With so many releases flying at you, here are recommended vetted listens from Nialler9 for you this week, as collated in the Nialler9 New Releases Spotify playlist, updated weekly.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food
Ruban Nielson’s UMO are band that always moved between psych-rock, frenetic sonics and oddball funk. Sex and Food finds a bit of everything of the band’s established sounds in there along but perhaps with everything pushed to the fringes or testing the limits somewhat. So there’s the aggressively-charged distorted rock of ‘American Guilt’ alongside the positively 70s yacht rock tracks ‘Ministry of Alienation’ and ‘Everybody Acts Crazy Nowadays’. “When it comes to rock, I want to get into dodgier territory.”, is how Nielson has talked about the album.
Nielson’s voice remains as the peculiar whispering floating timbre. It’s a little creepy, a little laconic, and totally unique. With influences drawn from places he visited like Reykjavík, Seoul, Auckland, Hanoi and Mexico, away from the Portland home that informed much of his 2015 breakthrough record Multi-Love, Sex and Food ultimately, is like a patchwork of their sound to date.
Le Galaxie – Pleasure
The long-awaited third album from Le Galaxie was delayed due to industry machinations as covered in a recent podcast but it feels worth the wait. Where the band’s previous effort Le Club was an retro-electro album that aimed to capture the band’s revered live shows, Pleasure ably sidesteps that focus. It’s still a party, but it feels like a fresher, modern one, of rave pop sounds. The band’s newest member May Kay brings a duality to Michael Pope’s vocals that increases the human presence of the band’s music and makes their music more hook-filled. It’s still an album of absolute dance bangers, as you may expect from this band but richer and more varied, more confident employing piano-house, rave, comedown electro , synth-disco, and an Underworld-esque song called Demi Moore with the title repeated dozens of times that shouldn’t work but does. At a slim 10 tracks, Le Galaxie wear their skin more comfortably than they’ve ever done before.
Daniel Avery – Song For Alpha
Five years on from his seminal Drone Logic album, the English producer Daniel Avery has largely ditched the anthemic dancefloor grooves in favour of a sound that engulfs itself in retro ambient sounds. It’s not an “ambient” album to chill out to, it shares the same sonics as 1994’s Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2, . It appears to beam itself from another dimension, while grappling with techno and industrial sounds, it remains cavernous and seeking on tracks like ‘Sensation’ and ‘Projector’. ‘Clear’ delves into throwback acid and ‘Diminuendo’ embodies early ’90s minimalism. Song for Alpha is one to get lost in. To help that, there’s an accompanying hour-long visual film.
Somadrone – Wellpark Avenue
Neil O’Connor’s music has often drawn on synthesizers and analogue equipment to make music that had a soft nebulous quality, with qualities of pychedelia, kraut and ambience. O’Connor’s sixth album as Somadrone finds him moving away from those ingredients and embracing live instrumentation and tape loops.
Wellpark Avenue is named after the place in Drumcondra in which the album was recorded, tying down the album’s floating tendencies to a sense of physical space (as can be seen below in the accompanying video). The process may be different but the textured production remains, yet there’s an experimental feel to many of the songs. Wellpark Avenue isn’t an album in a rush to get to another location, it’s quite happy exploring the journey.
Posted on April 10th, 2018
My favourite songs of the past month – all in one place.
Berlin-based Peggy Gou is a DJ and producer who has been steadily building her profile over the last couple of years.
It was ‘Gou Talk’ and subsequent high-profile building DJ slots at the likes of Dekmantel that helped in that regard.
Gou has a new EP coming on Ninja Tune on March 2nd on Ninja Tune and ‘It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)’ is a polychromatic piece of electronic house music infused with summer shimmers and tropical vistas. Gou also sings quite capably in Korean.
The Once EP is released on March 2nd and she plays District 8 on February 23rd.
Dear Annie, Rejjie Snow’s long awaited debut album finally gets a release on February 16th and he’s released two EPs featuring 8 tracks from it so far (for some reason). ‘Egyptian Luvr is a smooth jam. He plays the Olympia on March 12th.
Superorganism — Everybody Wants to Be Famous
London-based eight-member pop crew Superorganism show off their off-kilter electronic pop with their second big single. An album comes out on Domino on March 2nd.
David Byrne — Everybody’s Coming To My House
David Byrne will release his first solo album since 2004 on March 9th and it’s called American Utopia. He has made albums with Eno, St. Vincent and Karl Hyde, but it’s his first solo album. It’s produced by The xx cohort Rodaidh McDonald and features guests, Jack Peñate, Oneohtrix Point Never, Jam City and Thomas Bartlett, and its choreographed live shows to come, Byrne has suggested are “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense.”
Talk about expectations. ‘Everybody’s Coming To My House’ is Byrne at his best – melding acoustic textures, brass and Afrobeat textures with his trademark pop songwriting.
Kendrick is curating Marvel’s Black Panther movie soundtrack and ‘All The Stars’ is our first offering from it. So that’s both creators of album number 1 and 2 of 2017’s best albums collaborating (they are on the same label). SZA outshines Kendrick on this – her honey-dripped voice beholden with power is very suitable for a superhero movie. Kendrick can’t compete.
Cardi B adds some Salt’n’Pepa ’90s shake to a highlight from Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic. Bruno didn’t deserve to win all the Grammys but that and the incredulous statements from the President Neil Portnow after doesn’t affect this song’s jam status.
Marcus Marr — High Times
One of DFA Records’ new artists released one of the best tunes of 2016 with ‘Rocketship’, an electro-robot funk track that brought the Londoner to the attention of many a DJ. His recent single ‘High Times’ goes for a more minimal aesthetic, sounding like a French Touch Daft-Punk-esque house track trying to stay under the radar while remaining under the skin.
The Go! Team are back with a new album Semicircle, which is a return to their exuberant indie jams. And it works. The bandleader Ian Parton travelled across the US and recorded young choirs and brass bands and they add to the genuine schoolyard buzz of the record. ‘ If There’s One Thing You Should Know’ is a giddy highlight from it.
Lone — Temples
Lone releases Ambivert Tools Volume Three this month, the latest in series of EPs that have been worthy listens and ‘Temples’ is an abmivert jungle-tastic acid banger.
Young Fathers seem immune anyone outside their clique, operating as a gang who were more interested in offering genuine healing through music that crosses rap, gospel and lo-fi sonics. ‘In My View’ is another idiosyncratic uplifting gem from these outliers, but if there’s anything obvious from their new material, it’s an increasing softness and directness that wasn’t present on their first two records. Their new album Cocoa Sugar is out in March.
Posted on February 2nd, 2018