Dream Pop: FMFL – Functional Music for Lovers (Album)

Today we’re again talking about Brazilian-born producer Adam Matschulat and his debut album as FMFL. His first singles have been covered by this blog in March, such as Hear my Heart, when we also interviewed him about his plans for 2018, such as releasing an album as FMFL. The album got released a little later than expected and with less tracks than promised; yet, it is a special material that cannot go unnoticed by Synths of Eden. In fact, FMFL’s album comes out as something dark, impressive and delicate at the same time. A mixture of Adam’s feelings with a blend of trip-hop, summed by a Björk style of experimentation.

Adam lives in London where he writes, records and produces “Functional Music for Lovers” in his own home studio, released by RESTERECORDS. Clearly the album has been written in a hard period for Adam and you can tell it by the melancholy that takes over throughout the tracks. Of course, it is not only about melancholy and suffering, even though most of the tracks take this route, it is clear the different shades, some more hopeful, others more neutral.

FMFL explores simple melodies and bright synth lines that bring back Adam’s childhood with a sense of nostalgia tinged melancholy. The track “I Don’t Know What to Do” is a good example of an introspective melancholic state that is counterbalanced by “Lost Love Songs” a much more uplifting track.

The album itself is filled with synthetic textures, calm, delicate and worm vocal lines that provide us with peace, drive by compelling drum patterns. Somehow, it makes us feel as if we’re in a deep slumber, numb to the reality, especially in the track “Up to the Sky” the wheezing sounds makes you wake up briefly, so you know you are still breathing.

The album closes with “Hear my Heart”, the song that we talked about back in March. Which talks about the connection between listeners and music. Plus, how it is translated to the connection between people. All of it in a bright-melancholic way.

By collaborators Wallace & Igor

Lost Love Songs has been featured in our playlist Synths of Eden:

Electro-Indie: Samaris – Silkidrangar (2014)

The Balaton Sound ended but left a desire for more. Ready to go into the dark side of the musical universe with a light electronic input? Well, if you like a touch of melancholy in the songs you hear, you came into the right review but of course, without leaving a bit of techno aside: Samaris is a band that consists of a clarinet player Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir, a singer Jófríður Ákadóttir known as JFDR and an electronic musician Þórður Kári Steinþórsson. They play mostly electro-indie.

Resultado de imagem para Silkidrangar

This unlikely trio from Iceland first came together in the beginning of 2011, the same year they won the Músíktilraunir competition and right after released their first EP called Hljóma Þú. But only in 2013 releasing their first album by One Little Indian Records, curiously the same label that signed with internationally recognised band The Surgarcubes, that had Björk as a singer.

Latter, in 2014 the trio released the album called Silkidrangar with 10 tracks that adds up to a hypnotic and susceptible mush! Especially when talking about the music Ég Vildi Fegin Verd that seems as cold as the land they came from, the melancholy portrayed enters your skin like on the worst winter days leaving you sluggish, yet the subtle beats do not let your heart stop.

Turning this page, we can also find tracks like Lífsins Ólgusjór, which has a more dancing vibe, and Tíbrá equalizes you with a unique emotional stability in this album, it seems like walking in the middle of a forest. Finishing with Hrafnar that somehow makes you feel like you’re in a race, looking for something that you don’t quite know what it is.

Before we finish it

The songs from Silkidrangar are filled with space, atmosphere and some health sadness. If you’re into that, you can check this album out in Spotify.

By collaborators Igor & Wallace

The opening track of Silkidrangar, Nótt, has been featured in our Spotify playlist Synths of Eden

Music and Bicycle: Shook – Bicycle Ride (2018)

Well, today I got a new bike, at first, not the best ride, though it is a pretty nice bike, I’m still not used with those pedal brakes typical of some Dutch bikes. It was hard ride back home through the streets of Amsterdam. A good day to write about music and bike. Queen had a famous hit called Bicycle Race, that is eternal in the history of popular music. Besides the hype of new music Friday, a new week is also a good week to release a new album that has been developed for a long time.

