Sunday Suggestion – Rose Elinor Dougall – Future Vanishes

Last Autumn Rose Elinor Dougall released her EP Future Vanishes as a sign of things to come with her future direction. Not only was it my favourite EP of the year but the title track my favourite single. It has melodies and hook at every turn, it has a magnificent atmospheric quality to it, imaginative in it’s forms and lyrics and innovative in terms of combining pop and electronic features to a psychedelic track. On top of all this is it’s beautiful contradiction of its self. It can send you into an atmospheric and psychedelic trip into the depths of your thoughts or can leave you at the mercy of it’s rhythm and deep rooted groove. It does everything you ask for. A wondrous track.

EP Review – Almeeva – ANAMORPHIC

Almeeva is the name of an on-going Parisan project from Greg Hoepffner. A deliverer of rich and fluctuating electronica; his latest EP ANAMPORPHIC does just that too. It’s out on September 22nd and is preceded by him sharing the stage with electronic synth lazers pioneer Bernard Szajner at the Centre Pompidou in Paris on September 18th for a live show called Evolution.

The four track EP open with ‘Soviet Superstructures’. An instrumental track with a whirring opening which soon shimmers, glistens and reverberates into life via a wide range of electronica. The song expands and grows it’s sound with all confidence with synth bursts and retracts to focus on the percussion or a single set of chords. The transitions are clean and purposeful with acres of space and room to manoeuvre. A fine example of the potential modern music has.  ‘Parallels’ follows and see’s Greg take up the vocals with a soft, wistful and fading fashion that is balanced by the deep and churning beats and chords behind it. An effective marriage of tones and feels. ‘Felt’ has a pulsating, yet muted beat with guitar tracks trickling over the top of them as the synths arrive to gradually and subtly grow the song’s space and area. This is followed by a crisp beat part that is joined with a deep rooted bass-line, wispy vocals and electronic chimes. These laser-like sounds pull the song towards a full instrumental conclusion with a solidified beat and rhythm which is still glazed over by the haunting and fading vocals. ‘Palindrome’ begins with bold vocal unisons and haunts that usher in a sharp synth rhythm with meandering’s of percussion and bass notes behind it as they step back and forth in volume and presence. Again the track lifts and floats beyond it’s instrumental boundaries to explore the song’s expanses. Another fluctuation occurs with the introduction of the isolated vocals that are joined only by the heavily plucked strings of the riffs alongside him to them progress to a heavy vocal and electronic roaring chime before a final rhythmic section. An EP which is wonderfully and intelligently produced as no moment is spared from the fluctuating and diverse nature of each track in it’s structure, feel, atmosphere and more. An EP you should be listening to when it’s out on September 22nd.

Here is ‘Soviet Superstructures’ below. Check out the link for the live Evolution show for September 18th too.

https://soundcloud.com/infine-music/almeeva-soviet-superstructures/s-6fg13

http://www.glowbl.com/infinemusic-zakabernardszajner

It’s a cover up! Connan Mockasin/Anna Calvi & David Byrne – I’m The Man, That Will Find You

Last Year Connan Mockasin released the brilliantly enigmatic Caramel from which ‘I’m The Man, That Will Find You’ was one of the lead singles. It has a relaxed 70′s groove through distorted psychedelic shades. The vocals are presented in a similar style and it has fluid progression of a groove filled track but the space and washed out effect of a psychedelic track. A great fusion of the late 60′s and early 70′s. It’s a very surreal track while also sounding quite familiar at the same time and he’s maintained that level of peculiar yet easy quality his music has and so much so, it was almost a creepy and unsettling track in part.

