Monthly Archives: September 2011

Unicorn Kid – Boys Of Paradise

If you’re ever feeling low, I’d advise you to pay a visit to Unicorn Kid. He produces some of the most intoxicating and joyful music around. He’s soon to be releasing an E.P entitled Tidal Rave, a name which treads the oft-explored tightrope between genius and awful.

Quite a few tracks have been floating around the internet, a particular favourite is ‘True Love Fantasy’, a sun-kissed track that will make anyone throw their hands in the air, like they quite frankly just don’t care.

From the sound he creates it’s fairly obvious the boy grew up on video games – but Unicorn Kid (aka Oliver Sabin) is creating quite a buzz with his up-tempo synth pop.

Here’s the ridiculously DIY video to another of his tracks, ‘Boys Of Paradise’.

It’s full of energy and it’s shamelessly euphoric. I challenge you not to smile.


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Visions Of Trees – Sirens (Novocaine)

Although they’ve been on the scene for a good couple of years, Visions of Trees have only had one release. This October they are releasing their new single, ‘Sirens’.

It resembles a 90s dance-floor filler with sweeping synths and a throbbing drum beat, yet its chorus sounds more like a call to arms than a call to the dance floor. This is dark electronic music with an uplifting passion that is inherent in both verse and chorus.

Deadly People Recordings are releasing it on October 17th. They say it’s how they imagine ‘the pop charts would sound like in Blade Runner.’ They’ve hit the nail on the head.


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Rizlab Presents Prject #1: ‘Structures’

On Thursday 22nd September, the 2nd instalment of Rizlab, a musical project launched by Rizla and run by 2 of the biggest independent forces within the music industry is taking place. Founder of Moshi Moshi Records, Stephen Bass, and Tom Baker, founder of promotions company Eat Your Own Ears and the Field Day festival, have collaborated to provide a unique experience of audio-visuals.

They have commandeered Jamie XX and visual artist Quayola to create a blend of live music and visuals entitled ‘Structures’. This live set will feature the producer premièring new material set against a backdrop of two 17-metre wide screens in full HD.

The performance will be held at The Classic Car Club and unsurprisingly tickets are sold out. However the internet is littered with sites offering tickets through competitions, so I suggest you check out sites such as this one if you’re keen to get involved in this pioneering and immersive experience.

Also, keep your eyes peeled on the Rizlab site for updates on future events and to see what the curators have to say about the projects. Here’s a teaser of what to expect at the ‘Structures’ show…

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New Look – Nap On The Bow

Fresh from supporting The XX, the Canadian duo New Look are releasing this atmospheric pop tune just ahead of their eponymous debut album. The husband and wife get-up succeed in adopting a sound that is both peaceful and urgent, minimal and expansive.

The sparse soundscape is accompanied by a catchy and addictive melody, with haunting vocals that will creep in your ears and reverberate when you least expect it.

The album’s out on Monday 26th Sept. on !K7 and if this track or their previously released single The Ballad is anything to go by, it’s certainly going to be worth checking out.


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DJ Medhi RIP

The music world was rocked this week by the news that DJ Mehdi, aka Mehdi Faveris-Essadi, died in an accident at his home, aged 34. He had spent the weekend in the UK, playing a typically energetic set at Koko on Friday and then performing at Bestival on Saturday – both as one half of Carte Blanche.

Mehdi produced some of the best electro tracks released by Ed Banger, the French label which has been responsible for some of the finest dance music of the past decade, and of which he was such an integral part.

Pocket Piano and Signatune, with its superb video, are testament to Mehdi’s undeniable talent as a producer – but it is for his broad smile and rowdy DJ sets that will be remembered more than anything. The charisma and personality which were such prominent features of his live performances are sadly lacking from those of many DJs, and for this reason – amongst many others – he will be sorely missed.

Brilliantly, France’s minister of culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, released a statement which summarised things more articulately than I can, calling DJ Mehdi “a turntable magician, but also an audacious producer, a virtuoso of mixing completely different musical genres, Mehdi Favéris-Essadi, this artist of Tunisian decent, born in rap, always warm and discrete, knew how to resound French styled electronic music across the world.”

Somehow I can’t imagine Jeremy Hunt saying that – and it’s just about bang on. RIP Medhi.

M83 – Intro

If you’re going to name your band after a spiral galaxy called Messier 83, there’s always going to be certain expectations about your ‘sound’. Judging by the two tracks M83 have released thus far from their highly anticipated album, the sound on it is going to be epic.

Midnight City is simply a catchier version of anything the pensive French mastermind has done before, but the album opener ‘Intro’ really does reach new levels. Guest vocals are from Zola Jesus (if you don’t know who she is, you probably should).

In great form here, her voice oozes with raw passion and is an absolute tour de force from the eery whispering at the start, right up until the grandiose backing choir give her a helping hand in the climax. I suggest you plug in some headphones and listen to this song very loud. It’s extraordinary.

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Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – Garden

2010’s ‘All In Two Sixty Dancehalls’ was the second EP from the sillily-named Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – aka the barely-less-sillily-named Orlando Higginbottom. Its lead single ‘Garden’, which features vocals from Luisa off of Lulu And The Lampshades, is being re-released in October after heavy support on Radio 1 in particular. It even has a shiny new video (see above).

All this may or may not interest you, but what should is the fact that it is a fantastic tune, especially when the extra hi-hats and keyboards come in at 0:43.

See for yourself.

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Discopolis – Lofty Ambitions

If you haven’t already done so, I’d highly recommend you check out the sounds of Discopolis. They are a 3-piece band from Edinburgh who, at just 19 years of age, have been storming the live circuit for over a year now.

They are essentially an indie pop outfit, but their use of electronics, sometimes pensive, sometimes thumping, broadens their appeal. Using an array of instruments but primarily synths and guitars, not only does their music make you move – but the vocals have an ethereal quality that come across as both wistful and uplifting.

Although all the tunes on their soundcloud are definitely worth a listen, have a go on their debut single Lofty Ambitions. It’s a feel good summer hit if ever there was one.

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Busy P & Carte Blanche @ Koko, Friday 9th September


Calvi On The Rocks festival in Corsica feels like a very exclusive party for very beautiful people. It makes Secret Garden Party look like the annual World Gurning Championships at Egremont Crab Fair. Tickets are openly available but if you have the impudence to attend without being sufficiently beautiful, you run the risk of being ritually bullied and thrown in the sea by more beautiful people.

If Calvi is a party, then Busy P is the host. As head of Ed Banger Records he has presided over a formidable list of electro bangers from the likes of Justice, Cassius, SebastiAn and Breakbot.

Ed Banger DJs dominate the line-up at Calvi, and on Friday they are coming to London. On Friday night Busy P takes centre stage himself, by headlining Koko in Camden alongside Ed Banger stablemates DJ Mehdi and Riton, playing as Carte Blanche – whose set, complete with dancers on roller skates, is worth a look too.


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Poolside – Do You Believe?

The L.A outfit Poolside released ‘Do You Believe’ back in March. For us it has soundtracked many a sun-kissed afternoon ever since. Paying homage to their name, they even used a pool house for a studio. This is an instant summer classic. Quite a fun video too.

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