Electric Feels: Your Electronic Music Recap feat. Baauer, Luboku, LÂLKA + more
Plus, new music from Golden Vessel collaborator Akurei and Adelaide club weapon Strict Face.
Header photo of Baauer by Jake Michaels.
The world's electronic music scene moves quickly. Every week, we're treated to a horde of different singles, remixes, albums and more from the genre's vast sub-genre umbrella and often, it's hard to keep up. Here's where we try to bring you up to speed, covering five of our favourite electronic releases from the week just gone. Follow the column's official playlist below (or HERE), or check out Pilerats' homepage for more brilliant music and news.
Baauer - Company feat. Soleima
In 2018, Baauer is shaking things up. After the release of his explosive debut album Aa in 2016 and a club-centric two-side with A-Trak last year, the US producer - known as one of trap music's founding members - has diversified his sound with a range of unexpectedly delightful singles, whether it's the grime-tinged 3 AM with AJ Tracey and Jae Stephens, the more pop-centric Hate Me featuring virtual star Miquela or now, Company, another glitzy electronic tune featuring the bright pop hooks of Scandinavian newcomer Soleima. Written in the Hollywood Hills, Company unites the distorted vocaloid of Soleima with a clanging production ripe with punchy synth stabs and chiming SOPHIE-esque percussion, all-together forming a single that continues his pop-flavoured exploration of electronic in a similar vein to Hate Me. While it may not have seemed possible just years ago, this vocal-led side of Baauer actually suits him really well - so much so that it wouldn't surprise me to see him behind some big, chart-dominating singles in the years ahead. Catch him tour around Australia next month as he replaces GoldLink on the forthcoming RL Grime tour, one that'll now see the two trap titans unite with rising NY rapper Buddy.
Luboku - 50 Days
Luboku is on a roll. A now-trio of singles across 2018 has seen the Melbourne-based musician grow in both popularity and skill set, with his dynamic run - kicking off with Without You towards the start of the year - seeing Luboku rise as one of Australia's most exciting newcomers to the percussive electronic world. His new single, 50 Days, is a charming showcase of his R&B-infused, garage-leaning sound, bringing together a woozy, soulful vocal with a snare-driven beat that sits somewhere between synth future tones and UK garage; the single's slight house driven saturated with synth. It's got that dark and brooding Luboku charm but in a slightly more uplifting and optimistic fashion, with the musician mentioning that the single is about "trying to work through a feeling you’ve been sitting with."
"The initial demo of 50 Days came out fast and fully formed, but a few weeks later when I revisited the track I wanted to change it," he says. "I went through about four completely different versions but in the, end it was that first draft that I decided to go with, because it felt the most honest." The single arrives with the announcement of his signing to etcetc, the Australian electronic label that'll be releasing his debut EP The Surface on November 23rd.
LÂLKA - CTRL ALTer Ego
When it comes to the more experimental and left-field side of Australian pop, one of our favourite rising names is LÂLKA. Initially capturing our attention with her striking single/video Cool Youth, the Brisbane musician has become one of the country's most dynamic and energetic names, with her previous single Shut Up - a 2018 highlight thus far - welcoming a "confident, bold and experimental" musician comparable to names like The Knife with her charging club sound. CTRL ALTer Ego is her first single in six months and it offers a slight switch up, with her warping sound taking on a brighter form as she unites distorting bubbly vocals with a soaring production that's thick with bass kicks and synth. Produced with Paces and Kult Kyss' Haxx, CTRL ALTer Ego is a slice of PC pop with a brooding twist, and in the words of LÂLKA is both "serious and tongue-in-cheek at the same time." Catch her at Charli XCX's 1999 Party in Brisbane with Banoffee, Miss Blanks, Ceci G and pop music's redefining force herself.
Strict Face - Gold Citro
Strict Face has taken on a lot of different sounds over the years. The underground Adelaide producer/songwriter has steered between subdued R&B and clanging, club-focused electronic alike, with many of his songs - particularly those on his recent This Heat EP last year - often combining both these worlds into one. His newest single Gold Citro, the first from his upcoming New Racer mixtape expected next month, is a single more focused on the experimental club side of Strict Face, with the producer taking ahold of his sound for a 100% instrumental single that punches with dense bass kicks and rich percussion, layering a bright, synth-soaked melody over the top that drives the single's quick-firing pulse. "I made Gold Citro quite early on in 2017 (around the same time I finished working on my last EP, This Heat) out of two separate sketches I had lying around on my HDD," he says on the single, which arrives ahead of the full mixtape on NLV Records/Local Action. "In a way, the “Frankenstein monster” approach turned out to be a blessing, since it’s one of my all-time favourite tracks."
Akurei - August feat. Golden Vessel
We've spoken about Akurei a couple of times over the last twelve months, with the Nico Ghost-featuring Floating particularly capturing our attention with its "infectious and endearing cadences, backed by subtle stripped-back beats and swirling synth." His most recent release is a full-length EP, his first, which sees the Brisbane musician further flesh out his diverse mix of sounds with a varied, four-track release topped by its Golden Vessel-featuring title-track August. Like his past work with fellow Brisbane-based GV, August is a soft single that chimes with a slight R&B influence, uniting a percussive instrumental with the swirling vocals of both himself and Golden Vessel. "Lyrically, the song covers how I felt earlier in the year," he says on the single. "I’d lost focus and had become unmotivated, and it took me a few months to even understand that. August covers the soul-searching I did which led to me rediscovering what I wanted to do, what I wanted to be, and trying to find a way to do that." Dive into the full EP HERE.