Synthwave in Eden: Jowie Schulner – Sunset Chase

This synthwave track from Jowie Schulner comes from Netherlands, it’s called Sunset Chase, with all the best elements of a synthwave, that old school synthesizers full of finely composed melodies, plus marked bass lines, that are completed with snare and drums, with a few variations.

In the land of labels such as Armada Music, with Armin van Buuren’s trance,  the commercial EDM from Spinnin‘ records or the more aggressive hardstyle, there were not many people doing synthwave or dreamwave as he calls it back in 2010 when he started.  So it makes Jowie a Dutch pioneer of synthwave. The track is part of an album called The Land of Hope, available for download in Bandcamp, as much as in streaming.

Check our Synthwave in Eden playlist for more pioneers of synthwave in different countries of the world:

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:

Nu-Breaks: Exo Moda – Peyote in the Desert (ft. JoyAimee)

Having some peyote from the desert should not be a easy experience, probably enlightening, but for sure it will not be by the easy way. Dutch producer Exo Moda before releasing Noise Core 2000 produced in the best blend with drum and bass, Peyote in the Desert, featuring the energetic vocals from JoyAimee. As mentioned previously here in this blog, if you like artists such as Prodigy, you’ll like the works of Exo Moda, for sure. Though Exo Moda himself has a more dance and hip-hop styles, blending other genres with the more heavy old school UK drum and bass style.

Plus, another great artwork for a single. As mentioned earlier, his aim is to make music “with hallucinatory visuals that will make you want to gouge your eyes out”.

Exo Moda is currently working in his debut album.

His newest release Vulture’s Eye has been just and is being featured in our Spotify playlist, Synths of Eden, together with Peyote in the Desert.

Lo-Fi: Shook – Wind On The Water

This track will be featured in our lo-fi playlist Chilling in Eden, click to listen it and follow for more.

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.

Shook is Jasper, a Dutch artist, and his latest single just came out this 24th April. It is the first single of an upcoming album, Bicycle Ride, expected for June, 2018. The album is already available for pre-order in Bandcamp. Meanwhile you can listen his earlier tracks in Spotify.

Lo-Fi: Sebastian Kamae – Dust

Another track that will be featured this week in our Spotify playlist Chilling in Eden, this time Sebastian Kamae (Pin de Jong) and his Dust. An artist from the same country this blog is based in, the Netherlands.

The track is chill, with jazzy grooves, very melodic, with several different textures of bright synthesizers. For sure Sebastian Kamae is highly influenced by hip-hop and the beatmaking scene, as much as for the artists featured here earlier on.

You can also check his Bandcamp page.

 

Exo Moda – Noise Core 2000 (ft. MADic)

If you like Prodigy this track will make you happy, as the band is a big influence for Exo Moda and their production. Noise Core 2000 is an aggressive track, yet youthful, danceable and will give you that extra energy that coffee is not providing you any longer after a busy working day. The track also counts with the participation of New York based rapper MADic.

The track came out 6th April as Exo Moda‘s second single of his forthcoming debut album. The artist has been working on his album for the past 2 years. Most of his inspiration comes from 90s UK music, such as The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and Massive Attack. All of this summed by underground rap vocals, such as the one provided by MADic in this track.

Plus, Exo Moda shares his music with interesting graphic design, featuring motorcycle cartoons, bong and beer bottles/cans.

Ambient-Pop: Imre Elzer – WE’VE BEEN HERE FOR A WHILE

Nice chord progressions and touchy vocals. As I always write in this blog, there are no limits to the invention of new sub-genres. With Imre Elzer and his WE’VE BEEN HERE FOR A WHILE, producer/songwriter based in the pretty Nijmegen, here in the Netherlands, we come across what can be called Ambient-Pop, this is traditional dance music, with long synth pads, four the floor beats and a mellow vocal, that is a great match for a comfortable, yet melancholic rainy afternoon, as much as it is perfect for an underground night club, in the lounge dance-floor, full of drunk people that is enjoying the night for so long so much and cannot go back home with so many nice songs, so they say “we’ve been here for a while”.

The track is part of the album Pommes Car, recently self-released, it deserves to be fully listened if you like that track, soon to be added in Chilling in Eden.

