For years now, and largely on the low, Chicago native Gilligan Moss has been producing left-field house music and elegantly off-kilter electronic pop. Much to our chagrin, this is unfortunately our first post covering the now New York based producer, but in reality Moss’ latest EP, Ceremonial, is his official debut. The vibrantly technicolor extended-play, which dropped just a few weeks back on the independently-minded London imprint AMF Records, touches its wings down on a number of aural aesthetics, but it was the EP’s closing tune, “Stasis” which came across as the perfect Hump Day prescription.
Hopping out of the gates with a rolling arpeggiated synth, clicky percussion and a light dose of grand piano, “Stasis” chases down a synth-pop prognosis and smashes it to bits with hints of a sensible psych influence and club-first house foundation. Gilligan Moss treats his vocal just as craftily as well, cutting and looping effortlessly through hazy and delicate incantations that sound somewhere between Sean Ryder‘s most indulgent bellows and the Macintosh computer SimpleText application used on OK Computer’s “Fitter Happier”. Just beautiful stuff to our Ninja ears really. For a real taste of Moss’ range, don’t skip on the rest of Ceremonial either, to get a much clearer grasp as to why mainstream source’s like NME nabbed the burgeoning producer in an August edition of “Radar New Act Of The Week”. Let’s start unwinding our Wednesday with a little Gilligan Moss.
More often than not, house music is not a tangible concept. From its earliest incarnations, being warped and pushed through 909 & 808 machines, to its most current iterations which mostly come to fruition through the utilization of programs like Ableton, Logic or Reason; dance sounds tend to carry with them a distinction of being “computer” or “machine” music. Save for a selective smattering of live acts like Disclosure, KiNK, Hot Natured, Bob Moses and more; most sectors of club music are generally produced under the same formula. So whenever we’re tipped to a new live house music act we tend to perk up and take notice.
The latest apple to our eyes err… ears comes to us from the London Borough of Hackney, and they’ve got us entranced like few other live electronic staples ever have. Dubbed Bassically, the five piece ensemble are a live house music collective led by award winning, multi platinum producer and Fossil Studios founder Raz Olsher and craft sophisticated techno and compulsive house music through purely live and analog instrumentation. From a purely musical standpoint, Bassically takes their aural cues from the early electronic sounds of Chicago House & Detroit Techno with the contemporary touch of Berlin and London. If we didn’t see it ourselves, we’d think they were just another producer with how seamlessly and clean their sound plays, but Basically is so much more than that. To put you on our level, we’ve got the exclusive first play of Basically’s latest music video for their single “Know This Land”, which offers a unique look at the five-piece’s utterly unique and wholly captivating live aesthetic.
Check out the entire video below, and keep your ears to the streets for all things Bassically, as we have a feeling they might just be at the tip of every dance writer’s tongue to round out 2015.
Getting out of bed on a Wednesday morning isn’t always the most pleasant feat but today we’ve got a premiere that should alleviate some of your mid-week stresses. “Let it Go” is the debut single from Swedish four-piece, Jolympix, and serves as the perfect introduction to their minimal, yet emotional, electro-pop sound. Backed by a peaceful piano progression, textured percussion and sprinkled psychedelic elements, vocals from Jolympix’s Johanna Nordström shine from the very start possessing a Jonsi-esque tranquility. Around the 1:40 mark, though, the instrumentation subtly erupts with glimmering synths complementing the stripped-down beauty at the song’s core. That understated contrast results in a captivating, immersive listening experience.
Less can often be more with music, and fans often don’t realize the painstaking process it requires to successfully achieve minimalistic bliss. Jolympix have been fine-tuning their craft for quite some time now in their hometown of Gothenburg and it truly shows on this cut. Their debut, self-titled EP is due out near the end of this year but, in the meantime, let your problems melt away with this soothing tune above.
It feels like every week Odeszahave exciting new material to set the interwebs ablaze–whether it be enormous remixes, releases through their Foreign Family Collective or even fan videos of yet-to-be-released songs from their acclaimed live sets. This week proves no different as the Seattle production duo announce the upcoming release of a deluxe edition of their 2014 album In Return. Along with that announcement, they let loose a brand new original track featuring the Swedish electro-pop geniuses of Little Dragon.
