[Audio] Kate Boy’s ‘Self Control’

 

Kate Boy

It was November 2012 we first wrote about Swedish ElectroPop outfit Kate Boy, and not since June last year have the graced these pages. In the meantime we’ve been lucky enough to catch them live twice, once at Bestival last year and just last week in London, and we can firmly say they are easily one of the best live acts around. Completely pitch perfect and charismatic, Kate Boy dominate whatever stage they are on, be it festival or small club. Anyway, they are back with a brand new single, Self Control, which hints at an album to come.

Self Control is as exiting as Kate Boy are live. A fist pumping ElectroPop powerhouse that (slightly) eschews the bands moodier débuts for a euphoric, although no less hard hitting, anthem. Kate Akhurst’s vocals are as dominating as ever, as it their percussive bass trademark sound, put to good use in getting your out of your seat. ElectroPop that demands your attention, Kate Boy are the perfect package, excelling in both studio and live, and we can’t wait for the album.

♫ Kate Boy – Self Control

Kate Boy’s Self Control is out this week. Their début album is hinted at having a January release.

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[Video] The Penelopes’ ‘Time To Shine’

 

The Penelopes   Time To Shine   YouTube

London based French ElectroPoppers The Penelopes’ power good SynthPop anthem Time To Shine is still getting loads of play at electronic rumors HQ. Such an epic track certainly deserved a video. Good thing too, as now it has.

The clip, or mini-movie, was directed by Mattias Erik Johansson and starts French actress SoKo is actually pretty stunning, both visually and in it;s narrative. But being a movie we won’t spoil it for you, treat your eyes to in intense eight minutes.

The Penelopes’ Time To Shine is out now.

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[Video] Magnus’s ‘Singing Man’

 

Magnus   Singing Man feat Thomas Smith  video    YouTube

Magnus is a project from the legend that is CJ Bolland and dEUS frontman Tom Barman. This Belgian duo have just teamed up with Thomas Smith from Editors to deliver this glorious post-EBM crooner Singing Man.

The video was put together by Sander Van De Pavert, and while we wouldn’t normally feature videos that are cut and paste jobs from other peoples’ footage, this one really had to be seen to be believed. The timing is astounding!

Magnus’s Singing Man is taken from the forthcoming album Where Neon Goes To Die, due out 1st September.

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[Video] Kid Kasio & The Sanfernando Sound’s ‘Letters Of Love’

 

Kid Kasio and the Sanfernando Sound   Letters of Love  Official Video    YouTube

UK RetroPop hero Kid Kasio is back in business! This time he’s brought Manchester producer The Sanfernando Sound along for the ride as the two of them deliver driving ElectroPop goodness with this new tune, Letters Of Love.

The video, directed by Ed Crofts, captures the mid-80s Top Of The Pops vibe perfectly with a degraded video recording of a classic Kid Kasio  TOTP performance.

Kid Kasio & The Sanfernando Sound’s Letters Of Love is out today.

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[Video] Télépopmusik’s ‘Sound’

 

Telepopmusik   Sound  feat Mark Gardener    Official Video   YouTube

Legendary French ElectroPop trio Télépopmusik released their brand new single, Sound,  this week. It’s a brooding and mysterious track that ventures the vocals of Mark Gardener from seminal Shoegazers Ride. Here’s the video.

The clip was put together by Japanese director Toshiaki Toyoda and is a beautiful piece of work. We won;t try to describe it, is has to be watched.

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[Audio] Ronika reMixes The Penelopes’ ‘Time To Shine’

 

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London based French duo The Penelopes recent single Time To Shine, a record that we called “Massive” with all it’s moody bombast and stadium ElectroPop leaning, is about to get a bit Massive-er. Fresh from releasing one of the greatest albums of all time, Boogie juggernaut Ronika has contributed to the Time to Shine reMix package with this timeless House mix.

Chicago meets Acid meets Rave in this highly kinetic four and a half minutes. Ronika really keeps the energy going with undulating purcussion and a plethora of classic sounds. At it’s hart a Piano House tune, Ronika brings a load of early 90s elements to the, from the Rave keys to the use of the vocals as samples. This should really be played extremely loud in a field full of revellers, but through your headphones on a sunny day it’ll put just as big a grin on your face.

♫ The Penelopes – Time To Shine (Ronika reMix)

The Penelopes’ Time To Shine is out now.

