Mont Oliver – 19

Mont Oliver

Danish trio Mont Oliver have released their debut EP ‘19’. A four track EP that is available to download for free from Soundcloud.

Mont Oliver are a group with a lot of potential, ‘19’ is a EP that smashes sounds, genres and beats together and gets them to stick perfectly. Hip-hop beats, trip-hop synth, indie vibes and lead singer Jacob Hammershøj’s distinctive, amazing vocals. This EP displays a band of musicians who can each bring something fresh, unique and talented to the table but more importantly can get all the sounds to work and support each other.

The debut EP includes four tracks: “19”, “White Sheets”, “Golden Glow” and “Nobody Knows”. All are standalone songs that are separate in vibe, emotion and sound but all are obviously Mont Oliver tracks. That is probably the most rousing element about this band, the range and breadth of their potential musical creations is huge.

First track ‘19’ starts with the lyrics “This Is where you want to be”, and you very quickly realize that this music is exactly where you would like to be. The song begins with a slow, old scool hip-hop beat which is soon combined with some deep piano keys and Jacob Hammershøj’s crispy clear vocals. This sets the tone for the rest of the EP, as it shows that this music is not going to be here nor there but each song is going to be a bit of everything. ‘19’ combines some of the best elements of trip-hop and indie music while having that awesome hip-hop beat keeping everything in shape. The dark distorted synth adds a little more of an aggressive, smoky undertone, however this is lost in the euphoria of the high, sparkling chorus which breaks away from the songs hip-hop foundation and rises into a loud trip-hop sounds which resemble sounds created by trip-hop artist Rustie. ‘19’ also introduces us to Jacob’s amazing falsetto voice which is a standout element throughout the EP. His voice is often one of the clashing instruments that make the Mont Oliver sound so unique.

‘19’ is followed by the track ‘White Sheets’ which was released earlier this month. It’s combination of hip-hop vibes Mont Oliver. EPencompassed in electro-pop sounds makes for a catchy and well-rounded tune. You can’t help but bob along to the rhythm while the chorus is sang in a beat spaced staccato style. Some more exquisite vocals are song in sharp contrast to the murky chorus voice, but despite the contrast it never interrupts the tracks flow. White Sheets is an addictive song as the layered sounds along with the Staccato chorus will probably remain stuck in your head by the end of the EP.

‘Nobody Knows’ Is the first song that does not start with hip hop beat that is swallowed in electro – pop sounds, ‘Nobody Knows’ starts with some soft house pulses that are soon surrounded by an urban beat. There are many, many influences that you hear Mont Oliver grasp and mould, this is perhaps the most unique of the four track EP with maybe some The Beloved-esk noise early on. ‘Nobody Knows’ is just a cool chill out track, drifting away from the indie exterior and into a soft house, pop scene that is all their own. Just when you think ‘nobody knows’ has exploited its chill out pop vibe the song goes into a long, harmonizing verse assisted by some beautiful piano sounds carting the song to its conclusion.

Just when you are nice and relaxed after ‘Nobody Knows’ ‘Golden Glow’ arrives on the scene with its dirty phonic,
atmospheric strings which are quickly accompanied by high pitch squeezing Theremin like sound. This grimy combination is somewhat soothed by Jacob’s silky vocals but even when the pitch rises the aggressive tone remains. There is something unique about the atmosphere about all the songs on this EP and Golden Glow definitely has the most intense, it sounds like the sound track to a film fight scene.

Mont Oliver are currently out on a 22 date tour of their native country Denmark. They have plans to come visit the UK in early 2015 at a number of venues. Until then ’19’ is available for free download on the band’s Soundcloud after being released by Danish label Fake Diamond Records.

Elderbrook – Could

Elderbrook - Simmer Down

Could is only the second release from 20-year-old London based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Elderbrook. The single is taken from his debut EP Simmer Down which will be released on November 24th.

Could is a very intimate song, it is as if you are in an empty room with Elderbrook singing right in front of you. This feeling is very personal but also a little uncomfortable and cold. The track is a minimalist and only uses droplets of sound, humming, clicking and the occasional hiss of a symbol. This lack of sound gives Elderbrook’s voice a clear, personal, almost accusing effect. Despite this soft approach it is still a song that you will find yourself nodding and singing along to.

