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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » indie


Chillwave: a momentary microgenre that ushered in the age of nostalgia

Delivered... Emilie Friedlander | Scene | Wed 21 Aug 2019 11:59 am

In a summer riven by financial meltdown, a niche trend for lo-fi retro pop couldn’t have seemed more trivial. Yet it was the first sign of a generation fleeing to the past to escape a bleak future

When I think of the so-called “summer of chillwave”, I remember sitting at a desk in a giant office in midtown Manhattan, shivering in the air conditioning and listening to songs about the beach. It was June 2009 – the summer after the sub-prime mortgage collapse had precipitated what was then the largest single-day point drop in Dow Jones history – and I was a recent graduate, working an entry-level temp job in the library of a corporate law firm. Whenever I wasn’t helping summer associates (or secretly updating my music blog), I was listening to Sun Was High (So Was I), a shoddily recorded love song full of fried guitar chords and easy-breezy rhymes by a little-known Los Angeles rock band called Best Coast fronted by stoner Bethany Cosentino. At a time when I couldn’t stop worrying about the future, its apparent effortlessness was soothing, like a blurred dispatch from an endless teenage beach hang where all you have to worry about is the sand getting in your fries and your crush not returning your texts: “Watched the cars go by / The sun was high / And so was I.”

It was the first song to give me that sensation. By the following month, it had a name. “Feel like I might call it ‘chill wave’ music in the future,” proclaimed the pseudonymous blogger Carles in a 27 July post on Hipster Run-Off, writing in character as the microgenre-obsessed creator of an mp3 blog that doubled as a satire of the proudly amateurish music writing bubbling up at the time. The tag described a new crop of melodic dream-pop artists such as Washed Out, Neon Indian, and Memory Cassette – artists that on paper were very different from a rock group like Best Coast, with an emphasis on cheesy-sounding old synths, vintage drum machines and an expressively degraded, echo-and-reverb-laden production aesthetic. But the spirit of the music – its delirious lo-fidelity, its fondness for the obsolete formats of our youth – was the same: “Feel like chillwave is supposed to sound like something that was playing in the background of ‘an old VHS cassette that u found in ur attic from the late 80s/early 90s,’” Carles wrote.

Related: Pop 2.0: how globalised music created a new kind of star

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‘So flawed and problematic’: why the term ‘world music’ is dead

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Wed 24 Jul 2019 10:00 am

Artists, record labels and even this month’s Womad festival agree that the term is outdated. Is there a better way to market music from across the globe?

Ask most musicians what genre they play and you’ll likely get a prickly response. As one well-known, and slightly tipsy, jazz musician once told me: “If you all stopped obsessing about me playing ‘jazz’, maybe I would be playing festival stages rather than tiny clubs by now.” But while there have been meandering debates about jazz during its long history, another genre has become far more contentious in recent years: world music.

Dreamed up in a London pub in 1987 by DJs, record producers and music writers, it was conceived as a marketing term for the greater visibility of newly popularised African bands, following the success of Paul Simon’s Johannesburg-recorded Graceland the year before. “It was all geared to record shops. That was the only thing we were thinking about,” DJ Charlie Gillett, one of the pub-goers, told the Guardian in 2004. The group raised £3,500 from 11 independent labels to begin marketing “world music”to record stores. “It was the most cost-effective thing you could imagine,” said record producer Joe Boyd. “£3,500 and you get a whole genre – and a whole section of record stores today.”

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Hidden gems on the 2019 Glastonbury lineup

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Wed 26 Jun 2019 2:47 pm

Bewildered by the hundreds of acts at Glastonbury? The Guardian’s music editors pick the best names from lower down the bill

The must-see musical experience of the weekend is this brand-new stage from the Block9 crew, whose club spaces routinely provide the festival’s best after-hours moments. IICON will have artists playing from a giant sculpture of a head, and they’re a who’s who of cutting-edge electronics: galaxy-cartographer Larry Heard, dub geniuses Raime, thunderously angry poet Moor Mother, junglist poet Lee Gamble, South African pairing Okzharp and Manthe Ribane, and tons of forward-thinking techno: Bruce, Zenker Brothers, Karenn and more. Sleep all day, bring a carrier bag of falafels, and you could happily spend your entire weekend here.

