Monday, 9 November 2015

Monday Alternative: Funktionslust - Phedre - WoodzSTHLM

Funktionslust - Unstable (Dro Carey remix).

Background - Funktionslust announce their 'Window' EP will be released 20th November. You can pick up hints of all sorts of diverse sounds in Funktionslust’s music, from technoid rhythms to glacial coldwave-esque atmospheres, but they bring these styles into a hyper-modern sound world that is distinctly their own. 'Window' is the duos tightest, tensest most compulsively listenable offering to date. 

Funktionslust formed in London, when Sage Redman and Joe Gillick met in their first year of university, bonding immediately over their love of idiosyncratic pop (St. Vincent, Owen Pallet, Tune-Yards, Cocteau Twins etc.) Originally, Sage grew up in Seattle – her parents were “super unmusical”, but her uncle had connections to the grunge scene. Joe, on the other hand, grew up in London, where he was exposed to the music of grime crews like Ruff Sqwad and Roll Deep. 

'Window' is about a disconnection from oneself inside, (inside as in indoors, and inside as in ones self) and from others outside. It explores the dichotomy and beauty of disconnection vs. connection with partners and friends and the parallels between what one thinks of themselves and what one perceives others to think. Every aspect of each song is created with one synthesiser, acting as a temple for all their ideas. Each idea, each strand of inspiration, bounces off the walls of this 'temple', and emerges as one nuanced, unmediated and tangible sonic construction. 

Funktionslust are classicists, writing traditional melodic pop songs, but there’s an experimental bend to their production informed by artists like Four Tet, Mumdance, and Oneohtrix Point Never.

Prior to the EP's release we have a remix of Funktionslust first single 'Unstable'. Australian producer 'of the moment', Dro Carey's remix, stays reasonably close to the original and if anything lightens & thins the sound a little. Both versions make the pending EP release, of real interest.


Phedre - Tivoli.

Background - Toronto-based experimental pop duo Phèdre return with new single (+video), "Tivoli." 

Melted-pop duo Phèdre make music for escaping. The visually evocative soundscapes emerging on their previous releases take form like a great comic; a concise narrative, bright colors, and psychedelic textures. If comic books had strobe lights Phèdre's certainly would.

As for what they take from the real world, Phèdre's music borrows from hip-hop, psych and high-bpm electronica to make music digestible to internet-induced-ADD-types and also those who can sit through a heavily conceptual full-length. 2016 will see them entering a new cycle, with a couple of new energetic releases.

A looping sound wall comes to life as the bass kicks in, however the vocals are a surprise. Strangely addictive the soundtrack matches the quirky vocal nature and bang! it's finished and time to play again (like I said, addictive).


WoodzSTHLM - Underwater (feat. Flores & Olle Grafström).

Background - This is the new track from 22-year-old Swedish producer WoodzSTHLM. 

"Underwater" paints a picture, not of drowning, but of human instinct and it's reluctance to give in, even as the surface light becomes further out of reach. 

The single is part of a complex and dark EP, Lighthouse, coming November 20th via WoodzSTHLM's co-founded label, Mångata Records.

Moody and intricate, the song has sultry vocals and a soundtrack heavy on the bass line. Layers of rhythmic percussion sounds, carry the whole piece along. The synth's bring it all together, and as a tease for the EP it really works.


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