experimental posts

Skip&Die

Friday, October 26th, 2012 by Sjoerd

Township bass // Globalista Punk

Producer Crypto.Jori (Jori Collignon) and vocalist/visual artist Cata.Pirata (Catarina Aimée Dahms) wrote and recorded “Riots in the Jungle” while traveling urban townships of South Africa, forming an unheard melting pot of original music that blends traditional sounds from Africa, South America and Europe into explosive electro-punk attitude and modern day wobble. Showing a typical Dutch blunt open-mindedness, coupled to schizophrenic traditions still present in South Africa, Skip & Die draws from their personal experiences to tell a story spanning multiple continents in a waterfall of languages.

World music on acid brings the noise.
Skip&Die – Jungle Riot
Skip&Die – Lihlwempu Lomlungu (with Driemanskap)
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Woodkid

Saturday, June 18th, 2011 by Paul Irish

cinematic // vocal orchestral

Woodkid (Yoann Lemoine) is probably best known for his work directing films for artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, but those successes haven’t kept him from expanding his talent into new realms. With booming drums, powerful brass, and fluttering woodwinds, the uncomplicated title track to his premier EP “Iron” (accompanied by an eery and equally beautiful video) makes you feel like you’ve entered an epic battle from which there is no turning back.

Powerful simplicity flush with presence.
Woodkid – Iron

(Words and music provided by snover)
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The D?

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 by Julija

indie pop // french eclectic

The D? is one of those musical gems I’ve been meaning to write about for a long time. Now, with their debut album A Mouthful (2010) finally released in the US and the recent North American tour, is the time to introduce this French-Finnish indie pop act. The D? first captured attention of European music lovers with their song “The Bridge is Broken”, written for a contemporary dance performance Scène d’amour back in 2005. A Mouthful, a rather eclectic collection of songs, evokes similarities to the sweet quirkiness of Nina Perrson, the Knife’s electro touch and the sharp playfulness of Lykke Li. “At Last” carries rich guitar riffs, piano and bluesy harmonica arrangements woven with Olivia’s yearning, seductive vocals. Ukulele driven “Stay (Just A Little Bit More)” is simply a little delightful track.

Somewhat eccentric, playful melodies.
The D? – At Last
The D? – Stay (Just A Little Bit More)
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Yolanda Be Cool & DCup

Friday, September 17th, 2010 by Paul Irish

italo house // remix culture

Sometimes a catchy remix is made better by a fabulous video. Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup’s “We No Speak Americano” has easily found its way into the dance clubs and discos across Europe. Up and Over It are a professional Irish duo who are looking to redefine Irish Dance by mixing it up with Euro-Pop and French Folk. Lucky for us, this collaboration means creating a video full of complex jazz hand stunts and choreographed table slapping. Look for upcoming tour dates on Up and Over It’s Facebook. Yolanda Be Cool & DCup are currently on tour in Australia; peep their myspace for dates. (Tune found and words by Brandon Merritt)

Strictly manual percussion
Yolanda Be Cool & DCup – We No Speak Americano (ft. Up and Over It) on youtube
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Jónsi

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 by Julija

contemporary orchestral // epic post-rock

Known for his truly unique voice and the use of a cello bow on guitar, Jónsi Birgisson as a frontman of Sigur Rós is no less than a post-rock icon in the music world. The comparison of his solo effort to the ethereal sound of Sigur Rós is unavoidable. While Go (2010) carries those familiar enigmatic soundscapes and hypnotic arrangements, Jónsi takes a somewhat joyfully na?ve approach for his solo work. “Go Do”?, the first single and album opener, evolves from layered vocal textures and graceful flutes to pulsing percussion. Go ranges from soaring, fast tempo compositions to melodramatic post-rock arrangements. It’s just too good not to mention.

Powerful and vibrant orchestration.

