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My favourite electronic three piece has a more recent EP offering: “We can make the world stop”. If this EP is any indication of The Glitch Mob’s future direction, I personally would be quite happy with that, it shows qualities I have always liked about their sound. The cover art is also pretty awesome, I believe it’s taken from the music video, or at least it's very similar.
"We Can Make The World Stop" has a certain outward character, more so than the other tracks on the EP, and a solid rhythmic steadiness, that one would perhaps guess from the name. It's also, like the other tracks, somewhat emotionally driven in its melodies, a sort of mental and spiritual journey, containing a lot of organic sounds and expressive melodies – this really contrasts nicely with the solid almost 4/4 rythmn and bass, giving a feeling perhaps of triumph or confident acceptance? Hard to pin exactly, but this EP is rich with this sort of hard to define mood.
The Warrior Concerto brings in something of a passionate dramatic classical sound, again building into a more rhythmic and electronically melodic sound. The drama of this track, the more overt first and the more reflective third track makes for an EP, that is very rich with the sub-textual emotion and journey that can also be found in parts of “Drink the Sea”. While it’s still very rhythmic, its not as much of a total crescendo as "Drink the sea", something more of a gentle build, or perhaps when viewed as a whole EP, more of a fading out.
Palace of the Innocents begins with a lush organic chinese sounding instrument. There's a general sense of gentle tone and pacing. on this Palace of the Innocents gently builds, layering bass and rythmns in, but retaining those deep and reflective qualities. It reminds me of someone dancing solo at sunrise, very zen, but a bit moving.
Overall, I love this EP, it shows off the more melodic and perhaps spiritual side of the trio’s sound, something of a mental journey. Can wait to see what they do next!
Teebs is a beat scene/wobble artist that fascinated me from the first track I heard. Apparently he is also a painter and skater. “Tropics” is a lot like I imagined it would be from those early impressions of hearing him.
The EP begins straight in with the tinkle of what sounds like jangling keys, off-kilter rhythms all gentling massaging your mind. The first tracks soft cacophony then starts to pick up some funk and noise, as it meanders around. It’s somehow nosier than flying lotus’ Cosmogramma, despite its softness, though similar in vibe, and the overall effect is like a thoughtful, or mentally busy reflective Sunday afternoon.
One can also hear a very traditional instrumental hip-hop\trip-hop element in the rhythms and hits. All the tracks are sprawling, and short, but fit together very well.
It’s good stoner music and good tripping music. Shoe gaze for wobble and rhythm heads.
I particularly enjoyed Splash, with its airy hits, saws and echo noises. I found the repetitive drone noise in “Comes to Mind” annoying as hell. But I guess it’s still artistic. Clapstick shows off just how masterful Teebs is with these tinkly beat scene tracks, it’s as relaxing as rain dripping on your rooftop. “Untitled” just jangles around nice and loosely with a jungle/forest vibe – I was just thinking perhaps this could have been longer, but it continues to evolve in the track “Tropics” bringing some glitchy echoed claps into the lush pads and log drum perc sounds.
It’s something a bit different to listen to when you’re chilling out, especially if you like the style, and Teebs definitely brings his own style as well to the genre. Worth a listen, free and definitely going on my play list.
First off, forgive my excitement, this is a long review. Well .....seems I got a little behind the times. When I discovered Flying Lotus, I had no idea he was part of a new genre. I had always enjoyed Dubstep, but was blown away by the sonic complexity and range of Fly Lo’s work, which is far more musically varied in influence and experimental. Well I discovered recently, this is LA’s “beat” scene, the American, the more organic, more hip-hop/“nu jazz”/game music/glitch/experimental influenced sound that emerged parallel to other forms of so-called “wonk”, such as IDM and UK Dubstep, largely out of experimental instrumental hip hop scene.
So though this album was out last year, it’s with some excitement that I review this again rather different album, Drink the Sea, by the, now trio, The Glitch Mob. Trust me, its still fresh as just popped toast. So hard to describe this kind of music really, but I’ll give it my best shot. The album, by comparison to Flying Lotus, is sans the lounge, jazz, downbeat and full dub influences. Like most beat scene artists, the personal influences are diverse – originality is a must.
Rather, this album is more rock influenced in rhythm. While still plenty Dubstep and wonk influenced, it features some staple rock funk rhythms, and loads of rock style drum rolls for build ups and breakdowns – A consequence of their live midi drum style – something than sets them apart. It’s full of unstable and throbbing electronic leads and basses, and features some vocals. There’s a definite early mod game music influence here (think Amiga 500 and the era)– the leads are a fair bit reminiscent of this style. Of course, it’s also full of bass, some of it pretty damn driving.
The leads vary from Rhodes keys, trancey elements to slippy bent saws – and there a lot of bent writhing high end saws – sort of a blend of funk, trance & rock, like some of the funkier electro influenced Dubstep, or breaks but on a whole 'nother planet of its own – the overall effect is funky, modern sounding, yet somehow progressive or psychedelic in some way, something well explained by the cover art really – almost neo-70’s looking like something you might see for a psychedelic influence rock bands cover. Or perhaps it’s better described by that mod file game music influence. I almost feel like I can’t pin it down exactly – which is refreshing.
Read the rest of the review here.
“For the masses” was a well produced album, that was a little sketchy lyrically and in tone in places. It marked a departure from Hadouken!’s more basement dance punk electronic sound, and a launch into more proper electronic dance music, which was somewhat prodigy-esque.
