The Electronic North team spent much of the weekend at Threshold Festival in Liverpool. It’s very much a grass roots affair with a mainly volunteer staff putting on a bewildering array of musical acts on in multiple venues and a larger number of stages. The eclectic nature of it all was part of the charm: 60’s style girl-pop, psych rock, electro swing, alt-rock – there was always something interesting going on. It’s great to experience music in other cities, to dip in to the organic music scene and watch people discover new sounds for the first time. The Baltic Quarter in Liverpool is described as having the feel that Berlin’s Kreuzberg is slowly losing to gentrification and hopefully the city of Liverpool holds on to this special creative area. I highly recommend it!
Taking inspiration from the weekend, we have as ever a varied and interesting selection of tracks for you this week. I hope you like them.
Ani Glass tags her music as ‘International Welsh Pop’. I’ve not really come across much Welsh language music before and this was a pleasant introduction. Geiriau is a pleasantly shadowy but immediate pop number which reminds me of one of my favourite bands, Tristesse de la Lune. The track is from her upcoming EP Ffrwydrad Tawel which Glass says is about “reconnecting with my language, history and culture after returning home having been away for years.”
Abyss from Notaker utilises a echoing, squelchy bassline to get the listeners attention and draws you in with its John Carpenter inspired synths and the sound of crashing waves that really create a sublime aquatic feel. Notaker has recently signed to mau5trap and on this showing it’s going to be a fruitful relationship!
We featured Juliette’s eponymous EP a few months ago, and he’s gone back and reworked one of the tracks – Rasberry Lemonade – with chillwave artist meseta. The addition of vocals brings out the dreamy quality of the song even more and turns in it to a modern lullaby.
Johan Angergård’s (Acid House Kings, Club 8, Eternal Death, Michael Zaxxon, Pallers) solo project The Legends release their 6th album on April 21 and In Love With Myself shows that we are in for something special. Featuring the vocals of Eternal Death’s Elin Berlin, the track pillages its way through electro, hip hop styling and effects laden vocals all stripped down and reassembled with a sparse yet sexy sound.
Fröst is a collaboration between Franco-Swedish sound artist Johanna Bramli (vocalist for Stereolab offshoot Imitation Electric Piano) and Fujiya & Miyagi’s synth player and producer Steve Lewis. Keratin takes some of the driving motoric elements of 70’s German synth sounds, but the vocals of Bramli and the extra layers of sound create an ambient warmth that is missing from the likes of Can and Kraftwerk. I like it a lot!
Black Fly records what he styles as ‘gothic synth music’ from his bedroom in the backwoods of Vermont. I Don’t Know is the first offering from the project mixed by David Tolomei (Beach House, Future Islands, Dirty Projectors). The track has got a heartbroken feel to it, probably down to the lyrical content and almost Cohenesque vocal style. Promising stuff.
UK artist Joe James aka Himuro Mansion creates a unique sound on his track 4-EVER. It’s a real piece of mood music, if the mood involves you being chased through the forest by an axe-wielding clown. The track pulsates an eerie intensity which is amplified by the beautiful and slightly unsettling falsetto vocals.
Russian producer and DJ Liauny has recently signed to Straight Up! Music and Lost Memories is the standout track from the EP of the same name. It takes the current downtempo sound and shakes it up, with an experimental edge to it all; all building slowly via a series of loops and sounds that just washes peacefully over you.
What is it with Toronto? This weeks’ musical magic from that fair city comes via The Neon Desire. Progress is the second song to be released from the forthcoming EP, Deepest Blue, out 7th April. The instrumental track summons musical memories from 80’s synth legends like Gary Numan right up to current acts like Covenant; but is very much its’ own sound.
Last up this week is Norwegian duo Tic Tic and their track All around Europe. It has a gloomily reflective feel to it. Over a track that pitches somewhere between darkwave and neo-folk, the sweet female vocals and almost Gregorian male voice create a track that evokes times of war and uncertainty very effectively. If The Knife had cast their eye on the darkness around us, they might have come up with a track like this.