We’re peering into the shadows for this week’s #SundayFunday mix series. The cold weather gives you a lot of indoor time to reflect, and that’s where Villanova will step in this evening. The Parisian duo just did this stunningly thought-provoking mix for Paris La Nuit, comprised of 58 minutes worth of mind-bending techno psychedelia. If last year’s success with My Favorite Robot Records is any indicator of the year ahead, then we’ll be hearing a lot more about these two artists. There’s just some music you can only find in the underground folks, plain and simple. This mix epitomizes those sentiments. Listen to the new mix below, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did >>>
HearThug dropped his unreleased track “Midnight Blues” on Soundcloud yesterday. Imagine Cowboy Bebop meets production software, and you can start to get an idea. With that rain coming down, take in the comfort of this dark beauty to keep you company. This is truly an artist without boundary, and you can count on the next release being completely different. Oh and of course he’s a frequent resident of My Favorite Robot Records.
There is a comforting embrace to be found in the darkness, and it can be found in Pink Skull. The Philadelphia-based analogue project just released their latest full-length album ‘Huitlacoche’. The album, released on My Favorite Robot Records, was available exclusively on vinyl, but you can purchase it on digital format here.
Cited as a “metallic, liquid, and raw affair, delving into urban landscapes and deep space industrial wastelands” by the carrying label, we couldn’t agree more. As a trio of musicians wielding analogue synthesizers, this band combines mechanical and organic worlds into one neon existence. These guys are connected to the music the entire time they are playing it, shaping the sounds right in front of you. It takes a particular breed of talent to master the patient and progressive methods of beat making associated with the Minimal House genre. It’s all about taking one theme and carefully developing it over time, pushing each individual layer to their evolutionary limits. By carefully altering the depth and texture of the sounds themselves, the right artists can sink further and further into a a limitless abyss. Pink Skull is a group of gentlemen who possess these characteristics at a DNA level.
> Purchase/preview ‘Huitlacoche’ here.
> Also check out the “Music To…Escape To” Mixtape, released as a precursor to the album, here.
Silky. Hmmm, are we describing the music or naming it’s creator? Both I suppose. Silky is a genuine creator of deep/acid house who’s been hitting the decks for over 10 years now. He was introduced to the DJing and unofficially mentored by Frankie Knuckles, who played a pivotal role in bringing house music to popularity in the 80’s and 90’s, and still remains one of the most influential icons in house music. Although he has received support from artists like Deep Dish, Carl Cox, and Groove Armada, his music is mostly recognized through underground channels. Silky has been a long time member of My Favorite Robot Records, which seems to to be solid fit for a house producer of this type. After the years he’s spent in the studio, and the help he’s had along the way, he’s become quite the incredible DJ. You can see what he’s got to bring to table (literally) where it really matters, LIVE, below. Listen to Silky’s performance in Berlin earlier this month at the Chalet Club, and see for yourself what this guy is capable of, we’re pretty confident you’ll like what you hear.
James Teej just released a new mix for Okini, titled “Subversive Spectacles of Length and Depth” last week. The title is quite an accurate indicator to what you’re going to hear. What we’re showing you here today is a very special compilation of intertwining streams of music. Teej is an adept house/Minimal music producer and performer, and local hero in the underground scene of Toronto, making him one of the top recording and touring artists signed to My Favorite Robot Records. The winds are picking up in Toronto though, and the seeds to his growth as a musician are taking root in other fields.
This is no ordinary mix ladies and frogs. “Subversive Spectacles of Length and Depth” takes you on very unexpected dive into quicksand, only take away the terror aspect of such an experience. The entire time you’re listening it’s as if you’re perpetually moving forward all the while sinking further into the unknown. If you struggle it pulls you further down, if you remain still you come out alive. Listeners will find reward in beautiful soundscapes, aesthetic grooves, haunting vocals, and a great use of analogue synths over the course of this mix-tape. James Teej may not be your cup of Canadian tea, but the coalescence of emotion and various styles acheived here is pretty impressive.
Late last September James Teej collaborated with Sasse and Phonogenic on the song “Tangential”, released on MFRR, in addition to an accompanying remix. This remix is another testament to his transition into psychedelic terrains. The soft vocals, eerie synthesizers, and the classic Minimal build-ups of triplet high hats puts you on edge. That doesn’t make it a bad song; the track has depth to it. It’s not abrasive, but it leaves you with an overwhelming feeling you can’t put your finger on. It’s the esoteric mystery found in both this remix, and his new mix-tape that make them so unique. James Teej is already a talented performer as seen with his work on MFRR, but this recent jump down the rabbit hole has an endless amount of potential with the technology at hand. No stranger to hard work, his next sonic experiment is sure to pop up soon, and we’re curious to say the least.
