Helado Negro – Island Universe Story Four (LP)
Helado Negro releases his fourth instalment of the Island Universe Story. Begun in 2012, Island Universe Story has acted as a way for Roberto Carlos Lange to distill the sounds of his numerous side projects onto a single LP, it’s like listening to his scrapbook. So don’t go into it hoping for a cohesive experience or one particularly interested in the listener, rather, you should just try and soak in as many of the sounds he presents as possible.
Nils Frahm – All Melody
Our favorite composer from the Peaceful Piano study playlist on Spotify is back, blessing us with 12 new tunes! In the album All Melody, it’s noticeable that Nils is trying to move away from the mainstream modern piano genre into vocal and instrumental experimentation. Still a solid study playlist, although it gets slightly weird after track eight, just an fyi.
Sting and Shaggy – Don’t Make Me Wait
Our English man and bombastic shagster are back in the game! This tune will be super popular at Hawaiian front desks in elderly circles. If you are elderly in spirit – give this a listen!
Other Notable Releases:
Django Django – Marble Skies
Lylo – Post Era
Jay Som – Pirouette (Single)
James Black – If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead (Single)
Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
The Fall – Best of Live (A respectable release for the memory of the genius Mark E. Smith)
Knucks, Not3s – Hooper
Evidence – Weather or Not
Tom Misch – Water Baby
Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Going On (Singles) Wafia – VIII (Single)
Yesterday, Yo La Tengo released four tracks from their upcoming album. The first three songs are mellow, mostly instrumental and reminiscent of other Tengo releases. The last track, Out of the Pool, provides the most interesting listen with a decidedly melodramatic take on psychedelic 90s electronica. Despite the somewhat underwhelming nature of the singles, the tracks (based on their order) seem to be promising that the finished product will take the listener on a long, transitive journey. Keep your eyes peeled for this one in March.
Wafia – VIII (Single)
Last year Wafia teased us with singles leading up to the awaited EP that was released this Friday. Wafia’s music has the typical, but loved, modern Australian electronic sound. Her smooth vocals soaring over the beats creates a unique, but one designed to satisfy the common listener. The best track on the EP, Interlude, which is ironic because it’s the interlude, shows that she has the potential to make some really cool beats. Instead she’s making boring generic music. Sad.
Andrea Balency – Around and Back and Around (Single)
I’m not going to lie, of the experimental singles I’ve listened to this year, this is the best. Blending gorgeous strings with a singing style reminiscent of Visible Cloaks voice manipulation techniques, this nine minute release studies the effects of dynamics by limiting itself to (mostly) two instruments. Due to the extremely stripped back nature of the songs, oscillation is used out of necessity, causing the strings and vocals to not only harmonize with each other, but with themselves. There’s a desperation clearly apparent in both Balency’s voice and the strings. As the two rise successively they sound like climbers clambering overtop of each other, terrified of whatever lies below. The effect is a sound that blankets over you and refuses to let you out. It’s an impressive progression.
Other Notable Releases:
Porches – The House
First Aid Kit – Ruins
tUnE-yArDs – I can feel you creep into my private life
The Go! Team – Semicircle
ShitKid – This Is It
Cadence Weapon – Cadence Weapon (Generic af)
ABRA – B.R.A.T
Clean Bandit – I Miss You (feat. Julia Michaels)
Of Montreal – Paranoiac Intervals/ Body Dysmorphia
SiR – November
- Ellen Ban Spaak and James Ford