Premiere: Coyote Clean Up - “Rompy Exxxtreme”

31 Oct 2012 — Tonje Thilesen

Via Electronic BeatsToday we are excited to announce that Electronic Beats is joining up with No Fear Of Pop to premiere a new track by Coyote Clean Up. This is the first post in our drive to sync content from our favorite blogs. Watch this space for more!

Detroit's club head Coyote Clean Up has ever since his first appearance on NFOP, enchanted us with psychedelic techno filtered through tape recorded, Peaking Lights-esque decayed atmospherics. Following his splendid tape release Frozen Solid on 100% Silk, Magma Mondays will be released via Time No Place, and might in fact be his most thoroughly crafted release as of yet. Here, Coyote Clean Up takes a steadier direction, playing with hypnotic contrasts of chillout and Detroit house, contantly transforming the colour scheme of his intellectual, slow-building productions.

Below is a brand new, slightly darker cut from the album, out digitally on November 19th.


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Download Moon Glyph’s free Compilation

31 Oct 2012 — Henning Lahmann

Formerly Minneapolis, now Oakland-based imprint Moon Glyph, responsible for so many favourites on the shelves of the NFOP office, has unveiled a new compilation to showcase the label's stunning 2012 roster. The two-part selection, which is available for free download on the MG website, is entitled Opal Vol.I & II and features 26 fresh tracks by many artists that our readers will be familiar with, including The New Lines, Velvet Davenport, The Garment District, Deep Earth, Food Pyramid, Deep Magic, M. Sage, Meadowlands, and Future Shuttle. A lot of incredible stuff to discover, so head over here and get your copy.

Below, watch the video accompanying "Everybody Dies", the compilation appearance by our favourite Scandinavian psych poppers Halasan Bazar.



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Video: Lee Gamble “Diversions 1994-1996”

31 Oct 2012 — Henning Lahmann

As previously reported, Lee Gamble's Diversions 1994-1996 probably is this year's most astounding example of rave nostalgia (and don't say it could be the only one), a work that really gives the term 'collage' a whole new meaning. Gamble manages to not just channel the lost tales of mid-nineties jungle through the EP's ghostly transmissions in order for the listener to revisit or reappraise the original music. The gloomy, bleak atmosphere that dominates throughout, created solely with samples of his old jungle mixtapes, lets us actually and painfully feel the loss of the artist's youth. It's an unsettling process that halfway into the EP turns the listener into a position of feeling lost in memories as well, a result that is achieved without ever resorting to the cheap effects that 'hypnagogic pop' so often tends to rely on. As reported by FACT, the accompanying video, created by Gamble himself together with Dave Gaskarth, follows an analogous path, patching together blurred, almost unrecognisable footage of raves that seamlessly conflate into music's the spectral sounds.

Diversions 1994-1996 is out now on the ever-exciting PAN. Highly recommended.


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In related news, Lee Gamble is among the first names to have been announced as part of the forthcoming, 14th edition of CTM Festival, which will happen in Berlin from January 28 till February 3. The festival, which will be staged under the theme "The Golden Age", is going to feature a whole lot of other exciting artists as well, namely Emptyset, Ernstalbrecht Stiebler, Agnieszka Dzubiak, Werner Dafeldecker, Ensemble L’Art pour L’Art, Florian Hecker, Heatsick, Iceage, Jar Moff, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Mark Fell, Matmos, Myrninerest feat. David Tibet, James Blackshaw, Andrew Liles, Reinier van Houdt, Aloma Ruiz Boada, David Pepe, and Oneirogen. We'll let you know when more names have been unveiled.

Related posts:
Lee Gamble: “Emu”.

Espher: “You Are Loved”

30 Oct 2012 — Tonje Thilesen

I once got lost in a cave in Laos. Unconciously, your mind wanders through three different phases during those few seconds you realize that you're lost, and most obvious of them all: fear. But after the first wave of fear has settled, your ears slowly adjust to the silence, desperately searching for immense sounds that might appear in the unknown space. Drips from the cave ceilings appear like bass drums in the distance, bouncing around the unstructured room, making it impossible to locate its original source. Somehow the down-pitched, musical emotion of Espher made me think of this very experience, as his beautifully atmospheric production and dry beats resembles the feeling of being lost in a labyrinth of caves. There is that, but also a shattering softness to "You Are Loved" which gives the track a soulful balance; a tense feeling of being trapped and free at the same time. You adjust your ears to analyze the location of the sound, but all that returns is endless waves of echo. We found the cave opening in the end, though.

