MVar enriches Slope Point

From the Baltic Sea to Barcelona

The Latvian producer releases the second reference for the Barcelona-based Slope Point label. “Implicit” EP arrives on February 28.

MVar: “Implicit” EP (Slope Point) Sleeve by Lisa Fotios.

The implicit suggestion for the musical content of the EP refers to the art-cover, a treated image of a shore on a rainy day, probably shot somewhere in the Gulf of Riga, the born-city of MVar.

Implicit” is a three-track EP related to the observation of solitary landscapes, an evocative state of mind. It goes through a mature and refined three descriptions in the embraced keys of Ambient and Dub Techno. From reverberating intro, (‘Here And Everywhere‘), MVar uses rhythmic bass to curling atmospherics. Delicate synth lines give a path to a propulsive beat in ‘Night Parade.’ For the enigmatic ‘The Mirror At The End Of The Road,’ synth delicacy leads to a more reverberant Techno leaned passages.

With two previous EPs released on Cold Fiction Music, “Projections (2018)” and “Falling (2019),” MVar debuts with “Implicit” on Slope Point to enrich the sound label, a Barcelona platform which proposal dedicated explicitly to the nuance of Ambient, Dub Techno, Deep Techno, and Experimental music.

A warm suggestion

A sharing pleasure

Lawrence Guy debuts on British imprint Shall Not Fade with “The Sun Is Warm And Directly Above You,” a three-track EP released on Friday, February 21.

Lawrence Guy: “The Sun Is Warm And Directly Above You” EP (Shall Not Fade)

The London-based producer is known for his relentless devotion to samplers and field-recordings. He uses them on his elegant DJ sets and compiles on edits label Accidental Pieces as well spreads on his Rinse FM residency. He dedicates a “love letter” to these sound bits, allowing them to express himself. The rich diversity of samplers and the synthesizer are the perfect combination in his hands working for good.

Accurate, never pretentious but refined, he builds three tracks in house, activating piano mode key that riddles over the rhythmic pattern. The two instrumentals let the central for a vocal development. The title track of the EP is an invitation, a relaxing suggestion for sharing open space in amicable talk with friends under the warmth of the sun.

Leifur James : “Wise Old Man”

A promising taste

The London-based producer and composer Leifur James announces his highly anticipated sophomore album, “Angel In Disguise,” which is due for release on April 24th via Late Night Tales original artist label Night Time Stories. The first single is ‘Wise Old Man,’ more than a promising taste.

On a few occasions, you have the certainty of listening to an exceptional track at once. It is a braided introduction, where synths to deep bass incorporating effects to rhythmic setbacks in vibrant percussion. Comparing with previous work, a signature structure from a classically trained musician who knows to harmonize. Suddenly the voice, reflective and melancholic, with the phrasing core “Wise old man in my brain, soul bursting through my veins.” Arppeggiated crescendo when rhythmic counterparts give enough space to flourishing details, and the voice again. It all comes back to a stripped version of the pattern’s basic unit, like nude thought, the skeleton of it. An emotive synth emerges to the fulfillment. It is all in balance, perfect, elegant.

Wise Old man‘ will turn you to Leifur James‘ debut album, “A Louder Silence,” released in October 2018. There was organic instrumentation in a blend of jazz with electronica. This time around, as far as we know, James is pure switched. Guess Whites producer, Coby Say, involved in the reworks of it, brother EP “A Louder Silence. The Remixes (2019),” as well as the included and excellent FaltyD remix of ‘Mumma Don’t Tell,’ would have suggested something.

As has been reported, “Angel In Disguise” has a long run to the release, probably enriched in visuals by Hungarian director, Balázs Simon, with whom Leifur James worked on “Wurlitzer,” a track introduced on piano and ended in techno through absorbing animated motion piece. The schedule also brings intimate showcases in The UK and European cities, starting in Copenhaguen in May, successively in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Brussels, before heading to London and Manchester.

