Fred und Luna – ‘Nichtmusikalische Stadt Unter Schritten’

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Fred und Luna is the curious project of German musician, lector, poet and photo/video maker Rainer Buchmüller.

“Fred und Luna” are two mannequins residing in a fashion boutique in Karlsruhe, Germany, and they serve as Buchmüller’s muse – an usual backstory, yes but a fruitful one for his self-style “elektrokraut” sounds.

Having previously released the EP ‘Glück Auf’ and debut album ‘Im Klanggarten’ in 2017, Buchmüller is primed to release the project’s second album ‘Im Tiefenrausch’. Ahead of the album, we’ve been presented with taster track ‘Nichtmusikalische Stadt Unter Schritten’ – a perfect exhibition of his “elektrokraut” taking parts electronica and Krautrock, to fashion them together. Shifting along a steady, transfixing winding groove, it is overlaid with cool, chiming chords, laid-back vocals and a funky sense of melody. With its combination of repetitive rhythms, beautiful melodies, electronic soundscapes, irresistible rhythms and dreamy atmospheres, the dusky vibed ‘Nichtmusikalische Stadt Unter Schritten’ wields a rather seductive, spellbinding charm.

Listen to ‘Nichtmusikalische Stadt Unter Schritten’ below now and keep an eye out for the new record coming on February 1st.

Ilu – ‘Jaanus’

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Dividing their time recording between Tallinn, Estonia and rural Wales, Ilu are a Welsh Psych/Krautrock outfit crafting epic, spacey, interstellar hymns.

They introduced themselves (and found a sizeable place in my heart) with the spectacular ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’ last year, and follow that with ‘Jaanus’; an equally intoxicating proposition. ‘Jaanus’ is elegant yet bold, delicately drifting off in the chillest of vibes as synths chime and shimmer, gently winding electronics orbit and sparkle like stars to a place of wonder and tranquillity in the cosmos. It’s jubilant yet melancholic; busy yet laid-back – a paradoxical sound but one of awe and beauty that climaxes in a haze of heavenly choral repetitions cascade upon stuttering drums. An immaculate palate of sonics, sounds and textures that intoxicates with airiness and beauty.

As with ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’, the recording was began in Tallinn, Estonia and was completed by Tim Lewis (Spiritualized, Julian Cope, Coil) in Aerial Studios in Carmarthenshire.

There is talk of album later in the year which is great news but for now listen to ‘Jaanus’ below:

Va Banque – ‘Transformer’

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Va Banque is a music collective from Cologne & Hamburg in Germany with a penchant for the synthesizing sound of the ’70s and early ’80s

Working from their hideaway studio of solitude in Hamburg City, Va Banque produce a gripping cocktail of dark yet hopeful, electronica underpinned by krautrock and post-punk vibes. Following a series of EPs, Va Banque released their self-titled debut album in 2011 and are now following that up with new LP, Va Banque in Einzelteilen and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have ‘Transformer’; the first single lifted from the record. Propelled by dark drums and rumbling raw basslines that are joined by winding guitar lines, modular synths and electronics hisses and oddities; ‘Transformer’ sounds a lot like what a Joy Division and John Carpenter collaboration might have turned out. A warped and thrilling ride, it is a sprawling five minute long dark yet optimistic voyage that expands beyond the crunching rhythms, climaxing with an enveloping bright, blissed-out burst of light.

You can listen to ‘Transformer’ below and Va Banque’s new album Va Banque in Einzelteilen is out now (listen to it here).

Automatism – ‘Propeller Propulsion‘

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Automatism is an instrumental kraut/space rock band from Stockholm, Sweden.

Formed in the spring of 2017 by guitarist Hans Hjelm, who gathered friends and band members from Kungens Män and New Rose – Gustav Nygren (guitar), Mikael Tuominen (bass), Jonas Yrlid (drums) – their songs are born from live improvisation in the studio, with overdubs added later, resulting in part psych, kraut and space rock excursions.

