Albums

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Electro - Released March 1, 2019 | Jarring Effects

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Electro - Released January 18, 2019 | Polydor Records

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James Blake has come a long way! Things have changed a lot since the beginning of the decade when he was playing around with post-dubstep beats. Although he’s now one of the most popular producers of mainstream music (having worked with Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Anderson Paak), the sound of James Blake is still unmistakeable both for the magnificent melancholy of each one of his songs and his ability to express emotion through music. This new album is certainly no exception. It starts off simply with piano arabesques and the vocals from the title track and then come two tracks with Metro Boomin, the most highly rated producer of US hip-hop who is also a songwriter and DJ. Travis Scott on the mic is a hit on Mile High, while Moses Sumney proves why there’s so much hype around his name on Tell Them, which is proof of the saying less is more. Another great track is Barefoot in the Park featuring the Catalan Rosalía, the singer and songwriter behind the hit Malamente. Her vocals are as delicate as ever as she sings in unison with Blake for this lovely chorus with the faint sound of velvety-smooth piano chords playing in the back. But the real highlight of the album is the feature with Andre 3000 from Outkast who bursts in with all guns blazing on Where’s the Catch?, a track with instrumentals that are both heavy and delicate at the same time, a musical oxymoron that only James Blake would be capable of. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electro - Released November 9, 2018 | stand high

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Electro - Released October 19, 2018 | Neneh Cherry

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She’s done punk, hip-hop, trip hop and electro… As soon as there’s a bust-up, Neneh Cherry is always there, right in the heart of the action! In 2014, with her album Blank Project, she couldn’t be faulted for playing the opportunistic comeback card. The Swedish stepdaughter of the great jazz trumpeter Don Cherry celebrated her fiftieth birthday by offering her songs to the master of electro-jazz Kieran Hebden, a.k.a. Four Tet, who sewed her a stunning sonic patchwork. Her vocals weave themselves into Hebden’s strange and fascinating textures, a kind of tribal and futuristic soul that dares to embrace trip hop, ethnic music and even pure experimental music... Four years later, Four Tet lends his genius once again to some of the tracks on Broken Politics, Neneh Cherry's fifth album. He is even joined by 3D from Massive Attack, with whom Neneh Cherry had worked with on the album Blue Lines in 1991. But this 2018 vintage album offers much more soul than the ones that came before it, with an added touch of melancholy. Through her lyrics, Neneh Cherry raises her fist in the air. She tackles the migrant crisis, women’s status in society and extremism of all kinds with some of her most politically charged songs to date, dressed in a kind of electro-soul blues. Languid on the outside and angry on the inside, Broken Politics is above all the work of an exciting artist who’s not ready to be caged up any time soon. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Techno - Released April 6, 2018 | Phantasy Sound - [PIAS]

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
A new sensation in English techno, propelled to centre stage by unanimous critical acclaim for his first album, Drone Logic, in 2013, Daniel Avery has since become a touchstone of the European dance music circuit, regularly featuring in the lineups of the continent's best clubs and festivals, and in particular the infamous London club Fabric, of which he has become one of the pillars. After four years spent enjoying his popularity on tour after tour, the Englishman has finally decided to sit still long enough to record another LP, in a studio on the Thames. And this one is the flip side to the first. “Drone Logic changed my life. I started touring, everywhere, all the time. It's great because I love mixing, but it's become harder to find the time for production." A long way from the targeted dancefloor productions of his first outing, Song for Alpha, mixed by his mentor Erol Alkan, boss of the Phantasy label, whom he met at the famous Trash nights, starts out against an ambient backdrop, First Light, before embarking on a hypnotic, dreamlike trip on Stereo L. The kicks on Projection and Sensation take us back to a Detroit club in the 1990s, but just as quickly we are plunged back into the waters with a Brian Eno-inspired delirium on Citizen//Nowhere, Days from Now, Embers, and Quick Eternity, which closes this voyage with a virtuoso demonstration that resembles a film soundtrack. It hints at an ambition: Song for Alpha looks like a perfect visiting card for use in case of a meeting with a filmmaker. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electro - Released February 2, 2018 | Concord Loma Vista

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
An androgynous voice reminiscent of Anohni’s of Antony and the Johnsons. A very 80s hushed groove comparable to Everything But The Girl and Sade and an outline worthy of The XX. Rhye’s first album, Woman, released in 2013, came as a real surprise. The improbable LA-based duo, made up of Canadian Mike Milosh and Danish Robin Hannibal, unfolded their R&B with insane sensuality (sexuality?). Five years later, Blood also comes through as a troubling and erotic urban soundtrack. A weightless soul based on the principle of less is more. Unfortunately Hannibal left the project in 2017, leaving Milosh alone aboard this beautiful vessel. As a result, Rhye’s music became more organic, less sophisticated and, in a way, more real. Moreover the falsetto voice of the man in charge is a powerful magnet for the ears. A voice even more beautifully showcased than in Woman, making Blood the apex of refined groove. © MD/Qobuz
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Ash

