The sun shone strongly for this year’s SW4, headlined by Pendulum and Deadmau5 across the two day event at the end of last month. Here’s a little flavour of a bass-filled weekend, including shots from sets by Example, Disciples, Laidback Luke, Knife Party and Sub-Focus…
We can’t get enough of the laidback vibe of Tora and latest tune Entity is one of their slickest yet. It’s taken from the Aussie band’s debut album Take A Rest which is out now and should be of great interest to any fans of the likes of SOHN or James Blake.
Catch them live in the UK next month at Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester (7 October), or their headline shows in London (9) and Brighton (10).
Tora – Entity (ft. Merryn Jeann)
Probably our favourite producer/DJ right now, Dimension – aka London-based Robert Etheridge – absolutely smashed his Saturday night set at South West Four Festival at the end of last month, and new tune Black Church is a slick slice of the raw, pared-back drum & bass that he is becoming known for. The track has also been given the full music video treatment – Dimension’s first full visual.
If you like this, you have to hear his incredibly atmospheric and energetic pair Automatik and Generator… although please promise us you’ll do so in the dark. And on the loudest speakers/headphones you can find.
Dimension – Black Church
Here’s one that has been bubbling under for a while and since we can’t get it out of our heads, decided it was deserving of a share. BC Unidos is the brainchild of two of Sweden’s biggest producers, Markus Krunegård and Patrik Berger, who have worked with big names such as Santigold, Charlie XCX, Icona Pop, and Robyn. Bicycle is a real feel-good summer cut which has unsurprisingly been picking up a fair bit of airplay. BC Unidos have also released the Carli remix of the track which takes the original into club territory by fusing grime and dancehall and is well worth a listen.
BC Unidos – Bicycle (ft. Shungudzo)
London trio Jaded have been earning rave reviews for this track which is fast becoming something of a summer anthem.
The producers – Nari Man, Jordan Park, and Teo Cretella – met in London from Iran, Italy and London respectively and have been picking up plenty of airplay since last year’s track 4000Hz hit the nation’s ears. In The Morning is their latest brash and highly infections effort and, for us, is infinitely better. And you can catch the guys live on 25 August at London’s KOKO.
As for the video, well, we’ve all found ourselves out late when an attack of the munchies strikes so there’s a lesson to be learned here: if you’re out tonight or over the weekend, be prepared – take snacks. Lots of snacks.
Jaded – In The Morning
With less than a month to go until some of the biggest names in EDM assemble on Clapham Common for South West Four, we’ve been casting our eye over the stellar line-up to pick a few not-to-be-missed acts. With headline sets from the likes of Knife Party, Deadmau5, Pendulum, and Tinie Tempah, the event maintains its reputation for booking huge acts. But to be fair, there is solid stuff to be found right throughout the schedule so here are a few that you should seriously consider seeking out if you’re heading along to the big Bank Holiday weekend party. Continue reading
We fell totally and utterly in love with recent Neo Noir track Colours, but this one has done much to wrestle for top spot in our affections. Featuring incredible other-worldly vocals from Brooke Williams, this reinvention of the 1995 song by Courtney Love’s Hole is a multi-dimensional thing of beauty that ebbs and flows, taking you on a real musical journey that you really don’t want to end.
Neo Noir are an LA-based producer/DJ collective made up of Bradley Allan and Greg Ogan. They have that knack of creating EDM tunes of real substance as well as style and we look forward to hearing a lot more from them in the months ahead. In the meantime, if you like Violet, check out When I Was Young, which also features Williams’ wonderful vocals and is super-special.
Neo Noir – Violet (ft. Brooke Williams)
We’re always on the lookout for what we consider to be a ‘Friday tune’, so you can’t even begin to imagine how happy we were to have this beauty appear before our very ears. Hold On is the brand new track from London-based producer Fabich and features the vocal talents of Josh Barry. An absolute gem, and with a suitable cracking video to go with it.
And while you’re about it, don’t miss the absolutely sublime acoustic version of this song – both versions are below.
