Thursday, December 18, 2014

Covers that aren't covers [Updated]

While listening to this great track, I couldn't quite remember what GRIMES song he's based "Heartache" on:



It took Googling "GRIMES swinging a sword in the desert", but I found it: The original is called "Genesis":



Jump to 1:10 in the video for the core of the song. Also came across this: An excellent 8-bit rendition of Genesis. I don't usually go for chiptunes, but this is unlike most chiptune tracks that lean too heavily on midi or that ear-piercing Gameboy-reverb. Check it out:



Other versions are availble on the artists Bandcamp:



Update: More covers that aren't covers of Grimes - Genesis: Trevorsomething - Sega-Genesis. :)

 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Intergalactic Mashups

The original Beastie Boys - Intergalactic is an awesome, catchy track from my youth.

Not surprisingly, there's some really good mashup made using the Beastie Boys vocals that are worth listening to:


Daft Punk + Beastie Boys - Intergalactic Planet Get Lucky

There's actually two Ghostbusters / Intergalactic mashups I've found. The Jamal Bootleg mix is far punchier, but the looped beats are a bit jarring. For pure listening quality, the Josh Brewster Mashup works really well:



John Brewster - Intergalactic Ghostbusters (mashup)

...and something right out of left field:


M83 vs Beastie Boys - Midnight Galactic

Raves for Kids

A friend shared this gem with me: a rave for kids. Jump to 1:03 for something pretty wild looking.
I couldn't help but compare it to what my Elementary school Grade 8 dances sounded like back in the day. This is going to date me, but my memories of those didn't have any electronica, but instead featured Live - Lightening Crashes:


--with the hardest beats being dropped coming from Beastie Boys - Intergalactic:


I wish my gradeschool dances had glowsticks and early 90's trance instead. I'm making up for that oversight in spades these days.



Sunday, December 7, 2014

gℓo ( glo )

https://soundcloud.com/gloneiric







Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Empathy Test

Check out the catchy sounding Synthpop duo called "Empathy Test". I love the Blade Runner reference. :)






Check out all this artists work on their YouTube account, or at their SoundCloud.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wonderful synthwave mixes I didn't make

If I'd kept up making emotionally evocative synthwave dance mixes, they'd sound like those made by BenKaos. I love every one of them - take a listen:





More mixes here: https://soundcloud.com/benzin187


Tracklists:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Memory Tapes - Blue to Green Mix

A reoccurring favourite artist of mine who goes by Memory Tapes (and occasionally Weird Tapes) released another eclectic mix set:

https://soundcloud.com/memorytapes/blue-to-green-mix

When I met the artist during a small concert in Toronto, he commented that nothing on the internet is permanent. It exists, then is gone. For that reason, he rarely keeps his mixes posted for very long.

If you like this, or any of his other listed mixes via SoundCloud, be sure to save them offline using a any number of websites.

Pearl White - White EP



This came across my SoundCloud dashboard this morning, and it's wonderful.

Pearl White difficult to peg what genre it is, and it's all the better for it. I'm hearing some elements of trance, trap, and various other electronic dance genres - but it also has some pitch-shifted vocals and spooky synth happening (mixed with urban-dance vocals? ok!) that remind me of Purity Ring, or random Witchouse bands--minus the "triple-clap" sound.

The general vibe is a multi-genre, futuristic distopian background music. Some of that might come from how the EP is mixed together into a single set:

https://soundcloud.com/pearlywhite/white-ep

Support the artist by buying the EP (no minimum price, currently) via Bandcamp.




Another album with a similar vibe (but far more ambient-dance) was reposted on the Pearl White SoundCloud called Heavy Hearts - Archaic.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bat For Lashes - Rest Your Head [MAKIK]



 "One second it's introverted, psychedelic IDM, and the next second it's an uplifting party banger."
 Via Tracesseur

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tycho - Music Videos and Background Visuals from Live Shows

Tycho - See



Practical effects - the making of the visuals for Tycho - See


Tycho - See - Practical BTS from Conor Grebel on Vimeo.


