Michael Gira: "'The Seer' took 30 years to make. It’s the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I’ve ever made, been involved in or imagined. But it’s unfinished, like the songs themselves. It’s one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade. The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in the studio..."
Στις 16 Οκτωβρίου έχει προγραμματιστεί να βρεθεί στις προθήκες των δισκοπωλείων το 'Unknown rooms: A collection of acoustic songs', η συλλογή της Chelsea Wolfe με εννέα (και δύο επιπλέον σε ψηφιακή μορφή) παλιότερες, αλλά και νέες απογυμνωμένα απλές συνθέσεις σκοτεινών αποχρώσεων με ακουστικά μελωδικό προσανατολισμό και συνοδεία εγχόρδων.
"'Unknown rooms' as an idea is something in dream interpretation; something undefined that hints to your afterlife; spaces you create with what you have around you."
Chelsea Wolfe: "I had so many unreleased acoustic or acappella songs from over the years that had sort of circulated on YouTube or old compilations and I got a lot of requests for these recordings so I decided to put together a collection of them. Some are new... But I’m most excited about my next full-length, which will most likely be released in early 2013."
""Flatlands" is about a connection to a place and the darkness that comes from being displaced and away from what is intrinsic and meaningful to you. It’s about desiring simplicity and realness in a world that is ruled by chaos and that is constantly pressuring us to focus on superficiality."
Ένα μήνα νωρίτερα αναμένεται να κυκλοφορήσει σε περιορισμένα αντίτυπα η ηχογράφηση της συνταρακτικής της εμφάνισης στο φετινό festival του Roadburn. Την ακαταμάχητα σαγηνευτική ερμηνεία της και τις υπνωτικά βασανιστικές και αελλαία εξομολογητικές ιστορίες αγάπης και θλίψης θα απολαύσουμε και στις αρχές του επόμενου έτους.
Ενάμιση χρόνος από το εξαιρετικό 'Chiaroscuro', την πρώτη κυκλοφορία του Einar Stray που αιχμαλώτιζε πλήρως τις αισθήσεις και μας εξέπλησσε με τις ενορχηστρώσεις του, ετοιμάζεται να διέλθει εκ νέου από το παραθύρι μας, να τρυπώσει μέσα από το διάπλατα ανοιχτό περβάζι και να μας αφήσει τα τρία ολάνθιστα κλωνάκια του. Το 'For the country' θα είναι μικρής διάρκειας, αλλά με τραγούδια σαν το "Envelope" είναι βέβαιο ότι θα γεμίσει την καρδιά μας με αγαλλίαση!
Ηχητικά αποσπάσματα με σύντομες χρηστικές πληροφορίες από κυκλοφορίες που ξεχώρισαν bloggers που διαμένουν σε 37 διαφορετικές χώρες. Αποκτήστέ τα στο σύνολό τους πατώντας εδώ ή μεμονωμένα στον τίτλο του κάθε τραγουδιού. Καλή ακρόαση!
Bleak and broody music has never been quite so thrilling. Sad Part is an elaborately orchestrated, inherently dark, minimalist, piano dirge, like a sad dream scented with rain, with searingly compelling lyrical imagery, eerie vocals full of intuitive swells and fades, pauses that embrace some of the pious silence of a prayer and tremolo guitars that do an excellent job of creating a beguiling atmosphere. Electric Litany's highly anticipated sophomore album is set to be released later this year.
This is one of our favorite releases from 2012. We Are Family is Los Coming Soon's first album, in which they deploy 10 great songs filled with electronic textures and a soft, minimalist funky-disco base, all played with real instruments (no programming whatsoever). It was hard to pick one song for MAP, but we think No Way is representative of the whole record (you can buy it here).
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Flaws is an understated instrumental track that drives the emotive dream-pop at the heart of Runner. These guys originate from the west coast of Australia but their sound would sit perfectly with any shoegaze stoner melody coming out of 90s Melbourne. Flaws builds beautifully to a crescendo layered with harmony and a wall of hazy guitars.
