Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche: Zubberdust!
Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche began in 2011, with bassist, singer and composer Jean-Sebastien Truchy seeking a new live ensemble to fuel his desired return to exploring the highly structured afro-kraut trance rock that was one of several stocks-in-trade during his tenure in early Constellation project and pseudo-legendary Fly Pan Am.
Avec le soleil initially formed with guitarist/engineer Sebastien Fournier and drummer Nasir Hasan; a rotating cast of additional players joined the group for live shows throughout 2012-2013, as the band gained a local reputation for irresistible and levitational live sets that combined an avant-garde/contemporary sensibility with infectiously angular, rubbery grooves. Guitarist Eric Gingras (Pas Chic Chic) emerging as a fourth core member during this period.
Avec le soleil is by now careening towards mastery of a highly original, deeply satisfying, giddy and heady avant-funk. Anchored by the brilliant bass and drum work of Truchy and Hasan, the group's music is woven with crisp stuttering guitar and keyboard lines and a continually shifting palette of electronic touches and interventions. The pair of exquisite and exhilarating 20-minute pieces (sub-divided into sections for CD and digital track IDs) featured on Zubberdust! are the culmination of the group's first two years of conceptual and somatic development.
Boothroyd: Idle Hours
With the release of his debut EP ‘Idle Hours’ Tri Angle is very excited to introduce Boothroyd, aka, 21 year old, Mancunian native Peter Boothroyd. Since moving to London less than a year ago for school and off the back of a handful of mp3s that have slowly circulated amongst musician friends and industry people alike, Boothroyd has been creating quite a stir for himself within the electronic music scene. Despite this being a debut release by a relative newcomer, 'Idle Hours' feels oddly anticipated within certain quarters. There are probably two reasons for this; a growing reputation for being one of the most oddly charismatic producers out there (interviews will undoubtedly be very illuminating) and of course the music itself, which is pretty much impossible to easily explain or classify. Setting out to create something that felt beautifully wide in scope, but also disfigured and jarring, Boothroyd wanted his music to sound cinematic whilst aesthetically mirroring how his own regular music listening experiences, via the saturated, ultra compressed world of Youtube. Purposefully recorded using the most basic of set ups and mixed with (in his words) 'cheap, shitty headphones', 'Idle Hours' feels like the most battered state of the art record you might hope to hear in 2014. It also makes clear Boothroyd is an artist to keep a serious eye on.
Electric Youth: Innerworld
In a click-bait driven music scene, it's rare to find an album that stands the test of time, but Toronto-based synth duo Electric Youth may have managed that rare feat with their spectral, stunning debut album Innerworld. "We wanted to make something that had the sense of being timeless," says Austin Garrick, the band's instrumentalist alongside vocalist Bronwyn Griffin. "Our ultimate goal is to make a record that will be the favourite album of people that aren't born yet."
With their swooning collaboration with College, "A Real Hero", featured in Nicolas Winding Refn's universally acclaimed neo-noir Drive, a place in the history books is arguably already theirs. After cracking the Top 10 of the iTunes dance charts in 15 countries, the band stepped back from the limelight to take their time to work on a full-length. "We get asked a lot 'how have guys not already put out an album - that would have been a good time to do it'", admits Austin. "But at the end of the day, more important for us than capitalising on timing is really making sure that we would have the record that we wanna have."
Recording took place between the duo's Toronto studio and their home studio in LA. Each space served its different purpose - in Toronto Austin was able to make use of his extensive vintage synth collection, making up what he estimates is 80% of analogue sounds on the album. In LA meanwhile, the pair recorded Bronwyn's vocals, of which they share writing duties for - in their space - which includes a film projection room. Fritz Lang's boundary-breaking twenties classic Metropolis was a favourite. It's easy to see how the vast scope of Lang's movie inspired the wide-eyed vistas of Innerworld, where soundscapes bleed into vocals and songs take you on journeys into roads unexplored.
