Martin Kohlstedt – LUV
It is a wondrous world that seems strange and awakens the spirit of discovery, yet seems familiar in a way to let oneself fall reassured.
The German pianist Martin Kohlstedt is one of the exceptional talents of neo-classical music. A man who appreciates radicalism, who does not want to be defined and who regards concepts with suspicion. His music is fragmented, broken down into ideas, each of which he names with three letters and combines freely on stage. So they are not pieces in the classical sense but building blocks like sound legos.
The latest addition to Kohlstedt's repertoire of building blocks is called LUV. After returning to the enchanting simplicity of the piano in 2020 with the album Flur, Kohlstedt is again not afraid to let the electronic elements flow in again in LUV. This effortless fusion of the analogue world and synthetic sound painting gives his music a unique atmosphere. LUV sounds overwhelming, as it were, briefly soaring to futuristic pathos before disintegrating into intimate gentleness.
Kraków Loves Adana – When The Storm Comes (feat. Ruth Radelet & Adam Miller)
Clouds pile up on the horizon; thunder rumbles in the distance. The storm is coming, driven by the steady beat.
Deniz Çiçek, aka Kraków Loves Adana, keeps causing a sensation with her songs full of character, in which she gives electronic elements and incisive guitars a melancholic twist. The Hamburg-based artist's seventh album Oceanflower will be released on 14 February 2023. The first single from the record is called When The Storm Comes, for which Çiçek collaborated with former Chromatics members Ruth Radelet and Adam Miller.
"I had the title and the chorus in my head almost ten years ago but never managed to make a proper song out of it," Deniz Çiçek says of the song. Only when she played the demo recording to Adam Miller did the song come into being in its current form. When The Storm Comes drives steadily forward through the subtle beat. The sparkling guitar melody shines brightly; over it, the voices sing as thoughtfully as they do optimistically. When The Storm Comes manages the balancing act between a soulful duet and a rebellious anthem.
Agar Agar – The Visit
The beat bounces breathlessly. The synthesizers jump up and down. The simplicity is captivating.
Agar Agar, that's Clara Cappagli and Armand Bultheel, a synthpop duo from Paris. Their work mixes the classic synthpop sound of the 80s with an art-pop attitude and likes to sprinkle younger electronic music into the compositions. The characteristic of the songs of Agar Agar, however, is primarily the evocative voice of Clara Cappagli, who always plays a leading role.
After the single Trouble released in June, a wild number somewhere between experimental techno, UK garage and trip-hop, Agar Agar show in The Visit that reduction can be a captivating weapon. The arrangement remains simple, deeply rooted in the earliest synthpop. It sounds almost like Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft, only with less aggression. Cappagli's vocals bring through the instrumental repetition with their free flow. You get the feeling the song is being created right in your own ears. Refreshing and danceable.
Melicious – Fallen Like That
A mystical voice leads us through the autumnal mist, accompanied by a heartbreaking composition.
Melissa Varela is a 25-year-old artist from Basel. The Swiss newcomer released her first song, THINK ABOUT U, in May—a driven thing. Her electronic tracks by Melicious, as Varela calls herself, are about growing up, love and the insecurities and vulnerability that are inseparable from them. Clearly, we can be curious about Malicious' future output.
With Fallen Like That, Melicious now strikes softer notes. The Nordic influences are audible, this agreeable mixture of addictive pop melodies and gentle melancholy. Fallen Like That is a track that bleeds from the heart. Deeply sad, yes, but also comfortingly liberating. The composition is not without a certain pathos, and some might say this song is already slipping into kitsch. Nevertheless, Fallen Like That is surrounded by this indefinable mysticism. Something creeps under the skin and settles somewhere between the auditory canal and the soul.
Oiseaux-Tempête – Voodoo Spinning (feat. Radwan Ghazi Moumneh)
Welcome to the abyss, where the maelstrom of darkness takes hold of you and shimmers in all facets of black.
Oiseaux-Tempête is neither a collective nor a conventional band. It is rather a musical solar system with the three multi-instrumentalists Frédéric D. Oberland, Stéphane Pigneul and Mondkopf at its centre, around which ideas and satellites orbit. What On Earth (Que Diable) is the name of the new album by this French force and is by no means an easy listen.
The post-apocalyptic Voodoo Spinning is representative of the abysmal sound constructs that Oiseaux-Tempête conjure up on the album. Together with Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of the Canadian audio-visual performance project Jerusalem In My Heart, Oiseaux-Tempête open a bottomless maw, pitch-black, mysterious and threatening. Voodoo Spinning is an almost seven-minute ambient inferno that winds into the abyss with irresistible slowness until the screeching guitar cuts through the lush gloom like a buzzsaw.