Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sundays Alternative Take - New, Remixed and Refixed

Synkro - Midnight Sun.

Manchester producer Synkro is set to release his debut album Changes via R&S sister label Apollo Records on September 18th. Background - Having forged his career in the dubstep era, with nearly 40 releases to his name, Synkro AKA Joe McBride has always resisted easy classification - his music winds together such diverse influences as Boards Of Canada, dBridge, Burial and Oneohtrix Point Never, whilst still remaining utterly unique. His trademark warm sonics, and emotive melodies are ever-present on his forthcoming debut album 'Changes' - his much favoured vinyl samples being joined on this record by a new found love of analogue equipment, as he explains "I got addicted to vintage synths after a trip to Japan last year - I came back with a Juno-6 & SH-101 both of which play a big role in the album." 

His recent, lauded work with Indigo under the Akkord name set pulses racing with what Resident Adviser described as the duo's " fiercely technical take on dance music, one that you could dance to or simply admire in all its steel-plated glory". Fittingly, Changes acts as a soothing balm after the intense workouts that Akkord music incites - from the lush pads and rolling arpeggio pulse of the intro, to the understated dubstep meets ambient/balearic glory of the title track to the more muscular 'Let Me go' - awash with cavernous, soulful vocals and melancholic strings, to the epic, hymn like D&B ballad 'Body Close' featuring the dulcet vocals of Lyves, Synkro once again proves his effortless ability to create cinematic textures and surreal sonic vistas in long form.

Joe McBride readily admits his interest in electronic music 'past masters' so not surprisingly there is maturity to this music. The featured track is both sophisticated and an aural delight, a good taster for the album.


Keep Shelly in Athens - Now I'm Ready (featuring Ocean Hope).

Background - Born in the midst of a creative surge in the pop-leaning underground, Greek act Keep Shelly In Athens have been a force in the indie world for the last half decade, releasing projects on Cascine, Gorilla vs. Bear label arm Forest Family and British heavyweight Planet Mu. Now, the Athens-based duo arrive on Los Angeles outlet Friends of Friends with the Now I'm Ready LP, their second official LP and their most emotionally mature, sonically adventurous effort to date.

At eight songs and 45 minutes, the album strikes a concise, yet imposing figure, each individual effort comprised of enough peaks and valleys to bring the listener to the edge and back again. Lifted off by lead single "Fractals", Now I'm Ready is not your typical indie effort, un-beholden to tempo and style, the album skips across genre tropes with ease,  each track guided by producer RΠЯ's singular aesthetic and vocalist Myrtha's unmistakable crescendos.

And whether you're locked into a long road trip, careening around a city or looking over the Mediterranean, Keep Shelly In Athens bring an arresting pathos to the proceedings, felt everywhere from the break beat-led madness of "Hollow Man" to the ever-building, hypnotic vocal qualities of "Now I'm Ready". It's only the duo's second official LP, but considering their release history on outlets as diverse as Cascine, Forest Family and Planet Mu, it's no surprise that their arrival on Friends of Friends is such an unabated success.

The featured song can have, with honour, Beehive Candy's vary rarely awarded 'Almost As Good as the Cocteau Twins Medal'. Seriously there are some echoes of the Cocteau's on this track, which is absolutely fine as this is an excellent production!


Major Lazer ft. MØ - Lean On (Tribe Society Refix).

Regarding Tribe Society we are told - Taking on one of their personal favourites, the band have reworked Major Lazer's electronic smash hit, "Lean On," for a refreshing alternative rock spin. Transforming it with new vocal stylings and a spiced up instrumental arrangement, "Lean On" takes on new life thanks to Tribe, and stands as a unique re imagination of the chart topping hit. 

We featured Tribe Society back in July in another 'Sundays Alternative Take' however this 'refix' of 'Lean On' with guitars, flutes, and a new vocal top line, is fascinating, fun and just deserves a share.


Touch Sensitive - Pizza Guy (Fantastic Man Remix).

Background - Multi-instrumentalist, self confessed synth-freak and italo-style icon, Michael Di Francesco is Touch Sensitive. Having originally released his notorious single 'Pizza Guy' in his local Australia in 2013 to incredible success (it was the number 3 most played track that year on the country's No. 1 radio station, Triple J and featured a star-studded video with cameos from label mates Flume, Chet Faker and Jagwar Ma), the UK will finally see a release on 9th October through Future Classic.

The single, which will be packaged as a AA-side release alongside 'Show Me' and includes brand new remixes from Melbourne slow-mo disco connoisseur Fantastic Man (the moniker of Mic Newman) and legendary French DJ/producer i:cube.

Already getting considerable attention this new Fantastic Man remix does the original justice. Thoughtful and imaginative and just so listenable.


World's End Press - Tall Stories.

Background - ‘Tall Stories’ is the brand new single from Melbourne band, World’s End Press. The delectable, soon-to-be dancefloor favourite offers the first peek at the band’s forthcoming EP release of the same name.  It sees World’s End Press carry on from the forward momentum of previous single ‘Spirals (Slide Away)’ which burst from the airwaves all summer long, received a plethora of online love, and saw the band edging into a sweatier, grittier, clubbier realm.

Tall Stories the EP, which was self-produced and mixed by Bruno Ellingham (The Maccabees, Delphic, Goldfrapp) and is due for release on September 25th can best be described as the result of a misspent summer; one spent in lock down in an insulated, bunker-style studio with the PA turned to the max and the lights dimmed. The EP takes its name from the glittering high-rise windows that the band would gaze at on their late night walks home from the studio, and touches on themes of distorted communication, self-deceit, enigma and unconditional love.

World’s End Press recorded their self-titled debut album at Massive Attack Studios in Bristol and released it in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim. The last few years have seen the band touring both nationally and internationally, supporting Primal Scream on their Screamadelica tour, Cut Copy on a North American Tour and Phoenix on their last Australian Tour. Their visceral live sets for Let Them Eat Cake, Meredith, Golden Plains and Falls have left audiences feeling dazed and happy.

Feel good and full of brightness this is just 'good old down to earth', great dance and pop music. Sometimes that is really all that's required.


Axwell /\ Ingrosso - Sun Is Shining (Marcus Schossow & Years Remix).

You possibly know this - Axwell & Ingrosso's summer smash "Sun Is Shining" has grown to be one of their biggest songs to date. It has earned over 50 million streams on Spotify and over 10 million views on the official video, as well as #1 on iTunes in 9 countries, securing its title as one of the biggest dance songs of the year. The official remix package has just been released (28th August) on Def Jam featuring new mixes from W&W, R3hab, Marcus Schössow & Years, and M-22.

Popular song and my favourite of the remixes, simple as that really.


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