• 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
  • Something I didn’t see on the moodboard for 2023 was, a) Kyle Minogue having the song of the summer, and b) her asking Australian DJ and producer HAAi to create a remix of said song, the one and only “Padam Padam.” It’s edgier, it’s harder, it’s more rave than gay club, and I love it. I’m a huge fan of HAAi, and the way this remix came together is pretty funny:

    A funny story is. I’ve never asked for parts for a song to remix before. Usually you’re approached by a label or management and are commissioned to put a rework together. Until I had a group with some of my nearest and queerest called ‘Padam’. Everything was “padam this” and “padam that’. I thought. How funny would it be, if as a surprise, I got the stems to the track and made a remix for our group of friends. I asked my mgmt, then 2 days later they arrived in my inbox with a message from BMG saying “can’t wait to hear what HAAi does”.

    Kylie Minogue - Padam Padam - HAAi Remix
  • This past weekend, I had the pleasure of experiencing acclaimed Japanese DJ Soichi Terada perform here in Barcelona at SoundIt. His signature style of house music is inflected with city pop has a feeling like Studio Ghibli showing up to the rave. There’s a joyousness and spontaneity to his performances, such as playing a handheld synth, and jumping up on stage to lead the audience in simple dance moves. The music is still banging though, every couple of minutes transitioning to something unexpected. Honestly, it was one of the best DJ performances I’ve seen in a long time.

    Soichi Terada, Japanese house music DJ
  • Few musicians out there today who do it quite like Sampha. His newest single is titled “Spirit 2.0” and yet again shows just how special his music is. It’s a joyful sounding track “about the importance of connection to both myself and others, and the beauty and harsh realities of just existing.” From what I’ve read Owen Pallet lended some help on the production side and the ending has a special appearance from Yaeji. It’s a song that’s easy to keep on repeat.

    Sampha - "Spirit 2.0"
  • I’m incredibly excited for Róisín Murphy’s upcoming album Hit Parade as it’s co-produced with one of my other absolute faves, DJ Koze. So I was thrilled to see Philip Sherburne’s epic profile on the singer for Pitchfork, titled Life, Death, and Disco in Ibiza With Róisín Murphy. It goes in depth on her long rise to stardom, and the lengthy and wild production of the album, which gets me even more hyped than I already was:

    “Hit Parade has Murphy showcasing the range of her voice not just stylistically, flipping from ballads to bangers, but in the way she explores every aspect of it: sandy, breathy, severe, gentle; caterwauling, cooing, hissing, belting, pleading, celebrating; leaping for joy, scowling with dejection, slipping wantonly between notes. Aided by Koze’s liquid blend of vintage soul and digital mischief, she locates entirely new pockets of marbled texture and elastic timbre in every drawn-out syllable.”

    Róisín Murphy, photograph by Nik Pate