[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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[Audio] Ride The Universe reMix Young Empires’ ‘The Gates’


Young Empires

It’s been a few years since we’ve posted anything from Indie-Electro outfit Young Empires. Did they stop releasing stuff for a while? We dunno’. Anyhoo, here they are again back on these pages courtesy of Disco mercenaries Ride The Universe. I refer to RtU as mercenaries ‘cos, like The A-Team, they appear to have gone underground. This is the first hint of new music we’ve had from them in aaaaaaaages. They guys used to be so prolific! Anyhoo, we’re glad of at least something. So sit back, headphones on, and cross you fingers that this means more new tunes from Ride The Universe.

The reMix is actually a bit of a departure for Ride The Universe, especially in terms of tempo. This track is a downtempo, funk laden, almost Future R&B tune as RtU weave their way through Young Empires original brandishing wobbly Moog bass and delicate House hooks. This one is so smooth that we would be surprised if you could even stand up after it’s finished, frankly our legs just melted. the warmest of warm summertime grooves from the transnational soldiers of Disco. More please.

♫ Young Empires – The Gates (Ride The Universe reMix)

Young Empires’ The Gates is out now

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[Download] Alison Valentine’s ‘Pixie Dust’


Alison Valentine

New Yorkian future R&B songstress Alison Valentine recently unleashed this brand new track. It originally cam as part of this mixtape, but thankfully Ally decided to give the whole track to the world as it deserves to be heard in it’s entirety. So sit back in the moonlight, and check out Ally V’s Pixie Dust.

Stepping up for production duties on this one is French producer Para One, a man who’s no stranger to big bass and Hip Hop beats, both of which shine though on this slow and slinky Future R&B track. It’s got a distinctly R&B vocal flavour alongside some West Coast sounds, but that’s mixed up with a complex experimental flair as the track breezily cascades into an intricate synth jam while Ally’s silky vocal rides the booming bass.

Alison Valentine – Pixie Dust

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[Video] Avan Lava’s ‘So F*kt Up’


AVAN LAVA   So F kt Up  Official Video    YouTube

Brooklyn resident, Keljet collaborator and one half of Ayer, Avan Lava’s new single, So F*kt Up, is released next month. A noisy, bass heavy, synth twisting, future R&B crooner.

Here’s the official video, directed Cody Critcheloe, a delirious party chronicle.

Avan Lava’s So F*kt Up is released 3rd December.

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[Audio] Jensen Sportag’s ‘Stealth Of Days’


Last week, Nashville chili-peppers Jensen Sportag released their long awaited second album, Stealth Of Days. It seems to be being referred to as their début, we’re not quite sure where that leaves their 2006 untitled full lengther on Midisport, maybe that was just a ‘collection of works’ or something? Anyhoo, despite having been listening to our promo copy of Stealth Of Days a hell of a lot over the past couple of months we dropped the ball and neglected to post a review in timely fashion. Real life stuff weighed heavy on our shoulders last week. Stupid real life stuff, always getting in the way of writing words on the internet. So without further ado, better late than never, let’s stick our heads in the chiller-cabinet and see what’s occurring.

At the time of writings, it’s a Sunday, and it’s Autumn. We could sum up Stealth Of Days by saying it’s a very Autumn Sunday album. It warms you when it’s cold outside, it’s relaxing without being dull, it’s intelligent and meticulously crafted and loaded with grooves to carry you away and spark your imagination, like so much of Jensen Sportags material. From that first CD, through the Sergio and Jackie EPs, to their début for Cascine, the Pure Wet EP, Austin and Elvis have always delivered something to get excited about. Drawing from R&B, Chillwave, Indie, SynthPop, Avant-Garde and a healthy dose of Yacht Rock, these guys have consistently unleashed music that is both funky and chilled, like a disco under the duvet. Very few artists can make music so complex so damn smooth.

The record kicks off with Rain Code, a hazy, ethereal, R&B tune that is a brave choice for album opener, but once you slip into it’s experimental waters it makes perfect sense, setting up stealth Of Day’s mood. Were this a soundtrack to a movie, this initial piece would convey in detail the world you were entering. The shuffling beats make their first appearance of Six Senses, alongside rounded LA Funk bass and light Disco licks that weaves though their haunting and abstract Soul. Stealth Of Days seems to get increasingly more coherent as it plays, the laid back  beach groove of Light Through Lace leading to the the cavernous alt R&B of Falling Doves still keep the ghostly ambience going but upon hitting After Gardens the album starts to focus more. After Gardens is a silky slice of soulful Pop that precedes one of the albums highlights, Hidden, Hunted, a rolling and infectious slow jam were dreamlike vocals, ticking rhythms and reverb washed synths all hit just the right spot. Bellz and Under The Rose are up next, both good choices for advance preview tracks, both thick with supernatural grooves, resurrected 80s hooks and an otherworldly dancefloor appeal. Blue Shade works a smokey, night time, urban feel while Blood Hourglass closes the album in epic style with five minutes of piano led power jamz fed though a vintage radio. Awash with nostalgia, you get a sense of the genuine passion for what they are doing from Jensen Sportag on Stealth Of Days. Everything is so delicate and intricate and hones to perfection, the album really feels like a labour of love.

♫ Jensen Sportag – Hidden, Hunted

♫ Jensen Sportag – Falling Doves

♫ Jensen Sportag – Blue Shade

♫ Jensen Sportag – Bellz

Jensen Sportag’s Stealth Of Days is out now.

Buy Jensen Sportag’s music from:

[Audio] Jensen Sportag’s ‘Rain Code’



Rain Code is the third taster you’ve got from Nashville space cadets Jensen Sportag’s forthcoming, and amazing, début album, Stealth Of Days. That’s now three opportunities you’ve had to revel in this duo’s mysterious, romantic, dreamlike musical world before the records release on Cascine next month. You should be well excited by now, if you’re not than there’s a chance you’ve actually been listening to something else. We’ve been listening to the new Jensen Sportag album, if you have not then it sucks to be you.

Rain Code has an oddly onomatopoeic title. Which is probably a completely fatuous use of the word onomatopoeic but it really does sound, in some way, like rain code (whatever rain code is). Kinda’ gently, yet imposing. Complex and delicate. The beauty of rain and the intricacies of code. Totally captivating, and it’ll make the ladies wet (I can’t believe I just wrote that!). Huddle under your digital umbrella and prepare for a slight chance of electric piano, gusts of warm synth, ghostly yet human vocal showers and a force five chillnado.

♫ Jensen Sportag – Rain Code

Jensen Sportag’s Under The Rose is released 12th November.

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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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