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WH Lung: Incidental Music review – dynamic synth-pop hums with life

Delivered... Michael Hann | Scene | Fri 5 Apr 2019 10:30 am

(Melodic)

You could be forgiven for thinking you’ve heard something very like WH Lung’s debut album before, in the not too distant past. Incidental Music offers insistent, driving, pulsing rhythms across long songs. Marching synthesisers move those songs along, picking up the pace and tying it all together. There are wails of guitar, a high, slightly quavering lead voice and a sense that this is psychedelia reconfigured for modern times: anxious, not beatific. It is, to be frank, not a million miles from what Hookworms were doing before their split.

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From Ukraine, a compilation to resist normality and go braindance

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Thu 4 Apr 2019 5:02 pm

The letters titling the release spell out, in Cyrllic, “sh**s.” And more than just another dull compilation, this collection of tracks is a statement – in opposition to commercialism and homogeny, in favor of “braindance” weirdness.

The earnest voices of the ШЩЦ creators intone their explanation in an ‘intro’ track you get with the download. “We have power to … make it not commercial, to make it true, to make it native,” they explain – “emotional music, true music from true people.” 23 artists were picked out of hundreds, and the result is a pay-what-you-will Bandcamp release plus a DVD physical copy. (Just got a confirmation – the DVD I impulse-bought is coming in the mail. This should complete my antiquated release format bingo, alongside floppies and game cartridges and VHS tapes and so on….)

ШЩЦ is a party in Kyiv as well as this first music release, and so in addition to lots of new names, you’ll see the likes of Stanislav Tolkachev. The collective itself is based in the capital city, but connects a group from around the country.

You’ll find some magical and surprising arrangements here. And in an age that so often trends between molasses-thick irony and nostalgia on one hand, or dark dystopia on the other, this is music that that’s free, experimental, and optimistic. Just to name a few favorites, and I like this top to bottom – Xtal’s “A-Body” shimmers with cascades of glistening tunes across a frosty-rich percussion bed. Sztvo’s “Heaton” is equally gorgeous, sunlit-warm stuff. “Famergame” is total insanity, by Potreba – please, please DJ with this and invite me. Jubex “Pass In The Dust” feels almost like the Detroit-Kyiv electro connection, with some dry digital newness thrown in. “Hibernation” by S+ is frenetic and urgent. And yeah, Tolkachev’s contribution sounds like there was a transporter accident on the disco floor. Everywhere there are rhythms that range from frantic digital streams to dorky awkward irregularity.

We’ve heard these timbres and rhythms before, but to me ШЩЦ is a sign that what was once high-falutin’ computer craft has become downright punk – and just as easy and spontaneous, rather than sounding overworked or off-putting.

Ukraine now post-revolution is like UK 90s, they argue. But hey, UK or not, why not go oldschool by making connections just by putting together some tracks and being decidedly weird. More of that, please.

“Listen on Bandcamp … and also, wherever in Internet.”

Word.

http://ssshitsss.bandcamp.com/album/various-artists-01

I also dig that their description reads like a manifesto:

ШЩЦ (SHITS) is a new Ukrainian label that started as a club night in December 2016. It was founded by A-Body, Bodya Konakov and their friends and promotes ‘Braindance’ — a much loved and misunderstood genre of electronic music, forgotten by some and indeed new to others, especially in Ukraine. Label founders want to show a kind of ‘family’ of ukrainian artists (by no means a monopoly) who introducing more freedom and versatility to music. These artists feel that there is a void in the country’s dance music that few were attempting to fill so ШЩЦ (SHITS) aims to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Ukrainian braindance music can be entirely original. Also, it disregards the all-to-common commercial genres and wants to show alternative side of dance music.

