Mamaku’s seductive third album Twigs of Gold

MAMAKU

The Mamaku Project was born of the meeting of two French-Kiwi’s, with a passion for song, groove and travel. With one hand firmly in their roots and the other reaching into trans-cultural imaginings, the Mamaku Project have managed to create a reputation for compelling musical performances, embracing elements of Chanson, Dub, Bohemian Groove and Poetry. Their engaging, evocative show has taken them to numerous arts and music festivals around the globe, including Aotearoa / New Zealand, where they are based, Australia, Korea, Canada and Europe. The pool of talented musicians working with them, shifts and morphs over the years, revealing different incarnations of the music but always true to their antipodean roots. Collaboration with contemporary dancers and video artists furthers their theatrical exuberance.

Their debut album, Karekare (2006), was received by critical acclaim, and their music described in NZ as “a new national treasure”. Their second album, Mal de Terre (2008), took a bi-lingual approach to festive gypsy styles, the colorful sounds belying some of the more somber topics, such as the (bad)News culture. In both these records, the earthy presence of Aotearoa land and sea, meets with exotic inspiration.

The third album, 5 years in the making, marks a turning point. The Mamaku Project, shedding the “project” and standing purely as Mamaku, have fused electro and organic, dark and light, serious and fun, into a collection of original tunes they call Groove-Hop. Groove because the catchy bass and analog synth drives, in syncopation with funky and quirky beats, are the backbone of this music, designed to make you move. Hop because the richly layered, grit and honey aesthetic of Trip Hop (think Portishead) is clearly present, as well the apparition of rousing spoken work, both poetical and political, offering a clin d’oeil to early Hip Hop (think Gil Scott-Heron, Arrested Development).

Check out the video for the first single Mardi Gras here.

Album available here as CD or download.

Introducing Edwina and Deko

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Two travellers leave their homes by the sea and meet in a German class in Berlin. He was searching for a change. She wasn’t searching for anything. They decided to play music together for fun, but soon discovered a shared passion for harmonies and 60s folk. After only a few gigs the pair locked themselves away in a studio for three days to record their joint album “Berlin Seasons”. Nostalgically seeking the sound of an earlier musical era, their album was recorded almost totally live bringing out their pure, acoustic sound and raw emotion.

Deko is a musician, songwriter and producer from the seaport of Trieste in northeastern Italy, where the mountains meet the sea. Edwina grew up on the northern beaches of Sydney, Australia.

Berlin is their debut single from their forthcoming album to be released early March. Download the single for free from our SoundCloud page.

Edwina & Deko’s debut album Berlin Seasons out now

Introducing Edwina & Deko, two travellers who left their homes by the sea and met in a German class in Berlin.

Deko (Enrico Decolle), is a songwriter, musician and producer from Trieste in northeastern Italy, where the mountains meet the sea. Forced to choose between music and his career as a sociologist after university, he chose to be himself: a musician at heart. He became well known as an independent rock musician in Italy through his bands “Alias” and “Breakfast”, but as the band’s enthusiasm dwindled he needed new inspiration, which he found in Berlin. The city’s unique acoustic music scene made him realise he could reinvent himself as a one man band and inspired him to record his first solo album, The Last Goodbye, in 2011.

Meanwhile in the antipodes Edwina Dunn was growing up listening to the Beatles and Don McLean on vinyl. She inherited her brother’s guitar at age 15 and taught herself to play it well enough to be able to sing along with her Beatles songbook. During the years she spent at law school in Sydney and Paris and then working as a lawyer in London, the guitar mostly collected dust, until she moved to Berlin.

Edwina and Deko met in German class, both trying to adapt to their new city and speak its language. Their teacher set the class the task of describing a famous person in German. When Edwina chose Paul McCartney and Deko chose John Lennon it wasn’t long before Edwina had dusted off her guitar and the pair got together to play some Beatles covers. Deko was surprised by what he heard. There was something in Edwina’s voice and the emotion she conveyed when she played which reminded him of an earlier era, something very pure and free from modern singing techniques, something very 60’s. With Deko’s encouragement, Edwina started writing her own songs and not long afterwards the pair recorded an EP in Edwina’s Berlin flat. Soon after Deko invited Edwina to follow him on tour in Germany and Italy. Audiences started to ask whether they had a joint CD and with more new songs on the way Edwina & Deko now had enough new material to record an album together.