Minimal is a genre that we just can’t get enough of it. It’s really quite challenging to produce such music well, and thus a little bold don’t you think? Teej puts a nice spin on it with his previous works. The core of the genre and it’s sub-genres is the progression of a small selection of beats, and using those rhythms as a foundation to build on. Without the cluster of over abundant samples and patches, the artist can focus more on the production of each sound being made and utilized as well. What seems like a small amount of layers, can do huge things. “Big things have small beginnings” right Ridley Scott?
Allow us to introduce you to French electronic music duo Villanova, who will release their 5-track Physique Bell EP on My Favorite Robot Records September 2nd. The release features two remixes from Kiki and HearThuG, and three sensational new originals. Although pretty new to the scene, the so-far-accomplished duo from Marseille are quickly making a name for themselves. Having just finished their second EP, they’ve already been picked up by one of the finest underground labels in the world to release it.
Electronic music will never relent, because there is no limit to it’s potential. There are hundreds of styles, techniques, and genres, the earliest of which were house and trance. After 30 years of countless artists giving us their take on those styles, the guys at My Favorite Robot Records manage to keep a clean edge on the genre. The Toronto-based label is large a collection of artists who truly love house music, and capture it’s spirit with more passion than most DJs you see in clubs. Villanova is sure to nestle tightly in their group.
There are barrier-breaking musicians, and there are traditional and classic musicians, and there are both. Villanova embodies a pure old-school vibe but they persevere with a flowing intensity. The two tracks have a distinct sharpness to them. The rolling bass lines and high-hats don’t overstimulate you, but they give you everything you need. This duo flows with clever and calculated simplicity to carry you through the rhythm instead of dropping it on you. They are in no rush, but the pacing is steady and engaging. Similar styles of house music can get very boring, but the precision and actual soundscaping these two play with is very crisp. It is up to the artist to keep the audience interested, and there is nothing dull about Villanova. Sometimes you need to let your body do the work, and let your mind fall into space, going faster and faster as it descends. Take a listen and enjoy the ride.
Allow us to introduce to you The Acid Symphony Orchestra, a shining example of what separates menial elementary DJ’s from the innovative and original artisans. My Favorite Robot Records’ own Jori Hulkkonen conducts a collective of instrumentalists playing compositions exclusively on analogue synthesizers. The evolution of electronic music has both blessed and cursed the industry. Technology gives true artists the ability to translate their ideas in the most accurate way possible, but has also caused an influx of laziness in the mainstream. The Acid Symphony Orchestra has somehow not only evaded that conflict, but stepped far beyond its boundaries as well.
This is an orchestra in the purest sense of the word. There is no light show. Everyone on stage remains seated, and there is a conductor to guide them. Their music weaves through psytrance, delicate interludes, minimal, and sound exploration. Each member operates a Roland TB-303 Bassline Synthesizer and a TR-707 Drum Machine, which are completely analogue. This is live electronic in its rawest state. These instruments are not hooked up to any triggers other than that of the musician themselves and have been in use for over 30 years. The TB-303 debuted in 1982 and syncs directly with the TR-707 Drum Machine, allowing each member to be completely in tune with each other at all times. The analogue quality feeds into a nostalgic Electro sound that’s unlike anything used today, and with the right mind behind it, can sound better than the software available now. These instruments were initially made to replicate, in the best quality possible, the role of a bass and drum player for those who did not have access to one. Thus, the dawn of one single musician being granted the power of creativity and authenticity of an entire band. However, here we have 10 members in control of these instruments. Regardless of the technology gap, the principal concept remains the same, and leaves almost unlimited musical potential for this act.
Jori Hulkkonen is most definitely aware of this. He has been making music since 1988, and has been referred to as “the most underrated producer in the world” by DJ Magazine. Born in a different generation of electronically produced music, Hulkkonen is a musician of a better era, at least in his tastes. Predominately a house artist, he mostly produces deeper and instrumental tracks under his own name but has many other side projects. In the past he has done remix work for The Presets, Chromeo, and Goldfrapp. Over recent years he has been heavily affiliated with My Favorite Robot Records, one of the most respected labels in underground house music. It is here that he seems to most comfortable, and where has can freely manifest his creativity.
Acid Symphony Orchestra is simultaneously moving forward and backwards through time. They’ve only played 12 shows since their formation in 2007, and each without flaw. No matter what kind of music you may be into, this is not bound by genre. This is sheer musicianship.