Tag Archives: Electro-pop

To Rococo Rot – Instrument Album Review

Over the course of 18 years, Berlin-Duesseldorf trio To Rococo Rot have carved an identifiable niche for themselves and one which has crossed a variety of styles; neither wholly in the realms of ambient or pure electronics. The late 1990s albums of Veiculo and The Amateur View brought their fundamental and innovative landscapes of sound to the fore while 2001’s collaboration with I-Sound, Music is a Hungry Ghost, showed their ability to blend disparate influences into something cohesive. Remixed by Four Tet and Daniel Miller and heralded by the likes of Modeselektor, their influence extends as far as their unique approach deserves.

To Rococo Rot

To Rococo Rot Instrument artwork

The music of brothers Robert and Ronald Lippok and Stefan Schneider has always existed in its own world and Instrument is a landmark album for the group. The serenely soft melodies of No Wave pioneer Arto Lindsay (Lounge Lizards/Ambitious Lovers/DNA) adorn three tracks, offering up a new perspective. Though melodies have always been a big part of their sound, the inclusion of a human voice is a distinctive modification making it the most accessible introduction to their world of diverse electronics and experimentation.

Instrument starts with the single release, Many Descriptions, one of the three tracks on the record that features vocals while the latest single release, Classify, features later on the album.

Next comes Besides with its calming and ambient tones. This song has all those things that allow it to be the sort of background music everyone should have in their lives.

Down In The Traffic appears next with its jazz inspired ambience. The drum beat is heavily influenced by jazz and the whole song is mesmerising and interesting yet soothing. The melody is repetitive but it never becomes boring – there are so many other layers to this track that are brought in gradually which builds the song and allows it to expand and breathe, give it that pulsating effect. Similarly, Baritone has the same feel to it; it’s jazz with a distinct twist. In the background, there’s a synth used which creates the effect of distorted human voices. If you listen really carefully, it sounds like people talking in atmospheric places like cafes and coffee shops giving it that very real feel. There’s a sense of sophistication in this track – you imagine that those indecipherable conversations are of philosophy and poetry.

The last track on the album, Longest Escalator In The World is a little bit John Martyn influences on tracks of his such as Small Hours. It’s incredibly unusual and heavily synth based which all makes it entirely atmospheric and indulgent. There’s the recognisable spontaneous guitar twangs, lingering synths and randomness that make this song feel like Small Hours. There are also world influences heard in the drumming introducing a whole other level to Longest Escalator In The World.

Instrument may be a To Rococo Rot record unlike any other – and one that treads unfamiliar ground – but it also represents a return to the beginning. Instrument is out now via City Slang.

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Prepare to embark on a journey with Dreamers with their unique brand of grunge that is nostalgic for a space somewhere between art-school eccentric and the late 1970s punk scene. The band have recently made their debut on Interview Magazine with their new single, Wolves.

With their debut album release, This Album Does Not Exist set to be released later this year in November, Dreamers are ready to send their kaleidoscopic sound out into the universe. Their music will tug at your heartstrings and have you dancing around the room all in one fell swoop.

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Introducing…Victoria + Jean

Divine Love is the unreleased debut album and second single of Swedish-Belgian duo Victoria+Jean. The album has been recorded during two years all over the world and all the tracks will be released one after the other with a unique film director doing its own interpretation of the group’s music.

There’s really no point in playing the reference game with Victoria+Jean; it just wouldn’t work for them. Although Victoria sings and Jean plays guitar – like thousands of others across the globe – their new album Divine Love is from another world.

Victoria spent just enough time in Stockholm to enter this life, passed through London to get an education before she discovered Paris. Then comes Brussels, her meeting with Jean, an uncommonly talented musician and latent globetrotter. The Victoria + Jean duet is born. Their first opus reflects their lives: between cities, between sights. The album sleeve mentions some of today’s greatest sound engineers, those mysterious sorcerers who toiled on some of their favourite records, including John Parish (PJ Harvey), Ian Caple (Tricky, Tindersticks, Bashung), Christoffer Berg (Depeche Mode, The Knife, Fever Ray) and Rob Kirwan (U2, Depeche Mode, The Horrors) and the high priestess of mastering, Mandy Parnell.