This electronic duo is best known for their onomatopoetic track Miezekatze, a club and radio hit in 2010. Mixing such diverse genres as house, funk and soul, the tongue-in-cheek track Sexy Chair is taken from the Affine Records compilation What A Fine Mess We Made. The most recent Ogris Debris release, The Way feat. Ken Hayakawa (listen on Soundcloud), has a more Arabesque vibe to it.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
It took almost 10 years for BNegão & Seletores de Frequência to release their second album, but now their music is even more influenced by black music and rhythms such as Afrobeat, soul and samba rock. Essa é Pra Tocar No Baile is one of the breakthrough tracks of the record.
CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
My heart melts every time I hear Alt Altman - the one-man techno R&B band known as Digits - purr: "It's just a broken heart/but you ain't had a broken heart/like this," on Where Do You Belong? A song this catchy and infectious should come with warning labels: "May induce repeated listens and become lodged in your head for weeks at a time."
CHILE: Super 45
Music abounds during times of crisis, and La Big Rabia is one of the symptoms of this social unrest we are living with in Chile. Their EP, La Bestia, and their shows begin with a disruptive speech made through a loudspeaker by singer Sebastián Orellana, a sort of tired and furious crooner. After this, a retro rock disposition is unleashed on songs like Para Todos Los Hijos De Puta, with its chorus: "Todos contra los poderosos / Todos contra los que tengan sed de poder" ("Everybody against the powerful ones / Everybody against those thirsty for power").
Glow Curve formed in Beijing in 2011 and are influenced by post-rock and electronic music. The quartet absorb and explore new elements to blend complex instrumental sounds from contrasting emotions - manic or quiet, warm or cold.
COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Zalama Crew is a collective based in Cali, a city very close to the Colombian Pacific coast. An excellent example of what is happening in these lands, their project mixes hip-hop, urban and world music. No Hay Marcha Atrás ("There's No Turning Back") is taken from their first album Zalama Lekum, which fuses African rhythm with electronic sounds.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
With the amazing vocal of Fanney Ósk Þórisdóttir as a general highlight, Danish/Icelandic trio Kúra's debut Halfway To The Moon is a dark, melancholic and rather enticing affair mixing electronica, trip hop, dub and (indie) rock. Here's single Anchor, co-produced by acclaimed DJ and producer Buda (Lulu Rouge) and accompanied by this beautiful video by Kristian Touborg and Jesper Dalgaard.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Manchester's Josephine Oniyama is not another soul girl, even though some early breathless accounts of her work and voice are of the "you won't believe this isn't a classic lost R&B or blues recording" variety. Actually, as Pray That I Move shows, Josephine's vocal delivery and idiosyncratic lyrical vision have more in common with Morrissey than Mahalia Jackson. She's already made a big stir on the regional scene with Elbow's Guy Garvey and singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt among her champions. Her debut album, Portrait, is out on October 8.
Minttu & Olli are a graceful couple homebrewing sweet pop songs. With great vocal harmonies, a gentle folky spirit and smooth melodica sounds, the duo is a Nordic version of She & Him that could have easily been featured in the soundtrack of (500) Days of Summer.
FRANCE: Yet You're Fired
The Lemon Queen hails from Angers, east of France, where the music scene is flourishing at the moment, with everyone trying to play their cards right. The band makes a difference with their psychedelic pop-rock sound, reminiscent of Klaxons, a comparison particularly true on Sailing In A Wild Love. With catchy melodies and an undeniable energy, this quartet should be followed very closely.
Little is known about this band from Berlin which formed in 2008 and have already experienced some member changes. Revoke is taken from their Bambaloo EP. Expect to hear more of this promising post-rock act soon.
This latest track from the ambitious chamber-pop 10-piece sees them entering almost disco-like realms. A new album should see the light of day in the coming months but those who want to get to know this joyous collective better should check out the band's 2010 debut album This Mess We've Made.
