Klangplanet – ‘Eternity’

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German producer KLANGPLANET – aka Frieder Mollat – is probably the most frequently featured artist on the blog over the past 12 – 18 months – and why not?

To date, Mollat has been a reliable source of nocturnal, brooding house-inspired wizardry, while more recent single ‘Stars’ offered a slightly different flavour of bubbling positivity set to a glistening backdrop. ‘Eternity’ represents a crossover point, a melding of the two if you will; taking his preference for late-night electronic ambiance and treating it with layers of playful shimmering synths and bouncy beats with some elegant, crystalline vocals adding some more nocturnal chill.

You can check out KLANGPLANET’s latest below & the debut album is available here.

Jude Woodhead – ‘For The Birds’

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Jude Woodhead is a 20-year-old classically trained producer and DJ hailing from South London.

Woodhead’s latest release, double single ‘For The Birds / Beautiful Rain’, finds a producer at the peak of his powers with a sound that defies easy categorisation.

‘For The Birds’ is a great song, something you’ll agree with, once you press play and become entranced by the melodic sensibilities and slick electronic production. Enveloped around a tender Arabic vocal line, ‘For The Birds’ builds subtly with a transfixing and hypnotizing progression taking hold as a four-on-the-floor beat and beautiful synth hooks float out to create a sonic state of mild euphoria.

While ‘For The Birds’ draws inspiration from Arabic culture, ‘Beautiful Rain’, equally as hypnotizing and based on an afrobeat-infused vocal sample, directly nods toward his dad’s music collection loaded with Congolese and South African records as well as classic songwriters. Woodhead is evidently a skilled producer with a love of what he’s doing, his is the sound of embracing a world of music that knows no boundaries.

‘For The Birds / Beautiful Rain’ is out now via Just Off Pop. Tune in below.

Qwasi – ‘Peaks’

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Qwasi is an electronic project from Dublin-based music producer and performer Eric Fitzgerald (also of Dublin band Wichita).

For his opening introduction, Qwasi has shared debut single ‘Peaks’, and in all fairness, it is a profoundly wonderful and imaginative first move. A majestic track, Peaks’ moves with a liquid like fluidity, elegantly through a blissful, heavenly world of glistening production, tranquil tones and precise hip-hop indebted beats. Lush, glistening and altogether elegant, it is a futuristic and vividly imaginative sound. The warm glowing allure of ‘Peaks’ is irresistible and with it, we have an intriguing and dynamic proposition on our hands in the form of Qwasi. So, all you need to do now is just sit back, relax and hit the play button.

Tune in and zone out with the blissful tones of ‘Peaks’.

Dear Japan – ‘Kushiro’

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Dear Japan is an intercontinental collaboration spearheaded by two, so far unnamed pairing from Hamburg and California.

The secretive duo do not offer much in the way of background info, preferring to make it all about the music, namely new single; ‘Kushiro’. Whilst ‘Kushiro’ is the duo’s maiden release, it’s not the work of novices. It is a minimalist slow-burner that channels haunting, dramatic and evocative atmospheric sounds tempered by soft yet unsettling percussion, and rich, smoky vocals that evokes a sense of weary detachment. It is mournful and emotive, with a dream inducing, sweeping, cinematic quality. A majestic, captivating introduction, no question.

Listen to ‘Kushiro’ below.

BarryGruff’s Albums of the Year 2017

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Yes, it’s that time of year again, lists, lists and well, more lists – and from every angle possible. That said, compiling an annual list of my favourite records from throughout the year is one of the most enjoyable aspects to the blog.

There was lots of great music in 2017 (as with every year) but here are my 20 favourite records from the year. Also, I’m hoping the festive period will provide time to catch up on some records I’ve missed throughout the year, so feel free to recommend some listening material.

Without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2017:

20. Czarface – ‘First Weapon Drawn’

For album number four, Czarface (Esoteric, Inspectah Deck and 7L) teamed up with Marvel Comics to create a soundtrack to an actual hardcopy comic of the same name. The previous installments have featured rapping from Esoteric, Inspectah Deck and other guests, however, on this occasion it’s just the superbly evocative instrumentation, with narration tacked on throughout. In fact, 7L’s production is some of strongest found throughout all the releases. Not quite at the level of albums 1 – 3, it provides an excellent little stop gap while we await a new album proper.

[Stream on Spotify]

19. Nouveaunoise – ‘Nouveaunoise’

Galway duo Nouveaunoise – Conor Gaffney & Niall Conway – had earned themselves a rep for finely crafted electronic productions, intricately weaving crackling samples, jazz-sampling percussion and warm melodies and crisp beats a la Four Tet or Boards of Canada. The pair released their debut back in 2010 and their self-titled follow-up sees them continue to shine when it comes to elegant, lush and intricately produced pristine electronica. Eight years is a long time but it was worth the wait!

[Stream on Spotify]

18. The Courtneys – ‘The Courtneys II’

With their 2013 debut, The Courtneys peddled lo-fi fuzzy slacker garage-pop with the ’90s casting a pretty long shadow and for the follow-up, the Vancouver trio have repeated the trick. Endearingly ramshackle, the dreamy vocals and laid-back sunkissed vibes are pumped with fuzzed-up distorted guitars, sweet licks and heavy, driving bass lines. Rarely has ramshackle indie been so appealing and so pretty damn irresistible. This is the sound of long, hot summers.

[Stream on Spotify]

17. Girlpool – ‘Powerplant’

Girlpool’s sound gets bigger on their second LP, beefed up with addition of a drummer crafting that classic alt-rock loud-quiet-loudness throughout but Girlpool know where their true power lies: Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad’s voices still sit front and centre. The unsettling magic that exists between makes them Girlpool distinct, lending their patented fragility and vulnerability. Powerplant is sparse and explores the energy and shape of contrariety and emptiness.

[Stream on Spotify]

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