Ah, the self titled LP. Check out this installment of Music We Love for our favourite debut of the week!
Comprising of two guys with some of the most ‘so bad they’re good’ names I’ve ever heard – Danalogue and Beatamax – Soccer96 are ostensibly an electronic act, but Beatamax is a ‘real’ drummer, which lends the self titled album more of an organic feel. It might not just be that; rather than sequencing and looping with MIDI and tweaking in a DAW until everything is just so, the guys prefer to play everything live, recording each track straight to tape.
This does give the LP a somewhat rough and ready sound, with levels bouncing around a little over its runtime, but it often serves to add to the energy and give the feeling leaning more toward live performance than sterile studio session.
Instrumentally the LP is bright and brash, with occasional soft underpinnings and hints at a little darkness lurking. Most tracks manage to combine all three of these aesthetics, not least Call to Arms, whose frenetic drum fills and bright polysynth chords are accompanied by an overdriven vocal and punctuated a deep, ripping bassline.
There are some interesting points sound design wise too – on EarthAttack it sounds like drums are going through a vocoder, and some serious gating and compression throughout helps the drums to feel right at home with the synthesiser dominated LP.
Check the video, check the album, give us your thoughts!
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.
Rumbling low end and arpeggiated synths collide to create a sharp yet pleasing contrast in the new Au Palais EP ‘Tender Mercy’. A snapshot of the sound achieved here would be Depeche Mode crossed with The XX and a lot of reverb.
Au Palais record their music at night and it is reflected in the tone of the EP
Au Palais record their music at night and it is reflected in the tone of the EP. The title track ‘Tender Mercy’ makes excellent use of the low end to provide a ‘dark’ sound, yet its neon vocals transform the atmosphere into a more optimistic feeling. It’s night time, but it’s not neccesarily dark. The sound of ‘Pathos’ reflects its title and moves into darker territory with brooding vocals and eerie synths. ‘Because The Night’ is the standout track for me – an evolving dream like sequence with a driving beat and a lot of tension. The final track, ‘H.o.l.l.a.n.d’ is an instrumental number with bright, swirling chords and a unique squawking synth melody and departs from the darker tone heard previously.
There is a set sound throughout the EP, yet the Canadian duo inject enough creativity to keep it interesting. This, along with the attention to detail and high production value make it a treat to listen to.
This week’s Friday music review is written by the newest writer to the Oh Drat fold, Andrew McHarg.
To All of You, the first LP from French producer Fulgeance, is an eclectic mix of worldwide styles all fused into a record that captivated me from beginning to end. Bass is a central element to all the tracks; standouts ‘Glasgow Lunacy’ and ‘London Falling’ throw the UK sub-bass style, future melodies, robotic vocals and pulsing chords into the pot, resulting in a totally unique take on bass music.
often aggressive, yet with a hint of quirkiness, resulting in an LP full of character
The album not only provides thick, in your face, bass centric tracks, but also treats listeners to a laid back, chordal number -’Hiver Normand’. The track’s ebbing and flowing chords are king here, and whilst the characteristic bass makes an appearance it is in a more subdued voice. Fulgeance often pulls no punches, yet his restraint here highlights the producer’s musical awareness.
To All of You is a credit to Fulgeance, who manages to impressively mix so many styles into a fresh sound. It’s often aggressive, yet with a hint of quirkiness – resulting in an LP full of character that will surely not disappoint.
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.
Smart Bomb is the debut self released LP from Brighton, England based Mute Speaker on his own imprint Liquid Noise Records.
Smart Bomb never stays in a single place long enough to be predictable
It never stays in a single place long enough to be predictable, with the predominant sound set morphing between synths and samples, the energy levels from near ambient tracks to pieces with incredibly heavy drums, and an album wide shift in tone; it starts with a definite eastern flavour, with samples and smatterings of Asian instruments and voices interwoven into arpeggiated, space age electronica, and gradually transforms into a more western sound. Electric pianos, guest emcees in the shape of Invokal and Highfly, and the finale, the guitar led Fractured featuring Amdine… it’s definitely worth your time, and also provides an eloquent answer to a question recently posed at Oh Drat – when would instrumental music benefit from collaborations with vocalists? Smart Bomb’s two vocal tracks both use the collaboration to elevate what would otherwise be two much less interesting pieces.
In Profisee’s Logan’s Run EP, an almost bizarre melding of pop and darker electronic styles creates a schizophrenic, unsettling pace to the EP, but at the same time makes for a refreshing listen.
melding of pop and darker electronic styles creates a schizophrenic, unsettling pace to the EP
The Vienna sampling This Means is possibly the EP’s finest moment, with its post industrial drones creating a bleak atmosphere just before moving into Why Today, the EP’s closer, and the mood becomes lighter, despite loss being the focus. Curiously they are the only two tracks on the EP produced by the same person, Scharkz, yet the EP has a coherent sound as a whole with contributions from S-Type, Poirer, and Process Rebel. It’s definitely worth the free download…
Richard Shaw by Ryan Hemsworth – or is it the other way round… no, no, definitely right – is a dark instrumental, charged with suspense and enigma and dealing an explosive payoff.
a dark instrumental, charged with suspense and enigma and dealing an explosive payoff
The sinister video hints at an ominous narrative which marries the audio perfectly – it’s a guesswork horror, with enough intimation of a story to give the track extra credence.
Richard Shaw (which is the track, not the artist, don’t forget…) is also a part of Galactique Recordings Compilation III, which throws together a variety of electronic compositions, from the upbeat stylings of Birds to the somnolent future garage of Mike Din.
Featuring Jay Electronica and, interestingly, Lucy Liu as Amelia Sparks, this glassy electronica from The Bullitts is a refreshing mix of spoken word – Liu’s monologue is chopped up and used throughout the track, an airy vocal, and a verse by emcee Jay Electronica, who is on top form with his overflowing style.
It’s good to see imaginative and creative music with somewhat scant regard for genre
The squeamish should perhaps beware that the video is based on footage of the classic surrealist film Un Chien Andalou, including that bit with the eye. In a similar vein to previous Bullitts work, which re-imagines classic TV themes with original vocals, the theme to Close Your Eyes manages to feel like a commentary to the film.
It’s good to see imaginative and creative music with somewhat scant regard for genre – check it out…