Sunday Morning Medicine: synthwave, dreampop & deep house to bliss out to

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Sunday Morning Medicine is an eclectic playlist for the chill at heart. Curated weekly, chillers of divergent tastes Alexandra Blair and Michael Cooper bring you a selection of tracks to relax to. Our editorial feature highlights the cream of the crop, but you can follow the official playlist on Spotify

At the top of the deck for me this week is a melancholic offering from Christian Löffler‘s incredible second studio offering Mare. In many ways, the Mohna featuring “Haul” represents the best of the album—at once gloomy and optimistic, sparkling with an organic effervescence, and layered with an endlessly repeatable texture.

The track sees Löffler build a nuanced soundscape out of tediously tweaked samples over a solid deep house framework in what has become his signature style. Impressively, many of the sounds used to create the album were field recordings from a retreat the producer made to a coastal cabin near the Baltic Sea where much of Mare was conceived.

 

Body of Light’s “Light Is Gone” is a standout from the group’s 2013 LP Volanta Di Amore. The restrained, almost unfeeling vocal betrays the core of the track which pulses with a melancholic romanticism. This atmospheric offering flexes in the space between our narrator’s yearning and his seemingly unshakable sense of inevitable disappointment.

Perhaps it’s telling that the track ends in an ascendant, almost hopeful synth progression. Then again, a full listen of the LP sends this gorgeous tangle right into the supremely sinister gothic-inspired sound waves of “Watch Your Back,” so maybe not.

 

The Blaze, cousins and producers Jonathan and Guillaume Alric, have gained a serious cult following for their genre-defying and often cinematic music. “Territory” is one of the duo’s finest works to date with a captivating narrative video and a song that fully embodies the term ‘slow burn.’  The track’s synths at times nod to French electro—particularly around the halfway mark—but the track’s overall ambiance subverts expectations with spare deep house melodies, subterranean interludes, and a syrupy-slow, pitched down vocal hook.

While their hypnotic videos feel integral to contextualizing their music, “Territory” is a beguiling effort that holds up through endless repeat plays.

 

Los Angeles based duo Ardency seem to turn everything they touch into a lush, synthy dreamscape and “I Saw The End” is one such gem from their latest EP Honeymoon. Crisp vocal phrasing slices through the track’s wavy atmosphere, a duality echoed in the visceral lyrics—like when our narrator’s companion lurches out of reach, before turning back for one final disclosure.  Shimmering, ambient sounds cushion the titular, gut-wrenching end times which, in Ardency’s expert hands, is somehow equal parts gorgeous and devastating.

 

Stream the official Sunday Morning Medicine playlist below and hit follow on Spotify for updates in real time.


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Ascend to an alternate dimension with Tycho’s uber chill two-hour Burning Man sunrise set

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Each and every artistic endeavor from the San Francisco-based designer and producer Scott Hansen is an effervescent effort, each more nuanced and meticulously crafted than the artist’s previous pursual. As Tycho, Hansen’s built a curatorial empire. From carefully curated sun-drenched captures on Instagram, to his design work, let alone his renowned and spiritually renewing sets at festivals around the world, Hansen’s artistic outpouring is a celebration of minimalistic beauty at its finest. For the artist, to live to is create.

Tens of thousands of Burners poured into the Black Rock Desert this year in a celebration of art, music, creativity, and community where Tycho set forth to delve into one of his most soothing sets to date. On the fifth day of Burning Man, Aug. 31, he took The Dusty Rhino for a dreamy ride into the sunrise, gliding from one track to the next in his seemingly effortless, archetypal approach.

Tycho’s set allows its listener to ascend to an alternate dimension within its two hour playtime. While it’s filled with Hansen’s own work, including “Awake” and “Epoch,” as well as many other tracks off the LPs, Hansen seamlessly weaves chillwave outliers throughout.

Listeners can hear artists like Caribou, Kidnap Kid, or The Bamboos all weaved into a cohesive two-hour stream. It’s clear Tycho and his audience ascended to alternate spaces this burn, in a culmination of tunes like these, it’s also likely this set will live high in a register of memorable life experiences among all who experienced it.

