Actress was born for the stage, announces North American dates with Nicolas Jaar and Telefon Tel Aviv to prove it

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Hark! Forget all those vocaloids and Tupac holograms, everybody — because the next stage in the Future of Live Performance™ is upon us with Actress’ newly announced fall tour!

The new string of dates (which follows a summer U.S. tour that we won’t talk about because we’re all about THE FUTURE here) will take the producer through the US — as well as a few fleeting dalliances across the Canadian border — as he debuts a brand new live A/V set featuring two “AI performers” and “a special appearance from Actress’ ‘Chrome Man’ figure on keyboard.” But enough of this impenetrable technical jargon. All you lay people need to know is that there’s lots of STATE-OF-THE-ART TECH and WHOZITS and WHATZITS going on behind the scenes to make the performance as groundbreaking and forward-thinking as, I don’t know, Blade Runner 2049 (I haven’t seen it yet, guys; so no spoilers!). The tour will also feature shows with similarly-minded futurist luminaries Nicolas Jaar and Telefon Tel Aviv, which is, you know, “nice”.

So, if you have an eye for tech and ear for electronic music (or you just really liked Actress’ most recent album, AZD) and you happen to call one of those big colorful areas in the top left quadrant of that old framed map in your grandparents’ basement home, then check out the full list of dates below and, like, buy tickets and stuff! In either case, until next time: I’ll see you…in the FUTUREEEE!!

Actress Tours Soon-To-Be Dystopian Urban Wastelands 2017:

10.11.17 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall *
10.12.17 – Montreal, QC – Olympia *
10.13.17 – Miami, FL – III Points Festival
10.17.17 – Los Angeles, CA – UNION
10.18.17 – San Francisco, CA – Grey Area
10.19.17 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel *
10.20.17 – Troy, NY – EMPAC
10.21.17 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bazaar
11.30.17 – Dallas, TX – Dada ^
12.01.17 – Austin, TX – Barracuda ^
12.02.17 – Houston, TX – Walters ^

* Nicolas Jaar
^ Telefon Tel Aviv

Helena Hauff announces new EP out Oct. 27, shares hard-hitting techno ‘Gift’

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Hamburg’s Helena Hauff has skyrocketed in the global techno and electro reigns over last two years by way of her clear-cut craft and exceptional curation behind the decks.

After a catapult into the limelight through her transcendent BBC Radio 1 Residency and debut BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, she followed up with a legendary B2B set with Ben UFO at Sonar 2017. As if that’s not already impressive enough, she’s also graced the covers of Crack Magazine, DJ Mag, and earned herself a deserved ranking in Mixmag’s Top 20 DJs of 2016.

Indeed, Hauff will only continue to make waves in a multitude of techno realms throughout the year. Now she’s announced a brand new EP — Have You Been There, Have You Seen It — out on Ninja Tune Oct. 27.

Recorded at her studio in Hamburg, the new EP finds Hauff in magnificent form. She transcends her previous space of creation, by way of a muscular and overtly shadowy analog excursion.

On her latest, “Gift,” Hauff reveals a new facet of her sonic tendencies with a more lucid, flowy deliverance than ever before. Known for her sharp, driving, and at times brooding techno numbers, “Gift” remains akin to her work while opening us up to a new side of her abilities. The track channels industrial-heavy influences, albeit in a much more nuanced manner.

Have You Been There, Have You Seen It is out on Ninja Tune Oct. 27.

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Project Pablo announces ‘Hope You’re Well’ EP out in October, shares first tune ‘Is It Dry?’

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Ninja Tune’s London-operated Technicolour imprint bolsters a bevy of dance music mainstays. Among the rising roster of its impeccable artistry is Canadian producer Project Pablo, real name Patrick Holland, who’s set to release his four-track EP, Hope You’re Well, on Oct. 20. The Montreal-based producer has built an impressive discography in recent years with a steady stream of quality releases on labels like Clone’s Royal Oak imprint, Spring Theory, and Lone’s Magicwire.

Channeling a big room sound and newfound extensive traveling, as well as the contrasting influences of his upbringing, Hope You’re Well is the artist focusing on long-form structures in his music. “Digital synthesis and clean, hi-fi production was the palette — I strayed from hooks and leaned towards intuitive melodies,” he explains. For now, Holland’s offered a peek into the forthcoming body of work on the six-minute contemplative number “Is It Dry?”