Tycho - Ascension (Background Visuals from live show)



Tycho - Dye



Tycho - L (Live)



Tycho - Montana (Background Visuals from live show)



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tobacco - Friends Music DVDs 1 and 2

Years ago, I came across the music artist Tobacco at a tiny Toronto record store. I bought the last copy of a CD of his (right out of the CD player), but haven't heard it in a while.

I was pleased to find out some vintage footage was mixed into 30 minute long mixes of some of his music. It's well worth watching, and unlike anything except Apex Twin:


Image source.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Boy & Sister Alma

I've been enjoying the synthwave/electropop lyrics on this collaborative track between Timecop1983 and The Boy and Sister Alma:




I decided to get in touch with TB+SA to see if they had the transcribed lyrics, and any other recommendations for similar sounding tracks they've produced:

Timecop1983 - Call on You (feat. The Boy and Sister Alma) 
Lyrics
With my soft breath on the window I can trace the letters of our names
The cold air flows through the cracks of the pain
It touches my skin and I remember to always call on you in the rain
Calling to you now, just a ghost
I wanted to reach for you to pull you back to shore
I wanted to hold you in my arms, I wanted to go into the storm
But I wanted life more
You could never need me more than you did that day
Who could ever trust me to keep you safe
Breaking waves they claimed you, my feet in the sand
It's not because I didn't love you, I just couldn't swim

The Boy and Sister Alma also recommended this track from their EP as similar to the vocals on Timecop1983's track. It's wonderful stuff:



Also, an interview with the group on Synthwave Sunday:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

EDM in Toronto at it's best

While I've only discovered the Toronto EDM scene in 2014, I've been searching for some video that communicated the scale and effect nights at this place had.  Well, I found something: a well mixed highlight video of The Guvernment events from 2013, and another from Family Day 2012. 

Based on my experience at shows there in 2014, this is still accurate:


Paradise : Uplifting Trance Top 10 (May 2014)



------------------------ Uplifting Trance Top 10 (May 2014) Tracklist --------------------

Classic Club Music



Miss Jane - It's a Fine Day (ATB Club Mix) + Alice Deejay - Better Off Alone combine into a great mix:



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Airbird & Napolian - In The Zone


The break and resume at 2:07 was stuck in my head today - such a great, danceable track.

Same track also available on SoundCloud:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wastelands by Protector 101

Sounding like the forgotten soundtrack to an '80s Post-Apocalyptic, Mad Max-esk film, "Wastelands" is a great soundtrack-style album by Protector 101 - Released through the consistently awesome Telefutures label.

http://telefuturenow.bandcamp.com/album/wastelands

A Gap Between

I came across an excellent artist based in Portland called A Gap Between thanks to Tycho's Dazed Mix.

The title track is also available for free download an on Bandcamp compilation, Midnight Cassette.






Check out A Gap Bettween's Soundcloud for more hazy, chilled out synthwave with an 80's sound.


http://soundcloud.com/a-gap-between

Thursday, July 3, 2014

T∆TT - Summer of '86 Mix (July 1st edit)

Something unusual: An edit I made of an existing live mix by TATT.



I listened to the (excellent) original mix x8+ while driving around during the Canada Day (July 1st) long weekend.

The edited set is the same as the original, but does have a few small edits, and 3+ songs cleanly removed from the mix (Cassette Club - Don't Go, Plastiscines - Barcelona (Lifelike Remix), etc) to make it more dance oriented. It's a testament to TATT's live mixing skills that the songs and beat blend as well as they do.

In addition to streamlining the mix, I've added an edited version of Tim Mills - Eclipse of the Sun (Arthur Deep's Tokyo Sunset remix) to the end of the set. Enjoy.

Check out the original mix and tracklist here
(Artist has free MP3 download enabled)

Download the (also free) dance-oriented "July 1st" edit here (.MP3).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Timecop1983 - Journeys

An excellent album from Timecop1983, including some collaborative tracks with guest vocals.





