Well that was a fun twenty-four hours or so! We went to see ded.pixel play at SPARKLE which has been happening this weekend in Manchester, then after a short journey we were in lovely Liverpool for an evening of synthpop. There are many beautiful buildings in the world, but for me nothing evokes awe and art as much as the Philharmonic Hall. Perfect 1930s architecture, great sound and a novel way of buying interval drinks – I’ll let you look up that one for yourself! Watching a film or performance whilst the muses gaze down on you is quite the experience! We got to see some amazing bands at Silicon Dreams, met some lovely people and popped across the road afterwards to visit Brahms and Liszt. Much fun was had, and there’s more musical fun in this week’s choice ten cuts!
MILKK is the indie-pop brainchild of Nashville singer/songwriter Pat Kiloran, Minneapolis producer/musician Jack Vondrachek, and touring/session drummer John Ogelb. Less Than 3 sees the trio adopt an anthemic take on synthpop, adding in some 80’s style guitar riffs and fat bass sounds for good measure. Listening to the two tracks made public so far – this and the previous single Pacific Kiss – it’s obvious why MILKK have already made quite an impression since launching in April, and it’s not hard to imagine them gaining a wider audience if they continue to produce music of this quality.
Michael Rogel regularly features here on Electronic North and when you hear Because of You it’s not hard to figure out why! It’s a cracking blend of deep house, trance and futurepop that really knows how to get your feet moving. The song is out now via Bass Off and you can check out more of his quality take on electronica and dance over on Spotify.
Another act that we’ve taken to is Vylet, having featured her track Lightning back in April. She’s followed that up with All That Glitters, a more lowkey track but one with some serious emotional heft. She views the piece as being a ‘deceptively upbeat electro-pop song exploring the failing of ordinary perception to distinguish reality from artifice and our tendency to view the outside world in extremes’. Her fusion of pop and classical stylings is in a class of its own!
Feiertag and David Harks from Safetalk have teamed up on the rather wonderful Bunraku – it sees the Netherlands-based producer and virtuoso drummer deliver an ethereal electronic number. Berlin based British singer David Harks’ beautiful vocal performance is set against an expansive, cinematic and hook filled production from Feiertag. The balance between his signature percussive flair and Harks’ emotive vocals works well, whilst both are surrounded by gentle synth lines and heavily reverbed elements to make a muscular blend of electronica and pop.
NRVS LRVS, pronounced Nervous Lovers is the musical passion of husband & wife duo Andrew Gomez and Bevin Fernandez. They draw influences from the art and pop sides of electronic music, citing acts like Massive Attack, Can, The Knife, Bat for Lashes and Crystal Castles as inspirations for their own sound. You can hear that duality on Castling – elements of rock, dreampop, darkwave wrapped around the purest vocal tones from Fernandez. The track is from their Electric Dread album which just drips with dark musical majesty.
Comprising of producer Robin Hearn and singer-songwriter Liam Arnold, Shelter Point are a Nottingham-based duo whose deeply contemplative take on electronic music has drawn comparisons with Bob Moses and Mount Kimbie. Combining elements of indie and electronica, Fuse follows in the previous of their previous releases, the vulnerable vocals and atmospheric sound of Fuse give the song a very soulful feel. The track is out now via The Bearded Man.
Troy Illinois is actually British – don’t let the name fool you! Away is a very chilled piece of ambient electronica, adding traces of trip hop, shoegaze and some lovely 808 effects to deliver a song that just makes your mind drift off in to the land of daydreams with contradictory feelings of sadness and euphoria engendered by the use of minor keys.
We’re big fans of Sheffield duo Promenade Cinema, and they’ve come with another little treasure with Spotlight. The track sees Emma Barson’s vocals pour almost gothic intensity on the driving bassline and beautifully clear synths. There’s a bit of an 80’s aura about the track, but there’s nothing retro about Spotlight and its unique sound – emotional darkwave for want of a better phrase! Sheffield has a long and illustrious record history of producing quality electronica; and Emma and Dorian (Cramm) are worthy additions to that role call!
Hailing from Edmonton in Alberta, Comaduster has been making electronic music for over twenty years now, releasing under the Comaduster name since 2004. Selfsimilar is electronica at its most emotional, innovative and majestic, sweeping its way through genres and catalysing them in to what is almost six minutes of musical mastery! And if the music evokes familiar sensations that may be down to hearing some of main man Real T Cardinal’s work on Mass Effect Andromeda. The track is the precursor to a new self-released LP Solace and EP The Strands of Time We Left Behind.
Rules are made to be broken – sometimes at least – so unusually for me I’m adding a remix in to the playlist. Ionnalee’s Not Human has been reworked by Robert Alfons aka TR/ST. Whilst the original has an almost fragile feel to it, Alfons adds a robust bassline and synthwave sesnsiblity to the song, but keeps the sublime vocals very much the rightful centre of the song.
Hope you enjoyed the playlist, I know I did! Most of the artists featured this week already have impressive back catalogues so go discovering and I’ll see you next time.