February is a short month, but the jolts of winter always hide beautiful outings. Even in such a short time, great releases kept knocking on our doors and ears, to our delight. A month in music, here’s to February 2019!
EFDEMIN — New Atlantis [Experimental, Techno, Psychedelic — Germany]
Berlin’s Philip Sollmann is a longtime resident DJ at Berghain, and New Atlantis is his first release on Ostgut Ton, the club’s in-house imprint. This project was inspired by Francis Bacon’s 17th century eponym utopian novel, and according to the label “oscillates between fast, kaleidoscopic techno, multilayered drones and acoustic instrumentation”.
The book describes a fictional island reaching for progress through the synthesis of art, science, technology and fashion. At the end of the day, New Atlantis is the perfect embodying of this imagery, as well as a subtle combination between bouncing dance floor-orientated productions and Sollmann’s more experimental work.
HELADO NEGRO — This Is How You Smile [Indie, Alternative Pop — USA]
The son of Ecuadorean immigrants, Roberto Carlos Lange (aka Helado Negro) is back with his minimal and experimental pop music, conscious, still preserved from the fury of the world. It’s been ten years since his debut album “Awe Owe”, and the songwriter is still valiantly cultivating his latin secret garden in the DIY lands of Brooklyn. On his sixth LP, the producer embraces the formula from legendary “conscious soul” singers such as Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.
Thus, he keeps blurring the boundaries between indie, pop and electronic music with his autochthonous and global rhythms. He also uses surprisingly varied arrangements (soulful and danceable beats, R&B and acoustic vibes) filled with extra layers of textures, as a proof of clarity and experience. His whole collage is infused a general sense of love, harmony and emergency. Brilliant.
THE JAPANESE HOUSE — Good at Falling [Indie Pop, Folktronica — UK]
The Japanese House is the solo project of Amber Bain, a young English girl who in four years and as many EPs charmed us with her elegant and nuanced synthpop. Produced by Amber Bain herself and George Daniel (drummer of The 1975), Good At Falling pursues in the same honest way it all started for the songwriter, with a clever mix of tropical nostalgia and wintery solace in its atmosphere.
Slightly more danceable than before, her music is full of tasty folk accents and catchy rhythms, along her vocoder signature we love so much. Her voice sounds as crystalline as broken all along this sun-dazzled record. It is hard not to fall in love with this one.
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM — Electric Lady Sessions [New Wave, Dance-Punk — USA]
LCD Soundsystem live is something everyone should be able to experience at least once. These sessions were spread over a month, but the principle remains the same as on his previous live recordings: twelve tracks freely revisited, with a performance captured not on separate tracks, but all musicians together, in conditions close to the concert.
With three covers on its tracklisting, “Electric Lady Sessions” sheds more light on the influences of the American mastermind. The charm of this cheerful record lies in the changes made by the band to its own repertoire: airy and dissonant reworks, sudden accelerations, punk-funk versions, … The very definition of a playground for such a producer.
The D.C. multi-instrumentalist Eva Moolchan – aka Sneaks – just released her brand new album. This time, she plays a minimalist hip-hop full of electronic influences and hovering musical richness that give her project a lighter vibe than before. The record is full of creative ideas, and reveals a truly one-of-a kind songwriting universe for all hip hop and minimal trap music fans, in only 29 minutes of fearless and pulsating brilliance. Every sound on the record is dubbed with the singer’s voice, giving it such a great sense of rhythm. Here, her understated tunes made of bass, drum machines and monochrome speak-sing feels instantly classic.
SONGS DISCOVERED THIS MONTH:
Four Tet — Only Human [Tech House]
Based on its abundance of vocals, “Only Human” perfectly lives up to its name. Four Tet just released this new piece which should rekindle memories from the 2000s to some listeners. The samples are indeed from the hit “Afraid” by Nelly Furtado, released in 2006. A skilful reinterpretation from the English producer, who turned the original song into a formidable club marvel. The track has already raised many positive reactions, namely as a part of Peggy Gou’s and Ben UFO’s own sets. Thanks to its official release on Ministry of Sound, it is now identifiable by all diggers! No wonder this track will be played at Coachella, where Four Tet is expected to deliver his eclectic and electric set to the crowd this summer.
MillionYoung — Work [Chillwave]
If you enjoyed Toro y Moi’s latest album (featured in our Monthly New Music Roundup #01), you should love MillionYoung’s new chillwave single “Work“. The Miami-based artist delivers the same kind of groovy and upbeat vibes, full of hopes and sunlight as the summer months are slowly but surely lingering on the horizon. Fun, ultra chill and dance-friendly, MillionYoung is all about freedom and pleasure on this one. He will be releasing his fifth studio album later this year, titled “New Elevation“.
mindchatter — tough as nails [Deep House]
“tough as nails” is the NYC producer’s latest work to back up the fact mindchatter’s music is undeniably funky and “trippy” (title of his first single), and just keeps growing on you over the listens. The tracks open with an ocean of shimmering synths, before moving along with classy deep house groove beats. With its crunchy beats and irresistible magnetism, the song is a true delight, a venomous hit that gets more addictive with each and every listen. A true gift that never stops delivering.
Octo Octa — I Need You [Electronica, Down Tempo]
Here is a beautiful and humming dance track, probably the best from the producer Octo Octa, who just signed to Ninja Tune. “I Need You” is in some aspects an anthem for the unique feeling of love, disguised in an intrepid 90s house envelope. As a quiet voice reminds during the song, it is dedicated to family, friends and loved ones with a very simple message that gives this euphoric piece all its meaning: “I love you. Thank you for being here. It means so much to me”, repeated endlessly before fading in a warming wave of softness and trust. Groovy and full of heart, just like a spontaneous hug from someone you love.
Powder — New Tribe [Deep House, Slow House]
A breathtaking new techno excursion from Tokyo newcomer producer Powder, with an incredible animated music video from AC-bu. AC-bu is a Japanese collective producing fairly WTF animations, which has recently become known to the general public for their sequences made in the anime Pop Team Epic. On the video for “New Tribe“, they once again prove all their talent in their mastery of nostalgia, with a lot of influences from Akira. Watching this will make you want to dance till sunrise.
If you feel like experiencing true moments of musical delight live, go check our website without further ado! Electric Soul features all the information you need about the best artists playing in your town, and will help you get all your tickets, hassle-free!