You can also check his Bandcamp page: https://imreelzerofficial.bandcamp.com/

New Music: Origin ST – Manchester (2018)

Manchester, by Origin ST (formerly Origin Soundtrack) explores electronic music with a big influence of other more atmospheric artists such as Sigur Rós. It has been classified as ‘deep ambient techno’ by this multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer from UK, based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  He plans to have a busy 2018 with new releases, such as Manchester and Antwerp.

The track mixes low tunes with glitch drums and high pads that create a certain ambient foggy vibe. This is for sure a contemporary ambient track that is worth being listened to. It starts very mellow and intensively builds up at around 4 minutes with different synthesizers and glitch drums.

You can stream his tracks in Soundcloud and Spotify. You can also follow him in Twitter (bellow), to keep updated about his newest releases.

Album Review: Drifting Memories (2014) – Brainvoyager

The name tells everything by itself. Brainvoyager, artistic name of Jos Verboven, brings you to a travel on your innerself. Very much alike the synths from Franz Zwartjes tapes mentioned here before. Brainvoyager is also a Dutch producer who brings atmospheric vocals and beats to Synths that make you travel without leaving your current location. His work is influenced by artists such as Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre which he watched many years before starting to make his own music.

Drifting Memories is his third album from 2014 that came to me on Spotify as a  surprise, it contains 4 tracks, all of them bigger than 15 minutes. In total, Drifting Memories has 80 minutes of travel through the world of synthesizers and electronic music. Plus great drum machines. It is ambient music, chill out or downtempo. But it doesn’t make you bored for one single minute, this album has an involving pace, progressing from quieter to more energic vibes in a few minutes, adding exotic vocals and sequences that make your brain tickles on a very pleasant way. Jos seems to be not only very familiar with electronic music, but he is also a great composer and arranger. It is the old school style of electronic music with a contemporary touch.

He has been active since 2012, having songs with four on the floor beats, such as Mesmerize, from his 2013 Compilation. Moreover, Brainvoyager has explored applying his music to videos and choreography, such as a Touch of Oblivion from 2017 below.

It is possible to check more of his songs on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Also, follow him on Twitter to keep updated about his new works.

Nicolas Jaar’s Playlist, Fairuz and Franz Zwartjes’ Tapes

By the end of 2017 Nicolas Jaar published on his social media a very personal 41 tracks Spotify playlist called Les Monades a Mère, including a big variety of genres and artists, including folk songs (like the Lebanese singer Fairuz), electronic, jazz, experimental (including Japanoise) and glitch. The notability of this Chilean music producer, mixing engineer and DJ (no longer based in NY) made the Playlist grow to 8.889 followers after a few days (data from 5th January, 2018). The fact that Nicolas Jaar curated and shared this playlist have made most of those before unknown songs for many people currently popular according to Spotify’s index of popularity.

However, what stroke me the most by listening to that playlist was the work of an artist called Franz Zwartjes, before marked as <1000 listeners on Spotify, now reaches almost 9000 listeners. After have been living in the Netherlands for a while, I could immediately understand Dutch speaking voices sampled with notable 60s synthesizer tunes. Franz Zwartjes Tapes 1 include 2 tracks, both of them with around 14 minutes, first is called Pt.1 and second Pt.2, as simple as that. The sound is very experimental and after decades it can still sound very contemporary when it comes to the analog vibes of synths and samples used by modern ways of recording and producing.

Franz Zwartjes was a Dutch film director (recently deceased in 18th November, 2017)  and those tapes represent his first ever recordings from his personal archive. Listening to those tracks can recall dreamy lysergic trips, which is very similar to his way of doing experimental cinema.  His artworks come from 1968 and were edited, directed and produced by himself. His last work was in 1991. But more importantly was that he also created and improvised the soundtracks that are contained in those tapes. Those tapes were collected and mixed by Franz Zwartjes himself and his archivist Stanley Schtinter and released on cassette a few years ago, luckily now it’s available on digital platforms, like Spotify and Youtube for a vast international audience and thanks to Nicolas Jaar for spreading this golden work with the world and his fans all around by that Spotify playlist.

RIP Franz Zwartjes, your work stays with us.