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Jose Gonzalez

In Our Nature

    When José González became a household name across the world with the help of 250,000 coloured bouncing balls and a Sony Bravia television commercial featuring his spare and moving version of The Knife's song, "Heartbeats", it was the second time fame came calling and caused a truly remarkable phenomenon. While studying biochemistry at the university of Gothenburg, José's debut album "Veneer" was released in his Swedish homeland in 2003. It made him a national star. Featuring "Heartbeats" and ten other resonant, acoustic songs, "Veneer" turned José, a Gothenburg (via Argentina) native, into a Top Ten recording artist. This, his second album continues where "Veneer" left off. Another stunning collection of captivating songs.

    TRACK LISTING

    1: How Low
    2: Down The Line
    3: Killing For Love
    4: In Our Nature
    5: Teardrop
    6: Abram
    7: Time To Send Someone Away
    8: The Nest
    9: Fold
    10: Cycling Trivialities 

    José González

    Veneer - 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

      Veneer is the debut studio album by Swedish singer-songwriter José González.

      Parekh & Singh

      Science City

        Science City is the second LP from dream pop duo Parekh & Singh. If their debut Ocean conjured a lush landscape populated by magical creatures, Science City sees our sharpsuited star-gazers materialising in another dimension - a retro-future world of doctors and scientists, quantum mechanics and plans to unlock the secrets of the “Universosphere”. Parekh’s divine vocals once again backed by vintage synths and Singh’s expertly effervescent percussion. Opener Sunbeam depicts an ‘AI being’ blinking in the sun whilst contemplating its own obsolescence. Down at the Sky is an Escher-like search for truth and Hello is described curiously as “creamy music for advanced nighttime driving on deserted streets”. The ennuidrenched Summer Skin opens a hazy portal to the bucolic, where we find our singer alone with an acoustic guitar, pondering the “momentariness of life”. Be Something’s squelchy synths and xylophone runs channel a rainy day Steely Dan. While Evening Sun soars over circuit board landscapes, with 8-bit laser gun FX pulsing by, Monkey depicts a video game set in a luminous forest biosphere. Following Surgeon’s dissection of the dark heart of the infosphere, the prog-pop splendour of 100 Shadows journeys below “our troubled surface world” to a secret kingdom of synthesisers. For all the talk of “particle physics” and “aerodynamics”, it’s love that sustains life in the dreamlike Fwd Slash. The limpid beauty of soul-pop gem Crystalline brings Science City to a suitably sublime conclusion.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Sunbeam
        2. Down At The Sky
        3. Hello
        4. Summer Skin
        5. Be Something
        6. Evening Sun
        7. Monkey
        8. Forward Slash
        9. Surgeon
        10. One Hundred Shadows
        11. Crystalline

        Chris Brann

        Deep Fall

          Growing up in Atlanta, Chris Brann discovered house and electronic music by the somewhat longwinded way of getting sent tapes from Europe. He began assembling a home studio but it wasn't until 1994 that he began his music career in earnest and formed Wamdue Kids with DJs Deep C, and Udoh.

          In 1995 they released the classic "Higher" on the Acacia label, which led to the Wamdue Kids signing to Peacefrog and the release of their seminal debut album "These Branching Moments". Following the success of this the next year Chris released his first solo album "Deep Fall", reflecting a different direction to that of his productions with Wamdue.

          "Deep Fall", originally released in 1997, is a delicious collection of deep tech-house. Stand outs are the aptly named title track with beautiful synth washes and a single mournful modulated violin at its centre; and the emotional "Journey To The Centre" which is nothing short of epic.


          TRACK LISTING

          Deep Fall
          Eyes
          Calling 610
          Journey To The Centre
          All About The Music
          Soul Star
          Grey Souls
          Yung Po Nee
          Out

          Stasis

          Fromtheoldtothenew

            Fromtheoldtothenew was originally released in 1996 and is the second full length on Peacefrog from Steve ‘Stasis’ Pickton. Growing up as a teenager in East London, break-dancing and writing graffiti with B12’s Mike Golding, Steve Pickton’s musical education moved along a familiar path, from hip-hop to electro and onto techno. Schooling himself in music theory and purchasing a sampler, Pickton set about making his own music.

            Releasing on a whose who of seminal UK electronic labels including A.R.T., Likemind, Otherworld and B12 under various pseudinums Pickton’s UK take on lush Detroit melodies fused techno, funk, hip-hop, dub, blues and jazz into a dense concoction all of his own making.

            "Fromtheoldtothenew" saw Pickton slip off his earlier techno shackles and head for uncharted electrconic waters.

            The echo chamber dramatics of Gun and wayward lurch of "Ale House Blues" were a long way from Detroit, while few tracks have demonstrated the sheer breadth of electronica more dramatically than "Utopia Planetia". All in all it's more jazz, less tech without losing its hard hitting impact. 