They tries to demonstrate this in VARIOUS ARTISTS ШЩЦ01, a DVD compilation.

The compilation features 23 musicians from Ukraine, which makes innovative, but at the same time emotional music. This is the friends of the label who have repeatedly performed at concerts and parties of the ШЩЦ (SHITS), including such names as Stanislav Tolkachev, A-Body, Wulffius, Potreba, Sommer, Tofudj, Sasha Very, Acid Jordan, etc.

Also label places equal importance on the evolution of fresh artists on the scene and aims to offer a fair contract for everyone.

The post From Ukraine, a compilation to resist normality and go braindance appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Two free plug-ins and a music label take you into ambient worlds

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Thu 28 Mar 2019 6:42 pm

What’s to say a music idea can’t be both a tool and a tape, an instrument someone could play or an album they can get lost in? Puremagnetik are launching their new experimental label with two free tools that let you keep the drones and grains and ambient soundscapes flowing.

There’s a bunch of hype this week because Warner Music signed an algorithm. And in turn with everyone abusing the term “AI,” you might well think that a computer has automated a composer’s job. Except that’s not what happened – in the long tradition of algorithmic music, a group of composers applied their ideas to the development of software. One of the first apps launched for the iPhone, in fact, was the Brian Eno – Peter Chilvers “Bloom.” Endel has more in common with Bloom, I’d argue, than it does some dystopia where unseen, disembodied AI come to rob you of your lucrative ambient music recording contract. (At least, we’re not there yet. Endel is here in Berlin; I hope to talk to them soon – what they’ve done sounds very interesting, and maybe not quite what the press have reported.) Bloom in turn was a follow-up to Eno’s software-based generative music releases. Ableton co-founders Gerhard and Robert released software in the 90s, too.

So let’s talk about the role of musician as blurred with the role of instrument builder. Soundware and software shop Puremagnetik is made by musicians; founder Micah Frank was moonlighting in sound design for others as he worked on his own music. While this may come as shocking news to some, it turns out for many people, selling music tools is often a better day job than selling music or music performances. (I hope you were sitting down for that bombshell. Don’t tell my/your/anyone’s parents.)

But there are many ways to express something musically. Many of us who love tools as we do love playing live and recording and listening do so because all of these things embody sound and feeling.

It’s fitting, then, that Puremagnetik are launching their own record label to house some of the recorded experiments – Puremagnetik Tapes, which already has some beautiful music on cassette and as digital downloads.

And the perfect companion to those albums is these two free plug-ins. Like the label, they promise a trip for the mind.

The two first tapes (also available as digital)… gorgeous sound worlds to lose yourself in on loop.

The label announces it will focus on “experimental, ambient and acousmatic music.” That already yields two enchanting ambient forays. “Into a Bright Land” is in turns crystalline and delicate, warm and lush as a thick blanket. It’s Micah Frank himself, releasing under his Larum moniker. The musical craft is a digital-analog hybrid, part synths and tape machines – the kind the company has been known for sampling in its sound work – and partly Micah’s intricate custom coding work in the free environment Csound.

https://puremagnetik.com/collections/tapes/products/larum-into-a-bright-land

To accompany Into a Bright Land, there’s the plug-in “Expanse,” a “texture generator,” with a combination of “texture tone” filter, spectral blurring, adjustable pitch shift, and a healthy supply of noise generation and space.

Its drones and sonic landscapes draw from that same world.