One snowy weekend in March 2013 during a short break from touring the duo locked themselves away in a studio in East Berlin, along with their co-producer Jacopo Vannini and sound engineer, Tobias Neugebauer, and recorded “Berlin Seasons” in only three days. It was no mean feat, but recording the ten songs almost totally live, they managed it. The result was an authentic album with a pure, acoustic sound and raw emotion typical of their live performances.

Flow Signs, the haunting album by Francesco Giannico & Theo Allegretti

The project “Flow Signs” was born by the encounter of Francesco Giannico, electroacoustic musician and video artist, with Theo Allegretti, ambient-jazz pianist and composer, based on a common poetic and musical sensibility that favors natural landscapes, surreal environments and rich interior scenarios, such as particular places from which emerge suggestions that would provide a different view also of our daily life worlds.

The flow can catapult us into a mental state of conscious unawareness, as though being swept away by a current of water and similarly Francesco Giannico (laptop, field recordings, objects, guitar) and Theo Allegretti (grand piano, prepared piano), with such an expressive approach, create a single cinematic and visionary stream.

The intuitive, improvised and atypical use of the piano, dropped within ambient and minimal atmospheres and enriched by contemporary jazz strokes, moves hovering always on the lookout for a blend with the interventions brought into play by the other artist that are realized in real-time reprocessing of sound material, distended atmospheres created thanks to the help of pads, glitch, rattles, squeaks and sounds of memory.

Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) wrote about Francesco Giannico: “This young Italian electro-acoustic composer in whose work we can hear tendrils of everything from Luigi Nono to Toru Takemitsu. Filled with odd details, the music is fascinating.”

Rooms Delayed’s gorgeously hypnotic new EP Nothing Lighter

Rooms Delayed (aka Vincenzo Nazzaro, Italian musician) draws trajectories exploring the deepest folds of the soul through merging sounds that fade into one another. Its poetic melodies and captivating, albeit mild, sense of melancholy guide the listener into a land where colors, shapes and landscapes slowly come to life.

After the EPs So I Can Feel Through the Trees, A Day in my Room and various collaborations, last summer he creates Nothing Lighter, in which guitars, e-bow, delay, reverbs, field recordings and, sometimes, vocals develop a dialogue that engages the listener into enlightening visions and memories. Rooms Delayed conceives a real soundscape in which, beyond the sense of space and time, we could easily find elements that become instruments of perception towards a new inner vision where we will freely wander. From the collaboration with musician and singer Cristina Pullano, he gave birth to the first single release Mia (featuring a video directed by videomaker Domenico Bizarro) and Suspicious Mind.

Nothing Lighter represents a suspension, a hope that something new and incredibly liberating can be found. Since certain things can be experienced only through listening, we have to be prepared for the unexpected.
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Robin Pahlman’s self-titled debut EP out now

After being involved in various bands and musical projects for more than a decade, releasing albums and playing hundreds of shows all over Europe, Finnish songwriter Robin Pahlman feels like he is only getting started.

Robin was born and raised in the small coastal town of Pargas, Finland. He has played with various musical outfits and has explored genres ranging from punk rock to bluegrass.

Following the breakup of his long-term band Agent Kooper, Robin stored away his band equipment and moved to Seattle, WA. By chance, he came across an old, beat-up acoustic guitar at the flea market. Inspired by the instrument’s quirks and limitations, he challenged himself to step out of his musical comfort zone in order to take his songwriting to the next level. While studying American literature and mapping out the city and the breathtakingly beautiful nature of the Pacific Northwest on foot, songs about space, place, and travel were born.

After relocating again – via Helsinki, Finland, to Vienna, Austria – Robin spent most of his time in his modest home studio, recording demos with the intention to produce his debut solo album. After writing and recording music on his own for about a year, he assembled a live ensemble with three local musicians, and played the first show with the new backing band Ghost Town in early 2013.

Robin makes his own blend of folk rock and pop, and his music has been likened to acts such as Iron and Wine, Ray LaMontagne, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.

Sleepy Wolf’s beguiling debut album out now

Sleepy Wolf are a New Zealand-based duo that play whimsical, beautiful stripped-back acoustic music. Their self titled debut album is out now.

Sleepy Wolf consists of Karin Bettley on vocals and Sam Benge on guitar and baking vocals . Their sound is made unique by Karin’s soulful and timeless voice and well as Sam’s rich textured guitar playing.

The core of the album was recorded in just one day with the main vocal and guitar takes done live in one take as if they were playing in the living room like they have always done. Very little editing was done with all the added layers done in uninterrupted takes. Sam then played around with adding extra guitar layers including electric slide guitar, electric lead guitar, keyboards and backing vocals. Sam Prebble aka Bond Street Bridge was brought into to add violin on the tracks which has brought an extra dimension to the songs.

