Category: Introducing (Page 3 of 26)

Introducing SUI ZHEN

With her performance art ethos, Melbourne-based SUI ZHEN offers surreal observations on the intersections between human life and technology.

With echoes of Los Angeles songstress SINOSA, ‘Perfect Place’ is a delightfully odd but accessible trailer to SUI ZHEN’s brand new long playing offering ‘Losing, Linda’, the genesis of which began during an artistic residency in Japan and completed in Australia under the trauma of her mother’s ill health and eventual passing.

This life changing experience has undoubtedly influenced the self-directed visual presentation for ‘Perfect Place’.

It introduces Linda, a digital doppelgänger and avatar. Not an easy watch, with the ghostly apparition representing the fragments of self and avatars left behind after one dies in the physical realm, the question being asked is “do our digital selves ever fully disappear?”

Playfully wispy, ‘Perfect Place’ itself is a wonderful slice of pentatonic avant pop, with eerie spoken passages and bursts of delightful melodica offset by hypnotic arpeggios and danceable rhythms.

‘Losing, Linda’ follows up 2015‘s ‘Secretly Susan’, a breakthrough recording which featured the quirky single ‘Take It All Back’, a minimal bass synth driven number laced with very high voices like GRIMES meeting LET’S EAT GRANDMA and the innocence of ‘Dear Teri’ which revealed much jazzier overtones.

Zhen promises a mix of Japanese City Pop, Sade, Tracey Thorn, Laurie Anderson and Suzanne Ciani for her new album.


‘Perfect Place’ is from the album ‘Losing, Linda’ which will be released by Cascine in North America and Dot Dash in Australia / New Zealand on 27th September 2019

http://www.suizhen.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/suizhen/

https://twitter.com/BeckySuiZhen

https://www.instagram.com/sui_zhen/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
14th July 2019

Introducing GRETA

Greta Louise Schenk is a Copenhagen domiciled German who first found wider attention in the atmospheric trio WHO IS LOUIS and the girl group IDA RED who she is still currently a member of.

The classically trained composer and songwriter is soon to unleash her debut solo EP, co-produced by the Berlin based Norwegian FARAO who released the critically acclaimed ‘Pure-O’ album in 2018.

Making effective use of a Roland Juno 60, Yamaha CS15, Korg Delta and Omnichord, perhaps unsurprisingly, the gorgeous new single called ’Spin’ does have the wispy air of her co-producer’s own work while the magnetic allure of YELLO collaborator Fifi Rong also looms.

“I had been following FARAO and had listened to her music for a few years thinking that she would understand my music and probably be able to add a little edge” remembered Schenk, “We worked together for the first time in her studio in Berlin September 2017. We are both really into shimmering harps, vintage synthesizers and 80s disco. We are always very inspired and productive when we work together”.

The animated video for ‘Spin’ created by Marie Boye Thomsen and William Reynish cerebrally offers a portrayal of the existential crisis within the human condition. GRETA’s songs aim to echo her thoughts on life and inner contradictions with light and darkness in equal measures. Kitsch, cool, weird and dreamy, it could all get very interesting…

An earlier synthbass driven single ‘Bad Lovers’ took things more uptempo, while the filmic ‘Ardent Spring’ pointed towards the crystalline soundscapes of IONNALEE, although with a looser rhythmic backbone.

This music is indeed far cry from the Scandipop R ‘n’ B of ‘Talk’, ‘Wildflower’ and ‘Oh Girl’ which saw IDA RED gain traction on national radio in Denmark.


’Spin’ is released as a digital single on 5th July 2019 by Celebration Records, available direct from https://gretagretamusic.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/greta.geschenk/

https://www.instagram.com/greta.geschenk/

http://celebrationrecords.dk/work/greta/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
3rd July 2019

Introducing VON KONOW

From the same stable as VILLA NAH, SIN COS TAN and THE HEARING comes Marko von Konow.

The flamboyant Finnish art rocker says he is all about contradictions. Combining European cabaret, progressive rock and synthpop within his strange but accessible world, his sound was premiered on his 2017 album ‘Lieder’ and featured the epic single ‘Horses Run With Me’.

Unsurprisingly, von Konow looks towards Nietzsche and Sartre for literary inspiration while within popular culture, the chameleon presence of Bowie, Mercury and Gaga all loom. Embarking on a journey to distant places, his songs tell of the survival of outsiders.

With rousing avant pop melodies and dramatic orchestrations, the lead single ‘On A Hill’ from the new album ‘For All & None’ sonically echoes THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS cult favourite ‘Love My Way’ with its charming marimba hook. In a superbly picturesque monochromatic video directed by Tommi Pietiläinen with costumes designed by Suvi Hänninen, von Konow exudes an enigmatic demeanour dressed with a thoughtful glam edge.

Utilising von Konow’s inherent theatrics, other highlights on the impressive new album include a filmic jazz inflected duet with Salla Seppälä entitled ‘True As a Dream’ and ‘Away To Harbourside’ which comes over like an Owen Pallett collaboration with PET SHOP BOYS.

The intensely adventurous baroque of ‘Overtaken’ is appropriately Bowie-esque while the vivid colours of ‘Lucid Sound’ bounce like THE DIVINE COMEDY meeting LLOYD COLE & THE COMMOTIONS, but with unexpected bursts of synth for good measure alongside the strings and woodwinds.

With themes of love and death, these dramatic widescreen overtures could appeal to fans of ASSOCIATES, FIAT LUX and THE FALLOUT CLUB.


