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Berlin

Music

Vlad In Tears – Great Goth Almighty!

Even before you read anything about the wonderfully titled Vlad In Tears you could have a decent stab at the fact that they hail from Europe, German even and you might even be confident enough to suggest Berlin. And you would be right. There is something in their sound which seems to scream “Old World” and those dark corners which sit perpetually across some of its oldest cities.

If the bands name seem to suggest something aimed at the black clad, wannabe pagans who still have visions of relocating to Sunnydale and hanging around with Buffy and the gang, I am most happy to report that Vlad In Tears rise far above such first impressions. Give the music a spin and you find yourself in a dark and emotive alt-rock soundscape. Even the term gothic, as a genre at least, is slightly amiss here, for it neither fits in with the old-school post-punk movement or the metal sub-genre it has since become. If it is gothic at all it is more in the literary sense, painting dark mystique, broken romanticism and haunted emotions across its musical canvas.

Music

Rap Goes Minimal With Uncle True



Rap music is built around big beats and bombast, vibrant sounds and lyrical onslaughts, right? Well, not always. With No Chain Uncle True shows us an alternative path one that is more about space and minimalism than the full on musical salvo’s that we have come to expect. Starting with lilting, almost music box piano tunes and haunting synth washes, even when the song kicks in properly it only adds skittering staccato beats and the rapped lyrics and little else.

It is the space that makes things more powerful, the focus is always on the lyrics and not on the usual studio gimmicks and technical trickery that many artists resort to. Where this fits in to the scheme of things is anyones guess but someone has to be the first to blaze a trail through new territory and that may well be Uncle True’s legacy. When ambient rap or whatever future journalist end up calling it is the fashion of the future, Uncle True will be the cult figure that every one will claim they heard first.

Music

Dawn: Music From Berlin That The World Can Fall In Love With

Earlier this year Dawn (Dawn Music from Berlin) hit us with a 7 minute track that will make you revaluate every electronica track you’ve ever listened to. His ground-breaking track ‘Abyss’ reaches into your subconscious without your permission, and takes you on a transgressive road of empyreal chaos with its complex experimental and analogue sound.
The German’s certainly do have the rest of the world beat when it comes to any form of electronic music, Dawn from Berlin is no exception. He’s been creating, producing & remixing music since 2000 and has become a household name in Germany for his progressive style, dabbling with techno, electro & experimental. He’s also known for his mixing talent and has in the past worked with; Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, New Order, Mutemath and many others.

Abyss is futuristic yet reminiscent of the traditional electro style. There’s almost a ‘War of The Worlds’ sound lingering throughout the progression of the track. It’s upbeat sounds are teased with trepidation in the perpetual drone that’s present throughout the track, as it ebbs and flows with flawless breakdowns to leave you at the edge of your seat. As you’d expect with a longer track, it hits you like a tonne of bricks, the music is orchestrated with so much vivacity that it’s impossible not to become immersed.

Music

White Night Release Slick Hazy Indie Track “Golden Heart”

When you have your roots in two of the coolest cities on the planet, namely Berlin and San Francisco, it follows that something musically interesting is on the cards, just by virtue of having soaked up a certain creative vibe which hangs in the air of such cities. Golden Heart is a wonderful mix of slick 80’s pop and a modern hazy indie sound which seems to channel those past musical glories.

It is built on a wave of beautiful understatement and elegant strings, funky beats and gorgeously ethereal vocals which seem often to be happy just to punctuate the music rather than dominate it. If music ever summed up the places it inhabits then White Night are the perfect example, the classical grandeur of the old world meeting the exploratory nature of the new, the tight, electro-pop of the German musical story meeting the looser spirit of the American west coast. But this isn’t music which in anyway sounds retro because of its influences, if anything it is more forward thinking than any of its contemporaries and that is the perfect evolution for pop music.

Music

MRCL.X Release Video For “1st LuV -Sweet Dreams MASHUP”

MRCL.X - 1st LuV -Sweet Dreams MASHUP ( Jam Session) from MRCL.X on Vimeo.

