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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.

    Stasis

    Circuit Funk

      Growing up as a teenager in East London, break-dancing and writing graffiti with B12’s Mike Golding, Steve Pickton’s AKA Stais 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 pseudonyms 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. Re-issued for the first time since its initial release in 1993 Circuit Funk Pickton’s debut release on Peacefrog is packed full of lush Detroit melodics and future funk that still sounds unique and fresh today.

      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.

        Charlene Soraia

        Where's My Tribe

          One voice. One guitar. Ten killer songs. Recorded by the artist alone in her South London flat - with no edits, no autotune and mostly in one take - Where’s My Tribe is an album of raw and simple beauty. With song titles such as Beautiful People, Tragic Youth and Now You Are With Her, Where’s My Tribe lays bear the loneliness that lurks at the empty heart of our super-connected world, chasing friends and dragons - real and illusory - down the virtual rabbit hole. Recorded in one take at 3am, Temptation channels the exquisite torture of an illicit affair resisted, but only just. With Tragic Youth, ghosts of the past are exorcised and consigned to history - eased on their way by a voice that glides like quicksilver over an intricate tapestry of guitar rhythms. While Beautiful People reads like an outsider’s protest to the selfie generation, Far Beyond the High Street portrays a house “split into four separate homes” and Now You Are With Her is a song of heartache and longing to compete with the very best. As demonstrated by her accidental worldwide hit Wherever You Will Go, Charlene Soraia is possessed of a voice that can melt hearts. Where’s My Tribe serves as a powerful reminder that she is also a guitarist of virtuosic skill and songwriter of rare talent. Universal yet intensely personal, this is a record of our time and forever that will resonate with the lonely soul inside us all. For the visuals Charlene Soraia collaborated with The Rest, the award-winning Northampton based filmmaking duo renowned for their naturalistic takes on British youth culture (Kojey Radical, Slowthai).

          The resulting 12-minute short Tribe - and the music videos cut from it for Where’s My Tribe, Tragic Youth and Now You Are With Her - respond to themes that weave through the music with a delicately nuanced portrayal of a group of friends gathering for a weekend of gaming, drink and shrooms - familiar and ultimately anti- climactic diversions from the unsettling anxieties that lurk just below the surface. A pervasive sense of isolation is nailed by one friend’s amused call-out to his mates variously texting or playing virtual football, faces lit by the glow of their smartphones; “So, who wants a chat? ... what’s happening in the living room??” Individual stories are subtly suggested in this understated portrayal of late teenage life, caught between adolescence and adulthood, hesitating between staying put and cutting loose. As Soraia’s vocal to Tragic Youth (live performance) suggests, “soon you will be called"..

          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.

            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.


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