“Mike Slott is a musician routed in Jazz and Classical music but raised with Hip Hop and Electronic equipment. It’s becoming a familiar story these days but strip the story and gear away and you are left with one of the subtlest, most naturally gifted modern producers of the moment. His bravery to explore percussive, textural soundscapes with shifting plates of synthetic melody has earned him kudos from some of the worlds leading musicians and critics.” — Lucky Me
Today’s featured original project is a whimsical trip-hop oldie (2008) that employs all of the staples of the brand: the slashed up pixie female vocals, the shambling beat, the 8-bit synth stabs, etc. Particularly light-hearted and uplifting, Mike Slott’s “Knock Knock” is thick and viscous, employing layer upon layer of saccharine synth sheets and honeyed bass tones, sweetening the pot in the most delightful of ways. Simultaneously light and airy, peaky electric piano stabs and the odd soulful sample leave just enough space in between the notes of this short jam for the sun to shine down and through, bathing the entire mix in a warm, golden hue. If you and I see eye to eye, then we will both be doing tha right thing and finding out what the rest of Mr. Slott’s music sounds like, after downloading the free MP3’s after the bump, that is.
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.
This epic and lengthy CFCF refix of Elite Gymnastics’ “Here in Heaven 4 &5” begins with light and plaintive piano, which soon gives way to a slow, but steady regiments of percussion, in typical CFCF style. The vocal effects that pour in like a gentle onslaught at the one- to two-minute mark are desperate and unintelligible, and coupling them with a sensual underground hip-hop beat gives the track a strong witch-house/experimental pop vibe that’s hard to ignore, despite the ever present violin section bringing up the rear. Halfway through, the vocals retreat, leaving the listener only with manufactured analog sound, twisted and molded into an extended instrumental outro, bordering at times on Aphex TwinDrukqs-esque ambience. Do tha right thing, and come out for CFCF’s desperate digital plea for order, and stay for the subtle nod to post-rock’s moodier days there towards the end.
This is the official video for Diamond Rings’ “It’s Not My Party”. Believed to be an unofficial spin on Lesley Gore’s classic ‘65 hit “It’s My Party”, this ballad is a perfect example of the current retro explosion (à la M83). Seemingly lifted straight out of the new wave era, populated with all of the John Hughes-esque stereotypes, reminding us of that age when gender roles started to blur, Diamond Rings’ “It’s Not My Party” is perfect for both the lover of modernized synthpop or the connoisseur of overdriven eighties classics.
Plinking electric piano, Buckley-esque deeper-than-fiction vocals, a subtle beat, self-deprecating lyrics, and a meandering tearjerker of a synth makes “It’s Not My Party” one to remember. Apparently created mostly as a coping mechanism for life in big ol’ Toronto, Ontario, my first experience with Diamond Rings’ music videos make a little more sense now. While kinda cliche, the video is certainly interesting, and hearkens of a four-and-a-half minute summary of Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry” with more of a feel like Broken Social Scene’s “I’m Still Your Fag”. At least listen to the song, because it’s definitely a diamond in the rough. From his debut full-length “Special Affections”, if you’re interested, do tha right thing and purchase it on iTunes, Amazon, or the Diamond Rings store before Astralwerks marks up the shit out of it.