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Video: Shock “Heaven”

30 Oct 2012 — Henning Lahmann

Just as neon as the picture would suggest but not quite as glaring, dazzling Bay Area outfit Shock sound a bit like Chromatics if they were a bit more upbeat, in every sense of the term. Featuring the well-established musicians Dan Judd and Terri Loewenthal, Shock's picture-perfect debut single "Heaven" is a sultry and seductive pop gem that does inherit its share of sweaty 2am Italo vibes but fortunately doesn't stop there, culminating in a simply irresistible instrumental bridge that brings in a compelling layer of perfectly shimmering guitars. The video itself does exactly what it should do in such a persuasive case, adding just the right amount of kitsch (we're still trying to figure out whether those beach scenes are ironic or not) to close the deal.

Shock's Heaven 12" is out via Voltaire Records. Stream the whole EP, which features remixes from Steve Moore (Zombi), Hatchback, and The Beat Broker, after the jump.


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Video: Mascara Snake “Bones & Rainbows”

30 Oct 2012 — Henning Lahmann

Talented Frenchman Pacôme Genty of Rrose Tacet recently dropped a new solo work under his Mascara Snake moniker, and the title track just received a visual treatment by gifted collagist The Tearist, who used images from the movies Perfect Day by Ange Leccia from 2007 and Ghost by Takashi Ito from 1984 to appropriately accompany Genty's gently melancholic broken pop dreams.

Get Bones and Rainbows over at bandcamp now.


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Mix: -8° Celcius

30 Oct 2012 — Tonje Thilesen

In courtesy of Henning's retrospect on the future of pop music, Michael McGregor gave us an excellent mix with thoughtful picks from the many different sounds of pop we're surrounded by, everything from Teebs to its more contemporary form of art, be it relevant to the changing season or not. 2012 is the year of futuristic pop music in all its unique outfits, but most importantly the electronic kind, from the atmospheric to the static, footwork or UK garage; the club music is back and we know it so well.

This mix contains a bit of everything from the massive melting pot: our brilliant friends Kuhrye-oo and Born Gold, Helsinki's Albert Swarm, Offshore, Actress, Dublin electronic representative Faws, and of course our personal 2012 obsession Unknown. It is also a direct tribute to the french record label BYRSLF, which I would personally name as the most influential electronic label throughout this year, with recent releases such as PEDRO123, Seapoint and the very amazing Umba, who also received a mind-boggling remix by Unknown To The Unknown; one of Cecil Frena (Born Gold)'s biggest influences on his newest album Litle Sleepwalker. The young electronic ambient producer Even Ireland is also worth a mention,  whose self-release Ten Songs About The Last Six Months is definitely worth a a proper listen, whatever you may or may not mean about his originality.

And to our friends in New York: enjoy this one and stay safe. 


0:40 -  Ryan Vail - Heartbeat (Unknown Remix) (+ sample Julia Holter - Moni Mon Amie intro)
5:00 - Evan Ireland - Potential 
8:40 - Kuhrye-oo - For The Fame II
12:30 - Faws - Fuck It (+ intro sample of The Radio Dept - Heaven's On Fire)
16:40 - Albert Swarm - He Took A Deep Breath
20:00 - Offshore - Summer Hits (+ sample of Traxman - Let There Be Rockkkkk)
23:15 - PEDRO123 - Oh (original mix)
27:00 - Acress - RIP (1/2)
28:00 - Umba - Acid Rain
33:45 - Born Gold - Lethe
36:40 - Seapoint - Unknown Ruins
Outro: fragment of How To Dress Well - When I Was In Trouble


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No Fear Of Pop: Notes on the Future of Music

29 Oct 2012 — Henning Lahmann

’Popular music’ can either mean ‘music that is widely appreciated’ or else music for ‘the people’ or by ‘the people’, regardless of how many people actually appreciate it. I’m referring to the third category, but either way the term is generally a catch-all category for music that isn’t thought to be Western classical music. Since the Second World War this ‘popular music’ has been increasing exponentially in diversity and complexity, incorporating new, technological structures and forms and becoming a powerful new site for musical modernism. It hopefully goes without saying, then, that modernist music isn’t limited to one particular musical style or genre, but can and will manifest through hundreds and thousands of different styles. In any case, the main thrust of musical modernism has largely fallen out of the hands of Western classical music over the last fifty years.