Hope You’re Well is out Oct. 20 via Technicolour and can be pre-ordered here. Listen to its first offering and view the tracklist below.

Hope You’re Well tracklist:

1. Is It Dry?
2. No Sweat
3. You Know
4. Oh Fer Sure

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Watch: Actress – “Falling Rizlas” (dir. Dean Blunt)

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1. Earlier this year, Actress released a new album.

2. The album is titled AZD.

3. Today, Actress has released a video for one of its tracks.

4. That track is titled “Falling Rizlas.”

5. The video is directed by Dean Blunt.

6. Some of the imagery references Dean Blunt’s other art.

7. Watch it above.

8. And make sure to stay for the ending.

AZD is available now via Ninja Tune. Meanwhile, the vinyl version of Wahalla, Dean Blunt’s collaboration with Joanne Robertson, is up for pre-order.

Watch: Actress – “Falling Rizlas” (dir. Dean Blunt)

This post was originally published on this site

1. Earlier this year, Actress released a new album.

2. The album is titled AZD.

3. Today, Actress has released a video for one of its tracks.

4. That track is titled “Falling Rizlas.”

5. The video is directed by Dean Blunt.

6. Some of the imagery references Dean Blunt’s other art.

7. Watch it above.

8. And make sure to stay for the ending.

AZD is available now via Ninja Tune. Meanwhile, the vinyl version of Wahalla, Dean Blunt’s collaboration with Joanne Robertson, is up for pre-order.

Bicep take their club love affair to the next level, announce self-titled debut album on Ninja Tune

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London is obviously one of the top cities in the world if you’re heavily inclined to flail-wildly-in-a-socially-acceptable-context (a.k.a. dance), which might explain why the London-based electro-duo Bicep was essentially born in a London club (following the “actual births” of Matt McBriar and Andy Fergurson from their respective mothers). The duo’s musical career essentially started 10 years ago; but before they got their hands on some worthwhile gear, they were undoubtedly attending shows headlined by the leading producers of the time (cough…Aphex, cough…Twin). So much copious research eventually led to the creation of Feelmybicep, an increasingly-popular blog dedicated to the various club tunes that have inspired them over the years. Then, the Bicep boys started an eponymous label. THEN, they started touring internationally. THEEEN they…never ever released a full-length album?!? Huh!?!

Well, that’s changing RIGHT NOW with the release their self-titled debut, courtesy of their new and amiable label sponsors, Ninja Tune (from whom you can pre-order your very own copy today). The album’s out September 1, and it’s telling that the track “Aura” (listenable in-part below) probably seems comfortingly familiar if you’ve been to a lot of DJ shows and/or listened to your fair share of electronic mixes. (The track originally went by the name “Unreleased Bicep” before the release in-question necessitated a proper title.)

Bicep is a paean to club culture from two guys who clearly have little time for much else. Maybe eating.

Bicep tracklisting:

01. Orca
02 .Glue
03. Kites
04. Vespa
05. Ayaya
06. Spring
07. Drift
08. Opal
09. Rain
10. Ayr
11. Vale
12. Aura

Daktyl – The Act of Hesitation (Original Mix)

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Daktyl has staked his claim in the dance music industry over recent years with a long series of notable successes. The Los Angeles-based producer released his bass-heavy debut album, Cyclical, in 2015 on Mad Decent, and has created a number of noteworthy remixes for artists like Flosstradamus, Autograf, Major Lazer, and ODESZA. With each release, the young artist has managed put forth a very lucid and accessible form of self-expression.

While quite notable, Daktyl’s rise in the scene has been relatively covert. After the release of his debut record, the artist returned to the studio full-time to pursue a new direction his music – a decision that would ultimately bring him to discover a newfound depth in his production. Regarding his career shift, the producer notes the following:

“I was going in a direction I wasn’t completely happy with and hesitating a lot about whether to continue down that path or try to start on the creative path I’ve wanted to be on for years.”

Daktyl’s artistic endeavors now sees its day with the announcement of his recent signing to Ninja Tune’s Counter Records imprint – a platform on which he will release his new EP, “The Act of Hesitation,” due out June 20. Alongside the announcement, the artist delivers the titular track of the project, a ruminating piece that fully encapsulates the producer’s developing realm in his music.

“The Act of Hesitation” introduces an organic sound that assesses various facets of experimental electronic music with pop and indie influences. With the help of vocalist Krrum, the track lays out a nostalgic foundation with hopeful tendencies, obtaining an alternative sonic edge that proves Daktyl is in a league of his own.