Leifur James : “Angel In Disguise” (Night Time Stories)

Grounded on the absence

Missing the Mediterranean

Pedro Vian announces his third studio album, “Ibillorca,” due to release on a limited vinyl edition of 500 copies on April 30th through Modern Obscure Music.

There’s a need for an introduction to getting in the mood of the album. In 2018, the Catalan DJ/Producer, renowned in the Barcelona scene, decided to move to Amsterdam. Now, based in Zaandam, a location thirty minutes away from the capital, he works on HetHEM studio. The new ubication is undoubtedly a step forward not only in the artistic matter but also in terms of connectivity with the increasing development of his label, Modern Obscure Music/MOM. The right decision by one side. The other is the fact that he is a son of the Mediterranean. He belongs to a culture. The mostly gray skies and rainy days of the place do affect as he recognized: “I come from there and I miss the light, the sun and the smell of the sea, so I dedicated this album to this feeling.”

Pedro Vian always has a personal implication in the music he creates. This positive affirmation means in his case that the fleeting thoughts and feelings are the priority, a peculiar state of mind, whole cohesive ideas that look for fitting patterns to express in musical research. He provides deeply narrative with music. Then he is eclectic, a matter of speech without words, interrupted by new incomes, revolted in energy, sedated in contemplation, a sincere explanation of what is him in time of description.

He is faithful to this way of working albums since his first self-released “Transitions (2014)”. The evolution with the evocative “Beautiful Things You Left Us For Memories (MOM, 2016),” a walk around the city at night. The eponymous “Pedro Vian (MOM, 2019)” tracked for the dance-floor, never artificially produced, not in a gesticulative way.

Pedro Vian: “Ibillorca” (Modern Obscure Music) Artwork by Blanca Miró, design by Marc Monguilod 

Now, “Ibillorca” grounds on the absence. It is not nostalgia but a need to revive the left. The title is compounding the toponomy of the mind related to the Balearic islands of Ibiza (Eivissa, in Catalan) and Mallorca. It is a recreational, idealized place to explain the miss. It is not the place of leisure, of those rutilant nights you figured out at once. But in they are, mostly as a counterpart, in thrilling beats. There are styles like drum’n’bass working as an isolated trend only received for few, and house working for connection. There is space music to the hippy origins of the islands’ appeal, and also Balearic hints of hedonism. Peaceful Eric Satie to smell the pines over abrupted cliffs. And the chant of cicadas searching for the couple in the mid of the heat. Discover the sound of a mind remembering; it is the gorgeous island of intimacy. The Mediterranean Sea is all around, a cadence pulling from memory.

A.A.L. (Against All Logic): “Illusions of Shameless Abundance” E.P.

A creative disruption

Revisiting the moniker A.A.L. (Against All Logic), the New York-based electronic composer Nicolas Jaar dropped a new two-track featuring Lydia Lunch, F.K.A. twigs, and Estado Unido. The standalone E.P. comes as the announcement of the full-length album, “2017-2019,” for next week, on Friday, February 7th.

The American-Chilean producer takes two female voices to collaborate with in the advancement. Both are unique, artistically related to him from the past to the present. Appropriately, in the Lydia Lunch case, it would be better to say the relationship is an emotional link. As the founder and owner of imprint Other People, Jaar released “Teenage Jesus And The Jerks: Live 1977-1979” in November 2015. The album compiled a selection of live tracks recorded through the period by the seminal New York’s No Wave band Lunch formed at the age of 17. It is part of an artist’s commitment to the city, expressed on his critically acclaimed second album, “Sirens” (2016), an overlook to a personal Manhattan where historical resounds, renditions to musical influences, and home recordings come along in a sort of an electronic suite.

Against All Logic: “Illusions of Shameless Abundance” E.P. (Other People, 2020)

Illusions of Shameless Abundance” acts like the A-side of the release. It lives in the tension of repeated phrasing over a percussion sequence, disrupted, and returned continually by fluent producer’s technical skills, where Lydia Lunch‘s monotone voice is chanting and balanced to a spoken word statement.

