Cuts addresses our Uncertain Future with 'A Gradual Decline'

Anthony Tombling Jr a.k.a. ‘Cuts’ is a British film maker and composer who approaches his productions with a sense of purpose, which is palpable in his upcoming release ‘A Gradual Decline’ out Nov 30th on Village Green Recordings.  Tombling says “We are living in the age of the Anthropocene and it feels like everything is in decline. We’re in a moment where extinction is regular. I wanted this record to reflect these frailties.” It is obvious from this statement that Anthony deeply feels the decline of these corroding landscapes plagued by global warming and industrial pollution. Although Tombling is commenting on dire facts most of us are already aware of, it is his unique, skillful and even hopeful interpretation of this tipping point that really sets this work apart.

Music can bring us to many different places. We can seek comfort in nostalgia, we can seek escape in hedonism, we can seek joy in stories that are told in which we can relate to and sometimes, when we can bare it, we seek truth in music like this. ‘ A Gradual Decline’ is an urgent call to action reflecting all the bleak sobering realities of a contemptuous zeitgeist. It is a record that gives a raw and unfiltered look into the harsh, hard to swallow truths of environmental decay. And in an auditory sense, this is exactly how the album feels. Crushed percussion, a dark driving bassline, harrowing melodies and somber sonic textures sustain a focused feeling of frailty. ‘A Gradual Decline’ is a project of political importance. It is a drop in the ocean of music, with the potential to be powerful, moving and poignant as we stand facing a most uncertain future.

Pre-order the album on Bandcamp

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Audio / Visual Overload from Richard Devine and Numbercult

In case you missed it, IDM guru and sound design genius Richard Devine just dropped what is arguably one of the deepest modular synth records of all time.

’Sort/Lave’ was composed almost entirely on his custom built Eurorack modular system and features 12 tracks of dizzying percussion, galaxy-deep atmospheres, and utter sound design opulence. It’s an album that really sets the bar for what is possible with modern-day modular systems while still retaining all the rich musicality we’ve come to expect from the Atlanta-born producer.

Adding a visual dimension to the already incredibly detailed track ‘Revsic’, digital artist Craig Ritchie Allan aka Numbercult focused on unpacking the tracks densely packed constituent parts.

”When I set about constructing the video, I wanted the visual elements to engage the dynamics of the music, it felt like there was something elemental about the acoustic elements, so I starting thinking about about travelling through inner space, sub atomic structures forming and splintering apart and electric flashes of colour. I finished off by dropping in some sci-fi inspired interface elements to give the feeling you’re in a craft traversing a microverse.”

Get the full audio/visual immersion by checking out the clip above in full 1080p or by supporting the release over on Bandcamp.

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A Dystopian audio/visual rollercoaster from New York's - Tauk

“TAUK is unstoppable, If you haven’t see them, dear God, go.”

‘Live for Live Music’ raved about the 4 piece progressive rock / live electronica group a few years back, and the words still ring true to this day. Now fresh off the release of their 5th full length album entitled ‘Shapeshifter II’ the group continues to explore futuristic themes of artificial intelligence, the blurring lines between humans and machines, and visions of a coming dystopia a la Bladerunner aesthetics set against a sonic backdrop of free flowing jazz, progressive rock, hip-hop and electronica.

In a time where the live experience is more important than ever, with groups making their entire income from touring, Tauk’s searing live chops ensure they sound just as good on the stage as they do in the studio. But such psychic cohesion doesn’t just happen overnight, this effortless gelling has taken years to fully set.

TAUK’s creative connection traces back to childhood, when longtime friends Dolan, Jalbert, and Carter formed their first band in seventh grade and held practice in their school basement. After playing together in various projects over the years, the trio brought drummer Isaac Teel into the fold in 2012, cementing the final lineup. “We gelled pretty quickly as friends and as musicians, and now there’s a connection on stage that’s unspoken,” notes Teel. “You just feel it from the energy within the band and from the response coming from the crowd—all these people in the same exact headspace.” 

