There’s a lot going on at the beginning of 2016. Here’s a quick, extremely non-comprehensive roundup of select happenings.
‘Moth’ is Coming
On Friday, Chairlift, one of the best bands to ever come out of Brooklyn and a Vehlinggo interview aspiration, releases its third LP, Moth.
In the run-up to the release, they’ve been putting out singles to pique our interest (as if we needed it). I’ve enjoyed each single, but quasi-title-track “Moth to the Flame” is the type of disco-synthpop that keeps me alive.
All you need to do is listen to the song once, and you’ll be singing along to it immediately and thinking about it and replaying it multiple times thereafter. It’s like the Kilgrave of contemporary synthpop songs, but in a good way. It’s one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in years.
Pr0files Will Be Huge in 2016
I’ve already written about Pr0files’ recent single, “Like a Knife,” a song that manages to tap into the better angels of 80s Phil Collins and contempo Chromatics and come out sounding like the soundtrack to key moments of my life.
But they’ve been slowly putting out singles since 2014 in the run-up to the February release of their debut LP, Jurassic Technologie, a record that absolutely blows my mind in its brilliance. It’s almost frightening how good this LP is. I can’t wait for you to hear it.
In the meantime, here’s a single from it that you might have missed, and that I believe Kavinsky and Paperwhite would love equally. At some point, also look for a massive Vehlinggo feature on this duo.
Rémi Parson’s ‘Montauban’ EP is a Gem
Rémi Parson is one of my most favorite living synthpop artists, as I’ve established in my massive feature on him last year, and the No. 5 rating I gave his LP Précipitations on my Top 15 of 2015 list.
On Feb. 1 he’ll be back with the Montauban EP, a darker and more produced affair that at parts stops me cold in my thoughts. He’s got this ability to sound concurrently modern and retro, while sounding intensely intimate and equally high-art in that way only French musicians can.
Carpenteresque Soundscapes Reign
These are both actually from December, but they came about around Christmas and I missed them. Hey, it was vacation time!
VHS Glitch released the complex, Mad Max-evoking Land With No Future LP. It’s 80s retro, of course, but its complexity and oft-organic feel ensure it never comes off as cheap.
Britain-based Ex-Machina released the borderline banger Transhuman, featuring guest spots from the likes of OGRE and, well, VHS Glitch. Aside from some of the usual synthwave tropes, Ex-Machina mines enough of the complicated soul of Vangelis to keep me interested.
Dust’s ‘Agony Planet’ Redefines the Dialogue
On Friday, fantasy techno collective DUST — a trio made up of audio engineer Michael Sherburn, DIY nightlife-entrepreneur John Barclay, and multi-disciplinary artist Greem Jellyfish — will release their debut full length, Agony Planet, on 2MR.
I’ve been impressed with the somewhat subversive nature of everything released on Mike Simonetti’s and Mike Sniper’s relatively new dance label — and DUST certainly brings a grimy, analogue phantasm to electronic music that is sorely missing nowadays.