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ITALIANS DO IT BETTER

Chromatics

Faded Now

    While the wait for Dear Tommy continues, Chromatics are not sitting idle. In 2020 they surprise release ‘Closer to Grey’ and also dropped digitally an album ‘Faded Now’, which is now made available on Heavyweight Coloured Vinyl. The 14 song album includes a few remixes of songs from Closer To Grey and plenty of brand new songs to go with it

    “....I’m doing time where the dreams are for sale...”

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Faded Now
    A2. You’re No Good
    A3. Twist The Knife
    A4. Street Lights
    B1. I Want To Be Alone
    B2. Touch Red
    B3. Nocturne
    B4. Wishing Well
    B5. The Runner
    B6. Burning Bridges
    B7. The Sound Of Silence

    Various Artists

    After Dark 3

      Every seven years, we release an After Dark label sampler, the long awaited third edition is finally here. Produced by Johnny Jewel, ‘After Dark 3’ features label mainstays Desire, Chromatics, Farah & introduces fresh blood from around the globe. A glimpse beyond the curtain, into what the new year sounds like for Italians Do It Better. In the tradition of our spaced out cinema disco, we present After Dark 3...The wallpaper of your dreams & the stardust of the future.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Desire - Boy
      2. Orion - Higher
      3. Johnny Jewel - Surgery (Feat. Glüme)
      4. Double Mixte - Chambre 48 (Feat. Desire)
      5. Farah - Boyz R Bad
      6. Chromatics - TOY (ATRIP Remix)
      7. Love Object - Holodnoe Solnce
      8. Joon - Cruel Summer
      9. Glüme - Don't @ Me
      10. MOTHERMARY - Resurrection
      11. Orion - Space Girl
      12. Guy Gerber - Cameo
      13. Causeway - We Were Never Lost
      14. Club Intl - Crush
      15. Double Mixte - Tirage En Croix
      16. Joon - Worse Things Than Feeling Lonely
      17. Pink Gloves - Fading Stars (Johnny Jewel Remix)
      18. Chromatics - Endless Sleep

      Portland's masters of cinematic synth, the inimitable Chromatics are back with their fifth studio LP, "Closer To Grey". The band's first album since 2012, "Closer To Grey" continues the outfit's exploration of neon lit diners, freezing city streets and 80s noir, kicking off with a stripped back and atmospheric interpretation of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence". The tempo rises for "You're No Good", "Closer To Grey" and twist the knife, which alternate between vintage Italians Do It Better disco and propulsive new wave, before "Light As A Feather" pairs Chromatics' trademark sound with the fresh addition of a breakbeat. The first disc ends on a note of romance with the prom-friendly "Move A Mountain", a reminder that vocalist Ruth Radelet can kill with a whisper. As we head to the C-side "Touch Red" leads us through a little lounge-styled melancholy while "Whispers In The Hall" finds the middle ground between trap-bass tones and Carpenter's Halloween soundtrack. A synth and scuzz cover of Jesus And Mary Chain's "On The Wall" reminds us of the group's DIY origins, a wonderful contrast to the luxurious textures of "Love Theme..." and dreamy closer "Wishing Well". 

      And just like that, Chromatics pull off that most difficult of tasks, creating something which is the same, but different. All the emotion, feeling and mood remain, but bolstered with a few new musical flavours which compliment rather than detract. 

      TRACK LISTING

      1. The Sound Of Silence
      2. You’re No Good
      3. Closer To Grey
      4. Twist The Knife
      5. Light As A Feather
      6. Move A Mountain
      7. Touch Red
      8. Through The Looking Glass
      9. Whispers In The Hall
      10. On The Wall
      11. Love Theme From Closer To Grey
      12. Wishing Well

      “…Voices Heard From The Year Of Thirteen Moons…”

      Beyond the decay of ruins hums the subtle sound of Vapor, a suite of dystopian instrumentals by Italians Do It Better visionary Johnny Jewel. His trademark analog synthesizers have never sounded more crystalline, their landscape never more evocatively barren. Chiming bells slowly twirl like the rusted music box of a child’s nightmare, a pitch-black bleak that is utterly frightful — Jewel channels the beauty & horror of a world that long ago abandoned its own destiny. This is a fever dream flashback. The kind that strikes you in the blur of night & refuses to weaken its grip until the sheets are drenched in sweat. This soundtrack is as elegant as it is violent, conjured in the deepest blacks & most vivid reds. These 21 celestial tracks clock in at just over an hour. Warping wind from a spiraling pinwheel…The sound of dust in the Garden of Hera, walking the tightrope between Life & Hades. The thin line that divides the Heavens from the Earth. Breathe Deep.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Heartbeats
      2. Sleep Chamber
      3. Black Marble
      4. Garden Of Hera
      5. Zenith
      6. Chess Pieces
      7. Echoes Of The Past
      8. Of Hades
      9. The Eye Of The Needle
      10. Flashback
      11. Heartbeats (Reprise)
      12. Death
      13. Moonrise
      14. Vapor
      15. The Taste Of Skin
      16. Andromeda
      17. Twilight
      18. Run
      19. Opening Flower
      20. Nightfall
      21. Heartbeats (Lullaby)