The revers, B-side, as defined on Nicolas Jaar‘s Facebook, is blurring identities. Credited to F.K.A. twigs‘ contribution, it is supposed as a grateful counterpart to Nicolas Jaar‘s production of her second full-length album, “Magdalena.” It is also a statement, but in this case, based on distortion, a substantial vocal device treatment. Estado Unido -an unknown artist for me until now- opens the chanting of “Alucinao” with the typical syllables’ eating, proper for the idiomatic phonetics of South America, The Caribbean (Cuba), and Andalucía (Spain). It’s hard to get the lyrics at first listening, even for a native Spanish-speaking tongue. Better go to check them out on the correspondent Soundcloud page. The difficulty of understanding also happens with the following F.K.A. twigs‘ part, which is rather than incomprehensible, no easy exercise to attribute it to the vocal identity of the British artist, though recognizable under the layered, at least in a second approach.

The reason why all this misidentification comes from I would dare to say it belongs to how the track appears on the Other People RecordsSoundcloud page, tagged as “grimeton,” a stylish neologism; born as the melting form of “grime” and “reggaeton.” With the natural ability, A.A.L. (Against All Logic) goes imaginative in an impeccable production to an act of creative disruption, overturning the existing conventions. Sharply using the staccato rhythm of the grime pattern, fluently enriched with cowbells and elements of Latin percussion, the composition delivers enough melody to ensure the message is received. Because of “Alucinao” is a statement, an accusation with the shaking appeal of the art. A disrupted reflection to pause the deluge, the increasing flow of marketing that blurs the truth to an unrecognizable point. Nicolas Jaar, or disguised in A.A.L. (Against All Logic), always has the credit of being critically reflexive, and the talent to express his thoughts musically, with the elements of our nowadays’ truth (reality).

Illusions of Shameless Abundance” E.P. is an unbeatable advance to the expected album “2017-2019,” the second round for A.A.L. (Against All Logic) new material compilation after “2012 -2017,” released on February 2018. Last week of January 2020 had a surprising round-up with this news and with the uploading of Against All Logic Mix recorded for NTS.

Against All Logic : “2017-2019” L.P. (Other People, 2020)

“Hound5tooth EST. 2013” V/A Compilation

Go for it, be splendid as they are in music and concept!

Houndstooth celebrates five years releasing electronic music with a free ‘Pay What You Like’ 15 track compilation, “showcasing label classics next to rarities and unreleased gems from associates old and new.” The in-house venture from fabric, the famous London nightclub, operates as a conventional record label since February 2013, growing steadily from the first release, “The Present Tense,” by Call Super. Resident Advisor qualified it at the time as “one of this year’s best new label.” It runs by A&R Rob Booth (Electronic Explorations) integrated into parallel Fabric Records‘ staff formed by Leo Belchetz and Rob Butterworth (label manager and director, respectively), noticing the latter takes care of fabric’s long-running mix CD series. “Hound5tooth EST. 2013” is available now on the label’s Bandcamp.

This new release adds an artists’ label profile to its previous digital-only 5th-anniversary compilation, “In Death’s Dream Kingdom,” appeared at the end of January. This title takes a phrase of 1925 T.S. Eliot‘s poem “The Hollow Men,” contributed by twenty-five acts out of its roster inspired by the famous verses of the universal poet of Modernism’s epitome. A poem that speaks for the lost souls of a generation, the ones who fought in WWI and faced death on the battlefield and saw the ideals of humanism’s freedom crumbling down. The club fabric London’s offshoot label gave a reflexive insert to document the dark signs of this time in its language; almost shut down. I guess everything has a reason. Reasons (in plural). Better work out on label’s name, Houndstooth, for the creative side, the very British sense of taking old patterns interlaced for the colored new. Diversity is moving hope calling for everyone. Celebrate we keep on, very outgoing!

