Dead is the most The Bones Of What You Believe track on Every Open Eye. It’s melancholy optimism, both vocally and musically, would have actually made an excellent album closer with it’s (again, live focused) but stuttered sample breakdown providing a stark contrast to (what we think is) Mayberry’s best performance on the record. Before the sweet and calming exit of Afterglow, Comes Bury It, perhaps the album’s lowest point, a barrage of synths and chants that is exciting in it’s own way but feels slightly like an afterthought.

Is Every Open Eye as good as The Bones Of What You Believe.  Well…no. But just saying “no” without explanation seems unfair. Taken out of context Every Open Eye is a fucking amazing record that we could not recommend enough to everyone. We’ve been listening to it almost non-stop for the past two weeks and loving every second. The Bones Of What You Believe is such a legacy to live up to, I’m not sure anyone could have done it. Every Open Eye just isn’t quite as great as it’s predecessor, but don’t think for a minute that that doesn’t make it one of the best albums of the year. It really is. Top five. It beats the crap out of almost everything released in 2015…it’s just that in 2013 Chvrches released something a tiny bit better.

That’s not a dis though. You need this album in your life right now.

♫ Chvrches – Leave A Trace

♫ Chvrches – Never Ending Circles

Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye is out now.

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[Audio] Jordan F’s ‘Mesmerised’


Jordan F

There are a few artists who have been with us since the beginning. Starting out not long after electronic rumours was born and we’ve follow their careers as they have progressed. Some flee by the wayside, never to be heard of again, and some went from strength to strength. Australia’s Jordan F is one of these artists we’ve been with since day one, and he’s definitely one of the strength to strength-ers. Starting out at the beginning of the second wave of Dreamwave artists (the scene have just come off MySpace) Jordan quickly rose through the ranks; showing himself as a producer enhanced musicality and a knack for retro flair without the constructions of genre.

He was quickly picked up by the elite best-of-the-best of the Dreamwave seen, Rosso Corsa Records (home to Mitch Murder and Miami Nights 1984) and, after flexing his musical muscles on numerous EPs, his début album Slipstream was finally released last year.

It’s a surprise, then, to learn that he’s following up with a sophomore long player so soon afterwards having recently announced that the sequel he’s coming soon. The announcement came with the Album’s premier single, Mesmerised.

Mesmerised comes equipped with vocal stylings of Canadian SynthWave scene hired gun Dana Jean Phoenix, a singer whose look and sound delivers an authentic 80s pop sheen to the tracks she collaborates on. Mesmerised might just be her finest appearance to date as she and Jordan tread the lilting, laid back, hazy nostalgia path laid by the likes of Electric Youth.

These two are a match made in vintage heaven as Jordan’s restrained and mature soundtrack of tight digital bass, understated drums and a sea of lush pads is prefect for Dana to weave a delicious and gentle 80s Pop ditty throughout. As with many of Jordan’s tunes his soaring solos steal the show infusing Mesmerised with the fluid excitement that plays with Donna’s vocals like a call-and-response. It looks like, with his new album, Jordan F be taking them to school once again.

♫ Jordan F (Feat. Dana Jean Phoenix) – Mesmerised

Jordan F’s Mesmerised is out now.

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[Audio] Grum’s ‘Something About You’ & ‘First Contact’



Leeds based Scot Graeme Shepherd, better known as Grum, seems to have settled into his niche as one of the UK’s finest purveyors of uplifting progressive dance music. Having started his career with a bit of a Dreamwave slant to his is music; Grum has run the musical gauntlet of SynthWave, Euphoric Trance, Electro-House and finally ended up in a place where all those styles can merge together into one glorious big-room sound. As one of our favourite producers in the country we always rely on Grum to deliver those kind of big dance tunes they make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and have you reaching for the lasers.

Having released his début, Builder, the legendary Anjunabeats label back in May of this year, Grum is now following that up with his brand new double A-side release. The two tracks, Something About You and First Contact, were released last week and both are some of his most immediate work to date.

Something About You is an energetic flurry of razor sharp synths and arpeggios. With pitched down, and up, vocal snatches riding a wave of swirling leads and rapid-fire drum rolls powering the tracks energy, Grum delivers a perfectly timed like the breakdown that elevates of the track’s tension until it crashes back in with a cavalcade of mesmerizing melodies. Definitely one for the hands-in-the-air crowd.

A deeper side to Grum is displayed on the flip-side, First Contact. Utilising his Dreamwave roots, First Contact brings nostalgic hooks and shuffling beats, perfect for losing yourself on the dancefloor too. A crisp digital baseline gives the track a mechanized groove that nicely contrasts with the Balearic leads for some romantic sunrise funk. First Contact would probably be our favourite of the two tracks.

♫ Grum – Something About You

♫ Grum – First Contact

Grum’s First Contact is out now.

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[Video] Romuald & Madji’k’s ‘Fastlane’


Romuald   Madji k   Fastlane  feat Stanza   Official Video    YouTube

The awesome Continental Records (Jerry Bouthier’s baby) have just released their second single from French producers Romuald & Madji’k, a collection of reMixes following up their Stanza featuring Fastlane single. (check the MiGHty mOUse reMix for greatness). Alongside the release comes a brand new video for the track.

