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by Sarah Zupko

3 Mar 2016


Dutch producer Lodewijk Fluttert (a.k.a. Bakermat) is known for his minimalist style of electronic music that draws in soul and jazz influences. Bakermat has released a number of successful singles since his debut in 2012, including “Vandaag”, which went platinum in Germany. He began creating music at 18 whilst attending the University of Utrecht, where he discovered his love for deep house. This year, he plans to release a series of singles that began earlier this year with “Games”. Now Bakermat is back with “Ballade”, a tune that shows off his versatility in that it’s less of a dance tune than a beautiful pop ballad, stripped down and pure. That suggests Bakermat is continuing to broaden his sound as he builds towards greater success.

by Sarah Zupko

3 Mar 2016


Photo: Piper Ferguson

California’s Xu Xu Fang create dark and mesmerizing pysch rock music full of swirling textures, ethereal female vocals and hard-charging rhythms. It’s an intoxicating and fresh sound meant for the night, either dancing at a club or chilling out at home. Xu Xu Fang’s music is flat-out beautiful and essential. Tomorrow the group will release their debut album, Daylong Secret, via the Sound Ranch, following major success with a series of splendid EPs. Rooted in psych rock, Xu Xu Fang will also appeal to electronic and dance music fans as they manage to channel a Massive Attack/Portishead vibe. Highly recommended.

by Jedd Beaudoin

3 Mar 2016


Portugal’s Sinistro delivers an eerie and beautifully unsettling track with “Semente”, the title tune of the group’s upcoming full-length. A dark and unsettling music bed that summons memories of Antimatter, Portishead or Ulver’s stopover in the realm of motion picture soundtracks while vocalist Patricia Andrade evokes even more mystery with her seductive and deeply emotive voice.

The song is derived from an improvisation the band conducted in the final hours of the writing stages. Andrade improvised the lyrics and recorded three takes though the first, as it happened, was the one that made the album. Director José Dinis conceived the slow-motion sequence shot which took a little more effort to get right than the song itself, although the visual results are equally stunning.

by Sarah Zupko

3 Mar 2016


Chicago’s Waco Brothers released their latest album, Going Down in History, last week and previous to that, we had the pleasure of premiering the album’s first single, “Had Enough”, in audio form. Now the band has released a beautifully shot lyric video for the song, which goes well beyond the standard lyric video and feels a lot more like a short film. Chicago filmmaker Dave Anderson made the video and filled it with intense imagery to match the tune’s visceral anger over income inequality. The thing is that we need this brand of outraged, but hooky UK punk very much in these troubled times. The tune manages to channel Joe Strummer every so often and the visual energy of the video matches up perfectly with Waco Brothers’ having “had enough”.

by Sarah Zupko

3 Mar 2016


Photo: Chris Hiltz

Chicago’s Fort Frances have come a long way in just a few years as they have greatly expanded their sound from their indie rock roots and scored major success in Lithuania, of all places, for their take on the hip-hop classic “Summertime”. That song got the group on Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, as well as giving them the chance to play a major rock festival in Lithuania. Following the international experience, the band has been growing their sound with every new song and that new material will see the light of day when Fort Frances releases their new album, Alio, on April 22th. By way of preview, “Take the Wheel” is their latest single and it features a soulful, groovy form of indie rock that shows how the ever fertile neo soul scene is making inroads into rock music, which is a very good thing.

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