Nicolas Jaar: “Sirens” Deluxe Edition – [Other People]

Deluxe piece of information

Coin in Nine Hands is more than a welcomed addition to the Deluxe release/reissue of Nicolas Jaar’s 2016 record Sirens, out today in digital format through Other People. Permission for daring it sounds like it is the track that traces all the way back to the starting point, from where everything came to result in one of the last year’s outstanding album. This is what Nicolas tweeted about the release.

Code Inconnu/Uknown Code is a film made in 2000 by Martin Haneke about unperceived interconnections among people. Taking Margarite Yourcenar novel’s title of the mid-thirties, Coin In Nine Hands is a downtempo number with unexpected turns modulating a thoughtful spoken words piece inspired on sight, somewhere in the Persian Gulf under the overwhelming heat. We got the same drying Nature force that deserted all, even a whole sea, under the skin or in the back of our mind. From outside looking in, a waived part of human nature confronts the rational illusion of freedom and understanding against the Leviathan as described by philosopher Thomas Hobbes, the unstoppable gaining force. There’s no fiction in this friction. There are (r: [a:]) victims for the difference. Memories of the political history of Chile goes with Víctor Jara, and the erosion keeps gradually melting away names like Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid (Shawkan), sentenced to death for taking pictures of the street protests in Cairo, or blogger Rafi Badawi, activist pro-human rights in Saudi Arabia, lashed for his words. There’s awareness in using proper name Potemkin, not only in the sense of rebellion, dramatized in the legendary film by Sergei Eisenstein in 1925, but mostly in the sense of Potemkin village. Developed by Grigory Potemkin, during the annexation of Crimea from the Ottoman Empire, the minister of Empress Catalina II decided to create fake constructions made up of the ruins in an appearance of wealthy normality. A concept that made a fortune run in political rhetoric, to deceive others that the situation is better than it is.

With this piece of information, it is easy to understand the conceptual leap Jaar had to afford from eclectic and critically acclaimed first album, Space Is Only Noise (Circus, 2011), to the defiant ideas involving the sophomore, Sirens. From being a successful producer to become a composer in the true meaning of a musician who creates an own discursive work. Those conscious thoughts needed a reclusive place to flourish. A Manhattan apartment in the shades, concentrating on the daily home surrounding sounds accompanying the immersive reflection.

It’s when Sirens becomes an electronic suite full of contrast, and subtle turns in rich nuances – which are technical skills –, with sonic elements of magic realism as memory recall of childhood. This is a literary tag that helps to describe a reflexive, intimate and questioning universe of his own, that the artist observes from a shady and recluded intimacy, away from the luminous intensity of the sirens chants coming from Time Square. There is Erik Satie piano resonance meeting Ryuichi Sakamoto template, as a rational illusion of order is unable to veil the algorithmic intelligence that reigns, the hard steps of affirmative over the opposition. There’s choosing toys to grow, inculcated promises for the disbelieving. There is the father… But Sirens also has a chapter for hope. At least for the voices of opposition that gave and procure now the other ways. It is a heartfelt rendition to the outside, to the city that welcomed to anyone from misfortune or incomprehension to grow in richness melt, from the corners of the improvised doo-wop to the radical Lydia Lunch and the devoted admiration for no wave duo Suicide.

Of course, Sirens is a politically charged album. The release of Coin In Nine Hands gives a cue for the first steps in the process of its creation. By the way, it explains what intuition supposed about the inclusion of a nickel coin, cased in a plastic outer sleeve over a white scratch-off ink cover from the first Deluxe edition of the album, released October 14, 2016, fifteen days after the digital format was available to download.

In music, the importance of an album takes value from the listener, but the record industry also has parameters as the number of versions that comes out from the original with the extra unheard material besides. Collectors and artists’ followers take care of these variations. It is worthwhile information. Wildflower was already in the first Deluxe edition, as well as Mirrors and the title track, Sirens. Wildflower also appeared in the Japan original edition. Now, Wildflower belongs to the new Deluxe release/reissue of Sirens as a digital option, along with principle Coin In Nine Hands and America!/ I’m for the birds. Asking for the vinyl, full coin-scratched cover? With reordered titles and leaving out the title track.