Having released debut album At The Lake earlier this year, the latest single lifted from is ‘Propeller Propulsion‘ and it is massive – a sprawling 12 minute long hypnotic intrepid adventure in sound and space. Opening with a haze of hissing noise, distortion and fuzz which begins to fade as cosmic cascading guitars riff and chime, and come to the fore. Propelled on by a motorik/ krautrock beat, what we are left with is something rather special indeed as it expands the blissed-out rhythms, while enveloping everything in a sea of beautiful spaced-out noise.

A heady brew of swirling psych, Krautrock and Motorik rhythms, it is a wonder of imagination and ideas that burrows into your consciousness, building into an enthralling ride. Awe-inspiring stuff, just wow!

The Radio Edit is below but you can find the Full Monty over here, along with the rest of the album.

ilu – ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’

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Welsh label Libertino Records has fast become a reliable mine of intriguing and altogether wonderful sounds and we’ve struck gold once again with their latest release from ilu.

Dividing their time recording between Tallinn, Estonia and rural Wales, Ilu are mysterious Welsh Psych/Krautrock newcomers crafting epic, spacey, interstellar hymns – of Spiritualized proportions. Backing up these lofty claims is stunning debut single ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’. Propelled along Krautrock, motoric grooves ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’, spacey synths and heavenly harmonies envelop spiky post-punk guitars and bass rumbles which coalesces into one coherent, unstoppable sound. Sizzling danceable grooves are woven tightly into their mammoth tones and grinding churn, which is all punctuated with a beautiful yet melancholic sense of longing. As far as debut singles go, they don’t come much bigger or better than ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’; an immaculate palate of sonics, sounds and textures

Ilu’s debut single ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’ is out on August 3rd – check it out below.

Eldoradio – ‘Youth Cult’

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Eldoradio teased their forthcoming new album with the dusky, soft centered, swooning ‘Pipe Dreams’ in the latter part of 2017 and the Swedish outfit are back with another intriguing taster in ‘Youth Cult’.

While its predecessor was built around a rather gentle acoustic strum and a warm organ hum that swelled to swallow all in its wake, ‘Youth Cult’ is much more of a meatier proposition. A distorted synthesizer paves the way for a propulsive kraut-inspired groove with pushes everything relentlessly through a series of soaring riffs, anthemic sing-a-long choruses and crashing percussion. The synth/kraut combo is a revelation, giving ‘Youth Cult’ its alluring edge that hums with an electricity threatens to spark and explode at any moment. There is a hint of early Toy meets Wilco’s ‘Spiders (Kidsmoke)’, and there is nothing wrong with that combo whatsoever.

Aside from the new single, there is no other update on the forthcoming new record so it still a case of watch this space. For the time being, get yourself acquainted with ‘Youth Cult’.

Hippies Vs Ghosts – ‘No Left No Right’

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By now, regular patrons of the blog should be well aware of the esteem in which Hippies Vs Ghosts is kept around these parts.

Under the guise of Hippies Vs Ghosts, Owain Ginsberg, has routinely blown us away time after time with his kaleidoscopic, Morricone meets krautrock sound and latest single ‘No Left No Right’ is no different. Lifted from the stunning album of the same name, the new single is exhilarating, irresistible and manic.

It is a kaleidoscopic mix of feverish experimentation that blows everything else out of the water. The pace is unrelenting, frantically clamouring to one frenetic crescendo after another before momentarily offering a brief breathe with the relative calmness through some rolling drums and undulating waltz of western tones before exploding toward a frenzied finish. This is a ferocious three-and-a-half minutes of breakneck beats, scintillating riffs, off-kilter rhythms and forged together and delivered with a burning intensity – in all seriousness there is nothing quite like Hippies Vs Ghosts, and the project shows no signs of slowing under the careful stewardship of Ginsberg. Hippies Vs Ghosts continues to develop, grow and deliver outrageously good tunes.

Check out ‘No Left No Right’ below and make sure to get on the new album, here.

