Category Music

Music to buy: Studio Barnhus Volym 1

At the end of every Decmeber, Kyle and I make a list of attainable goals for the upcoming year that we feel will make our lives, or the lives of others, better. One goal I’m focusing on is buying the music I love.

In an age of streaming, with endless amounts of music, algorithmically generated playlists, and “What’s New” prioritized over what’s good, it feels like it’s hard to have a meaningful listening experience. Those factors, plus the fact that I listen to mostly independent or smaller artists who definitely can’t survive on the measly paychecks streaming royalties pay out. So I’m reverting back to the time of buying cassettes or CDs, which probably should have never gone away in the first place.

Studio Barnhus Volym 1

The first album I wanted to recommend purchasing is from Studio Barnhus, a DJ trio, a label, a studio on Barnhusgatan (“Orphanage street”) in Stockholm. The label is the brainchild of musicians Axel Boman, Petter Nordkvist and Kornél Kovács, all great electronic artists in their own right, who support other great musicians.

This is a fantastic compilation filled with an eclectic mix of artists raging from poppy techno, soul jams, and late night grooves. There are few tracks I’d call out specifically: The first is Sofia Kourtesis’ smooth house number ‘WinWin San,’ which sounds like driving through countryside with all windows down in the spring. DJ Koze makes an appearance on ‘Hawaiian Soldier,’ a smattering of stuttering, trippy samples which makes you feel like you’ve had too many daiquiris on the beach. Finally there’s the Piano Version of Axel Boman’s ‘Forgot About You,’ a dreamy tune that feels like it could be an old classic.

You can purchase the album through Bandcamp by clicking here.

New Music: Nils Frahm’s ‘All Melody’ and Anenon’s ‘Tongue’

New Music: Nils Frahm's 'All Melody' and Anenon's 'Tongue'

I travelled to Portland over the weekend for some family matters, and as I was about to board the plane, I realized I didn’t have any music downloaded on to my phone for the trip, as it’s a newish phone. I hurriedly joined the always sketchy WiFi at LAX and was able to pull down two albums: Nils Frahm’s All Melody and Anenon’s Tongue.

As luck or fate would have it, the albums have a musical simpatico with each other. To me they share a sameness of DNA, a jazz backbone, layered with lush synthesizers, piano through lines that bring a lot of the works together. In my plane focused mind the works fused together in many ways, creating a dialogue that communicated beautifully.

Listen to Nils Frahm – All Melody: Spotify – Apple Music
Listen to Anenon – Tongue: Spotify – Apple Music

You can read more about Anenon’s song-by-song process in creating Tongue by clicking here, which seems like it was birthed from an amazing time spent in the Italian countryside.

Funkhaus - Saal 3 - Nils Frahm

Additionally, there’s a great look at where Frahm’s recorded All Melody over on The Spaces. Situated in East Berlin on the banks of the River Spree sits Funkhaus, a 1950’s building with Soviet architecture influences that was originally used to record chamber music. As you can see in the photo above it’s a beautiful space that must have been incredible to record in.

#MusicMonday – September 4

#MusicMonday - September 4

1. Hercules & Love Affair – “Omnion”
Andy Butler is back with a brand new album titled Omnion, an electronic music adventure that’s a bit more straight forward pop than his previous albums. The first track, also titled “Omnion,” features stunning vocals from Sharon Van Etten, backed by a lush horn section and twinkling synths. The combination is breathtaking.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify

2. Frank Ocean – “Provider”
Frank Ocean keeps bringing the singles one after another (this is the 5th post-Blonde if you count “Slide”) and I love it. His latest is “Provider,” a track that sounds like he’s trying to figure out his relationship with a close friend, which rumor has it maybe Memo Guzman. I listen to Frank Ocean constantly and this track brings more of the chill R&B energy that he’s perfected.

Listen on: Apple Music – Spotify

3. Wiki – “Made For This” feat. Ghostface Killah
Heard this track on Beats One the other day and it immediately took me back. Wiki brings legit New York rap into the spotlight with this track, which is only made better by Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah. The combination creates a timeless rap track that you have to nod to.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify

4. Adrian Underhill – “Cruel”
Tornoto based musician Adrian Underhill released his new sone “Cruel” and it’s so damn catchy, I can’t get it out of my head. It’s a sexy little pop track about two lovers trying to understand one another in a cruel world. Lots of 70’s inflected guitars paired with Underhill’s sweet as sugar vocals make this a true hit.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify

5. Matthew Dear – “Bad Ones” feat. Tegan and Sarah
I’m a big fan of Matthew Dear’s and was surprised and elated to hear did a collaboration with Tegan and Sarah. The track sounds like it should be the end scene music for a John Hughes movie, and I mean that in the best way possible. With adorable lyrics like “I’m one of the bad ones, And that’s why you feel lucky” you can’t help but bop along to this track.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify

6. King Krule – “Czech One”
Archy Marshall is back performing as King Krule (a moniker he had seemingly abandoned) with a track called “Czech One”, the single coming out on the 4-year anniversary of Krule’s debut studio album 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. It’s a beautifully haunting track, a dark jazz adventure with Marshall’s voice floating over the whole thing like a dream.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify

John Maus returns with new song and video, “The Combine”

John Maus

After a six year gap John Maus is back with a new song called “The Combine” which comes off of his upcoming album, Screen Memories. The track is clad in synth, backed by a tireless drum beat, and smattered with Maus’ signature, breathy vocals. If you’re a fan his previous albums you’re certainly going to enjoy this track. As for the album overall:

Screen Memories was written, recorded, and engineered by Maus over the last few years in his home in Minnesota. It’s a solitary place situated in the sub-zero winter temperatures creep into the songs as do the buzzing wasps of summer.

Definitely looking forward to this. Check out the trippy video for “The Combine” below. It’s worth a watch for the crazy crop mirroring effect. You’ll get it when you see it ;)

Screen Memories comes out October 27 on Ribbon Music.

Tycho releases stunning new video for his song ‘Horizon’

Tycho - Scott Hansen

Over the weekend Scott Hansen aka Tycho debuted new visuals at Coachella for his song Horizon. It’s a peppy, guitar driven electronic track, exactly what you’d expect from Tycho. It’s those visuals that really make this exciting, which takes the signature lush colors and tones he brands himself with and brings them to life in a swirling, mesmerizing display. I’m sure this would have been amazing to see live. I need a screensaver of this stat.

Get high to Sigur Rós thanks to Lord Jones’ Sigurberry Gumdrops

Sigur Rós and Lord Jones Sigurberry Gumdrops

Getting high and listening to Sigur Rós is an obvious combination and the group themselves seem to agree. Last week they released a new collaboration with Lord Jones, a boutique maker of cannabis infused products, creating the Sigurberry, a THC infused gumdrop made from natural ingredients.

Sigur Rós and Lord Jones come together to bring you cannabis-infused gumdrops inspired by the flavors of foraged Icelandic berries~wild blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, infused with the world’s finest cannabis blends. This limited edition product collaboration includes a proprietary terpene blend designed to provide a calming sense of well being inspired by the music of Sigur Rós.

The limited-edition offerings come as a box of nine pieces bearing a Sigur Rós crest created by london-based illustrator Andrew Rae. I love the beautiful blue color of the box, which offsets the illustration and gold leaf, as well as the gold lining of the inside of the packaging. It’s exciting seeing marijuana based products leaving the world of stoner culture and becoming more mainstream.

Geotic releases “Actually Smiling,” dance music for when you’re alone

'Actually Smiling' by Geotic - Art by kyttenjanae

A lot of electronic music is made to dance to. Whether you love Karl Kox, Underworld, Black Madonna or even Skrillex, they make music that’s loud and is truly meant for large venues where people dance in the dark. That’s the opposite of what Will Weisenfeld, aka Geotic, is trying to achieve with his upcoming EP Abysma.

“So much of dance music is about partying and going out and having a really hardcore social experience,” Wiesenfeld says. “Dance music has never been that for me. So much of my experience listening to music is being by myself – at home or in my car.”

I can totally relate to this. It’s a sound that feels comfortable for your every day. The first single off the album is titled “Actually Smiling” and it’s filled with poppy synths and angelic harmonies swirling together to make a highbrow video game soundtrack.

“I see it as being a comfortable middle ground between that crazy hyper-emotive EDM and the hyper minimal deep dark club stuff,” Wiesenfeld says. “I like both of those things in different amounts, but I like the middle ground most. It’s not showy, it’s just a comfortable emotional zone.”

I also wanted to point out the extremely rad cover art by kyttenjanae. She makes the craziest 3D renders in a candy store of colors, abstracting the human shape in the most fascinating ways. Her work is phenomenal.

Abysma comes out May 31 on Ghostly International.

Mark Pritchard’s “Beautiful People” featuring Thom Yorke

Mark Pritchard - Beautiful People music video

Since 1991, Mark Pritchard has been making genre-spanning electronic music that ventures from House, to Ambient, to Drum and Bass. His most recent effort Under The Sun was aptly described by Pitchfork as “deeply atmospheric and richly impressionistic, Under the Sun is an easy album to disappear into.” The album feels like science fiction journey with moments of wonder and mystery.

The music video for “Beautiful People” is a perfect manifestation of this feeling. The song features TFIB favorite Thom Yorke, both vocally and as a transcendent robotic spirit wandering a seemingly deflate landscape. Director Michal Marczak has truly encapsulated the feeling of the album into six minutes of visual narrative.