Tag Archives: Electronic

‘H’ is for… HEZEN

6 Jan


Welcome to the first artist to feature in our newly rebooted Alphabet. While there are many superb new acts out there, just waiting to be profiled, in reality there was only ever going to be one artist we’d choose to start with. As we noted in our tracks of year countdown, the debut song from HEZEN came out of nowhere to knock our socks off. They’re still not on.

Flashes of her talent had been showcased on her previous work with Icicle and some solo tracks (that are now hard to find, though not impossible) but with “The Girl You Want”, London-based French producer and songwriter Sarah Hezen served notice that she is something special. There is danger and ominous portent dripping off the smouldering electronic melody; sultry and seductive it is an intoxicating concoction of dark magic.

There is more stillness and a softer sensuality to her follow up, “Oil Fire”, though the subject is equally dark and personal. Sarah’s voice is a shaft of light illuminating the marbled swirl of melodic despair, a beam of resilience against the inky black persecution.

Listening we find ourselves lost in this world of HEZEN, this near monochromatic underworld of lust, love and loss. There is a subtle power to her music, evocative and raw within the deft and fragile production. Her vocals twist against the undulating electronics, heady with emotion and buffeted by the quiet force of her rhythms. Snakelike they all slide and squeeze together, strong, dangerous, beautiful and mesmeric.

We’ve been lucky enough to hear some demos of future tracks and our excitement is reaching dangerous levels. “Smoke and Mirrors”, for example, is an eerie wisp of ethereal vocals, heartbeat rhythms, warped electronics, strings and a delicate horror-movie-esque piano line. It’s devilishly dark and delicious where “Try Me” opens with a Stranger Things style retro synth line before a battlefield bass drum brings the tension, a tension which mounts as the track progresses before easing against that gorgeous, icy voice.

HEZEN is due to release her debut EP later this year and it is already shaping up to be one of the must listens of the year. We couldn’t think of a better act to open the Class of 2017.

Get to know HEZEN: Facebook / Twitter

EXGF – “We Are The Hearts”

6 Feb


We have written at length over the years about how we adore the impact and effect music can have on your life, on your demeanour and how you feel. The right song at the right time can give context to a moment of heartbreak, it can inspire and energise you or it could sooth you, reduce your stresses and wash away tension like an elixir filled bath. One thing we’ve not spoken about too much however is the capacity that music has to surprise, to catch you off guard like a ninja and blindside you with its brilliance. The emergence of mysterious Franco-American collective EXGF gives rise to this feeling within us as, having missed their remarkably effervescent and bombastic debut “Idle Hands” last year, they have knocked us sideways with their new track, “We Are The Hearts”.

The gradual construction of sound upon sound that we are treated to as the track begins, all controlled and calm, belies what is to follow and what makes “We Are The Hearts” so startling. This seemingly honed and refined murmuring of electronics and vocals falls like a façade as the hook bursts forth into this incredibly rousing, anthemic, triumphant and defiant song. It is a transformation scene; an explosion of mystical powers that have hitherto lain dormant in a hero; it is revolution in pop music form and it is unstoppable. Rise up and join EXGF. We already have.

Stalk We Are The Hearts: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Huyghend – “Runners”

16 Jan


We were all set to get grumbly about mysterious bands and secret identities again today as it appeared that other than being from Cologne, nothing was known about new electronic act Huyghend. Judging by their promo photo we were all set to declare them a duo from Germany and have done with it. Then we remembered Google is our friend and asked if she (Google is totally a woman) would come over and help us dig up some info. Sadly she couldn’t make it as she was already hanging out with Musical Moses doing the exact same thing.

Together they found out that there is actually five members, Simon Waskow, Tilman Singer, Benjamin Surangkanjanajai, Jens Hopperdietzel and Thomas Meckel, they are playing a show on 19 Jan as part of Cologne Music Week and a few of them used to be in a band called Periscope. All of which has helped bring things into focus a little more.

Track wise their debut “Runners” actually gave us the image of a runner in our head. This may just be deft subliminal trickery and we may well be on the way to Riverdale mall to buy a pair of Jerkin’ Tretorns but as we listened the scene of a man jogging happily through a city, waving and smiling at passers by, popped into our brain. The beat and the bassline create the feeling of motion, of running, and the escalating retro electronic shimmers and vocals provide the happiness. Despite the urban scenario in our mind, the track has an organic feel to it, each progression growing seamlessly from what has gone before.

It’s a cracking debut and if we lived in Cologne, we’d be front and centre for the show next week.

Lennox. – “Break” ft. Kim Mayo

14 Jan


It’s been a little while since we last heard from trans-American act Lennox and while we’re not sure if their proximity situation has improved (they all lived in different locations in the States), their music keeps getting better.

Featuring Kim Mayo, their new track “Break” is a subdued and subtle beauty. The muted bassline gently ebbs, bobbing like a raft on a tide of sparse and tender synths. There are delicate r’n’b influences in there and the vocals are sweet, sultry and swirly. Understated and superb, the whole thing has a feeling of a near deserted dancehall, a dimmed spotlight on the singer as she sways slightly, holding the mic close as a lover as her vocals gently float to the floor. Before her a solitary couple dance, barely moving they focus instead on their embrace as the beat tiptoes around them.

It’s a gorgeous track and one that has been on steady repeat all morning, take a listen below and prepare to sway.

Stalk Lennnox: Facebook / Website / SoundCloud

Paperwhite: “Gold” & “Galaxy”

17 Nov


Given that we have spent much of 2014 in a kind of blog-coma, it is no surprise that when we looked back to see when we last wrote about brother-sister duo Paperwhite, it was way back in January (for their debut release, “got me goin”). Since then, and during our hibernation, there have been three more tracks that have been getting better and better. Today marks the release of the last two tracks from their debut EP, Magic, and yes they are both indeed ‘magic’.

Not Fantasia style magic, where everything goes wrong and mop buckets make a massive mess; not sitting in a box over the Thames for weeks on end doing nothing style magic and not blowing up a boat to make it look like it has vanished while dancing around with a knife in your mouth and playing cards flying from your hands kind of magic (ok, so technically that last one was an illusion but you know what we mean).

No, we mean magic as in thrilling, exciting, enthralling and wonderful. The good kind.

Both are blissful slices of smooth electronic-pop music, unashamed in their 80’s influences and gloriously dreamy. Ironically “Gold” shimmers and sparkles like stardust while “Galaxy” feels luxuriously expensive. The harmonies, the synth blends and the overall sense of swoon given off by both is just superb and lovely, we’re glad we woke up from our coma in time to catch these two tracks.

”Gold” and “Galaxy” are both taken from Paperwhite’s debut EP, ‘Magic’ which is out now and available to buy from iTunes. The pair are also playing their debut UK show this Friday (21 November) at The Stillery in Camden.

Stalk Paperwhite: Facebook / Twitter