[Audio] Computer Magic’s ‘Davos’ album

 

Computer Magic

So here’s an album that we’ve been meaning to write about for a while now. Coming up to X-mas we’ve had less time to devote to writing but we have been determined to post a little noise about this record before the end of the year; so here we are.

Brooklyn based Danielle ‘Danz’ Johnson has been firmly on our radar since around 2010 with a host of self released EPs. We were immediately taken with her introspective DIY take on SynthPop, kinda’ filling the hole in our hearts left by a lack of Ladytron. Loaded with vintage synths and simple, yet blissfully effective hooks the music felt raw and heartfelt, and when paired with Danz’s reflective vocals and Sci-Fi tinged lyrics the combination is easy to get lost in.

Following the self released EPs Computer Magic came a handful of EPs on the likes of Kitsuné Music and White Iris and three full length albums in Japan that compiled tracks from various sources. Davos, however, is Computer Magic’s first proper full-length studio album; and one we had been looking forward to for a long long time. It does not disappoint.

Computer Magic’s work on Davos transcends SynthPop or ElectroPop, or even Indie-Electro. Whilst the instrumentation is that of a Lo-Fi SynthPop album, the arrangement, songwriting and the actual mood of some of these songs spans numerous genres. We’re hearing synth based Shoegaze, synth based Punk, synth based Indie as Danz throws the rulebook out of the window on this ambitious twelve track record.

Davos exemplifies this with it’s opening salvo. Fuzz, if synths were swapped for guitars, could quite easily be an underground British Indie hit. That kind of songwriting, but chock full of analog synths rather than dirty guitars make Computer Magic something special. Fuzz is a sweet and playful track that contrasts a distorted riff with Danny’s sweet vocals and is about as anthemic as Computer Magic gets. That Ladytron (well, early Ladytron) comparison comes to light on When You See Me which plays with a similar live, garage ElectroPop feel that Ladytron’s first recordings had. Slightly haunting and otherworldly without being alienating Computer Magic, in just two tracks, can completely suck you into her futuristic, yet intimately personal, world. Secret, again, is written like a 90s Indie smash. With it’s subby verses Danny weaves a mysterious atmosphere before reeling you in with a chorus of subtle Pop brilliance.

Sorry if we keep saying that there are catchy Indie tunes made with synths, but Be Fair, c’mon, it’s a catchy Indie smash made with synths; complete with “do do dos”. Give Me Just A Minute brings out Computer Magic’s more robotic side with it’s Kraftwerkian rhythms and Casiotone-esque leads leading to spacious Numaniod pads. The vintage electronic notes continue with the Tangerine Dream keys on Hudson (probably the album’s closest track to traditional Indie).

The second half of Davos is led by the RoboPop of Save Your Life, a track which harkens back to those quirky Indie-SynthPop bands coming out of America in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This kind of slightly Folky, quaint bands like Venus Hum, with Danny’s own galactic twist.

Then comes All Day, one of our favourite tracks on that album and something of a departure from it’s fellows. Playing with 80s Pop, and a hint of Snyth Funk, Danz turns in the albums grooviest tune. All Day is a buoyant and rich slice of exhilarating ElectroPop that you could easily slip into a best of the 80s compilation. The use of digital bass really makes the tune stand out on Davos.

Bionic Man is also an album highlight. A space age epic rocking the kind of live drums, piercing synths and anthemic vocoding that make up the finest Progressive SynthPop. The rest of the album brings the mood back to that of Danny’s imitate beginnings. Chances is a chirpy and stripped back track full of synthetic optimism while Zuma feels like the emotional outro for Davos. A hazy ballad that, in keeping with the Davos’ second half, has a slightly proggy feel. Spaces, fittingly for a Computer Magic album, closes the record. An six minute opus that sends off Danielle’s science fiction soundtrack in true cosmic style.

If you’re looking for something a little unique, and love synths, Sci-Fi and things of quite brilliance then Computer Magic’s début album, Davos, comes recommended.

♫ Computer Magic – All Day

♫ Computer Magic – Fuzz

♫ Computer Magic – Bionic Man

♫ Computer Magic – Secret

Buy Computer Magic’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:

 

[Video] Vogue Dots’ ‘Way With Silence’

 

Vogue Dots   Way With Silence   YouTube

Awesome Canadian experimental Pop outfit Vogue Dots do like a good song with ‘way’ in the title, eh? Following on from their shockingly good single for Cascine’s CSCN single imprint, Way Out they are continuing along their…way…with this luscious new release, Way With Silence. It’s a gloriously rich and emotive slice of smokey SynthPop. There’s a video for the track too! Check it out here for the first time (premiére stylee) below.

Jon Eisener steps up for directing duties on this clip; a clam and still video that really should be boring, but somehow draws you in with a restrained beauty that seems to curl around the song like the smoke it is very very full of.

Vouge Dots are on the tours; see them at the venues:
Aug 15 – LONDON – The Waiting Room
Aug 16 – BRIGHTON – Green Door Store
Aug 19 – LONDON – Bedroom Bar
Aug 20 – BOURNEMOUTH – 60 Million Postcards
Aug 21 – SHEFFIELD – Picture House Social
Aug 26 – BERLIN – Berghain / Panorama Bar
Aug 27 – BERLIN – Berghain / Panorama Bar

Vogue Dots’ Way With Silence is out now.

Buy Vogue Dots’ music from:

[Video] Róisín Murphy’s ‘Evil Eyes’

 

Róisín Murphy   Evil Eyes   YouTube

Coming from her new album, Hairless Toys, Evil Eyes is the new single from Avant-DiscoPop siren Róisín Murphy. Accompanying the single is this suitably left-field video for the track.

