Electro . Synthwave . Electro-pop


Genre pick of the week Cover of Blud EP - Inc. Chvrches Remix by SOAK.


Blud EP - Inc. Chvrches Remix

Born in Belfast but raised in Derry, SOAK offers vivid proof that age does not define artistic maturity. Bridie Monds-Watson has spent the last two years splitting time between her studies, the local skate-park, and her songwriting. There was significant acclaim for 2012’s ‘Sea Creatures’, which saw her offered slots at Glastonbury and Other Voices, support Tegan & Sara on tour, and complete a Biology GCSE moments after playing the City of Culture launch for Derry.

On ‘Blud’, however, SOAK accelerates her ascent from raw talent into a unique artistic voice. More atmospheric and textured than her earlier work, ‘Blud’ was written after overhearing an argument and explores the possibilities of change thereafter. The effect is curiously uplifting, seemingly as inspired by a childhood of Joni Mitchell albums as the brooding productions of Cat Power. A counterpart to her burgeoning songwriting, Bridie also played every instrument on ‘Blud’ herself (bar the bass), which was produced in Donegal by Mercury-nominated Villagers’ guitarist Tommy McLaughlin.

"This is a wonderful 17 year old singer songwriter from Derry, she’s called Soak and her new single Blud is pretty much the best thing ever!" Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music

"A vivid portrait of teenage deep-thinking: intricate, ambiguous psychodramas" The Guardian

“Soak’s sound has snippets of Cat Power and the delicacy of Lykke Li...well-crafted and uplifting psalms” Noisey

“Understated and beautiful” Stereogum

“Her music is spellbinding” The 405

"A vivid portrait of teenage deep-thinking: intricate, ambiguous psychodramas" Guardian

“Soak’s sound has snippets of Cat Power and the delicacy of Lykke Li...well-crafted and uplifting psalms” Noisey

“Age be damned. Talent shouts louder” NME

It's a 4 track EP including a Chvrches remix on heavyweight vinyl.

Oooof! It's always a pleasure to hear a new Emperor Machine release, and this one's a real blinder. The man responsible for 50% of Staffordshire's energy consumption (the other 50% being swallowed up by Dean Meredith, obviously) once again fires up his impressive collection of vintage synths and dons his space suit for a voyage to distant worlds. "RMI Is All I Want" is a mid-tempo cosmic chugger in the trademark EM style, but this time features some dreamy female vocals which could easily be the sound of a space siren. The live bass is funky and groovesome to a Bootsy level, while the wigged out guitar heroics add a frazzled stargazing charm to the track. As ever, Andy combines tough edged disco beats with more cerebral cosmic melodies into alluring soundscapes that bend your mind and drive your feet. Ace. On the flip, Nu Rave survivor, electro impressario and Phantasy boss Erol Alkan copies the original mix onto 3.5" floppy and whacks it into his Amiga 600, transforming the original into a belting nugget of micro(chip) house. 

Chet Faker’s first EP release, 2012’s ‘Thinking In Textures’, marked the arrival of a truly unique talent and began a dream run for Australia’s freshest new artist. Two years in the making, his full-length debut brings together all of his influences, from house to R&B, and fuses it together with his smoky vocals. ‘Built On Glass’ is set to truly cement Chet Faker as one of the most unique artists of 2014.

Future Islands are a post-wave dance band from North Carolina - now residing in the fertile music capital of Baltimore. Future Islands play a terse yet passionate music wrought from a stripped back palette. Gerrit Welmer's cartwheeling synthesizer melodies tumble across the austere wilderness of William Cashio's post punk bass pulse, driven ever forward by Eric Murillo's ecstatic feel for rhythm. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the band's sound however takes shape in the form of Sam Herring's distinctive guttural vocal, delivered as Glenn Danzig if he ever found himself in a Shakespearean tragedy.


CD Info: Re-release.

Glass Animals

Gooey - Inc. Kingdom Remix

    One of the first signings to Paul Epworth’s Wolf Tone label, Glass Animals have polished their pulsing indie electronica-by-way-of-R&B sound under the production of the band’s vocalist and writer Dave Bayley, and Epworth’s guiding hand. 'Gooey' is the latest fruit from their album sessions, and the first to truly showcase that new direction. It’s a slick, sultry affair, lilting and looped. Tranquil in its build, all reverb and pulse. Its approach is unashamedly experimental in both its tone and approach, and caught the eye of Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood who, as ambassador for Independent Venue Week, recently booked Glass Animals to headline a sell-out show at Oxford’s Jericho Tavern.

    'Gooey' slots neatly into the alt-R&B groove, with subtle post-footwork 808 drums blipping and blopping under a lush curtain of synths and topped with a seductive laid back vocal. There also also three 'Gooey' refixes here: the first features New Age member Chester Watson adding a rap.Chicago producer Gilligan Moss takes the track more upbeat on a house tip, but keeping the pop nature of the original intact. Fade To Mind's Kingdom supplies the most R&B of all four versions, with a crisp rhythm and high-end sparkle. 'Holiest' features Tei Shi on vox and offers a simple slo-mo beat, chime bars and sunmerged atmospherics.


