Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
The best of the electronic world in the past week, including Astre, Boo Seeka, Whethan and more.
EP / ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Astre - For So Long EP
With a sound comparable to a more synth-reliant Odesza, Astre is a young, French musician who is one of the most promising in the game. Whether it's independently or as a part of the Slow Hours gang, Astre is an artist consistently overlooked, pushing genre and sound boundaries to their limit, something that his new For So Long EP manages to showcase. For So Long sees the young production mastermind dive into a wide array of sounds, nailing each particular tone he aims for with perfect precision - something that many young, emerging producers are unable to do. The EP-opening Romance, which features Australian vocalist Amela, takes a note straight from Odesza's songwriting guide, with a crushing percussion line, soaring vocals and a thick, tone-setting synth line which wouldn't feel out of place in your standard Odesza live show. Similarly, the anthemic Shades (featuring Kevin Blu) plays with this empowering, synth-pop vibe, with Blu's vocals dominating above a stripped back, atmospheric production which at is kicked along by a subtle bass line and vocal loops.
However, the rest of the For So Long EP - released through international collective/label Moving Castle - is a far step from this sound, with Astre experimenting with shades of different sounds that he gently layers over the top. The EP's title track is a more experimental cut, with breaking vocal melodies and soft keys creating quite a chunky, urban tone. Songs like About Love and the closing Stay In Your Bed take note from his influences in classical music, with stripped-back, symphonic melodies swirling together to create quite a unique sound. The core of Astre's sound isn't particularly new by any means, but by incorporating these slight tinges of hip-hop and classical, Astre's For So Long EP ends up distancing itself from the rest - an incredibly remarkable feat as the electronic music world follows an unknown path into a new direction.
SINGLES / REMIXES OF THE WEEK
Kardajala Kirridarra - Ngurra (Rain Song)
Creating a sense of beauty in electronic music is quite a hard feat, but my theory is that more often than not, it just comes down to not over-complicating things and keeping things simplistic and easy to listen to. Ngurra - the new single from Northern Territory's Kardajala Kirridarra - executes this theory entirely, keeping things slick and simple and letting the different sounds they piece together to combine and create something quite beautiful. The first single from their forthcoming debut album, Ngurra (Rain Song) pairs echoing, clanging percussion with soft vocal harmonies and an almost mysterious, yet quite uplifting lead vocal. Sung in English and Mudburra - a rarely-spoken indigenous language - Ngurra shines in its simplistic beauty, with its natural tones blending to create an enchanting, mystical listen which builds on every listen.
Gus Dingwall - Downtown
Combining the worlds of soulful R&B and electronica, Gus Dingwall is another young name in the Australian electronic world, a name we think may be sticking around for a while judging by his debut single Downtown. Combining a soothing vocal line with a slightly left-field, subdued production, Dingwall's debut is instantly comparable to some of Nick Murphy's (then Chet Faker) early work with Flume, particularly in his nostalgic, crooning vocal presence. However, Downtown distances itself from this comparison by keeping things rather stripped-back and restrained, swapping out Flume's maximalist drops for a plucking guitar line and soft bursts of synth, which feel a lot more comfortable and inviting alongside crisp percussion work and the warmth of Dingwall's later-arriving vocals. Every cookie-cutter article about the 'next-gen' of Australian electronic scene that doesn't include Gus Dingwall I'm flat-out not even trusting from this point out. This dude is promising.
Boo Seeka - Turn Up Your Light
Sydney's Boo Seeka have to be one of the most consistent Australian electronic acts in the game at the moment, failing to drop their form in the onslaught of new material that has arrived since their first single a few years back. After last February's Does This Last, the two-piece have just released another beauty of a single in Turn Up Your Light, which also marks the announcement of their long-awaited debut record Never Too Soon this coming August. Turn Up Your Light continues this aforementioned fine form, dimming things down with a crackling, percussion-led instrumental which drives the single's swaying vocals, which have continually charmed us since we first came across the Boo Seeka team back in 2015.
Stonefox - Talk Me Home
Continuing the laid-back, soft sounds of Boo Seeka, Gus Dingwall and Kardajala Kirridarra comes Stonefox, a Melbourne-based electronic outfit who are seriously impressing with their new single Talk Me Home. Talk Me Home is an ethereal, emotionally-charged track, bringing together personal lyricism, soft vocals and an airy, tone-setting instrumental to create an honest piece of work comparable to London Grammar or even Lorde, particularly in the single's timid, yet subtly confident vocals. Admittedly, Talk Me Home is the first track from Stonefox that I've checked out, but it's too good to ignore - giving the group a promising edge to the competition as we push into the latter half of 2017.
Whethan - Good Nights feat. Mascolo
Chicago's Whethan is someone we've kept a very close eye on ever since we introduced his debut single Can't Hide into the world almost a year ago now. Good Nights is the latest track from his impressive streak of recent singles, with the producer teaming up with Colorado's Mascolo for a summery, carefree single which sees Whethan further distance himself from the banger-y nature of Savage and his previous remixes, in favour of a more radio-friendly and accessible synth-pop sound. The infectious new single, which pairs Mascolo's light-hearted vocal work with an infectious, crisp production, comes with a full US tour, which you can catch the details for on his Facebook HERE.
L D R U