Neu Balance wears his heart on his sleeve for 'In my life I've loved them all'

Neu Balance, one of Vancouver’s great breakout artists from the heyday of 1080p recordings, is back with a second full-length album, this time for the Seattle label Budget Cuts Records & Tapes. Despite retaining the name Neu Balance, however, this album is anything but the same rubbery, lurching, hazed out sounds of the first album, “Rubber Sole.” After the departure of Sebastian Davidson for solo works, Sam Beatch seems to have taken the opportunity of full control at the helm to branch out and collaborate in all directions. This new album, titled “In my life, I’ve loved them all,” includes a whole host of features by fellow producers, session musicians, and vocalists. They all work in tandem to expand the NB sound palette considerably, and coalesce into a polished, coherent, and smooth listen right from the first play.

The sound is still unmistakably PNW, but where Rubber Sole felt idiosyncratic and rhythmically experimental, In my Life, I’ve loved them all finds a confident unification of ideas. Track arrangements feel much more natural, the production is precise, and the emotional resonance of the compositions shine bright through it all. This is intuitive music; it prioritizes feeling over thinking, and the result is entirely sumptuous to consume.

Get a taste up above by streaming “I left my body alone with you,” featuring vocalist Forever, and hop over to Budget Cuts’ Bandcamp to get a copy for yourself.

— review by autonomy

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Iain Howie goes beyond the blueprint for 'Living & Dying'

“Living & Dying,” the brand new single from local Vancouver resident Iain Howie, is unmistakably modern dance music. The production quality, four-on-the-floor beat structure, and sound processing all make sure of it. But to leave it at that would simply be a disservice to what is, underneath the arped-out synths and thumping kicks, a lyrical ballad bursting at the seams with melancholic despair.

Compositionally, ‘Living & Dying’ breaks far out of the loop-based patterns that are commonplace in the dance world, with instrumentation that comes closer to the feel of a session musician or live band — a testament to Howie’s musicality. His soft vocals counterpoint the airy pads that are omnipresent throughout the track, giving it a sombre tone. The lyrical quality of the track makes it perfect for home listening, and yet provides just enough structure that DJs won’t have any problem fitting it into a set for a bit of a changeup.

You can buy it now from UK label Needwant’s Bandcamp, or stream it on Spotify. And if you like this one, keep an eye out for a forthcoming remix by Bob Moses…

— review by autonomy

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DIY HIFI brings the funk with 'Feels'

Vancouver musician and producer Ian Bevis, formerly of the band ‘Bear Mountain"‘, starts our 2019 off on the good foot with the laid back, funky swinger that is ‘Feels’. No stranger to big stage indie sounds, Bevis and Bear Mountain have toured as direct support to Bloc Party, Cut Copy, and Hot Chip playing festivals such as Lollapalooza, Osheaga and Austin City Limits.

Compared to the more indie pop sensibilities of ‘Bear Mountain’ DIY HIFI feels a bit more like a disco house party. A groovy bassline leads the track through a number of cleverly assembled verses and choruses. With rich bubbling synths accenting the groove, and even a very recognizable bit of sampling on the breakdown, ‘Feels’ is an infectious tune that makes it very hard to stand still. The track exquisitely captures the ‘Do It Yourself’ spirit while never sacrificing pitch-perfect musicality or high quality production.

Grab the track on Bandcamp

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Computer Data finds real human emotion with 'Healing'

Will computers ever feel things the way we do? Philosophers have been trying to answer this question since the dawn of computers themselves, but it doesn’t take a philosopher to know that Computer Data’s newest EP, Emotional Shift, will leave you feeling in ways you might not have expected on the dancefloor. The recipe of warmly saturated drums, gentle analog pads, and pitched vocals is certainly not new territory, but house music has always been about what you feel, not what you think. With the track ‘Healing,’ CD nails that feeling of sombre despair, of not know what to do but knowing you gotta do something. Might as well dance.

Hit play on ‘Healing’ above, and when you’re done reflecting go find the whole EP on bandcamp.

