Sublime simplicity from Berlin Composer Jonas Hain

WIth the almost unlimited sonic possibilities at the fingertips of today’s producers it’s refreshing to hear a composer go back to the basics of strictly expressive instrumentation and emotive musicality. And this is exactly what 27 year old Berlin based composer and pianist does with his recent track MMXV.

Originally written for a director friend’s film project with an imminent deadline, the track was quickly composed in 2015 over a single night of spontaneous creative composition. Afterwards, Jonas still felt that something was missing, so he recorded a synth and added a bassline to serve as the counterpoint to the stark, organic piano arrangement.

Although just a brief 2 and a half minutes long, MMXV serves as an excellent introduction into the music of the young German composer. Emotive piano notes fall like a blanket of fresh snow as the electronic counterpoint provides some synthesized heat. Excellent use of panning as the piano and synth lines communicate back and forth for a memorable lesson in sublime simplicity.

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West Coast Swag from LA's Sol Beats

“Crush is meant to make you feel.”

A simple one line quote from 20 year old California beatmaker ‘Sol Beats’ about his latest chilled out offering entitled ‘Crush.’ Just like his description, the track is a simple and straight to the point, a vibe drenched synth-laced gem clocking in at just under 3 minutes.

But to think that Sol’s sounds are some kind of beginners luck you’d be kidding yourself. Despite his young age, the Californian has already been grinding at it for 6 years taking influence from Esta, Kaytranada, Taku, Mr. Carmack and more. It’s really just been within the past year that the budding beatmaker has started posting his work online, finally getting to the point where he is happy with how things are sounding.

And just how do Sol Beat’s productions sound? Well taking a browse through his soundcloud reveals beat heavy influences alongside touches of Rnb, hip-hop, trap and soul. Take a listen for yourself and I think you’ll quickly realize why we feelin’ it.

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Belgian producer Stereoclip goes back to basics with new track 'Day One''

With the plethora of sounds and production options at the fingertips of today’s digital musicians it’s no wonder that tracks can often get overcrowded and over-compressed. With TV and advertisements competing for our attention we are often bombarded with purposefully loud audio to grab our focus. While it is true that acoustically our ears often perceive ‘louder as better sounding’ there is often little room left for dynamics and fine details. Acclaimed American mastering engineer Bob Katz has even gone as far as saying “loudness is a drug.”

Nowhere is this more apparent than with the past couple decades of electronic music, where club-ready music often prioritized punch and loudness over dynamics and detail. Luckily for us the ‘loudness wars’ seem to be coming to an end, and as the dust settles we are finding more and more dynamic, uncluttered, and lush productions to soothe our battered ears.

Belgian producer ‘Stereoclip’ and his recent release ‘Day One’ certainly fit this description well, with the track maintaining a skillful balance between punch and dynamics. With just the right amount of high-quality raw ingredients, the track never feels cluttered or over-produced and instead floats with a kind of effortless groove. Delicate percussion dances in the stereo spectrum while thick analog synths twist and turn in the foreground. With more and more contemporary electronic music making use of a high dynamic range and a ‘less is more’ attitude we look forward to more producers taking this ‘back to the basics’ sonically-rich approach.

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Genre blending future sounds from French producer- Sc Ar

As Kurt Cobain said “punk is musical freedom. It’s saying, doing and playing whatever you want”. From punk to hip-hop, youth culture worldwide has continually strived to differentiate itself from the previous generation. Whether seeking identity or new forms of expression, this cyclical pursuit can be seen time and time again throughout recent history.

And modern day electronic music is no different, listening to some of the new sounds coming out from the next generation of producers it’s clear that unique ideas, genres and styles are constantly bubbling just below the surface. Whether it be the blending of genres, new and interesting production techniques, or disregard for any sort of structure or musical conventions of the past, there’s no denying that some of the new sounds coming out almost daily now are some of the most dynamic and sonically diverse we’ve yet to hear.

