- Konono N°1 – ‘Yambadi Mama’
Konono Nº1 from Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) strike back! Prepare to get ‘stoned’ with their unique afropop sound, since the alternator is once again present. ‘Yambadi Mama‘ is an excellent tune from the album ‘Konono N°1 Meets Batida‘ via Crammed Discs. Feel dizzy?
- Northumbria – ‘Torngat‘
Northumbria are set to release the second installment in their trilogy inspired by the Norse discovery of Canada. ‘Helluland‘, in 2015, gave us the first taste of this epic saga. Now, ‘Markland‘ shows off all the things that were great about ‘Helluland‘ and steps them up to the next level. Their trademark guitar and bass drones are spot on, as usual. But the addition on this release of intricate field recordings give ‘Markland‘ an extra cinematic touch. ‘Torngat‘ the opening track from ‘Markland‘ tosses us into the journey. Painting a picture of the brave and forward thinking Norsemen, ‘Torngat‘ is a delight. Just closing one’s eyes, the spray of ocean waters sting the skin as the frigid north winds seek to toss us off course with every gust. The listening experience easily becomes an adventure, without ever needing to stray from the hearth.
- Principe Valiente – ‘Strangers In The Night’
No, it’s not any “weird” cover to Frank Sinatra‘s super-hit. It’s the brand new single by Sweden’s darkened post-punks Principe Valiente, (also including two remixes by Mister Monell and New Canyons) out of their forthcoming ‘Oceans‘ LP in May! I chose that song, for your raging souls dear people, cause it’s groovy, melodic, grey not dark, the-old-school style, from a band that has never released anything below the very-good-level. Trademark sound and excellent production in the usual compact, perfectionist approach from the North. I hope you’ll repeat it like I do, several times, and fade into it’s fairy, enjoy loud!
- Pye Corner Audio/Faten Kanaan – ‘The Darkest Wave‘
I was stoked when I read about the collaboration between one of the most imaginative, intriguing and prolific electronic producers like London’s Martin Jenkins aka Pye Corner Audio and Brooklyn’s icy analogue synth chanteuse Faten Kanaan, supported by the highly-collectable DIY Polytechnic Youth imprint.
The final product ‘The Darkest Wave‘ is, beyond my expectations, a faboulous little jewel, an awe-inspiring love affair of John Carpenter-esque vintage cold synth sounds with early 80s new wave elements, it reminds me a slowed-down version of late Steve Strange’s Visage hit ‘Fade To Gray’ emphasized by the bewitching and detached Faten’s voice.
In the usual one time limited vinyl pressing, the 7”s singles are gone in a flash. I can easily understand why people are already paying three times its value to grab a copy of this gem, outstanding stuff!
- Un.Real – ‘Blue Garden’
Shoegaze, shoegaze shoegaze. A hidden gem from Un.Real a Puerto Rican band from Isabela. ‘Blue Garden‘ is one of those songs that starts off quietly and ends up in a tsunami of reverb, godlike melodies and feelings (yep!) leaving the listener at least moved and pressing the repeat button again and again. This quartet seems capable of creating some glorious melodies and judging also form their influences (My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride, Spectrum, Spiritualized, among many others) the future is bright…and theirs!
Compiled by Christos Doukakis, Michael Barnett, Mike Dimitriou & Fabrizio Lusso