In April we covered Shook and his track Wind on the Water, marked by great keys and a sensitive chill feeling, therefore featured in Chilling in Eden. By that time I wrote:

“This song is chill and bucolic just like watching the waves caused by the harsh wind on the water, almost zen. As if in an imaginary microuniverse you could surf in the huge waves of an otherwise calm river or lake, as if in that micromoment of mindfulness, the universe is bigger than what your mind can grasp and that single moment is deeper and bigger than a simple Wind On The Water.”

This time Dutch artist Jasper, known as Shook, released an album that shows his talent is not limited to that track, having great works such as Deep Dive and other more romantic tracks like Love Trip and I Will Be There, released recently as a single and video. The track Bicycle Ride reminds me all those soundtracks for the Pokemon Game Boy when you’re riding bikes (lovely chiptune).

Watching this small video about how Shook recorded Bicycle Ride you will see that his studio is quite impressive, with dozens of different new synthesizers that he explores in his recording process.

Besides streaming it in Spotify, you can also purchase it digitally and physically in Bandcamp.

The track Bicycle Ride is our newest feature of Chilling in Eden:

Album Review: Nicolas Jaar – Pomegranates (2015)

For those who follow this blog since the beginning, I have mentioned Nicolas Jaar and his works quite a few times, but never writing any specific review about them. Yesterday, after posting Get Horizontal by Radikal Rat I found myself listening to Pomegranates by Nicolas Jaar once again, so I guess it’s time to make a dedicated post about this album, 3 years after released in 2015 by Jaar’s label Other People. Nothing more appropriate to be featured here than an album that starts with a track called Garden of Eden.

Pomegranates is nothing usual, very far from what has been Space Is Only Noise release from 2011. From a more minimal-techno or house influenced producer, Nicolas Jaar grew to a very sensitive and deep music composer before Sirens and Nymphs, blending delicate sound design, marked by remarkable chromatic pianos, with field recording (especially voices), together with experimental and lovely melodies. In total, Pomegrantes has 20 tracks that serve as an alternate soundtrack to The Color of Pomegranates, an Armenian-Soviet film by Sergei Parajanov, from 1969. A highly avant-garde film that resembles classics such as The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky (1973) or Arabian Nights from Pier Paolo Pasolini, but softer.

The film re-counts the story of an 18th century Armenian singer Sayat-Nova, and as much as Pomegranates from Nicolas Jaar, is something distant from the easily digestible entertainment cinema and music. Tracks like Beasts of This Earth and Screams at the Edge of Dawn are as fragments of abstract sounds, that illustrate imaginary cinematographic scenes of beasts screaming to be later on followed by mellow piano compositions, such as in Divorce, a delicate piece.

This album is special for it’s singularity. Which is a mixture of very personal tracks produced by Nicolas Jaar, that touch multiple artistic expressions, such as poetry, cinema and music. The originality of music production is taken as a priority over commercial interests. Remaining still, as one of the most interesting and complex works ever produced by him. Hardly fit into any specific genre of music, which is ideally what we aim to share in this blog. If split in two parts, the first half shows itself to be more complex, a more abstract part, that is followed by delicate tracks after Divorce, such as Three Windows, Tourists, Shame and ending up gracefully with Muse. All tracks range in length from around 2 to 5 minutes, so all of them are quite short for what is usually ambient influenced music. Though only a feel, we can still listen to Nicolas Jaar’s skills with rhythm in tracks such as Club Kapital.

Pomegrantes is a highly authorial work from Nicolas Jaar, that opened op the doors to what came after as Nymphs and Sirens in 2016 and 2017. We definitely need more musicians and releases like this in this ever-changing music industry, filled with more of the same fads and a big lack of originality, when artists and composers alike put number of plays as priority number one before feelings and providing highly artistic materials.

 

Krautrock: Dadanaut – Panoptikum

Inside the panopticon. Just a hotchpotch of curious minds?

When I read the word “Panoptikum” I immediately recall Michel Foucault and all his theories about power, discipline, surveillance society and prison system. Taking into consideration what I have written in this blog before about my views on social media, such as last March editorial I should say that we live in a world where surveillance is the rule, and everybody is watching each other through the windows of social media, a behaviour that is both imposed by the establishment as much as done irrationally on purpose, exactly like a panopticon. People fed themselves with mind control information, are instigated to act in certain behaviour of likes and share actively. What one day was a monopoly of radios, newspapers, magazines and television, now we have the web as a hub of companies/individuals who are shaping people’s behaviours and taste. Again, partially imposed and partially a rational decision, that in the end is more irrational than ever.