Take upcoming French producer- Sc Ar for example. His new single ‘Flirt’ teases with touches of house, vapourwave, idm, and electronica in a sound that can only be described as forward-thinking and future. Pitched vocal samples ascend white marble staircases of billowing, nostalgic pads while organic, woody percussion rains down from the rafters. As the young producer states “Flirt is my very first single. Others will come.”

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Keyboard virtuoso Rob Araujo with his new beat-oriented side project- Shopan

Being a marvel on the keys just isn’t enough for accomplished pianist Rob Araujo who’s continually pushing his creative boundaries with new sounds, styles and collaborations. Growing up studying classical piano from the age of 5, to playing competitively throughout middle and high school, it wasn’t until Rob reached University that his tastes shifted to include Jazz and hip-hop, eventually layering his productions with an effortless groove on top of his already strong technical foundation.

With the creation of his new side project ‘Shopan’, these beat-oriented productions will now have a dedicated output. Launching this laid back, lofi alias is the track ‘Greens’ alongside rising Portland producer ‘Quickly, Quickly’.

The track sees the beatscene sensibilities of Quickly seamlessly combined with the undeniable musicality of Araujo’s signature keys. Relaxed drums and percussion provide the framework for moments of jazzed-out sundown bliss.

Concluding with a kind of care-free weightlessness, chirping birds and a whistling stroll leaves us with a sense of new-found optimism to carry us through the week.

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A slice of 90s rave culture from Australia's Tunnel Vision

Growing up in Sydney’s Hardcore Punk scene, Australian producer ‘Tunnel Vision’ has always had a certain affinity for gritty distortion, driving rhythms and all around counterculture. But it wasn’t until he discovered electronic music and producing beats that he was able to fully distill his own unique version of melancholic melodies and lofi soundscapes.

"Pay The Rent" flirts within dark and ominous atmospheres as an entry point into the young producer's emotive world of house. Interested in creating audio collages of nineties rave culture with a modern house sound, ‘Pay The Rent’ pays homage to artists like Legowelt and Luca Lozano, with pounding breakbeats & moody chords, evolving into an upbeat acid vibe.

clipp.art promises an ongoing series of weekly/bi-weekly digital cuts - complemented by the occasional limited edition split artist 12 inch and dance party. Current clipp.art events and tours feature headlines from Gerd Janson, Ross From Friends, Bloody Mary, DJ Seinfeld, DJ Boring, Black Loops, Coeo, Auntie Flo and Demuja, while supporters for clipp.art original music include: Andrew Weatheral, The Black Madonna, Dusky, Laurent Garnier, Vin Sol, Skream, Little Helpers, Horse Meat Disco, Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, Jacques Renault, Nightmares on Wax, and more. 

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New release from Cristian Vogel's live-to-tape alias 'NEL'

Vogel first came to prominence in the techno scene when he issued two EPs on Dave Clarke's Magnetic North Records label in 1994. After further solo EPs and collaborations with emerging UK techno artists such as Neil Landstrumm and Dave Tarrida, Vogel released his debut full-length, Beginning to Understand, in 1994 on Mille Plateaux, and subsequently became the first UK techno artist to be signed to Berlin's Tresor Records. He also started the vinyl only label ‘Mosquito’ with Si Begg, on which he released both his own music and other artists', and is considered to be one of the main founders of the No-Future collective that was active in Brighton during the mid-nineties. Alongside Jamie Lidell, he formed the group Super Collider, who released two albums and Cristian also sang and played guitar in his band project Night of the Brain, whilst continuing to maintain a presence on the underground techno scene. 

Over a 20-year career, Vogel has been sought after as a remixer and album producer, having worked with artists such as Radiohead, Maxïmo Park, Chicks on Speed, and Thom Yorke. With further studio albums released on Novamute in the late noughties and albums for Sub Rosa, his most recent run of ‘techno’ productions culminated in a trilogy of long-players for Shitkatapult, ending with ‘The Assistenz’ in 2016. 

