Henrik The Artist Takes You To The Spa On “Peddi Max”

Photo courtesy of Marek Ehrenberger

Norwegian producer Henrik the Artist wants to be your best friend. Every virtual footprint he leaves on the internet radiates with warm openness. “True friends are never apart, maybe in distance, but never by heart,” he writes in his Twitter bio, a sentiment that carries into his bouncy electronic solo releases and his work in the Scandinavian pop collective Rytmeklubben. After making many friendships with other artists onlineRyan Hemsworth and LIZ to name a fewHenrik demonstrates his social skills with a lovable new song called “Pedi Maxx.” The track combines hyper beats and sugary sweet synths reminiscent of PC Music affiliate SOPHIE. Chipper claps, rattles and giro strokes fill in the gaps, emanating a playful energy that Henrik so often puts forth in his work. If Barbie wanted a song to play on a spa day, this would be her go-to choice.

The single is to be released along with a colossal compilation of 22 remixes from Henrik’s extensive friend listincluding DJ Karaoke, GRRL, and moreon October 10 via Velkro.

Henrik has also shared a poem about the singlean ode to Diet Pepsi with “no sugar, too good to be true”that you can check out below along with the track.

Peddi Max

by Henrik the Artist

dripping dew

on a cold container

black and blue

and white and red

a crack

now bubbles

in a fizzy feeling

a tingly sensation

that lies ahead

maximum taste

but yet no sugar

too good to be true

though it has been said

that bubbles in bottles

and bubbles in cans

gather around us

from the love

we spread.

Henrik The Artist Takes You To The Spa On “Pedi Maxx”

Photo courtesy of Marek Ehrenberger

Norwegian producer Henrik the Artist wants to be your best friend. Every virtual footprint he leaves on the internet radiates with warm openness. “True friends are never apart, maybe in distance, but never by heart,” he writes in his Twitter bio, a sentiment that carries into his bouncy electronic solo releases and his work in the Scandinavian pop collective Rytmeklubben. After making many friendships with other artists onlineRyan Hemsworth and LIZ to name a fewHenrik demonstrates his social skills with a lovable new song called “Pedi Maxx.” The track combines hyper beats and sugary sweet synths reminiscent of PC Music affiliate SOPHIE. Chipper claps, rattles and giro strokes fill in the gaps, emanating a playful energy that Henrik so often puts forth in his work. If Barbie wanted a song to play on a spa day, this would be her go-to choice.

The single is to be released along with a colossal compilation of 22 remixes from Henrik’s extensive friend listincluding DJ Karaoke, GRRL, and moreon October 10 via Velkro.

Henrik has also shared a poem about the singlean ode to Diet Pepsi with “no sugar, too good to be true”that you can check out below along with the track.

Peddi Max

by Henrik the Artist

dripping dew

on a cold container

black and blue

and white and red

a crack

now bubbles

in a fizzy feeling

a tingly sensation

that lies ahead

maximum taste

but yet no sugar

too good to be true

though it has been said

that bubbles in bottles

and bubbles in cans

gather around us

from the love

we spread.

SWISHA Slam Dunks Jersey Club, Footwork, And Baile Funk Together On Debut Album 'JBW2K16'

Photo by Cindy Lopez

Since working as a graphic designer at Mad Decent, SWISHA has been establishing himself as a producer to watch, through his work with LA collective Juke Bounce Werk, and breakneck remixes of songs by Kelela, Young Thug, Jessy Lanza, and more. Recently, he was one of 70 participants who attended this year’s Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal.

Today THUMP premieres an exclusive stream of his forthcoming full-length debut JBW2K16, co-produced by Jersey City, New Jersey beatmaker Los. The record also features contributions from JBW crew members Kush Jones and Scatta, and Chicago ghetto house veteran Traxman, who appears on harmonic dance floor sweeper “Azusa.” Over the course of 14 Jersey club and footwork tracks, the young producers fold in soulful vocal samples, heavy-hitting basslines, and influences from beyond US borders.

“Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 was what first got me into Brazilian music, but baile funk really inspired me to incorporate similar rhythms and different percussive elements,” SWISHA tells THUMP via email.

Pre-order JBW2K16 before it comes out Oct. 8 on Dome of Doom and Great Traks, and if you live in Vancouver, catch him at New Forms Festival this Saturday.