Tyler Gilmore aka BlankFor.ms has crafted “Works for Tape and Piano,” pushing each instrument to its most vulnerable place, the tape itself becoming instrument, sounding almost as if at the point of a beautiful breakdown.

https://puremagnetik.com/collections/tapes/products/blankfor-ms-works-for-tape-and-piano

Since you can’t just borrow Tyler’s tape machines and such, Driftmaker is a digital equivalent – a “delay disintegration” device. Add your own audio, and the plug-in will model analog deterioration. The artist himself supplies the presets. Again, you have plenty of control – “parse” which sets the record buffer, “chop” which determines how much to recall, and then controls for delay, modulation, filtering, and wet/dry.

Both plug-ins are free with an email address or Gumroad login.

…and the plug-ins, each created to aesthetically accompany the albums.

There’s a pattern here, though. Far from a world where artists remove themselves from craft or automate the hard work, here, artists relish in getting close to everything that makes sound. They make music the hard way because each element of DIY is fun. And then they share that same fun. It might well be the opposite of the narrative we’re given about AI and automation (and I suspect that may also mean artists don’t approach machine learning for music in the way some people currently predict).

Or, well, even if you don’t believe that, I think you’ll easily lose whole evenings with these albums and plug-ins alike.

Details:

https://puremagnetik.com/blogs/news/two-free-plugins-expanse-driftmaker

Requirements: macOS X 10.8 (AU, VST) or Windows 10 (VST) 64-bit plug-ins

The post Two free plug-ins and a music label take you into ambient worlds appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Stephen Malkmus: ‘There’s this reggae song where I sing in patois – it should not be heard’

Delivered... Philip Sherburne | Scene | Wed 20 Mar 2019 4:05 pm

The Pavement frontman’s new album is inspired by Berlin nightlife and YouTube tutorials. Is he having a mid-life crisis?

At Coava Coffee Roasters, a hip cafe in a gentrifying neighbourhood in Portland, shelves are made from disused machinery, the handmade bamboo tables are eco-friendly, and the single-origin coffee is served in glass Chemex carafes. Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen couldn’t dream up a more stereotypically Portland scene – except for the music on the stereo, which shuffles between brash electropop and dubstep. It’s a strangely fitting place to meet Stephen Malkmus. As the former frontman of 1990s slacker titans Pavement, he’s an icon of indie rock at its scruffiest, yet his new solo album, Groove Denied, is electronic music partly inspired by a stint living in Berlin.

“I’m not known for being groovy,” admits Malkmus, a 52-year-old father of two who looks every bit the middle-aged rocker dad: salt-and-pepper mop top, white shirt, tatty white trainers. “The first song is supposed to sound like you went out clubbing in Berlin and came back and tried to make a song when you were off your head. Or an aural version of one of those pictures of [techno DJ] Ricardo Villalobos where he’s completely trashed.”

Related: Stephen Malkmus: Groove Denied review – stark, forbidding soundscapes

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Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine: how we made Sheriff Fatman

Delivered... Interviews by George Bass | Scene | Tue 19 Mar 2019 7:00 am

‘We used my flat’s rank toilet on the record sleeve with my guitar shoved into it – though I put a plastic bag over it first’

I had read about a dodgy landlord in the South London Press. The drug-dealing, the “phoney prescriptions”, the awful living conditions for his tenants: it was all in the newspaper, even his physical stature. All I had to do was change his name – and I’d turned an awful story into poetry and pop music.

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50 great tracks for March from Tierra Whack, Hayden Thorpe, Squid and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Wed 13 Mar 2019 12:30 pm

Punk-funkers Squid step on the gas, Jessie Ware moves left of centre and Tierra Whack breaks the one-minute mark – read about 10 of our favourite songs of the month, and subscribe to the 50-track playlist

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Panda Bear: Buoys review – indie experimenter finds the slow lane

Delivered... Kate Hutchinson | Scene | Fri 8 Feb 2019 11:30 am

(Domino Recordings)

Noah Lennox, whether on his own as Panda Bear or with his Brooklyn band Animal Collective, has a knack for meshing lustrous electronics into densely textured, hallucinatory scenerios, aided by his brightly lit, boyish coo. The latter’s seminal album Merriweather Post Pavilion turns 10 this year and was an epic feat of indie experimentalism that hasn’t, wrote Pitchfork recently, been surpassed.

