Audio / Visual Magic from Germany's Skull Sized Kingdoms

Making the jump from electronic producer to a full fledged live act is no easy task. There’s the reinterpretation process to make the songs work in the live setting, there’s more gear, more variables and lots of preparation. Just a couple years back Hannes Hümmer took this leap with his synth-heavy electronica project ‘Skull Sized Kingdoms’, joined by friend and guitarist Tim Schleicher to round out the live experience.

Hannes crafts unique sonic soundscapes using Ableton, analog synths, effect pedals, guitars and field recordings. For his debut release ‘Altered states EP’ Hümmer relied on some classic pieces of gear, such as the Juno 6, Moog Sub 37 and Moog Minitaur to a rich and dynamic listening experience.

The 5 track EP features a choice selection of indie, electronic, techno and idm soundscapes. It’s definitely a start to finish listening journey suitable for fans of both live and electronic music alike. And lucky for us there’s even some visual content to along with the album.

The video above ‘Glittermagic’ is the last track of the album and brings the EP to an epic close. Arpeggiated synths roll through increasingly entrancing progressions accented by crisp percussion and soft, euphoric pads. A kind of meditative state sets in mid way through as the audio/visual experience takes control with hypnotic natural imagery from Fabian Willi Simon.

The Altered States EP is out now via Humanized records
Grab it on Bandcamp or stream the album on Spotify

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Debut EP from professional production duo- Dispak

DISPAK is the synthesis of electronic music composers/producers Chris Child and Kasson Crooker.

Over the past 20 years, Chris through his moniker Kodomo, and Kasson through Symbion Project, have released a wide breadth of electronic music drawing from ambient, techno, IDM, downtempo, and cinematic soundscapes.

Chris is an Emmy award winning composer and has scored countless films, TV shows and commercials. His music has been featured on shows such as the CBS series ‘CSI’ and National Public Radio’s first news program ‘All things considered’ as well as hit video games such as Rock Band and Amplitude. His Kodomo alias, founded in the year 2000 and originally intended primarily for remix-work, has since evolved into a platform for his original productions of which he has released 3 full length albums alongside a slew of singles and EPs.

Kasson Crooker graduated from Berkley College of music with a degree in music production and engineering. Soon after he found himself entering the video game industry, almost by accident, after being fed up with his current job and seeing an ad for a sound designer position creating sounds for Nascar racing games. But he got his real break upon joining the newly formed Harmonix games (the company that eventually made the smash hit ‘Guitar Hero’’) and began to compose music for their debut title ‘Frequency.’ Symbion Project is the solo electronica alias of Crooker, spanning ambient to techno and downtempo to idm, his sound has been a constant evolution over the past 9 full length albums.

But combining the powers of these two musical mavericks has proven slightly more difficult than expected. After years of struggling to collaborate on opposite sides of the country, it was best to get into the same studio. An intense week of live experimentation using an array of early modulars, pedals, and drum machines resulted in this 3-song EP.

Featuring tracks up in the 6 to 8 minute range, the EP builds on a kind of hypnotic feeling that draws you in as a listener. The track Ozornin builds slowly with a chugging kick drum gradually giving way to classic techno high hats and skittering, delicate percussion. After we pass the midway point and slide into a reverb drenched interlude, the real business gets started as a chunky electro bassline leads the charge. Utilizing some classic hardware pieces, such as the Juno-106 and TB-303, the raw ingredients for the track are just so good that a simple and minimal arrangement really allow these dynamic elements to shine.

Support the release over on Bandcamp

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Tape-tinged techno from audio/visual creative- Daniel Brandt

London / Berlin based filmmaker, composer, and musician- Daniel Brandt, is set to release his second full length solo album ‘Channels’ on October 12th via London imprint- Erased Tapes. As co-founder of the infamous ‘Brandt Brauer Frick’ trio which has been dubbed by the BBC as “concert hall compositions for the clubbing generation”, Brandt is no stranger to intricate and impeccably executed studio productions and live music performances. As both a filmmaker and musician, this multi-disciplinary creative approach ensures an inventive and original artistic output where boundaries are blurred and inspiration spontaneous.

Take the most immersive, club-ready track ‘Sailboats III’ from the album for example. As Brandt explains:

“The song is named after a painting by Roy Lichtenstein which is not one of his typical ones but rather a kind of abstract cubist painting of sailboats on the sea. I wanted to make a song that feels like an electrified sailing voyage and tried to imitate the feeling of this imagined trip.”

This type of cross-disciplinary creative communication is a common thread throughout the album, with many of the tracks referencing rich visual palettes. The blossoming cosmos of ‘Cherry Dream’ is informed by Tangerine Dream’s iconic soundtrack to the film Risky Business, a compelling reinterpretation of Love On A Real Train replete with darker, electronic elements and live orchestration. ‘Daze’, co-written with guitarist Pascal Bideau, chimes with an acoustic melody and is carried by a rhythmic percussive pulse, whilst the understated ‘Ltd’ was stylistically inspired by Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint.

As we can see the album draws from a variety of sources and creative ideas, but still manages to remain original and organic, with an almost effortless spontaneity to it. Perhaps Lichtenstein said it best when he stated “Art doesn't transform. It just plain forms”.

Pre-order ‘Channels’ over on the Erased Tapes Bandcamp

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