The unconventional, yet enticing, crooning of Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano feels like a natural pairing with the shimmering instrumentation of Odesza. “Light” slightly tones down the intense percussion we’re used to from the duo, though, rather gliding beautifully and relying more on the radiant elements of their sound. Even with a more stripped down approach, the chorus proves irresistible as Odesza inject just enough of the enormity we’ve come to expect from them. It’s a truly mesmerizing collaboration that we hope results in more new music between the two pioneering acts.
The deluxe edition of In Return is out on September 18th via Counter Records and can be pre-ordered here.
While many synth based pop structures seem to produce a bevy of sunnier, joy inducing sounds; it is the darkest, murkiest corners of the genre which constantly draw this writer’s attention. With acts like Black Marble, Gang Signs, Young Prisms and Craft Spells consuming the majority of my limited ‘pleasure listening’ time; the unlikely duo of Brooklyn-based singer Ruth Mirsky and Norwegian-based producer Mads Martinsen known better as The Familiar -who by the way have never actually sat in the same room to make music- have earwormed themselves deeply into heavy rotation around the TMN pool. With a haunting cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”, and a stellar debut EP Rooms most recently pacing the pair’s current ascension into alt-pop circles the world over; The Familiar’s latest single “Patience” dives into more personal territory. Mirsky weaves a vocal-central aesthetic through a plea for patience to her lover over Martinsen’s pulsating, synth-driven beat and rhythmic, foggy pop hooks for a tune that swallowed us up from our first listen. The Familiar’s deft yet subtle use of rolling staccato synths played off a lush set of vocal reverberations also has us drawing up comparisons from the gloomiest of Kavinsky tunes to College’s wonderful Heritage LP and even a touch of Johnny Jewel laden synthetica. And in case you weren’t aware, those are all very lofty associations. Hop on The Familiar wagon with “Patience” before literally anyone else on behalf of a TMN premiere above.
Since we first came into contact with them over a year ago, enigmatic production troupe SMLE have been consistently churning out some of the most tasteful midtempo, genre-blurring electronic music we’ve heard since a young chap by the name of Harley Streten took the scene by storm in 2011. We’ve already featured a pair of tunes, “Every Chance You Get” and “It’ll Be Okay”, off of their forthcoming EP Reasons To and today they’ve delivered us yet another carefully crafted soundscape which fuses pop arrangements, a heavy dose of soul, and skampering beats. “With Me” features syrupy vocal work from Hype Turner & Mary Ellen, and subtly combines nuanced percussion, murky rhythms and a huge, future-leaning synth which swallows up its listeners at will. SMLE’s darker instrumentation on this one bounces wonderfully off of Hype Turner & Mary Ellen’s playful vocal work, which has all resulted in another song we couldn’t wait to share with out TMN faithful. Stream “With Me” above.
It’s been nearly a week since we first stepped into Golden Gate Park for Outside Lands, but with the return to the daily grind it feels like even longer for most of us. This year’s festival, yet another record-breaking one by attendance, featured all the amenities that make OSL special–amazing food, craft beers, a star-studded comedy lineup, the beautiful backdrop of Hellman Hollow and of course a top-notch bill of musical performances. With its rapid expansion came some growing pains as well, though, and our main gripe was the inaccessibility of the Heineken House, which featured some great DJs, due to overcrowding. At the same time, the greater depth of the lineup made the previously overlooked Panhandle stage the place to be and when the crowd came together at shows, the energy was unbelievable.
In the stupor that follows music festivals, it can be easy to allow your precious experiences to fade in the rearview of your memory bank, but there will always be sets that you’ll never forget. We’ve recounted 14 sets that have been stuck in our minds all week and also tried something a bit new with this review by asking random fans to review our favorite sets. If you were in attendance this year, we hope this brings you back and, if not, it might just make you want to check out OSL next year.