    12" Info: Full colour picture outer (die-cut) and inner sleeves.

    More laser-lit futuristic disco sounds teleport out of Rotterdam and onto your turntable. Dutch imprint Bordello A Parigi fire up the strip lights and strobes and drop a couple of Nuovo Italo bombs courtesy of Machinegewehr and A Visitor From Another Meaning (AKA the one and only Alden Tyrell). On the A-side Machinegewehr sets phasers to stun, hits the red button on the arpeggiator and enlists Gees Voorhees to lend her gorgeous vocals to blast us into the cosmos. The overall effect is an understated euphoria (if that makes sense), emotional and uplifting without crossing over into staduim cheese. Elitechnique's remix smooths out the more rampant moments of the original, opting instead for Sci-Fi synths, twinkling bells and soaring strings. On the flip, Alden Tyrell adopts one of his numerous aliases and drops a tasty reimagination of the A-side cut featuring Fred Ventura on vocal duties. "Neon Lights" is a classic Italo pounder with a hint of those big chord progressions loved by Kano and the bass power of Bobby O. You can't argue with comparisons like that.

    Remember when we were all positive that Black Devil Disco Club was a contemporary producer pretending to be a forgotten king of Euro-disco, we backed the wrong horse. Antoni Maiovvi is not in fact the long lost heir of Italo-disco, but a native Bristolian with an eye-popping synth collection and an electro-disco obsession which borders on fetish. This four tracker on Bordello A Parigi finds the Giallo Disco boss in fine fettle, completely nailing the italo / synth pop crossover with all of those period features we love so dearly. "Trauma" gets you moving with it's staccato electro rhythm, synth vox and outstanding accented vocals. The result is something approaching an Arther Baker remix of Depeche Mode, as commissioned, arranged and mixed to be performed by the house band on a Dutch chat show in 1983. "Sacriledge" follows suit, this time introducing some fuzzy, short circuiting synth riffs to enhance the atmosphere. The EP closes with the zero gravity chug of "An Interface", a track which boasts the most Italo melody and bassline this side of '84. Shades of Rimini in the sunshine and obscure Japanese cd only compilations abound as you drift into the cosmos.

    Debut five track 12" release from Manchester-via-Brussels producer Oceaán. "Turned Away" opens the EP, sitting somewhere between the sparse melancholia of James Blake and the current atmospheric alt-R&B sound. A simple rickety organic percussion loop, dubwise bass rumbles and minimal keyboard work combine with Mr Oceaan's heartfelt vox. "To Lose" offers more of that Blake-style fragility, adding fluttering synth patterns and slack beats. "Need U" ups the BPM count to a house tempo, while retaining that emotive touch. Lastly "Your Side" is a sleazy electroid slider with slack claps, distortion and soulful vocal.

    Top quality remastered reissue of Osé’s very rare and sought after old school vocoder electro jam ‘Computer funk’, a stone cold classic with an awesome phat analogue bassline and some of the best vocoder vocals ever recorded. Originally released back in ’83 on the tiny Florida label Bound Sound and produced by the great James McCauley, this is Miami electro at its finest and it’s easy to see why it’s become such a Holy Grail with DJs and collectors. Must have.

    Jorge Velez returns to L.I.E.S. with his first effort since 2012's 'Hassan' LP under the Professor Genius moniker. Through this six track LP we see the ultra versatile Velez weave a path seamlessly through numerous strains of electronic music.

    From menacing drones and EBM influenced industrial dancefloor chuggers, to Sakamoto-esque melodic ambient experiments and sparkling new age synth-heavy dreaminess, he creates an atmosphere equally suitable for home listening or adventurous club play. All of this very much reminding us of the days when Mute, Factory, Cherry Red, or Fetish Records were at their best in he post-punk golden era.

    Julien Tavernier casts the net wide and pulls in some exotic talents to soundtrack your evening at the Riviera Disco Club. This fresh platter on Bordello A Parigi is the sound of a cool breeze rolling over the sands, the sweat of a neon discotheque, the feel of his stubble on your neck. Dilemma takes on the A1, shipping in the most potent and fruity Belgian export since Liefman's reopened in the form of "Il Buffone". Wide eyed synth melodies ride high on the back of driving bass sequences, whilst tom rolls and reverb heavy claps take you back to the cinema of your youth. Next up, DJ GIO MC-505 tunes us into the Cybernetic Broadcast Service with some hardcore Italo reminiscent of the more intense Capricorn or Scotch cuts. Vocoders, sci fi synths and 808 bells do the real damage here, while buried deep in the mix are little reminders of the fondly remembered 'Scratch Mix'. On the flip, Disco Sigaretta lowers the pace to soundtrack a secret rendezvous on a space yacht. Stargazing synths and super funky keys come together with a heavyweight live bassline in orgasmic harmony. Disko Selectors end the EP in no less cinematic fashion with the emotive and heartfelt "Looking Through The Hole", a robotic tale of redemption and love. Stadium porgressions and driving sequences take your breath away either side of a breakdown with a chime melody that'll have your heart leaping out of your chest. It's time to get the chest wig out, Eurodisco is back with a bang.

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