No doubt that anniversary was at the back of Lennox’s mind when he made Buoys. His sixth solo album is remarkably more muted than his previous work. Lead single Token and its Lemon Jelly-like sampledelia throws back to Merriweather, a spiritual successor to the joyful rush of My Girls, but otherwise Buoys offers a sort of deconstructed R&B that focuses on repetition and restraint.

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Michael Kiwanuka, Spiritualized and Metronomy to headline End of the Road festival

Delivered... Kate Nicholson | Scene | Thu 31 Jan 2019 9:00 am

Courtney Barnett and Jarvis Cocker also join lineup for eclectic West Country summer gathering

End of the Road has announced that Michael Kiwanuka, Metronomy and Spiritualized will be headlining the festival this year, hosted at Larmer Tree Gardens, on the Wiltshire-Dorset border, from 29 August to 1 September.

British soul musician Kiwanuka supported Adele on her world tour in 2011 and won the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll; more recently won the 2017 Ivor Novello award for best song, for his politically engaged Black Man In a White World. This is his first major festival headline slot, and suggests new material will be released later this year.

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Sharon Van Etten: Remind Me Tomorrow review – assured, gorgeous electro-tinged progression

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 11 Jan 2019 10:00 am

(Jagjaguwar)

Like all of Sharon Van Etten’s previous albums, 2014’s Are We There was preoccupied by a prior toxic relationship – co-dependency couched in a sour combination of abuse and affection. Its follow-up opens with a track that references that period of disquieting soul-baring in the form of a meta-confessional: I Told You Everything has Van Etten divulging the details of her traumatic past to a sympathetic new partner, but not the listener. It’s a move that acknowledges the musician’s suffering but also inches the story forward, hinting that the New Jersey native has a different life now (a suggestion confirmed by her hectic-sounding recent biography: over the past four years she has had a child, taken up acting and started studying for a degree in counselling). Change is something echoed in the sound of Remind Me Tomorrow too, a collection that sees Van Etten edge away from her trademark guitar and towards drones, piano and vintage synths.

Related: Sharon Van Etten: ‘The more I let go, the more I progress as a human being’

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Mix up a year in music, with a guide to weird, under-the-radar Poland

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Mon 31 Dec 2018 9:06 pm

Oramics, the DIY collective run by and focusing on women and queer artists, have put together an all-hands mix and a guide to everything wild and wonderful from Poland and beyond. You can’t pick a better way to end 2018 than with strange, new, and different sounds.

We met Oramics in October:

In Poland, a collective for women and queer artists becomes an agency

In many ways, it’s a strange moment for electronic music across Europe and the global scene. True, it’s now in fashion to look beyond centers like London, to make lineups with more women or more queer artists. But while that’s a welcome development – not just politically, but musically – that still doesn’t mean it’s easy for anyone to break through. The very fact that some artists have become commercial commodities can mean an even steeper road for artists who don’t fit in, whatever their identity. Media outlets have ceased print publication. Blogs have shuttered, and music journalists struggle to make ends meet – while having to chase links and followers. And too often, the demands of commercial DJ booking even in this more left field-friendly age are at odds with what makes unique producers and live performances tick.

It’s tough. It’s frustrating. It’s okay to need some friends – even just someone to listen to your music.

I like what Oramics are doing precisely because they’re giving that support to one another outside of the usual system of PR and booking – totally DIY. And even if you’re not a Polish queer woman (that’ll be a small percentage of our readership in that exact intersection), I think you’ll dig these sounds and discover some new things – and perhaps a model for taking your own weird stuff that fits in, and finding some other people to share with.

Oramics this time team up with another Polish DIY effort, Behind the Stage and their superb podcast series. They turn over the helm of the BTS series to Oramics for a team effort – roughly 20 minutes per person – and give you a total 105 minutes of music:

Running order: Monster, ISNT, FOQL, Mala Herba, dogheadsurigeri.