Electro - Released September 29, 2017 | XL Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Everyone knows the English language. Fewer people are familiar with Yoruba… Thanks to Ibeyi’s first eponymous album released at the beginning of 2015, most people have been able to discover or rediscover this African language imported into Cuba in the 17th Century by slaves coming from the country that is now Nigeria. Ibeyi is the name of this duo led by two French Cuban twins of Venezuelan descent who shape a beautiful soul music, both driven and spiritual. Therefore they sing in Yoruba, but also in English and in Spanish. After offering large sections of melancholy that they sometimes transform into percussive hymns, Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Diaz continue with Ash to mix music from their Afro-Cuban heritage (their father was none other than Anga Diaz, the drummer from the band Irakere) and from their own time, from electro to rap to pop. It’s a blending that they also apply to instruments, whether acoustic, electric or even electronic. Ibeyi even has some fun with Auto-Tune here! Finally, it’s worth noting that this second album is also a confluence of people with good taste, as we cross paths with the atypical Canadian pianist Chilly Gonzales, the furious Californian saxophonist Kamasi Washington, the bass player Meshell Ndegeocello and the Spanish rapper Mala Rodriguez. © MD/Qobuz
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Ambient - Released September 8, 2017 | InFiné

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Electro - Released September 1, 2017 | DFA Records - Columbia

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LCD isn't dead! After having solemnly interred his group at a farewell concert in April 2011 in Madison Square Garden in his native New York, James Murphy has reawakened the beast, six years later, with American Dream. Dressed up like a twenty-first century David Byrne (striking on Other Voices, whose chorus sounds like classic-era Talking Heads), the leader and his motley crew have brought out a fourth album organised around blends of rock, punk, funk and electro. This album is LCD Soundsystem through and through, with more classic songs (Call the Police, an interesting meeting of David Bowie and U2), and fewer purely dancefloor numbers (Other Voices will get you up and dancing all the same) Talking Heads, then, as ever: but also Berlin-era Bowie (Change Yr Mind and Black Screen), as James Murphy's other major influence. A whisker off a half-century old, he didn't need to reinvent LCD Soundsystem - but rather, to bring their unique sound into bloom: to enshrine this music which he has sculpted since the mid-2000s, blending punk swagger, electro sounds, new wave gloom, the hedonism of dance, and the weight of the political context of the moment. © MD/Qobuz
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Electro - Released May 19, 2017 | Ahead Of Our Time

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The clash of the titans! The show-down between the two big names of dub and electro! In one corner, Jonathan More and Matt Black alias Coldcut, founders of the label Ninja Tune. In the other, Adrian Sherwood, boss of the On-U Sound stable. Our protagonists fuse their pretty different approaches for a furious futurist dub orgy which sees such participants as Doug Wimbish and Skip McDonald, old accomplices of Sherwood, but also Roots Manuva, Chezidek, Ce'Cile and even Junior Reid. A great mash-up of dub, reggae, rap, world music and electro which is hard to resist. © CM/Qobuz
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Electro - Released April 28, 2017 | Editions Milan Music

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Electro - Released January 6, 2017 | InFiné

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Electro - Released November 11, 2016 | Ninja Tune

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New Age - Released November 4, 2016 | Light In The Attic Records

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Electro - Released June 10, 2016 | Circus company

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Electro - Released May 6, 2016 | Polydor Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Electro - Released May 6, 2016 | XL Recordings

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Kevin Celestin's stature grew through woozy dancefloor funk remixes that led to DJ gigs, including European dates and opening for fan Madonna in North America. Despite the acclaim, along with admiration from the likes of Janet Jackson and Teedra Moses -- two of the major figures whose material he transformed -- the Port-au-Prince-born Montreal native wanted to be known as an artist in his own right. A low-profile series of digital and vinyl releases dated back to 2010. In late 2014, he graduated to XL as he expanded his production discography for other artists. The dazzling 99.9% follows some of his best work in that nature, including Freddie Gibbs' "Dope House," the Internet's "Girl," and Katy B's "Honey." The album likewise is mostly collaborative, with only four of the 15 cuts created by Celestin alone. During the solo moments, the producer radically flips, with joyous and glistening flair, choice early-'80s R&B from Delegation, and the System-produced Attitude. On "Lite Spots," sampled Gal Costa is whipped into a state of delirium over a beat that alternately whomps and tickles. Separate pairings with BadBadNotGood and Karriem Riggins offer dreamy instrumental highlights. The assortment of vocalists -- rappers, singers, and a few who pull double duty -- naturally results in a diverse set of perspectives, most of which regard love and relationships of short- and long-term natures. Combined with beats seemingly tailored for each voice, the album could have resembled a disorderly production showcase, yet Celestin applies his experience as a deeply knowledgeable selector to stitch it all together with few obvious seams. He excels most at bold modern boogie with spring-loaded drums, zip-and-glide basslines, and radiant keyboards, as laid out for the Internet's Syd and the Foreign Exchange's Phonte. The harder-edged tracks that support Vic Mensa and Paak are likewise accented with sweetening, whether through levitating harmonies or spangly synthesizers. One of the more stupefying instances where Celestin layers dazed and robust sounds is buried toward the end. "Leave Me Alone," surrogate Quadron with bounding low end, brings it home with a giddy vocal from fellow Montreal native Shay Lia. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electro - Released March 18, 2016 | Smith Hyde Productions