His NEL project (NeverEngine Labs) was launched at the beginning of 2018 on EPMMusic, which has seen Cristian develop a different studio process to his album work and recent sound design compositions. While work under his own name will continue to explore new stylistic and experimental territories, the NEL tracks bear a closer resemblance to his earlier production style. The new pen name will be used for studio sessions created in a hands on, live-to-tape process primarily using Modular synths. “The sound is characterized by analog rhythms, textures and beats with an improvised flow.”

This spirit of improvisation and raw rhythms are summed up perfectly in his recent release ‘Jelly Vision EP.’ 4 tracks of live and eclectic recordings from Vogel’s studio, rich in rough, uncut textures, rhythms and soundscapes. The release skillfully balances spontaneity with coherent arrangements, clever sound design, and undeniable infectious grooves. Vogel proves with his ‘NEL’ alias that going back to basics is not only about drawing from the past, but is equally about the limitless creative potential of the future.

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Finnish film composer Kepa Lehtinen shares theremin serenade- 'Kontula'

Born in 1971 in Helsinki, Finland, Kepa Lehtinen has been deeply involved with music ever since he was a child. Whether it be pianos, synthesizers, theremins, drums or accordions, Kepa aimed to master his musical technique and develop his creative personality from a young age.

Eventually this led Kepa to pursue a full career in music which saw him first studying sound design at Aalto University in Helinski, and later appearing on countless film credits for his work as a composer, sound editor, and sound designer. His work has appeared across award winning Finnish titles such as Kimmo (TV series), Almost 18 (feature film), and A Stone Left Unturned (short).

This past April, Kepa released his first solo album entitled “Playing Theremin”, which fused analog synthesizers with the magic of the theremin. The result is a beautiful hybrid of organic and electronic elements; a sound as deliberate as it is delicate whereas even the smallest movements are felt by the listener.

Listen to the full album over on his Spotify

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Idm-tinged ambient-techno from German duo 'qrauer'

Creating a variety of left leaning electronica, from micro house to ambient techno, Christian Grochau and Ludwig Bauer aka qrauer are a breath of fresh air in the often formulaic world of modern dance music. With a 4/4 framework driving their tracks, the duo’s productions are heavy on lush sound design and sonic experimentation while remaining reined in enough to sit comfortably within an eclectic DJ set.

With both Christian and Ludwig coming from strong musical backgrounds, Christian being a virtuosic percussionist and Ludwig being a skilled pianist, composer and multi-instrumentalist, the two are able to find the perfect balance between danceable musicality and genre pushing electronic aesthetics.

Their debut EP ‘Aracus’ fully harnesses the duo’s creative powers and concentrates them into 4 tracks of organic sidewinder rhythms and awe-inspiring moments of cinematic brilliance. Brokebone is the concluding track of the album, with an off-kilter chorus of impressively honed percussive elements and richly coloured brutish leads, the track wraps up the EP nicely while leaving us hungry for the next sonic ‘tour de force’ from the ingenious German duo.

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Eelke Kleijn releases title track from upcoming album- 'Moments of Clarity'

The multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Eelke Kleijn strikes again with a euphoric slice of set-ending deep house. But to simply say the track is a great example of the genre would be a bit of an understatement, as ‘Moments of Clarity’ is an eclectic mix of styles and aesthetics. Sure, one can hear some deep house sensibilities, but upon a closer listen it’s apparent that this production skillfully combines elements of downtempo, ambient, house and even breaks.

Regardless of the classification, one thing is for sure, this track provides the perfect bit of introspection suited so well to the end of a set. As Kleijn elucidates “‘Moments of Clarity’ is the kind of track I would play right at the end of my set. Imagine playing it at sunrise after a long intense night. That’s how I envisioned the track while working on it.”

’Moments of Clarity’ serves as the third single and title track from his much anticipated, upcoming third album set to release this fall. Landing on his own ‘Days like Nights’ label, the in-demand dutchman continues to balance his duties as a producer, DJ, soundtrack composer and label head with an eye on an increasingly bright future ahead.

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