IDM: H+ – Haunted

On 30th of March, Capiroto Records released Haunted, album by H+, project of Malcolm Swan, from Bermuda island.

The idea of H+ comes from reading a lot of science fiction. He got the impression that some of the writers of science fiction were creating technologies that they would like to see in the future. Looking at current technology he thinks that science fiction writers have had an impact on the present day, so their writing inevitably will influence the future. Could music have the same impact? The obvious solution would be expressing the ideas with the lyrics, and while H+ believes in using words to express ideas he wanted the music to be the thing that excites the imagination.

In Haunted we can find elements typical of IDM, British Dubstep and Drum & Bass, mixed with some jazz elements, a rich album, that contain tracks involving a more phantasmal and demoniac thematic, nothing more appropriate to a label called Capiroto Records. Malcolm shows himself to be an splendid bass player in the whole album, which highlights the jazz influence on it.

Before working with H+ , Malcolm had another project called 1undred, since 2012.

New Experimental and Alternative Electronic

Today I selected four different tracks to share with you. Most of them can be considered experimental or in the field of alternative electronic music, with one exception, being more organic or acoustic, but still in the alternative side of music. With no further ado, here’s the list:

  1. O Future – VOYEUR
  2. Ralph Heidel // Homo Ludens – Sweet Dark Moves
  3. Sen Zhi – Give It Up (Music Video)
  4. KERA – Bright Future Ahead (ft. Devendra Banhart)

O Future – VOYEUR

This song is exactly as the title suggests about getting pleasure from watching, viewing unblinking in the corner. Looking through the keyhole at other people.

This modern life is all about looking at other people. Other people’s vanity is our global turn on. This is all at once terrifying, cold, alien, sad and incredibly dystopian spiked- multi/verse sexy.

Featured here earlier with Stay and Smell You, the duo from Los Angeles formed by Katherine Mills and Jens, O Future, is back with VOYEUR. Though they opt for odd metaphoric cover arts, their music is intense, bright, danceable, full of energy and authenticity. Always playing with today’s vanity fair. If there’s something I can assure about this duo is their originality. Voyeur has been added to Synths of Eden.

Ralph Heidel // Homo Ludens – Sweet Dark Moves

The next track comes from Germany, by Ralph Heidel, composer, saxophonist, highly influenced by jazz. According to his bio, besides being a composer that has been academically studying music in Munich Musikhochschule, he is also considered a remarkable performer, performing at XJAZZ festival Berlin 2018. You can understand the description while listening the song, Ralph is a 25 years old genius, with stunning compositional skills. He takes modern electronic music with jazz and classic textures into the next level. The track starts soft, with energetic beats, but smooth and ends in one epic explosion. Doing justice for its title. Homo Ludens is a 7 piece ensemble. Sweet Dark Moves has been released as a single by Kryptox, but an album is expected for 5th of April, entitled Moments of Ressonance. It has been featured in our playlist Synths of Eden.

Sen Zhi – Give It Up

A great music video makes all the difference on the experience of listening to a song. Give It Up by San Zhi is not only a great track but also a great music video. It has an Asian feeling, as much as the band’s name, given after the mysteriously cursed Pod City designed in the late 70s in Taiwan. Initially a duo formed by Suraya from Alexandria, Egypt and Peter (Dennis) Howarth-Brown from Bournemouth that met in the University, while studying music in London, they later expanded after meeting keyboard player Patrick-Fraser Stansbie and guitarist Mat Hart. They also released another single recently, Bloodlines, embedded bellow. Give It Up has been added to our playlist Synths of Eden.

KERA – Bright Future Ahead (ft. Devendra Banhart)

There’s no better paradoxical title than Bright Future Ahead, by LA-based KERA, featuring Devendra Banhart. A sweet track, that gives us delicate vocals, organic instruments, the usual folk style of songs that feature Devendra Banhart. Paradoxes apart, Bright Future Ahead brings us a hope sometimes we don’t have. A light on the end of the tunnel, “here we go again, ahh, uhh“. It makes me smile amidst all the chaos I read in the news. It makes me think about all the greatness of Pet Sounds by Beach Boys, also from California, and how it was mixed and produced. The zen philosophy and seeing the beauty on the small things, voices, songs like this. And maybe we have a bright future ahead of us. Added to Synths of Eden too:

