Unfamiliar Frequencies 4 - By Volume

I'm afraid of heaven because I can't stand the height. I'm afraid of you because I can't be left behind. St. Vincent - Regret
Skints

Unfamiliar Frequencies 4

We're back! We've changed! But there's still lots of music -- True, The Skints, Iñigo Ugarteburu, Ismael Clark and Giano in our newest edition. Author: on March 28, 2014
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We’re back! And by that I mean it’s been a while since the last time we carefully combed through various e-mails and shared blogs for numerous bits of audio gold — and really, we weren’t all that quick with the first follow-up. But, life is cyclical and once more Unfamiliar Frequencies shall arise from the ashes and alight a blaze soundtracked by pretty-excellent but not-as-appreciated tunes. Maybe not as powerful and violent as a phoenix, but, we have our mean streak, I assure you.

But this is not a time for apprehension or hate — we’re about the love in Unfamiliar Frequencies. As such, there’s a bit of a restructuring to the format to this whole shin-dig. Less verbose analysis from myself in exchange for more music. Great for everyone, right? Of course it is.

 

#XI – “Retrogrades”

Production duo #XI mash-up an interesting collection of artists for “Retrogrades”. The song is built upon the nearly-identically titled James Blake track, but is drastically slowed and accentuated with hints of OutKast and Omarion to create something that’s truly a beast separate from its sources.

 

 

True - Videos EP

Videos is a rhythmic collection of enticing electro-pop from Swiss band True. Their debut showcase True’s ability to blend R&B groove with modern pop and little touches of post punk and Krautrock. “Videos” is entrancing, “Vertyko” is delightfully quirky while “It’s Not The Wind” it hot enough to melt iron.

 

 

Iñigo Ugarteburu – For The Unknown

Iñigo Ugarteburu’s music is ghostly. It seeps into your bones with an ease that’s reserved for close loved ones. His raspy croon floats above ethereal folk music accentuated by lush strings, laid back percussion and light touches of bossa nova. His record For The Unknown is available on his SoundCloud for purchase and is deserving of multiple spins which eventually will lead to copious amounts of love.

 

Ismael Clark – Manoeuvres of a Romance

Something about Ismael Clark’s Manoeuvres of a Romance feels deceptively easy-going. As almost if we couldn’t get past the silky melodies and velvet crooning. His music is partially American country, influenced by folk — equal parts its modern form and a more classically Celtic tone — stuffed into this tightly knit package. Though it is hardly a fleeting venture, Manoeuvres of a Romance is an album worth settling into and enjoying over time. It’s instantly engrossing but Clark’s quality of craft lies in the replay.

 

 

Kendra Morris – “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” ft Godforbid – Proclaimers cover.

We’ve gushed about it here before, that fucking riff, the cymbal taps, that ever impending smash of the bass drum as the insufferable chorus kicks in. I know, I’m a curmudgeon and I do not give a shit. This Kendra Morris cover, though? This is the actualization of the original’s commitment — this is the sound of walking those 500 miles, wondering to yourself “what the fuck did I sign up for here?”. Through hell and high-water the brothers Reid were willing to suffer in the name of love in their tale. Kendra Morris and Godforbid offer up their part of this story’s OST, where each step starts becoming unbearable.

 

Giano – Not Until They Say

Giano is a San Francisco-based emcee and producer who’s LP Not Until They Say is a mash-up/remix record of predominantly his rhymes juxtaposed against various old and current hits. This particular combination of Clipse’s “Grindin” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds” is truly something else though. Stream the rest of his pretty solid album here via Giano’s Band Camp.

 

Ruth Koleva – “What Am I Supposed To”

“What Am I Supposed To” is a weirdly antiquated song, but one that still feels distinctly of-the-moment. In the same way a Thundercat, Janelle Monae or Frank Ocean are able to transport you back to an existence where the heights of jazz and soul music exist as one. As though dance halls were filled to a burst with eager people looking for a couple strong drinks to mix with hip-shaking horns. Her voice is deep, luscious and is pitch-perfect in this ode to the days gone and never been, times where Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder shared a stage with each other in their youth. The Bulgarian songstress has been through quite a bit to get to the point she has: “What Am I Supposed To” translates that strife to cathartic bliss.

 

Colin Macleod – “California”

Sliding guitars and sweeping melodies about an enormous US state, that may or may not be cut up into six sooner than later. MacLeod’s ode to the Left Coast’s biggest landmass  and cultural influence is soft, adept and touching. A song whose waves are more than worth getting swept up in.

 

 

The Skints – Short Change EP

London-based 2-tone/dub band The Skints are more than a little talented at translating that classic rocksteady groove and punk sensibility into a more modern format. Their Short Change EP has hints of hip-hop, reggae, post punk and R&B all packaged into three conveniently infectious tracks. “The Cost Of Living Is Killing Me” in particular is a great glimpse of the band. All three vocalist are featured (who can harmonize quite well when they want), lyrically it’s deceptively venomous in its politics, possessing a bit more bite then those keys and thick bassline would have you believe upon first listen.

 

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