There is a certain satisfaction in knowing Manchester based producer Loftt is eventually going to be discovered… because this kind of talent can’t stay hidden locally for too much longer. Latest track We’ll Be There carries an unmistakable sense of motion; disembodied and yet strangely tender vocal samples call out amongst the multi-layered and darkly atmospheric sounds. Aided by the addition of Claire Northey’s intricate string work, Loftt has managed to create an expansive piece of late night electronica.
I’ve admittedly been feeling fairly uninspired lately, and in turn my writing… and love of music has suffered. It often takes a special kind of band to bring me out of this spell, and I’m happy to say Faenimal Arm were able to do it. Based in Helsinki, this electronica duo consisting of Mia Ojapalo and Emil Järnefelt remind me a little of Manchester’s Bernard & Edith; experimental electronica but retaining a pop sensibility within their sound. Début track Industrial Sex (released via Vild Recordings) has this hypnotic and sensual rhythm that playfully dances around Emil’s shoegazer vocals. The video, created by artist Nick Tulinen, mirrors the feeling the song creates beautifully…
I might be going a bit soft of late, or perhaps just seeking out a non-pharmaceutical antidote to the thrust and bluster of modern life, but I’ve found myself increasingly drawn towards more tranquilizing sounds; textural exploratory ambiences, drumless lullabies.
As part of my daily treatment, I’ve self-prescribed Katzgraben – a duo of João Tiago and Ricardo Peixoto who find themselves perpetually disconnected in a geographical sense, except for around twice a year when they join together to create stirring, evocative sounds. Combining electronics with a natural flair for swells of guitar feedback, on a superficial level at least Katzgraben appear to pitch somewhere between Stars Of The Lid, Hermoine Harvestman and the more sedative side of Growing. The first of these artists in particular naturally gravitate towards night-time listening, whereas S9 seems more suited to daylight hours – an odd synaesthetic quality, these elegiac soundscapes are brought to life against a visual backdrop gently cast shadows and the natural breezy sway of fauna.
It’s music to soothe, but more importantly music which can reinvigorate one’s sense of the here and now.
I’m not sure if it’s because they’re putting something in the chips, but there seems to be a growing collective of interesting electronic producers inhabiting the Brighton area at the moment.
Japanese Sweets consists of approximately one half of ambient-pop-noisesters Speak Galactic, namely Owen Thomas. In his current incarnation, Thomas deploys exploratory electronics to investigate a variety of textures and moods. While any existent melodies are implied or masked beneath more liberal auditory pleasures, we’re still not in the vicinity of outright noise. There’s nothing particularly vicious about the sonics, in the end it’s only as obtuse and challenging as you decide to make it for yourself. Certainly, if you have a stomach able to withstand the less rhythmic movements of Harmonia, the more ambient degrees of Mouse on Mars, or the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s “Blue Veils & Golden Sands”, you’ll find much here to dissolve along to.
Just relax into a comfortable shape, think of it like head music for the not-yet-quite-exploded.
If anybody reading this has experienced any unexpected potato based hallucinatory episodes on the south coast recently, let me know. Or just listen to Japanese Sweets. Yeah, that’s the one.
One thing I think all of us at TRU LUV can agree on is the absurd idea that, in music writing terms, a track or release is deemed dead in the water within days – in just a couple of weeks it’s absolutely buried. Bonkers beyond belief. The way I look at it, if it’s new to me then it’s no doubt new to somebody else. So let’s just take a step back.
I was on the look out for fresh spins for the old platter, and something instantly pulled me towards Amir Abbey aka Secret Pyramid‘s LP ‘Movements Of Night’, originally released on Students Of Decay way back in the autumn of 2013. Certainly, I’m a bit of a sucker for grainy black and white photography, all the better if it’s black and white photography which also happens to be pointing towards a distant galaxy. A great shot.
And the contents, they didn’t disappoint. The easy old “ambient” tag doesn’t quite tell the whole story. In album opener A Descent, the gorgeous main chordal figure is slowly enveloped by advancing sustained drones, gradually opening and illuminating, drawing the listener into the blurry warmth of it’s core. It’s a track you can If you wish simply take on face value; after all these are beautiful, starry, tasteful sounds.
But then on the other hand, it’s so much more than background music. If you want it to be, it’s also immersive, meditative, expansive. And above all, highly addictive.
The recent revival of Liverpool’s music scene has been well documented. For me, Outfit were the band that first got my attention (‘Performance’ is last year’s most underrated album) and most recently Holly Lapsley Fletcher has been making serious hype waves. Electronica duo D R O H N E (yeah that whole capital letter thing is getting pretty dull) worked with Lapsley before she got discovered and it can surely only be a matter of time before these kids do something, having spent the last few months creating beautifully dark and ambient soundscapes.
Comprising of Luke McCulloch and Richie Craddock, there is an obvious hunger there… seeing them perform live in Manchester earlier this year left me intrigued as the hoods that they were were hiding under revealed something more delicate, more anxious that I had previously imagined. This anxiety is also found in Sample Pictures, the first track taken from debut EP ‘Parasite’, produced by Espher. Don’t expect to sleep easily after listening, it’s a moody affair filled with regret and an intense sadness.