For more tracks by Timecop1983, see my last post on his EPs here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unintended consequences: Sweden's EDM / Pop Music Engine


PSmag.com has a fascinating article (via boingboing.net) about how and why Sweden became the 'Hollywood' for pop and electronic dance music.
In attempting to prevent illicit American pop music from overpowering local culture in the 1940s, Sweeden's funding of public arts and music education generated something altogether different in the following decades:


"Sweden, and in particular Stockholm, is home to what business scholars and economic geographers call an “industry cluster”—an agglomeration of talent, business infrastructure, and competing firms all swirling around one industry, in one place. What Hollywood is to movies, what Nashville is to country music, and what Silicon Valley is to computing, Stockholm is to the production of pop. In fact, Sweden is the largest exporter of pop music, per capita, in the world, and the third largest exporter of pop overall."

[...] 


"So how did Sweden, a sparsely populated Nordic country where it’s dark for much of the year, become a world capital of popular music? Rarely does such a complex question lead to such a satisfying answer: Three-quarters of a century ago, Swedish authorities tried to put a stop to the pernicious encroachment of international pop music, and instead they accidentally built a hothouse where it flourished."

Sweedish Pop Mafia: How a culturally conservative effort in the 1940s backfired to create the greatest engine of pop music in the world.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

COM TRUISE Wave I Tour - Wrongbar Toronto 2014 Concert Video



This videos contains excepts I recorded at the Com Truise "Wave 1" concert in Toronto's Wrongbar, Feb 12th 2014.




I've tweaked the audio with filters/EQs to mitigate the 'blown out' effect caused by the heavy, heavy bass.

http://comtruise.com/ 
http://soundcloud.com/com-truise

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gothgaze / Darkwave Electronica - B R A I D E R



When I recommended this album to a friend, the Australian artist "Empty" came to mind. BRAIDER is certainly more atmospheric, while Empty is more club-oriented. I feel they could easily share a playlist: both share the same dark, futuristic soundscape.

 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stratford Ct. : Amicus Curiae 2014 Retrowave Compilation



The Stratford Ct. bandcamp page also provides a helpful listing of all the artists' SoundCloud pages.

These are some particularly nice tracks from this compilation:
Sazabio - Monki,
SHY WOŁVE - coincé à nouveau,
HOME- - Bohemian Grove,
DINOSAURUS REX x AZTC - Brassier,
and『Tora Tora』 - Skyline

Tycho - Awake Album


Via NPR:

The instrumental music San Francisco's Scott Hansen makes as Tycho splits the difference between post-rock's melodic architecture and pop ambient's immersive, uplifting environments. Hansen's aims felt a little harder to grasp on the sprawling Dive, the 2011 predecessor of his fourth album as Tycho, Awake. The latter is a slickly constructed album that finds him streamlining both his setup and his aims — the sounds he uses and how he deploys them are more considered and purposeful. 
Awake is focused on the dynamic between driving rhythms that wouldn't be out of place in M83's '80s-worshipping work and the stargazing romanticism of Ulrich Schnauss. In all of these songs, electric bass and live drums are locked on cruise control as litanies of guitar and Minimoog lines peel off in divergent, kaleidoscopic patterns. Things never crystallize into narrative song structures, but Tycho never loses the plot, offering the listener a steady succession of thematically united vignettes. In contrast to both the tension-and-release tactics employed by the likes of Mogwai and the wintry narcolepsy of Kompakt's Pop Ambient compilations, this succinct album — clocking in at just under 40 minutes — contents itself with being a seamless, vaguely melancholic reverie. 
Awake humbly suggests itself as the soundtrack to a sunbaked road trip, capturing the inexplicable nostalgia you feel imagining a new life in a new town glimpsed from the highway. Transitions within and between individual tracks take place so smoothly they register mostly as changes in atmospheric pressure rather than plot points. So when the album concludes with the floating "Plains," there's a nagging sense that it has done so prematurely. Music often requires some acclimatization before it can be fully appreciated. In Tycho's case, it's returning to the real world that takes effort.

The full album can be streamed from the NPR posting, found here.

Update: 


The full album is available for streaming/purchase links on SoundCloud:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Interview: Tycho - Awake



There's an interesting interview out with Tycho (Scott Hansen) at The Fader.