Dadanaut (maybe the cosmonaut of Dadaism) a German composer from Lauffen Am Neckar has released this 14th April his album Kabale, with 9 ambient/drone/experimental tracks, some of them shorter and other ones longer, such as Panoptikum itself. Well, considering everything written above, a track that uses this word in a track is nothing more than appropriate for our contemporary world.

Though the subject explored by Foucault and all the surveillance theories about individuals and communities in the digital age are quite complex and mindblowing, Panoptikum is in fact mostly a calming track, that provides chill ambient feelings for 12 minutes, but providing that big tension of being spied by someone far above you, that is controlling everything you do 24/7, with no space for private or to breath in peace.

You can check more releases from Dadanaut in their Bandcamp page, with track that go back to 2012.

 

Psychedelic-Rock: BIKE – Their Shamanic Majesties’ Third Request

Rompe-ferro, Rompe-nuvem, Beira-Mar
Rompe-aço, Rompe-fogo, Beija o Ar
Serra Azul, Mata Virgem, Encruzilhada
7 ondas, 7 caminhos, 7 matas

(Cavalo)

I have been listening Bike since 2015, the year they released their first album, indeed a very lysergic year for myself back in São Paulo, apparently also for many people in Brazil, doce was everywhere. Their first album 1943 changed my view on contemporary Brazilian psychedelic rock, that followed bands I have been watching for a long time, such as Boogarins. Bike, from São Paulo, always brings the true psychedelic influences to their music, with clear references to LSD and psilocybin, to start by their name itself. A band I still didn’t have the opportunity to watch alive (though they are certainly coming back to Europe). They are celebrating three years on the read, including an European tour. Bike is active not only alive but specially in the studio.

Last year, their second album Em Busca da Viagem Eterna (Searching for the endless trip) came to me as a surprise, following their 1943 in style, I made sure to add one of its tracks to Synths of Eden playlist Brasil Progressivo (below). Now, Bike is featured with their newest work Their Shamanic Majesties’ Third Request and their track Ingá. First place of our playlist. The typical sound marked by reverberated vocals and guitars full of effects. Followed by trippy lyrics, this time brings back Brazilian rural tradition, including organic instruments and other types of teas and plants. Two other important features in the album, Bonifrate in Ingá, plus Tagore in Cavalo.

In total 8 tracks. The album’s title is a clear reference to The Rolling Stones, with Their Satanic Majesties Request and Brian Jonestown Massacre ,”Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request” (1996).

You can order the vinyl copy in their official website, as much as check the dates to watch them alive in Brazil and later on in Europe. The album was recorded and mixed in Estúdio Wasabi by Diego Xavier. Mastered by Rob Grant in Poons Head Studio – Perth, Austrália. Art by Juli Ribeiro.

Bike is:

Julito – vocals, electric and acoustic guitar.
Diego Xavier – vocals, electric guitar and viola.
João Gouvea – vocals, bass and viola.
Daniel Fumega – Drums and percurssion
Brenno Balbino – Synthesizers
Pedro Bonifrate – vocal in Ingá
Tagore Suassuna – vocal in Cavalo

Divagation & Lo-Fi/IDM: Vacilant – Só me faça esquecer das coisas (2018)

Há, desde a origem do que chamamos de mundo, a tentativa do homem de não se fazer esquecer, o medo inerente do desaparecimento. A memória como refúgio, o desejo de fazer de perpetuar as sensações, o sentido, a procura do que escapa. “Só me faça esquecer das coisas” se encontra no entre a tentativa de permanência através da memória e da pulsação do desejo de esquecer.

There is, since the origin of what we call world, the attempt of men and women not to be forgotten, the inherent fear of disappearing. The memory as a shelter, the desire to perpetuate the feelings, the senses, the search for escapism. ‘Só me faça esquecer das coisas’ (only make me forget the things), is found in between the attempt to be present through memory and the pulsation of a desire to forget.

Vacilant – Só me faça esquecer das coisas

Today Synths of Eden has the pleasure to feature Vacilant, artist from Forteleza, Ceará.

