Introducing: Likvid

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Likvid is Slovakian born, London-based musician and producer Allan Vilhan, who’s music is a blend of ambient and beat-driven tunes, with subtly and a deft touch, it is a wonderful hinterland somewhere between trip-hop, d’n’b and electronica; where both industrial and ethereal moments can coexist and thrive.

Themes are loaded with spirituality, illuminated by deep and dark lyrics, and primed to thrust you on a ethereal voyage of tranquil discovery. Recent single, ‘Unreal Lies’ is probably his most outstanding work to date. Working in collaboration with Swedish singer and musician Marta Karis, it is a subtle blend of heavenly atmospherics and sensual sounds, complimented perfectly by Karis’ bewitching vocals, which adds a veil of the mysteriousness to this reposing sojourn to a world of alluring escapism. While retaining the ambient atmospherics, ‘Can You Hear Me?’ has more of a subterranean vibe albeit interspersed with splashes of light. It is much more beat driven, propelled by heavier hitting beats, it is cloaked with a ghostly aura, due in no small part to the haunting vocals of Krisztian Karpati. These are hopefully just two of many delights to come from a potentially very fruitful merging of the industrial and ethereal.

Listen to ‘Unreal Lies’ & ‘Can You Hear Me?’ below – two quality introductions to Likvid.

https://soundcloud.com/likvid_project/can-you-hear-me

2015 According to Seth Mowshowitz from Fold

One of my proudest achievements on the blog this year, or any year for that matter, is the release of GruffWuff; a 19 track compilation of new, previously unreleased and exclusive recordings from some of my very favourite acts over the past 5 years of blogging.

It was a truly fantastic way to mark 5 years of BarryGruff and I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved and the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response. As 2015 draws to a close, I have enlisted help from people who made the compilation what it was, to chat about their favourite moments and sounds from year, and up next is Seth Mowshowitz, from Fold.

Leeds based Trip Hop / Breakbeat / Hip-Hop outfit Fold have the propensity for producing the magnificent. The inventive and experimental quartet pride themselves on live production, ceating incredible music while blending their enviable creativity with a social consciousness. In a similar sort of vein to Public Service Broadcasting, spoken word samples are set to real drums, bass, guitar and a blend of triggered samples, together they combine for an utterly stunning sound of funk, groove, urgency and cool. Long-standing BarryGruff favourites, Fold are one of the most unique and exciting acts around.

Before we take a look at his 2015 sound selections, you should check out Fold’s superb self-titled debut album, and their GruffWuff inclusion, ‘That’s It’ – of which you can download here for FREE.

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Fold – ‘A Victim’s Mentality’

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Leeds based Trip Hop / Breakbeat / Hip-Hop outfit Fold are gearing up to release their long-awaited and much anticipated debut album, released on November 3rd.

Long-standing BarryGruff favourites, the inventive and experimental quartet have the propensity for the magnificent, producing incredible music blending their enviable creativity with a social consciousness. Prior to their self-titled debut album, Fold have released lead single ‘A Victim’s Mentality’, which exhibits their pre-eminence in compelling fashion. A smooth, lavish and carefully weaved blend of mellow hip hop and trip hop grooves – peppered with brass above and a muffled, dreamy bassline running beneath it – accentuating the natural spoken rhythms of Mr Gee’s eloquent and thought provoking, poetic lyricisms. Absolutely stunning work from one of the most unique and exciting acts around. 

You can listen to ‘A Victim’s Mentality’ below and it is out now. Fold’s self-titled debut album meanwhile, is released on November 3rd – you can pre-order it here.

Oh, and, Fold featured on GruffWuff – a 19 Track Compilation to celebrate 5 years of BarryGruff  – you check out their inclusion ‘That’s It’ here, and download the entire album for FREE too.

 

Fold – ‘Two Past Midnight’

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Leeds based Trip Hop / Breakbeat / Hip-Hop outfit Fold have the propensity for the magnificent, producing incredible music blending their enviable creativity with a social consciousness.

Following on from last year’s sensationally good ‘Oil-Powered Machine / Detroit Red’, Fold have announced the release of a new single, ‘Two Past Midnight’, penned in for a May 4th release. Fold’s interest in social justice is no secret and we’ve become accustomed to the band using vocal samples from speeches to convey messages, and ‘Two Past Midnight’ is in keeping with this trend. The new single pays tribute to Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist who advocated for the right to vote for black Americans and was instrumental in passing the 1965 US Voting Rights Act.