- review by autonomy

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Deep bongo bombs from Sweden's Tekkla

Swedish duo Tekkla sends summer vibes to Melbourne’s clipp.art label with a deep house bongo bomb, continuing clipp.art’s brisk pace of dropping quality singles. But ‘Love Vibration’ itself is anything but brisk. Clocking in at a breezy 110bpm, the track evokes beach side vibes with gentle bongos and builds beautifully with subtle pads.

Whether you’re a dj looking for the perfect opener to warm up the df, or just need a bit of summer nostalgia in your life, you can’t go wrong with Tekkla’s ‘Love Vibration’. And after that track gets you in the mood, Tekkla’s got a brand new mixtape for clipp.art that’ll surely have you hankering to crack open a coconut. You can hear the mixtape below, and if you like the track, hop over to clipp.art’s bandcamp to grab a copy yourself.

— review by autonomy

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From Bucharest with love

Golan is a group of musicians destined for big things. They started a few years back as 3 guys focusing on digital production and electronic music. They released some quality tracks, delving into genres like deep-house, nu-disco, trance and more. Recently they've increased to 5 members deep and evolved to use more acoustic instrumentation, featuring piano, flute, guitar and drums of multiple varieties and more.

They also recently played a massive sold out concert in their home of Bucharest, Romania with a full symphonic orchestra. It was the third iteration of their full symphonic show and from the reactions online, it certainly won’t be their last. They're a band that stays true to their beat based roots, but are seriously kicking things up to another level with their production and live show, which includes precise control of dozens of live musicians.

Their tunes these days can range from the mellow and chill to the wild and tribal, whipping audiences into a frenzy in the live setting. Founding members Alex, Mihai and Ernesto are working harder than ever as the band prepares to drop its’ second full length LP.

The album is sure to be varied and wide ranging, judging from what they've released so far. The track featured above, “September Fall”, is a dreamy, melodic chiller, complete with a well produced video that will leave you longing for long lost summer days of your youth, well into the chill of October and beyond. The song is a self proclaimed 'mood' track rather than a full single, regardless, it’s a good taste of their varied style. Don't hesitate to browse through Golan’s YouTube channel to get a further taste of their forthcoming album. I’d also highly recommend to check out a few videos of Golan in the live setting, where they really shine. Tracks like “Abel” and “Sapphire” are prime examples of the type of excitement, emotion and love Golan can induce in its’ audience.

You're not going to want to miss the release of their new album or the Golan live experience, so make sure to follow the group on the platforms below:

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Indie Electronica from Hamburg's Lukas Oppenheimer

Lukas Oppenheimer is a musician originally from Hamburg, Germany currently studying computer science and making music on the side in Berlin. Growing up with an American mother and German father gave Lukas a unique cultural perspective from a very young age. Whether it be his open-minded approach to music or travel, his family upbringing exposed him to both European and American walks of life. 

Throughout his youth, Lukas always enjoyed playing instruments and experimenting with music. Whether it was bass, guitar, drums or old synths, Oppenheimer naturally took to being creative with sound. But it wasn't until he was 11 and got a copy of FL Studio that he began down the path of an electronic music producer.

Starting out making unconventional music and sound experiments, it was more the process of creating than the result that intrigued Lukas. To this day he carries that same kind of curiosity and creative energy, often incorporating new outboard gear and workflow into his production setup.

'Never Thought' certainly contains this creative spirit and unique, inquisitive approach.  The track is a 6 minute sonic adventure, progressing through experimental atmospheres, deep rhythms and emotional keys. 

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ADSR Mix 024- Maze DJs

Stepping in for ADSR mix 024 are a couple of talented lads by way of Galway, Ireland- The Maze DJs. Starting a weekly club night in their west coast town, Gerard and Ervin have since gone on to book and play alongside some of the biggest names in the house / techno world. Now located in Manchester, the two serve as the UK correspondents to Four Four Magazine and continue to turn out dancefloors across the country.

Check out the full interview