Adam Harper, Infinite Music


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In line with above introductory statement in Adam Harper's wonderfully inspiring Infinite Music and contrary to what Adorno would have us believe for decades, we are convinced that pop music indeed is capable of introducing something "fundamentally new" into the larger picture of contemporary culture. We believe, in essence, that what's currently happening in Montréal or Bristol, in Brooklyn or L.A., or what might happen during a night at Berghain or the Golden Pudel Club, can be a manifestation of true modernism. However, it would also be too short-sighted to only look for the avant-garde in Burial's or Julia Holter's latest work, or in a Laurel Halo remix of a Kuedo track (though we're sure it's there) - boundaries are also being pushed in Oklahoma, or in Georgia, or indeed in Scandinavia's latest dance anthem; it is in this sense that we have no fear of pop.

On the occasion of the first exhibition of Vir Heroicus Sublimis, Barnett Newman had attached a note that read, "There is a tendency to look at large pictures from a distance. The large pictures in this exhibition are intended to be seen from a short distance." As a blog, which this site has been so far and will remain to be at its core, we follow Newman's instruction. Standing right in front of the painting, we gaze at the details that are the tracks that we post and write about, a tiny selection of the thousands of musical works that appear each single day. Only in retrospect, from a distance, those details may or may not turn out to be of significance for the bigger picture that we like to call the culture of contemporary, forward-thinking pop. This self-perception surely does not mean that we don't have our own thoughts about the evolution of music, and one reason for relaunching the site was to allow the presence of longer and more reflective pieces in the future. However, for the time being we happily and emphatically direct you towards the people whose job it is (or should be) to stand in the safe distance and shed light upon the big picture, publications that we trust in such as The Wire, The Quietus, Ad Hoc, FACT, Dummy, Tiny Mix Tapes, or Electronic Beats.

What you see here should nonetheless be more than another random assortment of the arbitrarily hyped or soon-to-be-hyped or would-be-hyped. Apart from pure pop-cultural relevance, our primary aim is to provide at least some meaning in and of itself. As Pitchfork's Mark Richardson put it so beautifully the other day, "I am absolutely saturated with new music every day, and finding new things I like is not just easy, it's inevitable. So when I ask someone, 'What have you been listening to?' I'm trying to learn something about them. (...) The fact that someone would find music interesting purely by virtue of the fact that I am listening to it is foreign to me. What I listen to does not seem notable; why I listen to it might be. I need context." That's exactly what we shall be trying to achieve; not so much simply acting as curators of the dernier cri but as an honest guide into the ever-growing obscurities of today's pop music. So when we're good, you will like the stuff we post, or ideally even find it intriguing, engaging, and challenging. But when we truly succeed, you will also know why we posted it.

To celebrate No Fear Of Pop's second metamorphosis, we've asked our esteemed friend Michael McGregor (Meadowlands/The Report) to share his vision of the future of music with this exclusive mix that you may listen to below.

"The idea was certainly in keeping with, and from the point of, exploring the 'future of music', however, most of the tracks are pretty old, or at least not contemporary. Either way, these songs, together, feel symbolic of where things may go as the archive of music opens and expands for all to hear and enjoy."


(1) Bearns & Dexter - Golden Voyage
(2) Jean Bouchety - Lifebound (Submix)
(3) Teebs - King Bathtub (minus 10)
(4) Kevin Ayers - Pisser Dans Un Violon
(5) Nini Raviolette - Suis Je Normale
(6) Actress - Ascending (bckwrds)
(7) Dick Sutphen - Trance Sex
(8) DJ Sprinkles - Brenda's $20 Dilemma
(9) Elaine Radigue - Adnos 3
(10) Gramm - Legends / Nugroove™
(11) Prince Jammy - Wafer Scale Integration
(12) Inoyama Land - Apple Star
(13) Roland Douttate 7 Orchestre - Gymnopedie no. 3 (Erik Satie)
(14) F. McDonald/ C. Rae - Memory Bank
(15) Bullwackies All Stars - Black Heart Dub
(16) David Caspar - Dawn Poems part 1: Early Moments
(17) Reichmann - Weltweit