Daniel Brandt – ‘Sailboats III’

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London and Berlin based producer Daniel Brandt has shared new single ‘Sailboats III’, ahead of his album Channels, released on October 12th.

Brandt is a producer with preference for ambient electronic soundscapes with a techno-core, often down-tempo, moody and deeply atmospheric – they are in no way listless – these are late night / early morning jams with an emphasis on mood, groove and rhythm. Capturing this essence perfectly is Brandt’s new single ‘Sailboats III’. An immersive jaunt through a world of minimal ambient electronics with clean, crisp beats and rich textures which create dark atmospheres, emotion and a feeling of venturing into the unknown. Propelled on a pulsating bass line it is a vivid, vital and versatile; it is suited to late night club or home environs. A deeply enthralling and transfixing experience, ‘Sailboats III’ is a mesmerizing introduction to his forthcoming album Channels.

Listen to ‘Sailboats III’ below.

Warning Light – ‘Little Hearts, Big (Interludes)’

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With a decade’s worth of work already to his name, Warning Light is to release new album At The End Of The Road on October 27, the culmination of three years graft.

Said to herald a sprawling return to his ambient roots, a deep synthesizer trip to the end of all charted spaces; the first single from the forthcoming record, ‘Little Hearts, Big (Interludes)’, certainly backs up that assertion. An exhilarating six-plus-minutes, it is spearheaded by minimalist analogue drones interlaced with pulsing techno rhythms, accented by spacey dub and motorik psychedelia, before eventually becoming consumed by waves of glistening chimes. An all consuming, immersive and hypnotic blurring of electronic genres. Without doubt, one of the most enticing, intriguing and dynamic songs you are likely to hear and needless to say, Warning Light is a producer at the peak of his powers.

New album At The End Of The Road is out on October 27, for now, enjoy the quite frankly stunning ‘Little Hearts, Big (Interludes)’ below.

Micronism – ‘Engaging Causeless Mercy’

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‘Engaging Causeless Mercy’ is the second single from the re-mastered re-release Inside A Quiet Mind by New Zealand artist & producer, Micronism.

Apparently dating from 1998 (though entirely new to me) the album was created over two years in bedrooms in Morningside, Kingsland, Mt Eden (NZ) & Brisbane (Australia). Now, almost 20 years later, Micronism (aka Denver McCarthy) is re-releasing a re-mastered version of the album. The tracks are synth dominated, with a sound that falls somewhere between electro/synth, minimal-techno and chilled ambient. Everything with ‘Engaging Causeless Mercy’is head-noddingly mellow, yet transfixing as sounds wash over you waves, in a rather warm and mildly euphoric way. Very pleased to become acquainted with this record, albeit two decades later, it still sounds fantastic!

Check out ‘Engaging Causeless Mercy’ below. The album meanwhile, Inside A Quiet Mind will be released digitally & on Double LP, July 21, 2017. Order it here.

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.

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.

Applescal – ‘Harmony Two’

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Dutch producer, Pascal Terstappen aka Applescal, has long been a firm favourite in these parts. Terstappen’s output thus far has been nothing short of masterly. Always a marriage of both quality and quantity, he’s rarely left us waiting around too long for something new and exciting to listen to, and that’s the way we like it.

On that subject, Applescal is back with a brand new track ‘Harmony Two’, and it is a tune! It is a deep, dark beast of slow burning techno with hard-edged analogue beats, it twists and it turns, delving into deeper and darker sonic terrains. Delivered with pin point accuracy, it expertly exudes an atmosphere of suspense and tension, that builds and transfixes to a glorious climactic finish. ‘Harmony Two’ sounds menacing and threatening, dangerous even. It would be a perfect soundtrack to companion a no-nonsense ’80s action hero, who, against all the odds and the clock battles to save the world. Snake Plissken would dig this shit.

Lifted from a new Atomnation Records compilation, Unfold, Applescal’s new one sits alongside David Douglas & Young Montana?, Koett, Olaf Stuut, Dauwd, Sau Poler, Gidge and more. The whole record deserves much further investigation, it’ll be worth the time. You can check it out here.

 

 

Millions Like Us Podcast – Episode #12

 

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We’re thrilled to share yet another Millions Like Us Podcast with you all. It’s great to back with the latest in a series of music podcasts hosted by Justin & I, in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now.

On a bi-weekly basis we aim to provide  some lively and entertaining chat mixed with an eclectic selection of fabulous music from metro Vancouver and elsewhere. There’s plenty in there, well over an hour in fact, of great tunes and plenty of chat.

You can read more on it over here and of course, listen below (and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump too). You can subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

2016 has been good to us so far, so thanks for all the support thus far and once again, thanks for listening! We hope you enjoy Episode #12. And last but not least, thanks to Caroline for the super image.

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BarryGruff Albums of the Year (2015)

BGs Albums of the year 2015So it is that time of year again, lists, lists and more lists. Well, not be out done, here are my 41 (yes 41, and yes it’s a weird number) albums of 2015.