Fabich – Hold On (ft. Josh Barry)
Fabich – Hold On (ft. Josh Barry) Acoustic
Summer tune alert! Out today, Never Gonna Be is the debut single from KVR – 17-year-old producer Koen Van Ravensberg (we see what he did there).
It’s a dance track that neatly fuses some of the core tried-and-trusted dance components with feel-good tropical pop. The vocals of Noréll singer Kaíva offers the finishing polish for a track that should, by rights, be getting a fair bit of radio airplay over the coming weeks.
KVR – Never Gonna Be (ft. Kaíva)
LA-based producer/DJ collective Neo Noir (Bradley Allan and Greg Ogan) recently dropped this belter and we’ve decided this is the tune to kick-off our weekend. Featuring the vocals of London Ellis, our advice is that it requires full volume. You’re welcome.
Neo Noir – Colours (ft. London Ellis)
A warm, sultry Friday evening in London got even hotter in the basement environment of Birthdays in Dalston, East London. The biggest show so far by emerging soul-pop trio Rumours saw this compact venue packed out and enthralled by an hour-long set that included sublimely chilled out tunes alongside more uptempo material.
Comprising Mark Borgazzi (vocals/keyboards), Federico Bigonzetti (drums) and Marion Solheim (vocals), the band are earning a reputation for finely-crafted songs characterised by a real depth of feeling achieved through wonderful harmonies between the vocals of Borgazzi and Solheim. We’re always keen to discover whether the recorded version of this magical vocal skill can be replicated on the live stage, so it was great to hear them nail it wonderfully on the night.
The set built nicely, from a low-key but solid first half through to a much more upbeat second. So Bad, Invitations and I Do It All were particular highlights – along with new single Hunter – but there were no weak links here. It was an impressive performance for a band still in its relative early stages.
They promised an eager crowd that more new material was on the way soon. If they can create more along the lines of what’s gone before then a very bright future lies ahead… and that’s more than just a rumour.
See also: DISCOVER… Rumours
Pure synth-pop at it’s best, this one deserves to be a summer pop anthem. Meet Dan Crossley, a 21-year-old singer songwriter from Telford who has been busy writing songs throughout his teens.
He attracted plenty of attention with his debut track Feel and has now followed it up with Nothing But Love, which is what we have for this tune. It is taken from his five-track EP Feel which is out on Friday 19 May.
Dan Crossley – Nothing But Love
UK R&B singer/songwriter Lauren Faith has had an introduction to the industry that is anything but low-key. With debut track Got It Good featuring on both Kaytranada’s album 99.9% and Craig David’s latest album Following My Intuition, the 21-year-old has already cut her teeth in the most credible of ways.
Faith has been busy cooking up further material in the studio. Her first solo track, Let Them Talk starts by giving the initial impression that it is going to be a fairly straightforward R&B affair, but then breaks down into a far more jazzy, off-kilter and experimental tone, with an instrumental courtesy of emerging UK beatmaker Lostboy working to emphasise Faith’s silky delivery.
Catch Lauren Faith at her own headline show at London’s Waiting Room on 2 May – tickets here.
Lauren Faith – Let Them Talk
Rather liking Seasons Change, the first commercial release from Dead Lavender. The artists responsible are so far shrouded in mystery, although we do know that they are a London-based collaborative duo, consisting of vocalists and producers V & Oliver. With a second tune apparently in the final stages, hopefully there’s plenty more where this track came from.
The video was shot in Los Angeles on Christmas Day last year and was produced by the pair with a retro vibe using VCR filters and 90’s colour grading.
Dead Lavender – Seasons Change
Although relatively little known in the UK, Australian DJ and producer Ok Sure has been making waves throughout Australasia recently. A creator of sublime downtempo electronica masterpieces, Ok Sure – a moniker that is derived from her real name Akaysha – has been honing her considerable skills for years.
A winner of multiple DJ competitions in her homeland, she is in big demand for remixes, whilst her own original material also gets plenty of airplay on many of the major Aussie radio stations.