Even Tycho went so far as to call it his, “absolute favorite morning of all time” on SoundCloud.

Tracklist:

Sensations’ Fix – Acudreaming
Tycho – Sunrise Projector
Tycho – Ascension
Home – Resonance
Tycho – Continuum
Boards Of Canada – Kaini Industries
Dorisburg – Votiv
Rival Consoles – Ghostin
Boards Of Canada – Wildlife Analysis
Jonny L – Tychonic Cycle
Luke Abbott – Modern Driveway
George Fitzgerald – Your Two Faces
16 Bit Lolitas – Peninsula
Weval – I Don’t Need It
Kidnap Kid – Birds That Fly
Jimpster – Porchlight And Rocking Chairs (KiNK Remix)
Weval – You Made It
Tycho – Epoch
Tycho – Dye
Boards Of Canada – Corsair
<<< Sunrise (Cloud Obscured) >>>
Tycho – Awake
Home – Above All
Tycho – Horizon
<<< Sun Visible >>>
Caribou – Can’t Do Without You (Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix)
16 Bit Lolitas – Not The Only One
Robert Babicz – Where Are You (Aparde Remix)
Tycho – Slack
Joon Moon – Chess
Tycho – Daydream
The Bamboos – The Wilhelm Scream

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Stream ODESZA’s ‘Bedtime Mix’ for BBC Radio 1

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A little over a month remains until September 8, the release date ODESZA‘s third LP project, A Moment Apart.

Rest assured too that the boys, Clay and Harrison, are not resting lightly on amping up its release — with several tracks being teased over the last month, a special live online fan Q&A, and a stunning Red Rocks performance featuring much of their new album material. The album will feature the mellifluous vocals of Leon BridgesRegina Spektor and RY X.

Most recently, the Seattle-based duo has taken their indie-electronica talents to the behind the decks of BBC Radio 1 for a laid-back collection of tunes for the ‘Bedtime Mix’ with Phil Taggart.

In a humble move, the guys of ODESZA opt not to necessarily use the BBC Mix as a platform to show off their album material but, more so, to broadcast their acute, eclectic musical tastes. The product is a seamless and sumptuous acoustic journey through sonic time, taking you on a dreamlike pilgrimage through a track list that includes Air’s “Alone in Kyoto,” Gidge’s “Huldra,” and Odd Nosdam’s “Ethereal Slap.”

Listen to ODESZA’s ‘Bedtime Mix’ here.

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Premiere: Frameworks – Kings (Original Mix)

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Manchester-based performer and producer Frameworks is has shared the second piece from his forthcoming album. “Kings” is the titular single from the instrumental artist’s atmospheric downtempo LP, which is set for release later this summer via  Emancipator‘s imprint Loci Records.

Signaling itself an ambient labor of love, “Kings” harpoons back to the lush, symphonic compositions that make up Matthew James Brewer’s sonic catalog. The entire track is littered with subtle complexities — delicate strings, pulsating bass lines, and thrilling vocals — which showcase Frameworks’ adeptness for pulling together indie electronica and jazzy hip-hop into one stunning dialogue that is simultaneously sorrowful and hopeful.

“Kings” follows Frameworks’ remix of Tor’s “Vaults,” a fellow Loci label mate who will be touring together this summer along with other Loci artists. Alongside this tour, Frameworks is also slated to hit two large International festivals this August, Shambhala and Oregon Eclipse.

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Beacon breathes new life into Tycho’s ‘See’ with first-ever vocals

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San Francisco-bred artist and designer Tycho is always in the mood for unique surprises. Fresh off the release of his stunning Coachella set at the Do Lab and his cinematic Epoch album in 2016, the artist has put forth another fortuitous gift.

The ambient musical project known as Tycho, or the brainchild of Scott Hansen, has always showcased instrumental melodies, with vintage-style synthesizers and organic sounds of the human element. Today, June 8, marks the first time that Tycho has featured vocalists on one of his tracks, with New York-based duo, Beacon updating “See,” initially featured on Hansen’s fourth studio album, Awake.

