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LEX RECORDS

Belief (Stella Mozgawa & Boom Bip)

Belief

    With a back catalogue at Lex Records that spans half a dozen studio LPs as Boom Bip, plus another two as one half of electronic pop duo Neon Neon, Bryan Hollon has already made a name for himself as a Mercury prize-nominated producer and multi-instrumentalist. Equally impressive are the credits to Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa’s name; she’s contributed percussion to albums by Kurt Vile, Cate le Bon, Courtney Barnett, Sharon Van Etten, and Kim Gordon, among others. But as improvisational techno duo Belief, the pair make music that harkens back to ‘90s acts like LFO and 808 State – artists that indelibly, but near-anonymously, altered club and rave culture, mostly identifiable by clean, bold logos on 12” sleeves. “They didn’t have much of an image – you didn’t really know what the guys looked like, it didn’t matter at all,” says Hollon. “Their logos kind of define them.”

    Hollon met Mozgawa just after she joined Warpaint, when Boom Bip shared a rehearsal space in Echo Park with the band. The two quickly bonded over a love of early Warp Records, drum breaks, acid house, and Y2K-era rave flyers. They swapped playlists and ideas when Mozgawa played drums for Neon Neon’s 2013 West Coast tour, but due to busy schedules, it would be another three years before they packed every piece of gear they collectively owned into Eric Wareheim’s Absolutely Studios for an initial jam session. “The actual rat’s nest of midi cables was so overwhelming and intense. But for some reason when we just started jamming, it just felt like we intuitively knew how to make something sound the way that both of us wanted it to sound,” says Mozgawa. “We had a kind of mutual taste or something. It just came so easily once there was another mind there.”

    Instinctively playing to each other’s strengths and whims – and recording the session to build on later – allowed Mozgawa to explore a style of music she’d long considered a dark art, and pushed Hollon, known for his meticulous planning in previous work, to be more spontaneous. “There is a looseness and jam quality to it that my other music doesn’t have. We have hours of improvised sessions, which is something I always wanted to do but never took the time in my solo work nor have I ever trusted anyone as much as Stella in knowing exactly what to do and when to do it,” Hollon says. “We connect on another level that you can only tap into when improvising.” They found pockets of time to revisit the project over the next four years, even playing some early shows where they billed themselves as ‘Beef’ – a comedic wink to the project’s pulsating minimalism.

    While it was all in good fun, more reverent threads began to emerge as they began finalizing and recording headier, more enigmatic tracks. “As the music started developing, it was a bit more soulful and deep,” Hollon says. “There was always that little bit of a religious element in early rave culture… it gave us a bit of a box to work within.”

    When they’d hit on something during a performance, they’d make a note to record it; samples they’d used as placeholders were reworked with the duo’s personal touches; Mozgawa tapped bandmate Emily Kokal to record some vocal textures during Warpaint studio time; Hollon chopped, looped and arranged the jungle breaks Mozgawa had recorded from memory; and finally, the two returned to a mostly complete album during pandemic down time to flesh out and warm up some of the cooler machine-like tones, an invaluable final step.

    “The house-y acid-y stuff works really well in the live setting but when it came to recording the stuff, some of it just didn’t feel as warm or as whole as it should, to represent Stella and I,” says Hollon. “We were able to go back and inject a lot of personality into the music, so I’m really happy that we didn’t rush it and spent more time digging a little bit deeper into the songs.”
    “We were also very aware of not overcooking it,” adds Mozgawa. “It’s such a delicate balance.”

    Though governed by the central question – What Would Mark Bell Do? – Belief were careful not to create anything too derivative. “It’s something that really does come up a lot when we’re making decisions in the studio. We felt a kindred connection with one another over that music,” says Mozgawa. “It’s definitely a record that we made with our own influences and capabilities but there’s still this prevalent thread of wanting to add to that conversation in the musical universe, like making a contribution to that out of reverence to what came before.” Born out of an oddly divine foresight the duo share, Belief pays homage to the pioneers of techno, the synergy of two devout tastemakers building a shrine to inner peace and outward pleasure.


    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. I Want To Be
    2. Anx
    3. Bayo
    4. Luther
    5. Dreams
    Side B
    1. Nebo
    2. WOT
    3. Ulu
    4. Jung
    5. Art Of Love

    Andrew Hung

    Devastations

      Stars collapse and new worlds arise in Devastations, the bold new album from Andrew Hung.

      Andrew Hung is an artist known for his breakthrough debut Realisationship, film soundtracks (The Greasy Strangler, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn) and his collaborations (Fuck Buttons, Beth Orton and Aimée Osbourne)

      His work as Fuck Buttons brought about three critically-acclaimed albums, headline slots at festivals such as Glastonbury, Green Man and All Tomorrow’s Parties. Their music sound tracked key moments in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony.

      Hung went on to work with cult director Jim Hosking and his films “The Greasy Strangler” (winning best comedy at the Empire awards, “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn” and “Tropical Cop Tales” for Adult Swim.

