Sweatshop Soundsystem: “We throw Sweat Skanks”
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, I hear Sweatshop Soundsystem doing their thing and doing it well. I hear Ocen’s Eleven, Cowboy Bebop, Ash Walker, and Yazz Ahmed‘s excellent horn playing, all coming together to create a smokey jazz mood that can either be played late at night in a London club or late at night during a London chase scene.
“Sweatshop Soundsystem’s debut 12″…We’ve been in love with Ash’s music since day one whilst he’s been quietly killing it in the underground. Coming in with heavy dub pedigree Ash’s sound taps the veins of Soul, Jazz and Funk, fusing them into a suspicious Trip Hop tapestry. Both tracks feature the killer horn work of Yazz Ahmed, one of the freshest artists to rupture the Jazz world with her psychedelic Arabic rhythms. And RUDEBWOY visuals come courtesy of Sophie Bass, the dopest illustrator in the UK right now.”
Alpine Those Myriads: Norwegian One-Man “Kaleidoscopic Music”
I feel like any Alpine Those Myriads song could explode at any moment. “Nocturnal Hysteria pt. 1,” my favorite track from the Norwegian one-man project, often does. Sometimes it’s a screeching saxophone. Other times it’s a droning electronic orchestra that could take down a church. Similar to Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s score in the latest Blade Runner, eerie underlayers of noise crescendo into bombastic moments of bliss.
“Avant-garde expeditions, nervy electro, psychedelic blizzards, tragedy & surreal humor and the odd dash of singable melodies are combined into what one may experience as kaleidoscopic music.”
“[This] Norwegian band…is all about operating in odd and exotic realms, freeing their creativities from both external and internal expectations and dogmas, thus finding new avenues of artistic expression along the way. Gypus Chelofan (the band´s composer & leader) has since 2001 been pushing the boundaries of the band within many different line-ups. From 2017 he´s chosen to set sail completely alone to explore and develop the rich musical world that the band are known for in a more compact monster.”
Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?: Uplifting and ambitious Finnish garage synth-pop
Have you ever heard this great Finnish garage synth-pop band with the great band title? The Kouvola trio’s music does sound like a Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS: chipper, colorful, and best listened to while dancing in your house while wearing legwarmers. Sounding at first like an enduring tribute to ’80s daytime cheer, about halfway through, “Sheep” turns into loud and distorted sing-a-long as grand as Titus Andronicus. It’s exciting stuff, and it’s a reason to be on the lookout for this band more throughout 2018.
“Sheep is the second single release from the upcoming album Jazzbelle 1984 / 1988 due to be released on January 19ht 2018 on VILD Recordings.”
Someone: Tessa Rose Jackson’s latest musical project is minimal and beautiful
Tessa Rose Jackson is someone, a Dutch visual artist and the musical mind behind Someone. “Art Pop Art” she calls it. All she needs is a bass and her voice, which, like the song, blossoms from isolated diary-like reading to grand confession. It’s lovely. And she knows how to get loud and make a killer music video.
“Recorded in just one night – from 11pm to 4am – at her home studio in Amsterdam, it seems fitting that ‘Forget Forgive’ reaches a reprieve in its conclusion, akin to the sunrise after a darkened isolation. ‘It’s the most personal track I’ve written so far,’ she explains. ‘Playing the song to other people actually always feels a bit icky, like reading an excerpt from my diary out in public. It’s super naked. It’s a really intimate lyric about battling some pretty nasty demons and, in overcoming them, figuring out the kind of person you want to be.’”
Rose Tiger: “Seapop Music played by cyborgs from the great city of Archaeopolis”
French artist Wendy Killmann has a new EP, Top To Bottom, out next week under his Rose Tiger name. A romantically vicious image, the music also uses beautiful synths and new-wave inspired pop to create aggressive, sometimes frantic sounds. And there are dinosaurs.
To hear all his music, check out his SoundCloud.
“ROSE TIGER is the brainchild of French artist Wendy Killmann, a young man who dreams of a parallel world where humans coexist with dinosaurs and whose musical taste is inspired by 80s British new-wave (Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode), 90s video games (Final Fantasy VII, Pokémon Blue) and favourite Manga theme music from his childhood (Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing).
His first EP/Comic titled « From Top To Bottom » will be released November 17th along with an 8-page comic book by famous Instagram artist Sibylline Meynet. A video for the song Submarine (Where Have You Been?) will be released on the same day as the EP.”
