Review: 'Around the Bend' is soft rock for hard times brought to you by Universal Cave. Bongos high in the mix, a breezy beginning builds towards guitar glistening over a mega kind groove. A tune fit for hang gliders, rock climbers, and summer Sundays. Sunsets and sailboats. Slow grooves for mellow moods. Side B's 'Riding' is flipside meets ripside, no nonsense shredding over a driving drum beat. Long haired beardo disco rock that never quits.
Review: The Mantua based Tempelhof pairing of Luciano Ermondi and Paolo Mazzacani mark their debut on Aficionado with a sublime two track 12". The music here was allegedly inspired by the recording sessions they did for the recent Hoshi LP with Gigi Masin and if you are familiar with his work you will be able to hear how Ermondi and Mazzacani applied the lessons learnt wit the ambient maestro on Piano Piano. The title track is an absolutely gorgeous modern ambient composition that feels like it could go on for a lot longer than its eight minute duration without getting tiresome. Those sumptuous piano notes are pitch perfect. On the b side Ermondi and Mazzacani nudge proceedings gently towards the dancefloor with the delightful Balearic wonder "Barbados". Like most Aficionado releases this wont be around for long.
Review: The new soft-spoken, hard-rocking group from Baltimore debuted their full length live show at the Wolf + Lamb Marcy Hotel this March. Following in the footsteps of greats like Nicolas Jaar and PillowTalk, they were the first invited guest in over 2 years to perform at the legendary Brooklyn proving grounds. Life on Planets is a duo that met in the studio lofts of their east coast hometown, whereby a collaboration fusing indie artrock and electronic music began to take shape. It was a pairing of two dramatically different personas, merging as one for a serendipitous, romantic sound that's now been signed to the Double Standard label. Life on Planets has also released music through Better on Foot, where the debut single 'Apollo' made waves in early 2014. The touring act features live vocals and guitar, backed by a dj/producer, dawning a long-awaited return to authentic songwriting in dance music.
Review: Despite a career in electronic music that stretches right back to the mid 1990s, this album marks the first time that International Feel boss Mark Barrott has released music under his own name. That's a surprise, but then the whole project - quickly recorded and mixed during a period spent living in Ibiza - has a delightfully spontaneous feel about it. Exotic, humid, atmospheric and richly immersive, Sketches From An Island sees Barrott in full on Balearic mode, laying down a series of instrumental soundscapes variously influenced by Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Peter Green and the Orb. It's pretty darn good, too, sounding like a sassier, more cultured version of his 2007 Future Loop Foundation set Memories From A Fading Room.
Review: With a name that nods to My Bloody Valentine it's not surprising to hear a whisper of shoegaze sneaking into this debut single from Soft As Snow. As the latest signing to Houndstooth this release sits comfortably next to the gothic tinges of Snow Ghost, with vocalist Oda Egjar Starheim calling to mind Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife and Fever Ray fame. There's a canny mixture of noirish pop and expansive electronica, with the duo unafraid to embrace snappy time signature changes and bombastic choruses in amidst the more subtle elements of their sound. With five distinctive songs to announce themselves in addition to a remix from Old Apparatus alumni Asher Levitas, Glass Body is a powerful debut for an act set to tear up festival circuits in the near future.