Jazz: Kaos Protokoll – Story Line

Featured in Synths of Eden previously with SunRaColtraneSolar, Kaos Protokoll from Bern, Switzerland, is back here with another track, Story Line. Kaos Protokoll is a jazz band that doesn’t dare to explore tunes typical of electronic music. You will find synthesizers together with drums, bass and brass instruments, including heterodox arrangements that progresses from mellow to uplifting in a short time lapse. Story Line is part of their latest album called Everyone Nowhere, by Prolog Records. The whole album deserves to be listened, which also includes SunRaColtraneSolar as the last track. The opening track, Flash Frame, also deserves special attention. If you like good music, jazz and electronic music Everyone Nowhere is an album for you.

Check our Spotify playlist Synths of Eden for more great tracks featured here in the blog:

R&B/Jazz: Darius Christian – Spaceship (Ft. Camille Trust)

Spaceship from Darius Christian makes me think about The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe or the one done by Erykah Baduh. That jazzy style of R&B that dares to explore in the production side while provides us with great vocals. There’s a big tradition preceding Darius work. The space thematics, plus the featuring of Camille Trust has a big influence on the judgement made above.

Before Spaceship Darius has participated in America’s Got Talent, he’s been part of Tommy Hilfiger’s campaign, besides being featured on releases of Rihanna, Bastille and Ricky Martin. Currently he’s based on Brooklyn, New York.

Jazz: Greg Cordez – Last Things Last

‘Last Things Last’ explores the themes of coincidence, optimism, and the slow dissolution of a personal relationship.

Always good to listen some new jazz releases. This time we present you Greg Cordez bassist from Bristol, UK with his Last Things Last. That comes as his homonymous second album. The album was recorded in mid-winter in Brooklyn, New York. It counted with the collaboration of some improvising artists. Such as:

Kirk Knuffke, cornet
Michael Blake, saxophones
Steve Cardenas, guitar
Greg Cordez, bass
Allison Miller, drums

A big group of people was involved in the recording of Last Things Last. The album was produced by Ben Allison, engineered and mixed at Bunker Studios with Aaron Nevezie and mastered by Alex de Turk. The art cover was designed by Jamie Ellul, with a picture by photographer Dare Dukes.

Avant-Garde Jazz: Remy Morritt – Venera

The origins of the project trace to a summer night one year ago. At the end of a gig-packed week, in the middle of the set on an outdoor stage, Morritt looked down at to find one solitary ant had made its way to the interior of his base drum and was crawling up the head. Morritt continued playing. The ant kept climbing.

“Must have been loud,” was his first thought. But, the image— that dark spec slowly ascending that white circle—stayed with him. It was equal parts peace and chaos, a brave but lonely act. There was beauty there.

At a transition period in his own personal and professional life, and having established himself as something of a rising star in Seattle’s experimental music scene, Morritt decided the time had come for him to emulate that speck on his bass drum. He’d compose an album. He’d release it himself.

Remy Morritt with his album The Ant, provides us with an avant-garde jazz, Frank Zappa style. The whole album was recorded in Hazy Bay Studio in South Park, Seattle. All songs were composed by Remy Morritt and counted with the collaboration of Alex Oliverio in the electric guitar, Andrew Lihudis in the electric bass, Daniel Salka in the keys and Levi Gillis in the saxophone. Six tracks that not only sound original in its composition, but also gives us a feeling of relaxation and joy. Released 26th August.

Art by Jocelyn Beausire 

Venera is the second track of The Ant, that stars with a syncopated Rhodes line layered with guitar effects and cyclical chord changes. Its title is inspired by the Russian Venera missions to the wondrously volatile and hostile planet Venus.

Jazz: Àbáse – Skeme Goes All City

Skeme Goes All City by Àbáse is the newest jazz track featured in Synths of Eden.

‘Skeme Goes All City’ is a dedication to the New York graffiti pioneer Skeme and the power of self expression in Hip Hop culture. We wrote and recorded the track in one improvised studio session in the oldschool way, all the musicians in the same room, no headphones, no chance for correcting mistakes or editing. Raw.” – Àbáse

Also available for streaming in Soundcloud. It has an amazing art cover by Fabian Kretz. Àbáse is a project organised by Budapest born keyboardist Szabolcs Bognar that organised a collaborative project with other artists.

