Posts from 2008

Club des Belugas

Thursday, March 13th, 2008 by Kyle

nu-jazz // lounge

By bringing together musicians from multiple generations and countries, Germany based Maxim Illion & Kitty the Bill’s Club des Belugas brainchild is contemporary, classic, and terrifically varied. On a relaxing, beautiful day, Swedish singer Anna.Luca will croon your fancy before Brenda Boykin’s California energy gets you swinging the night away. Other guests include Iain Mackenzie from London, Dean Bowman from New York, and Fred Astaire, whose “Puttin’ on the Ritz” gets remixed for their latest album, Swop!

Irresistibly hip.
Club des Belugas – It’s A Beautiful Day
Club des Belugas – It Don’t Mean A Thing
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The Delano Orchestra

Monday, March 10th, 2008 by Anne Cloudman

french folk // indie

French ensemble, The Delano Orchestra, use everything from the bouzouki to the glockenspiel to craft their elegant understated tracks, but it’s the soft-spoken, whispered vocals that create their intimate sound. Scratchy electric guitars and soothing trumpets fill out the somber “Between Day and Night” while the melody of “Spread Our Little Wings” exudes a warming charm. Both tracks are from their endearingly-named debut album A little girl, a little boy, and all the snails they have drawn.

Fragile innocence meets textured instrumentals.

The Delano Orchestra – Between Day & Night
The Delano Orchestra – Spread Our Little Wings
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Friday, March 7th, 2008 by Julija

lounge dance // chill-out

Legendary Serge Gainsbourg’s works have been interpreted, sampled, re-recorded and used as inspiration by countless talented artists. Focusing on the dance floor enjoyment, French producer, musician and DJ, Minimatic a.k.a. Pascal Houpert remixes “Chez Les Yé-Yé’s”, celebrating his fatal love for stylish tunes and retro soul-funk. Reworking the 80′s music, Minimatic’s cover of successful A-ha’s synth-pop hit “Take On Me” is more about finesse: laid-back grooves of the beach and the sunny coast, smooth arrangements, sleazy hints and romance. [via]

Efficiently and excellently produced.
Serge Gainsbourg – Chez Les Yé-Yé’s (Minimatic Remix)
Minimatic – Take On Me (With A Martini)

Aurgasm Interview: Hanne Hukkelberg

Friday, February 29th, 2008 by Julija
With her charmingly eclectic compositions and whimsical songwriting skills, a graduate of Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, now a Norwegian Grammy winner, Hanne Hukkelberg attracted our attention back in 2005. She was first featured on Aurgasm with her beautiful song “Ease”, and second time — for her powerful live version of the Pixies’ track “Break My Body”.

After gaining a reputation as a wonderful live performer, collecting positive reviews all over Europe, Hanne Hukkelberg is finally releasing her second, highly anticipated album Rykestrasse 68 in North America.

From crunching typewriters to bicycle spokes and other every day objects, you experiment quite a bit and use such unusual instruments. Would you tell us more about your recording process?

The recording process is something very different from the live performing to me. First I compose alone. Often a half year. Then I go in studio with my producer KÃ¥re Vestrheim for some months. Then I sort of translate this for a live session. But in studio I present my songs and my ideas for KÃ¥re and after that the two of us work with the material. Always in a different way with every song.

For six months you’ve lived in Berlin, Germany where you worked on your second album Rykestrasse 68. How was it? Would you share your impressions on how was it working far away from home?

It was great living in Berlin. Berlin is full of contrasts and inputs. But the most important is to just move away from my everyday life, to something else to reach thoughts and depths in my self I normally don’t have the time and pulse to get down to.

Your lyrics are wonderful. At times they seem to have certain ambiguous meanings. What are your inspirations?

In my creative processes, writing lyrics is the most difficult. But I just have to do it myself, because I have a need to express myself through text also. So I get very flattered when you think my lyrics are wonderful. My biggest inspirations are just what happens around me and thoughts I get out of it, books I read or stories others tell me.

Your version of The Pixies’ “Break My Body” is probably one of the most striking covers I’ve ever heard. Does this song have a special meaning to you? How did you come up with an idea covering The Pixies?

It was a pure coincidence that “Break My Body” became a cover. I was in my early days as an artist and I needed more songs. My stereo favourite was Pixies and Break My Body, so I brought it to my band, I told them to play it 3/4. And it became what it is today. It got its own life.

We would love to hear about your musical influences. Anything in particular you could name as your biggest influence and inspiration?

Radiohead, Wildbird & Peacedrums, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Cornelis Vreeswijk , Stevie Wonder, J.S. Bach, Funeral, Chopin, Thurston Moore, Pixies, etc..

Your song “Searching” (from the debut album Little Things) was used as the soundtrack for Space NK’s TV and cinema advertising campaign. In the future, would you be interested in working on film scores? Do you have any upcoming collaborations and projects planned?

