Call it sonic poetry, soundscaping or just plain old avant-garde, Unknown Pleasures likes to inhabit the murkier tracts of the forest and this week is no exception as Getintothis’ Mike Stanton demonstrates.
I love deep-layered and textured music, especially when heavy electronics are involved. Often bands and artists who attempt this style of music get it wrong, it turns into a nebulous mess of clashing noise and little melody. When it’s done right it can be an extraordinary experience, like being enveloped in an aural cloak of diaphanous silk.
This week we have two glimmering examples of warping sonics and one artist forging her own path into what could be a brand new genre. So here are three tunes that you will have probably missed but should definitely check out.
Mass Gothic are from New York and they have unveiled a track that is so chokingly dense and layered it is bordering on disorientation. A Run has an epic feel, it is dramatic and confrontational. As the listener you are required to push through the layers of distortion and cling to the life-ring that is the melody.
Former Hooray For Earth frontman Noel Heroux and his wife Jessica Zambri form Mass Gothic and they have woven something that is at once positive, euphoric, shimmering, hazy and anthemic. A Run is a stunning track, it has enough power and scope to completely overwhelm the senses.
Mass Gothic already have an album behind them, releasing their debut self-titled LP back in February and are now teasing their latest EP with this release. Using the reverb-soaked shimmer of shoegaze and subterranean-textured electronics they have moved beyond songwriting into soundscaping territory. If you have ever wondered what it is like to be caught in a snowstorm of swirling, crackling and warping sound, well you have your answer; glorious.
Hologram Teen is the solo electronic motorik disco project of Morgane Lhote, known to many for her work as long-term keyboard player in the seminal indie kosmische act Stereolab. She describes her sound as electronic horror movie. Lhote is almost forging a whole new genre – ‘techno-Krautrock’. It is rainbow techno without the soulless EDM that fills so many clubs. Sounding like the best of seminal French house pioneer Étienne de Crécy condensed down to five minutes and remixed by Stripe from Gremlins.
From the new EP Marsangst, Lhote has a very clear idea where she is going with the sound “I wanted to experiment with a more techno feel and style of production such as side-chain compression, which helped me create a more propulsive response between the kick drum and bass tracks.”
Lhote’s influences are eclectic, ranging from Yellow Magic Orchestra, Chicago, Steely Dan, Jean Claude Vannier and Siouxsie & The Banshees. This certainly comes across in the single Marsangst and ensures the EP is one that moves through differing sounds and expressions.
The four-track digital EP is available from August 5, 2016 on all major digital stores and streaming services.
Spacey, dreamy and psychedelic, Corbu produce trippy music as if filtered through a stargate. It’s spaced-out, tripped-out desert rock and glacial stargazing leaves a slightly blurred at the edges feel. Strong melodies ensure the experience of listening to Better Better Off is joyous and uplifting. This track really does tick all the boxes. Similar in many ways to Tame Impala and Sunboy, it stands up to repeated listening, each time unveiling something new.
The psych-swirl glitter isn’t surprising considering it was mixed by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, MGMT, The Flaming Lips) and follows two acclaimed EPs, We Are Sound and Everything You Imagine Is Real, garnering much praise and plenty of hype.
Hailing from New York, the hub of all that is good, Better Better Off is from Corbu’s kaleidoscopic debut album Crayon Soul.