Jónsi – Boy Lilikoi (stream only)

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The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble

Saturday, October 31st, 2009 by Kyle

Orchestral // Jazz // Ambient

Overtures creep toward you bearing ominous insight. A ravenous beast of symphonic scale lurks behind every measure; its teeth a menacing discord that devour your surroundings presence. Henryk Górecki could be leading The Cinematic Orchestra through a dirge, yet the scourge of blaring horns and thunderous storms evoke nameless regions. This elegant, brooding ardor bleeds from The Netherlands as The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble; a project originating with Jason K?hnen and Gideon Kiers to recreate scores for the classic films Nosferatu and Metropolis. Angelic offerings scarcely appear to cradle your stay, but whirlwind strings and industrial plight will have their say. Aching with beauty and purpose, Here Be Dragons is a story I do not want to unhold.

Arrangements for Hallows’ eve.
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble – Caravan!
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble – Embers
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Solander

Thursday, October 8th, 2009 by Julija

folktronica // swedish experimental

Fredrik Karlsson, a.k.a. Solander, a part of Aurgasm-featured Fredrik, has his own solo project and it’s the one project you were all waiting to hear about, without even knowing it. Similar to Fredrik’s compositions, Solander’s debut Since We Are Pigeons (2009) carries a distinct Scandinavian, unique yet familiar sound. The album infuses hushed vocals, fragile strings arrangements and warm electronics with just a hint of experimentalia. In “Looking For Gold”? Solander slowly builds up the mood by layering off-beat guitar with beautiful orchestration and hypnotic vocal harmonies. Definitely one of the most promising indie projects coming from Sweden this year.

Strong, captivating melody.
Solander – Looking For Gold

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My Toys Like Me

Friday, May 29th, 2009 by Kyle

electro-funk // grimey synthpop

Maneuvering brainwaves routed by intricately synthesized polymers of Moloko and Phon°noir familiarity, Frances Noon and Lazlo Legezar have materialized an undulating ecstasy that voyages vital force and bites at your feet. His surreal chorus of extravagant noises deploys a fulgent realm for her iridescent vocals; fluently shifting between sinister and saccharine to timid and giddy. As their motley, crystalline wisped sounds are consumed, a subterranean purlieu emerges. In a carnival’s bygone mystique of bright lights and smiles since ceded to a Hitchcock bale are mad hatters absconding to unite with strawberry shortcakes; rampantly dissolving the absurd, unwanted, depreciating rationalities that impersonate rainbows and he-man transgressions of societal laste. Where We Are threshes trip-hop’s quintessence into dizzying bits and pieces then coalesces to form a twisted treat of enigmatic, aural candy.

Trip-Hop in the age of Twitter.
My Toys Like Me – Superpowers
My Toys Like Me – Bats
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Josh Ottum

Sunday, April 5th, 2009 by Julija

indie pop // experimental

Josh Ottum, a Seattle-based musician and songwriter, has been making his tiny-bedroom-music for 4 years before composing his debut album Like The Season (2007). To put it in his own words, Like The Season is a twelve song journey into the hallways, bedrooms, dining rooms and garages of popular music. Josh’s “The Easy Way Out” evolves from sweet, coherent and easy-on-the-ears harmonies to a rhythmically driven complex production. With layered arrangements of multiple drums, repetitive piano, catchy horn lines and quirky phrasing Josh builds “The Easy Way Out” to a charmingly dynamic indie-pop song.

Whimsical songwriting, complex instrumentation.
Josh Ottum – The Easy Way Out
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Fredrik

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 by Julija

swedish folktronica // experimental

Fredrik, a six-piece Malm??-based ensemble, embodies some of the finest Scandinavian experimental pop aesthetics: captivating melodies, rich layered arrangements and complicated charming instrumentation evoking the sound of Sigur Ros and Efterklang. Without overloading the compositions, Fredrik builds layer upon layer of atmospheric, melodically overpowering and somewhat mystical soundscapes. The title track of the album “Na Na Ni” ranges from warm waves of melancholy and hypnotic repetitive chanting to haunting harmonies.

From quiet to powerful experimental arrangements.
Fredrik – Na Na Ni
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