Read more about how their collaborative process was birthed, via Tycho’s upload to YouTube.

“The story of ‘See’ is metamorphic. The track emerged instrumentally — as per Tycho’s characteristic output — on the 2014 LP Awake. Months later it was remixed into a bubbling pop song by New York duo Beacon. 2017 brought the next phase, as Beacon’s Thomas Mullarney III joined Tycho at Coachella to perform ‘See’ (the first time the band has ever featured a vocalist). Now “See” has reached its final stage, re-recorded as a proper collaboration. Tycho touchstones abound, swirling melodies, stuttering percussion, lifted by a voice in flight.”

Tickets and tour information are available here.

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Cashmere Cat invites fans to submit music for his next mix

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Forget representation, social media following, or booking gigs. Garage, house, and future bass connoisseur Cashmere Cat has invited fans to submit their music to him so that he can feature it in his next mix. In his social media posts announcing the offer, the Norwegian artist states, “I am making a new mix. I want to make new music. Send me yours? Catwithacrush99@gmail.com.”

For any producers trying to break into the electronic music scene, this is a great opportunity. This is also a great opportunity for music lovers to discover music by new and undiscovered talent. Cashmere Cats is killing two birds with one stone, and we are excited to hear what is in store!

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Xan Griffin – Gemini (ft. WILD) [Free Download]

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Like most SoundCloud-developed acts, Xan Griffin began his conquest as a producer flipping popular dance tracks in an attempt to showcase his artistic sound through a familiar vice. With remixes of The Chainsmokers, Marshmello, and Ookay as well as a number of originals accumulation hundreds of thousands of plays, the California beatsmith’s sonic aesthetic pulls upon the ethereal synth colors of artists like Porter Robinson with a harder foundation similar to Seven Lions.

His first single in almost half a year, “Gemini,” is truly an impactful return. Quickly heightening the opening, gliding melodies with thunderous percussion, Xan Griffin shines in his ability to create a sonic atmosphere that is grandiose yet uplifting in its emotional weight that many producers struggle to capture.

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ODESZA teases another new track off their forthcoming album [Watch]

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Nearly one month after ODESZA released two new tracks off their forthcoming album, the ethereal bass music duo recently kicked off their summer concert/festival run to mostly sold out venues across the globe. The Seattle-based producers gave fans another new track ID at their Summerfield stop in Boise, Idaho. Thanks to Festival Squad, fans of ODESZA are now able to give the ID a listen for themselves.

The track exemplifies ODESZA’s signature sound, with it’s startling dream-pop synths, soaring vocals, addictive drums and fathoms-deep bass. And it’s about time, too, since their fan following have begun growing quite restless over the band’s lack of new material since their album Into The Sun was released almost two years ago. Expect to hear a whole plethora of new material next weekend at their second annual Red Rocks show, which sold out in a matter of hours. The dream-pop duo will not have another live appearance until Electric Forest, June 23-26, 2017.

View ODESZA’s remaining 2017 tour stops here.

H/T: Festival Squad

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Tiga, DC Breaks, MK contribute to London Grammar’s new remix EP

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When London Grammar was formed in a university dorm room back in 2009, little did the trio know they would become one of electronic music’s favorite “neo-progressive” acts. In addition to their debut album If You Wait, which received global critical praise, the three have received remix treatments from SashaRAC, and Jonas Rathsman.

With the soaring vocals of Hannah Reid, the melancholy guitar of Dan Rothman, and Dominic ‘Dot’ Major’s classical piano, the trio’s sound blends together ambient and ethereal into clean, minimalist productions that stand as the perfect raw material to be remixed into any genre. Now the band has shared their latest remix EP of “Oh Woman Oh Man,” which enlists the help of some of electronic music’s greatest producers. Tiga gives the track a complex, hypnotic techno spin that clocks in at over 8 minutes, DC Breaks rearranges the composition with long build-ups and drum n bass releases, and MK brings to the track a progressive flare.

