Tag: downtempo

Mellow Sounds For Spring

spring sounds

This month sees us waving goodbye to a season, a financial year and a relationship with our neighbouring continent. It’s been a hard search for new music, but we’ve managed to find some mellow tunes for the spring time to help us chill out in the longer evenings, whilst remembering that it’s still dark in the morning for a while yet … !

First on this month’s play list is Reaction by the Australian synth pop pairing of Amos and Emily. The track opens with a gentle filter which slowly reveals the soft velvet of Emily’s vocal. A complex backing arrangement of fizzing pads, keys, and sticky bass complements the simplicity of the singing, and opportune drops are bridged by subtle well placed motifs. This is a well crafted arrangement which you might find yourself whistling to.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, New Yorker Philosofie entices us with her mellow Flavors. Soulful trills of percussion meander with crisp, subtly filtered vocal droplets, and lounge rhythms prod and sway subtly under a skillful composition of simple arps and keys. The whole package well produced, and brings to mind butterflies and blossom floating out of sonic hibernation, so this is something for the dreamy.

Finally, we found No Desire To Wake Up from Russian producer Vodiche‘s current album The Tunnel. The dark mood of the track is indeed reminiscent  of underground passageways as the simple, clean particles of sound glint and sparkle across the stereo image. Combined with the anchor of no-frills acoustic drum textures, this is definitely one for fans of Orbital or other moody IDM.


Addictive ambient, indie and trip hop for April 2016

snakepod1d

Welcome to the latest news from the indie electronica underground!

The current Maze Car demo Dub Croaky is still available for FREE DOWNLOAD at Soundcloud until a single release in the summer. Between now and then, Mazey is reworking the demo of Those Shallow Games – you can catch up with his developments on the blog as usual. Also this month, we heard a tweet that there is a film being made about the 1990s music scene in Glasgow – we strongly recommend following the development of Lost In France if you are a fan of indie music history!

Our playlist for April 2016 opens with No Sign On The Door by Kiwi producer Tom Cadillac. The track was apparently produced without the use of computers, and with minimal use of sequencers. Indeed, why would one impose such boundaries on creativity? The movement is based around a compelling groove with a loose and squashy feel, and various twangs and pings are dubbed in to give a hip-hop mood to this experimental ambient music. This is some cool stuff from the other side of the planet that’s well worth a follow.

Fools With Good Intentions by Polaroids Of Dead Lovers opens with a short synth intro before bursting into a lo-fi, jangling guitar riff underpinning Lasse Liisberg’s delicate, echoing vocal. There is a subtle minor-tinged darkness to the tune as the chorus approaches, and the breakdown of bass and synths swirls and reverberates to a half-tempo outro. Here, Lasse has created a track with a retro vinyl vibe which compliments the slightly creepy band name.

Finally this month, Dark Stars* also give us The Creeps: This track from producer DSC opens with a light, fluttering synth which is quickly stamped upon by a massive, lolloping bass drum and stack. The heavier synths dominate as they lumber, fizz and growl their way through this down-tempo trip-hop; and the fearful, quivering vocal line with droplets of theremin add more nervous tension to the mood. Check out the DSC stream for a wide variety of other production capabilities.

 


New Year discoveries in underground music

voxel records jet microphone

Welcome to the New Year with Voxel Records. This trip around the sun has started with the loss of some influential musicians – so we would like to show big respect in particular for Bowie, Lemmy and Brad: Thanks for all the good times and the inspiration!

The RedSix studio has once again expanded its sonic arsenal. From the depth and control of the Roland JU-06 boutique synthesizer to the playful japery of the Teenage Engineering PO16, resident producer Maze Car is busy noodling with buttons and small lights. Apparently it is entirely acceptable artistic behaviour to fiddle with one’s Pocket Operator day and night …

Now for some more great music we discovered in the underground this month. First on the playlist is Final Lap by Cleeve Morris. This is a nostalgic journey inspired by the classic 80s video game Out Run. The tinny, cheese-grater FM synth sounds are complemented by deep, wide drums that plod firmly beneath the melodies – in fact, the snare is so deep that it is barely discernible from the bass drum. The tones are right on the money, though, from the arpeggiated lead to the late impro breakdown. Cleeve’s melodic retro synthwave fills the audio spectrum with a depth that the arcade games never could!

h.o.p.e. by BTFL MND is a down-tempo affair. The bright percussion is subtly glitched, and the pulsating pads and bass are given space to move and morph around each other. The lazy groove of the bpm is decorated with further arrhythmic morsels, resulting in some laid-back synth trap that fills the page with its beautifully balanced mix. There isn’t much on the BTFL MND stream yet, but keep your ears pressed to their Bandcamp page for future releases.

Finally, we really enjoyed the latest tracks by Way, Shape or Form, with 1.2.2016 being the first of the year from this American collective. The close, boxy drum machine is intelligently programmed, and it spits a rhythm tight to the groove of the track. These computerised timbres both contrast and complement the more organic elements of the music, which builds from a foundation of bass, through syncopated organ arpeggios and thick jazz-tone electric guitar to distorted pad finger-work. This is an accomplished performance and a fresh mix of instruments – keep it coming!