Danny L Harle came recommended to me by my predecessor – I’m not one to ignore the wisdom of my fore-editors. Another classically trained musician-cum-producer, this stuff is unashamedly saccharin electronica, but hell it’s addictive. In my Dreams employs the Clean Bandit winning formula of vintage house with female vocalist and some marimba, but better balanced and with a cracking quick modulating harmonic sequence (not your standard chord progression shizz). Construction 1.6 is sparse, hip-hop-esque and really quite random. I will be following Danny, in a non-stalkery / arrest-able way.
Time for some meaty minimalist, two-step electronica from Bearcubs. The vocal line is low key and minimal effort, to compliment a really busy texture from the heavily produced beats. The odd rhythmic opening raises expectations of something a bit more unusual, but when the rhythm settles into something regular, it’s less crazy than expected. Not disappointing, just not crazy.
KHUSHI is one of those acts I discovered whilst at a pal’s house – it was on in the background, and I had to coyly check the playlist to find out who it was…because I thought it was good. Real good, as Salt N’ Pepa might say. That track was Magpie, and was the last release from this guy prior to the Phantoms EP, which was released earlier this year. Now, this EP is truly brilliant. One for me is a many-layered dream, with its cavern-esque soundscape, echoes et al. Phantoms is a gentle anthem, with some big beautiful noises as it builds…and the Peter Lyons remix is just so twinkly. He supported London Grammar on their tour this year, so he’s doing very alright.
If you’re feeling at all sentimental / hormonal or have recently broken up with someone, do not listen to this track by The Callstore – it will break you. However, if you can face it, you will be well-rewarded – it’s just beautiful. Simple, sparse, sad but bloody beautiful. You definitely do not expect such a low voice when it enters; with lines like ‘your chest holds no room for me’ and ‘Your shadow lies beside me’, this song will strike a note, and boy will it strike it, for anyone who has been, well, dumped. It’s one time where you really feel, and this song captures that perfectly. The sighing harmonies and his ‘mmmmm’s sit perfectly in such a raw track. It’s not all doom and gloom, with stirring strings and shaking tambourines towards the end, which personally, I think it could’ve done without.
Might have to go and have a sob.
Tropics is Chris Ward (don’t be fooled by the above picture, that’s just him, twice). Blame is a gorgeous, soulful number, with some free jazz percussion, including some key shaking and also the sound of a rattlesnake (disclaimer: probably not a rattlesnake, but you’ll know when you hear it). It ebbs and flows from moments of sparsity to some dense sampled textures, with some jazz flute-y flutters drawing out the biggest waves. It’s the first track on his not-very-soon to be released album Rapture (comes out in February…which is ages away). So lets spend this time massively getting our hopes up for further great things to come.