June Roundup: Morgan Geist, ROOM8, Deardrums, SaiR, Maethelvin, and More

Listening to a classic Vangelis album and planning for Pride weekend. Photo Credit: Vehlinggo.
Listening to a classic Vangelis album and planning for Pride weekend. Photo Credit: Vehlinggo.

Avid Vehlinggo readers will have noticed that June was a bit of a slow month for me.

I have been dialing it down a bit for the summer to balance out the work I’m doing on other projects.

That said, there are plenty of posts you might have missed in June.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the new GUNSHIP album coming out on July 24. Not only will the popular new band’s recently popular songs be on the album, but you’ll also see Miami Nights 1984, Makeup and Vanity Set, and Carpenter Brut, among others, show up in various ways.

ROOM8, known for their great remixes and collaborations with Electric Youth, in addition to their original work, released a catchy synth-pop song called “No Hard Feelings.” King Deco has vocal duty, offering up some sugary vox to go along with the timeless yet 80s-infused arrangement.

Famed New York DJ Morgan Geist and electro-R&B artist Jessy Lanza formed The Galleria and almost single-handedly revived freestyle for the masses on “Calling Card” and “Mezzanine.”

Then I finally got around to writing about Anoraak’s great new track, “Odds Are Good,” a contribution to the Eskimo Recordings Presents: The Orange Collection compilation. I was late to reviewing it because of the aforementioned projects, even if I had been listening to it all month.

Portugal-based SaiR — the soulful retrosynther who’s been a part of Rosso Corsa for years — on June 13 uploaded “Remember When,” an electro-funk/boogie number that wears its clean, sophisticated sheen like a finely pressed suit. I really love this song.

Maethelvin blew our minds with a shiny, disco remix of College and Nola Wren’s “Save The Day.” Fresh off a successful show with College in Tokyo and Valerie’s birthday celebration in Hong Kong, Maethelvin has unleashed a completely reworked version of College’s darker take on late 70s and early 80s stalker films. But whereas the original “Save The Day” is the lurker in the shadows, the remix is the party the strange lurker is watching. It’s also just a fun summer track. Click over to the review, because there’s also a YouTube clip of another new Valerie track.

On “Summer Heat,” Paradise Walk added to the list of amazing summer songs. They mined elements of Kenny Loggins and The Psychedelic Furs — with a taste of The Wild Swans, some general C86 feel, and a healthy dose of minor-key, 80s teen flick soundtrack overtones. This gives us a bright, catchy, and inspiring cut that taps into complex emotions without the band taking themselves too seriously.

And most recently, 2MR, the new label formed by Mike Simonetti and Mike Sniper, released two great 12-inch records from Deardrums and DUST. I reviewed Deardrums’ Aquila, the three-track debut from the Italian duo composed of famed DJ Bottin (who you might know from his releases on Simonetti’s old labels Italians Do It Better and Perseo) and Italian percussionist Leo di Angilla. They play virtually everything live, creating raw, stark, yet rich house arrangements that sound like they’re sourced in pre-Colombian America.

Tesla Boy kills it on June 27/28 at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Tesla Boy.
Tesla Boy kills it on June 27/28 at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. Photo Credit: Tesla Boy.

Also, if you ever have the opportunity to see Russian 80s retro band Tesla Boy live, you should. I attended their show last night at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn and it was great. The four-piece translates their synthesizer-focused 80s sound to a live setting very well. I’d say they even rock.

That’s June for you. July will heat up quite a bit. That’s all I’ll say about that.