‘For All & None’ is released by Solina Records in digital formats

https://vonkonow.net/

https://www.facebook.com/vonkonowmusic/

https://www.instagram.com/vonkonowartist/

https://solinarecords.com/von-konow-for-all-and-none/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
1st July 2019

Introducing ALICE HUBBLE

ALICE HUBBLE is the new solo project of Alice Hubley, previously best known for fronting ARTHUR & MARTHA.

Channelling her inner Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram while also exploring the sonics of Germanic masters TANGERINE DREAM and ASHRA, Hubley’s upcoming debut album ‘Polarlichter’ is the product of one lady locked at home with her collection of synthesizers.

An impressive support slot for CAN’s Damo Suzuki finally showcased the electronic pop potential of Hubley which has largely remained hidden within the more indie confines of her musical adventures since ARTHUR & MARTHA. With her forlorn vocal presence, her earthy demeanour is ideal for melancholic pop layered by vintage synths and driven by primitive drum boxes.

‘Goddess’ is the first single and while its musical inspirations are cited as being ‘Boy’ by BOOK OF LOVE, ‘Plainsong’ by THE CURE and ‘Of All The Things We’ve Made’ by OMD, the iconic chordial structure from the first section of the full-length ‘No1 Song In Heaven’ by SPARKS, the Mael Brothers’ pièce de résistance recorded with Giorgio Moroder is also very much in evidence.

Laced in Korg and Juno, Hubley says: “Goddess is a song about the male gaze; about a man idolising a woman to the point that he doesn’t see her as a person. His ‘love’ is all consuming and the focus of his affection is seen merely as an object. As a result he consumes her and takes from her until she has little left, but thankfully she finds the inner strength to walk away.”

With the single released by Happy Robots Records, the rather good B-side ‘Lake Louise’ is a progressive  instrumental in two distinct movements…

Lightly Motorik while dressed with endearing transistorised keyboard tones and grainy synthetic strings in its first half, the second half is more baroque with a lonely piano adding to its solemn film noir quality.

Having already remixed ‘Radio On’ featuring ex-KRAFTWERK elektronisches schlagzeugmeister Wolfgang Flür for TINY MAGNETIC PETS, Hubley opened for the Dublin synthpop trio on their London sojourn during the late May Bank Holiday weekend.


‘Goddess’ featuring three remixes and ‘Lake Louise’ is released as a download bundle by Happy Robots Records on 31st May 2019

The album ‘Polarlichter’ will be released as a limited edition vinyl LP sometime in early August, pre-order direct from https://www.happyrobots.co.uk/product-page/alice-hubble-polarlichter-new-12-lp-pre-order

ALICE HUBBLE opens for ADVANCE BASE at Redon in London’s Bethnal Green on 22nd July 2019 and PRAM at The Moon in Cardiff on 8th August 2019

https://www.happyrobots.co.uk/alice-hubble

https://www.facebook.com/alicehubblemusic/

https://twitter.com/alice_hubble

https://www.instagram.com/alice_hubble/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
12th June 2019

Introducing WE ARE REPLICA

Formed in 2015, London-based Franco German dark synth duo WE ARE REPLICA offer intense post-industrial electronics for their brand of Pan-European avant-punk.

Comprising of Nadège Préaudat and Martin Kinz who both share songwriting vocals, synths and production, their captivating live presentation is a heavy aural barrage that is not only sinister but actually sexy too.

With the inevitable spectre of THROBBING GRISTLE, CABARET VOLTAIRE and SPK all looming, it all has a strangely enjoyable sado-masochistic presence.

With a side-facing keyboard set-up of a Korg M500 Micro Preset, Korg Monologue, Yamaha DX21, Casiotone MT100 and Korg Volca Keys, the unbelievably photogenic Préaudat is the alluring bohemian seductress with the deep gallic utterances while more enigmatic but powerful, Kinz’s persona resembles that of Arnold Vosloo as Imhotep in ‘The Mummy’.

The pair have now presented their first video for ‘B Baby’, a song from their second extended play release ‘Emergency’. With an eccentrically cerebral demeanour smothered in clattering percussion and a schizophrenic cocoon of haunting voices, it is a dynamic showcase of cross-generational collaboration where within a desolate riverside backdrop, Préaudat and Kinz do erotic deviance while wearing masks of insanity…

The visual presentation was realised by director Lefteris Parasyris and cinematographer Martine Wolff with colour grading by Lionel Kopp who worked on ‘Amélie’ and ‘A Very Long Engagement’, both starring Audrey Tautou. Kinz’s describes the video to ‘B Baby’ as having “an old school MTV vibe” and it certainly is a refreshing antidote to all the filtered digital sanitisation around online and in cinema.

Also from the ‘Emergency’ EP, Préaudat declares ‘Non’ with screechy psychedelic overtones, while ‘1. 2. Free’ exploits the repeat function on the Korg Micro-Preset as on OMD’s ‘Messages’ and OUR DAUGHTER’S WEDDING’s ‘Lawnchairs’, with the cutting hypnotic melody occasionally running free amongst the unsettling processed density of sound.

A highlight from their debut EP and a mainstay of their live set, ‘Create (Who You Are)’ captures the cold cognitive chaos of the artistic mindset, with mutant octave passages, tempo changes and dispassionate vocals messaging home that well-being starts with oneself.

WE ARE REPLICA will not be an immediate proposition to some, but for other listeners, their experimental visceral approach will appeal immensely.


‘EP’ and ‘Emergency’ are both available as downloads direct from https://wearereplica.bandcamp.com/

https://wearereplica.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/wearereplica/

https://soundcloud.com/wearereplica/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Lefteris Parasyris
21st May 2019

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