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Actress announces precious few US summer dates, including MoMa PS1 Warmup peformance, synthetic and organic hands applaud wildly!

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If I was a “reclusive, London-based, avant-garde club producer” like Actress’s Darren Cunningham, I tell you what I’d do: I’d STAY THE FUCK IN LONDON and occasionally put out new albums of avant-garde club music.

I wouldn’t leave my badass little studio…I wouldn’t leave comfy London…And I certainly leave the friggin’ U.K. entirely and head across the pond to those huge, sprawling, messy, gnarly “United States” to perform in public! (I mean, c’mon now: that’s literally the opposite of being a recluse!)

Luckily, Cunningham isn’t me. And in the wake of last month’s AZD album (out now on the Ninja Tune label, ya know), he’s apparently ALL ABOUT stepping out to warmly greet — and possibly even intimately embrace! — every last one of his legions of American fans, no matter how talkative, dirty, rabid, politically-backward, or contagious-with-pink-eye he or she might be!

Uh…except…well, he’s still not much of a “people-person,” so, when I say he’s “all about” it, I mean that he’s playing precisely four shows; one on each coast, and two in the middle of the place.

Buuuut…one of them is totally at MoMa PS1 for their “emerging artist” series WarmUp, though! Which is pretty fitting, since he’s sorta literally-emerging from his fortress of solitude to perform over here, right?! (Hey, I’m doing the best I can here.)

Anyway, look: just listen to AZD album-cut “Dancing in the Smoke” and be grateful this is happening, okay? Especially if you live anywhere near Detroit, Chicago, New York, or Seattle. Besides; I mean, everyone in this country lives kinda close to one of those places…don’t they? I said: DON’T THEY?!?

The British Invasion:

08.23.17 – Seattle, WA – Kremwerk
08.24.17 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
08.25.17 – Detroit, MI – El Club
08.26.17 – New York, NY – MoMa PS1

Music Review: Forest Swords – Compassion

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Forest Swords


[Ninja Tune; 2017]

Rating: 4/5

We’re all good people here, right? We would all upright an overturned tortoise on the side of the road, but would you succor blind Bartimaeus? When the orphans of Jerusalem ask for bread, would you break it unto them? When your promised enemy collapses in the heat, would you carry water to his lips? Are you content, tuned into the jeremiad of nightly news? Doesn’t mean we’re bad, just human.

I think of everything I have done out of spite, of every time I wielded contempt as a cudgel. Worse, perhaps, a retreat to the hardness of my days, a stony construction designed to wall-in all empathy. Not even the keening of widows outside my windows breaks through. I am not an evil person, but I am myself and they are themselves. I can find myself in any book in my library, and when the shrill, burning grind of their nails against my battlements groans through, I often try:

“A well-meaning man is one who often does a great deal of mischief without any kind of malice. He means no one any harm, if it is not for his interest. He is not a knave, nor perfectly honest. He does not easily resign a good place.”

Should we suffer together? The question might be one of capability. Breathe in and breathe out, synchronize. Thread a filament from my heart to yours. Let my blood spill in place of yours.

We find a central problem in the circulation of images. It was sometime, a while ago, when the sluice was opened, but we’re still unaccustomed to the torrent. We are fatigued by images, our sentimental organs have run themselves to failure. Empathy has ruined empathy, compassion numbed compassion.

Each new war — no more or less shocking than the last — competes with each new tragedy — as impossible to predict or prevent as the last — competes with each new outrage — equally pointless as all the rest. Violence has invaded our common vocabulary. Mutilation and death have been transformed into tropes. Our visual and auditory language is overrun with metaphors of harm and violation. The ancient Greeks might have termed ours a hubristic lexicon.

She tells us, “There isn’t going to be an ecology of images. No Committee of Guardians is going to ration horror, to keep fresh its ability to shock. And the horrors themselves are not going to abate.” The world is constituted as representation; we have only images of each other to sort, juxtapose, caption, misinterpret, corrupt, and recirculate. I can never occupy the same space as you. The needle that pierces your flesh will never remark upon my skin.