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[Book] Mad World: An Oral History Of New Wave Artists And Songs That Defined The 1980s by Lori Majewski & Jonathan Bernstein

 

madworld

It’s not often that we get sent non-music promo items, occasionally there will be booze, or gadgets, and there was that time Chromeo sent us a phone, but generally it’s Records and CDs. Last week, though, we got sent a book. That book was Mad World: An Oral History Of New Wave Artists And Songs That Defined The 1980s. It was was written by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein, both long time music journalists with a vested interest int he 80s. I’m a big reader, but I can barely string two words together to write a music review, let along tackle a book review.

So here is a book review.

Music books are notoriously hit or miss, more often being disappointingly miss. The last great music book I read was Last Night A DJ Saved My Life by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton (which is an amazing history of DJing which is well worth the read), 80s music books in particular, usually make me annoyed with their generalizations of superficial coverage of the topic so I delved into the book with trepidation. However, the way Mad World is constructed is both fun and pretty in depth. What you have is each chapter being dedicated to a particular classic song from the 80s and it’s content being an interview with one or more of the creators. So, for example, the chapter on Yazoo’s Only You features Vince and Alison talking about their relationship and making the record. This is a great format that allows you to pick up and put down the book when you’ve got a spare minute and learn something genuinely insightful about a handful of SynthPop hits and a brief look into the mind of some of the biggest names of the 80s. Those present and correct include The Human League, Heaven 17, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones, Kim Wilde, The Normal, Duran Duran, ABC, Devo, A-Ha, Thompson Twins, OMD, Ultravox and many more.

So, yeah, book review. I really enjoyed it. Even though it’s a ‘dip in’ type volume, I read the thing from cover to cover. The fact that it’s 99% the voices of the artists who made these records makes it both more interesting, and accurate, than if a third party has just written about the tracks.

Also, there’s tons of photos, and photos from the 80s are a good thing.

One tiny niggle I did have with the book; being an American publication it has these translations for English terms throughout that tends to be a bit patronising and jarring a little. It’s an annoyance that pulls you out of the book. I know much of the books audience will be American, but I’m sure they have enough common sense to realise a “bin man” is what they would call a “garbage man”, context is a wonderful thing.

That aside though, It’s really good read, I would definitely be interested in a Volume Two being released, there’s tons of songs I would love to read about in this format.

Buy Mad World: An Oral History Of New Wave Artists And Songs That Defined The 1980s from:

[Audio] Blank Paper’s ‘Whip’

 

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Brooklyn SynthPoppers Blank Paper’s new tune sees them setting the scene for their eagerly awaited new EP. After a string of well received tunes, this foursome are finally set to unleash the real thing. Having previously treated us to Step Into My Office and Ambien Blank Paper bring us something a little more soulful. This is Whip.

Whip sneaks a little R&B flavour into Blank Paper’s spikey SynthPop. Guiding their 80s influenced sound into more Electronic Soul of the era’s territory, Blank Paper deliver their usual icy keys and live drunk, but this time add  a bit of swing and a touch of boogie. It forms a nice contract with Marie Kim’s cutting vocal delivery and the stabbing chorus is pure nostalgia. Black Paper have been a bit of a dark horse in recent months and we’re left with the feeling that we’re looking forward to their EP a lot more that we were expecting to. Bring on July.

♫ Blank Paper – Whip

Blank Paper’s new EP is out 1sy July.

Check out more from Blank Paper on SoundCloud.

[Video] Xeno & Oaklander’s ‘Interface’

 

Xeno   Oaklander   Par Avion   YouTube

Here’s the video for Par Avion, the title track from New York Minimal Synth duo Xeno & Oaklander’s new, Ghostly International released, album. Chilly synths and haunting vocals abound!

Directed by Thomas Torres, the clip cuts a sombre mood whist showing of the Budapest location.

Xeno & Oaklander’s Par Avion is released 24th June.

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[Audio] Miles Prower’s ‘These Days’

 

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Bristol SynthWavers Miles Prower go all power-balled with their latest tune, These Days. Taken (again) from their forthcoming new EP, Virtually Reality, this one enlists the help of SynthWave vocalist du’jour Dana Jean Phoenix and brings down the tempo a bit to serve up something for your soul rather than your feet.

These Days actually marks a distinct shift in Miles Prowers music, one we’ve suspected coming for a while now. whist Dana Jean Phoenix’s nostalgic vocals and the songs arrangement are pure 80s power ballad fare, the sound and production itself are about as far away from the 80s as you can get. Mire akin to mid-90s EBM or the more avant-guard end of that era’s SynthPop, Miles Prower invoke a raw production style and modern abrasive digital synth sounds. This makes a for a really nice contrast, caustic music with sweet vocals, and makes the track more interesting than many of it’s contemporaries. Roll on the EP!

♫ Miles Prower (Feat. Dana Jean Phoenix) – These Days

Miles Prower’s Virtually Reality is due out this summer.

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