1800HaightStreet “Heldled EP”

28 Sep 2015 — Max B.K.

With their second release, 1800HaightStreet make it evident that they've dialed in signatures of their sound. Hi hats and noise cut across chthonic dub in both releases, but their first work felt paranoid and frenetic at times, propelled along by snare fusillades at 130. In their new work, the anxiety has been released. It's still night, but the visions have have slowed down and become warmer.

The three tracks take their direction not from the awkwardly titled B1 track "Heldled" but from its A-side, "Dreamer." Like the track name, the album does threaten heavy-handedness. Airy synths and soothing dub traverse well-tread space, but then acid, noise, and the surging sound of electricity provide the contrast that holds everything together. As the record's most remarkable track, "Heldled" touches on familiar sounds with a melancholic Burial-esque woodwind and a melody that's reminiscent of Four Tet's "She Moves She," it's the surging electricity that save it from sentimentality and marks out the Vancouver trio's aesthetic.

While the EP doesn't have anthemic stompers like predecessor The Pursuit, the sound is just as big. There's no getting lulled into complacency or to sleep. The visions aren't so straightforward after all.

Heldled will be out on Lobster Theremin's Mörk sub-label on October 23rd.

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Interview: S Olbricht

23 Sep 2015 — Evelyn Malinowski

I'm sure plenty of us agree that Hungarian producer S Olbricht exudes plenty of novelty as well as mystery. To try and understand this better, I contacted Martin Mikolai, the man behind the make-believe legendary name, and asked him some questions.

S Olbricht's latest 12" Trancess is out via Bratislava-based imprint Proto Sites. Stream it in full right here.

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Review: Privacy “Human Resource Exploitation Manual”

17 Sep 2015 — Max B.K.

It was said that Objekt 'achieves a quintessentially techno aim: embodying the future.' The statement could be made truer. It's not techno that most reflects our anxieties about our future world back to us, but electro. The 4/4 that exemplified the unimpeded production of industrial modernity is torn apart by a future that's unpredictably complex, frenetic, and not easily understood – a future of break beats. Dieselboy released The Human Resource in 2006. And now, on September 11, 2015, Privacy has put out The Human Resource Exploitation Manual on Lobster Theremin. The future has grown dimmer, but have the sounds become more future? No new heights in sound production and composition are attained here. Nevertheless, Privacy has produced a consistently good piece of work in these three tracks.

The best parts of the EP are when the sounds of percussive machinery, tones, and noise roam – intersecting and diverging into an edifyingly complex, mutating, and dystopian world; the worst when the A-side tracks make use of the melodies and chords of black and white scary movies to signify the eerie. For electro to continue to break boundaries (and to be taken seriously), it has to cut itself free from such cliches and embrace the dazzling and frightening future. "Apex Predator", the standout track of the EP on the  B-side, makes sparing use of melody, and does just that. Vaulting itself forward at 133 BPM into driving dance music, it leaves sentimental impulses behind. As the record comes to end, we're left in the place we want to be.

The Human Resource Exploitation Manual is out now. Get it here.

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Interview: Sean Nicholas Savage

16 Sep 2015 — Zachary Taube

So you’re coming down from a night of uppers, walking home from that party that surprisingly didn’t trigger your social anxiety, feeling a bit bummed because the person you had your eye on went home with someone else but, hey, they’re their own self, and jealousy is a useless emotion anyway (most times, at least). You look at your reflection in the window of the Chinese takeout and realize that you’re wearing lipstick, which you definitely weren’t wearing when you arrived at said party, that it actually looks pretty slick, and that it even matches the red of the neon dragon. You need more red in your life. It’s raining. All is well in the world because time is happening and even though it’s kind of an accident that you’re here, you’re still here and you’re gonna have a great time and drench yourself in red.

A bit poetic, I admit, but it’s hard not to be when talking about Montreal-bred balladeer Sean Nicholas Savage and his newest album Other Death. I had the pleasure to sit down with Sean a few days before he departed from his latest stint in Berlin. We talked about LA, spirituality, death, jazz and being a freak. Check it out on the link.

Other Death is out via Arbutus on September 18.