Absolutely. I am working right now with music for two short films. I like working and giving music to films.

We provide the readers of Aurgasm with great music they’ve probably not heard. Are there any tracks that you’ve been listening to recently that you’d recommend? What new music are you excited about at the moment?

Wildbirds & Peacedrums, my god, they are fantastic! But you need to hear them live…

Hanne’s recommended artists:
Wildbirds & Peacedrums – I Can’t Tell In His Eyes from Heartcore (2008)
Cornelis Vreeswijk – Polaren Per Är Kärlekskrank from Guldkorn Fran Master Cees Memoarer (1966)

Thank you so much, Hanne.

Thanks You Aurgasm!

Nathan Larson

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 by Paul Irish

film music // melodic contemporary

First, watch:

While this video made the rounds late last year, the song stuck with me ever since. After some sleuthing (thx, brandon!), we know know that Mr. Nathan Larson is responsible for the delightful audio (and lernert for the video). He composed it originally for the 2004 film Palindromes by indie fave Todd Solondz. Inside the song, a lonely piano plays a somber waltz whilst a desperate female voice offers a most beautiful melody.

Lyrics that belie their melody’s beauty.
Nathan Larson – Aviva Pastoral

Kat Flint

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008 by Julija

folk // singer-songwriter

With her little piano-folk melodies, gently played acoustic guitars and well thought out lyrics, Scottish songstress Kat Flint embodies the essential aspects of contemporary folk music. The lyrical notes, vibrant freshness and catchy multi-layered vocal lines of “Go Stripes Faster” instantly captured my heart, while addictive hand-claps and kazoo-playing of “Anticlimax” showcase the quirkier side of her songwriting skills. Stylistically comparable to numerous folk-oriented artists, Kat brings emotion and a distinctive quality to every song she crafts.

A promising talent to the newly flourishing British folk scene.
Kat Flint – Go Faster Stripes
Kat Flint – Anticlimax
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Label Spotlight: Exponential Records

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 by Kyle

idm // trip-hop

Sampling the catalogue of Texas-based Exponential Records reminds me of savory Ninja Tune, Chocolate Industries, M3rck, and Eastern Developments labels. Started by Ernest Gonzales in 2000, he aimed to establish an art-and-music collaboration; hosting shows where both coincide. Every artist has a unique, well-developed style; backgrounds range from globe-traveling DJs, graffiti artists to designers, heavy thinkers, phreakers and family men. The beats initially drew me in, yet I surprisingly enjoyed the 8-bit Caviar of a genre which usually entices me less than Gyromite. Further exciting that vein is the repose melody of a Lullaby EP crafted for Ernest’s newborn baby to fall asleep to.

Deep-fried and delicious!
A.M. Architect – Unspoken
Ernest Gonzales – Caviar, Cigarettes, Dynamite, & Laserbeams
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Mechanical Bride

Sunday, February 17th, 2008 by Julija

british folk

You might not have heard of oddly named Mechanical Bride, a.k.a. Lauren Doss, a young folk songstress from Brighton, but there’s a pretty big chance her song “Umbrella” will sound familiar. Mechanical Brides’ radical rework of Rihanna’s R&B styled “Umbrella” renders the ubiquitous hit into a beautiful folk ballad. Slowing the tempo down and adding a slightly eerie feeling to it, Mechanical Bride bewitches with gentle piano refrains, tender voice and haunting whispers, not only making it a highly successful cover, but giving it a whole new meaning.

Unexpectedly original interpretation.
Mechanical Bride – Umbrella
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Friday, February 15th, 2008 by Julija

norwegian composer // post-rock

Although I was introduced to the non-traditional, experimental musical approach of John Erik Kaada quite a while ago and his name was previously mentioned on Aurgasm, only now his music caught up with me. Writing a soundtrack to an imaginary film, Norwegian sound artist Kaada showcases his skills in composing haunting musical pieces made of tender melodies and wonderful textures. His entire orchestra of dramatic strings, piano, glockenspiel, glass harmonica and achingly soaring wordless chants create something strongly evocative and atmospheric.

Filled with an indescribable longing, instilling some sort of yearning.

Kaada – Smiger
Kaada – From Here On It Got Rough
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Windy & Destiny

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 by Julija

indie-pop // psychedelic

Working in a minimalist apartment studio in Tel Aviv, Windy & Destiny present the psyche-reflecting soundtrack of their lives. The gentle pulsations, guitar waves and warm female vocals of their debut album evolve like an ever-changing mini-psychedelic experience, transforming into a rhythmic and relaxing musical structure. At times more uptempo and catchy, and at times tenderly melancholic with a shoegaze vibe, Words For Such A Riot (2007) is somewhere between adorably sweet and slightly menacing.

Dreamy notes and darker hints.
Windy & Destiny – In Another Day
Windy & Destiny – A House For You
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