It has been such a good year for new albums, probably the best since I started the blog back in 2010. So much so that there is very little difference between the top 5, top 10, top 15 and so on. So without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2015:

There is also a Spotify playlist of the Top 20 albums, to save you time and hassle (it’s here).

41. Only Real – Jerk At The End of the Line’

40. Rozi Plain – ‘Friend’

39. Wildling – ‘Molecules To Moon’

38. The School – ‘Wasting Away And Wondering’

37. Sweet Baboo – ‘Boombox Ballads’

36. The Stammer – ‘Days In Between’

35. SexWitch – Sex Witch’

34. Faith Healer – ‘Cosmic Troubles’

33. Girl Band – ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’

32. Joanna Gruesome – ‘Peanut Butter’

31. Fort Romeau – ‘Insides

30. Soft Serve – ‘S/t’

29. Applescal – ‘For’

28. Zefur Wolves – ‘Zefur Wolves’

27. Hot Chip – ‘Why Make Sense?’

26. Drenge – ‘Undertow’

25. The Charlatans – ‘Modern Nature’

24. Gaz Coombes – ‘Matador’

23. Bill Ryder-Jones – ‘West Kirby County Primary’

22. Drinks – ‘Hermits on Holiday’

21. The Expert – Dynamic Drift

20. Boxed In – ‘Boxed In’

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Introducing: Primitive World

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Primitive World is the latest moniker of UK producer Sam Willis, one half of critically acclaimed London-based electronic outfit Walls, whom under his own name also released a solo album – 2012′s hypnotic Winterval – without a doubt, one of that year’s finest records.

Since then however, he’s been furtively working away as Primitive World. Under his new alias, Willis has already chalked up a couple of EP’s and his latest, Ascension is a four-tracks of subtle, nuanced and transfixing, dancefloor minded, techno influenced music. Heavy on mood, texture and atmosphere with relentless oscillations and skittering percussion bending you to its mighty will, leaving you utterly powerless to resist it’s tempting allure. Although everything is delivered with a pin point accuracy, it has a grainy and dusty feel. As with Willis’ previous work, Ascension is an entirely magnificent triumph. It is very, very nice to Willis back.

You listen to some choice cuts from the EP below and you can stream/purchase Ascension here.

Albums Roundup: By The Sea, Second Storey & The #1s

 

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Back again with a few more albums that have been keeping me occupied over the past while.

Second Storey – ‘Double Divide’

Formerly going by the name Al Tourettes, London-based Alec Storey began life as Second Storey in 2013 with his Margosa Heights EP. Released but a few weeks ago, his debut LP, Double Divide, is a revelation. Both rich and complex in equal measure, it is steeped in electronic experimentation. Double Divide is a hybrid of styles and influences, shifting from a dreamy ambient side, while others clearly leaning towards the dancefloor, and back again. It success lies in finding a balance, a sweet one at that, between atmospheric soundscapes and ones more at home at a hedonistic club. An album of contrasts, it’s in its infectious, often unusual rhythms too, that binds the entire LP together. A finely crafted debut and an absolutely thrilling listening experience from start to finish.

By The Sea – ‘Endless Days, Crystal Sky’

With their second LP, we find By The Sea sounding bigger and fuller than ever before, as they expanded and refined their wistful yet driven psych-pop undulations. ‘Endless Days, Crystal Sky’ is a magnificent collection of melodic guitar pop songs, illuminated by drifting, dreamlike atmospherics, jangling guitars and bubbly bass. This is an album which should sit proudly with many of the greatest records to emerge from the banks of the Mersey. While the influences are worm well, the understated and shimmering synth work adds a more modern veneer to this retro fitted piece of dreamy indie-pop. This scintillating dreamy indie-pop is sometimes propulsive while punctuated by world-weary vocals, imbued with an aching sense of melancholy, creating a great sense of both depth and warmth. While unquestionably excellent, By The Sea’s debut managed a cult success, released back in August, the Wirral 5-piece’s follow-up deserves far greater acclaim and attention.

The #1s – The #1s

This foursome have been knocking around Dublin for a couple of years now, as The #1s and their various other groups like Cheap Freaks, the Pacifics, and Cian Nugent & the Cosmos. Their seasoned status shines through spectacularly on their self-titled debut, a short and snappy blend of racy punk, power-pop and lo-fi that owes a certain debt to Northern punk bands of the mid-to-late ’70s, like Rudi, The Outcasts and The Undertones. The #1s wear their influences well and openers, ‘I Wish I Was Lonely’, ‘Sixteen’ and ‘Heartsmash’, leave you in no doubt that were headed to a bouncy punk scene from 35 years ago. Frantic and fast paced, it’s all over before you know it, in under 20 minutes in fact but no sooner has it finished and you’ll be hitting play once again. Combing all the finest ingredients, it’s bratty and fun, raw yet tender and simultaneously sugary sweet and sour, they’ve come up trumps with a master class in power-pop punk, and a thrilling debut.