New music review – Blanck Mass – Silent Treament

Never heard of Blanck Mass before this, although I remember plenty of people getting on my case for not listening to Dumb Flesh, but I love the mix of heavier electronic sounds mixed with the dreamier/ethereal bleeps and bloops that make for an interesting listen.

Well, it makes for interesting multiple listens. It certainly feels like there are a lot of changes in this song that you might not fully appreciate on your first listen through.

Silent Treatment is taken of Blanck Mass‘ new album, World Eater, set to be released on March 3rd 2017 via Sacred Bones.

Check it out.

Advertisements

New Music Review – RedWater – Day 1

a3777741306_10

Artist: RedWater
Album: Day 1
Genre: Electronic, ambient
Social media: Soundcloud/Bandcamp

Listen:

And:

Let’s do some more ambient/electronic music, because why not? I mean I’m totally getting encapsulated within it recently with all this Boards of Canada and such.

RedWater, is the instrumental, electronic project of this Utah based produced that has previously released two other bits (an EP and another LP) both of which sound surprisingly different to RedWater’s most recent effort, the effort we’re looking at today, Day 1. When I say different, I don’t mean anything leaps and light-years away from the previous sound, but there’s a bigger focus on some interesting synth textures and percussion than the previous album, Natural Division.

Every track on this little album feels like an intimate little snapshot of RedWater’s life and composition style, and because of this, nothing ever feels too similar. From the poppy/lounge feel of Second Chance, to the largely progressive electronics going on in Temporary Permanence, you’ll find a brief little moment to fall for. Even the tracks I’d consider to be lesser than the others still have aspects that make them interesting and worth listening to – Entropy and the Intervals didn’t particularly thrill me, but I appreciated some of the fascinating aspects in each tune. I mean Entropy almost sounds industrial at times and that’s sweet when you consider the majority of the material here is all rather major sounding.

The End Of April, also contrasts this major sound well by being one of the more serene tracks that I’ve heard this year.

I guess if we’re nit-picking, I’d like to nit-pick at the intro to Day And Night, it seems to go on way to long with some rather plain piano and synth chords before things take a more interesting turn later in the song. However, I do like the erratic percussion on this track and the twinkling arpeggios in the second half… Oh and the skanky beat that in the second half as well. Oh, I suppose the track RedWater is a little dull when compared to the rest as well…

Final Thoughts:

I don’t really have much to say on this album because I think it’s worth your time in its gorgeous simplicity. Day 1 is varied, curious and delightful for it’s short playtime, so why not at least give it a quick listen? If you like music from electronic producers, or you love music you can stick on in the background while you enjoy a book, grab this album. It’s a name your price album and it’s worth however much you can give RedWater and then some.

New Music Review – Waveless – Hopelessness

a2660660242_10

Artist: Waveless
EP: Hopelessness
Genre: Electronic, ambient, IDM
Social-media: Facebook/Twitter/Soundcloud/Bandcamp

Listen:

And:

Hopelessness is the debut EP from Australian producer, Waveless, published through the electronic record label SVNSET WΛVES, on May 2nd. The label itself is one I’ve been working through recently, thanks to all the chilled releases that put their material up for a cool, ‘name your price’, price, so if you like what you hear at all, then don’t be afraid to contribute a to these hardworking artists.

Waveless has, like the title of the EP, a hopeless and melancholic sound. The chords are minor as fuck, the tempo crawls along and the instrumentation is so thick, it’s an emotionally heavy sounding EP that has a surprisingly large amount of colour in it. The second track here, Numb, is probably the most dreary piece of work, with its tragic keys and synths backing up the gorgeous guest vocals of self-confessed gloom-popper, Mothica (who is also rather talented). I think these vocals bring a lot to the table of Waveless’ compositions, if only to fill up the music a spell more.

That’s not to say that these songs are empty, but the vocals do Numb a lot of favours. There are subtle touches in these songs that fill them up adequately, but not to the extent of the vocals. For example, Hurricane, has some quaint arpeggios rolling up and down near the end; Forever Forgotten has lots of synth extras whirring off near the end; Oceanic had some vocal samplings during the outro. The format of these songs is predictable, but it gets the job done and each of these tunes has a thick sense of Hopelessness to them, except ESID, which didn’t strike me as particularly moody, but it was a cute little track.

