10 Albums that Marked February 2023
Kerala Dust Violet Drive
Kerala Dust’s new album Violet Drive is a record deeply affected and influenced by its surroundings. The band, formed in London in 2016, are now based between Berlin and Zurich, and the three Brits – Edmund Kenny on vocals and electronics, keys player Harvey Grant and guitarist Lawrence Howarth – have created a deeply European album torn between the past and future.
Talking about the track, the band said:
“Violet Drive is a piece of krautrock psychedelia, inspired by the 1970s German band CAN and Ennio Morricone. It felt like a completely new direction for us as a band when we wrote this, and took six months to finish.”
dEUS How To Replace It
dEUS have never really had a philosophy. Never wanted one. Yet they’ve remained true to certain guiding principles. “You don’t want to repeat yourself, but you have your style,” says Tom Barman, frontman and genial leader of the cult Belgian art-rockers. “You want to try new stuff and just react to whatever feels fresh at the time.” So it is with ‘How To Replace It’, their eighth studio album and first in ten years; distinctive and inventive, melodic yet defiantly off-kilter. Unique. And above all, unmistakably dEUS.
Lowly Keep Up The Good Work
The internationally acclaimed quintet from Denmark continue to develop their creative process, embracing other peoples’ affection and letting it blend into their songwriting. The result of this journey: Keep Up The Good Work via Bella Union, the band’s most heartfelt work to date:
“We know each other really well after 8 years as friends, colleagues and collective creators. We know what we’re each going through in life, and we can hear it in the music we make together; it’s always a personal reflection of us in the given moment.”
Miss Grit Follow The Cyborg
Across Follow the Cyborg, via Mute, Miss Grit pursues the path of a non-human machine, as it moves from its helpless origin to awareness and liberation. At times gentle and sparse, at others volatile and explosive, Follow the Cyborg occupies a sonic world of electronic experimentation and stirring electric guitars. As a mixed-race, non-binary artist, Sohn has always rejected the limits of identity thrust upon them by the outside world, in favour of embracing a more fluid and complex understanding of the self. Hailed by Rolling Stone as an “inventive, incisive singer-songwriter”, their process is introspective, their vision precise.
Phillip Selway Strange Dance
When Philip Selway – known predominantly as one of the most celebrated drummers in the world, playing in Radiohead for decades – approached some of his favourite musicians to play on his third solo record Strange Dance via Bella Union, he said he imagined it as a Carole King record if she collaborated with the pioneering electronic composer Daphne Oram and invited him to drum on it. Unsurprisingly they were all sold, and so began the bringing together of an extraordinary number of gifted people, including Hannah Peel, Adrian Utley, Quinta, Marta Salogni, Valentina Magaletti and Laura Moody.
Over the last few years, Unloved have developed their own uniquely cine-literate sound that draws a straight line from the moody, doom-obsessed girl group records of the early 1960s to the sonic experiments of electronic pioneers like Delia Derbyshire and Silver Apples via the darkest corners of David Lynch films and the crisp, mono beauty of the French New Wave. Chances are, you’ve heard their music on hit BBC TV series ‘Killing Eve’.
Polychrome, via Heavenly Recordings, sees the band take a deeper dive into their world, with eight new tracks recorded at the same time at the band’s recently released third long player, The Pink Album.
The Waeve The Waeve
Produced by The WAEVE and James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Foals, HAIM) and recorded in London earlier this year, The self-tited album is a collection of 10 new tracks from songwriters Graham Coxon and Rose Elinor Dougall via Transgressive.
A liquid meeting of musical minds and talents. A powerful elixir of cinematic British folk-rock, post-punk, organic songwriting and freefall jamming. The Waeve strikes that magical English folk-rock alchemy of earth and ether. Heaviness and weightlessness. Darkness and light.
Flume Things Don’t Always Go The Way You Plan
Grammy-winning electronic music titan Flume unveiled a surprise package of unheard music from the last decade: Things Don’t Always Go The Way You Plan via Transgressive. The release marks ten years since Flume’s self-titled debut 2012’s Flume launched the now-iconic producer and his signature sound into the stratosphere, with billions of streams worldwide and Platinum sales in multiple countries.
Based on his social media posts, it appears the music was culled from laptops and hard drives stashed away while he worked on other projects.
Maps Counter Melodies
Acclaimed producer James Chapman aka Maps returns with his uplifting new electronic album, Counter Melodies via Mute. Maps’ music has always embraced melancholia, but with Counter Melodies Chapman has produced an album of upbeat and uplifting dance tracks. The album is a new adventure through the familiar emotional terrain of the Maps sound, while also transporting you to more resolutely optimistic and hopeful places.
Sunroof Electronic Music Improvisations Volume 2
Daniel Miller (founder of Mute, the “accidental label” that began with the release of his own 7” single The Normal’s T.V.O.D / Warm Leatherette) met Gareth Jones, (the innovative and influential producer, engineer and artist) back when Miller asked Jones to work with him in late 1982 on what became Depeche Mode’s Construction Time Again.
Electronic Music Improvisations Volume 2 is a set of eight improvised modular electronic music instrument pieces recorded at the duo’s respective home studios via Mute. The recording sessions followed release of their debut, Electronic Music Improvisations Volume 1 (2021) but where Vol. 1 was the result of four decades of friendship and collaboration, this new album came together in a relatively short space of time. Recorded in the same spirit as their previous sessions – with no pre-planning and no rehearsal – they met up with “unpatched” modular systems, and began improvising.
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