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KELLY LEE OWENS

Kelly Lee Owens

8

    After releasing her sophomore album Inner Song in the midst of the pandemic, Kelly Lee Owens was faced with the sudden realisation that her world tour could no longer go ahead. Keen to make use of this untapped creative energy, she made the spontaneous decision to go to Oslo instead. There was no overarching plan, it was simply a change of scenery and a chance for some undisturbed studio time. It just so happened that her flight from London was the last before borders were closed once again. The blank page project was underway.

    Arriving to snowglobe conditions and sub-zero temperatures, she began spending time in the studio with Lasse Marhaug. An esteemed avant-noise artist, Marhaug envisioned making music that would fall loosely in line with Throbbing Gristle. Kelly, on the other hand, had planned to create something inspired by Enya, an artist who has had an enduring impact on her creative being. They met each other halfway, pairing tough, industrial sounds with ethereal celtic mysticism, and creating music that ebbs and flows between tension and release.

    One month later, Kelly called her label to tell them she had created something of an outlier, her ‘eighth album’.

    TRACK LISTING

    SIDE A
    1. Release
    2. Voice
    3. Anadlu
    4. S.O (2)

    SIDE B
    5. Olga
    6. Nana Piano
    7. One
    8. Quickening
    9. Sonic 8 

    Kelly Lee Owens

    Inner Song Remix Series: Part 2 Feat. Haider / Elkka / Yazzus / Roza Terenzi Remixes

    Form an orderly queue! The second part of Kelly Lee Owens' "Inner Song" remix series featuring remixes from Haider, Elkka, Yazzus and Roza Terenzi.

    Haider adds gliding Reese bass, a hyped up 'Think' break and pure old school jungle flavour to "Jeanette", creating a darkside banger that'll put hairs on your chest - heavy!

    Elkka adds ethereal atmos, a pulsating beat and frenetic arpeggios to "On", transforming it into a peaktime electro-disco epic that'll find favour on electronic leaning dancefloors throughout clubland.

    Yassus injects "L.I.N.E" with urgent footwork and rave energy, a galvanized hybrid that's utilizes high speeds and solid production to summon up an large amount of propulsion and energy.

    Finally, one of the hottest stars of techno right now, Roza Terenzi fattens up "Night" with her typically chunky, prog house-influenced beats that rattle and thud and send E'd up dancers into a full on ecstasy!

    Not only does Kelly Lee Owens make some of the most inventive and pioneering music out there, she's also got her finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to curating her remix EPs; making these two parts essential collectors items. Don't sleep! 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Unmissable KLO remix package with upfront purveyors of house, techno and jungle given freedom to let loose on some of Owen's delicious new tracks.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. Jeanette (Haider Remix)
    2. On (Elkka Remix)

    Side B
    1. L.I.N.E (Yazzus Remix)
    2. Night (Roza Terenzi Remix)

    Kelly Lee Owens

    Inner Song Remix Series: Part 1 Feat. Loraine James / Breaka / Coby Sey Remixes

    Form an orderly queue! It's another limited edition 12" from Kelly Lee Owens with remixes for the critically acclaimed album “Inner Song”. Part 1 features remixes from Loraine James, Breaka and Coby Sey.

    James tackles the stems of "Wake Up" with a gross intensity, utilizing the latest cut-up software to re-mangle, stretch and skew the track into a punctuated, holographic refraction of its former self.

    Breaka adds gliding subs, hi-tek breaks and lashings of electricity as he remixes "Re-Wild" into a club-ready future-garage beast destined for the big rooms.

    Finally leftfield weirdo Coby Sey adds some black magick to "Corner Of My Sky"; a sonic cauldron of strange sounds seeping over tuned tribal toms and John Cale's haunting vocal part. Another excellent addition to Kelly’s multi-dimensional discography. Top stuff. 


    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. Wake Up (Loraine James Remix)
    2. Re-Wild (Breaka Remix)

    Side B
    1. Corner Of My Sky Ft. John Cale (Coby Sey Remix)

