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Leifur James

A Louder Silence

    A Louder Silence is the London-based producer and multi-instrumentalist’s first proper release; his two earlier singles feature on the record, after gaining support from Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM with a live airing and interview in 2017, plus continued backing from XLR8R, Stamp the Wax, and BBC Radio 6 Music DJ’s.

    The album is both spacious and thought-provoking, energetic yet restrained, brimming with nuanced electronic instrumentals, dubby synths, and jazz breaks — creating an array of rich textures, complemented occasionally by James’ own soulful vocals.

    While James’ early unreleased work was singularly electronic, A Louder Silence focuses on analog synths and warm acoustic instruments, all played by his own hand. It’s the product of a two-year spell in James’ home studio, with additional live drums recorded with Jim Macrae at London’s Old Paradise Audio.

    James’ rich musical influences are laced through the release. Encouraged by his mother, a classically trained pianist, he learned to play the cello and developed a deep understanding of rhythm and melody that informs his approach to writing electronic music. James plays the piano he grew up listening to in “Mumma Don’t Tell” and samples an indefinable percussive element to drive forward “Suns Of Gold.” “Night and Day” sees cello plucks and long melodic strokes interlink with a grooving synth line. He also field records the atmospheric Moroccan sea in “Red Sea.” Inspiration stems from the experimentation of modern day electronic producers, fused with the Jazz, Classical, Blues, and Soul music that soundtracked his youth.

    Central to the album is the idea of space. James recalls the early advice of his uncle, a jazz guitarist, who features on “Uncle Blue”:“I remember him saying to me: "What goes in comes out” James says. “Every detail should be a worthy detail; sometimes nothing is better than something.” Moments of blissful, structured intensity are juxtaposed with stillness and near silence — dark and light; loud and quiet. This also forms the foundation for the album title: A Louder Silence reflects the dichotomy of finding pockets of stillness in a noisy world.

    The trio of Roy Avital, Yoav Saar and Johnny Sharoni produce a blend of sounds drawn from their diverse cultural worlds; ranging from art-pop to experimental house to horizontally-aligned vibes. Since surfacing at the close of 2013 with their breakout track "Move On", Garden City Movement have released "Entertainment" and "Bengali Cinema" EPs, the "Modern West" 12” in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory, climbed the Hype Machine Popular Chart with multiple singles, recorded live sessions for Boiler Room, Majestic Casual and FACT, opened for Bonobo, Caribou, Alt-J and played all over the world. The band's music video for "Move On" received a nomination for Best Music Video at the LA Film Festival, won “Best Video of The Year” at the MTV Israel Music Awards and the video for ‘She’s So Untouchable’ screened at Raindance Film Festival in London.

    Recording through 2017 at their studio in Tel Aviv, Garden City Movement took the time to explore their sound as a band. From the combination of dream-like vocals and cinematic-RnB in singles "Slightly All The Time", "Before I Fall" and "A Means To An End"; to the leftfield four-four of "Mediterranea" and "Sans Titre" or the ethereal jazz of "I Knew Before I Met Her (That One Day I Would Lose Her)" and worldly influences of the title track - the heightened craft in their production is firmly felt across the album’s 18 tracks.

    'After releasing three EPs, which each had a very tight deadline, recording the album has been a chance to grow. It’s the first time we have been able to really take the time and experiment a lot in the studio; try to develop and deepen our language, come up with new sounds, and take our techniques even further'. - Garden City Movement

    The album takes a darker path lyrically; exploring the breakdown of a fading relationship and the depression, loneliness and abuse that follows. While not explicit, this melancholy grounds the album in the real world. The fusion of forward facing production and confessional account of human-interaction frames an emotional and honest album of modern soul music.


    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl.

    Khruangbin

    Con Todo El Mundo

      Comprising of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums, Khruangbin’s sounds are rooted in the deepest waters of world music infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia. Their 2015 debut album "The Universe Smiles Upon You" was heavily influenced by 60’s and 70’s Thai cassettes the band listened to on their long car journeys to rehearsal in the Texan countryside. "Con Todo El Mundo" takes inspiration not just from South East Asia but similarly underdiscovered funk and soul of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly Iran. The sultry and humid grooves of their debut are alive and well, enhanced by a little extra funk, the lightly spiced flavours of Middle Eastern pop and maybe a little strung out Americana a la Cowboy Junkies. The hefty breaks on cuts like "Lady & Man" and "Maria Tambien" have that "Jungle Fever" toughness, while the woozy "August 10" and "Como Te Quiero" are classic examples of Khruangbin's languid style. "Shades Of Man" colours the trio's palette with a little country soul, while "A Hymn" preaches a gospel out of Death Valley. The perfect sophomore offering, "Con Todo El Mundo" retains all the tasty ingredients of the original and blends them with a new batch of exotic flavours.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Shop faves Khruangbin continue their stroll through mellifluous melody with sophomore offering "Con Todo El Mundo", swapping the Thai tonalities of their debut for some distinctly Middle Eastern flavours. Every bit as languid and lovely as their debut, this new LP is different enough to show progression whilst remaining reassuringly familiar.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition numbered vinyl pressed on 180g “off white” virgin vinyl.

      LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

      Taking influences from 1960's Thai funk - their name literally translates to "Engine Fly" in Thai - Khruangbin’s debut album ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ is steeped in the bass heavy, psychedelic sound of their inspiration, Tarantino soundtracks and surf-rock cool. The Texan trio is formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums.

      The album was recorded at their spiritual home, a remote barn deep in the Texas countryside where their first rehearsals took place. The band listened to a lot of different types of music on the long drives out to the country but their favourites were 60s and 70s Thai cassettes gleaned from the cult Monrakplengthai blog and compilations of southeast Asian pop, rock and funk. This had a heavy impact on the direction of the band, the scales they used and the inflection of the melodies; which coupled with the spaciousness of the Texan countryside culminated in Khruangbin forming their exotic, individual sound. Although the band was conceived as an instrumental outfit, ‘The Universe Smiles Upon You’ features the first Khruangbin recordings with vocals. Tracks ‘People Everywhere (Still Alive)’, ‘Balls and Pins’ and recent single ‘White Gloves’ show a new dimension to the band.

      “We feel like there is an ease that comes from being immersed in a space, away from the distractions of the city and everyday life. We make our music in a barn, in the Texas hill country, because it makes sense to us. Being there allows us to make music that comes naturally, and that’s what we wanted this album to be. We wanted to make a record that just let the music happen, and we hope that’s what you can hear.”


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: I've loved every single record they've released and this debut LP's gone straight onto my stereo. It's a bit like watching a Wim Wenders remake of Kill Bill Vol. 2 on opiates by a South East Asian rice paddy.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP 2 Info: LP includes download codes for tracks as FLAC/WAV/MP3).

      LP 2 includes MP3 Download Code.

      Khruangbin

      History Of Flight

        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2015 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

        Texan three-piece Khruangbin present four cover versions - Yellow Magic Orchestra, Ennio Morricone, Serge Gainsborg and Thai band Boon Praraksa - recorded in their exotic, individual sound. Taking influence from 1960's Thai funk - Khruangbin literally translates to "Engine Fly" in Thai - the EP is steeped in the bass heavy, psychedelic sound of their inspiration, Tarantino soundtracks and surf-rock cool.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd 10" Info: 10” WHITE HAND NUMBERED VINYL


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