At the moment, there aren’t many people who know much about the Badlands.
No one seems to know their names, where they’re from or where they had their last gig.
Although details about the band seem to be shrouded in mystery, the latest addition to the Biz3 publicity roster has an excellent track out in the form of ‘Sleeping Beauty’.
Despite being put through a retro filter, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ is timeless track – evoking nostalgia without sounding any less modern or fresh. It might be worthwhile keeping an eye out on these guys. They might just be the most exciting thing to happen to dream pop this 2013.
‘Sleeping Beauty’ is available for free download. Get it here.
Photo: The White Mandingos
The White Mandigos first caught my eye because of their name. (You see the term ‘Mandingo’ is pretty loaded in itself – not helped in the least by Quentin Tarantino’s largely historically inaccurate portrayal of mandingo fighting in Django Unchained. )
However it takes more than just a very interesting choice of band name to be obtain really strong reactions for a Record Store Day ’13 release. The band’s release for RSD came in the form of Black/White split 7″ vinyl and was the band’s first physical offering to their fans.
Mandingo Rally, off that release, was pretty much emotionally charged from the onset. West Coast rapper Murs takes no prisoners with his rhymes, hitting it hard with lyrics that are socially and politically conscious. The revolutionary nature of the track is aided by an insane sample off Bad Brains punk-reggae masterpiece, Rally Round Jah Throne.
With the memory of RSD ’13 still fresh, the White Mandingos then decided to drop this controversial black and white music video for Mandingo Rally. The video is in your face and thought-provoking, simultaneously adding another dimension to the political essence of the track.
Photo: Alice and the Glass Lake, Higher Music Video
Before she takes to the Bonnaroo stage, Wisconsin native Alice Lake is set to unleash her brand of charismatic ethereal pop upon us in the form of her debut EP this coming May 28th. She performs under the musical moniker Alice and the Glass Lake – together with four other band members.
On first listen, her music might draw instant comparison to the flame-haired Florence Welch. While vocal theatrics are synonymous with Florence + The Machine‘s sound however, Alice Lake takes a relatively milder approach with her voice – as evident by the two tracks we’ve been treated to thus far, ‘Luminous’ and ‘Higher’.
What truly distinguishes Alice Lake’s music are the ambient soundscapes accompanying her voice. In ‘Higher’, they seem to resemble that of a cheeky celestial being, providing playful accompaniment whilst contributing to the song’s sanguine appeal.
The music of Alice and the Glass Lake is grounded in the vision of the ‘glass lake’ – which on top of providing the artistic inspiration behind her musical process, also enabled Alice to achieve a greater understanding of herself. The notion of the ‘glass lake’ feels almost mythical. It’s easy to see, hear and feel how the lines between the real and imagined are blurred while listening to her music. Truly incredible.
Take a listen to ‘Higher’ below.
Photo: Bomb the Bass (Facebook)
The year is 1988. February 1988 to be precise.
Producer Tim Simenon a.k.a Bomb the Bass is on the cover of the latest issue of music magazine, NME. The accompanying tagline reads, “Hail the DJ! Bomb the Bass and the rise of DJ culture”.
Having Simenon on their cover was a surprising move for a magazine like NME, but it was far from astonishing. The late 80’s saw the cusp of the rise of electronic music – before the surge in the 90’s that saw the unprecedented rise of groups such as Massive Attack and Portishead. With his track, ‘Beat Dis’, Simenon found himself propelled to #2 on the British charts – a groundbreaking feat for a music producer such as himself.
While Simenon would go on to produce music for the likes of Depeche Mode, he never abandoned Bomb the Bass entirely. His subsequent projects as Bomb the Bass, particularly so in the 90′s, featured the unconventional use of samples – an extension of his pioneering work as one of the UK’s most innovative producers.
The latest incarnation of Bomb the Bass features Paul Conboy on vocal duty. Lead single ‘Wandering Star’ off their upcoming album In the Sun opens with a splendidly warm synth and a delicate patter of beats reminiscent of light rain drops. Against that setting, a dreamy, addictive vocal hook is gently introduced and modestly culminates to a slight bass drop and dynamic drum beat. Taking into consideration the constant innovation throughout Bomb the Bass’s discography, the song structure of ‘Wandering Star’ feels relatively conventional, and the samples none too extraordinary. Yet, in a landscape of increasingly over-complicated and sample laden electronica, the latest Bomb the Bass single stands out for being simple yet pleasingly delicious to listen to.
The single ‘Wandering Star’ is available as part of the Wandering Star EP at the official Bomb the Bass web store.
Stay updated with everything Bomb the Bass related on their official Facebook page.
Photo: Lulu McArdle
British producer Chris Ward, better known by his moniker Tropics, is set to release a new EP at the end of this month. You can now listen to an album stream of the four track EP on his Soundcloud here.
Initially conceived as a bedroom project, an electrifying debut release in 2011, as well as several excellent remixes (including this one for M83‘s track Reunion) placed his work firmly under the radar. His style is rather distinctive – his music paints soulful emotion upon an electronic canvas – and the result is an easy-going, relaxing vibe.
‘Courage’ off his upcoming EP, Home & Consonance, features just that. Have a listen.
Photo: Bliss Katherine Braoudakis
Here’s some feel good indie psychedelica from SWIMM. They seem to be a rather interesting duo, having previously toured around Florida with the names Cookie SugarHips and Hot Damn Sweet Huckleberry respectively (1).
Their debut EP, Feel is a solid release, with every song carrying enough weight to be able to stand on its own as an individual track. While their meld of energetic, relatively lo-fi psychedelic garage rock is present throughout the release, it is particularly distinctive in tracks such as ‘Tisk Tisk’ and ‘Too Old’.
In the ’Wanderer’ however, gentle guitar swirls give way to a thumping drum beat – and a quiet, driving bass line moves the song forward without losing its characteristically pleasant chillout vibe. On top of being an excellent song choice to open their EP, it also showcases the band’s ability to explore the emotional depth of their sound brilliantly.
The digital download of SWIMM’s Feel EP is available for free (or name your price) on their bandcamp page.
Follow the band’s updates on their Facebook page.
It is a not-so-nice, humid afternoon here in Singapore but… I am having some brilliant crème caramel (aka caramel pudding). What is this crème caramel you ask? Well, it looks something like this:
(P.S. Do click on the image if you’re interested in a wonderful recipe for crème caramel goodness)
While enjoying my wonderful pudding, I put together a rather mellow post-rock playlist. (Hence the title) It features a mix of the familiar and unfamiliar, unless of course, you are very well versed in everything post-rock.
1.Under the Big Bright Yellow Sun - Circus Travelling Show
2.Folkvang - Istanbul
3.Caspian - Moksha
4.Mogwai - Take Me Somewhere Nice
5.Arajua - Vgujh
6.The American Dollar - Anything You Synthesize
7.tide/edit - Pagbangon
8.Explosions in the Sky - Remember Me as a Time of Day