Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Re-Cap
New year, new look electronic column.
ALBUM / EP OF THE WEEK
The XX - I See You
(Young Turks Recordings)
Announced back in November last year, the first major New Music Friday for 2017 delivered an impeccable record from The XX, their first in five years. I See You, the British trio’s first full-length since 2012, delves between styles and sounds over the ten-track journey, whether it be their signature, warm sound that has proved successful in their previous albums, or a more dance-leaning, experimental one, with the band’s production power-house Jamie XX coming out of his shell after the success of In Colour. I See You is easily their best album yet, and a solid taste of what’s to come, with the trio saying that the album is a more open and expansive take on their sound that they wish to continue in the future.
Best Tracks: On Hold, A Violent Noise and Lips
Other incredible albums / EPs released this week: Bonobo - Migration, SOHN - Rennen.
SINGLES / REMIXES OF THE WEEK
The Black Madonna – He Is The Voice That I Hear
You know how every year there is that one name in electronic music who absolutely dominates it? In 2015 it would’ve been Jamie XX and in 2016 perhaps Flume, but in 2017, that name is going to have to be The Black Madonna. She’s just been named MixMag’s DJ of the Year for 2016, with the esteemed dance music platform pointing out her ability to craft masterful and euphoric DJ sets no matter what the situation and, capitalising on that, she’s just digitally released her long-awaited return to original productions with the ten-minute epic He Is The Voice That I Hear. Across its lengthy duration, He Is The Voice That I Hear builds and builds and builds, unexpectedly turning a classical piano introduction into a bustling disco number filled with rolling drum hits, rippling piano riffs and crisp percussion hits.
Slumberjack - Fracture (feat. Vera Blue)
You know what makes me proud as hell? Seeing a local crew absolutely destroy the game not just nationally, but internationally too. Slumberjack are the perfect example of this, with the Perth duo growing immensely since the days of Felon and their infamous Touched edit some two years ago now. Fracture, their newest release featuring guest vocals from triple j sweetheart Vera Blue, summarises what’s been an incredible two years since Felon and makes us excited as hell for what they’re about to pull off in the next two years too. Combining their signature bassy sounds with some more left-field techniques for electronic music (such as Blue’s soaring vocals – uncommon for trap productions, or the acoustic touch the guitar brings in throughout portions of the song), Slumberjack have nailed that trap-pop radio banger that has seen acts like Flume catapult in recent years.
Cosmo’s Midnight – History
Is the second week of January too early to call a Hottest 100 top 10 for the next year? If not here it is. Linking up with a vaguely familiar, uncredited vocalist, the Sydney twins have hit it out of the park with History, a fresh new electro-pop track that showcases the duo’s transitioning into more pop-orientated song-writing that we saw with Snare and Walk With Me. Bubbling with an addictively wonky production, History builds on the jazz-influenced sounds that have been dominating 2016 through tracks by the likes of Sam Gellaitry, Kaytranada and even Mr. Carmack, with crunchy bites of percussion clicking amongst a spicy, electro-pop beat. Very interested to see how the boys follow this one up but, seeing how they managed to craft a track that tops Walk With Me, I’m not worried.
StéLouse – Lovers (feat. BRAVE)
StéLouse and BRAVE are two artists who both were incredibly under-rated in 2016, whether it be StèLouse with his cunningly addictive productions or BRAVE with her pitch-perfect vocal touch. Lovers is the combination of their respective strengths, uniting a nostalgic, effortlessly cool electro-pop production with BRAVE’s muffled vocals, which creates an almost mysterious vibe alongside the single’s moody beat. The best part kicks in around the two-minute mark, when the track’s production teases a glistening, yet slightly-distorted switch up that easily could’ve been made into a whole new song.
Syd – All About Me
In addition to fronting the Grammy-winning urban group The Internet, Syd has somehow managed to find the time to release her own solo album. Set for release later this year, Fin’s first tease has arrived in the form in All About Me, which, simply-put, is absolutely fantastic. Mixing a heavy hip-hop production, brimming with 808s and snare hits, with her now well-known vocal prowess, All About Me is a rather safe starting tease for Syd’s debut, but it works well, making us incredibly excited to see what one of this year’s possible best albums might bring. The video is pretty rad too, with Syd relinking with her old Odd Future cohorts Tyler, The Creator, Hodgy and Mike G.