For those in the know Klaus Blatter is one of the pivotal figures in European club culture.
He was there at the dawn of the rave explosion, and helped guide house and techno towards international bedlam.
Making his comeback with an already-legendary set at Glastonbury, Klaus Blatter promises more shows, more music… and more mayhem, basically.
A figure as creative as he is unhinged, the stories about Blatter's debauchery are legion, perhaps second only to the impact of his DJ sets.
New release 'Space Girl' arrives as the weekend dawns, and it's a piece of Teutonic rave bedlam crafted alongside uber-producer Danny Rampling.
A bona fide Acid House hero, Danny Rampling and Klaus Blatter go way back, and their illicit chemistry runs through the DNA of 'Space Girl'.
With that Acid squelch it's a subtly euphoric '88 house groover, with its voodoo rays shining down on us all from a heavenly height.
Here's a note from Klaus that was sent to Clash earlier today…
"'Space Girl' is a song about a beautiful young lady I once knew who I was infatuated with, when, as a youth, I opened the legendary Technosphere club in the city of Dortmund on the industrial Rhine. She had no time for me initially, but I pursued her with zeal and made her my lover."
"Unfortunately, her young life was cut short when she tragically drowned in the lake. Sometimes when I walk along the banks of those cold, frozen waters, dusted in shimmering moonlight, I look up to the stars and believe I can hear my beloved Clara calling me: 'Klaus..' she is for saying, 'there will never be another like you, my darling Klaus…'"
"Then I laugh at my childish sentiment. Ha!"
Tune in now.
Klaus Blatter will announce a full UK tour shortly.
So there we were, minding our own business, when 'Wallop' along came a new album by chk chk chk.
Consider us surprised – those !!! insignia have scarcely felt so relevant, so thrilling.
Tapping into the primal urges that fuel their best work, 'Wallop' is actually a layered, nuanced piece of dance-punk, albeit one that could kick your ass at the same time.
Out now, the record references everything from the house phantasia Prince should have had to the impact of gentrification on creative spawning spaces, all while surging into sonic territories unknown.
Here's their track by track guide while you listen…
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'Let It Change U'
We rented a studio from our friend Gabe Andruzzi who used to be in the Rapture. A lot of the record was written/jammed on there. We tried to apply the same strategy we always use of long jams but instead of guitars and basses we were tweaking synths.
For this one we wanted to do a big dumb keyboard line a la Still Going’s song 'Work That Shit Party', where the arrangement of the song is based on the modulating of a simple synth line as opposed to melodic/harmonic changes.
'Couldn’t Have Known'
It’s a fucking tragedy that Red Bull Music Academy is shutting down because their lectures have been extremely inspiring over the years. The ones by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Masters at Work, Trevor Horn…. too many to name really… have directly influenced our last couple of records.
In this case, we watched the RBMA Todd Edwards interview and tried our hand at micro sampling. There’s about four pretty random songs cut up in there. A friend had pointed out how Travis Scott’s songs stop and change on a dime so we tried a radical switch in the middle rather than the usual bridge into the last chorus shit.
'Off The Grid' / 'In The Grid'
We split a lot of songs on this record into halves just for funsies. we wrote the lyrics to this one poolside at an unglamorous hotel in Victoria, BC. This is not usually the sort of place where we write our lyrics, but as these came out rather well, we may book a week at that hotel next time and write all our lyrics there. Asinine is such a great word and as soon as Angus Andrew sent that as the hook, we knew we had to add it to the song.
New Years Eve before 2018 we played the Chapel in the Mission in San Francisco and between sound check and showtime we walked over to Dolores Park. You weren’t 'supposed to even go in the park' 20 years ago but now it’s a proper posh vibe.
It struck us that if we could describe the current state of affairs— safer, revitalized cities, more ways to put out music yourself, concern about healthy and local food, etc—to our younger selves we might have thought that our side won. But instead we’re in a weird dystopian hipster clown show… especially in San Francisco where there are homeless tent cities alongside Google busses and all the rest.
We wrote the song over a drum loop our drummer Chris Egan recorded at a soundcheck in Serbia on his phone cuz he liked the sound of the room.
People always try to copy Prince in the corniest ways. throw a Linn drum and an Oberheim on the track and Voila!, Prince-esque. But not us, no sir. We're dedicated Prince fans and we really get it, maaaaan.
