Here’s your weekly rundown of three acts whose new music you don’t want to miss…
Kelpe – Answered EP
What do I think of Kelpe’s new Answered EP, you ask? It’s a kick-ass album to fall asleep to, and that is a complement of the highest regard from this often-anxious guy! London’s resident DJ has been a big hit in clubs around the world, and it is easy to understand why after listening to his dreamy landscapes. Drawing inspiration from Warp Records‘ alumni Boards Of Canada, the album’s three tracks will make you nod your head with appreciation of how succinctly he amalgamates his major influences into a sound all his own. The title track bobs and weaves around breathy melodies and the dispersed synthesizer riffs are perfect for the early morning dancehall floors.
The Golden Eagle, his full-length LP, drops on June 3rd. This EP should have been a simple tide-me-over, but it ends up being much more than that. The upcoming double-bill with Shigeto will be one major dance party. Don’t be surprised if a tour with TOKiMONSTA pops up. Or a Fabriclive release, for that matter.
Portico Quartet – Live/Remix
Since being nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize in 2008 for their debut album, Portico Quartet has gone from busking outside of the National Theatre in London to selling out venues and dropping jaws in a much more prolific fashion. They eventually caught the eye (sorry, the ear) of Peter Gabriel, and thus a relationship between the former Genesis frontman and the prodigious foursome was initiated.
They ended up signing with Gabriel’s Real World Records and the rest is history – history which is nicely summed up in this double-disc release. The sound quality is superb and the playing is top-notch. Having grown up listening to jazz and progressive metal, it is very difficult to “wow” me when it comes to virtuosity. This band, along with the now-defunct Esbjörn Svensson Trio, are the two primary jazz outfits that help dispel the popular perception that “jazz ain’t what it used to be.” Pick up this challenging record and marvel at the airy-yet-brooding electro-jazz grooves.
Vampire Weekend – Diane Young and Step
Although not quite as hauntingly melodic as the previously-profiled quartet, Vampire Weekend are much more well-known, not in the least for their shenanigans when the music video for the title track was released last month. Their all-encompassing love of music makes their output almost unclassifiable, and certainly exhilarating.
They are the snob’s “indie-rock” favourite – a polished version of MGMT’s second album Congratulations. The lyrics on both tracks are as good as anything out there (Wisdom’s a gift but you’d trade it for youth/Age is an honour but still not the truth) and the melodies are catchy enough to show up on the biggest radio station around you.
Another highlight is Chris Tomson’s percussion work on both of these two tracks. His drumming replicates a machine-gun at times throughout, but somehow does not get annoying at any point. Truly a wondrous feat of timing and production! Oh, and buy a ticket if these guys come through your city – they are all killer, no filler, on stage.