Poker Flat Recordings
Returning to his own brand Poker Flat for the first time since 2011, label boss Steve Bug presents his new EP. Alto Adige contains two original tracks with extended lengths. No radio snippet here, the title track and the second number offer around 8 minutes each. A new wave of spiralling electronic music from this prolific producer is always on the horizon, with Steve Bug recently releasing tunes over on Knee Deep In Sound, Rejected, and Aus Music. Based in Berlin, the German electronic music scene is entwined with the work of Bug as this iconic style of local genre leans heavily on his continual influence.
A sneaky house synthesiser rhythm begins to churn with potential energy. Snare taps to the beat with resonant pulses and reverb. The amplitude meander and various aspects of the tone elevate as the rhythm evolves to include hats and bass drum. A build-up-feel spins around in ever-increasing climactic jolts of upward shift. New layers of rhythm bring a swerving synthesiser tone that grasps the bars with harmonising vitality. Eerie, dusty percussion adds metalwork and electronic fizz to the ascending dynamic of the music. Snaking synthesiser tones continue to meander and dance to the persistent pulse that keeps us focused as the rhythm section quiets down for something that’s about to happen. A dance epic ensues as the rhythms recapture the sense of flow and the melodics continue to thrust their influential doctrine forward with ever more layers and depth.
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City Tracks Records
Taken from their newly released Notes EP, Brussels-based duo ELEFAN present Ground. A decisive force in exploratory electronic music, this pair of music producers harness the power of fundamental constants while involving all manner of useful and interesting vibes. Finding a happy medium between the realms of neo-classical and electronica, ELEFAN are delivering a crisp and ground-breaking direction in the scope of undiscovered archetypes.
A strange echo effect brings a rhythmic burst into the silence as strings swell and migrate from quietude. Rustling percussives add a flux of intent as a synthesiser tone begins to swirl and slide in melodic movements. A new undercurrent of rhythmic melody begins to churn and buoyantly lift the meandering effect of rhythm and pulsed tone. An updraught of subtle clarity begins to sweep the harmonies into higher corners and with the passing bars the amplitude forms a focus within the directional current of sound. A sonic entrance of beauty is crafted as the beats coalesce in a dynamic and enchanting flow of dancing euphoria.
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You know there’s something going on with this band when you overhear rumours of some kind of cult behind the scenes. Maybe it’s all made up but they say there’s no smoke without fire. Making fire work for them with a modern-sounding take on classic heavy metal, South Yorkshire band Shadow Smile are ready with Hellbound Heart. Their latest single brings the magic and relives the incantations to the gods of social gatherings and merrymaking. 2019 was the year that brought this conjunction of collaboration and talent together, with the band gelling almost straight away. New music pours from their palms like rivers of destined vibration in a continual run of up-there and suitably underground sounding material.
The song begins with a vocal chant that undoubtedly sounds great live. A rush of guitar and drums launch the music into another atmosphere as brutal chord strikes hammer down with effortless prowess. A groovy melodic vocal progresses into metal growls as the rhythm rises and smashes hard with lots of cymbal and thudding bass. A quick round of chorus to verse allows the music to chop and change in neat passages that keep us on our feet. Brilliant lead guitar fills add another dimension to the flow of sound as the interlude continues the punchy drive. A modern yet well-rooted branch of the heavy metal tree is just about ready to harvest.
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Mother Of Mars
With the stunningly talented Satomi Matsuzaki along for the journey, Mother of Mars return with Harmonium Detector. The EP that accompanies the single features various remixes that enable likeminded music wizards such as Max Pask to throw more fuel on the fire. From their roots in the post-punk outfit The Rapture, Vito Roccoforte and Gabriel Adruzzi bring their enchanting rhythms to the dance music scene. Capturing the feel and power of the inner world with a sensation-driven and progressive writing style, Mother Of Mars define a new tangent on electronic music production.
A sinister sounding bass tone unveils with a pulsing rhythm that pops and breaks with snare and thud. Playful vocals then swagger in with deft rhythmic strides. Layers of voice meet the melodious take-off in synth as the song begins. The vocal percussive from the intro remain and the vocal line avenues over the top. A smooth and fun energy leads up along the musical path with wide-eyed fascination and form. We feel like skipping in a loose zig-zag into long grasses and flowers. The progressive rhythm builds with subtle valance toward intensity. New sonics emerge from the mysterious creative energy to help the music culminate in a desire to hear it over and over again.
Find out more and get the music on the Mother of Mars Bandcamp
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Devin James Fry
Blurring the lines between sound in a genre-proof culmination of art and talent, Devin James Fry returns to our ears with his new single. The post-pandemic opus that we kind of expect from all quality creators is on the way, a release date set for next week. In the time between now and then we can get a snifter of the bottle with the brilliant Black Rainbow. Taken from the album that claimed its name from the combination of the words rebellion and retreat, Retrellion is a useful concept that I am sure we can all draw upon from time to time. Made using synthesisers and the rap skills of Chris Conde plus Otem Rellik, the image of Devin James Fry with an acoustic guitar seems to be over.
Eerie vocals and sound effects bring the music forward before a drum n bass style rhythm joins with a powerful and dramatic vocal. Oddly harmonising keyboard sounds sponge and spring with tone beneath an avenue of driving rhythms and mixed layers. The vocal moves over to rap and a strict scheme takes over with rhythmic rhymes taking the lead. The keyboard begins to churn and deliver quicker pulses of tone to match the speedy vocal delivery. Another voice joins the track, moody song and delicate poetry fills the void until close.
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Post-punk fusion band Candy Coffins are in party mode since the release of their new album. The hard work and determination to work together and produce a culmination of composition and clarity of mind has paid off. The whole album was mixed by David Barbe, who’s worked alongside Drive-By Truckers, Deerhunter, and Superchunk. The sum is greater than its parts, and each part is more than capable of standing on its own two feet as well. To help the record make its way into our homes and cars, Candy Coffins have released a new single from the record to put a foot in the door of the casket. Another Kiss follows up from their recent short film, Tangled Up In Teacups. Influences such as The Cure and Afghan Whigs (eBay links) have enabled the band to resemble the classic rock and avant-garde elements of post-punk new romanticism while encapsulating a twenty-first century vibe.
A run of bass draws in the guitar and drum as an epic scape of atmosphere and tone stretches out. Melody rises in a dreamy meander with breeze like harmonies and steady pulses of percussion. Vocals begin, the classic sound of moody introspection haunts with dance like waltzes into rhythm and rhyme. With a shift of gear, the music rises into another level of energy. A quantum shift leaves the melancholia behind us as soaring guitar notes reverberate and echo over an orchestra of strings.
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