Super Extra Bonus Party Return with Scintillating New Single ‘Switzerland’

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Super Extra Bonus Party are a band that will always have a special place in my heart. Not only was their music the soundtrack to a lot of great times, SEBP gigs were always superb, thrilling and often chaotic, and the source of fun times and great memories.

Add to that, they were one of a few Irish bands who did things their own way, not playing the game (whatever the game is) and experimenting without any pretentious bullshit. Needless to say, it was more than a mild disappointment when SEBP parked the project, announcing an indefinite hiatus seven long years ago.

Oh, and in case you’ve missed it, Super Extra Bonus Party have called time on their break with their new single ‘Switzerland’ – and it is a sensational return. It’s not a million miles away from where they left off their criminally underrated second album from 2009, Night Horses. Embracing SEBP’s characteristic strength of live instrumentation meets electronics, it is propelled by a powerful, hypnotic pulsing synth and metronomic beat, injected with meaty guitars, an intense drum machine work-out and all manner of electronic wizardry. ‘Switzerland’ is instilled with an energy that feels electric as it charges forth to a cataclysmic wall of sound. Opting in favour of keeping vocal duties in-house with Gavin Elsted & Stephen Fahey is a revelation too – sublime!

SEBP were always one’s for pushing things, experimenting and avoiding the obvious, safe path. The same can be said for ‘Switzerland’, and I think you’ll agree when I say, it’s great to have them back.

You can get yourself acquainted with ‘Switzerland’ below & the single is out now on 045 Recordings.

Earlier in the week, the band at down with with Headstuff to discuss their feelings about everything that had gone before, read it here – it’s definitely worth some of your time.

Introducing: Maintain Mainframe

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“In the year 3046 a robot searches for the Alpha Key to unlock a cryptic sequence of code” – as far as back stories go, Maintain Mainframe’s is pretty different.

Unusual as it may be, it is pretty apt as this peculiar music outfit treat us to an unusual retro-futuristic fusion of classic rock, synth & psych pop and indie/alt-rock, strewn with science fiction influences. And aside from the imaginative sci-fi backstory, that’s the tale of their self-titled debut record.

Most recent single ‘The Mirror’ opens with a pastoral sounding strum and hushed vocals, before making way for a series of gritty riffs as it swaggers along a danceable groove., that sounds wonderfully gritty, dark and edgy. Similarly danceable is ‘Dreamphase’. Engulfed in layers of fuzz and eerie and menacing tones, muscular guitars and buzzing riffs up the intensity and ferocity, while propelled along an irresistible rhythmic groove and some sparkling retro-futuristic synth work. Meanwhile, ‘I Am A Robot’ channels the sound of The Flaming Lips for a colorful, melody filled and spaced-out spectacle.

This is without a shadow of a doubt, one of the colourful and imaginative creations for sometime. Combining everything from psych-pop, rock, electronica, krautrock and more, they do so with a supreme potency and in full Technicolor.

You can check out some choice cuts below, I assure you I’m not spoofing and you can listen to their debut album here.

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Datura Daydream – ‘Sea Six’

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Toronto based trio Datura Daydream – Kevin Robert Fong (vocal/guitar), David Larocque (bass) & Turner Roscoe Wigginton (drums) – have a flair when it comes to brewing cinematic psych/kraut inspired post-rock.

The trio have unleashed new single ‘Sea Six’ – and an accompanying video – the latest to be lifted from their recent album, The Lick Is In The Lisp and it is quite the epic. A sprawling, nine minute heady brew of swirling psych, hazy vocals and throbbing bass propelled forward by metronomic krautrock beats, ‘Sea Six’ flits between a beautiful, meandering dreamlike stasis and surging kaleidoscopic, cinematic crescendo. Which, by any standard, makes ‘Sea Six’ pretty damn spectacular.

The Lick Is In The Lisp is available to buy/stream right now from here. Before that however, you can check ‘Sea Six’ below.

Also, it is recommended you watch the video from beginning to end – it is well worth it – but be warned, there are lots of flashing lights etc.