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August 17, 2021 REVIEW: Synthwave connoisseur Michael Oakley shares epic album

REVIEW: Synthwave connoisseur Michael Oakley shares epic album

 Image credit: Jon Simo

Looking for an album that is a pleasant listening experience, regardless of the time of the year? Michael Oakley’s latest album Odyssey via NewRetroWave is a perfect pairing for times like these when you need to hear something hopeful but not heavily reliant on one element to make an impact. Listening to Michael Oakley’s album, one can feel the undercurrent of adventure run through this entire body of work, with upbeat yet changeable instrumentation throughout. Expect laidback anthemic drum sequences and saxophone solos that will melt in one’s ear.

Stream / Download Odyssey LP

The album starts off with the title track ‘Odyssey’ which leads us to think that we are getting a mellow synthwave album from the get-go, but the final seconds on the track proves this album carries an array of emotions when drums start to pound in the last moments. Then the noteworthy ‘Wake Up!’ leaves us feeling pumped up with the idea of planning our next epic road trip with treasured folk. We think it can only go up from here, but then ‘Is There Anybody Out There (Jon Campbell edit)’ which has us questioning the darkest parts that exist in ourselves. Thankfully, ‘Babylon’ calms the cries of its predecessor. The rest of the album talks about finding stability like ‘Glasgow Song’ and ‘Real Life’ – an emotionally complex album without a doubt. 

‘Babylon’ stands out as a soothing track, that describes the enigmatic feeling of finding a home in connection rather than a building. ‘Babylon’ is a sleek track with undercurrents of chemistry thanks to its minimal progressions laced with ethereal synthesizers. The sensual and vibrant saxophone added into the mix makes this track one of Michael Oakley’s most sparkling tracks on this album.

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July 15, 2021 Electronic music producer Kasbo returns with remix series

Electronic music producer Kasbo returns with remix series

Image by: Olof Grind

Following the success of 2020’s The Making Of A Paracosm, electronic producer and songwriter Kasbo returns with a two-part remix EP series starting with “The Making of a Paracosm (Remixes Vol. 1)” out now on ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective. The release was announced alongside an ethereal and lush remix of stand-out album track ‘Lune’ feat Vancouver Sleep Clinic by Manilla Killa, who has remixed Lana Del Rey, London Grammar, and Dawn Golden in the past. It received impressive support from the likes of Dancing Astronaut and Acid Stag to name a couple. Other remixes on the EP come from Duskus, BOII, Just A Gent & Rando, and Mindchatter.

Kasbo (real name Carl Garsbo) is the 24-year-old electronic producer and songwriter (with a hugely impressive 420.9M+ combined streams), who released his anticipated and critically acclaimed second album “The Making of a Paracosm” on October 23rd 2020. The Gothenburg-based artist has received acclaim from the likes of Billboard (featured in Dance Ones To Watch), The Fader, Dancing Astronaut, Stereogum, Pilerats, Nest HQ, Complex, High Snobiety, NYLON and FLAUNT. He has performed at a number of internationally renowned festivals in the past, such as Coachella, Splendour In The Grass, Electric Forest Festival, Firefly Festival and more, also selling out major North American venues on his first-ever headline tour. In 2019 he toured with ODESZA on their run and capped off with a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.

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June 30, 2021 Electronic music producer TSHA announces upcoming album

Electronic music producer TSHA announces upcoming album

Image credit: Annie Reid

Hotly tipped by everyone from Annie Mac, Bonobo and Gorillaz to Billboard, NME, Crack, Mixmag and DJ Mag, TSHA is rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting talents coming out of the UK. Forthcoming EP “OnlyL” due for release on 27th August showcases a confident creative who is constantly developing and refining her own distinct feel and sound.

The release arrives off the back of a stellar run for the young artist including the launch of her new bi-monthly ‘Jackfruit Radio’ show on Apple Music—which debuted with a guest spot from femme culture founder Elkka—releasing her first BBC Essential Mix and a Minimix for Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show, and being named BBC Radio 1’s “Future Artist” for January 2021 and “Star of 2020” by BBC Introducing. Her most recent EP, 2020’s “Flowers”, made multiple End-Of-Year listings, and was met with widespread praise from the likes of Billboard, NME—who described the EP as “emotion-filled electronic anthems from a star in the making”—NPR, Resident Advisor, Mixmag, NYLON, DJ Mag, Dancing Astronaut and many more. She has also been tipped for greatness by essentially the whole of BBC Radio 1 specialist DJ crew including Annie Mac, Jack Saunders, Jaguar, Pete Tong, Danny Howard, Ricky, Melvin & Charlie and Flava D.

On EP title track and lead single ‘OnlyL’, TSHA’s innate gift for producing genre-defying, classy electronic pop is at the fore. An instant earworm, it features vocals from NIMMO aka Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett, with TSHA juxtaposing the dark lyrics against the track’s upbeat instrumental.

Power’ plays to another of TSHA’s loves: club music. With her DJ career flourishing, the global pandemic shut down the nighttime industries and all access to dancefloors and the shared experience and exhilaration of clubbing. ‘Power’ encapsulates all of that pent up energy and love and is aimed squarely at the dancefloor–an absolutely storming four-to-the-floor groove.

‘I Know’ shows off yet another facet of TSHA’s extraordinary production chops. A perfect marriage of live musicianship and electronics, it’s a beautifully textured and melancholy work built around a gorgeous hang drum motif.

Gearing up for a busy summer schedule at UK festivals including Access, Bigfoot, Standon Calling, Gala, Boardmasters, Lost Village, ION, Hideout, Inner State and Detonate, TSHA will also be appearing at Field Day in August 2021, sharing the bill with the likes of Bicep, Floating Points, Jayda G and Mount Kimbie.

Artwork for “OnlyL” is by illustrator Felicity Marshall. Limited edition 12” released 27th August 2021. 

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June 28, 2021 Feel nostalgia for younger days with indie rock band Giant Sky’s new album

Feel nostalgia for younger days with indie rock band Giant Sky’s new album

                                                                                                                                                      Image Credit: Hot Vox

Nostalgic for days spent in high school blasting anthemic emo music through your headphones as you walk down the hallway to your next class? We feel the same way too, and wish we could go back to those carefree days when you didn’t have to worry about making ends meet. Giant Sky’s latest album Not Today via Bloody Sunset Records is an instant nostalgia train, reminding the listener of their days spent being a carefree adolescent. 

Stream/Download: Not Today album 

Previously featured on iGuitar and on RCRD LBL with song ‘Snow’, we mentioned: “Lyrics like “The world goes crazy, but you and I remain the same/ There’s no way that I can go into the void of my own” spreads a message of light & connection in times of darkness. One can easily fold and let physical isolation rob you of your sanity and happiness. Giant Sky’s ‘Snow’ reminds one that no true connection is ever lost if it is real.”

Download on iTunes: Not Today album

Listening to this entire album one will be two tissues away from destroying a packed box for sure. This album covers feelings of isolation, acceptance and finding a home to call your own. A lot of heart is poured into this work and its energetic production is evident in each track and essentially is what a memorable indie-rock hit consists of. Let your hair down and shake along to the beat of Giant Sky – A band with character and worth the listen in a time of much chaos.

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