[Audio] Chad Valley’s ‘Seventeen’



Oxford’s Hugo Manuel A.K.A. Chad Valley is not a go-to artist for us. Which is an odd way to start talking about him, we know. We absolutely love pretty much everything he’s released, we happily fork out the cash for lovely Chad Valley vinyl (we’ve even pre-ordered the new album) and spent hours and hours chilling with his début full album, still a killer after a couple of years. But whenever we’re sat around thinking ‘what to listen to?’ we never go straight got Chad Valley. Which is a shame as whenever Chad Valley pops into our head (and subsequently our speakers) we’re always like “oh shit! fuck yeah! Chad Valley!” Too much music, too little time we guess.

Chad Valley is the shining light of the label that other labels wish they were, Cascine. Since releasing his first EP back in 2010, at the height of the birth of Chillwave, he has steadily offered up a plethora of sunkissed and deeply emotional synth music that draws on everything from Shoegazing Indie to Funk fuelled R&B to weave his densely layered musical tapestry. Haunting and enigmatic at the same times as irresistibly groovy, all the time Hugo’s soft, heartfelt vocals never letting us forget that he wears his heart on his sleeve. His first full length record, 2012’s Young Hunger was a well rounded slice of intricately crafted left-field Pop that really showed off how much Chad Valley’s sound had matured.

This emotionality and sonic maturity is set to continue on his recently announce sophomore record. To be titled Entirely New Blue, the new album is due out in October and sees Joel Ford, of Ford & Lopatin, alongside Yung Ejecta on co-production duties. Largely produced during the break-up of a long-term relationship, we’re likely to see Hugo’s passionate lament taken to the next level. In-fact, Hugo himself calls the album’s second single, Seventeen, “the most deeply personal song I have even written”.

Seventeen takes it’s time to get started, spending over a minute purely on a gentle piano and Hugo’s sincere and regretful croon. Just when you think the tension will never break, Seventeen splits to reveal a shuffling beat and warm, swelling keys. The track build a musical and vocal mantra, undulating sounds tumbling around each other as Hugo’s effect laden voice swings from an narratively emotional centrepiece to another instrument in the tracks swirling finale. We were quite excited about Entirely New Blue when it was announced last month, Seventeen has assured us that our excitement is justified. Hugo truly is a master at his craft, we can’t think of anyone who serves up this kind of hazy, sentimental synth music as well as he does. Just sink into this one, put it in your headphones and lie back. Stay in that warm place until Entirely New Blue drops next month.

Hopefully we can remember lo listen to Chad Valley from now on.

♫ Chad Valley – Seventeen

Chad Valley’s Entirely New Blue is released 2nd October.

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[MP3] Chad Valley’s ‘Real Time’


Chad Valley

Do you like New Song by Howard Jones? You do? Good, and so your should. Want to hear something that sounds a little like a future R&B/Chillwave version of it? You do? Excellent stuff. Just whack on the new tune from Oxford’s finest purveyor of electronic bliss Chad Valley then, you’ll be sorted. Once you’ve heard it, go and buy tickets to catch him live with Keep Shelly In Athens this month.

As you can get the track is pretty 80s, but like 80s that has drifted into your ears on the winds of nostalgia and has got all blow around and by the time it reaches your ears it’s a like woozy dream of the 80s, one in which you can’t stop dancing and possibly get hugged by anthropomorphised bits of furniture. So let your feet move to the electronic soul beat and swing your arms to the floaty synths. It;s all good in Chad Valleys 80s dreamland.

Chad Valley – Real Time

Chad Valley’s début album, Young Hunger, out now.

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[Audio] Vince Clarke reMixes Chad Valley


Chad Valley

You know you’ve made it when you can get the most important person in SynthPop to reMix your tracks. We’ll deserved too, Oxford ChillPopster Chad Valley’s Young Hunger album was one of the highlights of last year, now he’s got SynthPop legend Vince Clarke, of Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure & The Assembly fame, to rework his track Up And Down. Exciting stuff.

