Monthly Archives: November 2011

James Blake – At Birth

Hey, remember James Blake? Glitchy producer who it turns out could hold a tune and play instruments and stuff? Well, he’s still hard at work following his smash-hit-doesn’t-even-cover-it eponymous debut album.

He released the ‘Enough Thunder’ EP in October to not universal acclaim (“it’s not ‘blubstep’, it’s mostly just blub”) but rumour has it he’s returning to his roots with a more beat-driven, bassy sound on new tracks. If the ones Human Drizzle have heard are anything to go by, he sounds like a man confused: caught between credibility of the FWD crowd and adulation from everyone else.

These records will be on the same release on December 11th, out on R&S Records who, incidentally, are the same label who put out his ‘CYMK’ and Klavierwerke’ EPs. We’ll leave you to make up your mind where he’s going and whether it’s a good thing. We’ll be finding out for ourselves at the Kentish Town Forum this evening.

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The Weeknd – The Knowing

The Weeknd (aka Ethiopian-Canadian emcee Abel Tesfaye)’s debut mixtape, ‘House of Balloons’, blew us away when it was released in March. If you haven’t already, you can download it (and ‘Thursday’, the follow-up) for free from his website. Hint: you should – it’s a masterpiece.

One of the things that made the mixtape so compelling was the vividness of the tableaux evoked by the tunes, both lyrically and musically. It is extremely atmospheric music, and it’s often impossible not to visualise the (often fairly grim) scenes being sung about. But up until now, The Weeknd has not provided his own visuals. Fan efforts abound, but until last week there were no official videos.

Enter Mikael Colombu. At the helm for the official video for ‘The Knowing’, the French director combines collage-style animation, religious/erotic symbolism, and time-travelling sci-fi lunacy to create an epic visual feast. It’s bold, dark, elegant and completely bonkers.

His third mixtape is rumoured to be out in mid-December: see if you can figure out what on earth is going on in this video by then.

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Alpines and Maya Jane Coles – Why

South London night pop duo Alpines are currently embarking on a series of collaborations with on-the-rise UK producers and DJ’s, ostensibly to showcase new talent, but surely just to give us some aural pleasure. Their most recent, with 23 year old British/Japanese deep house talent Maya Jane Coles, is truly wondrous. Together they’ve reworked Carly Simon’s classic ‘Why’, moulding it into a flowing piece of electronica with singer Catherine Pockson’s vocals hovering above the fray.

We’re very excited about Alpines’ future efforts with Dark Sky and Craze + Hoax. In the meantime, give both their earlier releases, Night Drive and Cocoon, a listen. Accompanying artwork is also worth a gander and they’re unashamedly pretentious about their aesthetic. They sent one journalist some pictures of the star Nebula along with their demo, because, “it is the combination of the electric and the ethereal, which we love.”

You can also grab ticket to see them support Goldfrapp at St. John-at-Hackney church tonight (if you have £35 kicking around…), or if you like your religious gig venues with a NW postcode, see them at Reading dance-rockers Worship’s single launch at St. Pancras Church on the 1st December.

We’ve listened to this A LOT, and it only gets better each time. It’s nostalgic rewrites as they should be and it’s due out in early 2012.

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The Maccabees – Pelican

Boy, have we been patiently waiting for The Maccabees to finish recording their third album. Shockingly, it’s been two and a half years since ‘Wall Of Arms’ was released and we were treated to the the bravado of ‘No Kind Words‘ and the grace of ‘Love You Better‘.

Before releasing their new album ‘Given To The Wild’ this January and embarking on what will most likely be a sell-out UK tour, we finally get to hear the first single ‘Pelican’ and, rest assured, it’s brilliant.

Some people don’t like The Maccabees. The reason for this dislike is also the key to their success, though: they have never really changed their sound. Yes, as they have grown in confidence they have adopted larger and tighter production – but they have remained faithful to what got them where they are now. Namely, brilliantly-crafted pop songs. It may not change the world but, as we’ve said before, good songwriting is good songwriting.

After a pulsating intro here, the evocative charm of Orlando Weeks’ vocal reminds us of what we’ve been missing. The tune boasts a verse as infectious as its chorus, and soon the band’s trademark melodic guitars and frenetic drums are right back where they belong: stuck in your head.

All in all, this makes for a very promising 2012 for the lads.

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NSFW – Coconut (Cosmonauts Remix)

It’s a big weekend for disco frontiersmen, Cosmonauts. If you’re in London, keep your eyes peeled for their Spacestation night, which touches down at the Horse & Groom on Friday, before Saturday stop-offs at the Somerset House ice rink (brilliantly) and the Winter Music Festival at Alexandra Palace.