      Hung continued his collaborative streak through writing and producing with artist Beth Orton on her career redefining album Kidsticks (described by The Skinny as “…an exceptional return to form.”) and daughter of a rock god, Aimée Osbourne on her incredible debut album Vacare Adamaré (Released under the name ARO).

      Hung now returns his attention to his own expression.

      Hung’s second album Devastations is the ecstatic cry of colour found between light and dark. The album documents a transitional period in Hung’s life; a stepping out from the shadows. Hung explores the deepest recesses of his psyche and in doing so finds himself reconciling the light and dark within. Underlying the propulsive bests and prisms of noise is a melodic tenderness that weaves throughout the album; an offering hand emerging from a turbulent sky. The deepening of inner space becomes an exploration of the universal; a new beginning from the Devastations of old worlds.

      The artist wrote, performed, produced and mixed the whole album himself. He also painted the self-portrait that adorns the cover of the album. The oil painting further illuminates the artist’s intentions in his work; it depicts the artist stepping out of a shadowy world, partially lit by the bright light of the sun.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Former Fuck Button Andrew Hung returns for only his second full album under his own name, though has been busy with a number of superb soundtrack outings since then. 'Devastations' is a brilliantly innovative mix of gothic synth pop, avant electronica and slow motion loungy Krautrock grooves, all topped with Hung's distinctive vocal style. Bold and exciting, and filled with moments of pure joy.

      TRACK LISTING

      Side A
      1. Battle
      2. Promises
      3. Brother
      4. Colour

      Side B
      1. Light
      2. Wave
      3. Space
      4. Goodbye 

      Eyedress

      Let's Skip To The Wedding

        Eyedress returns with a new album, 'Let's Skip To The Wedding' - a loved up remedy for uncertain times. Eyedress is an LA based Filipino singer, musician and producer. 'Let's Skip To The Wedding' is his first album since relocating from Manila to the US in late 2018. A passionate exploration of the themes of love, adjusting to life in a new city, and preparing to welcome a child into this ever changing world. His unique songwriting pairs lovesick lyrics with infectious guitar hooks & his trademark, cold wave inspired, woozy synths.

        The album follows his Valentine's Day single, which was championed by Mike D on his Beats 1 show, and 2019's 'Jealous' EP, whose title track has grown to become his most popular to date. Over the past year Eyedress began collaborating with kindred spirits like Cuco, Triathalon and Inner Wave, and earned a reputation for his wild and unpredictable performances.
        He’s shared stages with acts like Homeshake, Enjoy, Jasper Bones, N8NOFACE and B Cool Aid, as well as supporting Inner Wave on their 13 date west coast tour. His last album 'Sensitive G' was a personal reflection of Manila life told through the music of his youth; dreampop, punk & indie rock. In 2017 he released his debut album 'Manila Ice', a record about love and survival in the Philippines. Eyedress has previously collaborated with King Krule, VRITRA, Fazerdaze and Jess Connelly.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Let's Skip To The Wedding
        2. Skateboarding Day
        3. Never Want To Be Apart
        4. Can I See You Tonight?
        5. Romantic Lover
        6. X-Girl
        7. I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend
        8. Jealous
        9. Last Time I'm Falling In Love
        10. Pop The Question
        11. Happy Hour
        12. Trauma
        13. My Girl The Finest
        14. Never Been To Prom
        15. Mystical Creature's Best Friend
        16. Pick Up Your Phone
        17. Self Improvement
        18. Kiss Me Like It's The Last Time
        19. Anything For You

        Andrew Hung

        Realisationship

          Realisationship is Andrew Hung's debut solo album. As co-founder of Fuck Buttons; the highly-influential noise-electronic duo, Andrew Hung has toured extensively with headline shows at the Kentish Town Forum, Glastonbury and Greenman Festivals, been featured on the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and all three albums have featured as Best New Music on Pitchfork Media. His production work has included Zun Zun Egui's "Shackles Gift" and co-writing/co-producing the critically acclaimed "Kidsticks" by Beth Orton. He soundtracked the multiple-award winning film "The Greasy Strangler". 

          TRACK LISTING

          Side A:
          1. Say What You Want
          2. Elbow
          3. No I Won’t
          4. Private Commercial
          5. Whispers
          Side B:
          1. Shadow
          2. Sugar Pops
          3. Animal
          4. Open Your Eyes

          I Speak Machine

          Zombies 1985

            I Speak Machine are vocalist and synth nerd Tara Busch and filmmaker Maf Lewis. Together they make brooding soundtracks and horror/sci-fi films, creating the audio and visual in unison and giving both elements equal prominence. Their approach is inspired by Spaghetti Western cinema duo Ennio Morricone and Sergio Leone, who used to play with score ideas for scenes while scripts were being written. Following the release of The Silence (the score to their own sci-fi short film) in 2014, Busch and Lewis have teamed up with Benge from Wrangler/John Foxx & The Maths to work on their latest short film and album, Zombies 1985

            * For analogue synth enthusiasts and fans of John Carpenter scores.
            * Tara Bush has previously collaborated with John Foxx, Clint Mansell, and Bat For Lashes



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