Brand New: Thievery Corporation

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Thievery Corporation is releasing a new album, The Temple of I & I, on Friday, February 10th —- as a birthday gift to me. Best. Present. Ever.

Here’s a YouTube of the whole thing:

Other notable mentions also being released on my day of birth:

Mother Mother – No Culture

 

Tall Ships – Impressions

Teen Daze – Themes For Dying Earth

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Cymbals Eat Guitars Tour Dates with Pixies

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This spring Cymbals Eat Guitars will be heading on the road for a handful of dates, opening for legendary rock band Pixies. The list of dates are below. Their most recent album Pretty Years was released in September and it was met with favorable reviews. Pitchfork gave it an 8.0 and SPIN ranked it #29 on their best albums of 2016. Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, & Noisey also did in-depth interviews around the time of the album’s release.

Tour Dates:
05-09 Richmond, VA – The National
05-11 Durham, NC – Durham PAC
05-12-14 Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Music Festival
05-16 Washington, D.C. – Lincoln Theatre
05-19-20  Boston, MA – House of Blues
05-21 Boston, MA – Paradise
05-23 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
05-24 New York, NY – Webster Hall
05-26 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel

Pretty Years – TRACKLISTING
01. Finally
02. Have a Heart
03. Wish
04. Close
05. Dancing Days
06. 4th of July, Philadelphia (SANDY)
07. Beam
08. Mallwalking
09. WELL
10. Shrine

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Newest Love: Rondo Mo – “Overflow”

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“Overflow” marks the first official release of Rondo Mo, the pseudonym of South-Londoner Robbie Redway. With his distinctive blend of dark, soulful electronica, this is unmistakably the sound of a promising new artist. The vocalist, producer and instrumentalist excels in creating a mood  that can appeal to both dance lovers and a more indie audience, with even a nod to a darker R&B form. Reminiscent of acts such as Caribou, LCD Soundsystem and Bob Moses, this style of connecting electronic and acoustic sensibilities is having somewhat of a renaissance period and Rondo Mo reveals himself to be a very welcome addition to the fold. He manages to channel the sound, rather than imitate, and completely envelopes the listener in his world of shadowy synths and melodies.
 
The track begins with a deep bass pulse heard far in the distance, before Redway’s voice creates a light for the listener to use to navigate. The sultry vocals and growing instrumentals build on a track that begins in darkness, while maintaining a sense of danger with lyrics of going in “way above my head”. The spacious washes and lone piano keys add a level of anticipation before the listener is hit with the beat. “Overflow” offers an eclectic mixture of sounds throughout, juxtaposing a darker subject matter with a groovy bassline and snaps. There are also moments where Redway’s driven production is punctuated with more emotive breakdowns, the airy textures giving space for the vocals to take control, and the track ultimately ending with the appropriate emotional climax.
 
The story of Rondo Mo begins in Cornwall rather than his native London. After a wide range of collaborative work, from releasing an album with house don Midland to touring as a session member of alt-folk band To Kill A King, Redway found himself in a ‘stylistic bewilderment’ and took to the reclusive Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. Setting up in a remote barn, with no human contact and only the bleak moorland landscape for company for six weeks, he began working to reign in on a sound influenced by the limited vinyl collection he brought with him. Redway integrated the best elements of seventies’ soul and contemporary house music with a more cyncial vibe of eighties electronica, culminating in a sound delicately positioned between a confident dance sound and a moody underlay of  indie music. “Overflow” is a striking introduction to Rondo Mo, and a piece of music that affirms the intrigue surrounding this artist.
 
 

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Check ‘Em Out: The Gold Setting

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The face and voice of The Gold Setting is Liza Colby. Channeling sensual 1960s soul, 1990s R&B, and Tina Turner-esque swagger, The Gold Setting boasts a fluid cast of all-stars including multi-instrumentalist/composer/arranger Todd Simon (Ghostface Killah, Sharon Jones, Lily Allen), Grammy-nominated Adam Berg (Decoders), and songwriter/producer/musician Richard Rudolph (Stevie Wonder, Minnie Riperton, A Tribe Called Quest, 2Pac, Chaka Kahn, En Vogue).

The Gold Setting has announced their debut Volume and Tone EP set for release on April 7th and have revealed the infectious first single “Being Without You”.

In 2015, Liza was presented with a “golden moment” – a perfect pocket of time where she had a chance to head to Los Angeles and collaborate with Todd Simon who then enlisted Adam Berg. Despite having no songs and never having worked together, Liza impulsively popped the question to do a show, and Todd and Adam signed on for the adventure. The trio had 12 days to spin yarns into gold. Immediately, sessions began at Manifest Music (Adam Berg’s studio) in Santa Monica. Liza soon found herself creating with a full house of iconic collaborators and musicians spanning genres and generations.

The result manifested in the form of the Volume and Tone EP – a four track collection that melds vintage instrumentation, bold electro-pop textures, and rugged beats with timeless Motown-tinged songcraft. Organic yet electrified, the tracks were recorded using a blend of old school 50s/60s techniques and modern technology, bringing out the authentic tones of the instruments yet delivering an explosive sound.