Victoria + Jean’s journey starts here. Divine Love. For those who might still have doubts: love is divine.

In their own words: “As Love can be Divine, Divine is love, Love is a strange thing that we all want and don’t want to let go, for as a drug, it envelops us all in a comfy cotton candy like way. For some are ready for anything to keep it and to have it.

“When we composed the song it just came out like something evident, we composed it in Sweden, Jean did some percussive beats on the border of a lake and since then, it really hasn’t changed. It’s got that drifty feeling to it, as love can have.”

This song was mixed by Ian Caple: Tricky, Tindersticks and Kate Bush.

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Billy Fox Releases New Single, Mystery

Fresh from his debut festival performance at Big Pineapple Festival on the weekend, Sydney based electro enigma Billy Fox is proud to announce his new single, aptly titled Mystery.

Fox, the sole producer, musican and writer, introduced himself in late 2013 with his soulful debut release in single Monuments. Fast forward to 2014 and Fox is implementing his game plan, running off simplicity and gut instinct, with Mystery being the first single from his ambitious mini-album, set for release later this year. The track was released on May 17 through Inertia Music and was premiered by international taste makers, The Line of Best Fit.

The steady a smooth production of Mystery relaxes without sedating and has already drawn comparisons to seasoned music makers like James Blake and Sam Smith. With curiosity mounting for this new kid on the electro block, Mystery is another piece of the puzzle that will leave both taste makers and audiences eager to learn more about Billy Fox.

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Röyksopp And Robyn To Release Mini Album, Do It Again

Röyksopp and Robyn announce the release of the Do It Again mini album which will be released on Cherrytree Records/InterscopeMay 26 2014. Do It Again is the first single and is available now digitally via digital download stores and streaming via subscription services. The single serves as an introduction to a new Röyksopp album to be released later this month.

The highly anticipated Do It Again tour with Röyksopp and Robyn kicks off this summer in Spain at the Sonar Festival on June 13 and hits the US with stops including The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on June 29 and at Pier 97 in NYC on August 20.

Röyksopp and Robyn have also unveiled a clip from Monument, the first track on the mini album. Monument’s grandeur and grace is as distinctive as it is moving and was the first song where they wrote lyrics together. A defining moment on the mini album in the shape of a near ten-minute long anthem which was inspired by a sculpture from artist Juliana Cerqueira Leite which gave Robyn a “…physical experience of what it’s like to define yourself or stand for something or figure out who you are.”

Röyksopp said: “This five track mini-album is the accumulation and embodiment of the synergy between Robyn and ourselves. We’ve intended this to be a diverse yet cohesive and thought through musical venture; it’s meant to be an expression where pop and art reign side by side.”

Röyksopp and Robyn were inspired by each other’s company and compelled to create something they had never done before, building on the brief moments when they had come together in the past. Having worked together on The Girl and the Robot, which appeared on Röyksopp’s Junior album in 2009 and None Of Dem on Robyn’s Body Talk Pt. 1 in 2010, the Do It Again mini album sees the two artists doing just that.

Röyksopp added:“This doesn’t sound like Röyksopp featuring Robyn or Robyn produced by Röyksopp, it’s just something else entirely. The word ‘collaboration’ has never before been more justified in the world of music.

Robyn said: “Svein and Torbjörn and I started working on new music in the beginning of 2013. I’ve been going back and forth to Bergen to record and write with the boys up until recently. Collaborating with Svein and Torbjörn is something I enjoy very much. In the beginning we just knew we wanted to do something together and then it started to feel more like a band thing than songs for a Röyksopp or Robyn album so we’re releasing this music together as a band you could say.”

The Do It Again mini album represents the perfect coming together of three of the most original musical minds in the world.

Do It Again is the first single taken from the mini album and is an “accidental pop song” written after a night out together in Bergen. The effervescent, effortlessly uplifting electro-pop tune started out as a rave-inspired throwback.

Elsewhere, the Do It Again mini album covers big thumping house with the club-ready Sayit which features a near duet between Robyn and what sounds like an aroused robot. On the other end of the spectrum there is the closing Inside The Idle Hour Club which utilises Robyn’s vocal discreetly to create a pensive, slowly evolving soundscape that’s worth diving into headlong.

Do It Again is compelling not just for its personality but also because it is simply not what you expect.

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