After more than 10 years channeling his creativity with the indie-rock band Sajama Cut, Marcel Thee is now the only original member left. Here he pursues his passion for lo-fi, layered sounds, gospel music and poetry. If you love W.B. Yeats, the album is a tribute to him.
Formed from members of Adebisi Shank, Elk, Magic Pockets and Hands Up Who Wants To Die, No Spill Blood's first EP is released this month on Sargent House, home to Fang Island, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Les Butcherettes. If you're familiar with any of the bands mentioned then it won't surprise you to hear that No Spill Blood play it fast and furious, running on the noxious interplay between drums, effect-laden synth, low-end bass fuzz and bellowed vocals.
Cosmetic may sing in Italian but I'm sure their songs will speak to you anyway. Their rough and nervous shoegaze sound often drifts towards more muscular music as it makes way for an explosion of guitars. When I saw them live the first name that came to my mind was Dinosaur Jr. The motto on their Facebook page - "Noise and melodies that fight to get the better of each other" - pretty much sums up Cosmetic.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Tokyo artist Cuushe last brought out an album three years ago, and it turns out she spent the stretch of time after it was released building her own world. I Dreamt About Silence sees her stretched-out vocals covered in hazy synths, every sound wrapping around one another to create a glowing track you want to be enveloped by. Cuushe shows the best way to escape the rush of the modern world is to construct your own dreamy universe.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Bark Bark Disco is a lo-fi pop band fronted by former inventor Morris Woodcock (great-grandson of Manfred von Richthofen aka The Red Baron). Their songs have a raw immediacy with catchiness befitting a Broadway musical. Let's Do This is from their latest EP of the same name.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Chicha is a psychedelic mixture of cumbia with rock 'n' roll elements, originating in Peru during the 70s. Mexico City's Sonido Gallo Negro have unearthed the genre and hybridized it with local surf and rockabilly. Supplemented by the spooky visuals of design wizard Dr Alderete, their live shows are an intoxicating display of collective hypnosis. Throughout July 2012, this song and 13 more will be available for free download from Red Bull Panamérika as part of our fourth birthday compilation.
Art-school punks Bert and Marcel met at Groningen's local venue Vera. Every week they formed a brand new band, recorded an album and played one show. But with EARTH CONTROL, things didn't go exactly as planned; the duo decided to continue under this capitalized moniker. Though barely audible due to their lo-fi production and sub-par electronic equipment, EARTH CONTROL sing in their native Dutch tongue. Their sardonic lyrics deal with everyday subjects such as cell phones, sweaters or, in this case, the online purchase of a new trolley.
Grita Lobos is a musician who hides behind an Ethiopian mask, his sound influenced by New Order and Depeche Mode in mesmerizing electronic songs that suggest dark stories. Mr Danger is taken from his debut self-titled album which features vocals from actress and singer Anahí de Cárdenas.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Micro Audio Waves, who made history in 2004 by becoming the first Portuguese band to have a John Peel session, have released four albums and a fifth is due soon. Cartoon Real is a MAP exclusive free download, taken from their Zoetrope concept album, developed with choreographer Rui Horta and released with a DVD featuring one of their unique multimedia and performance live shows.
PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
El Medio is the solo project of Leonardo Balasques (Oscilador 4, Balún). Since 2004, Balasques has used this outlet to release very personal songs about life, friendships and love. Using his bedroom (and subsequently his living room) as a recording studio, Leo has crafted an expansive discography that experiments with the confrontation of synths and traditional instruments to create a folk/pop hybrid that warms the heart and stimulates the brain. El Medio has just released the album No Le Tengas Miedo Al Amor, on which you'll find Hasta Caer, featuring strings by Balún's Angélica Negrón and an unexpected, yet much welcomed, dose of blistering guitar noise and distortion.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Subcarpați is an explosive mixture of old and new. It's an eclectic combination that brings together melancholy Romanian folk songs, Romanian unity songs, traditional instruments and the rhythms of trip-hop, dubstep, hip-hop and dancehall.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
On this short preview from his upcoming album, beatmaker Lomovolokno moves to the next level of romantic harmonies, leaving us excited for a full-length release. He is one of those people who needs time and space to make music, so you need to wait patiently. But when the tracks are finally out, there is nothing as beautiful to compare.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
There's a tangible buzz about the Glasgow music scene right now and part of that has to do with the emergence of Holy Esque. There's a dark magic about their sound. The rasping, quivering vocals of Pat Hynes calls to mind The Undertones or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, while the squalls of guitar elicit comparisons with Joy Division or Glasvegas. The anthemic Rose, a MAP exclusive free download, is taken from their excellent debut EP.
