Mount Kimbie, British electronic duo, are busy touring round Europe but they have also found some time to prepare a new EP. Carbonated contains the title track from their excellent debut album Crooks & Lovers which demonstrated their ability to combine different electronic/dance genres from dubstep to 2-step, minimalism to some simplistic kind of free jazz. But most importantly, Carbonated features two new tracks: Flux and Baves Chords which were arranged and recorded during Crooks & Lovers sessions. The second one evolves duo’s typical inclination towards lush and hazy textures. Opened with moody echoes of acoustic guitar which later transforms into cute, simple melody, it feels almost fearful of harder beats or dubstep darkness. As expected, beats and percussion come stealthily accompanied by few fragments of vocals which evaporate into this summer haze sooner than they occur. Carbonated which contains also remixes from techno producer Peter van Hoesen, dubstep DJ Airhead and electronic newbie Klaus is set for release via Hotflush Records on June 27th. Download Baves Chords for free via Mount Kimbie official page.
micro.Wilsonic: The most innovative festival in Central Europe
Wilsonic belongs to the most pleasurable musical events one can experience in Central Europe. Festival line-ups always contain mixture of unknown, experimental musicians along with rising stars of electronic scene and few independent stars who catch the attention and determine the current leit-motive. Occasional micro.Wilsonic are organized as appetizers and opportunities for “smaller” names and set the scene for the main festival. These, so-called micro.Wilsonic events posses more chamber atmosphere and often balance somewhere between traditional concert and night club. After one year’s pause, micro.Wilsonic finally revives as two days’ set of concerts in freshly founded KC Dunaj˜, space for various types of art on April 28th & 29th.
Kryptic Minds contributed to FACT Magazine series of regular DJ mixes and made one of the most impressive collage in the whole history of FACT’s podcasts. But honestly, this comes as no surprise. This producers’ duo have always been doing more with less than others: greater imagination and bigger seduction reached with less textures and smaller scale of electronic manipulations. Kryptic Minds work in the dark field between dusty dubstep and wild drum and bass so they preserve the stark and cryptic (how shocking) darkness along with robust basses. However, this is hardly music you can dance to fluidly. Simon Shreeve & Brett Bigden create music that serves for cruising around dangerous urban clubs too smoky to breathe and too dark to see. Their latest mix, almost one hour long, consists mostly of their own tunes that flow smoothly through the vapour of subbasses and dubby beats. From time to time vocals or acoustic guitar organically mixed into the mass reminds us that we’re still in the world of humans - but very soon we’re pushed even deeper into the blackness. Kryptic Minds also incorporated four of totally six songs from their new album, Can’t Sleep (download the title songvia Passion Of The Weiss for free) and add lot of strong, mind-blowing unreleased material. Dive deep and forget the spring around you: just suck the dubsteppy darkness. (Download the whole set via FACT Magazine here.)
While working on new material, Clem Leek still takes care of his fans and provides them (us) frequently with left-overs, rarities and sketches. Earlier, it was Home Outside, his almost 18 minutes companion for an exhibition, later it was A Letter EP released via Hibernat or various fragments published on his SoundCloud. Today, Clem released two of his compositions: Light Passage which comes from a limited 12” and Four Days, yet unreleased track. Both compositions sound somehow more approachable and clearer with a preservation of their dreamy veil. Maybe it’s given by their shortness and concise language and maybe it’s Clem’s intention to lift up the harmony. In comparison to his older work, textures of both songs are denser and gentler what results in more distinctive lead of melody and an emphasis on harmonies. Hopefully, Clem Leek's forthcoming album will be as palpable and emotional as these two short improvisations.
Roll The Dice, electronic duo from Sweden’s Stockholm, know how to breathe life into the inorganic sound of synthesizers. After last year’s self-titled debut they come with live reworkings of two of its songs - Undertow and The New Black, which were performed during a show in Gothenburg and were also complemented by two abstract, almost haunting and positively absurd videos. The New Black is pulsating number with perpetual synths which range from deep, sharp & cutting rawness reminding the sound of plane taking off to the sci-fi, high pitched frequencies as if coming from the universe. Malcolm Pardon and Peder Mannerfelt (part of Fever Ray's crew under the name of Sublimal Kid) don’t just offer a trip across the galaxy in a analogue spaceship but also add their human element - in simple piano melody (which is replaced by airy synthesizers in live version and later bass guitar) that defines the flow of The New Black. Their approach of gradual evolution with the retaining of synthy pulse reminds me of Fuck Buttons, but Roll The Dice sound darker and somehow more tangible - maybe thanks to the piano/bass or perhaps because of the melodic element. Fortunately, they are recording new album which may be out later this year via The Leaf Label. Prepare yourself for another dose of 70’s meets 10’s futuropop.
Kyle Bobby Dunn is a relentless and highly prolific composer working across the interlinked areas of contemporary classical, minimalist, ambient and even drone music. After last year’s A Young Person’s Guide (review in Slovak language), which compiled certain part of his work and Rural Route No. 2, limited EP which was “an eulogy to the freedom of subconscious dreams and mirages,” Dunn’s back with another full-length. On Ways Of Meaning he evolves a concept of choral music (mainly materialized by church organ) paired with ambient drone based on manipulated guitar and bass. This play with contrasts between the monumental and intimate, highly harmonious versus atonal, stable against floating, is beautifully evolved across seven minutes of Canyon Meadows. Since the name already suggests pastoral theme (searching for a calm and harmony in nature, probably), the visions of idyllic nature are unavoidable. Canyon Meadows utilizes celebratory, grandiose mood with rich textures that pulse, emerge and hush down. When listening to those floating harmonies echoing from every corner of the church, Julianna Barwick's outstanding The Magic Place comes to mind. Whereas Julianna builds that magic, idyllic atmosphere through layering her coos, Dunn reaches it through the diversity of bass oscillating around the airy organ. Canyon Meadows sounds as if the organ was singing that stable melody and had the same pleasure of it as humans have.
It’s amusing to observe the increasingly growing contemporary cello scene. There forms some kind of female triumvirate between highly talented Hildur Guðnadóttir, Zoë Keating and Julia Kent with natural and similarly powerful male counterpart consisting of Danny Norbury, Greg Haines and Aaron Martin. Certainly, there’s no such thing as a cello clique and these six name rather popped up spontaneously thanks to their artistic activity and frequent participation on different projects; from building own career to providing others with their artistic support almost anonymously. Also, they all differ in style, inspirations and complex sound ranging from classical roots (Norbury) to nowadays fashionable minimalism (Kent) to attractive experimentalism (Guðnadóttir and Martin).
Of all these popular cellist, Aaron Martin is the least traditional or conventional. He often explores bearability of his listener and transforms his cello into a droning, inhuman instrument. However, along with this aggressive, uncompromising severity lives tenderness and melodic sensitivity. The kinder and softer part of Martin also performs cover of Spiraling, soft, almost magical piece from Lüüp's forthcoming album Meadow Rituals. Where Lüüp (body of 19 artists comprising also Greg Haines) utilize folklore-sounding flute and echoing angelic vocals to reach pastoral, heavenly feeling, Aaron Martin gradually ascends from lower octaves to the higher spectrum, like climbing on the ladder to the heavens. However cliché may these words sound, Martin’s emotional cover provides hypnotizing experience as natural and powerful as the sun rising from the dark of the night. Aaron Martin’s cello brings light and human warm. His interpretation of Spiraling is wonderful.