As I get older, gracefully accepting the fact that my rowdier years are fading in the rearview mirror, I’m consistently drawn to the calmer, more ambient, and textural electronic music. From Tycho, to Bonobo, to Little People, I’m intrigued more so by artists who artfully craft impressive layers of soundscape that create a truly encapsulating experience. Today, I get to add one more name to that list with this premiere from Cologne/Mannheim-based three-piece Sea Moya.
Dropping in June on their upcoming Baltic States EP, “Bangalore” is a listening experience in the truest sense. It slowly builds through tape saturation, atmospheric elements, and radiating synths, gradually winding its way up to a glowing, percussion-centric crescendo. You’ll find yourself putting it into a few neat little boxes, or playlists, rather, which could easily include a chill Sunday at home, a sunny day by the pool, or a lengthy road trip through the countryside.
When asked about the inspiration behind this impressive tune, Sea Moya Iven had this to say:
“Bangalore” has a real Urban feeling to us. We began to imagine a highway at night through a foreign, exotic city. We didn’t want it to be too “city” like, so we incorporated some samples of natural and more organic sounds. We decided to go against recording vocals in this track too, which is different from our usual stuff.
Make sure to follow these cats on Facebook and SoundCloud to keep up with news on the upcoming EP and live shows.
Hearing something for the first time is great, but how good is re-hearing something that you forgot existed for 9 months? That’s magic. How did it come up again? We don’t know. But it did. And it’s glorious. The throwback is real, and today we’re throwing it back to a song released by an artist named Nicole Dollanganger whose innovation is welcomed by us time and time again.
Nicole Dollanganger has been releasing completely angelic music for the last few years and we’re happy to see her getting some more spotlight. Her release “Chapel” is especially representative of some of Dollanganger’s most enjoyable artistic characteristics—her vocal and lyrical talents. With a voice that possesses its own dialed-in breathy reverb that any artist strives to attain strictly in the studio, Dollanganger showcases her blessedly-toned voice in conjunction with some of our favorite lyrics she’s released yet with this release.
A song for the tragic, “Chapel” has lyrics that impart a kind of emotional gravity on the listener that they might not have been ready for, and we’re fans of songs that can move like that. One of our favorite lines comes at the end of the sorrow-stricken chorus: “You know I don’t love anyone, but I love you.” Wow. That’s real. Nicole Dollanganger makes us feel. We can say that for certain. Oh, and let us not forget– our favorite superstar Grimes is a big fan of her, too. She brought her on to her Eerie project pretty much before anyone else, and anyone who’s a friend of Grimes is most certainly a friend to us.
Just last month, bi-coastal dream pop act LIMBS released their debut track, “Don’t Stay,” which not only showcased this duo’s ability to write genre-bending, lush, and textural music but also to enchant listeners with dazzling, well-choreographed visuals. Now, with their first track and accompanying video making their rounds across the blogosphere, they’re ready to serve up another gem for your listening pleasure.
“Moonshine” is an encapsulating listening experience, brought to life with a multi-layered depth of production and vocals from members Kevin Abdella and Kim Mayo. The lyrics come to you in a heavily treated style, which counter-balance perfectly with the light guitar work, booming bassline, and atmospheric clicking. It’s positively haunting, leeching on in all the best ways.
If you’re feeling warm ‘n fuzzy from “Moonshine,” make sure to throw a calendar reminder on April 1st. That’s when you’ll be able to grab it, and the rest of the EP, for your personal collection. Coincidentally, LIMBS will also be playing a show on that day. If you happen to be somewhere in the SoCal area, we highly recommend heading out to the Ham & Eggs Tavern and catching them live.
With the cyclical nature of music, there are bound to be sounds that keep crawling their way into our present day. How can you not savor something that is already familiar, that just feels like a small piece of home or a bite of your mom’s favorite dish that you only tried years after moving out and surprised yourself in shame that you had forgotten how delicious it tasted? Often times, however, these sounds and their creators exhausted themselves trying too hard to pay tribute to their predecessors, that unfortunately miss the mark completely. One thing is to revisit the past with a modern take, and another is to include the fading memories that also made them forgettable. Fortunately for this world, the Los Angeles-by-way-of-Provo duo Sego, have created an immersive experience of collected sounds that challenge what you once knew, while still disrupting what you know today.
Within minutes of entering the biosphere of their debut album, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around, depicted by lightly controlled undertones of the 90s indie rock scene, euphoric synthesized notes and vocals masked with distorted frequencies, Sego establishes itself with the intro track “Obscene Dream”. Personally, the song gave me goosebumps and not because of the production quality, which is remarkably clear and balanced, or their infectious choruses (that are just as catchy as wearing Toms in 2012), but because it frightened me a little to write this review. I couldn’t find words to properly define them. How can you properly define Sego and this precise album? And the longer you spend listening to each track, you come to realize that you don’t. You don’t need to define it to make sense of it. While the intro track might sound like a remixed, more distorted version of early Two Door Cinema Club songs, the following, ‘False Currency’ is reminiscent of a more sporadic Cake with statement-like lyrics that now live in a post-millennial world.
