Sunday, December 14, 2014

BEST INDIE TRACKS 2014 – SECOND PART: BEATS



As previously heard in some monthly playlists, several 2014 tracks were full of beats, up in front. Not only heavy drums but also massive bass lines, exotic percussions, synths, hand claps, even human beatbox! The playlist below, or directly from pleer here, reviews this specificity in music.
1- French-Cuban 19 year-old twin sisters, Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, are the duo behind Ibeyi. They’ve been hailed by some publications like The Guardian, as artists to watch in 2015. Being also the daughters of the late Cuban percussionist Miguel Anga Diaz who played with Buena Vista Social Club among other bands, is worth mentioning in this “Beats” playlist perspective. «River» is taken from their first EP Oya out last August. In the video, they are doing a difficult apnea exercise!
 
2- Thom Yorke’s second solo effort, “Tomorrow's Modern Boxes” out last September, is the perfect example of an electronic beat-built album. “Guess Again”, with wonky piano notes, is the only track to give a little bit of soul in this cold robotic production.

3- Half-Mauritian, half-English producer, singer and percussionist, Joseph Deenmamode, alias Mo Kolours released his first 18 short tracks album last March on bandcamp, infused with soul, reggae, dub. " Mike Black" is also on Gilles Peterson “Album of the Year” list .


4- Usually, there are no remixes in this blog and since I’m not familiar with Nelly Furtado music, I couldn’t tell, on first listening, that the Caribbean percussions and bouncy track “The Feeling” by London based collective The Citrus Clouds , was a remix of her 2003 song “Força”.The remixers have 4 other tracks on their soundcloud.
5- Speaking about remixers, Portland arranger, André Allen Anjos, working under the name of RAC (stands for "Remix Artist Collective") did a lot of re-tuning, from The Shins, Lana Del Rey, Two Door Cinema Club,….In spring 2014 he delivered his own original music through 2 parts of “Strangers” album full of catchy tracks, starring artists like Bloc Party’s Kele, Tokyo Police Club,… “Repeating Motion” features one of the original members of the RAC collective, Karl Kling.
 
6- London duo Whilk & Misky is Nima and Charlie. Within the 4 tracks of its debut “First Sip EP” released in October by Island Records, “Clap Your Hands” is the ultimate bangin’ tune, between flamenco like guitar, hand claps like castanets. What you hear is not a trumpet, this human beat box!

7- Jacob Dillan Summers is only a newcomer in 2014 under the moniker of Avid Dancer. The guy has been around for a while now, growing up in a strict catholic family without listening to contemporary music, being in the US Marines, playing in several bands, The Rhone Occupation, Laura Laura. On his 4 tracks debut EP “I Want To See You Dance” out last October, you can hear that he is, as a drummer, always starting with rhythms created on percussion. His music has a fresh retro feeling.
 
8- Opus Orange is a six piece band from Santa Monica, always flowing pop rock tunes with their sixth EP “Balance” released last February on bandcamp . Stomp your feet to the rhythm of the namesake track “Balance”.
9- Fronted by Rasmus Kellerman, Swedish band Tiger Lou's last LP dates back to 2008 but last October, heavy drum announced his return with a pertinent single, “Homecoming#2”, his catchiest tune to date, feeling like the horizon is bright & wide.
 
10- One of my favorite voices, Hayden Thorpe, returned last February with his band, “Wild Beasts, from Kendal, UK. Vocal harmonies and speedy metronomic drum are still the base of “Wanderlust”, the first single taken from their fourth LP “Perfect Tense”.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

BEST INDIE TRACKS 2014 - FIRST PART: ELECTRO R&B/SOUL VIBE



Since the 2014 monthly “Best Tracks” playlists were not complete, a “Best Of 2014” is quite appropriate. There is always more to discover.It’s endless and overwhelming but best when a common thread is highlighted.

For meshing synth sounds with percussions and subtle vocals is the most creative way to make music nowadays… the first part of this “ Best Indie Tracks 2014”, like in 2013, has an Electro R&B/Soul vibe. In slow motion at the beginning and more up tempo at the end. In the player below or directly from pleer here .

1 & 2- 2 tracks from Young Fathers in the “Best of 2013.They won the Mercury Prize 2014 last October, for their first album Dead.
So I put 2 tracks for the young and handsome Canadian, Alexander Fleming aka Black Atlass, to wish him the same recognition from the Northern American music industry. For his rugged electro R&B is something special. “Paris”, out in 2012 on Black Atlass first EP, was featured in a Louis Vuitton ad.“The Rose” and “Jewels”, crackling like old vinyls, are taken from his second EP “Young Bloods” out last February. “Jewels” has also a video directed by the man Alex toured with, Yohann Lemoine (Woodkid).And here is a preview of his debut LP "Jade" coming soon.