(Photo by Molly Nilsson)

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Stream: Feather Beds “Ah Stop” EP

11 Sep 2015 — Andrew Darley

Originally from Dublin, Michael Orange relocated to Quebec for two years. At the beginning of 2015, Orange released his debut record The Skeletal System under his artist name Feather Beds. Only a few short months after its release he is now releasing a new EP, Ah Stop. Written in the depths of a sub-zero Canadian winter, the EP has a contrasting glowing feel. Opening with the sleepy “El Manx”, the EP’s four songs comprise looped instrumentation, treated vocals and muffled textures, which reverberate like old memories. There’s a warmth in the swell and restraint of “Manx”, while the closing song “Drat” echoes the soft keyboard melody of its opener alongside audio clips of old-school television. With only a few months since his debut record, Ah Stop shows a more concentrated electronic sound set to feature on his second album scheduled for 2016.

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Night Trap: “Someone Like You”

10 Sep 2015 — Andrew Darley

Night Trap are an electronic duo based in Dublin made of Jill Daly and Ciarán Smith. They formed their band over a mutual love of synth music of the ‘80s such as Kraftwerk, Oppenhemier Analysis and the music of Vince Clark. Their approach does not attempt to replicate what was great about that period in electronic music; instead, the pair emulates the wistful vitality of the era’s music. Over a stuttering beat and sharing vocals, their new single “Someone Like You” yearns for a new love: “Is there someone else around that’s just like you?” It’s sweeping dose of electronic pop about a desire to find new love without having moved on from a former relationship.

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Interview: Sun Araw

10 Sep 2015 — Lukas Dubro

Long Beach, California is where Cameron Stallones has chosen to live and to work. The musician is one of the most celebrated experimental artists of our days. The music of his alias Sun Araw is a synthesis of various styles of krautrock, electronic, dub, funk and afrobeat. With his recent project Duppy Gun he collects and puts out dub music from Jamaica together with M. Geddes Gengras, a modular synth wizar he met in the L.A. experimental music scene. Although Stallones is featured on the soundtrack of our fav video game Hotline Miami, he isn’t a big gamer. What he does like is playing pool, eating noodles and petting animals. We asked him a few questions about zoos, pets, his artwork, veggie food and dinosaurs.
 Read after the break.

Stallones and his band are presenting their latest record Gazebo Effect and are spinning records as Duppy Gun Soundsystem at ACUD on Sunday, September 13. No Fear Of Pop is media partner of the event. RSVP here.

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Review: Savant “Artificial Dance”

08 Sep 2015 — Evelyn Malinowski

What makes abstract music beautiful? Take Savant's "Using Words," opening track from the Artificial Dance LP, out September 4th on RVNG Intl. The bright keys and guitar feedback strown throughout the song give the seven minute sonic wallpaper a sense of pleasant curiosity. If they were taken away, we'd be left with the darkly comical, Morricone-esque pieces of some kind melody. The pieces would equate to ongoing, gentle inquisition, but with a harder, more gutter punk exterior.

This likening may seem laughable when learning about the leader behind the work. Seattleite Kerry Leimer, long-time avantgardist and label runner, is hardly gutter punk. Highly intelligent, auteurist, rhythmic enthusiast is more like it, although Seattle always has but grunchy edge to it. In any case, Leimer's imprint, Palace of Lights, offers at least 168 full hours of soundtrack to your life. It could be private, ambient and abstract listening while at work in your cubicle, feeding a guilty pleasure for insane music in a world made of pretend sensibility. It is on POL's homepage that we learn that Artificial Dance is a re-edition from Savant's original, self-titled POL release, one briefer, shyer, less heady. A Period of Review is where RVNG first got involved with Leimer, and it differs from Artificial Dance in several ways, one being that there's a lot more tracks on the former release. Secondly, A Period of Review is a lot more muzak-y, melody-centric, and, well 1970s-feeling, whether it in its entirety is a product from that era or not. In the RVNG shop you can order a POL CD bundle which features three K.Leimer ambient releases and Marc Barreca's Tremble, an album which Textura says "takes mere seconds for it to swell into the robust form it will assume for its duration.... a word like organic is less applicable than geologic, given the immense tectonic force with which its material convulses."

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