I also liked the beats going on here, nothing complex, but for what this EP is, I don’t think they needed to be flashy at all, but what does matter is the use of synths and texture in this release.= and Waveless has some brilliant textures here. There’s a great sense of overwhelming textures that come hand-in-hand with the saddening chords and melodies here and it’s all channelled in a small period of time that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

Final thoughts:

Waveless says that ‘the EP aims to evoke a sense of emotional fatigue’ and it accomplishes that with some stunning synth work and killer manipulations of atmosphere. And although I don’t agree that these songs are, ‘The perfect soundtrack to drown to’, they do feel like the soundtrack to something less than favourable. But until that less than favourable thing happens, I’ll just enjoy the laid back ambiance of them though – a must for anyone that favours the chilled side of electronic music.

New Music Review – Låpsley – Understudy

10172761_307896959406755_6644438524183727706_n

Artist: Låpsley
EP: Understudy
Genre: Electronic-pop, ambient
Social-media: Facebook/Twitter/Soundcloud

Listen:

And:

Låpsley is an electronic-pop artist from the Southport, UK (even if her voice does conjure up thoughts of winter-wastelands/wonderlands) and recently (January 5th) she put out her debut (label) EP, Understudy through XL Recordings – these guys are responsible for some rather top acts, including FKA Twigs, Jungle and Radiohead(Although, King Of Limbs was not very top, just sayin’) – which means that people will be expecting good things from Låpsley in the future. She has already gained a massive following thanks to her bedroom project EP, Monday, which is a simple and effective release that’s fun to listen to with its bouncy beats and cute textures from the synths. Hopefully, this means that people will place their expectations in the right hands.

What about Understudy though?! Understudy feels similar (initially), but treads larger, more refined ground and as such, feels like an ambitious EP by the end of track one. The beats feel meaningful on this release, for example, the gentle flutters of hi-hats on Falling Short add something simple but effective at expanding on the already expansive sound. There’s also Brownlow, which has some incredibly punchy percussions which add a nice precursor to the gorgeous twinkling synths in the chorus of this track.

This is another really strong point for this EP: the instrumentation is wonderful, blissful and at times nostalgic with the use of synths. Like the retro sounding synths that flare in and out during 8896, very cool. Couple this generally fun instrumentation with a voice that is accessible and beautiful, you’re on to a real winning number.

Let’s talk about 8896 some more: it’s very ambient and IDM at the same time with its quiet drum loops and graceful playing of piano keys – it all really harmonises with the vocal performance. It all comes together to feel, as I previously said, quite nostalgic. While the final track, Dancing,initially had me rather bored, it surprised me as it hit this surprisingly epic wall of, almost drone-like synths and it got me thinking where else Låpsley might take her material in in the future. It’s moments like that that create hype and show-off what an interesting composer Låpsley really is.

Final thoughts:

A great EP that proves that coming out from being a bedroom artist and onto a label does not compromise an artist’s desire for experimentation. Understudy is a calming and beautiful release that prepares listeners for one of the more interesting artists of 2015. Well done Låpsley, A+ and a few gold stars!

New Music Review – BJM Mario Bajardi – Inverse

InverseEPArtist: BJM Mario Bajardi
EP: Inverse
Genre: Electronic, ambient
Social-media: Facebook/Soundcloud/Twitter/iTunes

Listen:

BJM Mario Bajardi is an electro-acoustic composer of many talents and projects going on all at once. Most notable, right now, is his work on the film score to the upcoming indie movie, Sweetheart. Recently, Bajardi also released a song called, Crusty, that was set to feature on his new EP, Inverse, which was dropped on the 28th of November. You can take a look at that song, over on the Soundcloud, OR, you can continue reading and find out what I thought about Inverse and the rest of its tracks. Either way, you should probably keep reading, because my opinion matters, somewhat.

From the beginning, Inverse is full of depth with its sound, each song is dense with thick ambient textures, lush instrumentation and some rather wonderful violin playing. The tracks on here that I’d consider more ‘beautiful’ than the others stand out with some ideal melodies and textures. Obviously, Crusty is one of these tracks in my opinion, with its distorted piano chords, twisted and swishing synths going on – It’s a mess, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Missing is also very comparable to this with these as it starts off with some simple violin plucking’s and then works around that. This piece feels very neo-classical with some gorgeous violin playing and other barres of strings going off to emphasise the movements. There’s also the track, Standing, another killer example of some fancy string work.

That being said, the real bad boys of this album are the strange and slightly warped electro sounds that you get on tracks like Interlude and the title track, Inverse. They do house, again some violin, but these songs focus much more on the electro side. With Inverse, dancing with some guttural bass sounds and a keyboard fiddling, the track folds and twists around some very basic elements until you get something not so basic.

