Anonymous act The Beautiful Blū has shared its latest single ‘Future Blur’. The track is its second release after the single ‘One Final Day’ dropped last month and will feature alongside the track on the act’s debut album iGenocide – a title that captures the project’s conceptual subject matter.
‘Future Blur’, a microcosm of the greater whole from which it has been taken, is a sonic investigation into the dangers inherent in ignoring slow, iterative transformation, and asks the question, are we evolving or just changing things because we can?
A deep subject worth investigating, the act drew an apt analogy when it said, “What does the future hold? We tend to assume that everything will be OK. Many of us know the classic experiment that when you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out, but that when you put it in water, and then slowly turn the heat up, it will boil to death. Why? Because when things change slowly, we tend to accept the changes, even when the changes are for the worse.”
After Ryuichi Sakamoto’s passing on the 28th of March, his management shared a rather eerie playlist that the 71-year-old curated before losing his ongoing battle with cancer. Titled Funeral, the playlist contains 33 tracks by the likes of collaborator alva noto, French pianist Erik Satie (who makes a number of appearances throughout), and the German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach to name a few. Curated by a man in the midst of self-grieving, it is a sombre farewell.
“We would like to share the playlist that Ryuichi had been privately compiling to be played at his own funeral to accompany his passing,” said his management. They first shared the playlist on Twitter, tugging at the heartstrings of musicians and fans alike when they tweeted, “He truly was with music until the very end.”
As musicians know, the audience is everything. As such, SoundCloud is in the process of launching an innovative new feature on SoundCloud for Artists that will enable creators to make direct contact with key members of their audience. Called ‘Fans’, the feature was built to help artists forge stronger bonds with their die-hard fans.
Still in the beta phase, the feature has been made available to over 50,000 test users, who are now able to message the select few who make a difference. The hope here is that artists will be able to build increasingly meaningful relationships with their core followers.
The potential here is worth noting: instead of relying on streams, musicians could, at least in theory, offer their loyal listeners exclusive content and merchandise, leading to higher revenue; the possibilities are endless. In addition, musicians will be able to track listening behaviours and form strategies based on the feature’s handy analytics dashboard.
France based global phenoms ascendant vierge released their genre-bending album entitled One Nouvelle Chance on April 28. The album merges electronic with a hypnotic, idiosyncratic aesthetic.
The duo, which is composed ofproducer Paul Seul and vocalist Mathilde Fernandez, began creating the album during the 2020 lockdown. They strived and succeeded to generate an all new style which is a musical melting pot of happy hardcore, EDM, trance, and hyperpop.
With poetic lyrics by Mathilde Fernandez and mixing by Geoff Swan (Rina Sawayama, Caroline Polachek, Charli XCX),the wide-ranging project crystallizes why they’ve already provided a cult-favorite performance for Yves Saint-Laurent; worked with the likes of Danny L Harle; and sold out shows in London, Berlin, Madrid, Prague, and more.
Belgian Techno producer and DJ Charlotte de Witte has shared her latest single, ‘High Street’ on the 21st of April via her own label KNTXT.
The new single follows de Witte’s recent collaborative EP, ‘Reflection’, with Enrico Sangiuliano and coincides with the artist’s North American Tour which kicked off in Toronto and will take her to numerous cities across the US before finishing up on 28th May at Movement Detroit. (Tour Dates here)
“I’ve been playing this one in every set during the last couple of months. I’m so, so, so excited to finally put it out here.” said Charlotte on her Instagram.
Returning to the proverbial mixing desk, producer Kooma has strung together a sequence of warm notes, which form his newest offering, a single named ‘Hydra’. Released via Floating, Drifting Records, the single chases his February release, ‘Subliminal’, and shares much of the same vinyl-ised textures; both records are drenched in the noise old musical mediums produced, which gives them much of their character.
From the get-go, Kooma’s record establishes an ineffable emotion. The feeling reminds me of the moment before one drifts off to sleep, you know, that limbo state between wakefulness and dreams. It’s uncanny. Perhaps it’s the lullaby-like pluck or its melody. Either way, the emotion is palpable. It really doesn’t take much to feel it.
An image sparked the producer’s imagination, inspiring him to complete the record. “Waves of the ocean were hitting the breakwater and creating these massive water splashes,” he shared. “That sight alone flipped the creative switch, both audio-wise and visually. The distorted lead synth of the chorus reflects the waves roaring toward me in the artwork.”
Multifaceted Chicago-based musician, instrumentalist, DJ, and producer COFRESI teases the arrival of his forthcoming experimental EP, AGENDA, with a glitchy, emotional slice of downtempo in his first release of the year, ‘I’M NOT’. The single offers a first-hand look at his upcoming EP, which will showcase his boundary-pushing production style across six new magnetic tracks. Known for his experimental live/digital hybrid sets that see him blend his extensive percussive background with electronic elements, COFRESI is unveiling his most ambitious project yet. Due for release on 4/6, the AGENDA EP will present a chronicle of bass, house, and electronica-infused productions, with positivity as the common denominator. The lead single, “I’M NOT,” is out now across all streaming platforms.