 

This Week Anna Calvi and David Byrne released their cover of the track from their Strange Weather EP and Calvi makes it her own with ease and that is despite the innate peculiarity and individualistic nature of the track. She enforces her fluid and smooth baritone vocal upon the tracks lyrics to open up a more raw intimacy than Mockasin’s uneasy closeness. This vocal is occasionally backed up by Byrne’s to just add to the smooth and in depth take of the track. She wrestles her guitar’s riff upon the track too as they ring out and bounce around the song’s space. A very worthy version of the original which not only respects the song’s intentions, but focuses upon them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EP Review – Batsch – Collar

Collar

Dark synth pop band Batsch release their second EP Collar on July 14th on Tin Angel Records. It is a pretty rapid follow up from their Tiles EP which was released earlier this year and it sees them go on to develop and hone their sound further. It’s out via digital download and limited cassette, which is great to hear with cassettes almost being forgotten amongst everyone desperately trying to get their hands on vinyl. The five track EP opens with ‘Celina’ which whirrs itself to an opening before a gentle yet purposeful riffs and bass lines. These are broken up by chiming synths and sharp lead riffs. The vocal is easy and subtle while still delivering the lyrics in a pop like fashion to match the music. The song ties all of these elements together for a track filled with electronically charged and guitar driven hooks and vocal melodies that are all easy on the ear. An indelible bass line along with a jolting, discotheque guitar set the foundations of ’22’ as wiry synths are set across it all. It breaks off into a analogue interlude before being led back again by the jolting guitars. ‘Did You Hear About Argine’ includes those wiry and chiming synth moments but is mainly sparse affair with the bass foundation and the synths and guitars rolling off it. ‘Mirrorball’ is wonderfully formed bit of electronic rhythms and structures with slightly echoed vocals of the chorus offset by the deep sounds of the verse vocal. ‘Can’t Tell’ is inescapably catchy and funk filled track with electronic fills that are made more appreciated by the fluid vocals that sit amongst the instrumentals. This EP is unrelenting in the hooks and pop melodies that encase the clever rhymes of the lyrics; all of which are delivered with all efficiency and control. A well fought out and delivered EP.

 

 

 

 

EP Review – Go Native – Sleep Patterns

Go Native are a fascinating new prospect from Manchester consisting of Nick Toone, Catherine Bebbington, Alex Kirk and Joe Freegard. They are producers of some open and refined synth pop with added grandeur and atmospheric stirring and with those such as New Order’s Peter Hook speaking highly of them, then you’d think they are certainly worth a look. Go Native released their second EP entitled Sleep Patterns on April 5th. The opener; ‘Beaten By Butterflies’ slowly breathes into life as the whirring guitars and gradually joined by trickling synths, sparse percussion, Nick’s whole and highly charged vocal, the silky strings and the undulating bass line. This gives the song great potential for those gentle atmospheric moments but with the ability to generate those dramatic soundscapes which they do with ease. The title track opens with a pop driven purpose with the darting synths and the melodic pop vocals. This is still moulded and crafted to deliver a more profound and effective result with the hanging synths hovering over the pop-like urgency of the drums and the initial synth forays. To have that more thought provoking feel entwined with that infectious rhythm and style is something that should always be applauded. ‘Napoleon’ generates a quick-fire hook with the light pulsating synths that beckon you in with it’s key change and act as a solid foundation for the vocals to fall upon. These hooks and melodies are only enhanced and amplified by the guitars and percussion while the bass line and the combined vocals really whip up that dramatic charge before you latch back on to the songs hook as it comes around again.

‘Atom Heart’ does initially sound like one of those sophisticated Eurovision entries before it quickly finds it feet with the flashing and rotating synth chords tied up by the bass line. Nick pulls off a difficult rise in the vocals which ushers the whole song into another tempo and is similar to ‘Sleep Patterns’ in how it can have that dual purpose of being quick fixing and rhythmic while also having much more to it. Whirring and undulating synths slowly develop into urgent and snappy rhythms for the opening of ‘Dunes’ and go on to alter and develop in an early Daft Funk fashion. However the percussion and sharp riffs combined with it, give the song a completely different feel along with the natural and powerful vocal. ‘Electric Chair’ is the final track off the EP with yet another variety of synth style. This time in a more dance like mode. They then expand and shoot across the songs space that is balanced off by the rooted bass line and the high tempo engine of the percussion. It is like Hurts but with more ideas, feel and atmospheric quality and they have seriously raised the bar and nudged the boundaries of synth pop which can only be a good thing.

Image from scruffoftheneckrecords.com