JBW2K16 Tracklist:

1. Make Me Dance (feat. Kush Jones & Scatta)
2. Born Dis Way (feat. Kush Jones & Scatta)
3. Point ‘Em Out
4. Maku (feat. Kush Jones)
5. Singers Unltd (feat. Kush Jones)
6. Azusa (feat. Traxman)
7. Henno In Hand
8. Hol’ Uh
9. Creating BANG (feat. Kush Jones, & Scatta)
10. Burn It Up
11. Bling Blaow (feat. Scatta & Kush Jones)
12. U Wuz Right It Wuz Wrong
13. JBW 2K16 (feat. Scatta)
14. Cold As Ice (feat. Sonic D, Kush Jones, & Scatta)

Max Mohenu is on Twitter.

Coldcut Are Back With Their First New Music In Ten Years, “Only Heaven”

Photo courtesy of the label

Ninja Tune founders and seminal UK DJ-production duo Coldcut have released their first new single in ten years, “Only Heaven.”

The duo of Matt Black and Jonathan More last released original music back in January 2006 with their fifth studio album, Sound Mirrors, which featured a guest appearance from English artist Roots Manuva on the track “True Skool.”

Fast forward a decade and the two parties have linked up yet again for “Only Heaven,” which also showcases production from With You. member Dave Taylor (aka Switch) and masterful bass-work from Brainfeeder mainstay Thundercat. The single will also re-launch Coldcut’s other label, Ahead of Our Time, which housed the duo’s material before they founded Ninja Tune in 1990.

“Only Heaven” embodies the saying “not everything that glitters is gold,” its ostensibly twinkling melody dripping with sadness like a music box slowly winding through its last notes. A heart-wrenching chorus complete with eerie croons, and Roots Manuva’s somber lyrical content give it a moody beauty that will please your ears but might also put tears in your eyes. Listen to it below.

Egyptrixx Announces New Album, ‘Pure, Beyond Reproach’

Album art courtesy of the artist

Toronto producer David Psutka, aka Egyptrixx, shared details of his forthcoming album today, Pure, Beyond Reproach, due out January 13, 2017 on his own Halocline Trance label.

Pure, Beyond Reproach is Psutka’s fourth LP under the Egyptrixx moniker, a project he describes as “celestial club music.” His last Egyptrixx album, Transfer of Energy ‘
07. ‘Anything U Say, Everything U Do’
08. ‘Anodyne Wants to Ammo’
09. ‘Baby How Strong Are We’
10. ‘Ti Exactamundo’

It Just Got A Lot Easier To Dress Like Mija

Photo courtesy of the artist

LA-based DJ, producer, and occasional model Mija has launched her new clothing line, Made By Mija.

The collection features men’s, women’s, and unisex apparel including graphic t-shirts, hoodies, hats, overalls, intimates, and various accessories, all of which reflect Mija’s low-key personality, and most of which come in the industry-mandated color palette of black and white.

Speaking with NEST HQ about the collection, Mija shared that her sartorial aspirations formed well before her rise in the dance world, as she was studying fashion design, merchandising, and buying before dropping out to pursue DJing full-time. “It’s kind of the only thing I was ever really into outside of the music world,” she said. “When I was a teenager I was always ripping apart t-shirts, sewing shit together, drawing on all my pants…”

Check out photos of the Made By Mija collection below, or head to the official website. Later this month, Mija heads out on her FK A Genre tour, and you can definitely expect to see the crowd donning her head-to-toe looks along the way.

Travel Through Tokyo In Kastle's "The Future" Music Video

Next week, Southern California producer Barrett Richards, aka Kastle, is releasing his second studio album Reflections. Having recently moved from the constant bustle of Los Angeles to the quieter suburbs, the LP serves as his 12-track attempt to rediscover himself as an artist.

Today, THUMP is premiering the video for one of Reflections‘ tracks, “The Future” featuring Michael Brailey. The dancehall-tinged, experimental pop number’s visual treatment sees a young woman travel through the streets of Tokyo at night, interspersed with flashes of her in what seems to be a virtual reality simulation.

