[Video] Makala Cheung’s ‘Feel The Rush’


Makala Cheung 張   Feel The Rush   YouTube

This is the new video from Bristolian dubby ElectroPop artist Makala Cheung. It’s been sat in my inbox for about a month now, which means I definitely missed the Chinese new year launch; but 2016 has been one of those year, and you know I’m not so focussed on ‘news’ anymore, so here we are. Better late than never.

Makala is creating some of the most interesting music around right now. Haunting and beautiful; her sound draws from both downtempo ElectroPop and oriental instrumentation to create something truly unique. Addin in Makala’s ethereal vocals just make the tunes all the more enigmatic.

Feel The Rush is a symphony of sparse Hip Hop beats, relentless synths and sparse strings whose shuffling patterns provide a broken soundtrack for Makala’s heartfelt lament.

The video is obviously inspired by Audition and is surprisingly lavish for a DIY artist, looking every bit as pro as it should. By taking it’s cues from Audition, it’s as creepy as it sounds and put a whole new haunting spin on the track itself.

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[Audio] BeatLoaf’s ‘Texas Benchmark’



Y’know what we love about BeatLoaf? The Detroit based producer isn’t scared of making music. The man has got his groove, and it’s a groove seeped in the history of dance music, but he’s not afraid to experiment either, to think outside the musical box. While his tracks are unequivocally House floorfillers, he spices them up with hints of Detroit Techno, Electro, PowerNoise, Berlin sounds and SynthPop; all the time keeping things funky.

BeatLoaf has released a string of fresh single over the past few years, each one bringing new surprises to his robotic dancefloor sound, not least with last years mechanical monster Romantic, and this year he releases his latest robust beats in the forms of the intriguingly named Texas Benchmark; due out tomorrow.

Texas Benchmark bristles with shuffling electronic percussion and in terms of overall tone feels very much like a spiritual sibling to Romantic. Those slowly building beats and the occasional snatched of hollow synth bass before the riff fully drops are reminiscent of the tension that Romantic built. Texas Benchmark, however, has an almost playful, magical quality provided by effervescent and sparkling melodies that intertwine themselves throughout the track.

These shimmering and intoxicating hooks dance around your brain, taking control of the track. Weaving in and out of this techy House jam giving it a kinetic sense of narrative. Fat beats to take you on a journey. Toy-town synths telling the story.

Equally fit for headphones or dancefloor, Texas Benchmark is one to forget the world for seven minutes and let BeatLoaf do the driving.

The single is released 8th March via trill.wav

♫ BeatLoaf – Texas Benchmark

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[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

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[Audio] Liskka’s self-titled EP



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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[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.

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



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.

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[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.

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



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.

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[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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