Their remix of NSFW’s ‘Coconut’ has been doing the rounds for a while now after support from Aeroplane in September, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a synth-laden, keys-lead, bongo-filled, disco-infused dancefloor stomper of the very highest order, and we recommend you wrap your ears around it without delay.

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REID – Genesis

22 year old Irishman Eoghan Reid, or REID to give him his producer / shouted name, is the first signing to Brighton super-blog Blah Blah Blah’s new imprint. His ‘Genesis EP’ is out at the end of the month and it’s perfect autumnal music. You can practically see the ‘season turning/leaves falling’ BBC montage.

Irritatingly REID is also part of up-and-coming electro rockers Zombie Computer, hedging his bets over which genre stays the course. Human Drizzle are also forever indebted to them for introducing us to the ‘Hard Working Class Heroes Festival’ in Ireland. Best. Name. Ever.

Without overplaying the nature motifs, there is something of the brooding storm in REID’s early offerings. ‘Genesis’ and its B-side, ‘Forrest’, are foreboding and occasionally menacing – but without ever really breaking into the noise downpour they would have done if they’d been made by Fuck Buttons. We say pop on his Blah Blah Blah mixtape and usher in the autumn.

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Keep Shelly In Athens – Campus Martius

Our favourite Grecian duo, Keep Shelly In Athens, are releasing their next EP on Planet Mu on December 6th – and, judging by this new track from it, it is going to be ever so perfect to soundtrack the wintry months.

After a stuttering intro, the song kicks off when a startlingly beautiful piano loop is born just under a minute in. This is then accompanied by a bed of faint electronic drums and sparse atmospherics – before the echo-heavy vocals come in: haunting yet angelic. The Balearic pop pair seem to have taken a mature step in adding an emotional intensity to their staple synth-heavy sound, and it’s a welcome addition. This tune could melt the coldest of hearts.

Be sure to keep an eye on their tour plans, it’d be an experience not to miss.

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Brodinski @ Fabric, Friday 18th November

Calling this event ‘Brodinski @ Fabric’ undersells it drastically. That isn’t to say that we don’t love Brodinski, whose Fabriclive mix is launched at the event this evening. We do. It’s simply that this line-up is staggering.

From Jacques Lu Cont, who under various guises has produced some of the best, most anthemic dance music of recent times, to Tom Staar and Jaymo & Andy George, Room 2’s offering constitutes accessible dance music at its very best.

And with that side of things spectacularly well taken care of, whatever genius was behind this has also included the slightly more grown up sounds of Fabric favourite Stopmakingme, and the techno stylings of Gesaffelstein. The icing on this mouth-watering humdinger of a cake is Dillon Francis, whose lunatic moombahton has been stuck in our heads for some time now.

Yes, we know. It’s tonight. But tickets are available on the door and we strongly suggest that you cancel your plans for the next 2-3 days and do whatever is necessary to get down there. You won’t regret it.

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Fred Falke – Aurora

We’ve always been huge fans of Fred Falke and, quite frankly, who wouldn’t be? Whether it’s his collaborative work with Alan Braxe and Kris Menace – or his impressively consistent ability to remix pop tunes into dancefloor bangers, everyone should be well aware of the fact that he makes great music.

He’s been so busy for the last decade that he’s only just got round to making a début album, entitled Part IV, which should be out by the end of the year. ‘Aurora’ is the first single from it and we think it’s top.

After a teasing minute of underwater soundscapes, the tune bursts into full flow – relentlessly meandering through exactly the kind of electronic journey we’ve grown to know and love from the Francophile DJ. All the familiar signposts are there: the rising synths, the bobbing bassline, the overflowing beats, and the wonderful hands-in-the-air euphoric moments.

It’s almost 8 minutes long, but it doesn’t feel like it. What it does feel like is perfect, pop-infused dance music. Dive in.

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MRI & Traice Greene feat. Evan Morgan – That’s Life

MRI and Traice Green are two members of Traie-Duce Entertainment, a self-described ‘marketing group that consists of individuals striving for success in the Arts and Entertainment industry’.

Thankfully they’re not just a marketing group: they’re also talented lyricists and producers. Their new single, ‘That’s Life’, from upcoming album ‘On Our Way’, is a flowing piece of atmospheric hip hop with Lupe Fiasco-esque rhymes which are guaranteed to get your head nodding.

Traice Greene’s Southern drawl (he hails from Nashville, Tennessee) provides the standout verse and the video also reveals collaborator Evan Morgan to be sporting a Beiber/Dougie from McFly pre-jungle haircut. Don’t let this put you off what is otherwise a decent tune and video.

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