Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
The best of the electronic world in the past week, including Petit Biscuit, Chromeo, Thrupence and more.
EP / ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Petit Biscuit - Presence
In the case of the youthful wunderkind Petit Biscuit, it appears that the French touch goes further than just the house groove of Daft Punk, Justice and co. The young French producer – real name Mehdi Benjelloun – is currently the celebrating the release of his debut album Presence, a collaboration-heavy, stirring 14-track release that arrives on his 18th birthday. It’s a diverse and incredibly mature release, capturing his growth and evolution not just as a person, but additionally as an artist since his break-out appearance in 2015.
“This is what I’m made with / this is love,” sings Lido – an artist Benjelloun is commonly compared against (fair, regarding their similar backgrounds in traditional classical music and their particularly organic branch of electronica) – on the album’s second single Problems, which falls with saturated synth drops and quick-firing vocal chops. Follow Me and Beam, two of the singles which immediately follow, continue to showcase these dense, almost Porter Robinson-reminiscent synth melodies (particularly on Beam) which seem to appear and disappear from the album. Coming in at just under an hour, Presence has plenty of time to grow and flourish as it continues. Break Down combines chanting vocal samples with thick 808s and whistling melodies – eerily similar to Mura Masa’s early, Asia-inspired work, while singles including the title-track Presence and Gravitation pulse with chunky, four-on-the-floor bass kicks and crisp house snare.
Without being too cliché, the aural maturity and complexity on some of Presence’s stronger moments are beyond Benjelloun’s years, expected more-so from a long-time producer familiar with the inner-workings of sound design and melody manipulation through constant practice and releases. However, at just 18-years-old, Petit Biscuit has got this locked – about as locked as he has his part in the future of electronic music.
SINGLES / REMIXES OF THE WEEK
Thrupence - In Silence
After dazzling with his indulgent debut album Ideas Of Aesthetics back in April, Melbourne’s Thrupence has returned with a percussive, one-off single In Silence. The single explores a slightly different tone than much of his album, with the generally quite stripped-back and simplistic sound of Ideas Of Aesthetics substituted with one far more complex and layered. In Silence brings together a horde of melodies – strings, dark and brooding synth, soft vocals, refreshing marimba and others, intricately piecing them all together amongst a fury of clicking and clapping percussion which serves as the single’s percussive backbone. It’s a moment of beauty, commonly associated in sound with acts like Bonobo, but it shows a unique evolution in Thrupence’s sound which I hope he continues to explore with his next effort.
Polographia - Heart Attack feat. Rush Midnight
Sydney's Polographia seems to be one of those acts which disappear as quickly as they appear, teasing us with little nuggets of funk before keeping quiet until their next release usually a year later (with the exception of last year, when they released a whole EP). Hayden James, Peking Duk and a couple of other Australian heavyweights go for the same approach and as frustrating as it is, it really does make those little nuggets of new music worth it. Heart Attack is the latest track from the Sweat It Out pairing and it's another delectable treat, combining smooth, jazz-inspired vocals courtesy of guest collaborator Rush Midnight with a stripped-back, percussive production which only teases Polographia's trademark groove, keeping us begging for more. They just kicked off a big ol' tour supporting label mates Winston Surfshirt, which has dates in Melbourne, Sydney and a couple of others to go.
Chromeo - Juice
Returning with their first single in over three years come Canadian funk innovators Chromeo, who are currently building to their long-awaited fifth album Head Over Heels out next year. Juice is the first single from said album, and as expected from the characteristically joyous duo, it’s a slick and funky ode to the French house touch which they continue to manipulate in their own way. The combination of robotic Vocaloid and care-free guitar licks in the single’s bridge feels particularly Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories-esque, warming us with its irresistible summer-funk vibe.
SUPER CRUEL - Sicklaced feat. CXLOE
With the Lisa Mitchell-featuring November at the start of this year came the launch of SUPER CRUEL, a new Australian electronic super-duo composed of smooth pop-house producer Jesse Porsches and Adelaide musician and DJ Tigerilla. After tearing up Splendour In The Grass off the back of just one single, the pairing have returned with another, this time titled Sicklaced. Featuring Sydney pop vocalist CXLOE, Sicklaced is another easily loveable slice of electro-pop which is no doubt going to run amok on the radio this summer, combining CXLOE's inviting vocals with a synth-soaked, trappy production which becomes particularly prevalent in the single's soaring choruses. It's another vast track that is sure to propel the duo even further as a pairing in 2017, making them one of the emerging break-out acts to watch in the new year.
Night Tales - Move You
Where SUPER CRUEL is a fiery, Australian electronic super-duo toying with a synth-trap sound, Night Tales is one playing with more of a house-infused one. Composed of Sydney funk-house producer Third Floor and former Olympic Ayres frontman Kamaliza, Night Tales is another promising newfound addition to the Australian electronic market, and off the back of their winning debut single Move You, we can already tell they're going to be great. Move You is an energetic number highlighting Kamaliza's distorted vocals, which feel like a bit of a brooding force underneath Third Floor's summery beat. It's quite a versatile track in that it's suitable for both the club and easy-listening at home, ideally balancing these two worlds in one handy little package.