• We need to talk about André 3000 and his new album, New Blue Sun. Interviews starting ramping up last week about the album, with André saying, “there’s no bars,” that he won’t be rapping on the album. This is paired with the fact that he’s been seen wandering around the literal globe with a massive flute in tow. Clearly this record was going to be something different.

    André 3000 - 'New Blue Sun' Record Cover

    From my perspective, it’s an ambient, new age, world music endeavor. It sounds like echoes of Alice Coltrane and Laraaji, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green, like a warm afternoon laying in the sun. To really help me understand this record, it was actually the Pitchfork review that gave me the most insight. I knew he had worked with some of the folks from Leaving Records, who I came across in the last couple months, but it sounds like it was truly a jam record, for lack of a better term. And I think it’s that variety of artits and sounds that really make this record something special.

  • Combining the forces of acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson with musical royalty of The Smile (Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood Radiohead, plus drummer Tom Skinner) and you know you’ll get something great. They collaborated on the video for the song “Wall of Eyes,” the title track to the EP of the same name that’s being released 26 January, 2024.

    From my perspective, this feels like a good old fashioned music video, which I love. It’s beautifully shot, a lot of mystery and nuance into the meaning, or maybe it doesn’t mean anything and it’s just lovely to look at? Either way, I enjoyed both the song and the video immensely.

    Paul Thomas Anderson Directs  Music Video for The Smile's New Track, "Wall of Eyes"
    Paul Thomas Anderson Directs Music Video for The Smile's New Track, "Wall of Eyes"
    Paul Thomas Anderson Directs Music Video for The Smile's New Track, "Wall of Eyes"
  • This came across my TikTok over the weekend I thought It was too beautiful not to share. FKJ, aka French Kiwi Juice, is a French multi-instrumentalist who creates music that’s that I would describe as a jazz-flecked with electronic touches. At a recent performance at Red Rock in Colorado, he performed his track “Ylang Ylang” along with these stunning visuals. If you were able to bottle up a memory, I think it might end up looking (and soudning) something like this.

    FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) performing "Ylang Ylang" at Red Rock Amphitheater, Colorado
  • One of my go-to waking up in the morning, soothing ambient chillness records has been the new record from Purelink called Signs. I tend to put albums on repeat, listening to them over and over to get a better sense of the overall narrative, and this one works great for that.

    “Distilled from extended compositions prepared and performed across 2022 in Chicago, Kansas City, New York, and Los Angeles, Signs captures their chemistry at its most liquid and immaterial, mapped in mutating systems of glitch, glass, rhythm, and space. It’s music alternately subdued and subterranean, elevated and remote, attuned to the flickering sentience of outer spheres.”

    The other thing I’ll point out is the cover art by Ezra Miller (not that one) who has created what I would describe as a serene bathhouse vibe. This really comes to life in the video below for the track “4k Murmurs” where these inky washes of movement come to life, reminiscent of delftware plates, sumi ink, and weather patterns or fishes swimming in schools.

  • I first heard of Eartheater thanks to Kyle as he would play her singles throughout the day, her music and harmonies throbbing through the apartment. Now, her new album Powders is out and it’s such a fascinating evolution of her sound. For me, it’s somewhere between 90s pop and trip hop, with distinctive bass lines, floating strings, hints of acoustic guitar, and electronic drum beats that feel familiar in a comfortable way. Hints of Morcheeba meets Massive Attack, perhaps. Her distinctive vocal styling though makes this all her own, creating a beautiful sound that’s underpinned by a dark eeriness.

    I would highly recommend the single “Pure Smile Snake Venom” as well as and “Face in the Moon” to listen to first if you’re curious. And yes, there is a cover of System of the Down’s “Chop Suey” on the record, but I’ve gotta say, it’s not for me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    'Powders' by Eartheater - Album cover art
  • One of my favorite albums of the year so far is Playing Robots into Heaven from James Blake because of his decision to steer back toward the more odd, experimental side of music yet again. Fittingly, he sat down with ambient music pioneer Brian Eno and listened to the album together, with Eno sharing his thoughts on the record and Blake giving some insights into the making.

    It’s really interesting to be somewhat of a fly on a wall between these artists. I’m sure they’ve been friends for years but I think personally I would be very intimidated sitting their have Brian Eno listen to your new baby. I also loved the way they filmed this, it’s so lo-fi in the best way, filled with character and charm.

