Amusement, the Croydon foursome that released this stellar remix of Disclosure’s “Flow”, really turns a good original jam as well. Some quick research into their relatively sparse online presence yields results quickly, as their most recent Soundcloud offering pops in such a sensible way while still retaining a warm self-produced sheen. “Mural”, posted four months ago, has a very hi-fi studio grade tone to it, putting it in the same sound echelon as acts like Fixers or Races. The layered wailing at the forefront of this very radio-friendly indietronic tune is complemented perfectly by the light beat and the warm, pervasive bassline. The highlight, of course, is the digital distortion towards the end of the refrain. Very simple, effective, and catchy. Some of those generic sounding indie rock bands really gel well with that experimental sound that we constantly chase, so we’d like to put in a plug for Amusement. We hope that their vibes continue to resonate for quite some time. Do tha right thing, and get an MP3 earful of “Mural”, by Amusement, and then see what else you can see by these guys afterwards. That Disclosure remix is definitely not to be missed either.
We just learned about Helsinki’s Albert Swarm today, thanks to Ceremony Recordings’ excellent little mix for ISO50. Featuring Solar Year, Bam Spacey, and a couple of others, Ceremony for ISO50 pretty well encompasses that minimalistic pop ethos that seems to be all the rage these days among the indietronic and full-on electronic music followers. Particularly, Albert Swarm’s “Aging Out” nods subtly at that neo-R&B vibe purveyed by the likes of Clams Casino, Supreme Cuts, and pretty much every artist that’s signed onto Tri Angle Records. Taken from 2011 debut (and pre-Holy Other titled) Held EP, “Aging Out” is deep, dark house/downtempo music along the lines of Holy Other or Synkro, and yet there’s more space age digitalism just outside of the confines of the four-and-a-half minute entry that steadily reveals more of itself with each further listen. Despite the sensual vocal samples, the typical retro urban overtones or witchy haze that one would expect to be present in this type of jam are lost in the stardust and sonar, like tears in the rain. Do tha right thing, and grab a free MP3 download of Albert Swarm’s “Aging Out” below. Afterwards, check out the rest of Ceremony Recordings’ playlist for ISO50, and purchase Swarm’s Held EP or maybe some of his more recent releases, if you enjoy what you hear enough.
New YorkerStout Cortez needs to release more music. That’s all there is to it. This bombastic chillwave jam from earlier this year hearkens back to the early days when Animal Collective and their “My Girls” destroyed indie rock with their synth-heavy noise and psychedelia, giving birth to a while slew of imitators. Vocal chants and an atypical time signature (à la Gauntlet Hair) fiercely punctuate raving synth leads seemingly taken right out of a Cold Cave tune. The most surprising thing about “Berliner” is that it’s a one-off single, the sole offering populating a desolate Bandcamp page. The indie rock sensibilities and the clean production in the track juxtapose quite nicely with the intentional peaking and reverb and the messy, almost primitive vibe. The triumphant mammalian choir in “Berliner” makes the track what it is: an anthemic indietronic single along the lines of chillwave’s early vanguards, and it desperately needs further exposure. Do tha right thing, and grab a free MP3 download of Stout Cortez’s “Berliner” above, and be sure to do whatever is in your collective power to convince Justin Hunter Scott to create more legit bangers. We’re officially crowdsourcing this shit.
Featuring bedroom chillwave artist Pepepiano on synth and drums, this indietronic single by Bon Chat Bon Rat is like a clean vanilla indie rock jam thrown into a warped electronic whirl. Falsetto vocals melt over pulsing digital beats, all amidst the many synth sounds and noises that punctuate last March’s “Dust Proud” at regular intervals, like biological by-products of the electronic machines in use. Part Animal Collective-esque DIY rock, and part laptop-induced FXsplosions, the tune maintains a subtle aura of stiff-lipped yearning, manifested clearest by the yowling refrain towards the track’s end, but also made evident with the use of dark, foreboding rhythm synth and frantically plucked guitar parts near the interlude. Akin to how we imagine a Prefuse 73 take on a My Morning Jacket song would appear, Pepepiano’s involvement with Reece Cooper and Russel Smith (Bon Chat Bon Rat) in “Dust Proud” results in a reckless, but nonetheless driving tempo, in addition to a quirky and scattered, but very colorful sonic vibe. The footage in the above featured video is by Australian director Alex Ryan, and we feel that it perfectly matches the tune’s messy, dancey tone. Do tha right thing, and give Bon Chat Bon Rat’s “Dust Proud” a download. See what you think, and support the work of both respective artists by purchasing their releases or merch if you like the experience.