Directed by Romuald Lauverjon, the clip is a swirl of colourful retro imagery centred around a gorilla in a Porsche 911. Yup, a gorilla.

Romuald & Madji’k’s ‘Fastlane reMixes’ are out now.

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[Audio] DNKL’s ‘Otherside’



Some days we feel like we might as well just stop trying to fight it and become a publication that solely focuses on Scandinavian music, seeing as we spend most of our time listening to, and writing about, it anyway. The Scandinavians really have nailed it where it counts. They arguable produce the finest electronic Pop music in the world, they pwn the world of Cosmic Disco, their experimental electronics have a tundra soul that raises it above the rest and they can take Teutonic EBM and somehow make it less embarrassing. Even more amazing is when they blur the lines between styles. DNKL do that. DNKL do that, like, all the time.

Swedish trio DNKL take a frigid, icy SynthPop sound and warm it up with some bass heavy dance music grooves. For the last few years this outfit have been releasing complex and beautiful dark ElectroPop tracks, heavy with atmosphere, but with foundations of tight and intricately crafted synthesizer Pop.

Their new tune, Otherside, comes following up on their début EP, Wolfhour, which received a fair amount of praise on it’s release last year. Since then the guys have been holed up working on new material (we hope for a forthcoming full length release) of which this is the first taste. It’s a departure from their previous offerings, but at the same time not; and not just because contradictory statements are fun. Listen up as DNKL weave a solid Techno groove through their haunting Pop Noir.

Otherside has a cheeky little early/mid-90s feel to it too, with snatched drum rolls and a spiky digital bassline giving the track an unusually (for DNKL) funky flavour. Woozy side-chained pads ensure that DNKL’s trademark haze is not missing while the synthesized sax-a-like lead flits between smokey & urbane and slightly otherworldly. Otherside’s mystery tour through moods lends itself to concrete jungle adventures as much as it does to arctic wasteland contemplation, and is perhaps the first original DNKL song that you can get up and dance to. The understated and heartfelt vocals serve as a guide through DNKL’s world, their ebb and flow rushing in and out of the track in ghostly swirls.

The more we think about it, the more we’re sure Otherside would have gone down a treat in the Indie clubs of our youth.

♫ DNKL – Otherside

DNKL’s Otherside is out now

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[Audio] Auxiliary Tha Masterfader’s ‘Disco Machine’ Italo reMixes



Back in June the Netherlands finest analog Disco merchant, Boogie DJ and all-round nice, smiley, fella; Auxiliary Tha Masterfader released the single Disco Machine. Disco Machine was his first release via Brixton dancefloor collective Nude Disco label arm. We said “Sounding authentically like an early 80s European dancefloor hit, Disco Machine sets up all the genre’s tropes for Aux to give them his own person spin. Synthesizer gold.” Did you hear that? Synthesizer GOLD!

Aux’s music is for people who love synthesizers, for people who love the history of European dance music; Italo, Boogie, Disco and beyond, and for people who from whom dance music is about more than the drop.  It’s music for those souls who can be taken to other planets, losing themselves in the robotic ebb and flow and the dancefloor. Aux is a man with a passionate love of vintage dance music and a hardware studio to be envious of; a killer combination.

This month Nude Disco released a companion to Disco Machine. It’s titled Disco Machine: Italo Edition. That’s pretty straightforward in terms of titling. This new release, as you’d expect unless you were painfully inept, featured four of the modern synthetic Disco scene’s brightest rising stars whipping up some mechanized Italo magic all over (the already quite Italo itself) Disco Machine. The Sanfernando Sound, Italo Brutalo, A Copycat and Rimini Rimmers all deliver pulsating reMixes of the track. Here’s a couple of fresh examples.

Manchester’s dark electronic overlord, The Sanfernando Sound serves up one of his special blends of classic EBM, mid 80s Italo and early Futurist SynthPop. Like that jacket you’re wearing brings out the blur of your eyes, The Sanfernando Sound can bring out the ominous, aggressive side of a track; his reMix is a pounding Italo juggernaut. Built on rock solid beats and factory floor basslines, this reMix strikes a nice balance between industrial Funk and uplifting grace with an airy lead line, accompanying the original’s vocoding, that glides across the mechanized dancefloor backing.

Italo Brutalo’s reMix is, ironically, not as brutal as The San Fernando Sound’s. A shuffling and skippy affair, Brutalo plays with the original’s groove with a syncopated bassline and a bit of a Pet Shop Boys vibe. Intertwining springy and flanged synth bass and choppy arpeggios all come together in a complex mix that presents as a deceptively simple whole. Multiple layers of rippling electronics weave the tapestry of a mid-80s Mediterranean dancefloor smash. This tune almost makes you see in VHS video effects.

♫ Auxiliary Tha Masterfader – Disco Machine (The Sanfernando Sound reMix)

♫ Auxiliary Tha Masterfader – Disco Machine (Italo Brutalo reMix)

Auxiliary Tha Masterfader’s Disco Machine: Italo Edition is out now.

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