The artwork for Innerworld is similarly starry-eyed, with British artist Paul Roberts painting Austin and Bronwyn as intrepid children for the cover. "He was in a group called Sniff 'n' the Tears who had a big hit in the 70s with their song "Drivers Seat", which we came to know through its use in Boogie Nights. We loved his album covers which he would paint and from there we discovered he went on to incredible work as an artist" says Austin. "The initial intention was for it to be more about the landscape, but we liked it and it did make sense to us, going back to the concept of Innerworld? Bronwyn and I have known each other since we were 10 years old and a lot of the time we're still the same kids in our mind, in our inner world. And so for us you could say, in our inner world that's what we look like - those two kids." With their music's unquenchable sense of wonder, perhaps they're not too far from those kids today. "David Lynch never wants to define the meanings of his films," says Austin. "Similarly, we don't like to get too specific about the meaning of our music." When it sounds this good, who needs to put their music into a box? Let their inner world wash over you.
Joan Shelley: Electric Ursa
Electric Ursa is the second solo album by Joan Shelley. Recorded in her hometown of Lousiville, KY with producer Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Andrew Bird, Houndmouth), it's comprised of eight songs, startling in their quietness and closeness. The Chicago Reader wrote that "she sings with striking intimacy, as though addressing someone sitting just a few feet away". Shelley has toured the US and Europe both solo and with her band (The June Brides). Her latest release Farthest Field (2012) was a duo album with Daniel Martin Moore, of which Jim James said was "destined to become a classic. It already is for those who know."
Lydia Ainsworth: Right From Real
Composer / producer / singer Lydia Ainsworth has been secretly writing and recording songs over the past three years from bedrooms and basements between Toronto and Brooklyn. What began as pass-time sketches between composing music for film and multimedia projects has over time revealed an enchanting collection of experimental pop songs with a life of their own.
Blurring the boundaries between indie music, filmic orchestration, and electronic music, Lydia's debut "Right From Real" thrives on haunting melodies and draws inspiration from a wide range of musical sources - Verdi's Requiem, Ace of Base, Bulgarian Choirs, Bernard Herrmann, Tones on Tail, Art of Noise? to name a few. This sense of unexpected marriages of influence flows throughout much of Lydia's work which features use of voice sampling and string arrangements woven into a unique minimalist fabric.
Lydia Ainsworth's debut "Right From Real" will be released 09.30.14 on Arbutus Records.
Montgomery Express: The Montgomery Movement
Funk's answer to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Florida's Montgomery Express stood at the crossroads of politically conscious soul and mystically awakened dance music. Comprised of two blind musicians in their 20s and a teenage rhythm section, their lone LP was cut in 1972 for Orlando's Dove label, then reissued on Folkways two years later. Although the label usually steered clear of soul music and anything remotely commercial sounding, Montgomery Express tapped into Folkways' Guthrie-cum-Chamber Bros. nerve.
"My whole life, I heard music in the air, beautiful music. I've been involved in supernatural things, spoken with spirits. I have heard an orchestra up in the air. I know I've heard it." —Paul Montgomery
Ritual Howls: Turkish Leather
Detroit three piece Ritual Howls new album tells stories fit for Poe or Lovecraft. On their debut full length for felte, titled Turkish Leather, they incorporate a variety of styles into an ominously self-assured statement of intent, Ben Saginaw and Chris Samuels' sounds providing an imposing form for Paul Bancell's darkly alive lyrics to inhabit. Their influences range from English post-punk to Nick Cave to the industrial sounds of Skinny Puppy, and the band melds them expertly. Combining field recordings with electronics, this music is sound design turned pop.
Many tracks here feel cinematic - whether it's the industrial clanging of "A Taste of You," which brings to mind a Lynchian bar scene, or the gothy synths of "Take Me Up," a slow burning track that escalates into full on melodrama. It's easy to imagine these twangy guitar lines gracing a scene in a Jarmusch film: their aesthetic owes as much to Tom Waits as it does Ennio Moriccone.
