Sunday, 6 September 2015

Sundays Alternative Take - From Soul To Synths

Phantoms - All In feat. Little Know.

Background - Los Angeles dark pop duo Phantoms have announced their signing to Casablanca / Republic Records and have revealed their debut EP on the label, Broken Halo, out September 25th. The EP features 4 original songs including "Broken Halo" and "Voyeur" with vocals from Nicholas Braun, and new singles "All In" featuring Little Know and "Colors." The project also includes an unreleased remix of the title track from electronic synthwave producer Com Truise. Broken Halo is Phantoms' first body of work since their debut EP on Skrillex's Nest free release imprint two years ago, and the two have even more content on the way. Vinnie Pergola & Kyle Kaplan, AKA Phantoms, have honed their sound to scale from their underground foundations to the heights of electronic pop production, setting the tone for their forthcoming full-length album in 2016.

Phantoms will be performing live in New York at Baby's All Right on September 22nd and in Los Angeles on September 26th with Com Truise.

Smooth flowing and a beautiful mix, the vocals blend to the music oh so well.


Honne - No Place Like Home (feat. JONES).

Background - In the same week her current single 'Indulge' was promoted to the B-List on BBC 1Xtra, singer-songwriter JONES has showcased her vocal talents as a featured artist on the new Honne track 'No Place Like Home'. The track is taken from the London duo's EP 'Over Lover' out this week on Atlantic.

This is a gentle and excellently presented song with Jones vocal complimenting the piece in a duet that soul lovers will I suspect just love.

Dailon - Just a Thot.

Background - Originally hailing from Nashville, TN, Dailon aka Dylan Flach is an inspiring young producer who has been relentlessly productive throughout his budding career. Since relocating to San Francisco five years ago, the talented young artist has made a name for himself in the Bay Area by pushing his take on colourful, jet-lagged beat music, finding a crucial balancing point between fluid, emotive bass vibes and jagged, synth-washed club workouts. Ever-Evolving is a tale of drastic change, as captured in his trip to the ocean cliffs of Big Sur, where it all began.

Dailon started his journey from San Francisco down the pacific coast, eventually finding his way to a remote beach 18 miles south of Big Sur. Beneath the hazy glow of the ocean sun, he studied the waves crashing, the peace and serenity of the tides, along with the turmoil of the violent cliff-side surf. Eventually, the beaming sunlight gave way to a heavy metallic downpour, a fleeting ocean rainstorm. 'Ever-Evolving' is Dailon's hi-def, carbon-fiber soundtrack to this continually changing atmosphere. The emotive swings of the EP reflect the shifts and rhythms of city life while offering moments of clarity and calm reflection that come from an escape into the misty pacific. This is "Ever-Evolving", the slowed tranquillity and angular chaos of life.

The synths tease a little and then blend into an atmospheric piece, that occasionally threatens to up the tempo, but continues in a laid back and well thought out piece.


Naytronix - Back In Time.

Background - Soul/electronic musician and tUnE-yArDs bassist Nate Brenner (aka Naytronix) is set to release his sophomore record 'Mister Divine' on October 16 via City Slang. 

Naytronix's latest musical offering sees him turning from the disjointedly funky party dance anthems of his debut Dirty Glow (2012, Plug Research) to a surrealist stream of consciousness poignancy. While his music keeps its characteristic reflection of '70s Onyeabor and Bootsy Collins, there is a new facet of the sincerity and vulnerability of Arthur Russell amidst the psychedelia, as if wishing to land the Naytronix Mothership down to stay with us for a bit.

On 'Mister Divine,' the intricate and wide-spanning production of his debut is cinched tight as a racing foil as he goes back to where it all started: his bass, his voice, the secrets of drum machines and dreams, narrowing down his songwriting style to focus on narrative and cohesive arrangements; The Song. The result was hours of music not likely to see the light of day, tracks taken to the chopping block at the now iconic Oakland studio "New, Improved Recording" with friend, collaborator, and guitarist Mark Allen-Piccolo. He and Brenner, along with percussionist Robert Lopez, sculpted nine songs into something resembling a compact trio album, which was then finished with sounds and textures from fellow Oberlin Conservatory family members Matt Nelson and Noah Bernstein (tUnE-yArDs saxophones) and synth master Michael Coleman (Beep!).

Genre defying music that in this track alone seems to spin from indie to dance to electro and more. The result is an interesting and quirky song that has so many hooks, you're gonna get caught by one.


Madeaux - Kill For Me.

Promo words - Madeaux makes his Fool's Gold debut with the perfectly-titled New Wav EP, reshaping North American dance music in his own image and injecting a needed dose of synth pop realness in the process. The six EP tracks are a wildly diverse bunch, connecting the dots between decades of inspirations. "Kill For Me" bangs like a lost Depeche Mode anthem, while A-Trak collab "Lost In Translation" is the unexpected warehouse jam of the year. Nowhere are these genre-splices more powerful than on New Wav's title track, where Madeaux flips Kaleena Zanders' postmodern diva vocals over high-NRG synths and a Miami bass-gone-Berlin drop. The tide is high for this one, and the future most definitely belongs to Madeaux.

This EP takes us in so many different directions it's hard to pin down one track that is representative. The promo is pretty much spot on, so all I will do is feature my favourite 'Kill For Me'.


EZA - We Keep The Lights Out.

Background words - "We Keep the Lights Out" is a really exciting step into my new music. I want people to find it refreshing, different, bold, and new— all while being able to relate to it," said EZA. "I’m all for making some sexy music if you can get it just right. When you do, there’s something really genuine and beautiful about it. Hopefully "We Keep The Lights Out" has done that, and if people want to put it on their make-out playlist… I mean, go for it."

Part of EZA's (a.k.a Ellery Bonham) unique sound is attributed to a neurological phenomenon she experiences known as synesthesia. Ellery's synesthesia allows her to see colors and patterns while listening to, and creating her own music. She has used those visual cues to help create her magnetic, pulsing music. EZA has previously released an EP, Means Of Escape (2014), and a single, "Headlights" (2015).

Moody and with deep bass lines this song is lifted by the vocals into a fine piece that never loses the atmospheric feel, as it takes us on a musical journey.


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