Tycho is one of the few electronic artists I've followed since my university days. It's interesting to read about his changing approach to his music, in particular the difference between the production of 'headphone music' with what he called an "instagram" approach - and the cleaner, higher fidelity band-centric approach of his new record. Having experienced Tycho live in Toronto last year, I'm excited about this new approach.

I've always found Hansen's music very introspective, like you're drifting through positive - if sombre - memories. It was interesting to read in the interview above Hansen's comments about his music in this sense:

"...one of the beauties of instrumental music is that it doesn't define, it implies. I try to use the music as a framework for you to transpose your own emotions onto it, just like you've articulated it."



 
I'm really enjoying the new tracks he's posted on SoundCloud (above). If you're new to Tycho's music, I'd strongly suggest picking up his previous album, Dive.

   

On a related point, I used a few of Tycho's tracks in a mixed set I made 2012.  Download here, or listen below. If you like his music, check out the track list of the mixset for similarly sounding music.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Com Truise Remixes Mix

A fellow on YouTube posted a mix that compiles 24 different Com Truise remixes. 



It'd be great to hear some of these spun before Com Truise plays live at his Toronto gig (Feb 12th @ Wrongbar) this year.

Also worth listening to are two Com Truise tracks originally released in his 6th mixtape series Komputer Cast ("Surf" and "Subsonic"). Polished/redone versions of Subsonic can be found in Com Truise's next EP.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Beat

Apparently in late 1980's Belgium, there was a genre called "New Beat" which straddled the divide between New Wave european dance music and the electronica genre that would ride to popularity in the 1990s with raver culture.

The 'new' aspect of the beat came from it's contrast to the HiNRG ('high-energy') sound that dominated most New Wave Dance music of the time (i.e: Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Right Round).

While not specifically New Beat, this fan video for French Coldwave act Trisomie 21 certainly captures the aesthetic of the era.




Like any genre of music, there's quite a range within New Beat. A lot of New Beat sounds very much like New Order backing tracks from the '80s, while others feel like playing them will suddenly cause sweaty dude dancing in front of industrial fans to appear.

The first New Beat track I heard was Tragic Error - Tanzen (in English, "Dance"). The video is beyond strange, but taps into my love of '80s dark synth dance music.




It's little wonder that Front 242's early works (including 'Headhunter') are often considered "New Beat":



A fellow on YouTube's posted a few mixes of music played in Belgian clubs in this era. They're well mixed and have a good track selection. However, some do include 'edgy' 1980s German dance tracks that reference WWII though. Your mileage may vary.

It has consistently surprised me how many samples from these tracks I recognize, and how familiar the "New Beat"-beat was. For example, Pleasure game - Le dormeur is a pretty clear example of the "New Beat"-beat structure, and it sounds eerily similar to the classic "Mortal Kombat Theme song". 



I did some research and figured out why: the guy who wrote the Mortal Kombat theme was Praga Khan, a Belgian techno, and originally New Beat musician. It's fun to find odd cultural connections like this - and goes a long way in explaining why this style of music seemed so familiar. I don't think I was in any Belgian dance clubs when I was 5 years old, but who can really be sure?

Further listening:


For more "New Beat", check out this Youtube playlist on the topic

A Split Second - Flesh [Link]

Saturday, January 25, 2014

BOW CHURCH / b()w(hur(h

I've meant to post about Bow Church, or "b()w ( hur ( h" in that bizarro ascii-style - or a few weeks now. 

Regardless of how you write the name, I'm thoroughly enjoying their mix of predominantly instrumental, Witchhouse-esk, crunchy dark electro tracks.



 

Currently their track 'The Flesh is Weak' is Free/Pay-what-you-want at Bandcamp, while the full self-titled EP is listed at ~5GBP.

There's also a few videos made for Bow Church tracks, viewable here.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

TimeCop1983's Synthetic Romance

I first encountered TimeCop1983 on Soundcloud with a demotrack titled "Slow-synthpop3". It's since been replaced with the polished/extended version "Childhood Memories":

An interesting mix of instrumental analog/digital synth sounds comprise his work. Be sure to check out the EP  "Synthetic Romance" he's released via Bandcamp - a nice blend of synthy, futuristic sounds reminding you of a future that never was.