    Kelly Lee Owens

    Kelly Lee Owens - 2021 Repress

    Without wishing to get too jackanory, I'm gonna start this review with a little anecdote. Way back in April 2015, when I was a little younger and lot lighter, Kelly Lee Owens strolled into our glorious establishment and casually inquired if we'd be interested in stocking her self-released debut 12". Always a sucker for something new, limited and hand labeled I took a cursory ten copies off her hands as she left for the train station. Approximately four minutes later, as the dreamlike shimmer of ghost-pop paean "Lucid" echoed through my headphones I called the number she'd left and asked if she could drop off another thirty copies without missing her train.
    Fast forward two years and three Piccadilly Record Of The Weeks later and the Welsh wonder is back with a majestic full length on the excellent Smalltown Supersound. As she leads us through ten tracks of spectral techno, nebulous synth pop and squelching waveforms, Kelly meditates on anxiety, sadness and darkly-shaded ecstacy, pouring pure emotion into an expansive electronic landscape. Previous 12" tracks "Arthur", "Lucid" and the hypnotic "CBM" sound better than ever next to the brooding synth soul of "S.O." and late night mysticism of Jenny Hval collaboration "Anxi", while the bleep heavy "Evolution" is a sultry, seductive club cut for very late in the session. For me, this LP perfectly captures those moments when you get home from the club with a loved one and settle into that time honoured pre dawn routine. It's intimate, emotional, sexy and slightly blurred - in other words, midnight music at its finest. 

    TRACK LISTING

    1. S.O.
    2. Arthur
    3. Anxi Ft. Jenny Hval
    4. Lucid
    5. Evolution
    6. Bird
    7. Throwing Lines
    8. CBM
    9. Keep Walking
    10. 8 

    Kelly Lee Owens

    Melt! (Coby Sey Remix) (Love Record Stores Edition)

    Not content with somehow topping her debut LP with last week's superb "Inner Song", K-Lo keeps us cooking with a limited 'Love Record Stores' white label of disorienting club cut "Melt!" with a completely ketty mix from Coby Sey. 

    On the A-side, Kelly's OG comes on strong at a rushy 130BPM, twisting our melons with the crystalling cascade of its leadline and sumptuous sub pressure of an interlocking bassline. When taken with the fact that the hard hitting drum programming sounds like it's thumping out of an unlikely "fortress of solitude" rave, this has entirely hallucinatory effects. 

    Meanwhile on the flipside Whities affiliate and NTS standout Coby Sey puts on the brakes / downs the benzoes to slow the track to a shuffling 104BPM before slicing and dicing that signature synthline into an intoxicated stutter. Essential listening for fans of Madteo me thinks.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Melt! 
    B1. Melt! (Coby Sey Remix)

    Kelly Lee Owens' masterful second album "Inner Song" finds the convention-blurring techno producer and singer/songwriter diving deep into her own psyche—excoriating the struggles she's faced over the last several years and exploring personal pain while embracing the beauty of the natural world. It's a leap in artistry from a musician who burst forth on the scene with a confident, rich sound, and "Inner Song" is endlessly enticing when it comes to what Owens is capable of.

    "Inner Song" follows the star-making debut of her 2017 self-titled album, a quixotic blend of body-moving beats and introspective songwriting that garnered numerous accolades from the music press. Owens has indeed come a long way from her background as a nurse, since then she has remixed Bjørk & St Vincent, released an indelibly clubby two-tracker, 2019's "Let It Go" b/w "Omen," and teamed up with likeminded auteur Jon Hopkins on the one-off "Luminous Spaces."

    Her latest album also comes off of what Owens describes as "the hardest three years of my life," an emotionally fraught time that, in her words, "Definitely impacted my creative life and everything I'd worked for up to that point. I wasn't sure if I could make anything anymore, and it took quite a lot of courage to get to a point where I could make something again." So while the lovely cover of Radiohead's "Arpeggi" might strike some as an unconventional way to open a sophomore effort, to Owens the winding take on the classic tune—recorded a year before work on "Inner Song" properly kicked off—represents the sort of sonic rebirth that's so essential to Inner Song's aura.

    "Inner Song" was largely written and recorded over a month last winter. As with her debut, Owens holed up in the studio with co-producer and collaborator James Greenwood —and letting loose in the studio and being open to whatever sonic whims emerge was essential to Owens' craftwork. The evocative title of the album is borrowed from free-jazz maestro Alan Silva's 1972 opus, which was gifted to Owens by Smalltown Supersound's Joakim Haugland for her 30th birthday: "I'm so grateful for him and his perspectives—he's always thinking outside of the box. Those two words really reflect what it felt like to make this record. I did a lot of inner work in the past few years, and this is a true reflection of that." The hair-raising bass and tickling textures of "Inner Song" drive home that, more so than ever, Owens is locked in to delivering maximal sonic pleasure—as evidenced by the decision to make the album's vinyl release a sesqui album, or triple-sided album: "I'm still obsessed with frequencies that don't do well on vinyl if they don't have the space."

    "The power of conceptualizing who you are has really informed this album," Owens states about Inner Song's essence, and her second album is truly a discovery of self— the latest statement from a fascinating artist who continues to surprise, gesturing towards a rich and varied career to come.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Three years on from her championship season and KLO returns to the long format with a deeper, more refined distillation of her trademark techno pop style. If her debut album delivered on the promise of those early singles, ‘Inner Song’ offers us a dizzying premonition of just how far she could go.