This is the acid track Prince would have made. The first time Nic ever heard 'Pink Cashmere', it was on AM radio at like 2am, and that's the kind of feeling we tried to capture here.
'Slow Motion' / 'Slo Mo'
We read somewhere that part of the despair of the current political bullshit is a kind of grief that the events of 2016 marked the death of the idea that we were slowly but surely progressing forward. The instrumental had been sitting on a hard drive for quite some time and the lyrics seemed to fit the mood.
Glasser helped on the vocals for the first half and we had sent the song to Maria Uzor of Sink Ya Teeth. She sent us back the idea for the vocals at the slowdown part. Honestly, one of the best emails we’ve ever got.
For the end is the closest we’ve gotten to trip hop— a genre we try to get into every six months or so but never totally get. But the end rules so maybe now we love trip hop? Or maybe we just love Maria’s vocals.
In interviews this has been one of the most asked about lyrics on the record, but what is confusing? $50,000 wouldn't change my mind, but $50 Million, now we're talking, I've been tempted but not that often, if they want some of this, well it's gonna cost 'em.
Now accepting all offers $50 million and up.
We liked this as just an instrumental for awhile. Hopefully, we'll release that version at some point, but the sound it of just suggested something playful but sad and just kind of yellow at the same time. Domino Sugar factory had been a big beautiful yellow symbol of Brooklyn capitalism. Now it is a beautiful park and still a symbol of Brooklyn capitalism.
'Rhythm Of The Gravity'
Rafael had his second child and realized that having a child is in some ways the most special/psychedelic experience you go through and in other ways it’s the most mundane thing anyone can do. The beat felt British and grimy in a way we like and don’t usually do. The best compliment we’ve gotten for this song is that it’s the closest we’ve come to sounding like The Prodigy.
On this one we tried to match the k-hole momentum of 4am dancefloors with the actual confusion of reality we all face on an everyday basis lately. We should do an instrumental of this one too, actually. Made one of our favorite videos with this one by sneaking into an abandoned Southern California mall with director Amanda Lovejoy Street and dancing on the empty escalators.
'This Is The Door'/'This Is The Dub'
Sung with Meah Pace, this is one of those classic both sides of the story are told duets. It has that classic 70's soul ballad turning into disco feel, but with slightly different production this could be a country song, though we're not sure what they would do with the dub ending.
We actually broke the tape delay on the very end of the dub, but this was basically the last thing we did for the album together, so it worked out just fine.
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'Wallop' is out now on Warp Records.
Alice Zawadzki is a force to be reckoned with.
Loosely connected to the jazz world but realistically inhabiting her own realm, her previous album ‘China Lane’ was a breathlessly creative work.
New album 'Within You Is A World Of Spring' is incoming, and the lead track – the title piece, no less – is a genuinely unclassifiable yet entirely thrilling piece of music.
Opening with bubbling vocals, Alice Zawadzki lets each take overlap, creating this symphonic choir of sound that pivots on her own delivery.
Eventually collapsing into a heap of post-rock rubble, it's kind of pitched somewhere between SEED Ensemble and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Far from brooding on its musicality, however, there's an openness to the piece that is extraordinarily inviting, this continually shape-shifting pattern that is fascinating to follow.
Tune in now.
'Within You Is A World Of Spring' will be released on October 11th.
Photo Credit: Alex Bonney
Martha Hill wants to explore.
A songwriter still coming into her own, her debut EP 'Be Still' is the snapshot of a process, a photograph of a particular time in her life.
Out on September 27th, it's an EP that encapsulates her raw talent while still supplying room for her to shift and move.
Set to play London's Sebright Arms on November 2nd, she has now decided to share new single 'Pick Me Up'.
A song about relationship issues, the deft way Martha picks them apart sits neatly against her coy but expressive brand of indie pop.
She comments: "'Pick Me Up' is about being in a relationship with someone who is acting like a dafty even though they love you, and you just want them to stop acting like a dafty so that you can have a nice time."
Martha continues: “I wanted my debut EP to be a self-portrait; something to introduce me and my music, and I feel like 'Be Still' does just that. It’s all about navigating who I am as an individual and also in relation to the world around me – all the different people, relationships, situations, mental states. It’s all about being in your early 20s and just trying to suss it all out."