You can expect that same kind of cosmic connection between the musicians on stage as in the studio, making it truly a collaborative effort for their new release Shapeshifter II.
In sculpting the album’s intricate arrangements, TAUK called on such esteemed musicians as The Naughty Horns, Ghost-Note’s Nate Werth (a percussionist who’s also played with David Crosby, Q-Tip, and Snarky Puppy), and Juan Alderete (longtime bassist for Racer X and The Mars Volta). Shapeshifter II: Outbreak came to life in collaboration with TAUK’s longtime cohort Robert Carranza—a Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer/engineer also known for his work The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, and Taj Mahal.

Grab the release over on their Bandcamp
 
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Experimental electronica from Toronto's Fried Dough

Fried Dough is an electronic psych band that blends dark trip hop grooves and spacey ambient textures with elements of experimental music and IDM. While working on commercial music projects at an ad agency in Toronto, Canada, Andrew Cariboni and Aaron Gaistman became friends over a shared love for independent electronic producers and psych-tinged jam bands. The two formed 'Fried dough' as a vehicle for their creative output and friend Nolan Bouvier later joined the band in 2016. 

With a strong history of eclectic indie music, including Broken Social Scene, Caribou, Metric, and Death from Above 1979, Toronto is no stranger to bands that blur the lines between genres and styles. Fried Dough not only sees the groups various members playing a wide range of instruments, but also producing a full spectrum of tracks from pink floyd esque flowing psychedelia to texture-rich cutting edge electronic music. 

The latter best describes the groups most recent track 'Brume' which is a brief yet powerful two and a half minutes of brain twisting idm and swelling analog synths. Despite the apocalyptic overtones the track ultimately concludes with a sense of resolve and optimism. 

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LA producer Deru's blistering new track 'Torn in Two'

Benjamin Wynn, aka Deru, is an Emmy Award winning American composer, sound designer and music producer. Born and raised in Chicago, it was Wynn's early experiences with urban music and hip-hop that sparked his initial passion for production and sound design. It was the raw, rough sound of 90s hip hop that formed some of his earliest musical sensibilities, Ben stating "I loved the sonic quality of hip-hop, I loved how gritty it was, I loved the sound of hiss and record noise." Even to this day, many of these rough, organic elements that influenced him so many years ago can still be heard in his productions.

In the pursuit of further honing his sonic sensibilities, Wynn took to the west coast where he studied electronic music at the California Institute of the Arts. He focused on synthesis, signal processing, acoustics, music theory and composition, and earned a Bachelor's degree in music technology. Adding a well-rounded technical skillset to his ever growing passion for music and sound design was a key step in the young producer's music career. 

Over the next decade Wynn put these technical and creative skills to good use, releasing 4 albums under his electronic music 'Deru' alias as well as countless television, film and even ballet scores. Incorporating a unique mix of electronic and acoustic elements Ben states "I love the control over sound that electronic music provides, and I also love the sound of acoustic instruments and human players."

His forthcoming release 'Torn in Two' serves as a perfect example of this unique marriage of electronic and acoustic elements.  The album is a collection of microtonal pieces where the pitches were derived from acoustic instruments, and processed woodwind and brass recordings. Both represented new directions for Wynn, and the results are pieces that are more dynamic and full-spectrum than his previous body of work. 

The track 'Torn in Two' serves as the powerful album opener to the upcoming release. A dizzying array of slithering distortion set within a dissonant dystopia. Bone-crushing builds give way to moments of supreme sensitivity and delicateness. 

'Torn in Two' releases Oct .19th on LA label 'Friends of Friends' 
Pre-order the vinyl over here.

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Tokiomi "Secret Stash" A/V collab- Arya

For our third visual collaboration we reached out to another west coast favourite- Arya. Multimedia artist and designer, Arya's works have been featured at Bass Coast Festival, in international publications, and accompanying a wide range of live performances. Check out his interpretation of tokiomi's unique soundscapes below :) or read more about his work at www.aryahawker.com