They’ve also selected their own favorite under-the-radar resources for unique Polish music for CDM. It’s your guide to the Polish underground:

Monster Poly chain sanatory of sound festival photo – Paulina Adaszek.

Monster

https://musicofstoriestold.bandcamp.com/ – great lively releases by Seltron 400, some of my favorite Polish producers
http://www.kholetrax.com/ – people behind Olivia’s fantastic debut EP
https://flauta.bandcamp.com/ – a club night focused on helping refugees, they released a really impressive VA compilation
https://soundcloud.com/pilpl – a vinyl label from Poznan, focused mostly on underground house

FOQL & Copy Corpo @ Cafe Oto. FOQL is the alias of Polish artist Justyna Banaszczyk.

dogheadsurigeri

Zaumne, nadziej, julek ploski — young wolves of polish electronic scene 😉

https://czaszka.bandcamp.com/album/emo-dub

https://enjoylife.bandcamp.com/album/nie-lubi-my-le-o-niemi-ych-sprawach-gdy-nie-jestem-w-staniehttps://julekploski.bandcamp.com/

Mala Herba

https://www.facebook.com/3szostki/ – tape label from Poland investing a lot of love and effort into supporting pure weirdness

Girls to the Front
https://www.facebook.com/allgirlstothefront/ Warsaw-based pro femme and queer initiative organizing concerts and putting up beautiful zines

FOQL

Debut album by our very own ISNT:
https://vanitypilltapes.bandcamp.com/album/world-is-full-of-electric-chairs

I would like to recommend Pointless Geometry label and especially this one exceptional VA tape.

It is a very special charity compilation and you will find everything what is interesting in polish underground right now inside. Whole label is one of the best in Poland!

https://pointless-geometry.bandcamp.com/album/va-ardea-cinerea-benefit-compilation-for-adam

I am also exploring eastern and central european underground in my Noods Radio residency show

http://noodsradio.com/residents/interferencje-w-foql

ISNT on tape!

ISNT photo by Magda Szafrańska (Instytut)

ISNT

We Will Fail – amazing polish producer and very successful artists running her own label!

https://wewillfail.bandcamp.com/album/we-will-fail-dancing

DYM – label and collective from smaller Polish town (my home town!) Gorzów Wielkopolski. We need more initiatives likes this one. They also do their own festival two times a year. It’s like 2 hours from Berlin – you should visit!

https://dymrecords.bandcamp.com/

The post Mix up a year in music, with a guide to weird, under-the-radar Poland appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Tunisian techno, Xitsongan rap and Satanic doo-wop: the best new music of 2019

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Laura Snapes and Ammar Kalia | Scene | Fri 28 Dec 2018 11:00 am

From cheeky rappers to explosive hardcore punks, we introduce 50 artists sure to make an impact in the coming year

She has already sung backing vocals for Chance the Rapper, guested on Sam Smith’s last album and steals the show on Mark Ronson’s forthcoming LP of “sad bangers” – all because of a truly remarkable voice that marks her out as the coming year’s Adele. Here’s hoping her superhuman vocal control will be put to service on equally strong songs.

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Suede, Earl Sweatshirt and the Lovely Eggs: readers on their albums of 2018

Delivered... Guardian readers | Scene | Wed 26 Dec 2018 1:02 pm

Following our critics’ vote, we asked you to tell us what you have been listening to this year and why you think it’s worthy of celebration

A stunning reinvention of their sound which nevertheless sticks with the classic crooning tendencies and clever observational lyrics of Alex Turner. Favourite track: Four Out of Five is the obvious contender – a lead-off single with a festival-ready chorus. I also find The Ultracheese to be strangely moving. Guillaume, 35, France

Thank you for all your contributions and comments on our critics’ list – you can continue the conversation below

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