London Grammar’s sophomore album, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, is out June 9th on Metal & Dust/Columbia Records.

 

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Bonobo shows growth and skill and on the promising ‘Migration’ [Album Review]

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There’s a common series of complaints leveled against electronic music- that it all sounds the same, and that it takes little skill to create. While these types of comments are enough to make those of us invested in the scene see red, one has to acknowledge that these complaints do have a undercurrent of truth to them. The possibilities and ease of use of modern DAWs have opened up the process of electronic music making to the masses; one need no longer spend years training and honing their craft to get a record contract when they can turn out radio-ready tunes with a free Soundcloud profile and a 15 minute Ableton tutorial video.

Largely, this democratization is a good thing; more opportunity means more diversity and creativity in the scene, allowing more voices to be heard. But, all too often, the same tools that are used by one producer to break barriers are used by others as a crutch, a way to fill the space where talent and vision should reside. Thankfully, if there’s one thing that Bonobo has demonstrated over the course of his nearly 20-year career, it’s that he is, without a doubt, in the former category. The electronica producer, real name Simon Green, is one of the brilliant minority of producers that is always moving forward, and always pushing his sound in new and interesting ways. Green’s latest album, Migration, show no signs of slowing down.

Migration is Bonobo’s sixth LP, and with that kind of career, most artists would be content to rest on their laurels, to settle on the sound that made them popular and resist change. But Bonobo has steadfastly refused to be complacent, and on his newest album, his style has evolved to its most tightly-coiled and intelligent form yet. A truly innovative producer, Green treats all of sound as his instrument, and he plays it with a confident, refreshing virtuosity.

The title track opens the album with gentle piano notes the rise out from a bed of colorful evolving textures, filling out with layers of vocals chops and gleaming cymbal hits and eventually growing into a radiant, ambient beat that wouldn’t be out of place on Tycho’s Epoch. “Kerala” takes simple harp and vocal samples and plays them backwards and forewords on top of each other to otherworldly effect. Even when the album overplays its hand, like on the overstuffed 8-minute odyssey “Outlier,” the result is never boring. A bit distracting and noisy, perhaps, but always changing, always moving.

The guest vocalists on the album manage to be effective and impactful without drawing attention from the main attraction. Rhye’s Milosh is airy and serene on “Break Apart,” while Hundred Waters’ Nicole Miglis is the perfect addition to the dreamy, echoing “Surface.” Even the newly christened Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker) brings a delicacy and affect to “No Reason” that he often reaches for on his own songs, without giving in to the melodrama that occasionally plagues his solo work.

As consistently interesting and technically compelling as Migration is, it isn’t perfect, at times seemingly afraid to be as adventurous as it would like. The best parts of the album are those when it embraces its weirdness, and branches out eagerly into peculiarity. The delightfully off-kilter “Grains” comes to mind, which opens with a stuttering chorus of modulated vocal cuts, and builds tension with distorted strings and halting, irregular percussion. It’s a strange song, engrossing and exciting precisely because it’s so different.

“Bambo Koyo Ganda,” likewise makes the unusual marriage of Moroccan gnawa music and a funky house beat an infectious success, and the album’s highpoint, “Ontario,” manages to bring together a lush chords, skittering drum rolls, buzzing sound effects, and a sitar melody into one congruent, delirious soundscape. But even at its most nonsensical, Migration feels slightly tempered, a bit restrained. Its sonic experiments, its departures from convention, are what make this album interesting, and one is left wishing that it had embraced this more, that it had taken more risks, and jumped head first into the bizarre, kaleidoscopic vision it hints at in its best moments.

But these complaints are relatively minor, and perhaps particular to the listener. There are no real weak spots on the album, just places for improvement, and the sheer technical scope of it is admirable in and of itself. Migration is Bonobo at the height of his powers, the culmination of a long careers worth of progress, success, and evolution. It’s a vivd and complete album, well thought out and executed with style. Not even the harshest of critics could say that it is unoriginal or unimpressive, and we cannot wait to see what Bonobo does next.

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