Listening Post #13

by Jed Fletcher

As we approach the business-end of the second semester, it’s imperative we don’t get lazy in our musical discoveries. Here’s a few goldies just to remind you of all the music out there waiting to be found:

1. Conducta & Notion – Vague

Unless you’ve been on the Moon for the last five years, you’ll have noticed that house music has become massive in the UK mainstream music preference. If that is the case, I’ll inform you also that Stormzy isn’t some new colloquial expression for the weather – he’s the leader of the Grime revival of the last year. Why am I going on about this? Because it seems we’ve come full circle.

Before the soft-on-the-ear house sounds of the 2016 chart track, before even the original Grime stars, was the raw, DIY madness of UK Garage. And with tracks like Vague by Conducta & Notion popping their heads up here and there, we may be seeing another revival. Cleaner than the tracks it emulates, Vague is everything UK Garage could be: playful, intense, infectious and complex all at once. If you’ve got some time on your hands or are in desperate need of a new vibe to jam to, I’d start with taking in all of the Bristolian’s work to date.

2. SIBA – Mango

Lasting, tragically, only just over two minutes, experimental electro piece, Mango by SIBA provides us with a small dose of production magic. Behind some nice vocals which are twisted and warped at the end of each line into a very pleasing, yet distinctively peculiar sound we get a hyperactive backing which tends towards one of Mura Musa stuck in quicksand. Want something different but 100% listenable? Grab Mango.

3. Pr0files – Call Yourself A Lover

Hot off the stunning debut album released just last week by LA electronic duo, Pr0files, Call Yourself A Lover is an enveloping, evocative oeuvre. Pr0files’ material on their LP, Jurassic Technologie, is reminiscent of Chromatics and would fit in well on the Drive OST which was so adored on the back end of the 00’s.

The single itself is masterpiece of electronic pop music. The patter of synths that initiate the instrumental echoes the vibe of the late 80’s/early 90’s with the ensuing vocals really taking the track up a notch to the next level of brilliance. As the backing gains momentum and climaxes in an entrancing layering of synths and percussion, the chorus gets more and more irresistible. All in all, a sublime export from a refreshing US band.

4. Nadia Nair – Something Something Something

With an opening that sounds incredibly similar to the ending of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, Something Something Something is disturbingly enticing from the offset. The simplicity of the instrumental is, however not reflected in Nair’s stupefying vocals. The Swede’s range of notes is astounding in itself, but the manner in which she so effortlessly flies between each end of her scale is profound – once you come to have adjusted to this marvellous style of singing, you only then are hit by how interesting the lyrics are.

5. Beach Skulls – Santa Fe

As the lethargic opening of Santa Fe rolls out, in all of its laid-back splendour, it’s hard not to immediately hit Like. The smoky, classic US chill-rock vocals couldn’t be more in-line with the guitars they accompany. Just to round things off, a uniquely relaxed drumbeat joins the ensemble to see you through the daydream you’ve suddenly slipped into. If this is what the music’s like in Santa Fe, I want to go.

Listen to the PearShaped Playlist for Listening Post #19 below.