Can we suffer together? Can we make nourishment out of air? As long as we remain content in our simulations of suffering — I feel for you, I really do — we can mask ourselves in innocence and impotence, deny any part in the wrongdoing inflicted on so many, so near, and so far. That little pang is a voucher to be exchanged. I open my newspaper, a piece about photographs and about the dead, and read:

We see the list in the morning paper at breakfast, but dismiss its recollection with the coffee. There is a confused mass of names, but they are all strangers; we forget the horrible significance that dwells amid the jumble of type. […] Each of these little names that the printer struck off so lightly last night, whistling over his work, and that we speak with a clip of the tongue, represents a bleeding, mangled corpse. It is a thunderbolt that will crash into some brain — a dull, dead, remorseless weight that will fall upon some heart, straining it to breaking. […] We recognize the battle-field as a reality, but it stands as a remote one. It is like a funeral next door.

How horrible!

Susan Sontag in Regarding the Pain of Others, an essay on representations of war and suffering, writes, “Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers.” Matthew Barnes has decided to confront this challenge as Forest Swords.

Barnes has made his name by the seamlessly blending the seemingly ancient and dusty with the nonspecifically present, melding creaking acoustics with dubby thuds and club-adjacent rhythms. Cracking together freshly excavated Irby hearthstones and sampling grating strings, he throws contemporary electronic music backwards in time, reframing his pieces as pagan rituals out on the Wirral, that same wilderness where Gawain sojourned.

However, his newest work, Compassion, attempts to blur these lines further, to not seem to occupy these two spheres, but to actually confound them. A communique for our strange times, he positions his work as Forest Swords and under the Dense Truth label, as an ameliorative for the severed synapses of modernity and a way to dispel the superfluity of things.

Prompted by the stunning velocity and circulation of images in the modern world, Barnes has claimed his latest effort seeks to mediate communication and dissolve barriers by establishing fruitful ambiguities. Ancient and modern, wordless and lyrical, honest and ersatz, sacral and profane, all operate as component qualities to be mixed and manipulated, drawn together and apart, so as to create something that resists black-and-white interpretation yet demands something be said about it.

Communication is at the heart of this record, both as a document of sound and as a thing created in reality. Back in March, Barnes distributed music not through a streaming platform, but by asking people to contact him directly by phone, joining incorporeities via the medium of a messenger app. In this instance, the direct connection is secondary to the intermediation, the convolution of exposure, the experience of something as not necessarily real or fake, but instead as an indeterminate communication to be received not in excess of its content.

Barnes’s prior project, a very under-the-radar score for a performance entitled Shrine, made its subject breathe. The force of exhale and the current of inhale were set to dance about each other, rattling loose and wheezy. On Compassion, he similarly deploys voice. Voices are nigh-omnipresent, though they are never clear; aerosolized syllables eddy and accumulate into headless choruses. It’s a language of expression without content, emotive yet underdetermined. Fragments coalesce into a swarm of unknowing, blanketing the surround. “Exalter” is built out of cut-up voices layered and let loose, while “Raw Language” mixes a melancholic sax and wheedling synth line with a host of soaring syllables.

Notably, there is only one line of recognizable language on the entire album. A terse sawing arco mixes with tinkling bells and languorous thud as an impassioned, strained voice calls out in “Panic.” “I feel something’s wrong,” dusty and distant, calls out across the gulf. A canary in the coal mine or a victim of a supersaturated neurosis?

Barnes’s production feels as modernly antiquarian as ever, leaving an impression of middle tones and sepia swathes. Indeed, on Compassion, he seems as indebted to Morricone as his dub forebears. The feathery glitch of “Knife Edge” occupies those same lonesome and grand places as the finest score. Its strident piano and lachrymose strings create a simultaneous sense of isolation and splendor. As “Border Margin Barrier” shows, Barnes is able to incorporate drifting, arrhythmic textures to great effect.

There is something martial, something insistent, to Compassion. True to his aims, Barnes has created something that denies passivity. While it is unlikely to save the world, it might start a conversation, somewhere, between two people who would otherwise never have spoken. It is an attempt, and an honest one at that, to ply art toward an aim and to not rest in detachment. It wears sublimity and austerity yet remains entirely welcoming. There is an earnestness to Barnes’s latest project, a shrugging off of cynicism, and almost even an oxymoronically informed naïveté. Just engage somewhere with someone about something; that’s it, that’s all he’s asking.

Sontag writes of the modern fashion of deafness in the wake of calamity:

Citizens of modernity, consumers of violence as spectacle, adepts of proximity without risk, are schooled to be cynical about the possibility of sincerity. Some people will do anything to keep themselves from being moved. How much easier, from one’s chair far from danger, to claim the position of superiority.

