Today I stumbled across Vierance, a gothic electronic duo from Toronto, consisting of Matthew Cangiano and Kathryn Warner. Its hard when making a discovery like this not to immediately throw in the name Crystal Castles, as they share both the same city and the same sense of conflict and urgency with each other.
That’s not to say Vierance have nothing distinct about them, far from it… as the sound they have created is more insular, seeped in atmospheric and melodrama. Warner’s vocals are reflective, almost desperate and undeniable beautiful.
I’ve been ruminating for a while now about new Manchester producer Oceaán who has been receiving pretty heavy rotation across the blogosphere. Perhaps I’ve been trying too hard to resist?
The swoonsome RnB production in Neéd U is good, really good infact. Oceaán is the light to Holy Other’s dark. With repeated listens it cuts deep into your soul, fills you with optimism and love.
Am I keen on the anonymity? It’s an interesting approach, mythology can be far more exciting than reality, especially in a time when we’re constantly battered with information. Manchester has a rich modern history from Wu Lyf to my own band Stay+. Oceaán’s debut video only fuels the fire… but its an exciting journey and I’m glad we’re on it with him.
From Polish electronic label Osterdam Records comes DreamChach – better known as Tomasz Moskwa, a live electronic solo artist gradually crossing language barriers across the blogging community.
Moskwa creates a musical array of electric, robotic, vintage computerised sound, a mesh of blips and effects, melodic euro-pop synths underlaid by DJ club beats. These are aural throwbacks to the Nineties dance scene. His uplifting single ‘Night Beats’ would sound as good through headphones as it would as a clubbing tune.
The distinct vocal of Alice Fox is one that should be recognisable to many in Manchester, and without delving too much into our history, Avec Sans are a band very close to my heart. Our loss however was London’s gain, and this electronic duo have quickly built a reputation for producing effortlessly cool pop music that is not only accessible but beyond fucking brilliant.
So, its fair to say I was pretty damn excited to finally see the debut video for Hold On, directed by Sing J Lee, who has previously worked with my beloved PINS. Imagine The Postal Service meets Chvrches and you might be getting close to understanding just how good Avec Sans are… its timeless and classic, and as easy to dance to as it is to fall in love with.
“On the outskirts of a nuclear war torn city lies RFP. A place where the sounds, soul and trash of a bygone electronic era come to dance the night away. Welcome to the future…” – The Red Falcon Projects
Which somehow sums things up quite meticulously. The reissue of this Portland duo’s Microtonal Acid Dub is itself a strange recreation of a bygone electronic era, albeit one which occurred only two years ago. Remastered from the last remaining tape of what was a criminally limited-edition cassette-only release, pleasing analogue movements sit atop a canvas kissed with the ghostly lips of warm hiss, and will feel eerily familiar to those still understandably smitten with Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works”.
Despite the minimalist arrangements, the deep and dark kick drum, the knowingly persistent squelch of 303, be under no illusions: this is by no means an empty homage to the all-time granddaddy of ambient acid. This is a different environment, a different time. Any trace of bleary-eyed rave nostalgia is carefully obliterated by persistently hypnotic wordless depictions of a dystopian landscape scarred by it’s own old malevolence.
And if this wonderful discovery alone provides not enough tonal nourishment for ravenous ears, next month we are to be endowed with another full-length, “Simply Ravishing” via Dilated Time Records. Don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.
For all my reservations about that name, LA’s Eli Goss/Lebeatski (or The Big LeBEATski if you’re not into that whole brevity thing) sure does make exciting colourful noise.
It’s schizophrenic, yes: but any nagging doubts are soon blown away by the many other occasions when stars align, causing mesmeric oscillations of psychedelic sound to twist and swirl in sweet orbit around the brain. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the title track of his latest release, Flower Children In The Age Of Singularity, a hypnagogic synergy of glo-fi sonics and jittery distorted beats which resonate like a Flaming Lips instrumental being torn apart and stitched together again by Pepepiano.
But let it be known, the art of the dense electronic tapestry is not the only colour to Lebeatski’s vast palette. Contrast this with the jazzy nods to Flying Lotus in “2,000 4,000” and the joyous acid-baked Axelrod-esque bass riffing in “Reality Escape”, and you clearly have one immensely talented producer.
If you can’t hear that man, then you’re clearly not a golfer.