Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
The best of the electronic world in the past week, including Hundred Waters, Machinedrum, Lewis Cancut and more.
EP / ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Hundred Waters - Communicating
OWSLA's Hundred Waters returned last week with their third studio album Communicating, and while it does see the LA-based three-piece change up their vibe a little, it is still super impressive. Communicating is heavily built around the vocals of the trio's frontwoman Nicole Miglis, with her haunting vocal tone taking centre stage above productions which range from maximalist pop to stripped-back piano ballads. The LP opens with Hundred Waters' 2017 stand-out Particle, before diving into Wave To Anchor - which boasts a bit of an unexpected pop sound from the otherwise quite alternative trio. After Wave To Anchor, the album is pulled apart and stripped back for a couple of songs, before Fingers and the album's title track Communicating give the 47-minute affair some much-needed energy. However, in my opinion, the album's most spectacular moment comes with its second last breath Blanket Me. We've written about Blanket Me as a single before, but on Communicating the terrifying beautifulness of it really shines, especially as Miglis hushly echoes "blanket me / blanket me / blanket me" as the soft piano outro behind it fades away in the final few seconds. I think Pitchfork really summed it up well with their review of Communicating, saying that "listening to Hundred Waters can feel like climbing into bed
and pulling the duvet over you like a protective shield."
SINGLES / REMIXES OF THE WEEK
Rainbow Chan - Let Me
We've slept on this release a little bit, but Rainbow Chan is one of the most exciting singer-songwriters in Australia, so we're going to feature her anyway. Let Me is Rainbow Chan's first original release in over a year, but it honestly feels like she never went anywhere. Using a chirping, R&B-leaning production as a backbone, Rainbow Chan sounds as free as ever on Let Me, vocally letting go and taking on a bold and confident sound akin to names like Solange. As I said, we slept a little bit on this release, but it's such a spectacular single and such a great return to glory from Rainbow Chan that I wish we picked it up when it actually dropped around two weeks back.
Giraffage - Maybes feat. Japanese Breakfast
San Francisco staple Giraffage is currently building up the hype for his debut album Too Real, which will arrive through Counter Records/Inertia Music on October 20. Maybes is the album's second cut, enlisting Australia-bound Japanese Breakfast (who released one of the best albums of the year a few months back, FYI) for a bubbly synth-pop jam which sees Giraffage further flex his songwriting muscle. On Maybes, Japanese Breakfast sounds restrained and echoey, with Giraffage's bouncy production taking the leading charge with clicking percussion and vocal-synth melodies building into a sort-of Porter Robinson-esque explosion of synth for the song's breakdown. It's another brilliant gem from one of electro-pop's most underrated names, but here's hoping Too Real changes that for him.
Sofi Tukker - Best Friend feat. NERVO, The Knocks & Alisa Ueno
Sofi Tukker gets a bit of shit amongst the dance music purists for being too corny, but honestly, their house-pop sound is so addictive I don't even mind the corniness. After the huge success of their break-out single Drinkee, Awoo and the slightly less popular, yet still solid Fuck They, Best Friend is Sofi Tukker's fourth single of their most recent cycle, and it sees them team up with some seriously big special guests for the occasion. Featuring EDM DJ duo NERVO, US electronic duo The Knocks and Japan's Alisa Ueno, Best Friend is an electrifying cut from the addictive pairing, combining a pulsing bass-line with light vocals and clanging percussion to create a light-and-easy single from the quickly-emerging name. Oh, and yeah - if you watched the Apple iPhone X presentation early last year, you've probably already heard this song.
Machinedrum - 1 2 B Needed feat. Roses Gabor
Continuing with some rather out-there songs is Machinedrum, who has been on an incredible roll ever since dropping his sugary-sweet Human Energy record last year. 1 2 B Needed is the producer's latest track, with the Ninja Tune name teaming up with Roses Gabor for a delightfully cute bubblegum-pop single that oozes with Machinedrum's post-Human Energy blend of left-field club and bubbling pop. Having just sneaked down for a quick Australian trip last month (he did a one-off show with TOKiMONSTA for Boiler Room and played a headline show in Melbourne), 1 2 B Needed is another refreshing gem from Machinedrum who continues a great streak. "1 2 B Needed continues the sonic discovery and evolution of the Human Energy sound,” says Machinedrum in a quote accompanying the release. "It's a 'cute banger' meant to uplift and melt faces simultaneously."
Lewis Cancut - Pasmo
Finishing things up with another left-field club jam is Melbourne's Lewis Cancut, who has become one of Australia's most exciting and experimental producers since joining the NLV Records with its inception. Pasmo is a side-release for the producer with fellow Melbourne producer Paz, but that doesn't mean it's not as good as his previous recent stuff. Pasmo is packed full of Lewis Cancut's bubbly experimental tones, piecing together snapping drums and refreshing synth work for another club-ready, PC Music-esque delight.