This one caught me off guard. Wairunga is a sumptuous 1 hour live album that has come out of nowhere. Better yet, it is accompanied by a film of the recording, which takes you right there to their secret little concert.
The album is named after the location that the tracks were recorded. It is a little town on the New Zealand’s East coast that appears to have one road, but is a regular retreat for the band. For this recording they set up shop on a grass tennis court, and got to work. As they play, the weather starts to come in around them – they plough on and it feels like the elements of Wairunga leave their mark on the recording. It feels right that they credit it in the name.
This is utter alchemy from everyone’s favourite Kiwi seven-piece.
After a little Summer break I’m coming back at you with a few new stellar releases over the next few days.
First up it is the wonderfully-named DJ Seinfeld with his debut full length album, Mirrors.
Mirrors is a set of tuneful electronic jams, and it comes with a sweet story attached. When DJ Seinfeld shot into the limelight out of nowhere in 2017 with his now-trademark dusty lo-fi house sounds, you might have noticed that the track names and general vibe were a tad depressing. At the time our man Armand Jakobsson was going through a break-up. Fast forward 4 years and he has found love. Out with the I Hope I Sleep Tonight and the I saw Her Kiss Him in Front of Me and I Was Like Wtf? and in with the She Loves Me, the Walking with Ur Smile and The Right Place. Ain’t that nice. Live your best life Armand.
DJ Seinfeld’s other project is also worth getting to know, under alias Rimbaudian.
Finally, he is playing live at EartH in Hackney in October – see you there.
It is fair to say that Leon is becoming increasingly experimental. To give you a feel for it, here is the copy accompanying his latest release Snakeskin ∞ Has-Been:
over and over in a snake’s life it will molt and shed it’s old, outgrown skin. it does not grow with the size of the snake itself, and soon hinders its advancement, leaving the skin behind like a memory. an artefact of where it once was. I believe good artists do this too. it’s what I try to do with every record. SNAKESKIN ∞ HAS-BEEN is my recognition of that.
I SHOULD. I COULD. I WOULD.
The music itself does pick up where Nothing is Still left off, with introspective, moody soundscapes. They swing and build and fizzle in a pattern that is mesmerising, if not exactly approachable. His style fills you with a huge sense of anticipation, while never quite unscrambling into something that’s easy to ingest. If you like your music challenging, then you’ll find Snakeskin ∞ Has-Been pretty rewarding – if you prefer your Leon more banger-centric scale (and there’s no shame in that) head back into his dicography.
I almost forgot, he is playing at Heaven on 24th November. You can get presale tickets here
Now that I’ve got that off my chest I want to draw your attention to Youtube channel Cercle. They take DJs to beautiful locations, and let them do their thing. The result is a magical combination of sound and visuals. Until we can get back to the real thing, this will have to do.
*I like Daft Punk, I really do, but I just don’t know if I have anything interesting to add to the avalanche of media that has been created about them this week. Here’s some reading if you want it.
Over much of Europe lockdown may be easing (for now) but there is one thing that we are all still missing: live music.
This is a beautiful recording filmed in Sylvan Esso’s homestate of North Carolina in November of last year, with behind the scenes content that ramps up the intimacy. Live music at its tip-top, spine-tingling, goosebump-raising best. I honestly can’t recommend this enough.
Their third full album, Free Love, drops on the 25th. Two singles, Rooftop Dancing and Ferris Wheel are already out – check them out now.
Right, so obviously one half of what makes Boiler Room videos great is the randos losing their nut next to the DJ. I get that. But obviously that setup ain’t the most socially responsible right now. So we have to make do with the other half – stonking sets delivered to your screen.
Boiler Room have lined up some of their favourite producers for quarantine sets. My favourite so far is from Mall Grab. Worth it just for that track 8 minutes in. If anyone can ID it I’ll be eternally grateful.
Jadu Heart’s first full length album is excellent. The masked duo are growing with every release – tightening their grip on their screwed-up electro-pop style, and casting a spell over the listener. The interplay between their voices (his rough and raw, hers sweet and tender) is perfectly measured; and the switches between moody and playful are perfectly executed. Even the album’s more straightforward rougher edges serve to increase its charm.
You can probably tell I like it. And it I like it more each time I put it on. Oh and boy you should see them live.
Most of the tracks have already been released so it might feel quite familiar. My star picks are Wanderlife and Harry Brompton’s Ice Tea, but in truth I could list half of the tracks on there.
Last week the music world mourned the loss of Andrew Weatherall. The tributes have come raining in – he was clearly an amazing man, as well as being a uniquely talented artist and producer. For a full piece on him read his The Times obit here, or JD Twitch’s ode on RA here.
I was due to see him alongside his long-time friend and collaborator Sean Johnston (as A Love From Outer Space) last week, and the night went ahead as a tribute to the big man. The club (and the floor) was full from 10pm until close at 4am, and the atmosphere was special – the crowd felt filled with his friends and family.
Andrew produced Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, and Sean closed the night with a blissed out, full volume cut of Come Together. Goosebump-raising stuff. Enjoy the original here.
More from me on ALFOS here and here. Finally, if you are a Weatherall super-fan, you can browse and download around 900 hours of his mixes here, on a fan-built Google Drive. Big props.
A couple of weeks ago I made my first trip to FOLD. It is another club in the city that has been called “London’s answer to Berghain” again and again – basically because it has a 24 hour license and a very stripped down, back to the basics ethos. Aesthetically I would describe it as extremely unassuming, which is kind of cool – in a concrete multi-story car park kind of way. The music is front and centre, so make sure you pick a night with a lineup you like. Since I went, it has been shut down; the council revoked its license due to allegations that “fraudulent funds” were involved in the purchase of “approximately £200,000 worth of high-value DJ equipment”. And then they reinstated the license, pending the trial of two people involved. What fun!
Anyway, I chose to go when Leon Vynehall had an all night set on. As usual, he was pretty great. This was my highlight from the set: it is house meets The Great American Railroad. Atmospheric beyond belief.
Bonus track: Leon himself released a new one last week as well. Here it is:
I’m headed to the inaugral Maiden Voyage Festival today on Three Mills Island. It’s a one-stage Jazz Cafe creation with a solid gold line-up spanning jazz, hip-hop, afrobeat and funk. So solid in fact that I’m not even going to pick out an artist – instead you can listen to a selection of tracks below. Whack it on shuffle and soak it in.