            TRACK LISTING

            From The Old…
            Utopia Planetia
            Moon Bong
            Behind The Smile
            Beating Skins
            Ale House Blues
            Samba De Fat Bloke
            Moody Ol' Teacher
            Gun

            Little Dragon

            Little Dragon

              Gothenburg, Sweden is a hotbed of diverse and escalating musical talent. From the mighty Soundtrack Of Our Lives to idiosyncratic songsmiths Jose Gonzalez and Jens Lekman, through to the unpredictable pop styles from the likes of Love Is All and Audrey, Gothenburg now boasts the dynamic, organically soulful pop sounds of Little Dragon. Featuring radiant vocalist Yukimi Nagano (Koop) and her close high school friends Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrick Kallgren (bass) and Hakan Wirenstrand (keyboards), Little Dragon first stepped into the spotlight with the release of their cute "Test" 45 on Off The Wall in 2006.

              Limited vinyl reissue. The first pressing of the LP now fetches upwards of $500 on Discogs.

              TRACK LISTING

              Twice
              Turn Left
              No Love
              Recommendation
              Constant Surprises
              Forever
              After The Rain
              Place To Belong
              Stormy Weather
              Test
              Wink
              Scribbled Paper

              José González

              Vestiges & Claws

                It may be seven years since he released a solo record, but José has been anything but idle in that time. He’s delivered two albums with the band Junip, his more fulsome, electronic-edged, pop project and has toured with both the Berlin/Göteborg String Theory orchestra (in 2011), co-performing 11 reworking’s of his songs, Sidi Touré and played with Malian desert blues troupe Tinariwen (both in 2012). In 2013, Hollywood came calling when Ben Stiller commissioned José to work with Theodore Shapiro on the soundtrack to his remake of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and most recently, he’s contributed his version of ‘This is How We Walk On the Moon’ to the Red Hot charity compilation honouring Arthur Russell. Community and collaboration are obviously satisfying in their own ways, but now José is again stepping centre stage solo, with Vestiges & Claws.

                Conceived as the natural third part in an acoustic trilogy, Vestiges & Claws is a(nother) hushed and delicate solo set that forefronts the artist and guitarist’s compellingly intimate vocal style and intricate playing technique, but it’s often strikingly rhythmic in nature and cohere’s perfectly, with hand claps and taps on the body of his instrument underlining the songs’ mantric rise-and-fall pattern, while elsewhere, over-dubbed guitar parts and multi-tracked vocal harmonies entwine to sweetly immersive effect.

                The title refers to both cultural practices and biological features that survive despite having lost their original function, and to currently useful tools, ie the “claws” of modern life.

                Vestiges & Claws was recorded almost entirely by José and self-produced, mostly in his Gothenburg home, using computer plug-ins to achieve a warm, analogue sound. He prefers working alone, mainly for artistic reasons. “There were a couple of things that enabled me to complete this record: one was curiosity, to be able to play percussion and do a lot of harmonies and also to produce and mix the album; the other was aesthetics. I love to listen to Arthur Russell and Shuggie Otis, to music that has been done mostly by one person in their solitary state.”

                As José sees it, the record is his personal, “zoomed-out eye on humanity on a small, pale blue dot in a cold, sparse and unfriendly space. The amazing fact that we are all here, an attempt at encouraging us to understand ourselves and to make the best of the one life we know we have – after birth and before death.”

                Little Dragon

                Ritual Union

                  Little Dragon return with their new album 'Ritual Union'. Since 2009’s critically acclaimed 'Machine Dreams' the band have not sat still, touring the globe and making some high profile friends along the way. Damon Albarn invited them to collaborate on two tracks for Gorillaz 'Plastic Beach' LP, which became album highlights for the critics with Pitchfork describing the songs ‘Empire Ants’ and ‘To Binge’ as “two of the most arresting things here; they’re airy, elusive and amazingly beautiful”.

                  'Ritual Union' takes everything I love about Little Dragon and distils it to perfection; Yukimi Nagano’s wonderfully emotive and hooky vocals and quirky electro-acoustic backing tracks that are part live-played (drums) and part computer-created (all sorts of wonky synth sounds). Always distinctive and sounding like no one else, Little Dragon are an evolutionary branch of the 90s trip hop / downbeat sound, but one that didn't get mired in a coffee-table-chill-out-made-for-mobile-phone-adverts snooze-fest, instead opting for off the wall originality and seductive otherness.

                  Jose Gonzalez

                  Veneer

                    "Veneer" encapsulates José's eclectic influences – Elliott Smith, flamenco, Joy Division, bossa nova, along with undeniable echoes of Nick Drake, Will Oldham, Tim Buckley (and even a hint of Paul Simon), yet, across an album's worth of intimate episodes José's achievement is to nod to these antecedents while fashioning a sublimely emotional signature that is undeniably all his own - a unique and compelling new addition to the singer-songwriter firmament. Using just his own dextrously finger-picked classical guitar and captivating voice - part João Gilberto, part Paul Simon – José's music is as economical as it is seductive; stark but effortlessly melodious songwriting whose confessional, gently provocative lyrics (all sung in perfect English) are, by turns, poignant, intriguing and life-affirming. Recorded with the minimum of fuss at home on basic equipment, the eleven songs that grace "Veneer", José's bewitching debut album, blend sophisticated Latin passion with almost Bergman-esque moments of luminous stillness.


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