Category Music

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.

David Bowie releases ‘Blackstar’ to celebrate his 69th birthday

David Bowie - 'Blackstar'

David Bowie enjoys giving presents on his birthday. Today he turns 69, and much like his 66th birthday, he’s released a new album titled Blackstar. Overall I enjoyed the album, especially stand outs like self-titled first track and the album closers “Dollar Days” and “I Can’t Give Everything Away”. You can listen to the full album in the player below.

Radiohead drops unused ‘Spectre’ track as an amazing Christmas gift

Radiohead dropped a mighty Christmas present on the world yesterday, an unused song from the most recent James Bond film, Spectre. I think it’s crazy that they would have used a Sam Smith track over Radiohead though I’m a bit biased. Here’s the official message from the band:

Last year we were asked to write a theme tune for the Bond movie Spectre.
Yes we were. It didn’t work out, but became something of our own, which we love very much.
As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it.
Merry Christmas. May the force be with you.

Below I’ve posted a Soundcloud version of the track (which also allows you to download the song for free) as well as a mashup of the song with the title sequence of Spectre which it was intended for.

Saffron, better than the spice

With my crazy work schedule I don’t tend to find new music, but thankfully I have Kyle to introduce me to the best that’s out there. Recently he turned me on to Saffron, a New York based musician who has a couple of great EPs out, both of which you can listen to on Soundcloud. I’m pretty horrible at describing music so here’s how his label 1080p describes his sound.

Saffron’s hybridized genre builds include trip-hop, moody downtempo, sturdy walking-paced house and crunchy IDM with low key cinematics drifting throughout. A multitude of textures protrude from a general coating of slick motion and moods that hover above meticulous bass grooves and piano lines, blending an undisguised sense of proficiency and surface-obsessed sensibilities with sincere and overtly “soulful” tones.

In layperson terms it means he blends quite a lot of genres into one experimental, electronic sound. I find his music amazing to work to, it keeps my mind active and creative. Of all the tracks on this EP my personal favorite is “Rampwalk” which I’ve been playing on repeat a lot.

Matthew Dear – “Elementary Lover” (DJ Koze Remix)

Matthew Dear

Apple Music so far seems to run hot and cold for me. Some days it’s spot on, some days it wants to me to listen to “Deep Cuts: The Decembrists”… yeah, no thanks. My luck seemed to change earlier today when they offered a great collection of DJ Koze remixes, one of them being “Elementary Lover” by Matthew Dear. It’s a perfect combination of Koze’s electronic beats and Dear’s iconic vocals, and a great track for some late night listening.

C418’s music for Minecraft now available on vinyl

C418 - Minecraft Volume Alpha

I’ve never personally played Minecraft before but I can certainly appreciate it’s universal appeal. Who doesn’t want to create their own world? The one aspect that I had never really considered though was the music. Daniel Rosenfeld, who goes by the name C418, created music for Minecraft which has been lauded for defying the visual look of the game, being so much more than expected. To this end, record and lifestyle company Ghostly is bringing this beautiful soundtrack to vinyl and CD.

As any cursory listen of the touching sounds will reveal, this isn’t a record meant solely for lifelong gamers and MineCon diehards; anyone in love with ambient, neo-classical, or minimal music needs to hear Volume Alpha.

When I read the quote above on the Ghostly product page I didn’t quite believe it, but I decided to listen to the 4 song sampler which I’ve placed below. All I can say is that I’d listen to this on repeat all the time. If I hadn’t known that these songs were created for a “kids video game” I would guess they were a score for a Miyazaki film, or something of the sort. You have to give this a try, I swear you won’t regret it.

You can snag a record, CD, or digital version by clicking here.

“We’ve been weaned off this culture in recent decades by the emergence of the platform as picker, with the voice stripped back. The DJ, when vocal, must act as a Nick Carraway to our moment–in it but above it–and like Orson Welles, a commanding voice forcing us into the future. The eternal joy of this vox as a knowing guide might account for the rise in podcasts, too. It is an on-demand friend, a lone accompaniment to the freelancer and commuter nation.”

Sam Valenti, founder of Ghostly Records, wrote a piece on Medium that echoes my thoughts on curation, specifically how important it is to music. Services like Rdio or Beats rely too heavily on algorithms to make your experience “customized.” Unfortunately, you end up being bucketed with everyone else who may have listened to a similar set of albums or artists. Curation offers a point of view, a variety of options which can even contradict each other and surprise you.