Posts from 2008


Thursday, August 14th, 2008 by Kyle

electronica // swanky lounge

Oozing with provocative charm, Bitter:Sweet‘s music is a s’mores of sexy melodies and chocolate-covered lyrics – each bite more delicious and mocking an endless craving. Turntables seduce a harp; strings and drums beckon basslines; while Shana’s voice is smoldering and sly, always teasing and pleasing, gently kindling before it ignites. Their tantalizing tendencies explore your innermost desires by fashioning sound as comely exotic dancing fire that casually mellows then miraculously rages.

It’s no surprise they’ve highlighted numerous tv shows and movies since their debut, and seeing them live is a sensuous delight. Supported by a full band, they arouse shagadelic sincerities luring souls to dance with a touch of mystery emanating from their presence. Clearly, they’ve mastered their craft of making music that’s playful and seductive while translating this to a fantastic lounge experience.

Be sure to say hello afterward; they’re some of the nicest folks I’ve met. And get there early for a warm-up by DJ L.C. mixing the likes of Rod Stewart, Genesis, and The Doors over danceable hip-hop beats that would make the RZA smile. Outstanding. Here’s photos I took during their show at Revolution Hall last week, and two aurgasmic songs from their latest album, Drama.

Bitter:Sweet – The Bomb
Bitter:Sweet – Drama

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Thursday, July 24th, 2008 by Julija

freestyle chill // downtempo // breakbeat

The alternative scene of groovy, funky and stylish music in Israel is probably more colourful and lively than ever. In his solo project J.Viewz, Tel Aviv-based musician, turntablist and producer Jonathan Dagan seamlessly merges his passion for jazz and electronic music. The cool and quirky electronic textures of J.Viewz’ track “Muse Breaks” evolve from the soft yet dancefloor-friendly breaks to the moving rhythms and hypnotic downtempo, bringing to mind the early work of Kosheen. Jonathan’s superb production skills, the beautiful female vocals and a hint of subtle tension render Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” into a delightfully mellow treat.

Tightly woven beats and soulful vibes.
J.Viewz – Muse Breaks
J.Viewz – Smooth Criminal (stream only)
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Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 by Julija

afro-beat // world // dub

Inspired by traditional African music and hypnotic tribal chants, Quebec natives Doriane Fabreg (Doba) and Carole Facal (Caracol) entwine the ethnic rhythms and modern grooves into a moving sound-journey. As the duo blends a variety of styles with a mixture of French, English and occasional African dialects, DobaCaracol delivers unique and organic arrangements. The standout percussion driven DobaCaracol’s tracks “Étrange” and “Baiser Salé” carry the earthy, warm vibe of afro-beat, dynamic Manu Chao-like nuances and a certain funky, relaxed attitude.

Catchy vocal harmonies and a vibrant quality of sound.
DobaCaracol – Étrange
DobaCaracol – Baiser Salé
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Monday, June 30th, 2008 by Julija

vocal electronica // electro-pop

Although Klima is the first solo effort of Angèle David-Guillou, the London-based French musician has already gained recognition as a part of Piano Magic. Recorded with Piano Magic’s Jerome Tcherneyan, Klima’s eponymous debut album delivers the sound of sincere spontaneity, quiet melancholy and a new wave-tinged style. The slow evolving melodic lines of “The City” float with an eerie grace and the reminiscence of the 80’s synthpop, while the haunting strings and electronic programming of “The Lady of the Lake” create a beautifully dark, hypnotic atmosphere.

Dreamlike ambient quality.
Klima – The City
Klima – The Lady Of The Lake
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Ben Sollee

Saturday, June 21st, 2008 by Michelle

cello pop // acoustic folk

Ben Sollee, cellist for the band The Sparrow Quartet, recently released his aptly titled debut, Learning to Bend. Whether he is plucking the strings, or playing his cello like a percussive instrument, Ben’s truly unique playing style belies his classically trained background. Though the entire album wanders between bluegrass, folk and jazz, his deep Southern influence is unmistakable. Soulful vocals, combined with his sharp lyrics (seen in his politically critical “A Few Honest Words” and adaptation of “A Change Is Gonna Come”), result in a deeply honest, playful, and ultimately hopeful debut album.

Soulful vocals and unexpected melodies.
Ben Sollee – A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke cover)
Ben Sollee – How To See The Sun Rise
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Sporto Kantes

Thursday, June 19th, 2008 by Julija

funky trip-hop // eclectic retro

From immediately catchy numbers to the laid back grooves, the duo of Nicolas Kantorowicz and Benjamin Sportes boasts a unique sonic palette. While packed with energy, colourful rhythms and peculiar sampling “Whistle” recalls the cheery, jolly retro kitsch pastiche, “Mundo”, taken from Paris Lounge (2001) double CD compilation, carries electronic nuances, seductive quality and a relaxed, downtempo feel.

Gloriously energetic, fun and entertaining.
Sporto Kantes – Whistle
Sporto Kantes – Mundo
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Aline de Lima

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 by Julija

brazilian // bossa nova

The essence of Brazilian Bossa nova is the subtle mixture of wistful melancholy, joy and yearning, often defined as saudade, a Portuguese word with no English equivalent. Far away from her home country, Brazilian native Aline de Lima redefines the Bossa nova sound by blending fresh arrangements of gentle samba rhymes, Latin influences and tropical flavours with the quality of saudade. Lively compositions of her album Açaí (2008) and Aline’s beautifully smooth voice caress the ear, while her rich vocal nuances shine throughout songs of love, longing and nostalgia.

Equally delicate and seductive.
Aline de Lima – O Solar de Catirina
Aline de Lima – Canto Morno
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Enur – Calabria

Friday, May 30th, 2008 by Paul Irish

dance // tropical // reggae

You’ve probably heard this. Either you’ve danced to this in a club, or you’ve heard the bastardization of it that Pitbull and Lil’ Jon did, “The Anthem”. But here’s the real story: the instrumental was done by Danish DJ Enur in 2003. It blew up in Ibiza but stayed cool everywhere else until late 2006 when it was mashed together with vocals from Crystal Waters into a track called “Destination Calabria” which hit the charts hard. Last year Enur takes the track and throws on vocals from Dannish reggae queen Natasja Saad, who sadly died of a car accident before she could see its absolute success. And now? You dance.

The summer jam of 2008.
Enur feat. Natasha – Calabria
Enur – Calabria (music video) (warning: scantily clad ladies)
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Da Cruz

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 by Julija

brazilian // bossa nova

The delightful and energetic rhythms of Brazil transform the listeners of Mariana Da Cruz far away from the clichéd carnivals, bikinis and samba-plumes to the urban and still romantic part of the tropical country. A choir and Bossa nova singer, Da Cruz has been performing at the clubs of São Paulo and Lisbon, Portugal, where she absorbed the influences of fashionable European electro and traditional Fado music. Multi-influenced, yet connected to her roots, Da Cruz develops the sound of a fresh, summery and compelling pop.

A real Brazilian feel.
Da Cruz – Sarah

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Wallis Bird

Saturday, May 10th, 2008 by Julija

singer-songwriter // folk

Currently living and working in London, Irish singer-songwriter and a self-taught guitarist Wallis Bird has travelled the world and began her career in Germany, where she formed a band with her musician friends. Wallis approaches her music with bold honesty and integrity as she moves beyond the female singer-songwriter stereotypes with her style ranging from grunge folk to buoyant and lively pop. Original and fresh enough to appeal to a wide variety of listeners, “Counting To Sleep” brings to mind the strength and openness of Ani DiFranco.

The strong melody and clever wit.
Wallis Bird – Counting To Sleep
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