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Electronic Music

Mezzanine: ‘The album that still sounds like tomorrow’

massive attack mezzanine 20 year anniversary

Music writer Michael A. Gonzales penned a dynamite article celebrating the 20th-anniversary release of [easyazon_link identifier=”B00FMF3R76″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Mezzanine[/easyazon_link] from UK band Massive Attack.

Mezzanine is an album best listened to loud, preferably on earphones, to properly hear the layers of weirdness and rhythms, a soulful sound collage that was miles away from the “Parklifes” and “Champagne Supernovas” of their Brit-pop contemporaries Blur and Oasis.

Along with the likes of fellow Bristol-based artists Portishead and Tricky, the band helped usher in an era of trip-hop. The trip-hop genre mashed hip-hop and electronica, adding layers of rock, soul, and dub. Mezzanine was therefore fresh and original, contrary to the DJ sampling on the group’s previous two albums [easyazon_link identifier=”B01L388UBI” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Blue Lines[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link identifier=”B000TEVJYS” locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Protection[/easyazon_link].

The trip-hop label was bestowed on the group by the Brit journalist Jonathan Taylor to describe the trippy music that was simultaneously street and psychedelic. Trip-hop was a tag that, like jazz, was often rejected by the practitioners, but it fit perfectly.

Mezzanine contained 4 singles, each matched by a dark and intriguing music video (see below). It’s also worth mentioning that one of the three key band members, Robert Del Naja, is rumored to be street artist Banksy.

To celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary, the band decided to release the album in DNA format. 920,000 DNA strands make it the second-largest file ever stored in DNA. This is sure to make it forever timeless.

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Categories
Electronic Music

Actress – X22RME

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Image courtesy the artist

Actress is UK electronic producer Darren Jordan Cunningham. As an outsider, his work intends to disrupt the status quo of dance music. The result is perfectly imperfect, splashed with subterranean techno and industrial components. He’s not afraid of playing with his faults. In an interview with Dazed Digital, he said:

No matter how much I refine it, no matter how much I update or modernise the equipment, the imperfections will always be there. And that’s just because there are gaps in my knowledge that I will never be able to fill in.

Actress proudly calls himself “a student of production.” He crunches bits and bytes into sound.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘I honestly don’t see music, I just see information, data, programming, electricity, biochemistry.’ — @ctress_a” quote=”‘I honestly don’t see music, I just see information, data, programming, electricity, biochemistry.’ — Actress “]

Actress, an avant-garde musician, and machine tinkerer will release his new album AZD in April. Preorder it now at the Ninjashop. In the meantime, watch the album’s lead single ‘X22RME’ below.

Categories
beats dance Electronic

Joakuim – Desire

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Joakuim is an electronic producer from Marseille, France. He apparently spent some time in Mexico City where some friends introduced him to the liquid drum n bass sounds of Alix Perez and Lenzman. The influence is evident, while he’s personalized his vibe with smooth-house touches.

Check out his newest track ‘Desires,’ now a free download via UK-based label Deep Heads.

 

Categories
dub Electronic

Forest Swords – The Highest Flood

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Forest Swords is The Wirral/Liverpool-based electronic producer Matthew Barnes.

On his latest track ‘The Highest Flood,’ Barnes continues lacing smooth dub to haunting ghostly hooks. I suspect there are more “ancient grinds” to come.

Grab it on Bandcamp

Categories
Electronic techno

Greymatter – Clocks

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Greymatter is Brighton-based electronic producer Graham Luckhurst. After a two-year hiatus of being “pigeonholed into deep house,” he’s back with his new album No Blood Without on his very own label Unique Uncut.

You can cop the broken beat single ‘Clocks’ now on Bandcamp. Expect to hear more of these beat-breaking skills.

Categories
Electronic

Loop LF – Ocean Drums

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Image courtesy Well Street Records

‘Ocean Drums’ is a broken beat techno tune from underground producer LOOP LF. Grab it on the Stepping Back EP out now on East London-based Well Street Records. ‘You Wouldn’t Understand’ is also a gem from the newcomer.

Highly recommended for fans of Joy Orbison

Categories
Electronic jazz

The Peter Franks Group – Leaving This Place pt1

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The Peter Franks Group is an instrumental and jazz beat collective from Bournemouth, England. The fresh and crisp flute-driven track ‘Leaving This Place’ is one of the standout tracks off the band’s album Days Past. ‘Inner Most’ is also a moody gem.

“…A real timeless feel to this courtesy of the joint talents of Halsall, Urquhart, Mwamba, Crennell, Maffei and Manners – but the real magic is in the dreamy keyboard work of Peter Franks and his inventive production techniques.”

Grab the LP on Bandcamp

Categories
Electronic

SpectraSoul – Second Chance

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SpectraSoul is Brighton-based drum n bass duo David Kennett and Jack Stevens. Having released music on the iconic Metalheadz label and dBridge’s Exit Music label, they have gained a reputation for producing deep, beautiful soulful stepping grooves. Their newest track ‘Second Chance’ is no exception.

Pre-order the EP on Bandcamp

 

Categories
Electronic

DJ Heure – Pensively 

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DJ Heure is an electronic producer from Adelaide, Australia. ‘Pensively’ is one of the latest house gems to drop off on his EP for Church label’s new imprint, All My Thoughts.

Be sure to catch some breakbeat on the opening track, ‘Outsider Resource,’ as well.

Vibes.

Categories
Electronic

Julien Marchal – Insight XX

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Julien Marchal is a composer from Bordeaux, France. Insight II is a follow-up to the initial 2015 album of the same name.

The track ‘Insight XX’ rings with a beautiful, smooth piano theme that “takes the listener inside the piano,” he says.

This reminded me of a quote I recently discovered from the naturalist John Muir:

“Most people are on the world, not in it.”

Lovely stuff. Check out the incredible music video and more on Julien’s Bandcamp page.