I have the feeling that Sontag would despise our earlier speaker, the cynic lamenting the impossibility of connection. That voice alone in the crowd denying any sort of authentic compassion. But is sincere cynicism really generative? Are bona fide pessimisms the only corrective in a world superabundant with signification? Sontag would certainly say no, and I’m inclined to believe Barnes would join her. He said of Compassion that, at a certain point, he was no longer totally clear on which sounds were “real” and which simulated, but that does not alter at all what the record actually is. It presents itself as anxiety shouldered alongside hope, exultancy in the face of fear, and ardor in the wake of passivity.

To paraphrase a sage: to paraphrase several sages, no one can listen and strike out at the same time.

Bonobo announces new album, releases lead track ‘Kerala’

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After months of anticipation, Simon Green has officially announced the release date of the long-awaited new Bonobo LP. The widely-revered downtempo artist will be dropping Migration on January 13, 2017, his first album since his 2013’s The North Borders.

It’s become apparent over the years that Bonobo’s productions have a distinct ability to move from experiential eccentricities to appealing dancefloor rhythms with ease, and as such, Migration seems a suiting name for the artist’s forthcoming album. Bonobo himself explained the inspiration for the new LP, saying: “The study of people and spaces.” He continues, “It’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and affect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.”

On top of announcing Migration, Bonobo released the album’s enthralling lead track, titled “Kerala”, which the artist made while touring the US. Representative of Bonobo in prime form, the single is thickly layered with entrancing arpeggiated string chords that build against a catchy beat, all of which eventually arrive at a haunting vocal sample from R&B singer Brandy.

The video for “Kerala” mirrors the hypnotic style of the song, using looping effects to depict a girl frantically running in the streets from an impending meteor in what appears to be an alternate universe.

Migration will be released on Ninja Tune and is set to feature an array of diverse artists including Michael Milosh from the LA-based group Rhye, Australian producer Nick Murphy, who recently departed from his moniker Chet Faker, and the vocals of Nicole Miglis of Hundred Waters, among others.

Check out the full track list, as well as Bonobo’s upcoming 2017 Migration Live Tour dates, below. Pre-sale tickets will be available on November 7.

Find more information here.



Formats: Deluxe 2LP / 2LP / CD / Digital

1. Migration
2. Break Apart (feat. Rhye)
3. Outlier
4. Grains
5. Second Sun
6. Surface (feat. Nicole Miglis)
7. Bambro Koyo Ganda (feat. Innov Gnawa)
8. Kerala
9. Ontario
10. No Reason (feat. Nick Murphy)
11. 7th Sevens
12. Figures


15: HAMBURG, DE – Docks
16: BERLIN, DE – Columbiahalle
17: COLOGNE, DE – Live Music Hall
18: FRANKFURT, DE – Batschkapp
20: AMSTERDAM,NL – Paradiso
21: GRONINGEN, NL – Oosterpoort
22: UTRECHT, NL – TivoliVredenburg
25: LONDON, UK – O2 Academy Brixton
27: DUBLIN, IE – Vicar St.

01: LEEDS, UK – O2
02: MANCHESTER, UK – Apollo
03: GATESHEAD, UK – Sage
04: BEXHILL, UK – De La Warr Pavilion
08: PARIS, FR – Olympia
09: STRASBOURG, FR – La Laiterie
10: LYON, FR – Transbordeur
12: ZURICH, CH – Volkshaus
13: MILAN, IT – Fabrique
15: BARCELONA, ES – Razzmatazz
16: MADRID, ES – La Riviera

24: TORONTO, ON –  Danforth Music Hall
25: MONTREAL, QC – Metropolis
26: BOSTON, MA – House Of Blues
28: NEW YORK, NY – Terminal 5
29: PHILADELPHIA, PA – Electric Factory

01: WASHINGTON, DC – 9:30 Club
02: RICHMOND, VA – The National
03: ASHEVILLE, NC – Orange Peel
11: ASPEN, CO – Belly Up
12: DENVER, CO – Red Rocks
13: LAWRENCE, KS – Granada Theater
15: COLUMBIA, MO – Blue Note
16: ST LOUIS, MO – Ready Room
18: CHICAGO, IL – Concord
19: MILWAUKEE, WI – Turner Hall
20: MADISON, WI – Orpheum
21: MINNEAPOLIS, MN – First Avenue
25: VANCOUVER, BC – Commodore

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