Playlist 04.11.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Playlist 04.11.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 04.11.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 04.11.17 : Five Songs for the Weekend

EERA – I Wanna Dance

Recorded in a working dairy farm in the backwoods of West Wales, ‘Reflection of Youth’ was written during a period of EERA’s life when, she says, Norwegian society expects everyone “to figure everything out.” It’s no surprise, then, that this record is investigative, as it thrives in its experimentation, moving seamlessly between styles from honey-sweet lo-fi to angry pulsating rock with soul-searching, introspective, electronic twists.

Lead single ‘I Wanna Dance’ is a punchy introduction to the Norwegian’s debut – a fantastic cry for freedom of expression, liberty and autonomy, while itself restrained within the confines of a rigid time signature and ominous bassline. Douglas Dare’s drag alter ego provides a powerful visual for the track, dancing through empty London streets, early-risers and flocks of pigeons.

There is exploration, frustration and uncomfortable pain in excess. But above all, ‘Reflection of Youth’ is impeccable because it holds nothing back. While it thematically seeks to wrestle life’s problems head first, it goes one further to knock them out cold.

Read the rest of this article at Loud and Quiet

yaeji – raingurl

In advance of EP2, producer and singer Yaeji has released a new single, “raingurl.” Keeping with her bass-heavy, house-influenced production, the song’s four-on-the-floor drum machine maintains a thundering pace that turns an otherwise blissed-out, hazy synth track into a dance floor banger.

Yaeji’s vocals, which have always stood out for their nasally bluntness, add an extra level of subdued sensuality to the beat. The song’s lyrics reimagine the traditional party themes, imagining “Mother Russia in my cup” and alternating between Korean and English throughout the song. It’s an exciting reinvention of house music, a genre that is still largely dominated by male artists. Yaeji’s strident voice serves as a reminder that she’s here to change all that.

Read the rest of this article at Spin

Porches – Find Me

On his last single “Country,” Porches’ Aaron Maine stepped away from the glassy beats that populated his 2016 album Pool. On his new one, from upcoming album The House, he doubles down. “Find Me” sounds as though Maine has been busy refining his skills in the studio. While Pool had a charming grain to it, a warbly, indie-rock looseness that Maine carried over from earlier slammers like 2013’s “Townie Blunt Guts,” “Find Me” aims its sights on clean, sharp techno.

Maine no longer cocoons his voice in reverb here, and you won’t hear a single guitar among the sound palette of “Find Me.” Instead, he populates the song with an arrhythmic bass drum backbeat, bright keys, and a brash synthesized horn that could have been borrowed from Underworld. The stutters and hiccups in the beat mirror the song’s uneasy lyrics: “I can’t let it find me,” Maine repeats, never specifying exactly what’s hunting him down, but making it clear he’d rather avoid it. It sure does sound like he’s being followed; the most arresting new element in the production is a high, cybertronic vocal that trails his own. It’s distorted enough that you can’t quite tell whether it’s a real voice drawn through a filter or a completely computer-made backup singer. This sense of overarching confusion only deepens the song’s uncanny magnetism.

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

WARHAUS – Machinery

Empty, dimly-lit bars are where great things happen, where romance or heartbreak can flourish in the shadowy, smoky environs of a downtown club. That’s the apt setting chosen by Willy Vanderperre for the new video from Warhaus, the enigmatic solo project of Maarten Devoldere from Belgian band Balthazar, taken from his debut album We Fucked A Flame Into Being (a DH Lawrence quote, no less).

According to Warhaus, “Machinery” is about “not being in control, being consumed by love and excess. The old fashioned idea that the stars function as the wheels in a machine as one big higher force. The song starts simply with me offering yet another 3-minute pop song to its power, as if to please it, as if to ask to let me off the hook for a night. Lots of songs on the album are about trying to seem on top while being at the mercy of a woman. Me and Willy wanted to imply that duality in the performance of the video.”

It’s an arresting, haunting watch – Warhaus performing alone onstage in what appears to be a closed bar, his shirt unbuttoned and tie loose, singing to a gyrating, peroxide blond woman who is later joined by a bearded stranger.

“The song – sexy, sleazy, dark, dictated the vibe and the atmosphere of the piece,” says Vanderperre. “We went for a location that we all have been to in our lives, a party we all were at. It could be a wedding or an office party. The night is over, smoke in the back of the room. This guy goes onstage to sing a song. He has had all night to find the courage to do so. Maybe tries to impress a girl. He sings and tries to be smooth, which makes him vulnerable and sexy. There is a certain discomfort in his moves. The song moves me, the opening lyrics are so genius: I don’t claim to be anything, except yours to consume tonight. Just simply sublime.”

Read the rest of this article at Dazed

Omar Souleyman – Ya Bnayya

The story of Omar Souleyman remains unique even in these vaguely enlightened, increasingly globalised times. Several other artists from the Middle East have managed to cross over to a western audience, but the sheer realness of Omar Souleyman remains miraculously intact. He’s not some traditionalist Syrian folk act wheeled out under the ‘world music’ banner, nor is he a slick pop singer playing what’s essentially western music with an exotic twist.

Okay, perhaps Souleyman’s music is something of a modern update of dabke – a traditional folk dance from his part of the world – but it’s made with a focused vision and unshakeable energy even many of the modern Tuareg rockers from Mali and Mauritania can’t match. Souleyman’s dabke is as repetitive and ecstatic as motorik or minimal techno, never straying from its purpose: to get people dancing. It’s as jagged and sheer as house music, ready to blast out of a car stereo, unlike the Lawrence Of Arabia soft focus heat haze that adorns Tuareg rock. After years of fair success, Souleyman’s relatively ugly, digital, crystal-clear music still sounds cheap. The shape of most songs haven’t altered much either, and his delivery remains almost entirely unchanged. Most of the tempos are even bloody identical. Yet somehow, sticking with this streamlined simplicity makes To Syria, With Love his most potent record in years.

When Souleyman shifted from releasing music via Sham Palace and Sublime Frequencies (both labels associated with his original champion, Mark Gergis), to putting out the Four Tet produced Wenu Wenu on Domino in 2013, the man emerged from obscurity and lo-fidelity into uncharted territory for a Syrian wedding singer. 2015’s follow-up Bahdeni Nami added Modeselektor, Legowelt, and Gilles Peterson to Souleyman’s list of collaborators – but the formula began to wear slightly thin. Whatever it was that happened (I can’t really speculate), Souleyman jettisoned any acoustic instruments from his setup, along with longtime synths-and-rhythms man Rizan Sa’id, who’s now been replaced by Hasan Alo, also from Al-Hasakah in northwestern Syria like Souleyman.

Admittedly the resultant change is far from huge – Omar Souleyman’s music is often far too formulaic for that – but born out of the very slightest trimming back (the entire musical operation is now just Souleyman and his keyboard player), there’s an undoubted increased urgency to these tunes. This may come as somewhat surprising news to those of you keeping count, as To Syria, With Lovehas come out via Mad Decent, aka Diplo’s label. So Omar Souleyman is now labelmates with Major Lazer and Jack Ü. By most accepted logic this shouldn’t be a better record than the two produced by Four Tet. But it is.

Read the rest of this article at The Quietus

P.S. previous PLAYLISTS & more by P.F.M. // Top images: @discodaydream, @discodaydream, @mariaanderhell