‘Two Past Midnight’ is a powerful fusion of beats and politics, as they sample Fannie Lou Hamer’s famous 1969 speech in Berkeley California to deliver a funky, cool and groovy tune that feels mightily dangerous (it reminds me of how a younger me felt, hearing Public Enemy or Immortal Technique for the first time – that’s a good feeling). The single spreads the message, if we needed to be reminded, that the scourge of racism still exists and is still an issue throughout the world. This is the sound of a band with a message, one that needs to be spread and with the music to match, while providing a timely reminder of their musical prowess and the power of music. It also raises that question again; why have musicians and artists so little to say nowadays? ‘Two Past Midnight’ comes backed with B-side ‘Don’t Kid Yourself Baby’, which is pure, unadulterated funk and will be released on May 4th. You can pre-order it now from Bandcamp.

You can listen to both it, & the B-side below, along with Fold’s GruffWuff inclusion, ‘That’s It’ – of which you can download here for FREE.

Fold – ‘Oil-Powered Machine / Detroit Red’

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Leeds based Trip Hop / Breakbeat / Hip-Hop outfit Fold, the brains behind the magnificent ‘Be Water, My Friend’ back in the summer, and Salvation EP last year, are signing off on 2014 with double A-side single ‘Oil-Powered Machine / Detroit Red’.

Fold’s latest release, out this week as a limited edition 7” and digital download, is inspired by Public Enemy as the group sample resounding speeches by Malcolm X and Mike Ruppert, to pay tribute to both. Priding themselves as they do on live production, the spoken word samples are set to real drums, bass, guitar and a blend of triggered samples. And in a typical Fold way, it enhances the natural rhythm of the speech and accentuates the message. ‘Oil-Powered Machine’ sees Ruppert put the proverbial boot into the petrochemical industry along an urgent guitar-led beat, in a similar way to Public Service Broadcasting, who they have both re-mixed and supported. ‘Detroit Red’ meanwhile, features Malcolm X taking equality (or lack of) in America to task, backed with a recognizable force, funk and urgency, we’ve become accustomed to from Fold. Another two superb tracks from Fold and outstanding additions to their unique and ever growing catalog.

You can stream ‘Oil-Powered Machine / Detroit Red’ below and you can buy the double A-side from here.

Ceiling Demons – ‘Every Step (Fold – Follow The Lights remix)’

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Following the release of their debut album Dual Sides, alternative hip-hop group Ceiling Demons are releasing ‘Every Step Is Moving Me Up’ as a digital single, along with a brand new remix from Leeds based trip hop extraordinaires Fold.

The single aims to raise awareness for CALM, short for Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity dedicated to raising awareness and the prevention of suicide – an issue that has affected far too many of our lives for sure. Accompanying the Yorkshire trio’s own ‘Every Step Is Moving Me Up’, an assured, sincere and wholly positive track, is Fold’s re-imagined and re-titled ‘Follow The Lights’. Uplifting and warm, it underpinned by a soft driving beat, trip hop grooves and dubby layers, peppered with uplifting bouts of brass and chanting samples which extenuates Ceiling Demons’ deft lyrical dexterity, which ingrains a positive message within their music. A marvelous anthem of positivity, which is quite apt and all for a very good cause.

The single is available from all the usual haunts as well as a ‘name your price’ via bandcamp, with all proceeds going to CALM. You can also check out their debut LP, Dual Sides, here.

Electric Picnic 2014: Johnny Feeney’s 5 Best Acts

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t envious of all the people who made it to Electric Picnic this year, especially after last year’s festival, which was one of my favourite EP’s of all. It’s a small price to pay I guess for a new life over here in Vancouver. In my absence however, the trusty and reliable Johnny Feeney was down in Stradbally for this year’s festival, one of his favourites yet. His knowledge, diverse taste and appetite for music (gigs in particular) is astounding and always provides a refreshing and interesting take on whatever he chooses to write about. I for one really enjoyed his report from the weekend’s antics and hopefully you do too. So without any further hesitation, here are the five acts that impressed him the most at Electric Picnic 2014. Thanks as always to Johnny and I’ll leave you in his very capable hands.

Portishead, Main Stage, Saturday 30st August, 22:35

Trip-hop masters Portishead are not a band renowned for being overly prolific (they’ve released three studio albums in 20 years) or for their zealous touring schedule (they haven’t played in Ireland since 1997) so tonight’s performance on the main stage falls into the once-in-a-blue-moon category which you do not want to miss. The huge crowd at the main stage is recognition of this fact and thankfully they are treated to a very special show. The set opens with ‘Silence’ and its long, clattering intro before lead singer Beth Gibbons comes on stage to a raucous reception.

