Here's the last compilation for 2014, another selection of pop and techno, includes Andy Stott, Baba Stiltz, Thom Yorke and Recondite.
Opening track, Violence from Andy Stott’s recent album, Faith in Strangers builds slowly through spooky electronics and Alison Skidmore’s smoky, European-sounding English vocals; the powerful riffs just about holding the delicate melody together. Turn it up loud for full appreciation.
The insistent two-tone beats that follow on Kettenkarussell’s Krusty Dreams offers the an opportunity to get lost in some serious head-nodding before the catchy pop of Forgiven by American duo 18+. The combination of arresting lyrics, really endearing male and female singing styles and very catchy melodies makes their album Trust a real winner; I love it.
On their second album Linear S Decoded, Swedish duo Shxcxchcxsh have nailed it. They've managed to balance swathes of melody with uncompromising beats to great effect. Compared to their debut long player, there's far fewer challenging moments (which is a good thing). Drain This Lord epitomises this more confident direction. Where will they go from here?
Chilean producer Visonia worked with Dopplereffekt on a dreamy track called Die Reisen, and although it largely sports Gerald Donald’s trademark motorik bass sound, it hints at what an exciting prospect their debut album Impossible Romance will be.
Next track is a sweet little Julian Cope pastiche from newish producer Baba Stiltz (his real name apparently!). Taken from his debut album, Total, the deep, wonky vocals and the electronic beats of Rain Dance have a strangely entrancing effect. Beautiful stuff.
I don't know too much about Valesuchi other than what's on this XLR8R page and on her bandcamp page, where you can buy this featured track Golosynth. It's a dreamy number, with soft synths and a gentle tempo.
In case you didn;t know, Thom Yorke released his second solo album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes via BitTorrent a few months ago. Compared with his Radiohead stuff it’s a suitably lo-fi affair with scratchy beats, muffled piano, poignant lyrics and as expected, no shortage of melancholic tunes. Guess Again works for me because of the simple drum pattern.
In contrast, the chiming beats of Recondite’s Levo are crisp, clean and muffle-free. Following Lorenz Brunner's progress from first album On Acid to the present, the German producer has demonstrated considerable progression, blossoming, finding his strengths. If you like Levo, then you'll love the emotional and uplifting new album Iffy.
Closing track from Ricardo Donoso, aka Scuba Death, is another emotive piece of music, similar in vein to Recondite (read my album review for more details about the concept behind this release). It’s a monster track that builds and builds to a dramatic and memorable conclusion.
|1||Andy Stott||Violence||Faith In Strangers||0:00|
|2||Kettenkarussell||Krusty Dreams||Easy Listening||6:44|
|4||SHXCXCHCXSH||Drain This Lord||Linear S Decoded||16:22|
|5||Visonia et Dopplereffekt||Die Reisen||Die Reisen||21:19|
|6||Baba Stiltz||Rain Dance||Total||25:53|
|8||Thom Yorke||Guess Again!||Tomorrow's Modern Boxes||33:55|
|10||Scuba Death||Rapture of the Deep||Nitrogen Narcosis||43:05|
Time 52:38. Size: 97MB. Quality: 257kbs. Download Compy 34.