I have to admit that prior to getting put onto this track, I hadn’t heard of Filastine, but now I’m definitely a fan. A standout characteristic of the man’s style, especially evident in Gendjer2, is a convincing marriage of traditional acoustic instruments and modern electronic sounds, the two elements working in harmony rather than – as is so often the case – fighting each other for the limelight.
Gendjer2 is a worthy reminder that there’s more to production than tearing synths and more to song structure than figuring out ways to get to the ‘drop’, and so our recommendation for the day is to take a leaf from Filastine’s book and use some more acoustic sounds in your productions…
When it comes to recommending new music – and that’s what our music posts are all about here on Oh Drat, we only post things we think will give you inspiration – there’s little better than a label sampler in our book. [pullquote]Instead of one new artist, a label sampler is like a seed that branches out into a veritable harvest of new artists to get to know and love[/pullquote] Instead of one new artist, a label sampler is like a seed that branches out into a veritable harvest of new artists to get to know and love, but a seed that continues to give after all the fruit from the current crop’s been plucked. Number Line Records is new to us, but we’ll certainly be keeping up with them from now on as their second sampler features a superb blend of electronic and acoustic artists, from the feedback swamped, reverb drenched guitar licks of Pious Kiss by Manuel Nicolas Alvero are perfectly underpinned by some electronic toms and cowbells, before drifting out into the ether. The change of pace with Tarsius’s housey Deathless Gods came at just the right time to assure me that the release would span both pace and genre, and following the grungey, garage band stylings of PNP’s Plant a Tree is another change of pace into a more acoustic themed, noisily mic’d, somehow tactile final third.
We really like this one. A combination of poignant, noisy recordings of acoustic instruments meshed with eloquent, mood driving electronica, Zorya has a sophisticated air granted by the quality of both the recording and the compositional finesse it possesses.
Zorya has a sophisticated air
The percussion-less tracks, like Mecholup, are truly enthralling, whilst the rhythm led pieces generate energy between the the sways. Following the link through to Floex’s Bandcamp also reveals a CD and LP version available for pre-order – something we’re always impressed by.
This LP from DD-214 caught my attention due to the excellent purchasing options available for it. Digital distribution is a largely soulless experience, as much of a necessity as it is. However when self releasing physical products, we can embrace the individuality and freedom that doing it brings. DD 2-14 will ship with bonus materials, personalised and unique, and to both us as artists and fans that buy it, a special bond is created to the music when this kind of care is taken over it.
a special bond is created to the music when this kind of care is taken over it
Aside from any clever or endearing product packages, the LP is genuinely creative. The title track takes bass heavy, future garage and dubstep sounds and uncompromisingly pushes them in DD 2-14′s own direction, whilst other tracks take their own path, from the guitar laden Swamp Ichor demonstrating acoustic sounds to the frenetic bounce of the opener.
When Space Equator got in touch to tell me about his latest project, the nature of it piqued my interest. Drawing a line under things, purging, and then washing your hands is a really important process in artistry, and yet many of us, including myself, are terribly guilty of doing the opposite. It’s all too easy to lose objectivity when creating, and treat the entire process of creation as if it is itself the product we strive towards.
Without the critical fortitude to just ‘stop’, we can end up overwriting the creative processes that occurred at the inception of a project
Without the critical fortitude to just ‘stop’, we can end up overwriting the creative processes that occurred at the inception of a project. In short, out with the old and in with the new, and that’s exactly what Space Equator’s done with Winter Through Spring, an EP of not entirely ‘finished’ work released to free his mind of from its constraints. It’s still great of course, with an eclectic mix of melody and atmosphere driven tracks created with a range of instruments whose individual acoustic qualities complement each other perfectly…
Of all the independent offerings I hear across genres, blues and soul may just be the style with the with the strongest overall quality. Is it because of the requisite musicianship – a point which may be why conversely there are so many disposable ‘beat tape’ projects around?
Of all the independent offerings I hear across genres, blues and soul may just be the style with the with the strongest overall quality
I think it’s as good a guess as any, and perhaps it’s a wakeup call not necessarily for sample chopping artists to delve into music theory, but for artists of all disciplines to peer over the fence and see what they can learn to improve the quality of their art, from the feel for rhythm and texture that a sampling artist hones so well to the sense of composition and narrative melody that a jazz musician masters.
Illustrating my point, certainly about quality blues, is this delicate, somewhat dark yet seductive number from Cherri Prince. Misery’s peculiar allure is illustrated perfectly in the song’s noir tone and its vampy video… Cherri’s forthcoming full length project certainly looks like it will certainly be worth keeping an ear out for.
Despite its recent release, Sheila K Cameron’s From My Room is believable as a piece performed decades ago. Cameron’s misty vocal leads a soulful acoustic recording, with a hint of wizened melancholy and an expert use of pacing drawing you in to its brief running time.
From My Room is believable as a piece performed decades ago
The difference between music that is performed in a timeless style compared to that which just apes the characteristics of music from eras gone by is night and day – the difference between charm and flattery. An important lesson, perhaps, to take heed of when consolidating your influences (as I wrote about recently here); often what at first glance appears to be the characterful aspects of a piece are merely superficial, and the soul of a piece is much deeper.
As the post Christmas malaise drizzles over the neither-here-nor-there interval between Christmas and New Year, our abused bodies (lumping my lax attitudes to nutrition into a collective ‘we’ makes me feel better about doing it, sorry) start to give us signs that perhaps it’s time to get our act together, and the precarious pile of black bags by the bins that are never collected properly over festive period seem to look at us in disgust, it’s advisable to have something to cleanse one’s palate to hand.
sleepy, acoustic folk with a tranquillisingly audible noise floor
Courage, by Redwings, is one of those palate cleansers; sleepy, acoustic folk with a tranquillisingly audible noise floor, it’s the perfect oasis between the gaudy Christmas radio and New Year’s yells…
Maverick Sabre, the man you may recently have heard on the chorus of Professor Green’s Jungle, has a new 10 track mixtape available for free download.
Run To The Roof, the mixtape’s opener, sets the stage for the entire set as its stark and aggressive landscape morphs into a subtly optimistic and graceful two step.
more than capable of maintaining an entire track, indeed the mixtape showcases Sabre’s versatility as a singer, guitarist, and sometime emcee.
Of the ten tracks, three feature guests; from emcees Footsie, Macca, and my favourite, Wretch 32 on the lead single Sometimes. It’s heartening to see that Maverick Sabre is more than capable of maintaining an entire track, and indeed the mixtape showcases Sabre’s versatility as a singer, guitarist, and sometime emcee.
The strengths of the set come from Sabre’s songwriting skills, drawing on his childhood move from London to Ireland, personal experiences and societal observations, and even the love song of Let Me Show You – the wide variety of genre on display mean that there’ll likely be something to your taste, if not every track.
Length and track count is spot on, as Sabre abstains from many artists’ often overwhelming habit of over-filling their mixtapes – indeed, in many ways it’s only the demo tape sound to some of the tracks that belie an album quality release. All the more impressive, then, that’s it’s a free download.
Elan Tamara’s equal parts haunting, delicate and playful singing and songwriting style make for compelling listening on her sophomore EP Shadows, out now on Bokkle. The piano led instrumentation combines bold melody with ethereal bridge and background work, trading blows then caresses with the percussion as it swells and subsides in waves.
Elan Tamara’s equal parts haunting, delicate and playful singing and songwriting style make for compelling listening
The mastery of stereo field creates an ever evolving world to get lost in for the 20 minutes of this lovely EP, an experience I enjoy repeating again and again.