Friday 28 November 2014


I can't remember exactly how or why I stumbled across this guy, or when even – I guess it was like a month ago now. He had made this mix of all these easy listening and lounge music tracks from the '60s and '70s, containing nothing obvious and only music that was fresh to my ears from all over the world. I needed a mix from this guy. Desperately in my soul. So I messaged him on YouTube. And now: here we are.

His name? Marco Luján, aka Viktor Torvik when he's making "retro sets" like this one. He's from Lima, Peru, and I was super happy that he shared with me (with us, you readers and listeners out there!) a lot of Peruvian music which I'd never dreamed of hearing, as well as some choice numbers from across the globe. This blog's middle name is Internationalism, so I deeply approve of this mixture from around the world. In Peru, Torvik is a DJ and also an underground producer of varying styles of music from jungle and soundscapes to lounge and easy listening.

"I am inspired by classic movies, exploitation films, old cartoons and TV shows from 60's and '70s," he tells me. "In the '90s artists like Towa Tei, Dimitri from Paris, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Luke Vibert, United Future Organization, Masters at Work, Aphex Twin and many, many others inspired me to create music." Whilst not listening to music, making it, or making mixes, he also DJs at a place in Lima called Eka Bar.

I wanted to choose a group of songs from all over the world and especially from my country.


So anyway: what's in store for you in this mix? Easy listening, lounge, jazz, Latin flavours, soft rock, psychedelia. It's a fluffy, mellow mélange of music that travels the world from the USA and Brazil to Venezuela and Italy (only half the countries featured in the mix), stopping off on the way for sojourns into the more popular and fleeting sounds of the '60s and '70s. From the USA we have Ray Conniff, band leader and arranger, whose creation 'Lowdown' is smooth and buttery, dripping with soulful guitar. Moving on, there's the weed-advocating 'Marihuana Mantra' by German group Kuno & The Marihuana Brass, whose controlled rowdiness is a soft rock invocation to the drug. Later on we're treated to Los Destellos and their Peruvian brand of Colombian genre cumbia in 'Volando Alto', a mix of tasty, bustling rhythms and rich waves of psychedelic guitar.

One particularly interesting story that I looked into (mainly because I spent so long looking for any evidence of her existence that I got engrossed in the process) was that of Emma Sugimoto. Born in New Jersey but raised in Osaka, she started out as an actress, then a model, then her debut was with 《アイ・アイ・アイ》 – 'Ai Ai Ai' in this mix – via Columbia Records in 1970, going with ELEC Records for a 1974 album 《エマは愛》Emma Is Love. She retired from all this in 1980 and married restauranteur Shimpei Wada, whose French restaurant "シェ・ワダ" – Chez Wada – is still open and, by the sounds of things (I think), thriving.

And on that note, I've spoken too much. Let's listen. The first time I listened to this I was having lunch with Bextree – I ate a toasted ham and cheese panini. Made the whole thing wildly delightful.

• T R A C K L I S T •

Viktor Torvik Social Media Presence ☟

Thursday 27 November 2014


Great cover art for this song. A bowl of somethings with a note that has a sad emoji on it. Being sad when there's cereal of that nature in front of you… well, it must mean that you're pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty sad. I'm not an art critic. I'm not a music critic. I'm… dunno. Not even a journalist. SUE ME.

Anyway, I stumbled across this and was 1) enamoured with the original source material – 'Bug a Boo' by Destiny's Child, from 1999 (and what a very 1999 sound it is) – 2) enamoured with the cover art, like I kinda suggested, and 3) enamoured with the netlabel that's released it, Manicure Records both in, 3a) aesthetics (its logo, at the moment at least, is the painting nails emoji) and 3b) its name. Plato had a theory about "ideal forms," which are he theorised so ideal that we may never know them (so like, there's the perfect form of a table out there somewhere, for a cat, for a mountain). What was I talking about? Everything just seems right. Yeah. Ideal.

As you can tell, it is essentially a remix of 'Bug a Boo' called 'Bug A Bae', the original vocals set like cascades of sapphires into the glittering platinum of its new housing of soft, euphoric trance. Pliable springboard judders of mid-range synth and buwow-buwow bass give way to gradual sharpening into wide laser sweep chords, sparkling in glorious syncopation to the energetic hi-hat shivering beat. There's a great little bridge, too, a beat solo as it were, where the the kick gloops with infra swampiness and there's spotlight on this metallic noise shining out occasionally like an extended version of the sound that plays when you get a coin in Mario.

It's tacky and loveable, mixing two completely disparate styles for a continued and welcome online renaissance of late-'90s flavours. ♥/10.

Oh wow— and it's by Guy Akimoto, forgot to say. He is from somewhere (was US? Now is Canada? I think?) and he makes music.

Guy Akimoto Social Media Presence ☟

Wednesday 26 November 2014


It's always interesting to discover something new. And not that I never heard of this type of music before but rather that I've actually bothered to listen to it. Thanks to Twitter I thought I'd go check out an album by a Seattle-based musicmaker named maedasalt called (named called, stupid) you are special & that is exactly why i love you so much. Literally as soon as it started playing I was like wtf is this — however, I listened to it all. I couldn't stop myself. It is totally addictive. And really good if you have to do things at a computer, helps time whizz by.

x What is this strange genre? It's lolicore. What? Yes lolicore is like speedcore (super fast dance music, like rarely below 300bpm) except with less of the aggression. Rather in its aesthetics it follows in the same vein as loli-based stuff (a truncation of 'lolita' – yes the same as "Lolita" in Nabokov's creepy book), which is basically a hyperextension of what might be called kawaii or cute with regards to young girls. Kinda weird but that's that. Much like trap music seems to have paired with anime for otaku trap, if that it can be called, lolita sensibilities ooze into these extreme stretches of bpm for lolicore. Nuff said.

Anyway one song stood out: '4u'. Featuring rapid chipmunk vocals – so deformed that you cannot tell what they're from (unless you knew the original already) – over a sped-up drum-and-bass pattern, the track is filled with ascending melodies and toybox twinklings that effuse the impression of living Einstein's dream of riding on a beam of light with the redshift more like pastel pink and the blueshift more like pale teal. Yee-fuckin-haw. Then you realise its not space you're flying through; you're just zipping around and around and around attached to a mobile at the ceiling of a colourful plushie-filled distorted and giant playroom.

It's a ball of energy, not just through the sounds but through the dynamics, how and when the rhythm of the drums changes, when to change the tack of the vocal sample, all to keep it wildly interesting and me jiggling my foot like a paranoid maniac. So it came as a surprise to learn that the album this track comes from was maedasalt's "swan song", the final album made under his current moniker. The reasons?

because i’m also over feeling the way i did back when maedasalt started, which was over heartbreak. the dream ends and real life begins. from 2011 to this year i’ve changed as a person and it’s only fitting. i’m no longer feeling restricted to feeling bad for myself endlessly.

Fair enough (more from his tumblr post about it here). He also adds: "at the end of the day its all just lolicore which is inherently a silly genre, but i always made it with my own personal touch." Inherently it is a silly genre – breakneck bpms? Funny voices? That's silly alright. But silly doesn't necessarily mean lacking in emotion, lacking in depth, lacking in talent and vision. And with '4u' I was and am aware of something catching my attention, an inexplicable love, which usually happens when everything in a song is just right, and that takes some doing.

maedasalt Social Media Presence ☟
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Monday 24 November 2014


Here's something courtesy of Boehm, a musicmaker from Bucharest, Romania. A good mash-up (do people still call them that) is always appreciated, and here Mr. Boehm (perhaps named after the German musician/inventor) has shown that you can be wildly creative even when there are TWO original tracks to consider.

There are no holds barred in this future leaning remix, totally juddering with an addictive tropical beat and accented with the glorious reverb of beachside guitars with the occasional ornament of bendy slide guitar like a seagull swooping as a sunset splashes its muted fire over the still-warm sand and gentle sea.

Xylophone tumblings give this a lovely forest-jam flavour, I say forest but I mean more like a little copse of palm trees, a coastal vibe that incorporates jaunty harmonica from I don't know where. It samples 'Fu-Gee-La- by The Fugees, the hook from the track reworked and interspersed between verses from Nas' track 'Surviving The Times'.

All of it sounds perfect to the bouncy rhythm here, the piano chords and the groovesome synth bass and the soft, triumphal chords; the backdrop to wild synth solos that seem to diffuse into the air like a solar flare in reverse, or like the synth-happy soundtrack to one of my favourite SNES games, Top Gear. It even ends well, the instruments bowing out to each other as we're left with the wooden roller-coaster of the xylophone melody to contend with, amongst other things.

Luscious sounds and a rhythm you can totally groove to; perfect for listening or moving. Probably goes well with a bowl of unadon or as the last song to play at work before you leave to go home, glorious glorious home.

Boehm Social Media Presence ☟

Sunday 23 November 2014


Ok, so I tried to put this guest mix up the other day and it got blocked from being uploaded because of copyright. On one hand, fine, everyone needs to make money, I get that. But on the other: ¿why be so mercenary about it? What benefit do you get, really, from not allowing an tiny little music site like this one to upload a mix done by an up-and-coming artist just because it contains one track? "Oh but if everyone did it blah blah blah" – NEWSFLASH: everyone's NOT doing it. This isn't a protected beach that keeps getting all of its coral stolen.

This is people sharing things they like, telling a story with music, showing appreciation for other artists who might inspire you or just help you to get through the day thanks to their music. Shout out to all lines of code and robots and spiders out there blocking our freedom (not to mention the intellectual-property-appropriating jargon-spouting business boys and girls that create and endorse them).

Speaking of which, this is a mix by Izzy, one to help you get through the day, or one that at least illustrates a working day. Called his Cup of Joe w/ Creamer Mix (it is the second iteration of the mix with the offending track removed; the first had no creamer), this is the coffee you'd want at the start of a working day. What is creamer? I do not know. Is it this (non-dairy creamer)? Something milk-inspired, at least.

I am Izzy, an individual looking to express myself through various creative mediums.


So now you might be wondering, Who is Izzy? Well, let's find out shall we? (A little bit, at least). "You may be able to find me trekking between the NY/Philly/Jersey area," he says cryptically. What does Izzy do? "I create. Whether it be music, photography, my sales job, I make sure I incorporate my own perspective to enrich my experience," he tells me. "I grew up on copious amounts of music. After a while making music just became something that I had to do."

Izzy briefly talks us through the inspiration for the mix: "These artists are all people who have inspired me in one way or another. People like AbJo, Toro y Moi, and Matt Martians, just to name a few, are constantly thinking about how they can further the music; I can relate to that." And with those artists he's weaved a simple background story for the mix itself: "Thematically, it feels like a recapitulation of an average morning," he explains, "the mellow feel of hitting the snooze button ('Aches' by me), literally getting into the 'Grind' midway (Mr. Carmack). Just gradually becoming acclimated to a new state of mind."

I imagine a lot of computer-based clicking and typing happening to the sound of 'Orange Juice Simpson' by Odd Future affiliates The Jet Age Of Tomorrow, with Izzy's own and fluidly brilliant – with its fragmented beats and warming sounds – 'Traveler's Cheque' being like a break for lunch or something, before the hectic 'Silvicide' and 'Navi's Dance' (by AbJo and PYRMDPLAZA, respectively) kick in to soundtrack the bustle of urgent bidness. I like to think the mad synth of aptly titled 'Synth City' by also aptly titled Chaos Kid is put in its place here for rush hour effect, the motion and movement of the track combined with its busy resonance to illustrate the quick crowds of hometime; which is where 'Mothership' (also by Izzy) with its feeling of exhaustion and desire to be someplace else comes in, back to the mothership for the night before another day at the grind.

• T R A C K L I S T •
  1. Telescope Thieves – R U Still Down
  2. FKA Twigs – Ache (Reimagined by Izzy)
  3. Toro y Moi — Rose Quartz
  4. Sango — The Differences
  5. Mr. Carmack — Grind (Lex)
  6. The Jet Age Of Tomorrow — Orange Juice Simpson
  7. Izzy – Traveler’s Cheque
  8. AbJo — Silvicide
  9. PYRMDPLAZA — Navi’s Dance
  10. Flying Lotus — Such A Square
  11. Chaos Kid — Synth City
  12. Izzy — Mothership
  13. Ta-ku — We Were In Love

Izzy Social Media Presence ☟

Monday 17 November 2014


Here is a remix of a song called 'Fragility' by London band, Post Louis. The original is something like a jagged escape to the country, a slice of guitar-led music that switches between slap-dash fuzzy sounds and melodic softness, a kind of art-pop indie feel that is many things at once, crashing beast morphs to curled-up cutie, as wonky and experimental as it is gentle and ear-friendly. You get the idea.

This remix is something else entirely. A different beast. Altered Beast. Another World. It is ultra-cool. Tiptoeing a tack that summons a smart and angled atmosphere, perfectly designed, intelligent and snappy. Sharp white-noise hi-hats count liberal time in the condominiums of the future in Ben Hauke's fabulous, glistening reworking of 'Fragility' – understated handclaps sneak in past the 10-foot-tall steroid-infected bouncers (don't worry about them, it's much better inside, you'll forget all about them, sit down, have a cocktail, it's on us).

A bassline with all the treble sucked out of it bounces the track along, lightly guided by the subtle boom of the kick, horn snippets rising through the walls like phantomatic, melodic car horns, quiet bongos veil like a mist as the alcohol begins to kick in – STRINGS, spectral strings, this is a sophisticated party after all. Vocals, messed with, submerged and surfaced and reverbing, chopped and thrown around, the iridescent lights catching the fluttering voices of people in the midst of this understated yet unrelenting dance-inducing track.

Ben Hauke Social Media Presence ☟

Post Louis Social Media Presence ☟

Tuesday 11 November 2014


Who dis? Dis Vulpixic. Who dat? Musicmaker. Self-taught. Also studying for a PhD in ocean optics. What dat? "Atmospheric and ocean optics is the application of optics and radiative transfer to problems in the atmosphere and ocean," says Wikipedia. Then I went on a Wikipedia voyage and I forgot what I found out and ended up on the 'List of alien races in Marvel comics' – that's what always happens. (Not w Marvel but y'know).

Enough of this utter fatuous nonsense. We talkin about '12am', a track by Vulpixic (I guess the adjectival form of Vulpix), a veritable dream of a track, a pure blue sky day with maybe a few clouds tumbling across it because of an impatient but friendly breeze, a lake rippling and flowers nodding and smiling creatures like tumbleweed made of feathers bounce in meandering herds across verdant meadows.

It's upbeat, led by a three note bassline burrowing beneath it all, gentle beeps scurrying across your field of hearing with a cascade of chimes and metallic percussion added to the luscious mix, occasional glitches halting progress for the same kinda satisfaction I get from looking at architectural models – tiny but minutiae-focused buildings with tiny people doing all sorts of different things. Towards the end, synth vox veils the sound with solemn ambience, a different beat bouncing with restful yet determined zest.

  • This comes from an EP (or it's not labelled as such but might as well be) called Rabbit Reasons and you can grab it for just $1 over here. But as you can see you can download this one track for frees.

Vulpixic Social Media Presence ☟

Monday 10 November 2014


I first wrote about these guys a while ago, finding the beat and vocal harmonies and, well, everything about their track 'Camel' quite difficult to not become addicted to. They're from Paris and they're French and they're called SAUVAGE and this track is called 'Marée Noire' which is an epithet (literally means "black tide") for an oil spill in French.

This one is quite different to what I've heard before; it rings with juddering electro energy, bass jouncing along with the rollicking beat joining it, electric chords jolting across the galloping path of the rhythm. This is at least how it sounds in the first half. But a middle section announces the arrival of a fresh-rain-against-a-window gentle drum pattern, the entry point for the vocals, too, which almost whisper in this quiet section.

The track's second half is all groove, a contrast to the first half; synth chords seem full of feeling zap into life – which seem to breath heavily at the end – the bass holds court with its simple groovesome rhythm accented with octave-skipping notes, the vocal melody is not over-highlighted and smoothly sails across the crashing, raging waves as electric arpeggios sparkle like twinkling stars in the eventual crescendo of the track. All that's left is the kinetic beat.

SAUVAGE Social Media Presence ☟

Saturday 8 November 2014


This mix. It is a wholly original mix. It features only tracks from the artist himself, Mr. Stonewall Klaxon. Obviously, or perhaps not obviously if you're not au fait with Americano historia, this guy is named after Stonewall Jackson, an American Civil War commander. A few potential reasons why: 1. This guy is a Confederate sympathiser (being from Texas and all); 2. Apparently Mr. Jackson was something of a legendary person, why not name yourself after (kinda) him?; 3. Just cos it rhymes; 4. Don't know. Should've asked really shouldn't I?????????? lol oh well. Not the point right now is it.

The point is this is a mix with a difference because it's basically like hearing a Stonewall Klaxon live set. His music is like… really nice. It's beats-heavy, synth-heavy, a waterfallish cascade of electronica set to mostly uptempo rhythms, kind of in a paint-splashed realm between dubstep and footworky stuff, for instance with the white noise watercolour wash and pneumatic drill kicks of his remix of 'TBAE' by urlchild or the hyperactive synth stutterings and finely diced vocals in 'Gary Lazer-Eyes', coupled with the busy explosiveness of 'Neon Swords' and its gurgling vocal samples whose beat seems to hang in the air, and 'Cigarettes', where infra-bass kicks are the gloopy swamp out of which brittle mangrove snares snap and crack.

The mix, which includes samples of Link's sword-swinging shout in Ocarina of Time ('All Of Me') and Navi's "Hey!" ('Neon Swords', the set closer), and a sparkly remix of 'Latch' by Disclosure, pitch-shifting Sam Smith's vocals just ever so slightly, is luscious, the sound equivalent of breakdancing under a canopy of stars, or playing videogames with friends because one of them has a free house and it happens to be a marble-and-gold mansion of a place. Stonewall Klaxon, real name David Andrew Lunson, is 26 currently lives in Austin, Texas, "working as a chef in a restaurant downtown." But cooking skills aside, musicmaking comes first: "Music has always been my passion, and my true priority," he tells me. "I suppose what first inspired me to make music was simply being in the school band and orchestra~ playing euphonium, trombone, and cello."

The rich flavours and dynamics of his sound are, with this information in mind, easily traceable back to this classical and traditional training in music; you can hear the feel-good, triumphal nature of band music in each rousing hit of synth, and in its gentler moments, his music is certainly orchestral, albeit with electronic sounds – the melodies and progressions are so well done, so basically perfect. I've seen reviews of his stuff saying 'Flume-esque' or 'Wave Racer-esque' but you never hear anybody say that any classical music is 'Beethoven-esque' or 'Mozart-esque', really, do you? There is space enough in the music world for true talent and actual hard work to shine through, and it seems as if the gleams of Stonewall Klaxon are just about starting to reach the eyes and ears of the world.

• T R A C K L I S T •
  1. 0:00 Chords (Excerpt) (Vocals are Frank Zappa)
  2. 2:39 Gary Lazer-Eyes
  3. 7:27 Spherical
  4. 12:07 Cigarettes
  5. 15:21 Urlchild - TBAE (Stonewall Klaxon Remix)
  6. 20:09 Disclosure - Latch (Stonewall Klaxon Remix)
  7. 23:21 All Of Me
  8. 26:38 Neon Swords
All tracks by Stonewall Klaxon

Stonewall Klaxon Social Media Presence ☟

Friday 7 November 2014


Well well well. This is pretty damn cool. Never before have I heard harpsichord in a song like this before, but here it, harpsichording away like some frock-coat-wearing, grey-wigged phantom of the baroque era floating over the distorted kicks of our hectic and noisy modern world. It arrives from the mind of 18-year-old musicmaker Marcioz, who is from Curitiba, Brazil, and it's called 'God Ain't Gonna Pay You Back'.

Flashing with antiquity, the track begins with the atmospheric and virtuosic harpsichord pluckings, soon joined by fallen columns of bass that seem to go on forever. Then from chamber music to a chamber of noise, as if you've stepped on a tripwire, huge laser beam synths shoot out at you with acid sharpness, loud and slick, accompanied by a screaming, spooky melody of synth. Later on this copies the harpsichord's melody, blooping all the way.

These chops of synth are replaced for the chopped up remains of some other track, these truncated snippets breathing over the the deadly tectonic beat whose kicks seem to move the very earth, and whose lethal snares slice the tops of mountains with their high velocity attacks; these sometimes turn into tongue-clicking woodblock clops, reverbing into the sophistication of the track. A vocal sample appears like a memory, framed by this mix of baroque music (the track ends with some mean sounding strings, too) and super-modern footwork-ish flavours – v unique sounds presented in a kind of satisfyingly jarring manner.

Marcioz Social Media Presence ☟

Thursday 6 November 2014


Not only do I fucking love this, it also has a brilliant concept. A really fun concept. Whilst on the surface of things it seems to be created by Carmelle, it's actually not as it seems. Ostensibly, Carmelle is a "Minneapolis Funk veteran" who, for the creation of this track 'Wet Dream', "hired a variety of local musicians in his adopted home of Lisbon to bring an uncharacteristically frantic pace to this, his biggest release as an expat."

It is pure fantasy. Carmelle, and in fact every artist featured on this compilation by Halcyon Tone, Halcyon Tone vol. 1: Reflection – yes, even "Yugoslavian-Italian songwriter and record producer" YUNIX – is a fabrication. Explaining themselves, the duo that is Halcyon Tone say: "Many concept albums have been written from the POV of some alter-ego, but Halcyon Tone have invented an entire roster of imaginary and often eccentric artists in order to express their eclectic (and electric) musical impulses."

It's all part of the entertainment, this total immersion in an imagined retro world, with characters as big and bold as any real life star of yesteryear. Rather than be inspired by retro things, be a modern-day person and make music that sounds like old stuff, why not create a whole universe of characters who actually existed back then, and whose music can be retrospectively re-discovered or posthumously released. The possibilities are infinite.

I wish I could write about all of these tracks but I'm afraid I would, uh, gush. Yes, that's the right word. I'd gush. So I'll just mini-gush about 'Wet Dream' (sounds wrong, sorry).

It is a vigorous disco-leaning, boogie-conjuror of a track, bumping forward with robust bass and a brisk jogging beat with supershaker hi-hats; punctuated with sparkling synth chords, delicate and subtle, joined by a different progression towards the end, played this time with a breezy organ. The verse holds in it a simple 3-note synth melody, supporting the vocals, which are incidentally the best part of this track; sung in falsetto and totally aware of how to make everything catchy, they ring with ecstasy and romance and I cannot get the chorus hook "Not a day in my life goes by / When I'm not thinking of you" out of my head. The lyrics are also incredible, full of rich, youthful imagery (you can read them all here). I am in love with this song and you could be, too. Just too damn charming.

I can't say anything else except that this is extremely interesting for me. I love the sounds, I love the concept, aesthetics. I guess I could say that Halcyon Tone are a duo, Josh and Chris, and they are based in Tokyo.

  • Please, please, please, please, please do yourself a favour and have a listen to Halcyon Tone Vol. 1: Reflection
  • Fun fact: you ever heard the term 'halcyon days'? Like a wordy way to say 'good old days'. But it comes from the Greek world for kingfisher, halcyon, which would often appear in late summer, thus cementing the term 'halcyon days' as reminiscent of very nice warm days of summer.

Carmelle Social Media Presence ☟
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Wednesday 5 November 2014


Yes, this is four years old this track. But that doesn't really matter. I heard it and I liked it. What is the most strange is that the artist behind the track, a Chilean musicmaker called Aysen (perhaps named after the region in Chile, Aysén), hasn't really released much music as of late. In fact, the compilation this track is taken from, 3 estados (referring to 3 states of water; ice, um water, and water vapour), is made up of creations made by Aysen (real name Pablo Flores) in Santiago between 2007 and 2009.

In any case this is 'estremecido', which means 'shaken' or 'shivery' in Spanish, and it certainly lives up to its name. Great icicles chime together, heavily knocking into each other and producing waves of frozen air, wafting towards you with promises of cold: chattering teeth and red cheeks.

Even the beat is chilly, with cymbals gently shivering with frozen urgency, hi-hats stuttering, the kicks lazily pummelling the air with their gentle sub-bass; the snare itself actually sounds like someone kicking snow, grains of ice chafing together with each hit. A parade of claps, as if the song itself is trying to keep warm, joins this ambient ice music in the middle and at the end, waking you up from this bracing tundra of a track.

  • If you like instrumental experimentally like this, I'd really urge you to check out 3 estados for yourself. All the tracks can be downloaded for free.
  • Whilst Aysen doesn't seem active anymore, the Santiago-based netlabel that released 3 estados, Pueblo Nuevo, is alive and well. Check it out!

Aysen Social Media Presence ☟

Tuesday 4 November 2014


Du lourd! That's what I'd say in French. Means heavy. And this shit from Robokid is rather heavy, weighty – yeah, there's definitely a bulkiness to it, a dense mass of hard sounds. A congealing of liquid sounds into a more putty-like substance that rolls around consuming everything in its path, much like the blob in the 1958 film, The Blob.

Who is Robokid? A musicmaker from Boston. That's all you need to know. His track 'Panther' is pockmarked with vast, fuzzy sludgewalls of brass-ish blares, which form the bassline underpinning the bristling jungle-esque beat, itself a frenzy of urgent broken clockwork percussion. As this assault bears down on your brain, high synth soars in, lingering with eagle-call melodies; beeps 'n' bleeps join in, stuttering to be heard amidst tumbling marimba chimes that glisten through the heavy shades of this track.

It's kinda spooky sounding, but it's also kinda not; it draws you with its punchiness and keeps you there with its dynamic structure – its use of the space between sounds, for instance – and with its atmospheric noises, its busy bustling beat. What could be misconstrued as just one thing ends up being many things at once, without sounding even one jot jumbled or confused, an odyssey of proclamatory and exclamatory proportions. It totally knows where it's going and what it's up to.

Robokid Social Media Presence ☟

Monday 3 November 2014


Ahh… tdoyle. I said it three times in the mirror last night (it was Halloween, yes I'm writing this from the past) but no one appeared. I tried it also with a hundred other different names of different people I know but no dice. Too bad. But anyway; news flash, tdoyle (which TextEdit keeps correcting to "toddle" which would be hilarious if it wasn't so damn annoying) might be changing his name. We were at Kami's Lookout (online venue) the other day and this was one of the things discussed. I won't divulge anything else though. Y? COS I AINT TELLIN U M8. Besides, I know nothing.

Anyway, here we are. A new track by Mr tdoyle. It's called 'Cotton Candy Clouds' (nice alliteration) and it is as the title says. Sounds like sweeties. Sounds like sugar. Popping arpeggios intermingle with more tangy arpeggios, each note seems to zing in glorious waves across a teal sky painted salmon pink with smiling, lazy clouds. It sounds actually almost as if it could've been written not from the point of view of looking up at the sky, but from being up in the sky looking down – from an airplane or something.

Yoshi makes an appearance, his cute lil voice sampled in the song's second half where claps run amok and synth chords almost like trumpets are triumphal and welcoming. There is a blissful simplicity at work here, something easygoing and uncluttered that makes it all the more easy to drift off to this one, really float 'pon it.

Wouldn't it be super cool if you could fly? That'd be amazing.

tdoyle Social Media Presence ☟

Sunday 2 November 2014


How does VentureX keep making such lovely music? Last I heard from him was his very funky and very danceable track, 'Do You Remember' – it's been a while since then (also, and unfortunately, as usual) but I've just been magnetised to his brand new track 'Talk To Me'. It was the bass that got me at first.

The bass! The bass is fat and a little fuzzy. Sound is made of vibrations. Sound rather is vibrations. But it's not that often you actually physically feel those vibrations in your ear, in your brain, in your corneas – the world exists in a puzzle of slightly shuddering shapes.

These robust bassplosions are submerged beneath a shuffling beat whose hi-hat ticks impatiently, or lashes out into the open with cutting sharpness. An original track, dissected for inspection and chopped expertly finds itself strewn across VentureX's track; guitar appears in golden truncated chords, or else it peeks in with glints of funk. A vocal sample adds its warm soul to the mix, washed with clarity; the track ends with a cascade of chiming cosmic rainstick and the treble is gently removed, leaving you with that ever-satisfying vacuum that is only achingly good bass rumblings.

  • This comes as the second in very, very, very cool label / collective Stratford CT.'s Secret Selection, a series of surprise singles.
  • They also released a VentureX album which is one of my actual favourite releases of this year ever. It's called Together and it's genuinely and flawlessly superb. Listen to it here.

VentureX Social Media Presence ☟

Saturday 1 November 2014


From this track's first abrasive beats it was kinda sold to me instantly. Then this gnarly vocal sample pops in like a small anthropomorphic whale bouncing around the room after it's crept in through the window, blubbering all the while in hypnotic loops. Wtf, sorry.

Well it's by urlchild (who is 21, from Austin, Texas) and it's called 'Like You ~ Falling For'. I didn't expect it to drop into this really house-flavoured vibe, didn't expect those sharp syncopated piano chords, mainly. These, alongside pulsar whispers of synth that zip in and out of earshot, are the main actual non-percussion sounds that aren't vocal samples, which in endlessly reverbing pitch-shiftedness croon the song's title.

The beat clacks, exploded from underneath with blooping depth charge sub-bass deposits, shifting above with garage-esque hi-hats that provide the fidgety skitter that work for house tracks like this – regular rhythm gets you moving on a basic level; the hi-hats accent this rhythm just so, just so, zapping your limbs into life. And then your brain gets shaken by the dynamic cymbals that crash across the track like haphazard punctuation.

urlchild Social Media Presence ☟