It’s always fun to see artists we love cover the artists they love, but many believe you can never truly replace an original piece of work. This said, the advent of DJ culture brought up the concept of bringing pieces together for a new, unique spin on old works. MRCL.X has found that taking the idea of a Mashup and applying it to more traditional songwriting as opposed to a mixture of two songs played simultaneously through samples and crossfading. With this idea in mind, we’re treated to an original song that trails off into the Eurythmics classic Sweet Dreams.

1st LuV tackles heavy feelings with dark sensibility to performance while the music is genuinely neutral –sounding in tone, leaving heavy contrast that emphasizes the ghastly vocals and evocative subject matter. To top off the haunting verse, the familiar lyrics come through to sing us a chorus from the past that has been done more than once for a radio hit, but never like this. To say it leaves an impression is an understatement. This mashup is worthy of the source material it uses and truly found art in the synergy of combining original and covered art.

-Paul Weyer

Music

A&R Factory Present: Me and My Drummer

Me and My Drummer return with their new album Love is a Fridge, which out now and the follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album The Hawk, The Beak, The Prey.

With strong support for their debut and over 150 shows played all over Europe and the UK, it would have made sense to continue riding the feverous wave the duo had created as they made their first steps onto the scene. However, Charlotte Brandi and Matze Pröllochs stepped away from the spotlight to focus on themselves and the music, uncompromising and adamant to do things their way. The right way

Free of pressure and expectations, they began to explore new boundaries. They tried and tested many producers before finally settling on Olaf Opal (The Notwist); in Olaf they had found the perfect partner to bring a new dimension to their sound. The result is Love Is a Fridge and it’s been well worth the wait.

Love is a Fridge is ten perfect tracks nothing short of an electropop masterpiece as Me And My Drummer traverse a wide and varied soundscape. From the electrifying “Gun” to the danceable “Easy On Me”, the first half of the album is bursting with shimmering synths that frolic over hypnotic beats with Charlotte’s voice carrying us away in some kind of wonderful dream.

On Love Is A Fridge, Brandi’s vocals are stronger than ever, enough to match the soulful electropop tones of Florence Welch or Jessie Ware. However, as the album enters its second ‘act’ there’s a change of pace on tracks like ‘Tie Me Bananas’ and ‘Blue Splinter View’ yet, no matter the pace, the album maintains its bold feel and flavour for experimentation. If you imagine Bat For Lashes meets La Roux you’re close but there’s something somewhat celestial about Me And My Drummer that sets them apart.

Having received acclaim from the likes of XFM, BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, NME, Rolling Stone, MTV, DIY,The Line of Best Fit, Clash and The 405 and with a strong following in their home country, the band are making a bold step forward once again with their second album.

Music

A&R Factory Present: Zone Out

Melbourne two-piece Zone Out have emerged with a second taste of their forthcoming LP ‘Transience’.

New single ‘Breakdown’ employs much the same approach that saw their debut release ‘Inside’ so well received (and already rubbing shoulders on-stage with the likes of Homeshake, Sonny & the Sunsets and Lost Animal, despite their relatively recent conception).

Masterfully blending elements of new-wave, dream-pop and electronica, ‘Breakdown’ basks in it’s own rich, broody soundscape, bringing to mind ‘80s synth-pop syndicate Berlin.

Originally forming in 2012, the Melbourne-based ex-shoegazers dispersed in 2014 following a string of critically acclaimed independent releases.

2015 has seen one-half of the band’s original lineup in Ashley Bundang (Totally Mild, Sui Zhen, Ciggie Witch) and Dove Bailey (Scotdrakula) re-assemble with a new direction, though very much the same manifesto.

Despite boasting a brighter, more pop-inflected sound, Zone Out are no less fittingly titled. The new-look outfit released their debut 7” single ‘Inside’ late last year, chanelling ʻdream-popʼ at its slow-burning best – fragile in nature, yet full-bodied in sound. Each strum of the guitar and croon of the voice simply drips with reverb and bursts with charm.

Bundang’s lilting vocals paired with Bailey’s jangly guitar-interplay on ‘So Bright’ recall Teen Dream era Beach House , whilst a syncopated beat and swirling synth pad draw stronger comparisons to their more electronica-influenced neighbours, Yumi Zouma .

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