The concept of “I’M NOT” stemmed from COFRESI’s long-standing passion for integrating live musical elements into a digital soundscape. From organic flutes, striking vocal chops, and melodic cadences to the dynamic downtempo percussion, and pulsing basslines and chords, this track comes together piece by piece to create a rollercoaster of sounds oozing with emotion. COFRESI’s background in live recording shows his captivating ability to incorporate multidimensional digital and acoustic percussion into modern electronic music. Speaking on his inspiration behind the track, COFRESI says, “the initial idea for “I’M NOT came together the day after I saw Polo & Pan perform at Radius in Chicago. I was getting deeper into the city’s music scene then and exploring more dance-focused artists. Polo & Pan’s approach to their live show and music struck a chord in me, and this tune was essentially an application of that inspiration.”
COFRESI brings something to the table that no other producer is in our current state of music. Drawing inspiration from live electronic acts such as Polo & Pan, L’Impératrice, The Blaze, and more, COFRESI plays with a wide range of electronic styles with his forthcoming AGENDA EP, ranging from bass to house music. Staying true to his roots in live music, the EP will have various samples of live recorded instrumentals and vocals fused with sleek sound design to carry forward the evolution of his signature sound.
“At its core, this song encapsulates the dichotomy of struggle amidst the beauty in life. It provides a breath of fresh air in contrast to the madness of the world and our lives at times. In a way, I made this tune so that people can either resonate with the positive aspects & melodies or dive into the deeper context and meanings of the song.” – COFRESI
ABOUT COFRESI – Born and raised in Chicago, COFRESI pushes the boundaries of production and live electronic performance. Whether it’s his creative approach to rhythms and percussion or his energetic live sets, COFRESI never ceases to impress and captivate his audience. Since making his official release debut in 2017, he has gone on to perform his unique live/electronic hybrid set at a myriad of globally-renowned festivals, including Electric Forest, North Coast, Same Same But Different, EDC Mexico, SXSW, and Hulaween. His music, oozing with originality and versatility, has found a home on a string of labels, such as Gravitas, TooFuture, AltVision, Epitaph, Bonafyde, and Westwood Records, to name a few, as well as garnered support from a diverse list of leading figures in electronic music, including the likes of Autograf, Polo & Pan, Mr. Carmack, So Down, Disco Biscits, and NGHTMRE.
Tasked with reinterpreting the same sound palette, producers Felower and Kasztan have joined forces to tinker with alternate styles in their latest release, a double A-side single titled ‘Silhouettes / Contour’. “Instead of finishing one song together, we took that raw material home to make different songs. From there, Felower crafted a dark ethereal pop song called Silhouettes while I pushed in a different direction with a more instrumental and breakbeat cut called Contour”.Kasztan elaborates.
Felower’s version, ‘Silhouettes’,is a danceable record with percussions that shuffle with a swelling modulated bassline. It is easy to picture the track being performed in a dark basement performance like a boiler room set. In addition, he is the only one of the two artists to use the vocal melody as a chorus vocal, which gives the piece its shadowy feeling. Leaning more toward the decorative drum fills of UKG, Kasztan’s version ‘Contour’ shimmers with hi-hats and ornamental stutters that create points of fascination. The result is an Electro track that feels futuristic and ever-changing, which is enjoyable.
UKG producer Elisabeth Verstraete has unveiled her single ‘You Say’, which features on Quality Goods Records’ sixth annual compilation QGRC-006, under her Polar Youth moniker. The Red Bull Elektropedia award-winning creative has previously mingled with DJ Fresh and had her name and sound appear in Vice and Complex, two prominent publications that most music fans will quickly recognise. Listening to her latest offering, fans will uncover similarities in the driving percussions of London-based musician TSHA. Let’s break the ice with Polar Youth:
How did the new single speak to you as a musician?
I wanted to try a different approach. Focus more on the danceability of the track. I had to step out of my comfort zone a bit, and it turned out really well!
What is the message of ‘You Say’?
When I heard the words “You Say”, I immediately thought about two people arguing. The piano in the track reflects the calm before the storm. Then you have the heaviness in the drop that reflects the argument itself.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got into music?
I’ve been into music since I can remember, to be honest. At the age of 9, I played the guitar and sang a lot, and at the age of 12 I discovered FruityLoops, and I’ve been making music every day since that point.
Give us a sense of the music scene where you are based.
Where I live the most dominant genres are Techno and Rock music, but people here are open-minded which gives other genres a chance to shine too.
Tell us about your studio set-up and gear.
I have a home studio packed with way too many microphones, midi keyboards, and cables. The 2 pieces I’m most proud of are my Adam Audio A5X monitors and my Korg Minilogue XD.
What are some of your key musical influences?
