Friday 31 January 2014


Well here we are in the grey assault of January with all its endless rains and distant prospects and cold fronts. And here I am again, after so long. A thousand years later, I'm back. Or am I? Who's to say? Out of anybody, I should be saying it but I don't think I have the mental capacity to say it or confirm anything at all. Especially the concept of being "back" - which leads to the inevitable heckle, "were you ever even here?" (Does anybody want that?) - so it's a dangerously assertive issue that I skirt and avoid. The only thing I can confirm is that YES/NO is an entity that will continue. My writing will continue, here and elsewhere.

That finished, I would like to say that Koloto is BACK! Haha, no she's not "back" actually cause she never really left that much, but I have been looking out for some of her new music and here it is. It's like 28 days old which is unfortunate for me because I did see it back then but I didn't have the heart... Anyway, Koloto is a musicmaker from Canterbury (that's in England btw) whose real name is Maria Sullivan. Her music is typified by contoured soundscapes that roll and jut, coloured with glitch-led percussion, and her latest joint, 'Cedar Shed', is as atmospherically glitch-soundscapey as you can want.

Beginning with warm chords shot with scrambled percussion - a build-up of atmosphere for an intro, which leads into a loud arena of beats and melding sounds. Each element grows more rich towards the end, when the slap-click of percussion finds live-setting snares - amongst other drumkit sounds - to ground it, whilst the melody becomes more flighty than ever, soaring up to a grey blanket of clouds with choral thickness and intensity.

This one follows a similar pattern to her previous song, 'Kill Screen'; it goes through Koloto's style of sectional layering, starting life as just a forerunning phantom of what kind of towering beast it ends up as. Turning up the heat from minimal, to moderate, then monstrous, it's a cool style of transformative trackmaking that keeps the heart - and feeling - of the original idea throughout.

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Friday 10 January 2014


Here is something quite nicely magical for the collective Friday Feeling, provided of course that everybody is happy about today being Friday. In some places it might already be not Friday – I believe that's called Saturday – and if so, sorry to get your hopes up. Perhaps you could or might re-listen to this song on a future Friday somewhen. But what is this exactly? It comes from the Tokyo-dwelling emotional dance wonder himself, Yuki Abe – aka Boys Get Hurt. I've been supporting his cause for a while now (even getting a tweet taken down because apparently this song [click!] was a copyright infringement) and it seems with each new track things get a bit more refined, richer – you could even say more elegant. Ha ha.

Yes and it's no different with this track, 'Elegance'. Taking us with each of his songs into the very heart of the endless summer (well if it's endless technically there is no "very heart", no middle to speak of, but I'm sure you can understand what I mean), he conjures dancefloor romance, naïveté housed within a clean club setting, insta-crushes based on fleeting glimpses of beauty and all the carefree youthful happiness that goes with all that. Pop on over to his latest indie-discothèque soundtrack and have yourself a little dance.

Inviting us in via a chiming curtain, sturdy house piano chords and an evocative if not slightly solemn brass melody, we plunge headfirst into a disco beat with occasional but satisfying variety on the hi-hat, where the chords are supported by synth variations and a plunking bulge of bass synth bounces along with a funky jaunt. The vocal sample – or are they original, I'm not sure – lends its now-or-never sense of nocturnal temporary romance with lines like "spend all night with me", beautifully retro-ised with welcome interruptions from two note string melodies and the ever-tropical glockenspiel on loop, the synth widening towards the end, helped along its way by brief bursts of white noise fizz.

This feels different to many other Boys Get Hurt tracks simply because of the purity of the brass melody that comes in, there's something sensible about it, a maturity, a knowing resignation to certain facts or factors – and it's this gradual change in the music of Yuki Abe that makes me want to keep listening to everything he puts out. No matter what, though, you're always safe in the knowledge that he's gonna give you some real danceable and instantly likeable disco vibes every single time.

Pssst... you can also download this for free from BGH's SC page...

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Thursday 9 January 2014


Mr Pep. Peppy. Or Saint Pepsi if you wanna be proper about it. Yep, the Long Island producer is here again with a nice new song that's as nice as anything I can imagine, as nice as something that I can't describe with words. This man has come a long way with his music, blowing up completely last year thanks to that now infamous (at least in my mind) premiere of his song 'Unhappy' on The Fader. What's great about Saint Pepsi, though – real name Ryan DeRobertis – is his everchanging style when it comes to creating a song. From UK garage to what could be described as emo-trap, he's unpredictable in a good way: i.e. he makes whatever the hell he wants to make.

As such, we have new song 'Mr. Wonderful' to contend with. Cue everybody talking about the song to call it "wonderful" (well, to be fair, it IS wonderful). The "Mr." honorific gives it this cute feel, as far as a title goes anyway. The song itself is "cute" yes but it's more of a mildly intense, dreamy sensation. Indeed, Saint Pepsi himself has tagged it as "Mario Kart Dream Trap" and I'd say that these four words pretty much sum it up.

Why not try listening to it yourself with your ears?