Yet among all the different directions Sego finds itself going, the most appealing quality of the album is undoubtedly its constraint. As eclectic and sometimes even as random as their music appears on the surface, it is apparent in calmer tunes “Stars” and “Fool Around” that they understand the spectrum of music they can deliver. Some tracks find themselves pushing the envelope of what the ears can handle, challenging our own perception of the genres we know, while others are simply smothered with beautiful harmonies, making them a breeze to consume. “Wicket Youth” shines as an example of a delightfully bright indie-electro-pop, mid-summer poolside anthem with enough inherent joy to make you want to do cartwheels.
Ultimately, Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around feels like a meticulously ordered playlist of Sego’s own music, which today, is accompanied by the delightfully bizarre animations of from renowned GIF artist Gustavo Torres (a.k.a – Kidmograph). It opens up with robust musical elements meshed and layered together over synthesized blips, kicks and riffs to establish a form of authority that then carries over the rest of the album. Just because they can create these extended experimental experiences, doesn’t mean that is all they will do. What follows is an exciting journey deeply rooted in genuine sounds, nostalgia and inducing a completely new fascination for the married genres they have fused together.
Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around, will be out March 4, 2015, in North America and May 6 in UK/Europe.
It’s no secret that we’ve grown very close with and fond of our friends at Red Bull Sound Select. Truly one of the few major corporations involved in music putting their influence to good use, the amazing curators, thinkers, and artists involved with RBSS have always had their ears to the streets towards burgeoning artists across a plethora of genres; inciting within us Ninjas a need to see each and every one of their eclectic showcases near our respective hometowns. In the past few years alone in this writer’s fair (and Superbowl defending champion) city of Denver, we’ve been privy to some of our favorite acts including The Internet, (the artists formerly known as) Viet Cong, Shigeto & Cloud Nothings; and with that, we’ve already come up on another tastefully crafted night of music provided by the RBSS crew. We’ve been excited as ever since first hearing rumblings about this one a while back, and finally on 3/31, Seattle based producer SANGO will make his way to the Mile High City to headline a night of top-to-bottom heat, which will also see performances from SPZRKT (Spazzy Rocket), and CRL CRRLL (Carl Carrell).
In anticipation of the next Denver stop for Red Bull Sound Select, we’ve put together a mini-playlist featuring selections from each artist on the night’s bill. As with every RBSS show, an early RSVP will get you in for the measly price of $3, so hop to it here and get there early to guarantee your spot. We’ll see you on the floor.
It’s quite late right now, and as I write this, I’m torn between leisurely lounging on my couch, drink in hand, incessantly tapping my foot with a toothy grin spread across my face, or getting ready for a night on the town, casually throwing responsibilities to the wind. That’s the beauty in “Simple Lessons.” It effortlessly buzzes along lines of pure dance music and ambient electronica, giving us a soundscape that’s as lush as the foliage that sprawls across the home state of its producer.
Manatee Commune hails from the Pacific Northwest, and has started to create quite the name for himself. Recently earning the title of best electronic artist by Seattle Weekly, he’s now dialed up with a record with Brooklyn-based Bastard Jazz Recordings, and you’re about to get a taste today.
The composition is calculated and precise, bringing a bevy of light, airy synths, radiating percussion comprised of clicks, pops, and feathery snare hits, along with well-placed and well-treated vocal samples. It’s never overwhelming, showcasing a delightfully busy space that works together in something that’s both relaxed and invigorating.
Learning how to share my creative process with my friends completely revolutionized the last of year of music for me. Inviting those I trusted and loved into my studio to spend even just an hour talking or jamming opened fountains of inventive energy for me, especially from the ones who lacked any musical knowledge. I soon found myself incredibly inspired by the originality of even the smallest interactions with people, and so I pointed my field mic at anyone who had a story, a melody, or a stumbling beat they had been absentmindedly drumming, all in the hopes of capturing their individuality and framing it with my ever expanding insight into audio production. – Manatee Commune
“Simple Lessons” can be found on his upcoming Thistle EP this Friday. We highly recommend picking it up for your weekend festivities, whether they happen from the comfort of your own home, or within a low-lit dance club. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
It’s not often that our resident artist is shrouded in such mystery. The Code, however, are used to being the exception by now. Although details are sparse, one thing we can say for certain about the artist-producer duo is that they are systematically working to reinvent R&B. Their music is often a genre-bending blend of sensual vocals, hazy synths and slinky rhythms. After dropping their highly acclaimed debut 1|11 mixtape back in 2014, the UK based group are currently gearing up to release their upcoming Blue Electronica EP later this year. See if you can crack The Code yourself by sampling of some of the songs from the project below, along with a unique remix of Calvin Harris‘ “How Deep Is Your Love”.