Their debut project has 7 tracks, being Skeme Goes All City one of them. It’s the newest feature of Chilling in Eden

Electronic Afro-Jazz: Kalaha – Dragon Jenny

This track is an exploration of African rhythms and the use of instrumentals providing a jazzy yet electronic tune. Indeed an original material, coming from Kalaha and their new release Dragon Jenny. The band consists of two electronic musicians (Rumpistol & Spejderrobot) and two live instrumentalists Niclas Knudsen & Emil de Waal, from Denmark.

It’s an impressive 6:07 that reminds a live experience, of a jam session of well skilled musicians, without loosing all the emotion and feeling of music. It’s a reaffirmation of the fact that all music have their roots in West Africa. With Dragon Jenny, the band allows itself to combine the African inspiration together with traditional electronic music with synthesizers, such as the keyboards, summed by electric guitar and rhythms.

The band has previous albums Massala (2016) and Hahaha (2014). So there’s a lot of good music by Kahala, I personally recommend Massala for a first listener. Their forthcoming album has been announced and will be called Mandala, to come out this second half of the year.

They also have some music videos, such as BWW (such a lysergic experience):

This is a new feature for our Spotify Playlist – Synths of Eden

Avant-Garde/Jazz: Kaos Protokoll – SunRaColtraneSolar (Feat. Mr.Are.Dot)

The track is a lysergic narrative about SunRa and Coltrane, that turns out to be as trippier as it can be while it lasts for 5:30. It intercalates voice with keys, synthesizers, Rhodes and bass.

Kaos Protokoll is a band from Bern, Switzerland and SunRaColtraneSolar features Mr.Are.Dot. The track has been released today by Prolog Records. Their sound is marked by a blend of jazz and electronic music elements that hardly fit any music genre I’ve been acquainted with. Therefore, we add that label “jazz/avant-garde” just to make sure it’s not highly commercial and it’s not crazy enough to be labelled ‘experimental’ as there are some jazz elements in the middle, which bring the clear reference to SunRa and Coltrane. In a nutshell, the track is a superb combination of narrative, drums and jazz instrumentals combined with synthesizers and definitely cannot go unnoticed in this blog.

For a small sample of Kaos Protokoll live performance, check the video of New Chapter:

Kaos Protokoll is:

Simon Spiess (Sax/basskl.)
Luzius Schuler (Rhodes, Synths)
Flo Reichle (Drums, Electronics)
Benedikt Wieland (Bass, Synth)

SunRaColtraneSolar will be part of their new forthcoming EP, named New Chapter.

New Music: Christopher Giffard – Talk to Me

“I’m glad it’s over, to be honest. This thing has been a labour of love and a veritable chapter in my life, but there’s only so long you can work on something and expect it to improve.” Christopher Giffard.

Another track that flirts with pop, yet allows itself to provide us experimental sounds and makes us enjoy music outside the box imposed by the industry’s aesthetics. Though its press release mentioned it being influenced by Flying Lotus, for my ears it sounded way more like a Hot Chip.

Not all the music produced to the perfection level will achieve, as much as there are many track recorded and produced in a few hours with great results. Though it served as push Sydney based artists Christopher Giffard to present a great work with Talk to Me. A blend of percussive jazz piano, dreamy vocals and washy drums. It’s a complex track lyrically simple, it express the powerlessness felt when a loved one struggles to express his or her feelings or accept help from his/her partner.

The track is a collective work, featuring keyboardist Glenn Sarangapany (Birds of Tokyo) and drummer Michael Hardy. It was recorded and produced in collaboration with engineer Nathan Sheeny. This group collaboration happened in Glenn’s vintage studio Electric Sheep Music. The track has been sketched for over an year, showing that productivity meant less than final quality. Before that, there was a mountain of discarded takes in studio.

An interesting fact is that Christopher started making music first in computer to only afterwards get into jazz and piano composition, he claims to be involved by a feeling way more than by a genre itself.

You can stream it Talk to Me by Spotify.