And Vince certainly works his classic SynthPop credentials here,it’s a nice contemporary take on a 80s sound. Almost Erasure-like in places, the reMix rides along on a bouncy synthetic bassline and popping percussive synths while all the time delivering a stomping dancefloor beat. Working well with Hugo’s vocals, in fact making them sound totally retro, Vince proves once again why he is as revered as he is.

♫ Chad Valley – Up And Down (Vince Clarke reMix)

Up And Down is taken from Chad Valley’s début album, Young Hunger, out now.

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[Audio] Chad Valley reMixes Ghost Beach


The next in the line of  Ghost Beach reMixes comes from the producer of one of our very favourite albums of last year, Chad Valley. Chad Valley’s Young Hunger album was an absolute stormer that we had on constant rotation in the latter months of 2012, so his contribution to the Ghost Beach’s forthcoming Modern Tongues reMix EP was one we were looking forward to.

And he doesn’t disappoint. Taking the New York IndieDiscoPop Duo’s Teat Us Apart and giving it a Lo-Fi retro workout. Sparkling like stardust, the synths intertwine with each other to form an emotional, hazy, optimistic tune straight out of an 80s teen movie. Chad Valley’s take on the track replaces guitars with lush, but gentle, layers of electronic that gives the vocals a new, heartfelt lease of life. the chorus, particularly, becomes something simply epic in this version of the track. There’s still more to come, Ghost Beach’s Modern Tongues reMix EP will also feature work from the likes of Penguin Prison and Gigamesh.

♫ Ghost Beach – Tear Us Apart (Chad Valley reMix)

Ghost Beach’s Modern Tongues reMix EP is released at the end of March.

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[Video] Chad Valley’s ‘Tell All Your Friends’

Here’s more Chad Valley! Who seems to be gracing these pages everyday! this time it’s the video for Tell All Your Friends, the lead single from his awesome Young Hunger album.

The clip is a psychedelically animated cosmic explosion of colours and shapes, enjoy.

Chad Valley’s Young Hunger album is out now.

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[Audio] Queen Of Hearts reMixed by Chad Valley


Much like Hannibal from the A-Team, we love it when a plan comes together. Or, more specifically, we love it when two artists we love come together. Chad Valley’s album is easily one of the long playing highlights of the year, read our review here, so to have him reMixing our reigning ElectroPop monarch Queen Of Hearts is something pretty special indeed. This comes with high expectations.

And those expectations are lived up to. Hugo Manuel’s lush post-Chillwave electronics transform a rousing call-to-arms into a peaceful, moody opus. Loaded with expressive synth melodies and dreamy pads. The Queens vocals, once rousing and empowering, become gentle and beautiful vocal caress delicately painted across Chad Valley’s audio canvas. The true use of  a reMix is to deliver a totally different take on a track, and this reMix delivers that perfectly. An excellent companion piece to the original.

♫ Queen Of Hearts – Warrior (Chad Valley Radio Mix)

Queen Of Hearts’ Warrioris released on 2nd December.

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Chad Valley’s ‘Young Hunger’


Chad Valley‘s forthcoming début full length record is a departure, or more an evolution, from his previous offerings. The Oxford based producer’s music is at the same time genre-less, and strictly Pop. We usually hate the term ‘genre-less’, we sincerely believe in a good old fashioned pigeonholing and hate the pretension of artists believing they are above that. But it might actually be true in Chad Valley’s case and the new album, Young Hunger, shakes off many of the tropes of his Chillwave roots whilst managing to retain his music’s unique character.

