Xinobi – ‘Skateboarding’

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Portuguese producer and Discotexas label head honcho Bruno Cardoso aka Xinobi released his latest album On The Quiet, an eight-track dancefloor-focused album takin its influence from a wide spectrum of electronica; from leftfield house to pop, techno and spoken word.

The latest latest single from the record, ‘Skateboarding’, gazes backward to a significant turning point in his life for its inspiration. As a kid in the late 80s, he experienced a fatal fracture in his arm resulting in two surgeries; bringing an abrupt and unexpected end to his skateboarding career. For rehabilitation, Xinobi was encouraged to train the muscles in his fingers by playing the guitar. ‘Skateboarding’ is an ethereal ode to that time. A slowly building, all enveloping meditative composition filled with melancholic melodies and spiralling beats, precision percussives; it is blissful, enthralling and all-consuming track. ‘Skateboarding’ is also features a speech from Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi, Dischord) – one of Xinobi’s heroes – about his perspectives of skateboarding. A simply stunning track and a perfect introduction to Xinobi’s equally stellar new record, On The Quiet.

Check out ‘Skateborading’ and its swish video below. On The Quiet is out now, tune in here.

 

Sean Gadd – ‘Never Be Beautiful’

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Sean Gadd was a founding member of Grouplove and since parting company with the LA-based outfit, Gadd has been ensconced in his solo project under his own name.

Earlier this year he introduced listeners to his new solo work with the single, ‘Radar Sounds’ and following it up with latest single ‘Never Be Beautiful’. On the surface, ‘Never Be Beautiful’ is a cheerful, bouncy and bubbly pop song; all synths and smiles combine with the alluring duet vocals compliments of Hannah Hooper, Gadd’s long-time friend and former Grouplove bandmate. As highly contagious as it is, digging a little deeper, ‘Never Be Beautiful’ is a testament to self-love, belief and acceptance. An upbeat and fast flowing blend of frentic beats, colourful sounds and general infectious pop melodies. This is one that will be stuck in your head for ages.

Time for you to make up your own mind now, check out ‘Never Be Beautiful’ & ‘Radar Sounds’ below now:

Inness Hallam – ‘Uncommon’

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Following on from his debut release ‘Fly’ + ‘Perfect’ last year, UK producer Inness Hallam has unveiled new single, ‘Uncommon’.

Based out of Leeds, Inness Hallam is a 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist and producer has an ear for a tune. New single ‘Uncommon’, is a case in point. A beat-driven cut, it blends erratic flourishes of synth with the soothing sounds of the steel drum to create a laid-back vibe. Everything seems to dance between the beats which propel us forward through complex melodic and rhythmic shifts, creating a seductive sonic interplay. While drawing influences from the likes of Jamie xx, Mura Masa and Daktyl he’s certainly carving out his very own sound. In short; ‘Uncommon’ is a superbly imaginative four minutes that brings together big, precise beats with playful sounds and a hint of the tropical.

You can check out ‘Uncommon’ for yourself below:

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.

Introducing: Three Thieves

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Three Thieves is the moniker of Cardiff based producer, Tom Clugston and his approach is fearless and superlative.

Three Thieves serves a spellbinding synthesis of sound embracing all things hip hop, electronica, drum & bass and a wealth of other electronic beat driven genres. In short, Clugston digs beats, and my, can he deliver them with pin-point accuracy; something acutely evident on his sublime and most recent EP, Zero Hour. Three Thieves is in his element with the melodic, fluid and perky drum & bass indebted ‘Blue Green’ and ‘Luminar’, in particular. Combining flourishes of synths, light skittering beats and dazzling keys, providing a really uplifting positive vibe and warm, inviting sounds. These are but two stellar moments from what is a sublime EP, and one that has one that has been on constant rotation in recent weeks.

Check out ‘Blue Green’ and ‘Luminar’ below and you can stream the entire Zero Hour EP here. Without a shadow of a doubt, you will be better for letting it, and Three Thieves into your life.

JW Ridley – ‘Everything (Deathless)’

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London newcomer JW Ridley has teamed up with producer Dan Carey’s Speedy Wunderground project, for the release of his debut single ‘Everything (Deathless)’.

