Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
The best of the electronic world in the past week, including Maribou State, JEFFE and Diplo.
Maribou State - Turnmills
One of the big electronic releases last week was the long-awaited return of British duo Maribou State, who returned with Turnmills - their first single since 2015. A taste of what's to come by the UK house pioneers in 2018, Turnmills is a track focused on subtle moments of brilliants. Amongst the backbone synth melody there's layers of intricate percussion and chiming samples, soft harmonies that tinker away in the background, light vocal samples and at times even a string line, which all come and go as the single changes shape over the next five-minute duration. It totally works, much like how it works for acts like Bonobo and Four Tet, with the song keeping you on your feet as it draws longer - in fact, there are multiple portions of the song that feel like totally new tracks, whisking you away from the single's beat before that sweeping melody comes back into play and draws you back in. "Turnmills was where we first experienced electronic music in a club setting. It’s a totally different and transformative listening experience and that communal spirit, atmosphere and feeling has inspired the way we've made music," says Liam Ivory, one half of the duo. "Clubs are such important hubs for music discovery, especially of songs that you might have overlooked in a different setting. Partly through the feeling in the room and also through the memories attached to the records you hear."
Petit Biscuit - Problems (JEFFE Rework)
Petit Biscuit's debut album Presence was a surprising stand-out in 2017, with the rising French producer showcasing a wide array of sounds and production techniques over the album's 14 tracks. Problems, the radio-friendly Lido collaboration, was a stand-out from the album, and now it's been re-released with a bunch of remixes for an official remix package. Amongst remixes by other favourites in Shallou and Taska Black, one particular cover by up-and-coming Australian JEFFE takes the cake as the package's highlight. It's a more down-tempo affair in comparison to the original, with the Australian artist stripping back the single's production to a bare minimum and layering it with soft piano and her fragile vocals. "I fell in love with JEFFE’s version of Problems," says Petit Biscuit on the remix. "She definitely adds an extra layer to the emotions that the lyrics bring to the original track. It’s interesting how my original funky track turns into a delicate fragile pop track." Following on from her break-out single WHOEVER YOU LOVE, i’m COOL, this Problems remix continues to showcase why JEFFE is one to watch in 2018.
Leon Vynehall - Movements (Chapter III)
A few weeks back, British musician Leon Vynehall returned to his throne with the spectacular single Envelopes (Chapter VI), which saw him explore the more subtle side of his work, combining soft, building melodies with crackling samples and strings that melt away under the lushness of Envelopes' haunting mood. Now he's back again, teasing his upcoming album Nothing Is Still (out June 15th through Ninja Tune) with its second single Movements (Chapter III). Movements is another dreamy epic by Vynehall, who mixes together the worlds of synthetic and organic production by incorporating soft melodies and warm saxophone amongst the single's more synth-y backbone. Aimed to reflect the warmth and electricity of 60s New York's nightlife, Movements is one of those songs that'll whisk you away to another land, and if it's a solid representation of Nothing Is Still (with the previous single Envelopes), it looks like we have something extraordinary on our hands.
LSD (Labrinth, Sia, Diplo) - Genius
Welcomed to the world as the first taste of LSD - a new collaboration project between Diplo, Sia and Labrinth - Genius shows strong promise. It's an attention-seeking single that combines Diplo's characteristically vivacious production style with Sia's glowing vocals and Labrinth's catchy hip-hop, bouncing and twisting over the single's three-minute duration. It's definitely the type of single that grows on you with every listen, with the single and Sia's unearthly vocal feeling stronger and stronger with every listen. It's a promising sign at a new supergroup, which according to Diplo, was born after he was asked to produce a single for Sia a while back. There's another track from LSD called Audio coming later this week and a full album apparently coming sometime later this year, so keep an eye on the super-trio and their movements over the next few months.
Jon Hopkins - Neon Pattern Drum
Last week finally saw the return of Jon Hopkins, who followed up his break-out record Immunity with one perhaps even better, Singularity. Spanning over an hour, the whole album is an incredible listen designed to be heard from start to finish, with Hopkins taking you on a synth-drenched, electronic journey of sorts through climactic house breakdowns, gradual builds and falls, and subtle breakdowns that offer light relief between the tripping onslaught of great electronica. Amongst the already-released singles Enerald Rush and Everything Connected sits Neon Pattern Drum, another highlight from the album that summarises the album's dramatic audio story into one six-minute bite. Neon Pattern Drum is an audio adventure, with Hopkins guiding you through the highs and lows of his pulsing electronica with a tripping house beat, washed-out moments of refreshing quietness (in contrast to the building heaviness of the rest of the song) and moments in between that keep the six-minute journey feeling like no time at all.