So Young Hunger ends up being some kind of crazy posy-Chillwave, slick R&B Pop with a raw, garage style ElectroPop or Indie-Electro covering. Last years Equatorial Ultravox EP was a dreamlike, Balearically chilled affair, and Youth Hunger builds on that but brings the vocals to the forefront more, making them feel more like traditional Pop songs, albeit ones heard in a dream. The albums opener, the Twin Shadow featuring I Owe You This perfectly exemplifies this, hazy synths and toy town drums should be strange bedfellows with R&B Pop, but it works so well. Twin Shadow isn’t the only guest appearance on the album, TEED, Glasser and Active Child, amongst others, all put in a appearance on the eleven tracks. The previously heard, Tell All Your Friends is one of the albums standouts, a slick retro Pop tune with a catchy as hell chorus that shows just how much Chad Valley’s music has matured. Elsewhere on the album you can hear snatches of LA Funk in the likes of Fall 4 U, the pure 80s soul of Evening Surrender, and the places where the album picks up into proper vintage SynthPop, such as My Girl or the albums title track, both of which wouldn’t seem out of place on the soundtrack to a John Hughes movies. Young Hunger really does exist outside of pigeonholes, and whist that annoys us, it also makes it one of the best albums of the year, and one that can be recommended to fans of ElectroPop, R&B, Pop, Retro Music, Chillwave…y’know, whatever.

♫ Chad Valley (Feat. Twin Shadow) – I Owe You This

♫ Chad Valley – Tell All Your Friends

♫ Chad Valley (Feat. Glasser) – Fall 4 U

Chad Valley’s Young Hunger is released 18th November.

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The Sound Of Arrows’ free reMix album

The Sound Of Arrows

Well this is an awesome mid-week treat! Sweedish, London based, ElectroPop superstars The Sound Of Arrows are giving away an entire albums worth of reMixes, for free. The eleven track collection covered reMixes and edits, some you’ll have heard before, some brand new, there’s even the Wonders B-side, Longest Ever Daydream, thrown in for good measure too.

The album covers the duo past few years of single, featuring work from the likes of Visitor, Tiësto and Gold Dust on reMix duties but our picks have to be The Knocks version of the single Wonders, which takes a glitchy Disco approach to the tune which soon descends into full-on Electro-House dancefloor power. The amazing Mille and his now legendary reMix of The Sound Of Arrows’ breakthrough hit Into The Clouds, to which he lands all of his emotional, ChipTune Dreamwave charm in the perfect combination of ElectroPop and synthetic dancefloor nostalgia and Chad Valley’s deep, atmospheric take on M.A.G.I.C.. Chad bring a sparse Chillwave flavour to the track, supplying one of the albums deeper moments as it slips into House territory. It’s a rad collection, and generous of the guys to give it away like this, being packed with class tunes.

The Sound Of Arrows – Wonders (The Knocks reMix)

The Sound Of Arrows – Into the Clouds (Mille reMix)

The Sound Of Arrows – M.A.G.I.C. (Chad Valley reMix)

Download the whole album here, right now!

Buy The Sound Of Arrows’ music from:

Chad Valley reMixes Mausi


Three out of the four time was have features Newcastle Indie-Electro crew Mausi has been for their track Sol., they are certainly milking this track for every inch of mileage it holds. A dangerous tactic to be sure, coasting a whole year on one track, regardless of how good it is, has a chance of people burning out on it. Anyhoo, next in line to drop a reMix of the track is Oxford’s Chillwave don Chad Valley. His reMix, along with the original, is apparently getting released, again, next month.

On the upside, however, Chad works his lush, evocative electronic magic on the track. A swirling, comforting, wash of gentle synth sounds and relaxing percussion with a slight R&B flavour. In the kind of heatwave we in the UK are having right now, you just don’t want to do anything, Chad’s rEMix kinda’ give you an excuse. Just chill for a while with this tune.

♫ Mausi – Sol. (Chad Valley reMix)

Chad Valley’s reMix of Sol. is released 6th August.

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Chad Valley reMixed by Foals

chad valley

Chad Valley is throwing a couple of parties in London before the end of the year with his Blessing Force colleagues, expect Chillwave, Wonky Pop, eclectic Indie-Electro and a bunch of people not caring much what people think of them. Details here.

As a warm up to the shows, check out this reMix of Chad Valley’s ‘Fast Challenges’, from his ‘Equatorial Ultravox’ EP, by Foals’ Edwin Congreave. Keeping some of the Chillwave vibe Congreave twists the reverb heavy sounds into some kind of weird Experimental Deep House monster

Chad Valley – Fast Challenges (Not Bothered reMix by Edwin Congreave (Foals))

‘Equatorial Ultravox’  is out now.

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