Sam Benge began his musical journey learning classical guitar which he took all the way through to completing a Bachelor of Music specializing in performance classical guitar. It was during his time at university that he met the members of Eightfold and recorded the album Bright Colours with producer Nigel Braddock. This album showcases his talents on nylon string guitar. Along the way Sam has recorded and composed music with SJD and Joost Langaveld which led to recording on Strawpeople’s album No New Messages. From 2003 to 2006 Sam moved to Australia and played with the band Metaphor which toured extensively up and down the East Coast playing Australian festivals and venues. It was in 2008 that Sam and Karin began working on Karin’s songs and developing the sound that they captured on their debut self titled album.

Since moving to Raglan from Auckland in 2006 Karin Bettley has been strongly involved in the arts community there collaborating with various musicians and artists. She has various projects on the go and recently put together a collective show that was in the nearby Hamilton Fringe Festival 2013. She draws people in with her songwriting and vocal style creating a mood and story that reflects her colourful character. In the past she has recorded with electronic based artists such as Epsilon Blue and Auckland based producer/musician Jamie Newman of Bright Child.

TDeL2’s debut album Barnegat

Introducing the remarkable debut album, Barnegat, by Nebraskan resident, TDeL2 aka Tony de Luca. Featuring lush cinematic instrumentation, massive synth sounds, subtle guitars and understated vocals, the album deftly embraces electro pop, post-rock and ambient, marking the arrival of a promising new artist on the electronic scene.

Blog acclaim for TDeL’s first single Fearless Youth

“I can’t wait to see where TDeL2’s journey takes him.” Your Neon Heart

“You are transported over the rolling soundscapes of lush electro-indie into a warm fuzz of the last summer days. Your view is unobstructed for miles, there is hope after all, life is good. Smile.” Indie Dunes

“This guy’s music really stood out from the crowd.” Outersound Undergroud

“Think Royksopp duetting with Jose Gonzalez with some vocoder heavy but subdued vocals and a wistful, almost tender vibe and you’re pretty much there.” Listen with Monger

“The remarkable song Fearless Youth… it´s a don´t miss.” Kentucky Seven

“TDeL2, aka Tony DeLuca, has found a sound we can get behind with Fearless Youth. It’s lovely, enchanting, and just beautiful. “ My Noise Spinning

Introducing Francesco Giannico & Theo Allegretti’s project Flow Signs

flow-signs-2

The project “Flow Signs” was born by the encounter of Francesco Giannico, electroacoustic musician and video artist, with Theo Allegretti, ambient-jazz pianist and composer, based on a common poetic and musical sensibility that favours natural landscapes, surreal environments and interior worlds. Preorder the album here and watch the dreamlike music video for the first single At Sunset here.

Their Concept of the project “Flow Signs” is presented as follows:
The flow can catapult us into a mental state of conscious unawareness, as though being swept away by a current of water and similarly Giannico (laptop, field recordings, objects, guitar) and Allegretti (grand piano, prepared piano), with a diversity of expressive approach, reach a mediation creating a single cinematic and visionary stream.

The album was recorded in the countryside of Rome early 2013 with both artists favouring an intuitive and improvised approach in order to maintain a certain freshness of the compositions, always sharing any necessary rearrangements and trying again until they achieve the desired result. Afterwards. at the home studio of Francesco, they shared all the subsequent phases about collecting sounds, arranging, and so on, until the final stage of mixing.

Somehow, although the improvisation occupies much of the work, you feel magically emerging an articulation of sounds forming a harmonious whole that perhaps cannot be expressed otherwise. Figuratively, it seems as if Francesco defines a space in which the different sounds create a physical environment and within this Theo articulates the stream of consciousness evoked by a piano that expresses a thought without words.

Introducing Sleepy Wolf

Sleepy-Wolf

Conjure is the dreamy debut single from New Zealand-based band Sleepy Wolf from their self-titled album to be released early November. Presales here.

Sleepy Wolf are a duo featuring Karin Bettley on vocals with Sam Benge on guitar and backing vocals. All the songs are written by Karin while Sam develops the musical arrangements. Sleepy Wolf were formed in 2008 and have played shows in Raglan and Auckland with Bond Street Bridge. Their sound is made unique by Karin’s soulful and timeless voice as well as Sam’s rich textured guitar playing.

Sam is the guitarist on Eightfold’s album Bright Colours, also released on Monkey Records and Karin previously featured on the track So Sweet by Cinema 90.