3- Los Angeles based duo RKCP, for Riley Knapp (playing drums in other bands like Mora Mora ) and Casey Barth (ex solo artist), appeared at the beginning of 2014 with this first single “Comatose”. They didn’t stay in that state of health: they are now supported by Pulse Recording and have released 2 other tracks on Soundcloud. Last one last October, “Elision” being JUNGLE- esque.

4- Boston native and New York former jazz singer, Niia Bertino, performing under her first name Niia, found her sound, a mix of R&B and modern jazz, with the 6 tracks EP “Generation Blue” out last October. The imprint of Robin Hannibal (Rhye and Quadron) is more obvious on the first single “Body” and her sultry soulful voice is in the spotlight in “Generation Blue”.

5- Featured twice in this blog as Yellow Ostrich, Brooklyn Alex Schaaf is solo again. Even before they finished to tour with their third album “Cosmos” in December, he already put on Bandcamp a 4 tracks EP under a new name, “Human Heat”. Swaying song “All Night” features vocals from Kristina "Teeny" Lieberson from TEEN and ex Here We Go Magic.
 
6- Since the “Best Of 2013”, English singer-songwriter, Daniel Woolhouse, aka Deptford Goth, made a second album “Songs” out last November. These are Love songs sang with a slightly plaintive voice.

7- Berlin/Tel Aviv based Garden City Movement is an electronic trio (Joe Saar, Roi Avital & Johnny Sharoni) performing slo-jam to dancefloor tracks. “Lir” taken from the 4 tracks second EP Bengali Cinema, out last June, is a breezy, dreamy one.

8- Being blessed with a powerful soulful voice could be useless if there is no melody around it but for sure Daniel Wilson, hailing from Ypsilanti/ Michigan, also knows how to build instant rock or pop hits. He had a very busy year with 2 Eps, the last one being “Boy Who Cried Thunder” out last November. Taken from the 5 tracks “If You Went Away” starts with minimalist keyboard notes and finishes with an over flamboyant arrangement, meant to give goosebumps.
 
9- Since May 2014, UK based band R I T U A L dropped at a time all 4 singles with an R&B flow of its “The Fall” EP released this month of December. “Blood Flow” was the third one.Will they remain anonymous for long?
10- It’s not pure coincidence that Nashville trio Basecamp, already featured in the “Best Of 2013” is following R I T U A L for the voices are similar even if Basecamp production has a lot more musical textures. “Shudder” is taken from their forthcoming record “Greater Than” and already has a few remixes .

More “Best 2014 Indie Tracks” to come…

Friday, November 14, 2014

INROCKS FESTIVALS - PARIS 2014 : JUNGLE SLANG



Dave Bayley from Glass Animals Live at Inrocks Festival 2014


Reviewed twice in this blog, here and here, the Oxford quartet, Glass Animals  was the real goal of this second day at Inrocks Festival in Paris on Thursday November 13, 2014. 
Three other bands were there: Seinabo Sey, Chet Faker and The Shoes

Live, the subtleties of the recorded arrangements, from bubbling percussions, jungles noises,… are not rendered. Even the mic of Dave Bayley, performing without shoes, may be in a way to wink at the 4th band of the day, the French band from Reims The Shoes, was too low.



On No Music youtube channel or for the full concert here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

PITCHFORK PARIS 2014: JUNGLE SOUNDS BETTER WITH YOU

That's it! 3 afternoons & nights in a row at this 4th edition of Pitchfork Festival in Paris and all is left is Jungle performance on Saturday, November 1st at 11pm, the only one to cause mass hysteria.

Here below,their very first single that revealed Jungle to the world " Busy Earnin'" and other tracks from Pitchfork 2014 on No Music YouTube channel !


Of course, you can watch 17 bands over the 28 that performed live at Pitchfork Festival Paris 2014, filmed in a more polished way here but try to stand still with your mobile phone in the middle of a crazy dancing crowd!