Ritual Howls manages to take all these influences and come out sounding uniquely morbid, raw and unyielding - never derivative. It's a record that holds nothing back: the band announcing themselves to the world with all of the confidence of long time professionals. Their future audience will greet them with enthusiasm.
Ruby Fray: Grackle
Coming a long way from her debut album, Pith (KLP239), Ruby Fray's upcoming release Grackle (KLP251) blends Americana sweetness with sludgy dissonance. Helmed by Emily Beanblossom, the band teamed up with Pith producder, Ben Hargett, to record the album at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, WA. Their newest recording preserves the playful jangly genre-bouncing enervation found in their previous work while insisting on a more disciplined approach to songwriting.
Sensational Saints: You Won't Believe It
Formed in the early '50s under the watchful eye of Tuskegee, Alabama, transplant Charles Chambliss, the Sensational Saints were handpicked from a Cleveland clothing store, a pool room, and from a group of friends singing from a third story window. After years spent rotating members and issuing stray singles for assorted non-denominational imprints, the group connected with the vocally inclined Reverend Melvin Kenniebrew at the close of the '60s, making good on their "Sensational" boast. "With God in their hearts and singing on their minds," the Sensational Saints mounted their crown jewel in 1973 with "You Won't Believe It" (Try It You'll Like Us). Pressed in conservative quantities by local gospel magnate James Bullard on his King James label, the group's lone long-player perfectly encapsulates the intersection of funk and gospel as only the religious conversion of a Bill Wither's tune can do.
Sinkane: Mean Love
This is truly universal soul music, uniting rhythm and styles from our world over to help you move, relate and BE.
Sinkane's 'Mean Love' rolls like an emotional, existential history of the artist. It was recorded at The Rumpus Room in Brooklyn, New York and co-produced with long-time Sinkane collaborator and childhood friend, Greg Lofaro.
There is much to fall in love with on Mean Love, his second LP on DFA and the follow up to his breakthrough album 'Mars'. It might be the funky, infectious brass lines of "New Name" or the reggae-soul of "Young Trouble" or the the Sudanese Pop melody of "Omdurman". There are doses of West African slow-burners, surprise appearances of steel guitar arrangements and country-soul, a Noir Blaxploitation vibe, and a newly found sweet falsetto voice reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield specifically in album standout "Hold Tight".
Mean Love is an emotionally rich and generous soul album with a very welcoming appeal. The restless creative drive of Ahmed Gallab these past few years has led to a true breakthrough moment for the artist, and this album is a true reward for time well spent.
The Juan Maclean: In A Dream
The dance world way too often privileges the new, and not many dance artists write albums as good as In A Dream, the third full-length album by The Juan MacLean, this far into their career. The Juan MacLean have weathered electroclash, disco-punk, electro-disco, techno, house, deep house, and whatever we can call the sound of today. They never feel totally in step with the moment, but somehow always feel right and necessary. Put differently: there's always something exciting to say about these guys.
Let's start with Nancy Whang. Nancy's voice has always been a kind of secret weapon on The Juan Maclean records, but this album is her triumph. Just take a look above at the album art where she's front and center This is the Nancy Show - you get all sides of Nancy on this record, a wide range of expression. These are all love songs, but emotions run wild. And you can't pull this off without Nancy - she's not living in these songs, she's leading them.
The first full-length by The Juan Maclean since 2009, comprised of entirely new material.
The Pine Hill Haints: The Magik Sounds of The Pine Hill Haints
The Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints (KLP254), ventures softly into the cool, dark whisper of the haunted south. Short, tight spun rhymes about silver quarters and vampires come from a late evening session in a small pink house in south Alabama, located next to an old Native American mound of shells and bones, recorded at low volume with red eyes and open windows. This is the 4th Halloween dance party long player the haints have cut for K.