      French duo Double Mixte bring their digital thunderstorm of neon lit noire to the Italians Do It Better family on their debut LP. Mixed & produced by label head Johnny Jewel, Romance Noire opens the door to a new wave of Italians Do It Better artists coming in 2019. Fresh Blood. New Tears. The title track arpeggiates & boils as waves of bass flow beneath. Rhythms are carried to the ceiling by a searing cascade of disintegrating color. A heavy backbeat anchors Clara Apolit’s poetry, ready to wear for a night in the face of oblivion. The cinematic “Arlette” is a call for discovery through a darkness lit only by the glare of headlights in digital rain. Through all of this, Thomas Maan’s incantations search for the lonely, lost in the void of electronic fog. “November” finds in Clara an Anglophonic chanteuse, meditating on the cycles of time. A blend of suspended sound & an uncertain melody contracts & expands before dissolving. Romance Noire is art that both contemplates & transcends time’s firm grip. It’s a filmic journey inducing a vague sense of future nostalgia. Happy Valentine’s Day.

      Double Mixte is Clara Apolit & Thomas Maan. The duo met in Paris & there was an immediate pull to create music together. They pooled their combined interest in powerful narrative & dark 70’s French film music to write lyrically vivid songs. 


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Italians may well do it better, but don't forget the French know their onions (stringed I presume) about synthwave. And so Parisian duo Double Mixte arrive on the legendary IDIB with a six tracker of moody but melodic neon noir for late night diners and B-movie obsessives.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Romance Noire
      2. Arlette
      3. November
      4. Arlette (Instrumental)
      5. Romance Noire (On Film)
      6. November (Instrumental)

      Tess Roby

      Beacon

        The Beacon crowns Ashurst Hill in Dalton, Lancashire, looming over the verdant English countryside nearly six hundred feet above sea level. This spartan brick monolith was erected in 1798 as a watch tower to warn of French invasion during the Napoleonic War — and there it silently remains, keeping infinite vigil. It stands in Tess Roby’s mind. The Beacon calls to her. “Throughout my life I have felt the pull to return to it,” she says. “I’m beckoned by father’s roots and by the sullen landscape of fields leading to the coast.”

        Tess Roby is an artist with a vision. The Montreal-based photographer and musician, an eight-year veteran of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, seems utterly original, moving with a restless energy toward the sublime. Her sound betrays an intrepid longing to discover and explore, to reject convention and transcend cliché: Roby is a born traveller, absorbing everything she hears and making it new. Ethereal and crystalline, bathed sumptuously in synths, her music is heady, dreamy, singular — a transmission from parts unknown. The classical training and aesthetic omnivorousness combine like worlds colliding.

        Roby’s debut album Beacon was written in 2015, following the death of her father. She collaborated with her brother Eliot to create what they describe as a kind of spiritual homage — both to her father and to the Beacon, where the family travelled often. Roby recorded these songs with the drum machines and synthesizers she found in her father’s recording studio, and galvanized by his spirit she imbued the music with love, movement, whispers, memories, and pain. “All the while the Beacon remained effervescent in my mind,” Roby remembers. “Visions of it ablaze on the hilltop, standing motionless while I searched for understanding.”

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Tender, Balearic chimes and languid strummed guitar meet with Roby's enchanting voice and tentative arpeggiated synths, Beacon is a brilliantly written and perfectly measured triumph.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Given Signs
        2. Ballad 5
        3. Catalyst
        4. Plasticine Hills
        5. Beacon
        6. Tripling
        7. Air Above Mirage
        8. Borders

        Glass Candy

        B/E/A/T/B/O/X - Clear Vinyl Pressing

        It's hard to think of any other record that so perfectly encapsulates that favourite part of the day for all nighthawks, revellers and DJs. The hour before dawn, when the streets of the city are empty, lights change for traffic that isn't there and a lone fox is you're only companion on your walk home. Taking their inspiration from the synth-heavy soundtracks of John Carpenter (especially "Assault On Precinct 13"), Kraftwerk, Madonna and Timbaland their sound is unique because of the absence of sequencers and computers. There's something undeniably refreshing about dance music that goes out of time occasionally. Highlights include "Rolling Down The Hills" and "Beatific" but it's their cover of Kraftwerk's "Computer Love" that's the record's masterpiece. It's hard to believe that a song written nearly thirty years ago could soundtrack, so perfectly, the alienation of city living in the twenty first century. Thank you Italians Do It Better for "B/E/A/T/B/O/X".


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