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Music

Kota The Friend – 365 Days of Peace

I think I’ve used the word “breezy” to describe Kota The Friend’s music every time I’ve written about it, and I’ve been sitting here for about 20 minutes trying think think of a more appropriate term. I do not believe one exists. Just listen to those playfully skipping drums! The jauntiness of the keys! The effortless of his delivery! The airhorns!!(!) Everything about it makes me wan bounce gently from side to side while softly grinning. Breezy AF.

https://www.instagram.com/kotathefriend

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Music

Pye Corner Audio – Does It Go Dark?

Yes. Yes it does.

https://www.instagram.com/steve.lacy

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Music

Steve Lacy – Cody Freestyle

Steve Lacy’s name looms large in my consciousness, without me knowing very much about him at all. He’s someone I feel I would really be into if I paid proper attention, and yet his last album completely passed me by, to the extent that I wasn’t really sure what to expect from his new LP Gemini Rights, but was pretty sure I would get something out of it. And I did! Especially the tracks Mercury – which was released as a single last month – and Cody Freestyle, which is big and melodramatic and brilliant.

https://www.instagram.com/steve.lacy

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Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Bad Flamingo

The US duo sing the praises of a Scott Joplin classic.

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

US duo Bad Flamingo are without doubt one of my favourite musical discoveries of the last couple of years. Swaggeringly cool and pretty much anonymous online, they make sleazy, sweaty, dusty tracks that swing between alternative rock, country and something altogether less easily defined. Their latest run of singles has been faultless, and hopefully they will be following up their brilliantly titled 2018 album I Said A Prayer Twice for Both My Faces very soon.

For their One Track Mind selection, Bad Flamingo paint a typically vivid picture about their time with a track by American composer and pianist Scott Joplin.

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Music

Bing & Ruth – Body In A Room (Solo Piano)

Bing & Ruth’s David Moore revisits two pieces from his 2020 album Species as solo piano works, stripping down both Nearer and Body In A Room to the very barest of bones. If you’re familiar with Moore’s work, you’ll probably already know how heartbreakingly beautiful this will be.

https://bingruth.bandcamp.com

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Music

Tewksbury – COP26 (Excerpt)

Taken from the Canadian ambient musician’s new album Hush Hush, COP26 is one of four pieces that comprise the LP, all of which were created by combining several 16th century choral arrangements that were then altered and spliced together using reel-to-reel machines, before being played live via an array of eight guitar amps. For fans of William Basinski, Stars of the Lid and generally being awestruck while thinking Big Thoughts.

https://hushhushrecords.bandcamp.com/album/brutes

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Music

Space Ghost – Deep (Dirk 81 Remix)

It’s 1988 and you’re lying on a beach and you’ve been up for two days straight and honestly don’t think you’ve even been as simultaneously tired and content at the same time and you’re not really sure if your friends are still here and you can’t be bothered to try and remember where you last saw them, or even where exactly in the world you are and anyway you’re near a bar that’s playing a pretty random mix of 70s rock and kinda floaty, beatless music and it’s really nice and everything but maybe a kick drum would be good, but a gentle one mind, nothing too harsh and then you hear this…

https://space-ghost.bandcamp.com/track/deep-dirk-81-remix

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Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Joy Helder

The London-based electronic artist reminisces about the melodic Italo-stylings of Skatebärd’s Why Now?

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

“Miniature soundtracks for moments in life, created electronically in London” is about as much concrete information I can find about Joy Helder. But whatever lack of identifying detail there might be available in regards to his background is more than counterbalanced by the depth and richness of his productions. Latest EP Joy moves through both ambient and more rhythmically structured experimental electronica, with field recordings, haunting melodies and muted percussion combining to create an atmosphere that’s at times claustrophobic and foreboding, others expansive and calming.

For his One Track Mind selection, Joy has picked a track by Norwegian artist Skatebärd that soundtracked many a bus journey shortly after he arrived in London.

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Music

µ-Ziq – Uncle Daddy

Just listen to those sad chords! Makes me want to cry, in a good way, obviously. This is taken from Planet Mu founder Mike Paradinas’s new album under his µ-Ziq monkier which came out last week. Jungle meets ambient meets hardcore in the prettiest way imaginable.

https://mikeparadinas.bandcamp.com

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Music

Brent Faiyaz – ROLE MODEL

Brent Faiyaz’s sprawling new album WASTELAND came out today, and there’s a lot to digest, including features from an impressive range of artists – Drake, Tyler, The Creator, Alicia Keys etc – and a skit-driven narrative (remember skits?) about a cheating Chris/Brent that ends in about as bleak a fashion as possible. But arguably some of its finest moments are when the attention is squarely on Faiyaz, like ROLE MODEL, which places his extraordinary voice front and centre and cuts right to the emotional core of what he’s about as an artist.

https://www.instagram.com/brentfaiyaz