Photos. Music. Musings. Assorted wanderings from a freelance editor, music journalist, photographer, New York Yankee, New York Giant and New York Ranger fan.
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Pedro Canale is an Argentine producer, who performs, records and writes under the moniker of Chancha Via Circuito. Amansara is his long-awaited third effort and it comes after a three year hiatus.
Canale comes out of Buenos Aires’s famed electronic cumbia scene but after some time he wound up playing with genre boundaries as he began to incorporate some of elements of the music from all over that region of South America including Brazilian rhythms, Paraguayan harp, Andean mysticism, Argentinian folklore and futuristic dub step.
And thanks to his uncompromising sensibility, Canale defies pigeonholing as he’s considered by some as an extremely niche cult artist as he’s been invited to play at Montreal, QC’s MUTEK Festival and the Roskilde and Vive Latino Festivals. At the same time, as Chancha Via Circuito, Canale’s music has found broader appeal outside of the avant-garde, thanks to his remix of José Larralde’s “Quimey Neuquén” which was featured in Breaking Bad's final season.
"Coplita," is the first single (and video) from Amansara and it features the haunting vocals of Canale’s frequent collaborator, Miriam Garcia over pounding tribal percussion, brief blasts of flute and swirling electronics. The track manages to sound like it’s a slightly psychedelic tribal prayer to the gods. Although futuristic, it manages to sound absolutely organic and timeless.
The animated official video manages to employ elements of tribal and psychedelic imagery which future accentuates those elements within the song.
The Copenhagen, Denmark-based electro pop act Lust For Youth initially began as the solo project of Hannes Norvide. Norvide’s solo releases were described as “dark, cold atonal lonely, tormented” and even “lower than lo fi,” which seems — well particularly Scandinavian; however, with the addition of longtime collaborator Loke Rahbek and newest member, producer and guitarist Malthe Fischer, Lust for Youth’s latest album International is a deliberate and radical change in sonic direction. Much of the material is propelled by ethereal synths and extremely precise drum programming, bearing an uncanny resemblance to early Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys and New Order. In others words it’s slickly produced electro pop that isn’t so polished or slick that you don’t recognize that there’s an earnestly beating human heart beneath the synths and drum machine programming. And the production hasn’t washed away the melancholy and despair at the heart of the material.
Their latest single “New Boys” has an elegantly sweeping, dramatic sound — with it’s clean, propulsive synths and precise drum programming, the song is the sound of beautiful and miserable people. In other words, you can easily dance to it - - or you can sit around brooding and looking intense to it.
The Viennese duo of Mel and Clemens formed electro pop act Möwe (which is German for seagull) when the duo realized that they wanted to do something very different from Mary Lost Her Pathos, the indie rock band they were previously in. And in some way, Mel and Clemens viewed the project as a war on the cold winter months, as they specialize in very summery sounds — but with the use of saxophone throughout, the Austrian duo sound as though they could have been released though Cascine Records.
Their incredibly upbeat single “Blauer Tag” (“Blue Day”) has seen quite a bit of attention across the interwebs as the song received 20,000 views on YouTube and Soundcloud within the first two weeks of the song’s release. After all, the song is comprised of finger snaps, sinuous synths, warm blasts of sax, a catchy hook — if you don’t find yourself dancing to this, then you’re probably dead.
If you follow this site regularly, you know that I frequently receive an incredible amount of emails from bands, publicists and labels from all over the world and such things makes the site’s (unofficial) mission of covering and presenting music from all over the world a reality.
Yesterday, I received an email from the Melbourne, Australia-based duo of Luy Amiel (backing vocals, guitar) and Jacob Linnet (lead vocals, drums), better known in that part of the world as The Hunted Crows. And for a duo, they possess a thundering, enormous sound comprised of heavy guitar riffs, room-rocking, hip-hop-styled beats and lyrics sung in a bluesy, boozy and swaggering growl as you’ll hear on “Sniff You Out,” the first single of their self-titled EP, which will see a September 21 release. In some way, their sound bears a resemblance to several American duos such as Chicago's incredible sibling duo, White Mystery and The Black Keys but on steroids and testosterone injections. Or in more simple terms — they just kick ass.
