A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist
Music reviews written by Tobi Davis
LA-based dream-pop duo Moxi burst back into the musical fray with sublime grace, inspired the use of space, and haunting musicality; new single, “Wolves”.
Heralded by a howling pack of pitch-shifted and modulated harmonies, cast in depths and layers of reverb and ambient; the 3-minute 18-second track opens up in cascades of shimmering sonics and sublime instrumentation sat within inspired use of space. Electric six-strings rack in chorus and delay, liquid electricity caught in amber; a bassline shifting in tight runs and stanzas of low-frequency dab and movement; kick landing blunt and dull, stuttered heartbeat. Guitars grinding in short bursts of riff and echo-drenched lick.
Choruses rise with accomplished and deceptive ease, kick and snare driving in consort; six-string doubling bass and riff twisting and turning left/right in compelling counterpoint; ambient pad glimmer and accent width, with additional musical set deep and barely audible; each adding depth, layer, and width.
Anna Toy’s vocals drift, float, and soar across the great, odd, and beautiful electronic landscape; at times ethereal, at times wistful; a spirit voice, projection of introspection; lost in imagery and thought, ancient reference; born of the land and the sky, a simpler and more profound time; forgotten by most, but revered and cherished by a select few.
Instrumentation and voice set at the glorious ballet, movement in balance. “Wolves” expands in slow-burn, silence and surge; a private world made tangible, hewn into musical form. Layer and depth, both compositional and emotional expressed in tandem; because of each other and by means of each other, inspiration inaction of each other.
Great bands and artists are not just engaged in the act of making music, they are married in the pursuit of making entire worlds. And in Moxi’s music, we find worlds within worlds. Great depths of the musical and emotional continent, territory and landscape. Vast, infinite, and without fathom. Presented in the electro-sonics of modernity, yet born of the primal, the blood feud, and the spirit dawn.
Before the settlers brought their cities of steel and glass, before artificial light dulled the night sky, before their toxic smoke made the land cry, before their greed, their lies, and their diseases of the mind; before, when there were a simpler time and an honest line between human, animal, land, and sky. Before, that is when the music of Moxi was born. And now, timeless and out of time, it bears witness to that simpler time.
Artist: Rachel K Collier
Track: “Three Faces” (RKC LP)
Independent producer and artist Rachel k Collier rounds off a stellar year of strikingly original and fiercely creative electronic releases with her debut LP, RKC.
Electro-sonics hulk, grind, and swagger. Productions drop down to stalking kick and bass; coiled risers, contorting and snarling; ready to pounce. In great animalistic percussive force, choruses surge, leap, and bound. Drum fills are slung, scattered, and snapped into sharp focus. Tracks shift muscular and athletic; tempos race with a musical element in rapid cascade. Melody transmitted in a battle cry, primal shriek, and rear brain shout. ‘RKC’ moving through its exceptional tracklist with profound physicality.
Collier’s vocals walk with accomplished percussive presence; syllables dropping onto and about the beats, adding additional rhythmic pattern and movement. Whereas most successful productions are built around the lead vocal, Rachel K Collier’s production and vocals are one and the same; a great beast of the arrangement, words, and instruments hewn together at their collective core.
The various genres of electronic music suffer terribly at the hands of indifferent practitioners, seemingly more compelled by dreams of wealth and success, than any love or genuine appreciation for the art form. ‘RKC’ is a compelling and potent reminder that electronic music need not be formulaic, generic or cynical; ‘RKC’ is great testament to the vast creative potential of electronic production, an inspired collection of fiercely original works; collectively driven by an animalist physicality and sublime application of sonic-space, instrumentation, and composition.
Rachel K Collier has done more than just craft her debut LP. She has created an entire world of noise, percussion, and melody. A wild kingdom of the electro-sonics and swaggering sound pressure level. An undiscovered country of electronic music.
Track: “Bonus Heart”
Stockholm-based rap/hip hop artist and spoken word poet Petravita drops sublime flow onto easy grooves and lo-fi tones, with new single, “Bonus Heart”.
Driven down the middle by low organ drone, sat deep, and modulating slowly; kick ducking underneath with sunken sub and blunt top, striking in protracted counts. Drumstick worked across the rim; click, flat and dry. An electric six-string noodles in loop, idle riff; edge in overdrive, rusted on the tube. Hi-Hat tipping and rasping in a sporadic stanza, injecting lazy pace into the gloriously understated 3-minute 5-second track.
Petravita works his words in burst, laze, and rhyme; shifting from conversational to rapidly percussive, breaking out into melody spontaneously; voice injecting variety of structure into the stripped-down arrangement, giving rise to dynamic contrast and ever-changing counterpoint to the understated instrumentation.
Wondrously lo-fi with compelling groove and hazy, lazy soulfulness, “Bonus Heart” is an act of tenderness presented in oddity; and, though strikingly different in presentation, it is, nevertheless, evocative of Syd Barrett’s ‘Bike’ (Pink Floyd’s ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’); in that, it feels like ‘the other guy’s love song’; an alternate, off-beat, left-field, seldom-expressed love song for the dysfunctional, the maligned or just plain awkward.
Share your music via Thursday’s #Musichouruk 8 pm – 9 pm (UK Time) for considering on our New Music Monster Playlist and review as one of our New Music Picks!
Tobi is a mastering engineer and remixer via Tobisonics. As well as writing music reviews for Brash and running various Independent Music playlists, he also hosts Thursday’s #Musichouruk on Twitter.