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Electro - Released November 13, 2015 | Smalltown Supersound

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Since debuting in 2013 with his album Be a Man You Ant on Prins Thomas' Full Pupp label, Oslo-born electronic artist André Bratten has melded Scandinavian cosmic disco with fizzy tech-house reminiscent of Booka Shade or various Kompakt-signed artists. Months after the release of his Math Ilium Ion EP, featuring the Erol Alkan-approved groover "Trommer & Bass," Bratten returns with Gode, a sophomore album that ventures far away from the club, abandoning disco influences in favor of highly personal experimental techno and downtempo. Bratten still composes music with analog synthesizers and drum machines, but this album also utilizes field recordings, pianos, strings, tape manipulation, and vocals, combining influences such as contemporary classical, arctic drone, and IDM. After a few crackling, shivering numbers (including "Cave," which features Bratten meekly warbling "I'm in a cave" over a calm yet slightly nervous beat), the more uptempo "Philistine" seems like it's going to mark a return to his dancefloor-friendly sound, but the chugging disco beat never kicks in as expected, and the distraught synths swarm until the beat drops to a crawl, surrounded by swirling samples of lost conversations and cheering children. The spectacularly doomy "Cascade of Events" features Susanne Sundfør sighing "if only it was easy" over softly quaking textures. "Space Between Left and Right" keeps its melodies simple and sparkling and its beats busy and clicky, and the seven-minute, vocoder-laden "Zero" sounds as if Boards of Canada replaced childhood nostalgia with petrified apocalyptic dread. The album ends with a soft, atmospheric piano meditation that shares its title and nothing else with Bratten's previous EP. Seemingly out of nowhere (but actually taking three years to materialize), Bratten has crafted a spectacular, surprisingly confessional album of bone-chilling electronic music suggesting that his previous releases barely hinted at his prodigious talents as a composer and arranger. ~ Paul Simpson
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Electro - Released June 1, 2015 | Young Turks Recordings Ltd

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Compared to Jamie xx's impact on music, it's easy to forget that he hasn't released much on his own. The distinctive yet surprisingly versatile blend of indie, R&B, and dance in his work with the xx, Gil Scott-Heron, and his remixes helped shape the sound of the late 2000s and 2010s, but his solo discography was limited to a handful of singles, many of which appear on his first full-length, In Colour. While one of his best singles, "All Under One Roof Raving," doesn't appear on the album, its balance of the kinetic and the atmospheric -- as well as its reverence for classic U.K. dance music -- is reflected on some of In Colour's brightest highlights. "Gosh" is hard-edged yet radiant, its juddering drum'n'bass rhythms and shouted samples adding heft and movement before swelling synths overtake the track like a sunrise after a long night out. Indeed, for most of the album, Jamie xx uses his considerable gifts for atmosphere to make listeners remember the euphoria of dance music rather than immerse them in it. Despite its brassy flourishes, "Girl"'s filtered house is haunting and aloof instead of driving, while its former B-side "Sleep Sound" fades in and out like a dream. Given his skills as a collaborator, it's not surprising that some of In Colour's best moments occur when he shares the spotlight. While his reunion with xx bandmate Oliver Sim on the implosive "Stranger in a Room" is almost too reminiscent of their previous work, Romy Madley Croft remains one of his most inspiring muses. She gives In Colour's nostalgia more humanity on the beautifully blurred "Seesaw" and "Loud Places," where a sample of Idris Muhammad's joyous "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This" makes the contrast between then and now, and alone and together, all the more poignant. However, the album's most immediate moment belongs to Young Thug and Popcaan. Inspired by a drive from Manhattan to Brooklyn while listening to Hot 97, the summery "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)" embraces pop, hip-hop, and dancehall in a way that feels evocative and forward-looking. As it moves from reflective to engaging and back again, In Colour covers the entire spectrum of Jamie xx's music, delivering flashes of brilliance along the way. ~ Heather Phares

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Electro in the magazine