Grej is the solo project and performing pseudonym of Greg Harrison, a Canadian-based percussionist from Fredericton, NB. This is Grej's first single and video “Part 3” of the new album i/Variations. The video was choreographed /performed with dancer Mateo Galindo Torres with artist Carlos Delgado. It explores the process of expressing and absorbing rebellious actions. The work is built from traditional Colombian folk songs, which cater to the perpetual rhythmic layers. This eventually gets swallowed by waves of synth and bowed metal objects - the thematic motif of the album. The album is a four part project where each musical work navigates through a physical and emotive journey that features manipulated cymbals and a Roland Juno synthesizer.
autoclub's musical aspirations began early. "My parents handed me a cheap guitar when I was seven years old. No lessons or anything, they just gave me the instrument to explore. I am so grateful for this, as I imagine that maybe if my parents had pushed me to take lessons first thing, I may not have been so open to the instrument. As you may have guessed, the guitar and I became quick friends and I spent a lot of my time noodling and figuring out my own chords. I didn't write my first real song that had a structure to it until I was 15 and used chords that I taught myself by ear from popular songs I was listening to at the time."
autoclub will be releasing two new singles within the next month, in addition to "Bring You Back", which follows up the single "Cat". I don't want to reveal too much about the songs themselves, but I will say recording them was some of the most fun I've had," autoclub says. "On the surface, someone listening might think, "Sure, this is a nice groove" but there is so much more recorded in the tracks that you could pick out by listening to the songs more than once. I'm talking about funky staccato guitar riffs, underlying vocalizations, and weird sounds made with odd instruments. I truly hope someone out there listening enjoys the songs as much as I enjoyed recording them."
New Jersey's Blood Cultures conjures majestic pop fireballs and zaps your senses with dreamy, summery synth sounds evident in the debut album release "Happy Birthday." Washed Out's ethereal vocals meets Neon Indian's fuzzed out synth sounds in the 12-track release that's so far seen the success of singles including "Indian Summer," "Moon," and "Detroit."
"Happy Birthday" is officially out tomorrow and be sure to catch Blood Cultures' debut live performance at Rough Trade NYC on August 9th.
Psychonavigation Records founder, Keith Downey returns with his latest musical offering, Buddha Bowl. Under the guise of No Mask Effect, the prolific Downey has just released his fifth project in under two years through Psychonavigation Records.
The album opens with “Be Good To Us”, a diverse mix of industrial complex beats, electronic and Afro-Caribbean inspired vocal snippets alongside an ear worm of a saxophone groove. On “Siren” the mood shifts with a lush sea of sound drifting from the speakers. A sinister yet tranquil string melody lurks beneath the audio waves, eventually emerging to create a beautiful piece of effortless ambient.
Meanwhile the mysterious bells, chimes and subtle, pulsing rhythm of “Hidden Surprises” takes Downey's long time love of Ambient music to new territory. With chattering electronic beeps and bleeps, celestial vocal samples and an ultrasound inspired bassline that is both intriguing and unexpected.
“Dark Emotion” however, reveals itself to be more enigmatic rather than pessimistic. An eight minute sensatory expedition of obscure samples both organic and electronic, nature sounds, glorious synths spiraling electronic loops are all included in the production. Music for headphones, this track's intricacies can only unfold with repeated listens.
With what is undoubtedly his most accomplished and eclectic collection to date, Buddha Bowl should satisfy long time No Mask Effect fans while exposing his unique sound to many new listeners.
Ali Murray is an ethereal folk songwriter/musician from the cold isle of Lewis in the north of Scotland. He writes dark atmospheric folk music with lush sweeping dreamy soundscapes and Celtic-twinged instrumentation. His new album LAND OF EVERGONE strikes a balance that is intimate and soaring, peaceful and haunting, sad and quietly joyful, delicately reverberating with Murray's dreamy voice and guitar playing.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.