Palm Beach is a Manchester, UK-based electronic music artist, and although there is little known about the artist, what I can tell you is that the Palm Beach specializes in a melodic, downtempo, synth-based electronica that bears a resemblance to Kraftwerk's Trans Europe Express — that is down to its minimalist composition. Despite the initial chilliness, Kraftwerk’s work always managed to evoke the joy of modern technology. Palm Beach on the other hand, has a sound that manages to feel chilly and yet entirely modern as you’ll hear on “Monatomic.”
Born and raised in Washington DC, and now located in Brooklyn (much like countless other musicians these days), singer/songwriter Nick Hakim grew up in a household similar to mine — a household that emphasized musical diversity. in fact, Hakim grew up listening to soul, hip-hop, go-go (the DC area’s smooth as silk funk), folk music, and countless others. So it shouldn’t be surprising that early in his career, Hakim’s sound is heavily influenced by what he heard as a child — and as a result, his sound manages to effortlessly mesh and play with genre boundaries. In fact, the release of his Where Will We Go Part 1 a few months ago put Hakim on the map for a sound that managed to owe a great debt to old school soul, the blues and to the troubadour tradition, while sounding dusty and spectral. “Lift Me Up” the first single form the forthcoming Where Will We Go Part 2 manages to owe a spiritual debt to the preceding album with some subtle differences — in this case, the song is sparsely arranged with Hakim’s vocals and his own accompaniment on piano but it manages to feel haunting and achingly sad with a soul-bearing intimacy.
In some way, the song evokes desperately lonely nights of whiskey and cigarettes, endlessly replaying all the things that went horribly wrong and wondering if there was some way to do it over again and get it right; of the ghosts of our lives lingering and taunting — until and only until you recognize that they’re lifeless and will dissipate in time.
Ringgo Ancheta has quite an unusual experience in comparison to the average hip-hop producer. Ancheta’s parents were members of the Philippine arm of the Aum Supreme Truth Cult, and raised in the forests — until the group’s venture into terrorist activity caused his family to flee the group in the late 80s. They were granted political asylum here in the US and eventually settled in rural New Jersey, where Ancheta was raised on the outskirts of a commune without electricity, while his father worked as a researcher at Princeton Neuroscience Institute. Certainly, most uncommon, eh?
One of Ancheta’s earliest excursions into the “modern” world was a trip when he hitchhiked to Philadelphia, and as he described it, the first guy he met on the street introduced him to beat making. And within about a day, he was making his own beats on his newfound friends sampler. As his trips to Philadelphia became more frequent, he began using the name Mndsgn (pronounced “mind design”), inspired by the Nas lyric, “my mind is seeing through your design like blind fury,” and nod to his father’s work in neuroscience.
Ancheta eventually headed west to Los Angeles and was signed by Stone Throw Records, who have recently released his debut effort, Yawn Zen. And with the release of the album, Ancheta as Mndsgn has developed a reputation for an unusually placid sound among beatmakers. TXT (MSGS) the first single and video off the album is comprised of morning dew glistening-like synths and manages to sound as though it owes a subtle debt to Weather Channel jazz — but with an icy veneer. In some way, the track evokes the peacefulness that comes from meditation.
Originally part of the Tampa, FL music scene, the members of The Ukiah Drag, ZZ Ramirez, Thomas Conte, Brian “The Sultan” Hennessey and Andrew Eaton have played in bands alongside the members of Merchandise and Cult Ritual. And now that they’re currently located in New England, they live in a sort of exile.
Wharf Cat Records will be releasing the quartet’s anticipated debut effort, In The Reaper’s Quarters on September 9. And the album’s latest single “Final Prayer” manages to bear a resemblance to the likes of Black Sabbath and The Black Angels — this blistering and ferocious tune with psychedelic elements sounds as though it could have been part of a Satanic ritual gone terribly wrong. The gates of hell have been opened and unimaginable demons have slinked out with the intention of destroying your soul …
Play this one loud, headbang and then repeat.
i’m personally looking forward to their upcoming NYC area set at Greenpoint’s St. Vitus on September 11, as the show will also be their album release show.
