Wednesday, 29 June 2016

New Music: Sofi Tukker - Awoo

Sofi Tukker (they’re a duo consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern) have been picking up a fair head of steam with previous releases such as Déja Vu Affair, Drinkee, Hey Lion and Matadora and now you can add new track Awoo (feat. Betta Lemme) to that list. Get your dancing shoes on for this one as it takes a simple keyboard riff and rolls with it before going for the kill with a pause, a glorious shout of ‘Awoo’ and some percussion that heads off to planet oblivion. Sometimes we can all overthink music, both in terms of its creation and its meaning. Sometimes you’ve just got to let go of your inhibitions and have some fun. This is one of those tracks to do exactly that to. Yeah it's silly, but sitting stroking your beard and listening to Radiohead forever isn't really enjoying life is it?

Sofi Tukker hit the UK this week, touching down for just 1 day, but with 2 shows on Friday 1st July. 1st as part of the supporting bill at Massive Attack’s Hyde Park concert and then later in the evening with their own headline gig at the Lexington. If you’re at that second gig I’ll see you down the front for a dance.

This track as well as all the other tunes they’ve put out so far have been collected together and will feature on Soft Animals, their debut EP, due on 8th July. That phrase 'eagerly anticipated' is over used and not always true when used by music writer types, but certainly from my point of view Soft Animals is exactly that.

Sofi Tukker - Awoo

New Music: Still Corners - Lost Boys (Video)

Having taken a few days out for Glastonbury festival - an incredible experience that has no lesser impact on me the tenth time as it did the first time I attended, in fact even more so now - and then a couple of days catching up with ‘real life’ afterwards, Breaking More Waves now slowly begins to roll itself out onto the world wide web again starting with the new single from Still Corners; a band who from their blissed out beginnings at the start of the decade are now gearing up to release their third album Dead Blue.

Lost Boys is arch, pulsing, glacial, synth-pop that verges on the darkly exotic with its twilight hours’ sound. The obvious comparison is Goldfrapp, dashed with a touch of Kraftwerk and Ladytron. It’s the kind of music that I imagine would go down very well in certain parts of Eastern Europe and cool German bars. Still Corners might have started out with a very blurry, almost vague sound, but Lost Boys is far more precise, almost enigmatic. It suits them well.

Still Corners - Lost Boys (Video)

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Breaking More Waves Is 8 Years Old Today - Some Thoughts

Breaking More Waves is 8 years old today. I think that’s worth celebrating a tiny bit and hence this post – just to mark the occasion.

8 years of writing rubbish about music. It might not seem much of achievement, it’s certainly not climbing Everest or sailing round the world or helping people who have suffered in terrible atrocities, but as I constantly say, doing it against a background of a busy professional job, having 2 children, other hobbies, interests and social life, I think it’s still an achievement of sorts. Just being committed to doing it for that length of time, for no reward except the pleasure of doing it, I define that as a success. I’ve said this all before (possibly even a number of times at previous blog birthdays) but I think it’s worth saying again, even if just to myself for motivation. For certainly this year has, for a variety of reasons, been the hardest to keep Breaking More Waves going.

One of the things that has changed over Breaking More Waves lifespan is my relationship with recorded music (as against live music which has stayed pretty much the same).

In those 8 years the way that music is distributed has altered dramatically and because of it the way I and quite possibly you listen to it has also changed. On one hand, streaming has, for music fans like me, made the world an even better place. Now I can listen to more artists, more albums, more new releases, than ever before. Brilliant! Yet on the other hand I’m not always sure if this is quite so wonderful as it seems. In the past I may have purchased 30 or 40 new records a year and 5 or 6 of them would become true favourites that I would play over and over again for years and years. They’d become like best friends. Now, with streaming, I seem to find fewer best friends every year. Albums can become easily discarded and forgotten; there’s always something new to listen to. My relationship with music is in danger of becoming fickle.

It’s one of the reasons why when I stream an album and really like it I still buy a physical copy as well. There’s something about that act of purchase that creates a deeper relationship. I’m still not sure of the psychology behind it, but for me, it does.

But there’s another reason as well. Whilst streaming is undoubtedly the future, the future of streaming services is far from certain. None of them are making profits yet. It’s yet to be proven that they will. And if they don’t what will happen? This is the other reason I still buy physical copies. If streaming fails I don’t want to have a massive void in my music history. 

Total failure is of course highly unlikely but there’s a possibility that should the likes of ‘streaming only’ companies like Spotify fail we could be left with a smaller number who run as loss leaders to help sell other products their companies produce. (Apple for example).

It will be interesting to see where we are in another 8 years time and how the landscape has changed and how my listening habits of changed. 

And what of this blog. Will Breaking More Waves still be going in another 8 years? I highly doubt it. I’ve already scheduled a potential end date, when the blog will shuffle off to wherever blogs go to die, although that’s not in the near future.

So for now, all being well, this time next year I’ll be celebrating 9 years of Breaking More Waves, but for the next few days I'm taking a break, whilst I enjoy myself at Glastonbury Festival. Back soon!

Monday, 20 June 2016

New Music: Brika - You

This is one of those songs that the word jam was invented for. Following on from her Voice Memos album, which was released at the back end of 2014 Brika returns with her first original material since that time. You is just as you would expect from the Miami singer; sophisticated and soulful, with hints of Latin and jazz underpinning her smooth croon. It’s the soundtrack to the funkiest cocktail party by the pool where all the perfect beautiful people are hanging out. It positively grooves and then some. 

You is the first taste of Brika's new EP coming later this year.

Brika - You