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Introducing: White Label Series

whitelabelseries

Joyful Noise Recordings has announced its 2017 White Label Series, a new monthly subscription series that aims to shine a light on undiscovered and under-appreciated bands. Each month will feature a new album hand-picked by one of twelve influential artists and packaged in a screen-printed jacket, along with an insert that features a statement from its curator. All White Label Series releases are limited to 500 hand-numbered copies (pressed on black vinyl) and come with a digital download.

2017’s curators are Devendra Banhart, Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh), Rob Crow (Pinback, Goblin Cock), Kelley Deal (The Breeders), Toshi Kasai, Tim Kinsella (Joan of Arc, Cap’n Jazz), Doug Martsch (Built to Spill), Mirah, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Chris Schlarb, Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi) and Yoni Wolf (WHY?).

Joyful Noise launched the series in an effort to save great music from obscurity and to combat the trend of meaningful music being overlooked and “doomed to the remote regions of the Internet.” Click here to become a subscriber.

2017 White Label Series
Devendra Banhart
Lou Barlow
Rob Crow
Kelley Deal
Toshi Kasai
Tim Kinsella
Doug Martsch
Mirah
Greg Saunier
Chris Schlarb
Janet Weiss
Yoni Wolf

 

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Video: Nils Bech – “Glimpse of Hope”

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“Intricate instrumentation crashing into electronic flourishes, ambient sweeps” Stereogum
“Absorbing soundscapes and shuddering beats… fragrant vocals” Clash
“Combines the symphonic with the technology & musical currents of today”  Impose

Acclaimed Norwegian avant garde pop performance artist and stage actor Nils Bech reveals an alluring new video for the album single “Glimpse of Hope”. The track has been described as the sound of “soaring, operatic vocals with the sound of cutting edge club music”.

The video was directed by one of Oslo’s most revered artists, Ida Ekblad, whose artistic practices incorporates painting, sculpture, performance, filmmaking, music and poetry. Her bold and vibrant work, often characterized by the use of found materials is celebrated as a unique take on urban folk art.


Shot on location at the director’s home in Ekberg, Oslo, from dusk till dawn, the intriguing and playful video features 21 year old Norwegian fashion photographer and model Jakob Landvik.  Ekblad describes the concept of the video as <<house>> and the elements that make up the film: “There is a household and time to be wasted. Playstation games, a glue-gun, lawn-mowing and ass-selfies, cigarettes, a robe, white wine, make-up, leg shaving, clear eyes and stockings”

The elegant use of natural light and movement within “Glimpse of Hope” is credited to the cinematographer Cecilie Semec, whose work has featured in the Venice Biennale and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“Glimpse of Hope” follows the release of the theatrical video “Please Stay” earlier this Autumn, which featured a scene between Lady Anne and Richard, taken from Shakespeare’s’ tragedy ‘Richard III’, as performed at The National Theatre in Oslo earlier this year.

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“I wanted to make an album where romantic harmonies meet hard beats, with sudden transitions between the painful and the beautiful. Just like love.”  – Nils Bech

A favorite of the art world, Nils Bech has performed at such venerable venues and events as Venice Biennial, ICA (London), New Museum (New York) and the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam). He has also featured in two plays at the Norwegian National Theater, most recently in Shakespeare’s Richard III; where he performed excerpts from his third album Echoout now on DFA Records.

Already a star at home, Echo is Bech’s first album with DFA.  The album explores “echoes” of the people in his life over the past five years; their search for love, how love can deceive and destroy, but also be the key to everything. Sonically, the record infuses urban, contemporary dance music with hip hop roots – hard beats in juxtaposition to Bech’s vulnerable bass-baritone.

Echo is out now via DFA Records.

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Video: Crystal Fighters – “Good Girls”

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“Simply the perfect tropi-pop party soundtrack”  – VICE’s Noisey
“There is nothing more alive or energetic than Crystal Fighters” – Dazed

Following the release of their third studio album Everything Is My Family which garnered acclaim from the likes of NPR and Noisey, London-based Crystal Fighters share the virtual reality inspired, disco-flecked video for “Good Girls.”

Everything Is My Family embodies the band’s ecstatic lust for life and as singer Sebastian ‘Bast’ Pringle says, the album is “more dance-floor, more psychedelic, more tropical, more rave, more sunshine, more pretty much everything” than anything they have done before.

Since the release of acclaimed second album Cave Rave in 2013, Bast has spent time living in the Basque Country, The Canary Islands, and Central America – a field recording of tropical wise-men in conversation from Costa Rica opens the album – and says his time away from the overpowering buzz of modern civilization has given him a new perspective.

Meanwhile, bandmate Graham lived “up a mountain” in Maine before traveling down to Peru in a modern life-provoked quest for otherness. He says that the time they each individually spent exploring the world has helped them come to terms with some of the highs and tragic lows the band has already experienced. Stay tuned for U.S. tour news coming soon!

Everything Is My Family LP Out Now via Play It Again Sam

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Newest Love: Uppermost

uppermost1

French electronic artist and producer Uppermost has been busy preparing for the release of his new album Origins (2011-2016) coming February 2017. In anticipation, he has already released two brand new tracks – “Thousand Colors” and “Constellation”. Today, he releases a never-before-seen live video of his cult single “Reminder” and announces his career-defining track “Beautiful Light” will be available as an immediate download with album pre-order.