SOHN – Tremors

SOHN – Tremors

Tremors is the much anticipated debut album by English singer-producer SOHN. As a producer SOHN is known for being able to shroud songs in emotion casting a shadowy atmosphere and deep sensations through layers of strong sound. As a singer he is gentle and melancholy yet passionate; when he has combined his talents in previous EPs the results have been shudderingly heartfelt.

Those who have heard SOHN’s previous releases will know what to expect and will be expecting grate things. The artist has the ability to bring the world to a momentary standstill, pinning you in that moment and sending a chill down your spine. Prior to this album people have drawn justified parallels between himself and James Blake, use of ambient sounds and empty space, the sound of the dust settling in the calm aftermath of dubstep.

Tremors does not contain any surprises, it is what it is; a sad, emotional, sometimes depressing album perfect for those who want to sink into their emotions. Bloodflows is a standout song that emphasizes this submission to feeling, it is a shame it follows one of the weakest songs Artifice. It would have been nice for the first two tracks that draw you in nicely to flow into the beautiful soundscape in Bloodflows but Artifice fails to carry that emotion.

The album does occasionally feel cold and bleak, there are certain songs such as Ransom Notes and fool that pass you by without having that much impact. Bloodflows, Lessons and The Wheel are all songs from previous EPs, other songs such as Red lines and Warnings did not make it on the album and those that have taken their place do not stand up to their standard. The 11 track debut does however end strong, there is a flow and an a accumulation of expression in the last four tracks that dip into more bass infused beats that add a different dimension to SOHN’s gentle voice.

Bloodflows and Red lines would have got many people excited about this debut album, something new and passionate but it may be received as slightly disappointing, at times the feel of this album is a little too bleak to enjoy. However that sensation is what many fans of SOHN will be looking for, music to feel sad within.

 

Death Grips – Government Plates

Government Plates

Death Grips are a controversial, three piece elctro-hip hop group from Sacramento, California. They exploded onto the scene in 2010 with the fresh sounds of Exmilitary. In April 2012 they released The Money Store on Epic Records who they had signed with earlier that year. In October the same year the band released No Love Deep Web for free against Epic Records wishes and were consequently dropped by the label. To add free expression to free music the album cover for No Love Deep Web was a picture of an erect penis with the album name written along it.

Death Grips revealed that their next project was going to be released in 2014 on the label Third Worlds. However on the 13th of November 2013, 13 months 13 days and 13 hours after the release of their previous album, with no prior warning, the band released Government Plates.

Live Death Grips Government plates is the least hip-hop of all their albums so far, as the focus is not on the roaring vocalist Stefan (MC Ride) Burnett but the experimental sounds and noises created by drummer Zach Hill, and producer Andy Morin. Although the rough, intense and often distorted music they make are a big player in the previous albums, the central point has always been the bellowing raps of front man MC Ride.

Government Plates is a short, chaotic joy ride. It’s an amphetamine propelled sprint through a bramble bush. It’s a psychotic, psychedelic trip, not recommended for the light hearted.

The chaotic aggression of the LP sprints at you from the start and maintains speed throughout. The  sprint begins on track one, entitled You might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for it’s your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat. This distorted dubstep fused rally cry sets the intensity to an unrealistic high and immediately states that this project is going to be different from previous Death Grips ventures.

The ferocity of noise continues, heavily supported by a chorus of profanities right into the middle of LP and the track Birds. Birds is probably the most mellow of all Death Grips songs so far. Despite starting and rising into hallucinogenic sirens the slow hip-hop, accompanied by MC Ride’s uncharacteristic lullaby-esk lyrics, shows a Death Grips side previously unexposed. If you listen to this track a few times round it becomes disorientating, one of many feelings this album is able to purge from its audience.

In fact the journey this LP takes you on is an uneasy, uncomfortable ride and early on it gets stressful to listen to, I challenge anyone to sit still and listen to this album in full. However I find it hard to criticize such an experimental, boundary-pushing group because it’s very likely that this is exactly the feel they wanted to create.