Silk Cinema: Sade in Space
When someone describes your music as “Sade in Space,” you listen. It’s not a perfect analogy (no one but Sade can sound like Sade in space), but it’s great for us how close London duo Silk Cinema gets with its latest single “Disappear.” Music to feel lonesome and beautiful to and to live for tonight. Looking for trouble but already found beauty. Reminds me too of Rhye’s mysterious grooves. Beat-driven music you can enjoy in a club and also in a car. Would love to hear more new music soon.
Check out a more upbeat band remix of “Disappear” here.
May Roosevelt: Greek Composer, Producer, and Thereminist
Now that Blade Runner has entered my mind again, I’ve been in that dark, synthy mood lately and have been seeking out music that takes me to a future LA in which I feel despondent and dreamy in the snow. Greek producer May Roosevelt takes me there. The way she builds her songs and gives them room to grow is excellent, and I found myself getting lost and repeating “Air” several times, never wanting it to end. Influenced by Massive Attack, Bach, Bjork, traditional Greek, and Byzantine chants, her electronica is haunting in the best way.
Her latest release Junea came out this week via Inner Ear and is available via Bandcamp.
Blondage: Catchy, Minimalist Copenhagen Pop
I hear lots of Charli XCX in Blondage, a Copenhagen pop act that makes undeniable bangers with as little instrumentation and as minimalist of a sound as possible. Latest single “Call It Off” is undeniably great and I can’t wait to hear what comes next.
“Blondage is a Copenhagen-based pop-duo formed by Esben Andersen and Pernille Smith-Sivertsen where the two are making electronic pop music for fans of Flume, MØ and Nao.”
Sal Dulu: Mysterious yet Excellent Electronic Grooves from Ireland
I love the mystery of Sal Dulu. I know nothing about this musician (except the Ireland connection) and that the music sounds like the back corner of my mind driving along an empty highway at night thinking about nothing and everything. The music is vast and sexy. It’s worth your time. I also love “Duluoz Dream.”
Jo Tongo: Parisian Funk via Cameroon
The latest Africa Seven release is a collection of old and new tracks from Parisian funk great Jo Tongo. Active for many decades, Tongo is apparently working on new music to come out soon. Give this new collection a spin to hold you over and get your daily fill of high-quality afro-funk.
“Our hero, Jo Tongo (born Joseph Ekambi Tongo Mpondo) was born and raised in Douala Cameroon. In 1964 he headed off to Paris to begin Pharmaceutical studies. Somewhere along the way the music in his soul eventually won out and he embarked on a life of music. In the latest of our series of “Funk Experimentals” LPs we dig for the funk. Not necessarily the artists greatest hits but most definitely the funkiest ear benders. We proudly compile together tracks from 1968 to 3 new brand new exclusive tracks from present day 2017. And yes, they all have the funk. In spades.
The album opens up with stunningly catchy Jangolo. Jo’s awesomely funky bass and percussive “jangly” guitar. The track is underpinned by African drums, funky stabs and 70s nascent synthesiser string machines. Next up we take a trip to 1979 and “Funky Feeling” from Jo’s “Those Flowers” album. Here the beats are big, the strings are sweet and the clavi is into overdrive. We then jump back to 1976 for the evergreen, horn-puncher, funk stomper “Piani”. Before the sweet smooth funk of “Those Flowers”.
Next up is “American Lady” with the bright strings, jangly guitars and driving keys. All locked on to maximize the groove. We then take a trip back to 1968 for Jo’s second single the ever so funky and ever so ahead of its time, “Dig It Babe”. Soul, horns, groove and punch all in two perfect packages. Part 1 and Part 2. Next up it is the funk boogie afro swingers “Ewande”.
Bringing things up date we jump forward to 2017, present day. Jo has been making music more or less non-stop and here we are lucky to premier three brand new tracks. The drums are punchy, the guitars ooze the funk and the locked on keys tie the tracks together in one tight-as package. Jo is on the production and at the controls for the mix. “Lion Roar” is first with its driving clavinet and all-out-assault funky drums. The brass is big and this song is Bold with a capital “B”. “It’s The D Day” is next with swinging soul style groove before “Mystic Power” features a ballsy brass-laden beat and jazz funk overtones.
Many thanks Jo for choosing the music. Nearly 50 years at the top of the game.”