SINGAPORE: I'm Waking Up To...
Exciting times are looming in the urban jungle of Singapore as audio-visual super-collective Syndicate turns up the heat, dropping influential honcho Kiat's new album like an A-bomb of intricate beats and samples that warp you into the inner workings of string theory. Featuring stellar collaborations with artists such as Vandetta, Klose, Digital and Isaac Aiesili, the album - titled The Inner Galaxy - decisively proclaims that electronic music from Singapore has come of age and is a force to be reckoned with. Evolution never happened this fast.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Meet Fire Through The Window. They have the ability to take a simple melody, add their very own quirky styling and turn it into something truly infectious and endearing, all while maintaining a fun pop sensibility. That is wholly true with their song Hey! - it is fun, funky and best shows off the band.
SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Loud indie-folk duo Wagwak have been around for a few years and made themselves a name at home. They recently left Korea to travel through Europe, playing gigs where they can, and having sung in English all along they're well prepared to bring their sound to an international audience. Before moving from their native Seoul, Wagwak released EP The Way To Drive Into The Arabian Sunset, opening with the slightly psychedelic Arabian Night.
Stand Up Against Heart Crime are five desolate souls whose lives have been touched by unease and unhappiness, five romantics who create the soundtrack of a loser who has grown up through the years. They are from Barcelona, and they have played in one of the most important festivals in Spain, Sónar. I Can't Stand Myself Sober is a pitiful fable of lack of self-esteem.
SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Hanna is Gothenburg-based Hanna Göransson, formerly known as Hanna Lovisa and one half of Cat5. As Hanna, she has teamed up with acclaimed Swedish producer Dan Lissvik (of Studio) and Canada's Young Galaxy to record her new EP Lioness, where feisty pop á la a certain Robyn meets Lissvik's characteristic grooves. The Lioness EP is out now via Sunshower Records and a first full-length is in the works.
Marochine is an instrumental band from Lucerne which alternates its style skilfully between jazz and noise to create beautiful soundscapes. They have released a four-song EP that can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp.
Soaked is a synth-pop band based in Istanbul. They formed in 2003 but their first EP only came out in 2010. With the success of it they recorded the Aftermath album at the end of 2011. In their own words, they describe themselves as "not only a musical ensemble but also a creative artistic platform, determined to provide the quality performance and art that Turkish audiences crave". It might sound pretty pretentious but it sure is true.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I'm Floating
New-to-the-scene DJ duo Poolside, from Los Angeles, couldn't have found a better way to jump into the public consciousness than funky superjam Slow Down. Sounding like a sublime mix of Sebastien Tellier and LCD Soundsystem, the track glows and shimmers in every way - and now it's perfectly positioned to dominate summer mixtapes across the world.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Tomates Fritos returns to the Music Alliance Pact after first appearing in July 2010. This time they have released their fourth studio album, Hotel Miramar (free to download on Bandcamp), in which they dare to show a "purest" side to the band - a slight departure from the folk sound that featured in previous records.
Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the whole 37-track compilation through Ge.tt here.
Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the whole 37-track compilation through Ge.tt here.
Elbow's Guy Garvey: "Writing a theme tune to accompany images with which everyone is familiar is something that Elbow find simpler than writing songs for a new album. The Olympic Games is about the coming together of people to celebrate our best athletes and it was as important to have a sympathetic theme for the losers as it was for the winners...
