Tag: funk

New Alt Pop

Lifecycle

Hi there and welcome to this month’s updates from the indie electronica underground. This month, as well as progressing with new tracks in the studio, we’ve discovered an awesome set of new alternative pop tunes that should be accessible to many.

Our first find this month was Private Browser, which is the latest demo from the experienced Levi Bloom and co-writer Richard Craker. This retro-tinged funk pop binds the soul of Motown-era Jackson 5 to the ebullience of Mika and Flight of the Conchords wit. Stabs of guitar punt the track along beneath Levi’s dynamic vocal range, and the intelligent, uncomplicated arrangement creates a really catchy song for the summer. Hopefully we’ll hear a lot more from Levi in the near future.

Next we checked out Modern Midas by Dana and the Wolf: This smash of hip hop and jazzy trap is driven by sultry beat poetry and hard-hitting production. Dana’s vocals rain down over beats that rock and sway beneath a mix peppered with sparse hits from the bass and synths. The result is an infectious and anthemic track from a powerful new duo that will command the stage in their upcoming live shows. Catch them in the U.S. if you can, and hope that they travel to see us over here in Europe some day!

Finally, we found What Do You Say which is the latest release by Skyepaint, a.k.a. Amos Wellings, who is one half of the Amos and Emily we reviewed way back in March last year. The track combines subtle trance-wave undertones with soulful and reflective vocals, building a steady rhythm into gentle arpeggios and a break of wow filters. The echo of the backing vocals creates a therapeutic and thoughtful ensemble, representing a mellow new direction for this talented producer and songwriter.


Deep and Diverse

deep and diverse music

Welcome to the latest Voxel Records news from March 2018!

This month, we found yet more deep and diverse tracks, showing off some great production talent – listen to the playlist and read more about them below.

Back in the studio, Maze Car continues to work with a couple of new artists on tracks for release this year. With each songwriter bringing urban and folk vibes into the studio, our resident producer is adding the xtronica suffix for new and interesting results.

Meanwhile, in the news, it seems that the inevitable has finally caught up with our social media masters. Indeed, the incessant hunger for personal data means abuse is rife. The resulting dip in public trust is the theme observed in Maze Car’s 2014 release Trust Me. Who would have thought we could be so prophetic …?

First on the playlist this month is Dove Holes by Spite Zoo. This could be considered a kind of showcase for Manchester’s Matttech Modular euro-rack synth store, but this is no detriment to the epic exploration of evolving tones that lovingly immerse us here. A maze of modular timbres echo and dance around the stereo field until all the rhythms are bound together by a solid deep bass line and acoustic dub drum loop. It’s well worth taking a quarter hour to meditate within this labyrinthine production, which is a perfect polygamy of modular, dub and funk.

Standing out proudly on the Eyes. All. Red. EP, the glitch intro of Satisfye‘s Decay deals us a heavy dose of dub shuffle with its simple wubbing rhythms. The purity of the groove is lost when the track breaks down, but the mood is rebuilt with a long pad that ascends into plodding stabs of synth-wave disco. With this track, Satisfye proves there is no need to be adventurous with melody when the sound palette and rhythms are so succulent: Fat. Deep. Wide.

Lastly, Heather Jayne offers up her latest track Better Than This as a quality follow up to last month’s Let Me In. Heather’s pouting, urban vocal is immediately familiar, warm and accessible to any lover of modern urban pop. Gritty backing vocal loops and swirling effects are spun into the captivating production and garnished with acoustic drum accents. The essence of tape-spliced loops are the original hallmark of Heather’s production, presenting all the wow and flutter of lo-fi alongside the brilliance of contemporary urban soul-tronica.


Stitching Glitch

staffie graffiti

The influence of glitch production has worked its way throughout the underground music community over the last decade or so, being used for a subtle tonal and rhythmical garnish and full-on abstract music concrete. This month we have selected a few tracks that demonstrate just how well it can be merged with other musical styles.

First on the playlist we have shared IT Breaks ME by Alecek. Bulgarian producer Alexander Ivanov kicks off with a dark and moody hip-hop shuffle, which anchors abrasive rhythms and tones that pepper the track with Gatling fire. A fluid bass persists the groove beneath, making this track a great example of contemporary glitch hop. Alecek has many more abstract and extreme examples of glitch production available on his stream – so we recommend that you don your Kevlar ear protectors and dive right in.

Glitch Hop (work in progress) is a track by the (presumably) Japanese producer Film, a.k.a Wataranai. Uplifting synth-wave riffs conjure Megadrive memories of Sonic the Hedgehog at a Power Puff disco, and the generally sugary complexion of the track is reinforced with skinny drums and playful pianos. There ain’t a lot of glitch or hop in this track, but it places itself beautifully right in the middle of chip-tune and synth-wave. Definitely one for a feel-good road-trip atmosphere.

Finally, we have Funky Feeling by Skank Spinatra. This is creation by UK-based producer Edward Clarke starts off with the as a simple combo of pure funk licks from guitar, drums and bass but then takes us on a journey through hip-hop and jazz before building into a crazy glitch breakdown. The blend of all these styles demonstrates a finesse worked expertly into a warm club vibe, making the track a welcome addition to your summer party playlist.

 


Wild Ambient Spaces

misty mellotron wilderness

Here we are again with a small collection of tracks we found whilst scouring the internet during May. The modern trip hop and ambient production techniques used in these tracks all conjure up a hint of wilderness and remote open spaces, so the combination of urban styles with organic influences makes these producers well worth following if you are hungry for laid back ambient and trip hop.

First on the playlist, we are lowered gently into iamforest‘s Hollie by tape-effected strings and vinyl crackles, before the crystal clear wave of drums, arps and pads spills across the soundscape. Each instrument, including the subdued vocal, takes a turn to dominate as the arrangement ebbs and flows between lolloping trip-hop and a frothing wall of dreamy sound. From the acoustic components this track seeds auras of peaceful wilderness, whilst still capturing the energy and buzz supplied by the subtle electronic tones.

Next up, spotted towhee by Melody Monroe opens with ambient whistles hidden behind a bassy, bold organ riff. Melody’s sultry vocal opens up the track as it breaks away into trance-like filter sweeps, and the energy of the organ rhythm continues to pick up the pace along with the percussion. Mountainous shapes loom throughout this music, which shows off contemporary, creative production skills alongside traditional songwriting talent. Get following for more!

Finally, Living Underwater by Marjen comprises four short discrete pieces in a similar vein, like nuggets of gold gleaming from the bed of mountain stream. The first section straight up infects us with the funk of a double bass and drum loop, peppered with climactic strings and whistles. Simple bass lines and fluttering echoes are present throughout each section as it is driven by delicate, captivating drum patterns. With all the karma of LTJ Bukem lazing in a sunny mountain rock pool, this spacious, ambient groove will have you laid back within seconds.