Beginning with a slow dreamy portal river, with echoes of subconscious mists blowing about, we drop into some lovely synth chords presided over by some seriously syncopated snare rolls and rhythms. Then the main bulk of the song falls into your brain like it should: wonderfully. Synth vox melody (K.K. Slider anyone?) bounces cutesily over the now rather bassy wash of sound, and soon we're introduced to the song's sample and the inspiration for the song's name, cuts from the chorus of Aretha Franklin's 'Wonderful'. Turns what was a metaphysical trip into nostalgic memories of Rainbow Road into a down-to-earth celebration of soul music – a gloriously rich throwback to Saint Pepsi's musical origins and clearly still a part of his musical appetite: funk, soul, R&B.

Ending abruptly, this is something that I actually want to listen to for years. Well maybe not for years because that would be ridiculous. At least for another few minutes. But anyway, this song: lovely. Don't you think? A great mix of trap-flavoured beats, videogame nostalgia and the embryonic memories of soul-loving vaporwave. A true mix of musical styles, it's just another small step for Saint Pepsi, and a step in the right direction. Do what you want!

PS. This is now available as a FREE DOWNLOAD (click!)

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I came back and then I went away again then came back again and disappeared for like a week but here I am. Yes, I have proverbially returned. It has been a chilled time but all chills must come to an end – one cannot chill forever. And although I posted a new track on New Year's Day ('Everything Happens To You' by miii) it was kind of a stand-alone thing. So now here's something to properly start 2014. It's something dark and stormy and it's from the Brighton producer himself, Eone.

Whilst it's not an original, it shows an interesting side to this man's sound. When I first stumbled across his sounds, I was under the impression that he made a dark brand of techno and only that, but after I listened to his guest mix for YES/NO it was clear that his tastes and influences ran wider and deeper than I'd imagined – grime and hip hop played a large part in his musical repertoire. And it's displayed most of all in this newest track, something old rediscovered and uploaded – as such, it's new. A refix of 'Notice Now' by rapper Trim, previously part of super grime collective Roll Deep, Eone injects the track – previously an electronically charged number with dubstep flavours – with a new bass-laden ethnic ornamentation.

Trim's swarthy, plosive vocals are extracted from the original's zeitgeistical dubstep surroundings and placed in a deep creeping basement of shadowy reverb, where an atonal, grimey bassline leads into bristling swathes of percussion – shakers, drums, tinny hits, a waterfall of sound that gives this essentially urban medium of art a faraway exotic twist, something from another dimension almost. And it reminds me a little bit of the music for Hazy Maze Cave from Super Mario 64 – man I'm just listening to it now and it's almost a perfect match. The name is really nice too: 'Raiders of the Lost Dark'.

Anyway, it shows another side to Eone and one that I hope he'll revisit soon, cause I know this is an old song. Perhaps these flavours will be revitalised, and perhaps there'll be more remixes/fixes like this, too. Bye-bye!

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Wednesday 1 January 2014


HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL. What is a good way to start the New Year? With a list of resolutions and things to change about yourself, like some kind of end-of-year self-assessment? Maybe. I mean, it's not a bad thing to do; there's always room for improvement. One of mine will be to get up earlier. Because I woke up today on the 1st January 2014 and saw a glimpse of daylight – by the time I got to the window again it was dark. So I'm gonna wake up earlier. I'll have to hold me to that.

In other news, you could always just, I dunno, listen to a nice song that seems to be full of the promise of a New Year ahead, full of the potential and possibilities in each of these next few hundred days. Buuuut then again it's not so good to look far into the future. What is a good way to live, in that sense? Day-to-day? But then you like, can't have a calendar can you? What am I saying— this is nonsense. I've gotta stop and just introduce this song to you now.

It comes from Tokyo-dwelling 21-year-old Japanese producer called miii (real name: Mizuki Wada, who's also in band The Wedding Mistakes as well as being writer/editor for magazine, UNCANNY) and it is called 'Everything Happens To You' – whether that's in a positive-yet-envious or negative-yet-sympathetic sense, who knows, but it's certainly uplifting – it has an atmosphere to fit both a cathartic cure for being envious and a life-affirming pop of energy for those trampled by life's problems. It works wonders. Have a listen.

This is an genreless track in one sense, infused with things from pop, hip hop, juke, classical, but in another you can kind of rest it comfortably beneath the umbrella of Shibuya-kei and be done with it. If you're having trouble with it, that is. I know some people love their labels. But there are so many beautiful things in this song – from the eternal backing of an ever-so-slightly mournful organ to the occasional stabs of jaunty piano, to name just a couple. Then there's that plaintive flute synth melody running over the top – the song's refrain, and perhaps where most of its positive feeling comes from.

That's not all, of course. There's the indomitable beat, flying from here to there in maddening cycles of hi-hat fidgets, snare rolls and the odd woodblock tock, providing necksnapping bubbles of dynamism when it needs to. Then there's the vocal samples, which at times seem to follow the bass of the song (or vice versa) in a great partnership, giving it this gorgeously cute affiliation with harder, more urban music in an out-of-place yet genius stroke that often flavours this type of music. Then, and finally, there's the ending: squelching synth bass joins in with other sounds that appear out of the mix, finding affinity alongside the emotion-filled strings that rise up too; it's a whole mash of noises that suddenly fades into the winsome glare of the organ chords that led us into the song.

It's quite beautiful and it is the lead track from the EP of the same name Everything Happens To You, which is out as MARU-128 I-don't-know-when on the unique Japanese netlabel Maltine Records, who release everything on their site as a free download. On that note, I guess I should say that you can download one of miii's previous releases from Maltine, namely his Sunlight Disco EP (click!) if you want to.

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