BIRP! put out its September playlist recently, replete with every remotely hipsteriffic jam that came out in the last month at all ever. We love those guys. They are consummate curators of legit new beats, but the problem is that we’re picky, and we usually end up torrenting, like, ten tunes out of the whole batch. This track by Austin, Texas’ Letting Up Despite Great Faults piqued our collective interest right off the bat, and we found ourselves even further taken with the song after the first listen. They’ve always comfortably ridden the fence between shoegaze and indietronic music, and they’ve had that sweet, sentimental wall-of-sound approach cornered ever since the release of 2006’s Movement EP. “Visions”, the above jam, retains the androgynous vocalization, the atypical song structure, and the corner arcade bloops and bleeps that make Letting Up Despite Great Faults quasi-famous. With this new iteration of their sound, however, concentrated effort seems to be made to effect that classic early 90’s 4AD Records sound, achieved by piping in some Swervedriver-esque guitar fuzz and mixing the vocals a little higher. “Visions” honestly sounds like what The Naked and Famous’ next album might resemble if someone gaslit them with The Radio Dept.’s portfolio on an endless loop. Heady and nostalgic, do tha right thing, and give Letting Up Despite Great Faults’ latest indie-chillgaze single a spin, and be on the lookout for their next album, Untogether, due to be self-released on October 9th.
Bringing to mind the endlessly fucked loops of classic eighties and early nineties hits that Oneohtrix Point Never likes to occasionally purvey, Stoner Showers’ “Give Me a Chance” offers up a very similar vision. Fading right into the thick of the trite emotional turmoil so regularly touted by every other eighties ballad, the jam features a prominent sample of 1984 dance number “Give Me the Dance”, by Kym. Drum smacks abound that sound like they’re way slowed down, along with melodramatic wails echoing throughout the tragically short tune. Stoner Showers must be a bit of an audio experimentalist, due to the fact that his only other track that we’re familiar with is the dub-meets-surf-meets indietronic “Welcome Home”, which was eagerly featured on Hearing Gold’s Highlights of 2011 list and on our very own TSQ VOL ELEVEN. Honestly, I don’t care how much sampling the guy does if the rest of his portfolio sounds like Memory Vague. One thing is for sure: we’re hooked, and we will definitely be finding out soon. Do tha right thing, and check out the rest of his scene at his Tumblr, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud; and don’t forget to bust out some dimes so that he keeps busting out music.
I discovered this artist while rooting around in some obscure corner of the interwebz yesterday. Indietronic twosome Flashlights lit up the Denver music scene earlier this Spring with their So Close to Midnight EP, available for free download right now via their Bandcamp page. Because separating the musical wheat from the chaff is often a time-consuming and harrowing ordeal, I only had time to give the title track a good listen, but I was pretty well entranced by what I had the short pleasure of hearing. “So Close to Midnight” at its very core is something like the subtle, subconscious theme music that I imagine plays anytime Rick Deckard or Gigolo Joe walk into a room. The vocalist, amidst all the echo space effects, exudes the campy sex and sensuality of yonder decade, crooning the refrain hauntingly over and over. What really holds my attention in this well-executed little ode by Flashlights is the omnipresent synth modulation harmonizing later into the track with soft sheets of resounding digitalism. They’ve also released a separate remix EP, featuring a remix by Brothertiger, one of my personal hipster faves! Do tha right thing and check out this indie-tinged throwback to the eighties with Flashlights’ free download of their So Close to Midnight EPhere.
Found this little indietronic jewel the other day while noodling around What.CD’s related artist map. “Ocean”, a light and airy track by Taragana Pyjarama, builds slowly but surely with electric piano and an ambivalent beat until passionately whispered vocals find their way into the five-minute mix about halfway through. The sound of Danish producer Nick Erickson (Taragana Pyjarama), whose debut album is due out on June 18th via Kompakt, is not unlike that of other indie electronic bands like Delorean, Figurine, or Letting Up Despite Great Faults. The difference with Taragana Pyjarama’s sound, however, lies in the overall muted application of what I like to think of as the aural equivalent of soft focus (à laThe Field). The light electronic pop jam from his debut self-titled EP (artwork NSFW) is cloaked throughout in a mellow fluffiness that can’t be as easily described in words as it can be detected via a simple listening session. Do tha right thing, and give this track a quick listen; and if you like the more radio-friendly facet of electronic music, keep your eyes and ears peeled for Tipped Bowls, out on June 18th.
I finally caved and decided to make this track an integral part of my recent music collection after my girlfriend made me listen to it repeatedly. While electronic pop artist Niva’s music is typically just on the cusp for me, what with the warm, endearing synth and the sweeping pads, the vocals often come across to me as being a bit too mid-2000’s indie rock. Either way, track five from Feverish Dreams, the second most recent release by Stockholm’s Niva, is a worthwhile game-changer. Oh, and if you’re curious, the bit in “Dizzy Eyes” that pushed me over the edge into full-fledged fandom is the steady, yet subtle woodblock beat. Now you have to listen. Fans of chill indietronic music like Blackbird Blackbird and Passion Pit should enjoy this shining little gem, and the source of said scintillating light is POLY, a massive dump of legit tunes. Aren’t our significant others just wonderful? Do tha right thing as you gleefully download, and make sure that special someone knows just how lovely they are.
“May I Walk With You” by Star Slinger. Amazing song, amazing video. My first Star Slinger experience was his remix of “Texico Bitches” by Broken Social Scene. Maybe two months later, I’m hunting down all his mixes like a bloodhound. Check out Star Slinger’s site, and keep an eye for free downloads of his side-released mixes. Oh, and enjoy the video!