Warp Records has a knack for pulling out great UK beatmakers. By slowly introducing them into the scene, they end up becoming another part of the sonic collage that the record label releases. Rustie, a recent addition to Warp and a Glasgow native, is about to drop his first full length on the label in the next month called Glass Swords. His style of UK bass melds the mechanism of Detroit techno with the boogie funk of the 80′s. Synths are abused and drum machines hammered into a precision, creating this sort of bombastic funky drum beat.
His first single All Nite is a perfect example of his craft. You can hear the dub plates, an 80′s booty bass line, a gratuitous synthesizer and Kanye’s chimpmunk-esque samples. This is an awesome blend of pop styles. It’s a track that should be turned way up as it builds into melding melodies. A bass line with a sick, flat low end flows against a pulsing synth melody that is just so sweet and gratifying. Add a techno break down and a sick melodic turn at the end and it is a real banger. To me, it’s something you wish a recently departed king of pop could really cut loose over. It’s so smooth and easy to enjoy that I feel guilty of loving something too fast. Don’t you love when that happens?
If this is any indicator, Rustie’s debut, Glass Swords, might be one of the most anticipated records of the year. I can’t wait.
Some of you might already know Geoffrey O’Connor as the frontman for Australian pop group Crayon Fields. This week he’s releasing a new solo LP called Vanity is Forever and from what I’ve heard I quite like it. The lead single from the album is a sort of down-and-dark synth-pop number called Whatever Leads Me to You. It’s a great track and it combines an excellent edgy bass-line with some nicely textured 80s-style synthesizers.
The video above captures the mood of the song really well and I’m particularly drawn to the lighting and the colors in it. Overall though, it’s the decidedly soft-rock quality of the whole thing that does it for me, and the the combined video and music captures the essence of classic synth-rock from the 1980s (for better or for worse). Currently O’Connor is streaming the whole album for a limited time on his Soundcloud page here, which I recommend you check out.
I know, I know, it’s been too long since I had a new mixtape on the site. Thankfully I have some cool folks writing me to see if they can make mixtapes for the site, and well, I took one of them up on their offer. You may remember Philip writing about a certain fella’ named Canon Blue, also known as Daniel James, who’s an awesome musician in his own right. When he wrote to see if he could make a mixtape, I absolutely took him up on his offer.
He’s created an awesome mixtape that I’m jealous I didn’t make, mostly because I couldn’t. I know two of the 12 songs on this mix, and I love all of them. It feels very much like right now, kind of the end of something, the seasons shifting from one to another. A lot of it is folk-y, there’s a lot of strings and guitar plucking. It’s a really bright feeling mix, which is why I made the cover you see above. If you’ve been in need of a new mix, or new music in general, I think you’ll be pretty happy with how this turned out.
Here’s the tracklist:
Apparat – “Ash Black”
Son Lux – “Chase”
Owen Pallet – “Midnight Directives”
Nico Muhly – “The Only Tune Pt. 3″
Muteson – “Water Rising”
Gotye – “Somebody That I Used to Know”
Murder – “Providence”
Valgeir Sigurdsson – “Hot Ground, Cold”
Stina Nordenstam – “The Morning Belongs to the Night”
Wildbirds & Peacedrums – “The Lake”
Brian Eno & John Cale – “Lay My Love”
The Magnetic Fields – “You Must Be Out of Your Mind”
A few weeks ago I had what I called an “Artsy Bro Dinner”, which was basically a reason to get together with some friends and chat over a good meal. A member of this dinner was my buddy Damien Correll, an awesome illustrator and designer from New York who is also one half of Part & Parcel. I’ve known Damien for years now, he’s contributed to wallpapers on the site and all kinds of things.
I was super excited to see that he was guest posting/creating over on Friends of Type, hands down the best place on the web to see beautiful, experimental type on the web, so inspirational. Damien did five pieces total, the last came out today, and all of them were so well done, you should be totally jealous. My favorite of the bunch was the first piece, which I would seriously get tattooed on my body, I love it that much.
The Kaohsiung Maritime Pop Music Center Competition invited participants to imagine and propose a venue that could accommodate a whole range of performance/production spaces for this generation of pop music stars and the next. Architecture students John Clark, Jake Gay and Taka Shinomoto thought the competition brief was was based on a “doomed” premise, saying: “pop might be able to be created in a laboratory [today] but the next generation cannot be made this way.” Their proposal relies on a series of small, mechanical sheds that can send out inflatable volumes to make larger, and larger venues. It’s a fun idea that’s conveyed through a series of quite compelling photos, drawings, and combinations of photos and drawings.