Death Grips

In the second half, the album takes several uneasy, seemingly unguided turns before arriving at the final 7 minuet long outburst Whatever I want (Fuck who’s watching). This last track sums up the rollercoaster ride of a project that has come before it, it’s a fast synth ridden chaos that is like experiencing an overdose of all kinds of uppers and downers. Ending in a headache and with you wondering what the fuck that was.

There are many uncharacteristic things that are easily recognisable to fans of the Californian group, most notably the lack of lyrical content by MC Ride. The rapper arrives in short bursts and never gets into his trademark roaring flow but for people who have found themselves reeling away from the rappers style and attitude, this album is much more tolerable and a little more simple to listen to. Another thing uncommon to previous Death Grip releases is the accompanying videos, in which there is one for every track. It has been a rarity for any visuals to accompany the band’s music and really they should not have bothered this time round either.

Death Grips have made an image for themselves which lets them do whatever they want, however reckless, and be void of criticism. In the three and a bit years since their formation the band have pissed off, labels, fans and promoters, they release albums when they want, how they want and this album shows they can change direction and sound when they want, how they want. Say whatever you want about this band because it will never get in the way of whatever they wish to do next.

Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes. RD 1/10/2012

What is Flying Lotus, a question that sounds strange when you have no context or knowledge of what or who Flying Lotus is. The question remains quizzical even when you are familiar with the Flying Lotus to which I refer. If Flying Lotus is a who, then that name is connected to LA born DJ Steven Ellison. A multi-talented Musician and producer known as FlyLo to his fans. However if Flying Lotus is a what, then it is the art FlyLo creates, something that can only be described as … A Flying Lotus.

If you were to ask fans of Flying Lotus “What is Flying Lotus” they would only smile. Language does not really describe it. That is why the question is so strange even when given context. The only description a fan could give you is by giving you a seat, telling you to sit back and letting the Flying Lotus escape.

ImageBeing this a review I suppose I should  attempt to use the words in which we use to communicate to try and describe FlyLo’s latest release: Until the Quiet Comes.

Many people would say Flying Lotus is music, I guess I can go along with that. Flying Lotus has a beat, it sometimes has lyrics and it exists entirely of sound. By that definition, Flying Lotus is a piece of music. Although even that can be up for contention.

So seeing as what I am to describe can be called music then the next stage in depicting Until the Quiet Comes would be to describe it as a piece of music. But I do not see that to be possible, the word “music” has too many barriers connected to it.

Too many people would read the word “music” and add expectations, stereotypes if you will. So a better format to encompass Flying Lotus in for analysis would be as the vibrations simply known as sound.

So, what sound is Until the Quiet Comes?

–          Relaxing

–          Peaceful

–          Simplistic

–          Complex

–          Beautiful

–          Pleasing

–          Mesmerising

–          Indescribable

This is all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3JI1ydtq4E

 

Enter Shikari – A flash flood of colour. RD 16/1/12


Enter Shikari are a band who have become huge by creating a genera of music between alternative metal and drum and bass. Some people say its electronicore but by adding Rou’s poetic, political lyrics, strings and some synth they defiantly can be called unique.

This unique sound has gained them a vast, loyal audience who have eagerly awaited there third studio album. So has it lived up to there high standards?

Many people would have worried the band may have tried to become softer or more mellow but them worries can be cast aside. Its still fast, loud and hard hitting. I think it’s safe to say the guitars have faded and been smothered by a more electric sound but the rock element has not been lost.

However i think the album is not as good as Take to the 

skies and Common dreads. Songs such as Jugganouts and

Sorry your not a winner raise above the songs on Flash food. It is going to get hard for the band to keep up the hype as their sound is copied and becomes less … them.

“how much money is being printed and exchanged, is a good measure of how healthy our society is but I do think I can speak for everyone when I say, we’re sick of this sh*t.” – Lyrics from track 7 “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi”

Yet in saying that, the lyrics still reach out to people, the music can still create a mosh, a dance and the hype. The amount of sound means that you can get lost in your headphones and overall i think if your a fan, you will like A Flash Flood Of Colour

2/5