Ian Simmonds – ‘The Falling Tree’

Ian Simmonds is a Welsh musician & producer whose music oscillates between nu jazz or downtempo and heavily produced electronica, often interwoven with hip hop textures.

With 15 studio albums to his name already, Simmonds latest work is the stunning and seductive ‘The Falling Tree’. Lifted from Diffract Records 17-track compilation Rhuba, it is one of many highlights among a superb collection filled with immersive electronica, trip hop, jazzy breakbeats, movie samples, abstract atmospheres, and funky grooves. ‘The Falling Tree’ is one of the most bewitching with its gentle but irresistible groove and soft patter of beats lulling you into a trance as melodies undulate alongside latin flavours, low-slung, bubbling double bass before orchestral bursts and chilling tones create a darker, more sinister atmosphere. It is lush and superbly seductive with its sunken groove and its rich array of colourful sound collages.

Listen to ‘The Falling Tree’ below and Rhuba is here.

El Levtchenko – ‘Hopeton Overton’

We were introduced to Brazilian / American pairing El Levtchenko and their lush, sun-kissed and world encompassing sonic distillations earlier in the summer.

El Levtchenko’s sound is magpie like in the best way possible, their compositions borrow from a world of influences; there’s Cuban guitar music, a touch of hip hop, some Middle Eastern and African influences, funk and soul, and a whole lot of beautiful psychedelia. Their latest single is ‘Hopeton Overton’ and like its predecessor ‘Sunday Social’, has a suitably seasonal sound. A sort of a funk and dub fusion, ‘Hopeton Overton’ brings all the good vibes as it slinks and swaggers along a super seductive groove as a guitar chirps, ripples and twangs amid the hazy, dub-esque echoes. It is a catchy, feel good and vibrant jam that will work its way into your psyche and leave you all the better for it.

Check out the sunny delights of ‘Hopeton Overton’ below:

Luke Hawker – ‘Uno Mono’

Luke Hawker is a musician and producer from Bournemouth on England’s south coast, mixing it up between electronic, downtempo and trip-hop.

Hawker’s latest single ‘Uno Mono’ came to fruition as an attempt to create “Nintendo meets Tame Impala” – he’s arrived there, and a whole lot more. At its core, it is built upon a charming blend of bright synths, seductive grooves and melodic allure. ‘Uno Mono’ danders along a bed of colour synths and playful melodies (that bring to my mind The Specials) with an airy, carefree vibe while more sounds, riffs and frazzled electronics enter the fray. It is measured, melodic and never overdone – everything has its place to which it fits perfectly for an utterly irresistible electronic excursion.

A beautiful charming delight – listen to ‘Uno Mono’ below:


GREYFIELD WOODS – ‘Soulless (feat. CliveTV)’

GREYFIELD WOODS is the solo project of Sam Holloway, raised near Bristol and based in South London.

Taking its name from a woodland near where he grew up, GREYFIELD WOODS create ominous pitch black soundscapes that blend atmospheric post-dubstep and deep grooving trip hop as evidenced by latest single ‘Souless’. Lifted from the album SANKTA LUCIA – inspired by the martyred Saint Lucy, and the Swedish tradition of honouring her to bring light to the dark winter months – it is suitably murky, eerie and subterranean. Stark, minimal production and haunting repetition creates an eerie vibe for a murmuring malaise of beats to usher vocals from CliveTV (Clive Browne) to the fore. That song itself, and vocals thrive amid the sparse, scorched earth tone of the barren atmosphere. ‘Soulless’ is bone-chilling, ominous but also utterly captivating.

Check out ‘Soulless (feat. CliveTV)’ below.

Fold – ‘Concrete Things’

With every given opportunity, Leeds-based Hip-Hop/Trip Hop outfit Foldhave excelled themselves, and proving to be a more than reliable source of incredible music – two LPs, Fold (2015) & We’re The Ones (2019), and a string of singles and EPS are testament to.

Fold are back with a brand new single ‘Concrete Things’; a tribute to African-American playwright Lorraine Hansberry (the first African-American to have a play performed on Broadway back in 1959). ‘Concrete Things’ comes “in defiance of these dark times…in case it might bring joy to anyone,” and sure we all know a wee bit of joy wouldn’t go amiss right now.Featuring vocal samples of Hansberry, ‘Concrete Things’shuffles along seductive union of infectious funky groove and pillowy soft beats amid a lavish blend of glistening strings, warm brass and smooth, soulful vibes. It is bursting with warmth, richness and joyful vibes and it casts one hell of spell upon our ears. Never afraid to speak their minds, they blend a powerful social consciousness with an enviable creativity to mold something thoroughly powerful, unique and memorable; and the new single is no different – simply magnificent!

You can listen to ‘Concrete Things’ below now. And…. Fold’s  back catalogue comes highly recommend so, if you haven’t done so already, you can check that out here.

Alexandros Kilias – ‘My Idea’

Alexandros Kilias is a Greece born, London-based producer who’s music is marked by a diversity of sound, existing as it does in hinterland somewhere between trip-hop, dubstep and electronica.

Killas’ latest single is ‘My Idea’ encapsulates his musical mantra perfectly. It is a beat-driven, deep, bassy sound, with a dark, subterranean vibe; crafted with subtly and a deft touch. Propelled along a slowly swaggering deep bass groove and rumble, its dark and sunken sounds are joined by flourishes of drums, bass and glitchy mastery, with chinks of light and flickers of electronics, and floaty dub tones. While peppered with specks of light, ‘My Idea’ is cloaked with a predominately chilling subterranean vibe, due in no small part to the eerie whispering vocal sample.

Listen to ‘My Idea’ below now.

Fold – ‘Stronger Than the Evils’

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Over the past few years, Leeds-based Hip-Hop/Trip Hop outfit Fold have proven themselves a reliable source of incredible music.

Fold’s 2015 self-titled debut was magnificent, pitting an enviable creativity with a powerful social consciousness to craft something thoroughly powerful, unique and memorable – as was their 2017 EP Written In The Sky.

After a four-year wait, Fold have returned with news of the follow up to their eponymous debut which is penned for release on April 13. Two new singles will precede the album’s release and Fold have shared the first ‘Stronger Than the Evils’, a brilliant and powerful track with Nottingham based MC / beatboxing champion MotorMouF. Fold have always stress a socially-conscious message and that continues as they rail against the many political and social issues, or evils if you prefer, that the world faces today. ‘Stronger Than the Evils’ is a funky-edged hip-hop tune with a irresistible groove and rhythm, laced with ominous blasts of synths, vocal samples and the blistering wordplay and beatbox work from Motormouf. An incredible and irresistible track – roll on April 13 and the new album.

Take a listen to ‘Stronger Than the Evils’ below now:

Dreaming of Islands – ‘Silencio’

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Dreaming of Islands are Ida Gyllensten and Magnus Hedberg, a Swedish duo from Malmö who experiment with a post-rock sound infused with nods to trip hop and dark electro, and their creations are brooding, ominous and beguiling.

The pair’s latest release is ‘Silencio’; an elegant, atmospheric and spectral dose of ethereal electronica. A hypnotic and captivating track, with a powerful dark groove that pulsates with vibrant emotion, dark, mysterious and atmospheric as it goes with the semi-chanted lyrics increasing the primal vibe and enthralling. Beauty and ominous darkness work simultaneously as the semi-chanted lyrics increase the primal vibe as ‘Silencio’ ebbs and flows to an epic crescendo. ‘Silencio’ is an irresistible and entrancing six minutes plus, that quickly locks you under its spell and enthral no end.

Listen to ‘Silencio’ below:

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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