Ok Sure also delivers big live performances consisting of downtempo, industrial, dark melodic electronica and DJ sets pulsing with techno, deep house, electronica and whatever else takes the mood. As she launches new EP Anamnesis, we caught up with her to find out more about what makes this Melbourne livewire talent tick…
SYNC: Please tell us a bit of the background, how you first started out as a DJ?
Ok Sure: I actually developed an interest in music production before i started DJ’ing. DJ’ing was a natural progression for the sound I was taking an interest in at that time. I think I was about 14 or 15 years old and I was really getting into Wet Musik, which was a Melbourne techno collective putting on parties and releasing music. One of the guys from it – Will E Tell – was running DJ’ing lessons and I signed up for a four-week course, started buying vinyl, eventually got my own decks and the rest is history!
SYNC: DJ competitions were a big part of your early development – how did those experiences shape your work now and what opportunities did they present?
Ok Sure: I was about 20 years old when I won the Pioneer Pro DJ Search. That feels like such a long time ago! It was a nice confirmation at that age, to feel like I was on the right track. I was probably a bit lost at that stage wondering what to do with my life; Should I study more? Should I travel? Should I focus on music? I ended up doing all three.
SYNC: Who and what have influenced or shaped your sound up to now?
Ok Sure: Unrequited love, relationships, boredom, friends, other artist, procrastination (when I’m meant to be doing other things is always the best time to make music), frustration, life…
SYNC: Tell us a little about the new EP Anamnesis – how have these tracks developed and how long has the EP been in the making?
Ok Sure: I have been making music for a long time under the alias ‘Ok Sure’ with no real direction as to what I was going to do with it or how I was going to release it. It really started as a side project. I was always holding off on doing official releases as I felt I made a lot of mistakes releasing stuff in the past that I ended up hating. I wanted to sit on tracks for a really long time and if I still liked them in 2-3 years then I assumed I might like them in 10…I hoped. I was approached by a label (Upside Music) who where interested in working on a release and I thought it was time I put something out. So, I had A LOT of music sitting there and basically we just went through it all and picked out what we thought was most appropriate for the first EP. I then spent ages polishing off those tracks and trying to get them to all sound coherent – I did all the mixing and mastering on the EP – as some were from four years ago and some were from last year. Obviously my production skills have gotten better so I just had to re-work a few and get them up to scratch.
SYNC: The technical construction of a track like Xylo seems really complex and yet at the same time, it has a simple atmospheric quality. What’s the typical starting point of your production process and how does the sound evolve?
Ok Sure: Oh man, Xylo is probably about three years old, I can’t even remember how that track started. I’m literally working on like ten things at a time, bag most of the ideas then start another ten. Some tracks stick and I end up going back to continue working on them. Xylo was one of those. Honestly I don’t even know how my tracks happen, it’s hours and hours of being on auto pilot at my computer, tweaking this, going through synth sounds, samples, messing around on my keyboard until something just clicks and I roll with it. Sometimes I even listen back to my stuff and I think, how did that happen?!
SYNC: Where does your creative heart lie – creating your own originals or remixing?
Ok Sure: Remixing is fun but I would say originals I’m more passionate about. I think I was doing so many remixes to get stuff out in the world while I was trying to figure out what to do with all my original material. It was a way to release something and get your name out there without having the stress of releasing your own tracks.
SYNC: Which artists have you most enjoyed working with on remixes – and is there anyone who you would particularly like to collaborate with in the future?
Ok Sure: I think my favourite remix I’ve done is the Habits one (Gerger). I was a bit nervous with that one as I’m such a fan of their music and I thought, can I do it justice? But it came out really well and they were happy with it so that was great. Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Arca – imagine collaborating with him… a girl can dream.
SYNC: What’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2017? Are there live shows in the diary – or any plans for UK/Europe?
Ok Sure: I have a few live shows this month in Melbourne, working on the next EP which will be a bit different to Anamnesis as I’m collaborating with other vocalists. Unfortunately, there are no plans just yet for UK or Europe but I would love to organise something!
Ok Sure / oksurewhatever.com