Sunday, 15 November 2015

Alternative Take: Rococode - Cayetano - Emancipator - Blade of Grass

Rococode - Panic Attack.

Background - Rococode is Laura Smith and Andrew Braun. They released their debut album 'Guns, Sex & Glory' to much critical acclaim in early 2012. The record was produced by Ryan Guldemond (Mother Mother, Hannah Georgas) and mixed by John Congleton (St.Vincent, Polyphonic Spree). Upon the release of their debut, the band took to the road and spent the better part of the next 18 months touring Canada and the US in various capacities.

When it came time to work on their follow-up, Rococode coaxed producers Caleb Shreve (Phantogram, Bear Hands) from New York and Ted Gowans (Tegan and Sara, Fences) from Los Angeles to set up a studio in a cabin, off the grid, in the isolated coastal forest of British Columbia. Between building fires, checking the solar panels, and failed fishing trips, the foursome set to work on music that shared none of the characteristics of their rustic surroundings. They arranged an army of synthesisers, guitar pedals and drum machines into tight, crisp Alternative gems that sparkle, shuffle and shake at every turn. The result of this incredible collaboration is the 'Panic Attack' EP (Released back on October 9th). It will be followed by the full length album due out in February 2016.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

November 17th - Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange — Regina, SK
November 18th - Starlite Room w/Dear Rouge — Edmonton, AB
November 19th - Broken City — Calgary, AB
November 20th - The Slice — Lethbridge, AB
November 21st - Spirit Bar — Nelson, BC.

Released last month the five track 'Panic Attack' EP is a taste of what to expect from next February's album. With thumping synths and percussion the title track is accompanied by some 'softer' songs and consistently fine vocals. The remix of 'Panic Attack' strips back the layers a little, giving it a more intricate feel. It's a hard one to call so we have added both versions.


Cayetano - Talk To Me.

Background - It's been 3 years since Cayetano's "Once Sometime" album, which received great reviews from the Press as well as amazing feedback and support from artists such as Thievery Corporation, The Herbaliser, Mop Mop and Skeewiff to name a few.

Now, Cayetano is back with 11 different stories about everyday life, love and loneliness to be heard as one. It's the first album where he plays almost all instruments by himself, apart from the guitars, performed by Alex Papoulidis.

From the fusion feeling of "Talk To Me", or the deeply emotional "Something In You" and "Hold Me Tight", to the funky "Third World War" and the cinematic "Leningrad", from the jazzy "Fading Away", to the pop oriented "Treat You Right", "Where The Sun Shines" and "Never Said It's Easy", Cayetano creates another sonic kaleidoscope for your special moments.

'Talk To Me' is the first of eleven quite diverse songs, on this album. I just love the whole way this track flows, and was pleasantly surprised by the impressive quality of the rest of the material. As said, it ain't all the same, but it is a very good album.


Emancipator - The Key (Live).

Background - In the wake of the release of his fourth studio album Seven Seas last month, hip hop/down tempo producer Doug Appling, aka Emancipator, has decided to release a live version of album track "The Key" for free download. This cut, which features live drums, bass, guitar, and violin, was recorded at the same show as his Live In Athens album, but was not included because the studio version was unreleased at the time.

Seven Seas debuted at #2 on the iTunes Electronic chart, and Doug and the Emancipator Ensemble are touring the west coast throughout November with openers Blockhead and Manatee Commune. Featuring bass and drums, along with a variety of string instruments played by Doug and close collaborator Ilya Goldberg, the Emancipator Ensemble brings his music to life at the crossroads between a DJ set and a live band.

Remaining Tour dates:

11/15 - Hi-Fi Music Hall - Eugene, OR
11/17 - Ashland Armory - Ashland, OR
11/18 - The Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA
11/19 - Regency Ballroom - San Francisco, CA
11/20 - Regent Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
11/21 - Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach, CA
11/22 - Glass House Concert Hall - Pomona, CA.

Well we have been known to share to odd live track or two on Beehive Candy. This is just superb, what else can I add, that hasn't been said in positive reviews by the likes of the New York Times and others.


Blade of Grass - The Day Will Come.

Background Words - Blade of Grass is a two man organic electronic project based out of the seascape-y areas of the LA space. Back on October 20th they released their follow up EP to this year's two track EP She Was. From the onset, their latest release Skydream swiftly pulls the listener into a sonic landscape that dilates the senses and clears the stressful congested and racing mind.  

More so than this year's She Was, Skydream acts as a vehicle for Michael and Josh (Blade of Grass) to act as lackadaisical shamans of the secular world. In other words, all four tracks on Skydream are quintessential chill out music. Take a break from social media, anxiety, possessions, and let Blade of Grass' newest release be your convoy to momentary escapism.

Any outfit describing their music as 'West Coast Electronic Space Rock' deserves at least a listen. Vocals are good and strong, and nicely 'up in the mix' across all four tracks, each of which stamps it mark in a positive way. On reflection west coast electronic space rock is a fair description and you can add me as a fan.


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