Ridley’s debut it may be but ‘Everything (Deathless)’ is the 20th single release from Speedy Wunderground – a singles label where each release has been written and recorded in 24 hours, and coordinated by Carey – and it is a good as anything from it so far. ‘Everything (Deathless)’ is sort of subdued and moody, but an urgent sliver of alternative-indie-disco. It relentlessly pounds forward with a beautiful combination of layered guitar, synth lines and a nifty solo, and washed out vocals, to boot. Urgent, hypnotic and breathless guitar pop; this is as fine a debut single as you could want from JW Ridley, and a extremely worthy addition to the Speedy Wunderground family.

‘Everything (Deathless)’ is due for a limited 7″ release on 10th February but you can listen to it now, below.

moon:and:6 – ‘Welcome to Space’

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Canadian producer moon:and:6 is preparing to release a new mini album, A Brief History of American Space Travel, A conceptual record, it outlines the American Space program from 1958 to 2011.

Ahead of the record’s release in March, comes ‘Welcome to Space'; the first single to be lifted from the forthcoming new album. Playing with the anticipation and eagerness towards blasting into space, ‘Welcome to Space’ is a rocket-fuelled triumph, spectacularly relaying the wonder, awe, glamour of the early days of the space race. Flitting between elements of French-style electronica, downtempo and post rock, aided by ambient textures and an irresistible groove, it tells the tale of the attempts to put the first humans into space, and uses a voice sample that was taken from NASA’s audio archives. A stunning and fascinating introduction to an album that sounds like a very promising prospect indeed.

The album is released on March 3 through Maisonneuve Music, ahead of which you can stream ‘Welcome to Space’ – and watch the fantastic video comprised of archival footage – below.

CUT_ – ‘Undertow’

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Amsterdam-based electronica duo CUT_ – Sebastiaan Dutilh & Belle Doron – have shared a brand new single, ‘Undertow’.

The pair’s latest release is a three-minute sojourn to synth-pop bliss. It’s infectious electronica built around glacial synths, silky melodies and a frosty elegance. ‘Undertow’ harnesses its powerful and persuasive ways by pitting catchy pop with sharp ideas, making it simultaneously spiky and delicate, lending itself to a mild form of euphoria. Frosty to the touch, ‘Undertow’ reveals itself to be a complex layering of warmth and ideas below the surface.

‘Undertow’ is out now and its release comes as ahead CUT_ appearing at Eurosonic 2017. Listen to it below.

Introducing: AshMcAuliffe

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AshMcAuliffe is Blackburn (UK) based producer – aka Andrew McAuliffe-Shave – with a penchant for introspective instrumental synthpop and electronic soundscapes.

2016 saw the producer return with Technoscryer, his first new record in six years and one of synthy electronica that evokes the future (or what it should sound like) with a definite cinematic ambience and a touch of John Carpenter horror lurking in the background. The latest single ‘Time Spiral’ perfectly encapsulates AshMcAuliffe’s raison d’etre. It is a deep, dark beast that sounds urgent, menacing and threatening, dangerous even. It twists and it turns, delving into deeper and darker (much darker) Orbital-esque sonic terrains. Delivered with pin point accuracy, exuding an atmosphere of suspense and tension, building frantically towards a gloriously climactic finish. ‘Time Spiral’ (and others from the record) would be a perfect soundtrack to companion a no-nonsense 8-bit action hero, who, against all the odds, races against the clock battles to save the world.

Technoscryer is out now (you can stream/purchase it here). You can listen to ‘Time Spiral’ and some other choice cuts from AshMcAuliffe, below.

Playlist: Best Songs of 2016

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Lists, lists, lists and more lists. Yes, it is that time of year when lists become more common place than overly optimistic Liverpool fans in August.

Time, or lack of it, truly is the enemy once again but I’ve compiled a 100+ strong song Spotify playlist; selection of personal favourites from throughout the year. Pretty self-explanatory this, but there’s loads of great stuff in there from many styles and genres and, from across the globe.

I hope to have an ‘Albums of 2016′ post completed this week. Anyway, for now, I hope you enjoy the playlist.