Review: Last year, NYC based revivalist "gospel quartet" group the Harlem Gospel Travelers finally made their vinyl debut album after five years wowing audiences on the live circuit. 12 months later, they're finally ready to release their first full-length excursion. A nostalgic trip through 1950s and 1960s style gospel-based rhythms and blues, soul, funk and doo-wop, the album's greatest strength - aside from the authenticity of the music and production of course - is the group's incredible vocals. Brilliantly arranged harmonies play a big part, though the lead vocals (shared between all four members) are little less than stunning.
Review: Fragments' was created by using a method of composition James has been perfecting, where he takes small pieces of unreleased music that he has written stretching over the last 10 years, and runs them through different modes and methods of granular stretching and FFT processing. In some cases, the original audio source was no longer than 20-30 seconds long.
Review: Fallen Moon is four stunning and ethereal movements created by Nick Turner, AKA Tyresta. Nick utilized modular synthesizers, tape manipulation, effects pedals, and a mellotron to create this collection of compositions during spring of 2019.
The Stars In Your Head & The Earth Beneath Your Feet
Heron Song (He Waits In The Fog)
Meager Smiles For A Better Tomorrow
Review: Hidden Amongst the Trees and Foothills' was recorded this past spring during what I would describe as a very weird time for me. I was experiencing a constant sense of isolation and feeling disconnected with both myself and others. Playing guitar has been a constant source of peace for me and these are some tracks that came out of this difficult period. Looking back now, I feel like I'm in a different, better place now. I hope this music will bring peace to others just as it has done for me.
Review: Pattern' is a new, two song slow burner by Japanese sound artist duenn. This album is an hour long sonic journey bathed in shimmering reflections with a profound sense of stillness and quietude.
Review: Orchestral Tape Studies is a compilation arranged and produced by healing sound propagandist, ??. OTS is a group of richly layered movements of fragmented orchestral loops, paying homage to minimalist symphonic composers and orchestras. ?? incorporates field recordings and faint drone billows to accompany these selected samples of orchestral loops. With an emphasis on tone and recurrent murmurs, these four arrangements offer 32 minutes of delicate repetition, reticent sound treatments, and subtle manipulations. OTS is intended for low-volume listening.
Review: The following collection of songs is an attempt at expressing something from which much of our generation seems to be suffering: exhaustion. It is difficult to keep up with current events and, at the same time, keep your sanity intact, and each one of these songs was written at a time during which I felt absolutely overwhelmed; however, in writing them, I found a deep sense of comfort, too.
Review: Chicago-based ambient producer Nick Turner (Tyresta) reworked the entire OTS album by zake (??). Nick used his Mellotron M4000D Micro, Fender Jazzmaster, Strymon Timeline Delay, and a Strymon BigSky Reverb to complement and beautifully transform the original OTS arrangements.
Review: Secretsundaze return with a second volume of their new mixtape series. After the success of the Joe Claussell tape they turn to Carista for another introspective mix aimed at a relaxed home-listening session.
In May 2018, Carista performed one of her first international gigs at Secretsundaze in London and went on to play 2 other shows for them that year. A year later, she has become a mainstay on the European club & festival circuit, playing to an ever growing, passionate and loyal fanbase week in week out, already playing shows that most DJs would only dream of, including closing a stage at Lowlands festival to an audience of 10000. No wonder a recent Mixmag article crowned her as "A DJ star in the making".
Her residencies on NTS and Red Light Radio showcase her love of house, boogie, broken beat, disco, funk and beyond. Her DJ gigs can also see her explore further into house and techno but this mixtape showcases a different, softer side of Carista blending ambient soundscapes, jazz, dub and soul as well as some poignant words from Nina Simone.
This is Carista's debut physical format release so don't sleep!
Review: "Father Of The Bride", Vampire Weekend's first album for six long years, has been receiving praise across the board from critics. It's been variously described as a "modern California pop masterpiece", a "scrapbook of brilliant ideas" and "the band's magnum opus". To our ears, it's certainly joyous and celebratory, with the acclaimed New York band wrapping their usual punchy-indie pop in subtle and not so subtle nods towards everything from Flamenco and Country music, to mournful piano ballads, excitable electronic indie-dance and 1960s baroque pop. In other words, it's a giddy collection of inventive, enjoyable songs that boasts the same eclectic, anything-goes swagger as the Beatles "White Album" or other similar wide-ranging sets.
Review: We're now over thirty years on from the era in which the Reid brothers were a headline and riot creating hype machine, yet if 'Damage And Joy' proves one anything, it's that the strange cocktail of insouciance and nihilism with which they made their reputation is an evergreen thing. This collection of surprisingly upbeat garage-rockers and languid ballads is carved in the same alluring classicist shapes that the brothers have made their trademark, yet the band - aided and abetted by collaborators like Sky Ferreira and Isobel Campbell - sound alarmingly vivacious for ones who've made their name through narcotic cool, whilst these songs bear an indelible imprint of melodic charm and three-chord rawness.
Review: An integral figure on the Motor City scene for the best part of two decades, Specter has always been a particularly prolific producer. Built To Last - appearing on Theo Parrish's significant Sound Signature label - is his first album-length excursion. It offers an expansive summary of his inspirations and influences - many will notice subtle nods towards local deep house, techno and electro heroes, as well as more experimental synthesizer music, off-kilter electronic jazz-funk, deep space dub and eyeliner-clad early '80s synth-wave - while also showcasing a trademark sound that's every bit as dusty, warm, loose and lo-fi as his lauded Detroit peers.
Review: Hot Chip are back! The coolest dudes since Devo return like a monkey with a miniature cymbal with their seventh full length album. With vocoding effects layered over the sweet tone of Alexis Taylor's voice referencing all matter of contemporary and retro-active pop and trance sensibilities, this album once again sees Hot Chip at the front of pioneering, friendly and avant garde pop music. Produced by the late Philippe Zdar (one half of Cassius) - also responsible for applying award winning touches to albums by Phoenix and Cat Power, Domino is calling the record "a celebration of joy but recognises the struggle it can take to get to that point of happiness". Our tips: album opener "Melody Of Love" and the '80s trance-pop that is "Hungry Child".
Review: When bands hit album four, two things can happen - or three. Some suffer from a crisis of creativity, opting to regurgitate or, worse still, stagnate. Others opt for reinvention, with as many getting it right as going well off-piste, alienating faithful fans in the process. The lucky ones, meanwhile, hit the nail on the head with their most accomplished and complete work to date. Consider Frankie Cosmos among the lucky ones, then, not that luck had much to do with it. Recorded in their New York hometown, everything about the record feels comfortable in that there's nothing forced, and yet it engages and grabs from the off. Lilting, lo-fi rock 'n' roll odes to love, life and the genre itself, anyone who's ever wondered what Cate Le Bon might sound like having a pancake breakfast with The Orielles should grab a seat at this table.