To make a long edition short, there was a discovery for me, Montreal's four-piece art-punk band OUGHT, signed on Constellation Records, with the front man, Tim Beeler, looking and sounding like a younger David Byrne, How to Dress Well with a happier Tom Krell because he was less lonely than in 2012 on the same stage, a musical sound explosion in the middle of Mogwai set that woke up a crowd falling asleep, James Blake equal to itself for the second time in Paris, a restless dancer with an Halloween makeup, Sam Herring from Future Islands, another Halloween makeup for Lauren Mayberry, the lead singer of Scottish band Chvrches ( both on Friday, October 31) with the most sophisticated light set, a piano solo ( from Tobias Jesso Jr) and a guitar solo (from José Gonzalez) that didn't quite fit the mood, an unleashed Sam France from Foxygen delivering an unbearable set, an ex folk singer turned into a high priestess, Annie Clark aka St Vincent, 2 Lana Del Rey voice alikes, Charlotte OC and the most persuasive one Kwamie Liv, a very percussive Tune-Yards and Jungle was the real treat.Jungle4eva.
Who was there at 4am for Kaytranada ?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

ESSENTIAL TRACKS BEYOND SUMMER 2014: Emile Haynie, lo sé, Electric Wire Hustle,....



Being busy with this music festival for the past 3 months doesn’t mean that I turned a deaf ear on new music.No need to go back to where I left, even if there were a lot of releases that you can find here.
Let’s keep only a few songs, really worth listening, issued this summer and samples of September and October releases to build a disillusioned playlist, about love (loss, wait) and space (finding a way out from love, origins): “Essential Tracks Beyond Summer 2014”. To hear also directly from pleer here (for iPad users!).

1- Only a renowned producer could put together Charlotte Gainsbourg, Devonte Hynes ( Blood Orange) & Sampha on a track. Emile Haynie did it at the end of August with a first personal material, a single only “A Kiss Goodbye” on his soundcloud. Sampha’s fragile voice manages to render a simple track about love into a superb one.
2- Guy Baron, a Londoner behind Semi Precious, says that he is using “his (delicate) voice and two shifted-wrapped-chopped samples”. He can add that is also writing the lyrics! Here on “Man without a Head” out of the 6 tracks of his eponym EP out now on bandcamp, he is using "Orpheus" from David Sylvian and "I Love You My Hope" from Hird. Radiohead in the ears and speaking about Thom Yorke, now you can get a new album.
3- The Drums have lost 2 members but not that surf-pop feeling. The Brooklyn-based duo made of Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham is releasing this month of September its third album “Encyclopedia”. The slowest tempo track “I Hope Time Doesn't Change Him” works is an old catch-tune and speaks about homosexual love.
4- It’s rather “No lo sé” than “lo sé” regarding the real name of the Dutch producer lo sé. All we know about him are the singles on his soundcloud. The delicate track “Quick Crawl”, made of creaking guitar and spoons percussion, is taken from the “Fantasma”EP out now.
5- I already wrote about the Australian brother–sister 4 years ago, here. I still have the same comment about Angus & Julia Stone: the nicest tracks within the 15 ones of their third eponym album out in August are when they are singing as a body, like in “A Heartbreak”. Individually their voices are quite unpleasant: too sweetie for Julia and too nasal for Angus.
6- Manitoba, Caribou, Daphni are all band names carried out by Canadian artist alone, Daniel Snaith, and it is under Caribou’s moniker that his 7th album, “Our Love”, will be issued in a few days.The unstoppable voice of Ontario singer/producer Jessy Lanza, with whom Caribou is making an international tour, is featured over wavy, slightly dissonant synths on “Second Chance”.
7- For his eclectic second album “Wonder Where We Land” out now, English producer Aaron Jerome aka SBTRKT called on several singers, apart from long-time collaborator Sampha  (again)with whom he released the first single “Temporary View”:Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, Caroline Polachek from Chairlift and Ramona Lisa, Jessie Ware ( again),… and promising teenage rapper/songwriter Raury.
8- Now a duo, New Zealand’s Electric Wire Hustle enriched its “If These Are The Last Days” 2 tracks EP, including  the featured one ”Bottom Line”, out last June with 8 more tracks for the second album “Love Can Prevail”. After their hip-hop soul sound of “They Don’t Want”, with this new dense album, they are now into more experimental sound manipulations.
9- First single “Go Back”, from Tony Allen upcoming album, aptly named “Film of Life”, out in October, is another collaboration between the mythical Nigerian drummer and Brit genius, Damon Albarn, expressing their concerns about African immigrants. Unlike them, Tony Allen safely escaped from Nigeria and says here that he wouldn't go back there …to play music.
10- Newcomer 21 year-old Nick Klein, along with his
fellow Dutch citizen Ferdous Dehzad, escaped from the underground with one single, “ Break Away”, last month on his soundcloud. A minimalist and catchy R&B flow.Hope he will “take back control”.
 
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