In-line with the important conversation that’s taking place currently in the electronic music scene about live performance, the video gives viewers some insight into the various instruments and technologies that are part of making some of our favorite jams come to life.

Uppermost says of the video:

“The live video was shot in the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, located in Paris-Le Bourget airport – a beautiful and inspiring place for space lovers like myself. The guitar player is Mathias Di Gusto. I really love his instinctive creativity when it comes to efficient funky riffs. He’s also the player of famous french rapper Maitre Gims, playing on France’s biggest stages such as Paris Bercy. The bass player is Klem Aubert, a very talented slap bass monster and member of the awesome band Minuit.

The idea of a live performance grew in my mind after I started to feel constrained by the limitations I’d meet in my DJ sets. I wanted to be able to change the structure of my tracks on the fly, to create a beautiful interaction between every part in my mix.

So I’ve decided to build the live performance in a way that I can rearrange my tracks live but most importantly sample, loop and apply effects on what the guitar and bass players are doing at any moment. It took a lot of time to build the right workflow, and a lot of repetitions with the players in order to set up specific effects racks on each instruments according to which section of the track I trigger on the midi controller. For example, the guitar player instantly knows that whenever I trigger an atmospheric section of the track, his guitar will be going through a huge reverb and delay. The creative possibilities are really endless and that’s what makes the performance so exciting!”

The sick track is played using various instruments and controllers, including electronic music tools such as a Behringer BCR-2000 and iRig Keys 37Pro, as well as some more traditional instruments including a Fender Precision bass and a Gibson SG guitar.

“Reminder” will be featured on the new LP along with “Beautiful Light”, available as an instant download with pre-order today, and “Mistakes”. Combined, these songs have over 30 million streams. Also featured will be Uppermost’s recently released singles “Thousand Colors” and “Constellation”.

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Check ‘Em Out: Bloom Twins

bloomtwins

Check out the video below for “Set Us Free” from Bloom Twins. The exciting plot, which takes the viewer through a series of breathtaking extreme sports scenarios, features Go-Pro headcam footage from skiing, bungee jumping, scuba-diving and zip-wiring to name a few, and was shot in several countries around the world including the USA, UK, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, the Maldives and of course, Ukraine.

20-year-old identical twins, Sonia and Anna Kuprienko co-wrote this track with talented Fiona Bevan and Max McElligott, then handed it over to Greg Fitzgerald for some production magic. It was the first track they wrote after returning from Ukraine where they got stuck for half a year during the uprise. The track is not political at all, rather a call for freedom, but it was certainly influenced by everything that was happening in Ukraine and the fact that they couldn’t return to their new home – London.

On the making and narrative behind the video, Bloom Twins say;
We tend to forget about the simple pleasures in life that make us happy. The world is our oyster. It’s only needed to be prized open to be enjoyed, with the pearl as the prize. Life should be about love, peace, happiness and freedom, and a home for it all is our beautiful planet.
Their debut album, which has been recorded and produced by Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes, will be out in 2017.

“The twins have serious promise” – MTV
 
“Divinely dynamic yet dark sisterly harmonies” – The Guardian

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Video: Tesla Boy – “Circles”

tesla-boy

Tesla Boy, the russian electro-pop quartet made up of  Anton Sevidov, Leo Zatagin, Stas “Pioneerball” Astakhov, and Mike Studnitsyn, is back with a new video.

If you’re not familiar with the group, they make electronica music fused with some synths and a dash of 80s new wave. Back in March they released a video for “Nothing” directed by LA auteur Ryan Patrick, who’s helmed videos for Cut Copy, The Weeknd and more. (See video below.)

Noisey says: “It’s less a music video than a rad short film featuring a girl under house arrest. She’s visited by some social worker peeps and asked to show them, using a life-size burlap doll, “what happened to Sergei.” This leads to the most brilliantly freaky and fabulous interpretive dancing and elegant dry humping sequence. As if a fully grown Maddie Ziegler was reworking Lars and the Real Girl as a murderous musical. She re-enacts her entire relationship with Sergei and we’re officially in love with this lead actress Jade-Lorna Sullivan.”

For their video for “Circles” (a house-meets-Italo-disco number) they re-team with and the results are similarly stunning.

“The idea for this came from the band referencing referencing Cloud Atlas—my mind went to the actors playing different roles,” explains Patrick. “For me, the final treatment came from mixing references of the film Holy Motors, Mission Impossible (both of which I love), and old cartoons where a character is striving for an inanimate object that always seems to be getting away. The video also serves as a prequel to Tesla Boy’s Nothing video we released back in March. But I tried to make it so “Circles” could also stand its own too.”

Anton Sevidov—the Tesla Boy mastermind—had this to say about it. “I really like how my original ideas and impulses are captured by Ryan and presented with additional meanings. I feel nothing but joy collaborating with him. ‘Circles’ is a continuation of our creative tandem, which will surprise and inspire everyone in future.”

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