Tune in now.
Unperfect have shared their addictive new single 'Body On My Beat'.
The four-piece pop ensemble are building up to the release of their new EP, with 'Go On…It's A Vibe' acting as a mini-manifesto of sorts.
Out on September 13th, their edgy alt-pop introduction has gradually moved in an R&B direction, as emphasised by their new single.
'Body On My Beat' has a tropical swing, with the Xenomania production leaning more towards those late 90s Destiny's Child singles but with a 2k19 twist.
It's a resolutely UK sound, with Unperfect applying a little London grit to that R&B formula.
Tune in now.
Wes Reeve has shared her stark but tragically love-lorn new release 'Never-Ending Summer'.
The Los Angeles based artist seems to tap into the tragic beauty of the Hollywood dream, with her alt-pop perfection draped in melancholy.
Equally capable in the studio and behind the camera, new release 'Never-Ending Summer' underlines her emphatic creativity.
A song that seems to unravel in a daze, it traces a doomed couple on their final day together, before their car plunges off a cliff.
Yet the sequence is looped – this endless display of love, loss, and somehow recapturing that sparkle of attraction.
As Wes explains: “In a way, Never-ending Summer is about finding your perfect person and being with them forever.”
Tune in now.
London artist L.A. Salami has shared his new single 'Tinder'.
The artist's bold work has expressed itself across two studio albums, with a new EP incoming.
'L.A. Salami's Walkabout' EP lands in September, and will be followed by a short burst of live commitments, including a London date.
New song 'Tinder' appears on the EP, a stark spoken word piece that ruthlessly teases apart the bankruptcy of the online dating experience.
He explains: “As chemical addictions become rationalised and confronted with increasing understanding, new digitally formed psychological addictions begin to take hold…”
As ever, L.A. Salami seizes on the topic with typical eloquence, at one point stating: “Yes, that digital pit of indifference towards romantic spectacle. / Yes, that find-and-fuck phone application.”
Tune in now.
Catch L.A. Salami at London's Scala on November 19th.
Circa Waves have shared their new 'What’s That Left Over There?' EP in full.
It's been a busy year for the band, with their third studio album 'What’s It Like Over There?' being accompanied by the opening of their very own pub.
Live dates galore have followed, with the group still managing to find time to work on fresh ideas.
New EP 'What’s That Left Over There?' is a companion of sorts to the recent album, a cousin release that features two brand new songs.
Written at the same time as the album, they are accompanied by tender new acoustic and piano ballad recordings.
Kieran Shudall says:
"Here are a couple of tunes that we felt a little too laid back to have on the main record but we still adored them and wanted the music to be released into the ether. We also reworked 'Times Won't Change Me' into an acoustic wonder and 'The Way We Say Goodbye' into a piano ballad, both of which you can enjoy whilst crying into your cornflakes".
Tune in now.
Jay Johnson has shared his breezy, catchy new single 'Forget It' – tune in now.
A true student of the craft, the songwriter released his EP some two years ago, and in that time he's spent countless hours working on his art.
Continually pushing himself forwards, Jay Johnson allows his innermost thoughts and feelings to seep into his songwriting, with some startling results.
New single 'Forget It' finds the London artist emerging into the light, and it's a refreshing, catchy piece of pop introversion.
A sign of his aesthetic growth, the single is about embracing adulthood, and the responsibilities that come with it.
Jay Johnson explains…
“When writing 'Forget It', I knew it would be my first release since my EP 2 years ago, so I was trying to encapsulate the past couple years of my music career, my deepest thoughts and my personal life into a song.”
He continues: “The various hustles I’ve had alongside music have made me grow a lot as a person and I think Forget It is the culmination of all the life-changing lessons I’ve learnt on my journey to adulthood and independence”.
Tune in now.
Photo Credit: Anita Dabrowska
Neil Young and Crazy Horse will re-unite on new album 'Colorado'.
The record represents their first new music together since 2012's acclaim full length 'Psychedelic Pill'.
Out on October 25th, the album was recorded mostly live, with the band utilising a studio in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Produced by Neil Young alongside John Hanlon, is will be available digitally on high resolution digital audio through NYA.
The physical release features a three-sided double vinyl release, packaged alongside a bonus seven inch single.
New song 'Milky Way' is online now.
'Colorad' will be released on October 25th.