[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.

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[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.

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[Audio] Liskka’s self-titled EP

 

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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.

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[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.

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[Audio] Ben Macklin’s ‘Think Of Me’

 

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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.

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[Audio] Chvrches’ ‘Never Ending Circles’

 

chvrches

Whoop! It’s the second new tune, following Leave A Trace, from universal ElectroPop overlords Chvrches forthcoming sophomore album Every Eye Open. We’re fast approaching the mid-September release date and so expecting to hear one or two more new tracks int eh coming weeks. this new one, Never Ending Circles, does even more to dispel our fears of a synthesizer abandonment as the Glaswegian trio go stratospheric with three minutes of chirpy SynthPop.

Revolving around a brittle and piercing hook, Never Ending Circles is a resonant, emotional anthem in that particularly spikey Chvrches vein. Robotic tribal percussion rolls over a solid kick to clear the path for those Scottish crisp clean keys and Lauren’s multi layered, modulated backing vocals; on top of which she belts out another spine-tingling lament. Roll on September 25th!

♫ Chvrches – Never Ending Circles

Chvrches’ second album Every Open Eye is released 25th September.

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[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.

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[Mixtape] Ronika’s ‘HEY ME… This One’s For You’

 

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Ronika – HEY ME… This One’s For You Mixtape = Ron can be super selfish. She’s gone and made a mixtape just for herself without a though for whether we would like a mixtape too. What make it worse is the she likes all the same music as us, just look at the tracklist she’s put together for herself. We wish we had a mixtape like that to carry us into the weekend…

♫ Ronika – HEY ME… This One’s For You Mixtape

The tracklist;
01. Krystal Klear – One Night Only
02. Toby Tobias – In Your Eyes (Tensnake reMix)
03. Alex Metric & Oliver – Galaxy
04. Portland – Deezy Daisy (Oliver Nelson RMX)
05. Gigamesh – Don’t Stop
06. PWNDTIAC – Ready
07. Charli XCX – Boom Clap (Aeroplane reMix)
08. Alison Valentine – Curious
09. Neptune Safari (Feat. Clara La San) – Morning Sun (Funk LeBlanc reMix)
10. MiGHty mOUse (Feat. Ronika) – See Through You
11. Julio Bashmore – Rhythm Of Auld
12. BB Brunes – Stereo (Jupiter reMix)
13. Justin Faust – Girl Talk
14. DropOut Orchestra (Feat. Ronika) – Dream Denial (Husky reMix)
15. Lucy Pearl – Don’t Mess With My Man (Le Marquis Mix)
16. James Curd (Feat.Yeah Boy) – Lets Bounce (Miguel Campbel Mix)
17. Glen Check – Pacific (Justin Faust reMix)

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[Video] Kate Boy’s ‘Midnight Sun’

 

Kate Boy   Midnight Sun   YouTube

Midnight Sun, the first single from Australian/Swedish ElectroPop overlords Kate Boy’s forthcoming new album, The One, has only gone and got itself a shiny new music video hasn’t it. Listen with your ears and see with your eyes below.

Directed by the band themselves and actually partly filmed in Kate Akhurst’s apartment. The girl is getting down!

Kate Boy’s Midnight Sun is out now.

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[Download] Avec Sans’ ‘When You Go’

 

Avec Sans

The incredible Avec Sans’s new single premièred this week on MTV’s new Scream TV series. That’s some top drawer syncing right there! If MTV aren’t actually going to play music videos anymore then the least they can do is feature the best new music in their TV show. Which they appear to have done. So fair play to them then. Pats on the back all round. Are we in for some more lovely melancholy moods wrapped up in crystal clean and catch ElectroPop. Yes we are. Get your hearing gear around When You Go.

Swoosh! That’s how When You Go begins. Once suitably swooshed you’ll be treated to a booming and majestic tune that sees Jack playing with an almost Dubby groove, albeit it a Dubby groove run through his humming RoboPop machines while Alice’s smoky vocal delivers that particular gloomy optimism that only she can. When You Go is possible the Sans’ most confident and self-assured track to date, a down-tempo masterpiece of cinematic SynthPop. There so much bombast in here, Jack’s thick production sounding as clean and full as ever, but never over-crammed and Alice’s performance rich with an emotional resonance. There’s a new EP on the way. Oh yes there is.

Avec Sans – When You Go

Avec Sans’ ‘When You Go’ is out now.

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