Author: Kamryn Feigel

Groundislava
Frozen Throne
WeDidIt
Street: 09.23
Groundislava = Shlohmo + Jerome LOL

Groundislava’s latest release, Frozen Throne didn’t immediately grab my attention. It actually took several listens before it didn’t rub me the wrong way. Originally, I felt that the sound was a bit too cliché and juvenile, but, the more open I was, the more I came to like those aspects of the album. Take “Feel The Heat,” for example: Its beat isn’t anything new or provocative, but it’s uplifting in a way that gets your body moving. At times, I felt that the vocals were overpowering, and I wish that more of an emphasis had been placed on the meat of the track. “A Way Out” (featuring Rare Times) was also decent and had some particularly mellow vibes. It doesn’t rank in my top for 2014, but this album has a few tracks that are worth giving a listen. –Kamryn Feigel

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Color War
It Could Only Be This Way
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Street: 03.04
Color War = Phantogram + Xiu Xiu
I always appreciate a well-produced album, one with some spice and a bit of bite to it. Color War’s upcoming release, It Could Only Be This Way, is an impeccable example of what a skilled producer can help create for a band. The beats, crafted by band member Billy J, are clean and resounding, and Lindsay Mound’s layered and dreamy vocals nicely complement the album. The album’s single, “SOS,” was probably my most listened to. But to me, nothing about the album screamed innovation, and it wasn’t all that memorable. Don’t get me wrong—it’s a respectable piece of work, but I really can’t see this album standing the test of time. –Kamryn Feigel
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Color Therapy
Mr. Wolf Is Dead
Terrorbird
Street: 03.24
Color Therapy = (The Album Leaf + M83) x Tycho
 
I loved this album. It’s easily palatable and great as a background soundtrack to your day. It’s a clear and concise album that’s brimming with mellow ambiance. There’s a lot of talent packed into this album. The Album Leaf, Helios, Ulrich Schnauss and Hammock all lend a hand by bringing a vibrant maturity to the tracks. “Screw Eyes” is filled with melodic loops that carry a wave of energy into the rest of the album. Not surprisingly, I did find the instrumentation ex-tremely relaxing and soothing. The analog synthetic sound is warm and cinematic with big builds (like the one found in “Yachats”) that seem to float off into a digital sky and gently release you back to earth again (“The Universe Is All Around Us” basically tucked me into bed). Grab a copy. Your spring fever will thank you for it. –Kamryn Feigel
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Deejay Deer – Natur

Deejay Deer
Natur
Numbers
Street: 10.06
Deejay Deer = (Jamie xx + Pearson Sound) / Joy Orbison

True to its name, Natur is a natural and fluid EP with a mysterious background. On this two-track release, Deejay Deer emphasizes everything that is mystical and holy about house music. It’s minimal and almost pastoral, with soft vocals that drift throughout each of the two tracks. Deejay Deer skillfully delivers gentle builds, but ones that leave an impact. The two tracks are not outrageously different from one another, but something really stands out to me in the “Unnatural” mix and marks it as my favorite. Maybe it’s the youthful use of synthesizers, or the killer percussion break or just the effortlessly cool, laid-back vibe. Whatever it is, it’s massive—I’m hooked and I’ve got Natur stuck on repeat. –Kamryn Feigel

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Gacha
When The Watchman Saw The Light
Apollo Records
Street: 01.26
Gacha = Guy Andrews + HVL
This six-part album is a compendium of percussion, gentle guitars and ethereal vocals provided by the lovely Natalie “TBA” Beridze. Gacha’s album seems, to me, like the Georgian’s take on the progression from light into darkness. The album starts off light but soon takes shape and builds momentum. The final track, “Afterglow,” is dense and much harder than the others on the album, but it’s this factor that makes it such a remarkable story. Those who think electronica is redundant and bland need to reevaluate their stance after listening to this distinct piece of art. –Kamryn Feigel
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Fogh Depot
Self-Titled
Denovali Records
Street: 02.20
Fogh Depot = Flying Lotus + Somnambulist Quintet
 
Fogh Depot is an excellent concept album that takes listeners on a journey through various soundscapes. I loved spending my Sunday relaxing at max capacity to this album. It effectively transported me right into the tunage. The opening track “Anticyclone” is a droning jam but one of the album’s stars—“Tattoo” is a plinky track with some killer percussion throughout. But my favorite song of the album is the heavily jazz-influenced “Dark Side of the Monk.” It’s a seriously sultry and downtempo track featuring some seriously sexed up saxophone spotlighting. The entire album covers a wide spectrum of sound, but summed up, it’s pretty much exactly what Satan’s nightclub would sound like in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I can’t say enough good things about this album and I’ll take another round of this any day. –Kamryn Feigel 
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Populous
Night Safari
Bad Panda Records
Street: 09.29
Populous = Panda Bear + Bonobo

Populous’ newest album is a long-awaited release, and damn was it worth the wait. A blend of tribal, soul, exoticism and experimentation, Night Safari is worth a listen—or 20. Its clean production and variant instrumentation all highlight Andrea Mangia’s world explorations, which took place during his six-year hiatus. The album is provocative and enticing and so very percussion heavy. “Brasilia” and “Brighton Pier” are two of the album’s highlights. Their calming ambience accented the more electro-pop tracks such as “Water Temple.” It’s a transformative but accessible album for the masses and elitists alike. –Kamryn Feigel

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Sleepers Work
No Turn Before the Shoreline
Primary Records
Street: 03.11
Sleepers Work = Darkside x Volcano Choir
William Flynn’s bold, new ambient EP contains an array of eclectic trinkets that create an incredible collective of sounds. This album is what I think might be good for ambient beginners, thanks to Flynn’s steadily incorporated rhythm. Its constant structure makes it easier to follow than another soundscape album might. The fluid sound of “Lion” is one of the EP’s highlights as it rolls steadily and lazily along for over six minutes. Its simplicity is quite brilliant. Each track is lengthy and utilizes aqueous samples, which help provide a mellow sound that helps calm a troubled soul. –Kamryn Feigel
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Larytta
Jura
Creaked Records
Street: 03.09
Larytta = LCD Soundsystem + Hot Chip – Panda Bear
 
Seriously, I could go on and on about how much I dug this album. “Revolution 10” is a deeper pop anthem, featuring some essential cowbells and squelchy synth work. “Baby Come Back” is a summertime jam with just a splash of Mac DeMarco–esque weirdness. “Medication” has some killer slap bass that feels like a good pat on the back from your favorite bud. The happy claps sampled in “Osama Obama” start the album off on an upbeat vibe that carries on into “Revolution 10”—a synthy pop anthem, which reminds me of all the good in the world in 2k7. Overall, this album’s a total wildcard. It’s eclectic while maintaining an actual level of manageable cohesiveness. –Kamryn Feigel 
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Katie Kate
Nation
Self-Released
Street: 08.05
Katie Kate = Wild Ones + Uffie

Eerie and shrouded in darkness, this album is a true product of hard work and determination. Fusing digital with analog, Nation is a paradox in itself. Katie Finn’s bold rapping technique welds harsh style with a raw, lyrical twist. She possesses the musicality of a true poet, and she delves into some personal topics and skims across some lighter ones. Personally, I was more drawn to her pop vocals than her style of rapping, but I liked the soul she poured out into the album all the same. Finn’s energies are most present in the track “Rushmore,” which stood out as the personal mantra to the album. Even if you don’t love what she does, you have to admire this woman’s presence and strength as she rises in the electro pop scene. –Kamryn Feigel

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