Author Archives: Clayton Warwick

[Ghoul Pop] Soul Bandit – 3-4-9

If there’s one aspect of an artist that electronic music fans love, it’s a mysterious producer known only to the world through their Soundcloud tracks and elusive social media posting. For those of you who aren’t already in-tune with today’s offering, we’re, of course, bringing you a taste of LA-based artist Soul Bandit.

In just over a month, Soul Bandit has been quietly releasing new music with two singles out on her Soundcloud, and listed below, for your listening pleasures. A quick recap of both songs shows the ability to capture a wide variety of electronic music palettes. Her internet debut “Mad Prophet” is a warm, electropop-like production that makes you immediately want to jump on that beach trip this weekend, while her second single, “Afraid” offers listeners a dreamer’s out-of-body, listening experience.

Her latest release, “3-4-9”, opens with a darker, dystopian tone. Post-apocalyptic and bleak, Soul Bandit drops her introduction off with a break-beat rhythm, driven with a heavy 808-kick and eerie bells and claps. A mesmerizingly, despondent vocal chimes in to give the tune a fuller experience as it chants an inexplicable mantra over and over again. Compared to her other two productions, Soul Bandit focuses more on percussion elements; crisp hats, meaty claps, and steady, pulsating kick that will leave you in an empty awe when you the song start to fade out and ending.

3-4-9 isn’t a typical track for me. I grew up speaking 3 languages (Russian at home, Hebrew and English at school). So to me 3-4-9 was meant to be a bizarre, dark, nonsensical, dance track that’s a tribute to how strange it is growing up in a cultural cauldron. My sound choices for this track and for the majority of my others tend to be a bit jarring and even unsettling at times, but they’re representative of the unpredictabilities and oddities of life and death.
’3 4 9’
’AFRAID’
’MAD PROPHET’
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TNERTLE – Clouds [TMN PREMIERE]

Tnertle
Clouds

If I ever find myself at the question, “where can I go for a non-stop, funkalicious dance party in Denver,” I look no further than TNERTLE’s tour schedule. This 6-8 piece (depending on the track) electro-funk outfit always brings the heat to whatever venue is lucky enough to have them, most of which happen to fall right here, in the Mile High City.

Praise the dance gods for that.

I’ve had the pleasure of covering TNERTLE’s live and recorded music in the past, always presenting it to you guys with a beaming grin, and feet ready to dance out a jig on a moment’s notice. Today’s no different, as you get a taste of their upcoming Monsters Out West EP. True to its name, this collection offers up four massive tunes, featuring big, shiny brass sections, carefully laid out synths, and a myriad of different vocalists that all come together for the sake of getting down.

“Clouds” was a standout for me, personally–an absolutely huge tune that already has me revved up and ready to go for the weekend. It’s just too damn bad it’s only Tuesday. Oh well. We’ll just have to settle with some desk dancing’ until Friday peeks its sweet, sunny face above the horizon.

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The Griswolds talk Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jamie Lee Curis, and Tim’s Last Show [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Images courtesy of Nikolai Puc

Exactly three years ago, I premiered “Beware The Dog” by The Griswolds, and I’ve felt a kinship with these Aussies ever since. Their infectious energy is felt throughout both their recorded music and live performances. I don’t need to tell you that, though. Just head out to one of their shows and try jockeying for position amongst throngs of relentless fans who have patiently waited outside the venues on hours on end, awaiting that precious spot at the front of the stage.

In March, we had the pleasure of catching up with bassist Tim John and frontman Chris Whitehall at Denver’s charmingly divey Marquee Theater, where the group closed out their U.S. High Times for Low Lives album tour. Our lighthearted chat was pleasant – as it always is with these consummate professionals and all-around good guys — but the room felt heavy with the anticipation of what would be a momentous show in the band’s history: Tim, the band’s original bassist, was about to play his last gig in America, and after a few more shows overseas, he would retire from the Griswolds.

Continue reading

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Gonzalla – T.M.V. [TMN PREMIERE]

Gonzalla
T.M.V.

After living across the pond in London and Liverpool for nearly a half decade, Cody Randall, aka Gonzalla, is back in the states and up to some serious songwriting. Today’s offering, his first in nearly a year, was crafted just after his most recent move.

