It’s just about impossible to pinpoint a specific sound to um... They really do put the mental in experimental. Even with their absurd sound design abilities and ridiculous choice of samples, something about their unbridled insanity is magnetic. “whos care” makes no sense, and none of their previous work has either, but you find yourself losing your mind in the best manner every time they concoct another tune. Are they considered bass music? Possibly. Are they as confusing as they are talented? That’s a fact. No matter the questions asked when this song plays, just know you’re witnessing something truly new, innovative, and a little unhinged. In short, don’t overthink it, just smash that play button and go wild.
We are VERY excited to be introducing a brand new segment here at The Music Ninja! Saturday Selection was created for multiple purposes. From hitting the high points of the releases from the week prior, to exploring an artist or label more in depth, we’re looking to fill your weekend with even more great music than before. There’s no genre hindrances. There’s no boundaries. It all starts with five songs. You won’t want to miss this. Let’s dive in!
NVDES showed up out of nowhere about ten months ago, and it’s a great thing that they did. Incredibly upbeat indie can somewhat seem like a saturated sound, but this LA-based band keeps it just weird enough to find and own their unique voice. It’s about that time to enjoy the nice weather again, and you’ll want to have the newest by NVDES in your playlist rotation.
It’s such a relief to have Midoca back. He’s crafted his own sort of electronic pop that doesn’t shy away from brooding topics or heavy and dramatic production. There’s an understanding within his writing and music that resonates on an intangible level when dealing with the fact that everything isn’t meant to be super happy all of the time. And that’s a good thing. He capitalizes on emotion, and Dark Waves is a perfect complement for “Tell Me Your Lies” when it comes to demonstrating gravity in electronic music.
With an upcoming EP on the way, PUSHER decided to grace us the first single off of the project that features the heavenly voice of Mothica along with his infectious and bright production. His history of remixes speaks for itself, and his originals reflect several influences from some of the best new names in bass music. “Clear” is quite the first taste of his new project, as he trades in some of his larger sounds for a tightened down creation that shows he can bend his novel approach into whatever he pleases.
These two are so ridiculously smooth. Atlas Bound‘s second helping off their debut EP continues their winning streak of laidback electronic soul that just feels good every time you hit play. “Softer Still” relies on a sublime balance of live instruments and electronic production chops that is slowly but surely becoming more common as many artists began to expand their sound. And that is a GREAT thing. Keep yours ear open for their EP and enjoy this slick new tune for a nice break during your afternoon.
The latest addition to the Activia Benz Singles Club comes to us courtesy of Moon Bounce, and it is an absolute trip. There’s something addicting about this tune as it bounces all over the place with a jovial and carefree attitude, thumping drums, and an absurdly catchy groove that punches right through your speakers. It may be short, but it’s certainly sweet. The London-based Activia Benz never fails to show that they enjoy every song they release, and Moon Bounce certainly added more fun to their particularly boisterous mesh of club and pop music.
Good googly-moogly (yeah I said it), have our friends at Red Bull Sound Select been spoiling us in Denver this year. Already in 2016 we’ve been privy to incredible shows from the likes of The Internet, Cloud Nothings & Sango (all for somewhere between free and $3.00 mind you), and on April 30th at one of Denver’s most revered venues, The Bluebird Theatre, they’ve teamed up with beloved Denver music festival The UMS to bring one of our hands-down favorite acts in any corner of music; Jack Tatum’s bedroom recording project turned nationally acclaimed four-piece: Wild Nothing. Flirting with distinctions like ‘dream-pop’, ‘chill-wave’, and in the group’s earlier years ‘post-punk’; Wild Nothing have steadily released an incredibly deep and entrancing string of EP’s & LP’s since their excellent debut Gemini, all the way back in 2010. Most recently, Tatum & Co. released their third full-length, Life of Pause, which is already in the running for this writer’s short ‘Best of 2016’ list, and this marks the first time Denver gets to hear the newest slate of Wild Nothing tunes in their intended live format. Needless to say, we’re getting pretty geared up for an incredible headlining performance, but the fun doesn’t start there.
Holding things down as our Denver representatives are a couple of acts this writer has become quite enamored with throughout our constant trips into the Mile High City’s music underbelly; Inner Oceans and Flaural. If you’ve been a regular at our ‘TMN Presents’ events at Lost Lake or Larimer Lounge, hopefully you’ve gotten an amazing taste of Inner Oceans —who were actually our last party’s headliners— and their slick brand of minimally sensible psych-pop and shoegaze; which will provide a serendipitous segue into the night’s main event. Another assemblage of excellent Denver talent, and self-described ‘New-Wave Psych Pop’ -ers Flaural opens things up, and after devouring the quartet’s entire Soundcloud over the past few weeks at the adamant suggestion of the most trusted and cherished secondary music opinion in my life, it’s 100% safe to say that RBSS have once again solidified their far-reaching reputation as the tastemaker’s tastemakers and put together another night of top-to-bottom quality.
As with every Red Bull Sound Select showcase, an RSVP (here) will get you on the list for $3.00, but be sure to get there early to guarantee entry and immerse yourself in the fair city of Denver’s always evolving and rapidly burgeoning indie scene. Check out cuts from Wild Nothing, Inner Oceans and Flaural on our mini-playlist below, and we’ll see you on the floor.
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.