This Friday roundup is loaded to the brim with noteworthy music. I’ll try to keep it brief and just let you enjoy the sounds. They are such lovely sounds.
Le Matos – ‘Complete Memory Recovery’
Do I even need to write anything here? It’s Le Matos, one of the best acts of all time (yeah, I’m serious). Fresh off Summer of 84 the Le Matos contribution to the soundtrack to comic The Weatherman, which features many Vehlinggo stalwarts, is a killer dancefloor number that stomps like Daft Punk on Halloween (or like Le Matos on Halloween, really). Could it give us a preview of what a future Le Matos album would sound like? I dunno! (OK, so I guess I did need to write a few things here.)
BTW, according to the obi strip of the Summer of 84 vinyl from Death Waltz, that label will be releasing Le Matos’s score to sci-fi show Exode in the near future. (If you want to learn more about their Summer of 84 work, there’s always this Vehlinggo Podcast interview.)
Paperwhite – ‘Count on You’
Regular Vehlinggo readers will know that I have a deep admiration for Brooklyn synth-pop duo Paperwhite, writing about them on and off for three of the four years this site has existed. Their latest, “Count On You,” continues their turn toward more mainstream pop. But fear not, for the result is, as you would expect, downright lovely. I’m here for whatever experiments they have in mind. (If you want to know more about them, here’s an interview we did a while back.)
The Bad Dreamers – Songs About People Including Myself
A few weeks ago, The Bad Dreamers (AKA David Schuler) released, via RetroSynth Records, a supremely well-crafted synthwave album entitled Songs About People Including Myself. A professional songwriter for mainstream acts such as P!nk, Schuler brings his A-game, industry experience to a genre that has plenty of room for such skills. Highlights include the exquisite “Who You Run To,” “How to Disappear,” and “Somewhere in This City.” When he stays in the pop realm, his strengths are at their most potent.
The Bad Dreamers opened for FM-84 during their recent mini-tour. Photos from the Brooklyn show are on Vehlinggo’s Facebook page. (He also joined the stage at Brooklyn Steel with The Midnight and opener Timecop1983, but there’s not as much photographic evidence of this in the Vehlinggo realm.)
Drum & Lace – ‘Syncopate’
The gifted composer Sofia Hultquist (AKA “Drum & Lace”) is known for her sophisticated experiments, compelling EPs, and memorable score work, and her latest single, “Syncopate,” continues the timeline of quality work from the LA resident. (She often teams up with her hubby, Ian. And while together they create pure magic, Sofia kicks ass in her own right.) “Syncopate” is a rolling cascade of pulsating rhythms and contemplative ambient electronics, unleashing a sentiment that suggests an indica-laden expression of Richard D. James.
Specifically, according to Hultquist, the song “combines organic field recordings with drum machines, playing with the juxtaposition of silence and chaos.” I think she pulled it off effortlessly. A video is forthcoming, which I’m excited to experience.
Kyson – ‘Every High (Drinker Remix)’
When Drinker do a remix, they do it very friggin’ well. So I’m not shocked that this frequent Vehlinggo-featured band pulled it off yet again. This cut is replete with a suave emotional complexity built atop a collage of interwoven electronics and guitars and propulsive rhythms. The sound is big yet intimate.
Sara Kendall – Comply
The entire dark pop collection is a gorgeous and compelling foray into interpersonal dynamics. The cuts move slowly, methodically collecting the remnants of relationships like a broom slowly sweeping up shards of glass. Kendall’s unparalleled vocal delivery brings a fierce immediacy to Loh’s trademark molasses-covered acousto-electronic temperament. These two work well together.
The G – Concrete Island
Although the producer is known more for his synthwave output, The G has crafted a new album, released via Time Slave Recordings, that treads heavily into the type of synth-score territory well-worn by labels like Burning Witches Records and Death Waltz, and artists like Makeup and Vanity Set — and especially classic artists of the kosmische variety.
The result? A welcome detour from the chains of synthwave into bigger, better, and more galactic territory. Now that The G is an LA resident, might I compel him to do a show with San Diego-based Syntax?
Baldocaster – Moonrise
Marseille, France-based label Lazerdiscs Records has just released Moonrise, the debut album from space-minded Baldocaster. (Perhaps he should join the folks above for an all-out planetarium of synth?)
I find this record compelling, because it defies most synthwave tropes in a bid to think humbly about our place in the universe. However, not one to seemingly get lost in a star cluster, Baldocaster ensures there is enough back beat to keep our bodies moving and our minds clear. If this is how he decides to kick things off, then I can’t wait for what he has in store.
Gavin Brivik – Cam Original Motion Picture Score
And finally, we have Gavin Brivik’s haunting synth score for director Daniel Goldhaber’s horror film Cam. The film, starring Madeline Brewer, is about Alice, an ambitious camgirl, who wakes up one day to discover she’s been replaced on her show with an exact replica of herself. Brivik excels exponentially at complementing the film’s suspenseful story with a diverse and engaging score that easily stands alone if you want it to. (Bonus: There are some majorly ’80s moments.)
In other words, just as I do with Rob Simonsen’s Nerve synth score, I’ll be listening to this one for years to come.
Catch the film now on Netflix and in select theatres. The soundtrack is available now in digital form via Lakeshore Records.