The song's about putting your hopes in someone, the physical aspect of human endeavour and pushing yourself to do something you couldn't do before.
"We wanted to do something quite traditional-sounding with a big gospel choir and a philharmonic orchestra. We knew it would have to have some gladiatorial elements; that it would need to be fierce. It also had to be the biggest piece of music we could create, yet be written in such a way that you could strip it down into different elements for use over different kinds of footage.
I knew I wanted to get my ego out of the way, so I told them that I wasn't going to sing on it. It's not an Elbow song; it's an Olympics theme song and it has to sound like it belongs to everybody. I think having the gospel choir on there helps give it that "everyman" feel.
What we've ended up with is hopefully quite an emotional piece of music. It lasts for about six and a half minutes, but you'll probably only hear a minute or two of it at any one time."
'First steps' will be available as a digital-only download from July 27, with all profits going to BBC Children in Need and Sport Relief.
To 'Clear moon', το πρώτο μέρος του μυστηριωδώς, αλλα έξοχα ημιτελούς μουσικού ημερολογίου του Mount Eerie με τη γνώριμα μη αφηγηματική, αλλά ποιητική μορφή γραφής του συνιστά μία έντονα προσωπική κυκλοφορία που εστιάζει στη μνήμη, αξιοποιεί τους αναλογικούς ήχους και τα ετερόκλητα ρυθμικά στοιχεία (όργανο και ακουστικές κιθάρες, γυναικεία φωνητικά, κρουστά και τύμπανα, drones, ήπιους τόνους και θορύβους) στις ενορχηστρώσεις του και μέσα από παρατηρήσεις της φύσης και της καθημερινότητας υπενθυμίζει στον Phil Elverum ότι έχει ζήσει. Οι αινιγματικά νωχελικοί ψίθυροί του, η υπαρξιακή ένταση και η παράξενη ελκυστικότητα των συνθέσεών του θα αναζητούν την προσοχή μας και στις οχτώ επιπλέον ηχογραφήσεις που θα περιέχονται στο 'Ocean roar' (αναμένεται αρχές Σεπτεμβρίου) και προέκυψαν την ίδια χρονική περιόδου πειραματισμών.
Δεύτερο single, προπομπός της πολυαναμενόμενης δισκογραφικής επιστροφής των The Irrepressibles με τα ηλεκτρονικά να λάμπουν σαν πυγολαμπίδες μέσα στη νύχτα και να εφάπτονται με τους εκφραστικούς πειραματισμούς και ερμηνευτικούς αυτοσχεδιασμούς του Jamie McDermott.
Beach house επανέρχονται με δέκα ακόμα αριστοτεχνικά σχεδιασμένες καρτ ποστάλ με συναισθηματικό κινητήρα τη μαγευτικά ερωτεύσιμη φωνή της Victoria Legrand και τις διαπεραστικά τρυφερές αφηγήσεις της, ιχνηλατούν και ανασύρουν παγιδευμένα μελαγχολικές αναμνήσεις και σκαρώνουν την ιδανική μουσική υπόκρουση για αέναες ονειροπολήσεις, χάρη σε απέριττες ενορχηστρώσεις μέσα στις οποίες ανθίζουν μεταξένιες μελωδίες με επίκεντρο τα synths, το όργανο και το πιάνο, τα επαναλαμβανόμενα ρυθμικά loops της drum machine, τις ανεπαίσθητες ηχητικές εναλλαγές και τις μεθυστικά φωτεινές αποχρώσεις της κιθάρας του Alex Scally. Το εξίσου αριστουργηματικό 'Bloom' διαθέτει την απροσδιόριστη ικανότητα να συγκλονίζει ακόμα και μετά από επανειλημμένες ακροάσεις.
The Irrepressibles' Jamie McDermott: "On this record, I’ve combined a lot of electronics with very polyphonic orchestrations to try and explain the complexities of life, because not everything is as simple as a pop song."