His album Só me faça esquecer das coisas, with the link in Bandcamp embedded, has been released by Mercúrio Música, label also based in Fortaleza. The whole album itself is great, with 11 tracks in total, mixing audio samples in English and Portuguese with organic and synthesized sounds and instruments. The whole album has been composed by Yuri Costa, mixed and mastered. Though it had the participation of Felipe Couto in the guitars, Clau Anis in the clarinets, plus Junior Quintela in the percussion. Tracks are kind of short, with an average of 3 minutes each. It is Yuri’s second album, after Dissonia, released in 2014.

The 11 tracks are a big voyage through electronic music, mixed with rock influences and lo-fi beat-making. My favourite one is Tecnologias não me ajudam.

It is also possible to stream the album in Spotify. For sure it will be featured in our playlist Synths of Eden this week.

Divagation – Sharing Independent Brazilian Music

As a Brazilian I know pretty well how my country can sometimes be a big enclosed island and it is not itself the most open to the international world, with several great exceptions of course. What is not necessarily wrong, as I strongly disagree with the idea that everybody should know English to have an “international” insertion. I believe in a multi-cultural world and multi-lingualism. So this blog will not be focused on the English speaking world, we want to share artists from whatever country it may be.

What I learned is that Brazil can be a big hub for creative artists that can stay away and unknown for the international English speaking world. They keep hidden in that local Portuguese speaking environment, that revolves around the use of Facebook, regional concerts and parties.Naturally in a country that lacks democracy of means of communication and people have to struggle every day for the most basic rights, making local artists known across the borders is not easy at all.

So when I created this blog I also thought it would be a nice space to share independent Brazilian music to those who read and write in English. I have been living in the Netherlands, I have a master in global communication in this language, so why not? Let’s unite my best knowledge in the Brazilian world and apply it to my knowledge in international communication with this blog.

You can check my playlist Brasil Progressivo here, for the best Brazilian progressive rock and some influences here.

Disco/Chill-Out: KLANGPLANET – Eternity

After being featured here with his track Hypnotized, KLANGPLANET comes back again with a new single and full-album, this time Eternity. The last single release from his homonymous album. His newest work has been officialy released this 4th April and it’s already entirely in Soundcloud and Spotify.

Eternity follows the same personal style of Munich citizen producer Frieder Mollat. A blend of chill out and nu-disco grooves, a highly danceable track with that special sound design very particular of German producers, carefully selected synthesizer compositions.  Also a track with interesting vocals in different layers, filled with funky rhythms apart from the harmonic sound design mentioned above.

Don’t forget to check our previous article about KLANGPLANET, with a short bio:

New Single: KRANGPLANET – Hypnotized

KLANGPLANET has been featured in our Spotify playlist Synths of Eden with Hypnotized, you can also check his whole Eternity album in Spotify.

 

New Electronic: Krakowitz – Little Sisters

Deep inside our souls we are still youngsters playing with sticks. Actually, we’ve changed the sticks to the synths. As enthusiastic as when we used to build sandcastles, we meet at the studio and try to bring back at least some of those memories. Lets run together across the meadow, picking dandelions and throwing paper planes. Travel with us to those nostalgic times of pleasantly yellow sun and scary monster under the bed.

When poetry itself is blended with music by synthesizers. Great production by krakowitz, Piotr Figiel and Dominik Gawroński. Interesting work with audio, synthesizers and rhythm. Not a very particular style of electronic music, but I’d say it’s a downtempo track. 3:20 of music that brings back nostalgia and childhood, the combination of audio elements, such as a voice of a child is mixed with the colourful synthesizer experience. The main thing I can write about them is that their music is broadly original, the whole homonymous album is highly recommended.

They recently released an album in 24th January, it can be purchased by Bandcamp. Also available for streaming in Spotify.

 

New Chill: Bassline Drift – Mni Wiconi (2018)

Bassline Drift is an electronic music duo blending chill vocals with heavy bass, as the name suggests. The duo is formed by Rachel ‘Sink’ Lindsay and Keli Marks, both of them live apart in USA and started to make music together after they met in Soundcloud. Mni Wiconi is a track from their second album released by Gravitas Recoringss, called Give +Take (9 tracks, available in Spotify and Bandcamp). The track has also been featured in our newest Spotify Playlist Chilling in Eden.