Kan Wakan – ‘I Had to Laugh’

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Ahead of his ambitious triple LP release Phantasmagoria, Los Angeles-based, Bulgarian-born artist Kan Wakan is ramping up the anticipation with another single ‘I Had to Laugh’.

With this new one – the third single from the forthcoming LP – Kan Wakan further showcases his versatility as a producer. The inaptly titled track, ‘I Had to Laugh’ is graced with a glum, sullen mood and solemn piano which slums to the background as Rachel Fannan’s fragile and melancholic vocals. It slowly unfurls and the mood brightens, as the clouds part to blossom majestically, with grandiose strings, horns orchestral flourishes shine to transcend the mood. A powerful and emotionally affecting blend of organic and electronic production from Kan, coupled with Fannan’s stunning vocals, making for a remarkable track.

Phantasmagoria will be out this May, take a listen to ‘I Had to Laugh’ below.

Kelly Lee Owens Announces Debut Album, Shares Lead Single ‘Anx’ with Jenny Hval

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Kelly Lee Owens is someone who has been on our radar for some time, with her affecting and continually brilliant creations oscillating somewhere between the avant-garde, pop, techno and almost everything in between.

Needless to say, news that the Welsh-born, London-based artist’s self-titled debut album shall be released on March 24th, is a rather big and exciting deal. Alongside this auspicious news, is entrancing lead single ‘Anx’, featuring Jenny Hval on vocals. This is club music slowed to a slither, with murky electronics, ambient synths, melodic groove and muffled, echoing pulses of bass and broached by Hval’s echoing, ghostly vocals, cascading in an entrancing hypnotic haze. Divine.

Kelly Lee Owen’s self-titled debut is out via Smalltown Supersound on March 24th. You can check ‘Anx’ out below.

Kan Wakan – ‘I Would’

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As Kan Wakan, Gueorgui Linev makes music that is simultaneously atmospheric and evocative, skirting the borders of trip-hop, hip-hop, electronica, psychedelia and even folk, and psychedelia.

The Los Angeles based artist/producer is preparing a triple-LP for release in the new year, ahead of which, Kan Wakan has shared a new single ‘I Would’. The new track follows ‘Molasses’, and sees the producer join forces with Elle Olsun once again. Spare, slow-building dramatics trickle into a haunting and absorbing concoction of airy pop, jazz tones and folky strum. Topped off by Olsun’s smoky, smooth and gorgeous voice, ‘I Would’ waltzes by like a wonderful daydream.

Triple LP Phantasmagoria is due out sometime in the new year, so 2017 is shaping to be a big year for the young Bulgarian-born musician. From what we’ve heard so far it seems like a record to look forward to. For now, you can listen to ‘I Would’ below.

Monuson – ‘Firm Grip’ (feat. Kami Diser)

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Scandinavia is famed for it’s quirky, eccentric and forward-thinking music steeped in all manner of experimental tendencies.

Swedish producer Monuson is no exception to this assertion, especially given the evidence provided by his sublime debut single ‘Firm Grip’, Monuson. This one here is a slow churning, gently building, moody and deeply atmospheric blend of downtempo house meets disco. ‘Firm Grip’ is hypnotic, gripping and transportive, it slowly moves through the gears with dark and groovy electro beats toward a climactic build up. Kami Diser’s vocals flit between dazed and dreamy to euphoric vitality, perfectly complimenting Monuson’s craft, who provides brief chinks of light provided by the fluttering samples and stabs of synth to elevate the hazy house vibes. A captivating intro as you’re likely to cross paths with and on this evidence, both Monuson and Kami Diser are names to look out for.

‘Firm Grip’ (feat. Kami Diser) is out now, you can listen to it below.

Mt. Wolf Share New Single ‘Golden’ Featuring St. South

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Mt. Wolf have shared a new single ‘Golden’ – featuring Australian vocalist St. South – it follows this year’s excellent Hex EP and precedes the London trio’s debut album, which is to be expected in early 2017.

‘Golden’ is a majestic, delicate and deeply atmospheric electro-acoustic gem. Perfectly backed by warm, delicate and silky sounds – from soft steely guitar chords and light electronic percussion – the true irresistible nature of this song is derived from the mesmerising vocal duet between the St. South and Fox. Mt. Wolf and St. South should make a habit of collaborating. All in all, this is utterly beautiful, elegant and sophisticated sound.

You can listen to ‘Golden’ below – an excellent bridge between Hex EP (from earlier in 2016) and their forthcoming debut LP, coming in early 2017, we hope.