This new single, is even more promising as to their direction. The title track, “Oxygen”, has a dance floor epic quality, and vocally and lyrically deeper, more palatable, with an abstractness hinted at in there last album. The beat, rhythm, leads and bass are chunky and funky, the vocal just right for that loved up dance floor madness. There's a short rythmn and bass work at the end of the song, that reminds me of the slippy bass and rhythm trickery in Noisia. “Mecha love” has more of the MC style vocal, but similarly has a “deeper” or more mature quality to the lyrics. The production is more of the typical pumping four on the floor style, but with those, now almost trademark, "out on a limb" rave influenced leads. Theres a host of mixes on here, with various styles, which in themselves are very good, and introduce various different elements - slippy slow breakbeat trickery, big open epic trance saws & drum and bass. Overall I was pretty damn happy with this, and am looking forward to see where these guys are going - check it out.
“Ibiza - Breakbeat Overload”, mixed by DuBKatZ. Yeah I know, sounds cheezy as all hell, but actually it ain’t completely bad. If you want cheeze you should check out the album cover! (And don’t even ask why the person who mixed this spells their moniker/handle with alternating capitals!)Some of it is pretty damn average, I admit. There's a certain commercial sensibility obviously overall and its pretty light mostly. But there are some wicked tracks in there, and overall it doesn’t make bad listening if your into break beat. Although, again for a rock solid breakbeat mix, you could likely do alot better as well. (For example the breakspoll stuff is pretty good IMO). The first track is a pulsely minimal number. Not exactly break beat IMO (I guess for many that line is blurry), more like minimal tech house but a nice track nonetheless and a good electro bass . My Highlights: The funky leads on “Not rock’n’roll” by Dj 33. The mean shuffle rythmn and funky leads in “Grind” by DJ Vovking. The stompy techno number “mind warp”’s funky general warbling (By triple agent). I’m really feeling the funk on “Olive trees” by agressivenes. It features a freaky beat, and some creative use of vocal snipets, slightly aggressive bass and synth stabs. “Pensilvania” by subprojects has some pretty creative use of a low gritty rhythmic bass and some great drum breakdowns to keep the pace up. “Infectados” by Destroyers and Aggressivenes, the last track finally brings in the aggressive bass fuelled dance floor style -with stutters and all sorts of other bass trickery. Also has some dark/spooky pianos bits. Pity there isn’t a little more aggressive stuff like this in here, as I said its mostly pretty light.So yeah, a pretty average mix overall, but not at all without its moments, despite the god-awful name and cover art.
Noisia has gotten good cred for their singles and remixes, and their work on Haudoken!’s new album was my first exposure to their production, which in itself was great work. The album mixes styles, offering drum and bass, breaks, techno and dubstep. The scope of their sonic range, as well as the damn stellar production, especially in bass and slippy stuttery bass rythmns, has made this album a new favourite of mine. It amazes me on second listen, just how fresh such a bass and beat heavy album is from moment to moment compositionally. And that bass.....Machine gun, the first single, hits us with some hard four on the floor beats, and some driving hard bass. It gets pretty frantic, and the composition and sounds, as well as the, quite frequent on this album, tempo changes and slippy bass variations keep the bass heavy sound fresh.
Röyksopp apparently have done some punchy ethereal electro stuff in the past, although I am personally not familiar with it. On the other hand though, this album is total shoe-gaze ambient really, so quite a departure from what I understand. There’s instrumentation, some creative sampling, but its also very soft on the ears, and in the wrong mood, unfortunately, completely missable.
The album opens with the ambient intro “And the forest began to sing”, which is warm and kinda interesting and certainly sets the tone for the album.
The first proper track, a sort of gentle electro track “Tricky Two“, hooked me in actually with its catchy baseline and beat. This actually might be one of my favorite tracks on the album, though its still ethereal, and sort of shoe gaze, its a little more upbeat, and introduces some nice 303 leads and changes.
I want exactly sure what to expect from the Klaxon’s newer offering, Surfing the Void. I was hoping for something different, yet still Klaxons. The first track, “Echoes” has already put my mind at ease. The guitaring is tighter, there is a little more form, its more instrument based, but its still essentially the innovative blend of singing and noise that twists and turns, with great lyrics, that I liked to begin with - just a little more musically driven.
The UNKLE duo did some kick ass ninja-tune stuff back in the day along with DJ Shadow who was once in the band, as some of you may remember. And admittedly they have struggled to find a new sound direction since then. Here, we see a venture into the realm of slightly indie vocal stylings, mixed with a much more organic sound.The electronic composition, is well, it's not exactly like the old ninja-tunes stuff. Its similarly heavy on organic sounds, but there aren't really any breaks here. The bit of guitar really adds to the organic sound also, and the drums, while programmed, are all the real sounding kind - A very rolling, upbeat, rocky, almost tribal rhythm. Very different from their older stuff.
The whole album, I’ll say it now, is quite something. Fusing experimental/avant gard, dubstep, be-bop, breaks, hip-hop, free-form jazz - live bass, harp and sax, full on soundscape and soft glitch; Flying Lotus creates something that is warm, comforting, yet deeply trippy and soulful. It’s mental and deep. The moments of free jazz style in harp, bass and sax are both creative and easy to access, it’s loose, like a slack rubber band, from the heart and ready.
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