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by Evan Sawdey

25 Jul 2016

The skull-masked DJs  have made a name for themseves with melodic, emotional dance remixes. Now, after a decade of scant singles and comps, their insanely diverse debut finally arrives.

It all started with a mix. Well, more accurately, it started as a remix.

For both Richard Norris and Erol Alkan, these two young Londoners started out, by themselves, as Djs, Alkan focusing more on dance and electronic music, Norris befriend Joe Strummer and playing on some of the Clash maestro’s latter-day creations. It wasn’t until 2006 that, after having rejiggered some tracks under his own name, Alkan began using the Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve moniker. Norris had joined in, and the group, gaining notoriety for productions of artists of both the underground (Midlake) and the mainstream (Franz Ferdinand, The Chemical Brothers) variety, started making the name for themselves. EPs and singles would trickle out here and there, but outside of 2008 compilation of their earlier recordings, nothing concrete.

What a joy it is, then, that The Soft Bounce is here, and goodness is it a mishmash of so many varied things. From the hippie-friendly go-go bounce of “Creation” to the ‘80s synth homage “Diagram Girl” to the ambient instrumental “Tomorrow, Forever” to the string-driven mod number “Door to Tomorrow”, The Soft Bounce encompasses so much but still originates from the group’s clearly-defined psych-friendly aesthetic.

Thus, to help celebrate the occasion, the two Wizards themselves answered PopMatters 20 Questions, revealing a love of truffle oils, an affinity towards author John Higgs, and some remarkably practical advice for handling life’s problems.

by Will Rivitz

25 Jul 2016

“One Chance” is  sheet-smooth bedroom pop, acoustic guitars and plinking synths soaring under heavily pitch-corrected vocals.

Minor Soul‘s “One Chance” is sheet-smooth bedroom pop, acoustic guitars and plinking synths soaring under heavily pitch-corrected vocals. It’s of a fairly polarizing genre — there aren’t many people who don’t have a strong opinion on Owl City or A Rocket to the Moon — but the genre is pristine when done right, and “One Chance” is a good example of what happens when every facet gleams. Its hopeful, upward-facing ethos is a pleasant reminder that music doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, a sugar-intensive shot of positivity in a style best known for that kind of purity.

by Will Rivitz

25 Jul 2016

"Love This Feelin' " spins an update on classic rock, rambling psych dustiness taking center stage.

Cheshires’ draw is the way they put their own spins on tried-and-true classic rock, tweaking psychedelic and rootsy music into their own versions. “Love This Feelin’” skews closer to the former, rambling psych dustiness taking center stage. Guitars wail, voice meanders, and the song ambles along the path of synth-heavy psychedelic goodness. It’s a style that’s been done a lot, but it’s also one that still hasn’t gotten old, and “Love This Feelin’” is proof enough of that.

by G. Christopher Williams

25 Jul 2016

This week we  discuss Jotun's presentation of Norse mythology through scale and grandeur.

Jotun arrived quietly last year, but the game is all about going big, reveling as it does in grandiosity and big, big boss fights.

This week we discuss Jotun‘s presentation of Norse mythology through scale and grandeur.

by PopMatters Staff

25 Jul 2016

The Strokes take  a low key approach to the music, and it pays off handsomely.

Steve Horowitz: Very nicely done! The Strokes take a low key approach to the music, and it pays off handsomely. The guitars shine through the haze, the drummer keeps the beat lively and the vocals are unpretentiously delivered with a smile. The band’s musical chops turn what could be an ordinary song into something special. The video has some fun moments as it plays with the conventions of heist films and greedy Wall Street pigs, but the “Threat of Joy” offers its own rewards. [9/10]

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Moving Pixels Podcast Battles the 'Jotun'

// Moving Pixels

"This week we discuss Jotun's presentation of Norse mythology through scale and grandeur.

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