Irish-born and currently London-based sisters Hannah and Colette Thurlow perform as the duo 2:54 — and with the 2012 release of their debut effort, the duo not only won international attention, they toured with the likes of the xx, Wild Beasts and Warpaint.
Taking its name from the Romantic-era British poet Percy Shelley, who called his dear friend Elizabeth Hitchener the “sister of my soul, my other self,” The Other I, the Thurlow sisters’s much-anticipated sophomore effort is slated for a November 11 release through internationally renowned indie label Bella Union Records.
Whereas “Orion,” the album’s first single was a gorgeously lush pop song that evokes traveling on the road under enormous skies and bore an uncanny resemblance to Bjork and Kate Bush thanks in part to the fact that the song possessed a haunting, spectral quality, the album’s second (and latest) single “In The Mirror” is subtly different. “In The Mirror” has a moodily atmospheric quality that reminds of Turn On The Bright Lights-era Interpol and Unforgettable Fire-era U2; however, “In The Mirror” manages to be moodily atmospheric while possessing a slow-burning sensuality.
Jacob Faber (drums), Nick Kiveln (vocals, guitar) and Julia Cumming (vocals and bass) are a Brooklyn-based psychedelic trio, Sunflower Bean. interestingly, the trio have garnered quite a bit of attention across both New York’s incredibly crowded music scene, the likes of publications such as Interview,Rookie Magazine, and BK Mag— and in a very short period of time, to boot.
"Tame Impala" is the Brooklyn-based trio’s latest single is a bluesy, psychedelic tune that bristles with a bilious fury that reminds me quite a bit of Screaming Females and others. But interestingly, the song’s structure bears an uncanny resemblance to Badmotorfinger and Superunknown-era Soundgarden — expect tempo changes in a song that defies popular songwriting conventions; in fact, “Tame Impala” manages to be comprised of a couple of distinct sections linked together by a few common threads, while kicking ass.
YELLE are a French electro pop act founded back in 2000 by its namesake Yelle (a.k.a Juliet Bidet) and GrandMarnier (Jean-Francois Perrier). Bidet and Perrier won quite a bit of attention in their native France when they released an early version of their first single “Je veux the voir” through MySpace where it quickly reached the top 5. Their seemingly overnight success attracted the attention of a record label, who signed them and released the duo’s internationally acclaimed debut, Pop Up in 2007. Their sophomore effort Safari Disco Club also garnered quite a bit of attention internationally as well.
Their forthcoming third album Completement Fou is slated for a September 30 release through Kemosabe Records and the album’s first single and title track “Completement Fou” may further the duo’s reputation as international EDM superstars. Starting out with skittering synths, blips and bloops, a room-rattling bass kick and Bidet’s coquettish vocals, the track is a slickly produced club-banger that you’d expect to hear in just about any sweaty dance club around the world.
Rishi Dihr is a renowned sitar player who has played with the likes of the Black Angels on their drone and doom-filled opus Directions To See A Ghost. And almost unsurprisingly, Dihr’s band Elephant Stone quickly won over fans and the blogosphere with the release of their self-titled sophomore effort, which used elements of traditional Eastern instrumentation with contemporary Western songwriting and instrumentation to create a densely buzzing and hypnotic drone.
The Montreal, QC-based band’s third and latest release Three Poisons reflects a decided change in sonic direction while retaining some elements of the sound that helped win them over — “Knock You From Yr Mountain,” one of the album’s initial grouping of singles is as expected psychedelic, but it manages to sound as though it borrows a bit from the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, thanks to the backing vocals at the end, which adds a bit of soul to the otherwise trippy proceedings. And much like Pink Floyd, the song has a very direct social message — that it’s going to be time for the little guy to knock his oppressor down of their mountain. To me, the song sounds as though it could have easily come out in the 1960s as much as it sounds as though it came out yesterday.