    By her own admission, this album emerged after the hardest three years of her life, and even a cursory scan of the lyrics hints at a little darkness before the dawn. “‘On” and “L.I.N.E.” explore the end of a troubled relationship, “Melt” references the climate crisis and “Wake Up” warns against extended screen time. Rather than wallowing in the melancholy though, Kelly strikes an optimistic tone, serving a resilient reminder that we all have the power to overcome adversity, mirrored in the vital beats and healing frequencies which underpin her emotive songwriting.

    Much like Arthur Russell, an early inspiration, Owens revels in the space between genres, providing a fresh perspective on established styles. Crystalline electronics sit beneath a shoegaze shimmer on “Night”, the bastard offspring of the Cocteau’s and Kraftwerk in a fresh pair of dancing shoes. “Re-Wild” splits the difference between futuristic RnB and taut Detroit techno, a new Minimal Nation woozy on lean, while “Jeanette”, a celebration of the life of her nan, renders an organic landscape in precise electronics.

    On this complex yet cohesive album, Owens tackles serious subject matter with poetic sensitivity, pop hooks and thunderous beats, all the while retaining the ethereal beauty of her Welsh heritage.

    TRACK LISTING

    SIDE A:
    1. Arpeggi
    2. On
    3. Melt!
    4. Re-wild

    Side B:
    1. Jeanette
    2. L.I.N.E.
    3. Corner Of My Sky (ft. John Cale)

    Side C:
    1. Night
    2. Flow
    3. Wake-Up

    Kelly Lee Owens

    Kelly Lee Owens

      THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2017.

      Without wishing to get too jackanory, I'm gonna start this review with a little anecdote. Way back in April 2015, when I was a little younger and lot lighter, Kelly Lee Owens strolled into our glorious establishment and casually inquired if we'd be interested in stocking her self-released debut 12". Always a sucker for something new, limited and hand labeled I took a cursory ten copies off her hands as she left for the train station. Approximately four minutes later, as the dreamlike shimmer of ghost-pop paean "Lucid" echoed through my headphones I called the number she'd left and asked if she could drop off another thirty copies without missing her train. 

      Fast forward two years and three Piccadilly Record Of The Weeks later and the Welsh wonder is back with a majestic full length on the excellent Smalltown Supersound. As she leads us through ten tracks of spectral techno, nebulous synth pop and squelching waveforms, Kelly meditates on anxiety, sadness and darkly-shaded ecstacy, pouring pure emotion into an expansive electronic landscape. Previous 12" tracks "Arthur", "Lucid" and the hypnotic "CBM" sound better than ever next to the brooding synth soul of "S.O." and late night mysticism of Jenny Hval collaboration "Anxi", while the bleep heavy "Evolution" is a sultry, seductive club cut for very late in the session. For me, this LP perfectly captures those moments when you get home from the club with a loved one and settle into that time honoured pre dawn routine. It's intimate, emotional, sexy and slightly blurred - in other words, midnight music at its finest. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: An absurdly accomplished debut, this is just about as Piccadilly as it gets, referencing our collective favourites and transforming them into something fresh and exciting. Harnessing the Cocteau’s, MBV and JAMC, as well as the rhythmic thrust of Chicago and Detroit, KLO trades in immersive, psychedelic pop music, as danceable as it is dreamy. Swathes of hazy synthesis eddy and whirl beneath crystalline vocals, lending the music an aquatic depth matched perfectly by the intimate, expressive lyrics. Fusing the outsider musings of Arthur Russell with Bjork’s cryptic poetry, Kelly meditates on anxiety, sadness, identity and ecstasy, pouring pure emotion into an expansive electronic landscape. A dynamic listen from start to finish, the LP ranges from the hypnotic thump of ‘Evolution’, ‘CBM’ and ‘Bird’ to the medicated daze of ‘S.O’, ‘Lucid’ and ‘Keep Walking’, constantly varying tempo and intensity on its way to sprawling closer ‘8’, a wonderfully blurred end to this nocturnal journey.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. S.O.
      2. Arthur
      3. Anxi Ft. Jenny Hval
      4. Lucid
      5. Evolution
      6. Bird
      7. Throwing Lines
      8. CBM
      9. Keep Walking
      10. 8
      (Deluxe CD Extra Tracks)
      11. Spaces
      12. Pull
      13. 1 Out Of 3
       
      Piccadilly Records Exclusive CD Bonus Disc:
      1. Bird (Prins Thomas Remix)
      2. Lucid (Kelly Lee Owens Remix)
      3. Uncertain (Ghost Culture Remix)


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