Kelly Lee Owens – ‘CBM’

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In the select few songs released thus far, singer and producer Kelly Lee Owens has proven remarkably versatile and increasingly difficult to pigeonhole. Having oscillated somewhere between the avant-garde, pop, techno and almost everything in between, Owens’ is at it again with new single ‘CBM’.

The lead single from her forthcoming EP, Oleic, ‘CBM’ (or ‘Colours, Beauty, Motion’) hits a sweet spot between the two extremes of her music. Nestled somewhere between pop and techno, she infuses insistent, throbbing electronics with sumptuously textured atmospherics, as lush as she has produced to date. A magnificent and mesmerising return showcasing Owens’ impressive talent and versatility; on a side note, she is one of the most exciting, rising musical propositions out there.

Kelly Lee Owens will release her new EP, Oleic, on October 21 through Smalltown Supersound. Ahead of that, why not check out its lead single ‘CBM’ below.

Introducing: Phare

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Known for his work as one half of atmospheric duo Lyttet, Peadar Kearney, has a new solo-project, Phare.

As Phare, Kildare native Kearney, is leaving the softer elements to one side, preferring instead, to zone in on clubbier sounds, and to say it is fruitful would be an understatement. Phare gracefully floats in an ambiguous hinterland between subtly euphoric and vaguely ambient, sustaining the rhythm and protracting the promise of a euphoric climax, while captivating through repeated propulsive beats and swirls. Mixing warm sounds with a crisp frosty elegance, he creates a hypnotic, comforting sound collage, and none more so than with twinkling crystalline grandeur of debut single ‘UP’. While ‘UP’ chimes and shimmers with a glacial-like sheen, ‘Monday’ continues the trend but raising the tension and intensity somewhat. Chiming notes resonate through every track and the beats are delivered with pin point accuracy – as sublime introduction as there ever could be.

Check out ‘UP’ & ‘Monday’ below. If you’re EP bound next month, Phare will be gracing Saturday’s Oxjam at Electric Picnic, @ 1 am (in association with HomeBeat).

Farewell Vancouver: Vancouver Connection Playlist

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After a couple of extremely fun years, my time in Canada is drawing to a close. As well as taking away no end of fond memories from Canada’s west coast, there is also a long, long list of local musical discoveries.

So, with that in mind and the impending return to Ireland, I decided to create a playlist of some of my very favourite artists/musical discoveries from Vancouver (and the surrounding areas). If nothing else, it will offer a taste of what this part of the world has to offer musically. Included among the 66 strong list are regulars on the blog and podcast, the likes of Kinship, Mesa Luna, Avid Walker, Bousada, The Orange Kyte, Supermoon, Soft Serve, Danny Diggs, Faith Healer, Project Pablo and more. Hopefully you enjoy the tunes as much as I do and it keeps you ticking over till the returns to normal service, once everything is settled after the move.

On that note, I shall leave you with the finest music BC has to offer.

Introducing: Kayla Painter

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Kayla Painter is a Bristol based musician who crafts inventive, experimental and ambient soundscapes.

Signed to Turnstile Music, Painter’s sound draws from techno, garage and post dub, to create intricate, intriguing and curious compositions of restless rhythms, surging deep bass lines and warm flourishes of ethereal ambience. Painter’s latest single, ‘Drones’ demonstrates just that, and more. It is a lush, densely layered piece of ambient excellence, that is beautiful, graceful and bewitching as it glistens with exquisite majesty. Similar exalted praise can be bestowed upon the twitchy, twinkly and divine previous single, ‘Revert’. Also worth your attention is collaborative single ‘Avallaunius’, which saw Painter team up with ex-Trwbador member Accü and released on Turnstile Music in January. This is all rather sublime; music get lost in and simultaneously to be amazed by.

‘Drones’ was released just this week, you check out Painter’s excellent self-directed video below, along with a number of other, choice cuts.

BarryGruff May 2016 Playlist

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Your regular monthly round up all the blog action, in a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured throughout the month.

May was good, as was the weather but even better tunes and whatnot (although I was pretty busy with matters away from the blog). We had loads of great new tracks, with a cursory listen below, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree! Oh, and there were new episodes of ‘Millions Like Us’, Justin Beats & I’s music podcast for 604now (if you missed them, check ’em here). You can also subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter.

Well then, that’s that for another month – listen to BarryGruff’s May 2016 playlist below. Enjoy!