Murphy appears both in front of, and behind, the camera in this clip, a darkly humorous descent into suburban madness.

Róisín Murphy’s Hairless Toys is out now.

Buy Róisín Murphy’s music from:

[Audio] Aeroplane reMixes BANKS’ ‘Beggin’ For Thread’

 

banks

One of our prized pick-ups from this year’s Record Store Day was the second reMix 12” from L.A. Future R&B experimentalist BANKS. The reMixes Part 2 release featured two version of her most often reMixed track Beggin’ For Thread; one of which came straight from Belgian Disco maestro Aeroplane. Vito De Luca’s mix has just hit the digital world on his SoundCloud page, so if you didn’t manage to get hold of the record you can wrap your Internet ears around it right now.

You know where you are with an Aeroplane reMix. Vito consistently delivers quality like a brand name you can trust. Cleanly produced Disco and House, bright and shiny, with Pop sensibilities that what Aeroplane stands for and on this reMix he flips BANKS’ enigmatic presence into a bouncy DiscoPop existence, her smoky vocals taking on a new upbeat quality among Aeroplane’s buoyant bass and lush pads.

♫ ♫ BANKS – Beggin For Thread (Aeroplane reMix)

BANKS’ reMixes Part 2 is out now.

Buy BANKS’ music from:

[Video] Nocturnal Sunshine’s ‘Believe’

Nocturnal Sunshine   Believe Ft. Chelou  Official Video    YouTube

Here is the video for Believe, the current single from Maya Jane Coles’ dubby alter-ego; Nocturnal Sunshine. The track, taken from her just released self-titled début album, features a soulful vocal from London vocalist Chelou against the warm bassy sounds.,

The clip, directed by The Fashtons, is a kaleidoscopic, and slightly creepy, study.

Nocturnal Sunshine’s self-titled début album is released 25th May.

Buy Nocturnal Sunshine’s music from:

[Audio] GotSome reMix Róisín Murphy’s ‘Exploitation’

 

roisin-murphy

Exploitation, the first single from Hairless Toys, the about–to-be released new album from Avant-DiscoPop queen Róisín Murphy has been given the bass heavy floorfiller treatment from Bristol’s finest GotSome. The reMix rubs impressive shoulders with work from the likes of DJ Sneak and Falco Benz on the single and more than makes it’s mark by drawing you into it’s hypnotic groove. Check it out below.

Pulsating robo-bass and a jump up beat drive this juggernaut of a track. Murphy’s vocals are the prefect counter for this throbbing and woozy House tune; her soft tones curling across the high-octane machine groove like smoke. GotSome serve up a symphony of tough rhythms, cowbell and loose keys; punctuated by those demonic synth growls. Strobe light stuff, GotSome are on a roll.

♫ Róisín Murphy – Exploitation (GotSome reMix)

Róisín Murphy’s Hairless Toys is out 11th May.

Buy Róisín Murphy’s music from:

[Audio] Nocturnal Sunshine’s ‘Believe’

 

Nocturnal Sunshine

Here we have our second teaser of what to expect from the forthcoming début album from Maya Jane Coles dubby alter-ego; Nocturnal Sunshine. Single number tow is called Believe and features vocal work from Chelou, who is described as an ‘elusive newcomer’. The album, self-titled, is due out toward the end of this month.

Believe is more of the ominous fantasy Dub we’ve come to expect from Maya’s Nocturnal Sunshine work. Bass heavy and loaded with heavy tones, the track draws you into it’s Stygian depths with undulating rhythms and a pairing of Maya’s trademark haunting snyths with a lead line that cuts through the mix. Chelou’s vocals drift across the track like smoke; husky, brooding and softly spoken, which fits the mood of the track perfectly. We’re quite looking forward to the long player here.

♫ Nocturnal Sunshine (Feat. Chelou) – Believe

Nocturnal Sunshine’s self-titled début album is released 25th May.

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[Video] Tidelines’ ‘Say My Name’

 

Tidelines   Say My Name   YouTube

South East London’s Tidelines release their début EP next month, lead by the moody and enchanting ElectroPop track, Say My Name. It’s a left-field, pulsating, lament.

Here’s the video, as unnerving as the track itself. And like the track itself contrasts the beautiful and soulful with the dark and disjointed.

Tideline’s Say My Name is released 11th May.

Check out more from Tidelines on SoundCloud.

[Audio] Makala Cheung’s ‘A Little Deeper’

 

Makala Cheung

Bristolian singer/songwriter Makala Cheung is mixing up ElectroPop with Oriental flavours and a moody atmosphere on her new single A Little Deeper. Released next month, A Little Deeper is the third single from her forthcoming album, Moon, which sounds like it’s set to be her most mature and confident release to date. She’s also one of Bristol’s ‘Happiness Champions’; I gotta’ be honest, I didn’t know we had happiness champions, but somehow feel better knowing that we do.

A Little Deeper is a way from happy though. A melancholy lament set to a dramatic and cinematic symphony of growling subs, rousing synths and an array of oriental instrumentation. With an avant-garde edge to it, this is a tune that draws you into it’s exotic and pain ridden world and doesn’t let you out. Intricately crafted and honestly delivered, A Little Deeper feels both personal and alien at the same time. Also, it’s quite catchy too, which is always nice.

♫ Makala Cheung – A Little Deeper

Makala Cheung’s A Little Deeper is released 11th May,

Buy Makala Cheung’s music from: