Tag Archives: electronic music

New Music: “Pillow Talk” – PANTy RAiD

 

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PANTy RAid started out as the side project between Martin Folb (known as MartyParty and Josh Mayer (Ooah of The Glitch Mob) in 2008.  Their first album The Sauce was released in 2009 and has since become a cult classic.  Now the electronic duo is set to release their second album Pillow Talk on May 28th.

While Pillow Talk is full of party beats and grooves, it also takes off into a few unexpected territories.  “Realism For Girls” has an underlying beat with an Indian vibe – the sound of an old world and new one colliding.  “Waiting for Wednesday” has an icy-cold vibe that perfectly embodies the middle of the week blues.  And “No Self Control” certainly lives up to its name and is the closest that Pillow Talk has to an all out banger.

If you’re looking for a summer soundtrack in the club (or your own dance party) Pillow Talk will surely hit the spot.

http://www.pantyraidmusic.com/

New Music: “Anika EP” – Anika

 

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Truth be told, I’ll give props to anyone who covers The Crystals – one of my all-time favorite groups from the 1960’s.  The Crystals’ original version of “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss”) is a slow-burn of a pop song with Phil Spector’s trademark production creating a dense layer of drama. Luckily, Anika doesn’t try to replicate Spector’s vision and instead creates a dark and disturbing atmosphere to go with the song’s lyrics.  Her delivery is cold and robotic over distorted drums.  Imagine Nico singing the Crystals over a Nine Inch Nails track and you can get the idea.

And those two approaches seem to be the crux of Anika EP.  Its dark and mysterious.  Almost every single one of the songs takes a while to creep into your consciousness and it doesn’t really let go. “In the City” brightens things up a bit with a bouncy rhythm but its delivery still behind closed doors.  The two “dub” songs that close the EP stretch these limits even further.  One could argue that this style has become a bit tired, but Anika’s gift shines through even through the darkness.

Anika EP will be officially released April 16.  In the meantime, check out “In The City” here.

New Music: “Altered States” (EP Review) – Minnesota

Minnesota’s Altered States EP is a mix of 80s style synths and hip-hop beats. “To The Floor” begins with a simple beat, a robotic voice repeating “drop it to the floor” before moving into a swirl of synths. Next up is “Yoga Pants” which opens up the sound a bit with sparse beats a hypnotic and melodic synth line that pulls the listener along.   The beats on “Tokyo” are little more complex but still retain similar vibes of the first two songs.

But it’s “Float” that really gets things going with the appearance of Zion I.  Zion’s raps give Minnesota’s beats some added weight and help move the song along.  Zion’s melodic and laid-back groove creates the perfect soundtrack for a late-night party.  The last song on the EP, “Indian Summer” takes things down a bit.  It’s the most atmospheric track on the EP – a perfect contrast to “Float”.   It’s the song for the end of the party – that Minnesota has been playing for through the rest of the EP.

 

New Music: “Bang Bang Bang” – A Girl I Know (Invader! Remix) {Exclusive Premiere}

A Girl I Know’s “Bang Bang Bang” has recently racked up 45,000 Youtube hits in over a month.  It’s a collaboration between actress Carolina Hoyos, actor Ken Franklin, and Jeremiah Bitsui who played Victor on Breaking Bad.

The Invader! is the project of 22-year old Alejo Gonzales who hails from South Florida.  Check out The Invader! remix of “Bang Bang Bang” here.

 

New Music: “ElektroAkoustic” (EP Link) – Rieces Piec.es

 

Elektroakoustic is the new EP by Jamaican producer Rieces Piec.es.  Rieces Piec.es was the sole producer behind MIA’s “XXXO Remix” featuring Jay-Z. Elektroacoustic finds the producer remixing tracks by such indie and diverse artists as Metric, Citty Towers and the Glitch Mob.

Rieces Piec.es describes the album as an “ode to my biggest musical influences, Pierre Schaffer, John Cage and other forefathers of Electronic Music.”

Check out Elektroakoustic music here.

No Dumb Words – An Exploration of Indie Instrumentals {Guest Post By Rick Claypool}

 

No dumb words

We’re living in boom times, folks.

Okay, so the economy is utterly devastated and the corporate-politico-industrial complex is completely dysfunctional and our soot-encrusted planet is basically slow-roasting the remaining acres of arable cropland.

But still, boom times.

And by boom times, I mean boom times for a certain vein of indie instrumental electronic music. These tracks won’t save the world. But many of them make for an appropriate soundtrack for the world remaining unsaved.

See, I like to listen to music while I write. And when I’m writing, music with lyrics is just distracting. Thankfully, a solid crop of new(ish) artists are doing interesting things instrumentally without ruining things with dumb words.

Below, I share a handful of my favorite instrumental tunes I dig for listening and writing. I guess some of it is maybe “witch house” or “chillwave” or “dub step.” I’m sure someone will say these genres are already dead or passé or whatever. That doesn’t matter. Maybe the next new thing sucks. So check out the latest newish things I’ve been hearing and maybe there are some things here you haven’t already made up your mind about. Imagine!

1. Glitch Mob – “Fortune Days” (from Drink the Sea)

A solid track, heavy and rhythmic like a phalanx of robots marching to conquer the Alps.

 

2. Gatekeeper – “Giza” (from Giza)

Big beats + John Carpenter-esque fight scene music = Gatekeeper’s best.

 

3. Holy Other – “Yr Love” (from With U)

I can’t get enough of what this guy releases. Chill, kinda romantic but also kinda creepy. Way to use sampled voices in a way that doesn’t suck.

 

4. Com Truise – “Open” (from In Decay)

Get past the cheeky name and enjoy some of the most interesting 80’s-style instrumental grooves this side of a pair of mirror shades. Some of this stuff is hit or miss, but this track (and several others on this album) definitely makes the hit category.

 

5. Imminent – “Seracs” (from Cask Strength)

The noisiest and most “industrial” track on this list, Seracs starts a bit twitchy and grows into something brutally mechanical. Believe it or not, this is one of Imminent’s track that comes closest to having a melody.

 

6. Umberto – “Night Stalking” (from Prophesy of the Black Widow)

Synthy and spooky like a soundtrack Euro-zombie flick from the ‘80s, Umberto comes off both tongue-in-cheek and virtuosic. It’s the ideal car music for a drive on a foggy night.

 

7. Kavinsky – “Testarossa Autodrive (from Teddy Boy)

I’m a sucker for old school laser disco. Kavinsky revives the retro-futuristic Eurodance style with an angular ferocity unheard in classic tracks.

 

8. Zomby – “Mozaik” (from Dedication)

Hypnotic, minimalist, and spacey, this track is my favorite among Zomby’s atmospheric, dub-ish tunes.

 

9. Belbury Poly – “Remember Tomorrow” (from From an Ancient Star)

Belbury Poly’s best work sounds like synth music for a magical adventure, circa 1971 (though this album only just came out last year). I don’t know about you, but it gives me the urge to light a candle, pour a mug of grog, and crack open something by Tolkein (or maybe Terry Pratchett).

 

10. Gridlock – “Atomontage” (from Formless)

Having been out for nearly 10 years, anything by the now-disbanded Gridlock is by no means new. But seriously, this album is a masterpiece of instrumental electronic music. Nothing else out there comes close. And this track, with its slow build up to an eventual monstrous drop into chattering, churning mechanical beats and ethereal voices merging into strings, cannot in good conscience be left off any list like this.

Of course, this list is by no means complete. Did I leave off one of your favorite instrumental artists or tracks off the list? If so, it’s probably because I don’t know it exists. Make me know it exists; post an awesome instrumental track in the comments.

 

Rick Claypool is a writer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Currently he is working on a dystopian novel featuring giant predatory invertebrates, political dissidents disguised as robots, and mushroom-loving mutants. His writing has appeared in the Toledo City Paper, the New Yinzer, and the Allegheny Review. For more about Rick, visit www.rickclaypool.org.

New Music Thursdays: The Elkcloner, Torgny

The Elkcloner – “Crossfire”

The first few seconds of Elkcloner’s “Crossfire” sounds like you’re being led into the world’s most horrifying carnival. Luckily, “Crossfire” doesn’t turn into campy shock (especially if you hate clowns like I do), but ends up becoming catchy and memorable through its dark underbelly, due in part to the haunting female vocals.  Elkcloner  is the  of new musical project of composer Filip Mitrovic, whose previous credits include co-scoring the movies Resident Evil: Afterlife and Echo.

Click for more info on The Elkcloner.

Torgny – “Big Day”

Torgny’s “Big Day” is the first track from the Norwegian electronic artist’s newest EP entitled Trilogy EP.  Even if you don’t like electronic music, “Big Day” offers subtle layers of real instrumentation evoking the icy work of some of Radiohead’s more experimental detours.  If only all electronic music were this interesting.

Click for more info on Torgny

Interview with Marius Hagen From Team Me

Team Me from Norway is one of the hottest newcomers of 2011. The accidental success of Team Me came about when Marius Hagen started his own side project, while playing with two other bands, Jaqueline and SiN, the name Team Me reflecting himself as the only member of the band. But when the music he submitted ended up in a Norwegian national radio-battle for new and unsigned bands, Marius quickly had to get a band together and Team Me made their live debut in January 2010 at the finals of the contest, to great acclaim. From then on, Marius’ little secret was not so easy to hide, and the world seems to be falling in love with this six-piece indie band and their richly orchestrated music and unique live shows.

Team Me recorded their debut album, “To The Treetops!” in Oslo in May 2011. The album was produced by Marius Hagen/Team Me and mixed by Mike Hartung at Propeller Music Division.

Team Me has a really interesting history. Marius you were in two separatebands and Team Me was the name you use for your own stuff until you ended up on a radio station contest.  Tell me a little a bit about that experience, and how you got the band together.

 
The band got together when Team Me was picked out to play in the final of a
national demo competition in Norway. At the time Team Me was only a name for
all my electronic and/or acoustic song-experiments. As I didn’t dare to play
these songs live by myself as a singer/songwriter, I called some friends and
asked if they’d be interested in joining me in the “band”. They said yes,
fortunately. So, that’s basically the way it happened. The first time the
“band” was in the same room, was to have photos taken for the competition. We hadn’t even had a rehearsal.
 
 
You’ve gained quite a bit of attention over the year.  Did you imagine that
this would happen?  Are you still involved in the other bands?
 
I don’t think anyone of us ever imagined this when we all met for that
first Team Me rehearsal. Most of us have been playing in bands or by
ourselves for some years, and I guess we’ve all had some ambitions to get
our music out there, but I don’t think any of us really really thought it
would happen. Although we’re still pretty small fish in the big sea.
I’m still involved in both Jaqueline and SIN. We just have to find time.
 
Since you’ve released the EP a lot has happened.  What difference can fans expect on “To the Treetops”?
 
I guess people can expect an over-the-top, self-produced, playful debut
album or just a six-piece band trying to fit all of their different but
very similar music references into their debut album. It’s a big
sounding record. Melancholy songs wrapped into psychedelic, cheerful sounds,
or something like that.
 
Your music sounds is very melodic yet it also pretty sophisticated in its
sound.  Tell me a little bit about your songwriting process.  What do you
envision for Team Me?
 
There’s no recipe for writing a Team Me song. The first songs were just
random experiments, and written during a long period of time. Most songs are
written on an acoustic guitar, and then orchestrated after whatever
direction we want to go. We have no rules for what Team Me should sound
like. So, the next record will most likely sound different than “To The
Treetops!” We just have plans to make and release a lot of music, and
hopefully people will be somewhat interested!
 
I’m from the US, what can American fans expect from Team Me?  Do you have big promotional plans for the US?
 
We’ve always wanted to play in the US. And it looks like we’re heading over
to visit you in March! I think we’re doing a few showcases and we’re playing
at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. We’ll know more soon. The dates will
be up on our website teamme.no <http://teamme.no/>  as soon as they are
confirmed.
 
What’s next for Team Me?
 
We just got back from a European tour, and are actually currently in the
studio finishing up a few tracks that we started recording for “To The
Treetops!”, but didn’t really fit in with the rest. Then we’ll have a
Christmas break, before we head back out on the road for some more
Norwegian, European and US date. We’ll be touring a lot in 2012, but
hopefully we’ll have time to start writing some songs for our second album.