This seems to be what Bajardi relishes to working, at least in my opinion – the order in his mental chaos. I think that this is when his work truly comes to life and becomes it’s most interesting state of affairs. Inverse is an incredibly detailed track, but it’s also, as I said before, a mess when it loses its marbles all over the shop. The prettier sounding tracks like Standing and Crusty show why this guy is so comfortable working with soundtracks, whereas the tracks like Inverse and Interlude show a darkly versatility that I think is essential for someone that has their fingers in as many projects as Bajardi.

My only real complaint with this EP is the first track, Rest. It didn’t grab me at all and the featuring singer Eleza didn’t take my fancy either, but I can certainly see why other people might like her voice. But yeah, this track just seems to be so basic and rather humdrum when compared to the other tracks on this EP, which are all rather great. Even the remix of Crusty by Carlo Ascrizzi is interesting and adds some great depth to the track and changes enough for it to be worth multiple listens. That being said, I do still prefer the original.

Final Notes:

BJM Mario Bajardi has created an killer EP that shows off all the flare this guy can pull off with synths, strings and a few simple percussions. The darkly, the elegant and the disorganised all flourish in Inverse and it’s just overall a charming and pleasant listen. Despite a false start Bajardi has created a wonderful first release. Top banana!

BJM Mario Bajardi Releases New Track ‘Crusty’

Busy Composer continues being busy!

I’ve had a great new track come through from the Italian composer, that’s just released his new EP, titled Inverse. I will be doing a review for this release, but i’m dropping this in now so you can get some more background here. Mario Bajardi is the behind this music and it turns out, he is a busy boy! He’s been busy working on a track titled Insemina for Sweetheart a short movie directed by Quentin Tarantino’s assistant Miguel Angelo Pate. So this guy is moving up in the world!

The movie has only been teased at so far, but looks like it could be rather top!

But yeah, the review is coming this week (the first week of December) and until then, I hope you enjoy listening to Crusty.

New Music Review – HAU – HAU

Hau-ep-coverBand: HAU
EP: HAU
Genre: Noise-rock, electronic, abrasive-core
Social-media: Bandcamp/Soundcloud/Blogspot

Listen:

And:

HAU are a noise-rock, abrasive-core, band from Greece. The sound behind these guys is one of angered percussion, destructive guitar, ugly vocals and brief dabbles in electronic elements, such as synth work and sampling (?). Put all of this together and you get a very cut-throat act that refuses to pander to any strict structure or reason. Back in May of this year, HAU put out their first EP, which was also a self-titled EP and these are my thoughts on said EP:

The animalistic nature behind HAU is very comparable to that of bands like Lightning Bolt, with their incomprehensible, heavily effected, lyrics, jagged stringed instruments and pounding percussion – everything is just GO, from the start with both these bands. When HAU are playing to their strengths, they are incredibly effective and satisfying to listen to, especially when you enjoy the moaning guitar as much as I do. However, there is still a rather diverse selection of sounds on this EP – both Pattern 5 and Pattern 7, are messy noise-rock charges on your ears, but the other two tracks are much more experimental.

Cunts & Needles (with A†D) is a slow boiling track that slithers around with some sporadic drumming and some almost alien-like vocals. Oh, and the way, these alien-like vocals don’t just occur on this track, they’re a persistent presence throughout, which is fine, they suit the style of music perfectly. But yeah, the track itself fiddles with various electronic improvisations that feel very unsettled at times, as they just flicker around with the occasional percussion – It’s a difficult track to pin down. By the end though, it’s just as loud and proud as the Pattern tracks.

These Pattern tunes are my favourite tracks on this release, without a shadow of a doubt. The guitars a bass sounds on Pattern 5 and Pattern 7 are incredible and the way that they take no prisoners with their approach to their music, is just phenomenal. If you enjoy vicious sounding… everything, you need to listen to these songs, they are ruthless and unforgiving – the way this sort of music should be.

Norma, is also a hard track to strip down to something more than, ‘experimental’ and ‘woah’. It’s probably the most eccentric track on the album, mainly because it starts out so deceptively quiet, with brief flickers of drums and synth screeches, with some very sudden and haunting stabs of synth latter in the track. But then, halfway through the track unrolls completely into a real horror of intimidating vocals, primal beats and more stabs. Norma is probably the most fidgety track on this release, it just can’t sit still for more than three minutes!

What HAU have done with this release is set a very chilling bar for themselves that will lead to, hopefully, more music that’s as angry and powerful as this.

Final Notes:

HAU’s self-titled EP is everything that you’re afraid of listening to and proud of it. It’s malicious sounding songs are immediate and have a forceful staying power and if you like any kind of hard music, then you should check these guys out.