  • The Mount Kimbie guys, Kai Campos and Dom Maker, are always doing interesting work, and post-lockdown, it seems like they’ve been really on a roll. Their classic album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, was released a decade ago now, and featured an iconic pairing with then 21 year old Archie Marshall, aka King Krule. The two tracks he guested on were two of my personal favorites, raw with emotion and unparalleled in sound.

    Now, the guys have reunited on a new track titled “Boxing” which sees their explorations in sound continue to develop and grow. It feels a bit more like the King Krule universe, ending in a field of sound that’s more akin to Mount Kimbie. The track is only on sale through Bandcamp until this Thursday, 21 September, so grab it while you can.

    Mount Kimbie & King Krule - "Boxing"
  • I somehow missed that James Blake was set to release his seventh album, Playing Robots into Heaven, this Friday, September 8th. From what I’ve read, it’s a return to his early releases, think his CMYK EP from back in 2010, which contains one of his very best tracks, “CMYK.”

    So far there have been two music videos, one for the song “Big Hammer” which has a heist-themed music video. Bu the latest release is for the title track, which as you’ll see below, is moody AF. Director Thibaut Grevet did an incredible job on building out a wild looking world for this track, with Blake playing a kind of Sisyphean role, the weight of the music on his shoulders, or that he’s leading a procession of robots into heaven? Either way, what I’ve heard from the album so far is very weird and very different from his last few releases, very excited for this one.

    James Blake Preps New Album, ‘Playing Robots into Heaven’
  • Yu Su is one of those artists I try to keep up with, her style of music taking inspiration from a variety of sources, including her classical piano training, her experiences with modern Western music, and the natural world around her. Born in Kaifeng, China, she moved to Vancouver and started producing music in 2014, a unique blend of “forth world” ambience and left-field dance music.

    Her most recent EP I Want an Earth was inspired by her time in the natural landscape of Ojai, a beautiful little town 1.5 hours outside of Los Angeles. She states in an interview with Mixmag Asia that “the reflections of light, wood burning in the fireplace, and materials that “rhymed with the sounds in the room” gave rise to the enchantingly organic demeanor of her release.” I was walking around San Sebastián earlier today listening to this record and it was a perfect compliment. I can definitely recommend this as a great soundtrack for dog walking or on the way to grab a coffee.

    'I Want an Earth' by Yu Su
  • We all love a good pairing, especially two things which are incredible on their own. A cheeseburger and sparkling wine? Unbeatable. So I was stoked to hear that electronic music heavyweights Nosaj Thing and Jacques Greene decided to pair up for a new single, “Too Close.” Greene describes the track as “what if a trip-hop record was played at 45,” and saying that there’s a “hazy moodiness and the breaks donʼt really feel like the run-of-the-mill nu-breaks of Bandcamp.” I love this track, it’s got the very sublime, spiritual sound that Nosaj brings with that pulsing energy of Greene, plus some beautiful vocals from Ouri. Plus, I’m loving the artwork from Eric Hu, who’s clearly been continue to explore his Midjourney illustration style, I’m really digging it.

    If you enjoyed this single you should also check out the back-to-back DJ set they did last week, with two hours of great tunes. They play a lot of their own tunes, plus some other great tracks, really solid mix (minus the couple of times the power goes out lol).

    Nosaj Thing & Jacques Greene Release "Too Close" ft. Ouri
  • Happy Monday, I hope your weekend was mostly relaxing, maybe some good wine or food. I’m not sure I’m ready for the week yet, though some good music can help you ease into most situations. I can’t quite remember how I came across Nico Georis and his album Cloud Suites, I believe it was one of those rabbit hole discoveries.

    Nico Georis is an LA-based “keyboard player, experimental composer & songwriter” who composed Cloud Suites in real-time to render specific clouds as music, each named after a particular formation. It’s an album filled with soft, melodic songs which augment your mood or surroundings. I’ve been writing to this album for the last couple weeks and I’ve found it to be so additive to whatever I’m doing, enhancing my mood and sharpening my focus. Hopefully you find Nico’s music equally as enjoyable.

    Cloud Suites by Nico Georis
  • Let’s kick things off this week with a mix I’ve been enjoying lately. While looking for mixes by Roméo Poirier, a Brussels-based ambient artist, I inadvertently discovered pleasure gallery, a Bristol-based mix series and radio show. Now on their 4th season of mixes (really 12 episodes per season), Roméo actually kicked off the series with the mix below, an eclectic blend of found sounds and ambient din. I love working to Roméo’s music, and for me, mixes like these help me focus on my projects.

    Roméo Poirier Mix for pleasure gallery