Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
The best of electronic music in the past week, including Soulwax, K?D, Torren Foot and more.
ALBUM / EP OF THE WEEK
Soulwax - From Deewee
It’s been 12 years since Belgian electro-rock band Soulwax last released an entire album of original music, but unlike some of the other long-awaited returns in dance music in 2016 and forecasted for the rest of this year (The Avalanches, SebastiAn), it hasn’t been too painful a wait. That said, when you find out that their 48-minute-long returning album From Deewee was recorded in a single take, you can’t help feeling a little curious to why it took so long. Composed with the aid of three additional drummers, From Deewee is perhaps the most experimental feat the duo have pulled off, both in theory and in sound. Although it may be a studio album recorded with more temporary drummers than actual band members, the one-take record isn’t as reliant on rock sounds as some of their initial work. Instead, From Deewee pulses with an electronic groove highlighted by several of their recent remixes, with the rolling percussion simply adding slight touches to many of the songs, or creating chaining links between others.
That’s the whole point of From Deewee. Like their multiple DJ mixes – including the infamous As Heard On Radio Soulwax mixes – From Deewee is built to be listened from start to finish in one sitting. Although there are definite highlights (such as the retro-sounding Conditions Of A Shared Belief that could easily host the duo’s Tame Impala remix as a B-side), From Deewee’s main praise from me comes from the fact that despite not having a single break between songs, it’s got more versatility and differing sounds than many of today’s – or yesterday’s – electronic music records.
SINGLES / REMIXES OF THE WEEK
BATTS - For Now
It seems that every second week we’re sharing a new single from one of our Class of 2017 list, with names like Vincent Sole and Ninajirachi already cementing this year as their biggest yet. BATTS has now too joined these ranks, turning to a more down-tempo and brooding sound for her gorgeous new single For Now. The Melbournian’s first single in five months has a really mellow, potentially London Grammar-esque sound to it, particularly from within the soft vocals of BATTS herself that howl over the track’s minimal production. The track hums with discrete shades of electronica, especially when it builds towards its climactic ending, which explodes with triumphant layers of guitar, shimmering orchestral synth and touches of vocals for the perfect ending to an all-round aurally picturesque single.
NoMBe - Freak Like Me
Don’t be fooled by the single’s cliché roaring introduction, NoMBe’s newest track is an absolute jam. The next track in the gradual, month-by-month unveiling of his debut album, the LA-based R&B artist’s newest hit Freak Like Me boasts this irresistible, urban sound that’s full of attitude – both in his crooning vocals and the guitar-laden production. It’s the pitch-perfect combination of small and large, with soft-spoken bridges feeling right at home against the conquering and contrasting choruses, further demonstrating the slick song-writing skill first exposed by the artist in the album’s leading Wait and its following romantic ballad Young Hearts. “This is the one and only song my significant other didn’t want me to release.” he said on the track’s release. “Lucky for you, she eventually caved because the world needs to hear it!” Lucky we are indeed.
A.G. Cook - Drop FM feat. Hannah Diamond (HWLS Remix)
The twisted world of A.G. Cook’s PC Music is something that’s been readily discussed both on Pilerats and elsewhere, but never in a million years would I have ever thought to have heard a remix that takes this warped, playful sound to the next level. Perth former two-piece HWLS manages to pull this off though, shaking up A.G. Cook’s Hannah Diamond collaboration Drop FM and twisting it into a roaring, bass-heavy slice of trap. HWLS’ Drop FM re-do doesn’t maintain that playful sound of the original. Instead, it pedestals it, cutting everything back for portions Hannah Diamond’s glittery vocals, and cutting-and-screwing the rest for the remix’s finale. From the whiney synth to the droplets of sparkling vocals, everything in HWLS’ remix is pinpointed exactly. It’s smooth and refined, yet preserves the original’s messy, run-amok feel that made it so perfect in the first place, and with more promised from HWLS to come, we’re excited to see where one of our favourite Perth producers goes in 2017.
K?D - Lose Myself feat. Phil Good
Despite my past relationship with it, the over-saturation of the scene has led me to become one of future-bass’ biggest dismissers. Yet, by incorporating dominating vocals and throwback feels within the walls of lush synth, K?D still manages to keep things relatively fresh and exciting. The producer, who continues to be lazily compared to Porter Robinson, has embarked from his “yeah, it’s just hype” status with his sound in tow, grabbing hold of powerful percussion breaks and distinct use of synth to make his own music instantly recognizable – even if they’re blended with unusual (for K?D, anyway) vocals like in the case of Lose Myself. Lose Myself is that highly-seeked optimal point between straight-up Soundcloud future-bass and pop music, with the wailing vocals of Phil Good providing that perfect relief from K?D’s often dominating synth, and a good sign to what the relatively new producer has in store for the year ahead.
Torren Foot - LØVE ME
We’ve always been big fans of the G-house king in Melbourne-based Torren Foot – look no further than last year’s Pilerats-premi’d EP No Time – but his new single LØVE ME is easily one of his best. Mashing up that vocal-house sound that he initially pushed with the aforementioned EP, LØVE ME is that perfect balance between hard-hitting rolls of punchy synth and deep 4x4 house kicks and light vocals, with the looping, pitched vocals coming in at just the right points to ensure the single doesn’t feel too bass-heavy. That said, LØVE ME is still the late night, sweaty dancefloor epic sound that we love from Torren Foot, but this incorporation of vocals makes it a far more versatile single, and if there’s one thing we love more than being able and willing to listen to Torren Foot in the club, it’s being able and willing to listen to Torren Foot in some more chilled-out settings as well.