I’ve always been heavily influenced by Hip Hop, which you can hear in what bass sounds I use. My melodic side has been influenced by Coldplay and Destiny’s Child when I was young. I’ve always admired how they use and convey their emotions in tracks.
As an artist, how do you infuse your music with emotion?
Whenever I start a track, it’s always about the chords. The chords and melodies I put into my tracks really portray the emotions I feel at that point.
In your opinion, how has bass music evolved over the last few years?
I’d say pretty good! Producers are being influenced by different genres outside the EDM scene and are trying to mix these genres together which creates new and surprising sub-genres. Music is all about creativity so I’m a huge fan.
What has been a memorable highlight of your career so far?
First DJ set I did back in 2014. It was in my hometown at a big venue, in Ghent, nobody knew me or my music, but everybody went nuts and danced through my whole set! That’s really something I’m going to cherish forever.
Who do you look up to in the DJ world?
As a producer myself, with my background, I have a tendency to focus way much more on the production side of things. DJ-ing to me is a different kind of experience and a different kind of challenge. Producers that I admire and are DJ-ing too are Kito, TSHA, Salute, and Conducta.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
When I was younger I always wanted to be a trucker transporting pigs, which I would then release into the wild next to the highway. Now I’d say I’d probably be a vet assistant or have my own garage with lots of vintage motorcycles.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I’ve been producing for other people for so long and now, I’m finally going to release LOTS of new music of my own. I’m very excited to put out music that is me, and it’s going to be with really dope labels!
Amsterdam-based duo Weval (made up of Harm Coolen & Merijn Scholte Albers) announce their long-awaited new album Remember, out on 3rd March on Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour. With the announcement, the duo shared a new single ‘Don’t Lose Time’. The album embarks on a high-energy journey of nostalgic memories and euphoric emotions, seeing the electronic duo reminisce on their own musical journey while reflecting on key influences and inspiration over the years. “We played and embraced this with unshameful nostalgic feelings around discovering music as young music fans” they commented.
‘Remember’ plays around with memory and its ability to distort. As Weval elaborates, “Time is constantly escaping you and when you look back, memories distort – sometimes negatively, sometimes fake, sometimes euphoric and romanticised.” This central theme is explored in sonic contrasts as Weval employs heavily contorted beats with the potential to destroy speakers, only to be salvaged from the brink of collapse by melodically hopeful chords. Their new bombastic sound came as a result of new songwriting methods that saw Weval mashing together seemingly disparate ideas that held completely different lives and energies. Elements of pop, dance and every genre in between are thrown in and whittled down to make their most intense, spontaneous and substantial work to date.
The upcoming album follows on from the 2022 singles “Never Stay For Love”, featuring Dutch singer-songwriter Eefje de Visser, and “Forever”. Both tracks offered early previews to ‘Remember’, leaning on highly textured, driving and sophisticated electronica which the duo have become widely known for.
Weval is well known amongst peers and critics for its beautifully composed melodies and songwriting. Previous press coverage includes impressive support from Pitchfork, Billboard, The Line of Best Fit, Resident Advisor, DJ Mag, Mixmag, Clash, SPIN, Brooklyn Vegan, Crack Magazine, Dummy, Magnetic Mag, The Vinyl Factory and more. Radio highlights include a live performance at the historic Maida Vale studio for BBC Radio 1’s Residency series (alongside artists such as Moderat, Darkstar, Gold Panda, Jessy Lanza and AKASE), plus support from the likes of Lauren Laverne, Tom Ravenscroft, KEXP, KCRW, SiriusXMU, Beats In Space and many more. Their music has been featured in TV shows Good Girls, Industry, and the HBO hit drama I May Destroy You by Michaela Coel. Weval recently completed a EU/UK and US tour with stops along Berlin, Istanbul, Brooklyn, Miami, LA, Vancouver and more. They have previously performed with a live five-piece band to emphatic festival crowds at Primavera Sound, Sonar Festival Istanbul, DGTL Amsterdam, Lightning In A Bottle, OSHEAGA, Lost Village, Lowlands, Down The Rabbit Hole, Best Kept Secret and many more. They’ll return to the stage this Spring on a run of EU/UK and North America dates. Tickets go on sale Friday, 20th January at 10 am [Local Time].
2. Everything Went Well
3. Losing Days
4. Where It All Leads
5. Don’t Lose Time
6. Never Stay For Love (feat. Eefje de Visser)
7. Day After Day
8. Changed For The Better
9. I Saw You
10. Is That How You Feel It
The first meeting in 2010, Harm and Merijn formed their formidable creative alliance back in 2012 when they were both working in film – when Harm brought Merijn on board to assist with a music video for some friends in a band. They began experimenting together, enjoying the music production more than the filmmaking. Neither had experience making music before forming Weval, so they have evolved organically together throughout their partnership. It’s an ongoing project that evolves naturally, each new release a learning experience that feeds back into their creative output.