Gibbons is an enigmatic, mysterious, almost reticent, front woman. Clad in black jeans and black hoody, she delivers her angst-laden, blood-chilling vocals with her head bowed and eyes closed not acknowledging the crowd. As soon as her vocals are finished she turns away from the crowd and the lights, faces the drums and almost cowers in the dark until called upon again. From tonight’s set ‘The Rip’ is especially brilliant early on followed by the gorgeously languid ‘Sour Times’. Other highlights include ‘Wandering Star’, ‘Over’ and ‘Glory Box’. It may be bleak, it may be grim, but this is just magnificent from start to finish.

As the band wave their farewells after the encore there’s more than a hint of a smile from Gibbons. Has the Stradbally crowd won her over or is she just glad it’s all over? We’ll never know. That’s Beth for you, ever the enigma.

St Vincent, Electric Arena, Sunday 31st August, 19:00

On the other hand, Annie Clark, aka St Vincent, has no apparent problems playing to the masses. Drawing in a huge crowd to the early-evening slot on Sunday she delivers a blistering show to an ecstatic crowd. Drawing heavily from her self-titled latest album, Clark opens with ‘Rattlesnake’ before playing recent single ‘Digital Witness’, an infectious, joyous track with blasting horns and an incredibly catchy chorus.

This is an art-rock performance that will love long in the memory. Not only no slouch on the guitar with some crunching, squelching riffs, there are also numerous choreographed dance moves with her keyboard player. Later on, Clark finds herself writhing around on the raised steps at the back of the stage before playing ‘Cheerleader’ standing atop them. A late stage dive into the crowd finds a green mask placed into Clark’s hand. As she’s returned to the stage, she duly puts on the mask and finishes with ‘Her Lips Are Red’. A born entertainer, a wonderful show.

Metronomy, Electric Arena, Saturday, 20:00

People are ready to dance on Saturday night as an expectant crowd awaits Metronomy in the Electric Arena. The band emerge to a hero’s welcome dressed in white suits eerily reminiscent of Liverpool’s ill-fated 1995 FA Cup Final attire and deliver a barnstorming set of highly danceable electronic pop. Their latest record, Love Letters, may not attain the heights of their earlier albums but the title track, in particular, along with the soulful ‘I’m Aquarius’ and the instrumental ‘Boy Racers’ are well received.

The set highlights however come from earlier tracks such as ‘Corinne’, ‘the Look’, ‘the Bay’, ‘Holiday’, ‘Radio Ladio’ and ‘Heartbreaker’. The tent is hopping throughout as punters dance with abandon and the atmosphere is suitably electric. This was an incredible amount of fun and up there as a contender for set of the weekend alongside Chic’s fairly monumental headline show on the main stage later on Saturday evening.

The Altered Hours, Body & Soul Main Stage, Friday 29th August, 20:00

Having never heard of this Cork band before, stumbling across these guys early on Friday evening by blind luck and then being absolutely blown away by them was my very nice surprise of the weekend. Live, they play a really noisey, dirgey brand of rock somewhere between heavier psych-rock and the ear-bleeding shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine.

The mesmerising ‘Sweet Jelly Roll’, from the eponymous EP, has a real Jesus and Mary Chain feel to it. This is hypnotic music that draws you further and further in. Certainly a band worth checking out more of in the future, The Altered Hours play upstairs in Whelan’s on 14th of November. Blind luck can be a beautiful thing.

Benjamin Booker, Cosby Stage, Saturday, 15:45

New-Orleans based Benjamin Booker is only 22-years-old, but you wouldn’t think it from listening to him. Oozing cool on the Cosby Stage on Saturday afternoon and touring in support of his recently released brilliant self-titled debut album, his blues-rock is stomping, soulful and full of energy.

Accompanied by guitar and drums, Booker drums up a whirlwind of rousing rock along the lines of Black Keys or the White Stripes (Jack White was a big influence), but with bags more soul. In fact, the first pause for breath is about two-thirds through the show when Booker disappears off stage, quickly returns with fag in mouth which he proceeds to light up and explodes into song again before jumping off stage and running straight through the entire crowd. Set closer ‘Violent Shiver’ is a beast of a blues-rock track and finishes the show in suitably energetic fashion. Superb.