“T.M.V.” sparkles with pure, warm-weather brilliance, calling on associations of acts like Dan Croll, St. Lucia, and Absofacto, a few of our personal favorites around here. Wonderfully drum-centric in nature (hence the nod to Jean-Philip Grobler’s work), the big booming toms are counterbalanced with soft, accentuating synths that, together, create an enveloping soundscape perfect for Randall’s voice and catchy hooks.

After a successful stint at SXSW this year, we’re guessing Gonzalla is gearing up for one hell of a year. Make sure to tune in by following him on Facebook, Twitter, and SoundCloud.

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TMN Dives into Ableton with Point Blank Music School

I’ve spent a lot of time in studios, whether it be an expansive, professional set up, or a buddy’s laptop with nothing more than a set of mid-ranged headphones. It just kind of happens in this industry. Sometimes interviews take place when an artist is taking a break from crafting a tune, and sometimes you just want to have some whiskey and jam out on your guitar while your buddy is fiddling around with Ableton. Either way, the process of music production is a very familiar thing for me.

As familiar as I am with the process, I’m not so familiar with the software. I grew up as a punk rock kid, cutting my teeth in musical experiences with Green Day’s Dookie, then onto acts like Strung Out, Thrice, At The Drive-In, and A Wilhelm Scream. As I scowered album after album of blazing fast riffs, I picked up a guitar somewhere along the line and started taking lessons. They never went far, but I still enjoy jamming out to this day.

In my late teens, I got swallowed up in the cultural shift of early dance music. Attending raves before most of today’s party kids could do multiplication, I developed an early affinity for progressive house and drum ‘n bass. Those lead to hard house (a genre most won’t remember) and have since come to enjoying ambient and deep house. Maybe it’s Father Time catching up with me, but my tastes have definitely settled down.

With those two portions of my life in the rearview, I had always wondered what it would be like to combine them–fanciful guitar work and some seductive beats. With a schedule as busy as mine, there were only so many options, and one stood out above the rest.

If you haven’t guessed it by now (which I’m pretty damn sure you have), I’m enrolled in Point Blank Music School’s online Albeton class. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be diving into music production, most assuredly stumbling along my way. However, my hopes is that you’ll share my journey as I cover it piece-by-piece here on the site.

If you’re interested in checking out their programs to see what they’re about, just click here to get familiar.

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Jolliffe – Codeine Hate Cloud (Luke Hassan Remix) [TMN PREMIERE]

Codeine Hate Cloud Remix
Luke Hassan Remix

As the weather heats up, we’re all on the hunt for top-not dance records we can hold onto throughout all our summertime adventures, from road trips, to pool parties, to late-night kitchen dance sessions. Luckily for us, Birmingham-based beatsmith Luke Hassan has dialed up one hell of a clubby remix that’s sure to keep you grooving throughout the summer.

This interpretation of “Codeine Hate Cloud” is inherently groovy, pushing forward through pronounced percussion. We’re particularly thrilled with the inclusion of the tropical steel drums, which help counter-balance the dark, haunting vocal samples and synths. The bassline is heavy, which will serve this number well in the club, not to say that it shouldn’t be played through your $20 Bluetooth speaker either. Sometimes the best dance-offs are had surrounding one of those.

If you’re digging this piece of work, we highly recommend checking out the original number, crafted by the newly-founded Jolliffe. Dropping on Rui Da Silva’s Kismet Records, this track, and three others encompass his debut EP, which offers up a myriad of field recordings, sampled drums, and moog synths.

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Kidsmoke – And Mine Alone [TMN VIDEO PREMIERE]

Kidsmoke
And Mine Alone

With a few fast-paced guitar strums, some upbeat snare work, and a groovy bassline, Wrexham-based Kidsmoke have us daydreaming about sun-soaked adventures. In fact, it’s pretty damn hard not to picture this, the second single off their upcoming EP, as the soundtrack to whatever lies ahead of us over the next few months. It’s bright, shimmery, and full of a youthful vibrance–the kind we tend to look for around this time of year.

Aside from the release, which dropped nearly a month ago, we’re also here to bring you a first glimpse at the music video for “And Mine Alone.” A playful cinematic interpretation of the tune, it’s perfectly informal, offering up plenty of time with all four bandmates.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood, we highly recommend catching this highly-infectious tune, among others, at one of their four upcoming shows.

Live Dates

May 26 – Dot To Dot Festival

June 09 – Telford’s Warehouse, Chester (EP launch)

June 16 – The Finsbury, London

June 28 Wrexfest 2017

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