“Had an absolute blast working with Michael Brailey on this one,” Richards tells THUMP over email. “We were talking a lot about human connection and thinking about how it will continue to drastically evolve in our lifetime. In the future I think we will realize that we have always been connected. The idea of disconnect is just an abstract illusion/story that we told ourselves. The video is shot in one of my favorite cities, Tokyo. I wanted Jeff Vash on the video production for his eye for symbolism and attention to detail.”

Watch Kastle’s video for “The Future” here. Reflections is out on October 14 via Symbols.

London-Based Producer Dark0 Signs To XL, Debuts Beguiling New Track "Forever"

XL have just announced a new signing in the shape of London-based producer Dark0. His debut EP, Oceana, is set for a digital and vinyl release on the 28th of October, and you can listen to the first track, “Forever”, now.

If this first taste is an indicator of what’s to come, it serves as proof that hype around the 25-year-old is no mistake. “Forever” is a dark and beguiling bit of love-lorn pop, sitting somewhere between the icy soundscapes of Arca and the melodic hooks of Rustie. It’s definitely music built in London, but the beats speak to anybody who’s ever felt trapped in an urban environment. With the intensity of instrumental grime, paired with something altogether more cinematic, this is music for now. Music to feel lonely to. Music to be scared to.

You can also hear Dark0’s music during the opening credits of Big Night Out on VICELAND.

The Oceana EP is out on the 28th of October. Pre-order it here.

Cerrone Has Taken The Legendary Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou For An Acidic Spin

By the 1980s, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou were close to dissolution. Following the deaths of two original band-members, and their country of Benin falling into political decline, it looked like their legacy of over 50 albums, and appearances alongside the likes of Fela Kuti, was to become nothing more than a memory.

Happily, and fortunately for us, in 2008following a renewed interest in West African music across Europethe band reformed, and since then have been playing and producing music with as much joy and intensity as before. Sadly, bandleader Mlom Clment who formed the original lineup in 1968 passed away in 2012, but the Poly-Rhythm torch is still being carried by singers Vincent Ahehehinnou and Loko Pierre, bass player Gustave Bentho. After a short break following the death of their founding member, they began writing and recording material which ultimately formed the backbone of their new album, Madjafalaotheir first since 2011.

We are naturally really excited to be hearing new music from such a storied and influential group, and we’re even more excited to be bringing you a fantastic remix of the album’s title track, courtesy of French disco don Cerrone. The rework adds an acidic pulse under the frenetic fever of the original. Cerrone had this to say about it:

“It’s amazing how this music and its rhythms are an inspiration for me! I really loved going back to this universe which has been part of my musical origins. There are so many ‘hooky’ parts in the original song by Poly-Rythmo that you can’t help being inspired.”

Isn’t that lovely? Enjoy the track below:

Madjafalao is out on the 28th of October.

How Bruce Haack Went From Composing Children’s Music To Making One Of Canada’s Weirdest Electronic Albums

In 1970, Columbia Records released an album entitled The Electric Lucifer, written and performed by a little-known Alberta-born composer named Bruce Haack. It was an odd title for an even stranger LP, a concept record about the battle between heaven and hell, set to acid rock guitars, the early sounds of the Moog, and the Canadian artist’s homemade synthesizers. At the time, Haack made his living in New York as a pianist for dance instructors, and had only previously recorded music for children. Though The Electric Lucifer is now seen as a cult classic, he died in 1988, before ever seeing his accolades or even knowing he had an audience.

It wasn’t until the late 90s that people started appreciating Haack’s genius. Following compilations on Q.D.K. Media and Emperor Norton, a Philip Anagnos-directed documentary about his life called Haack: The King of Techno was released in 2004. He’s since been covered by Beck, and sampled by producers including J Dilla, Cut Chemist, and Madlib.

This week, Toronto-based label Telephone Explosion Records are finally reissuing The Electric Lucifer on vinyl. They were also responsible for reissuing the record’s sequel, The Electric Lucifer II, in 2014, and 1978’s Haackula last year. The album is a landmark work, featuring bouncy electronic numbers like vocoded opening track “Electric To Me Turn,” as well as more psychedelic songs like “Program Me,” with its heavy slice of bass and organ. To mark the occasion, we’re taking a look back at how Haack evolved from a self-taught musician growing up in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, to a pioneer of Canadian avant-garde electronica.

Ted Pandel is the most qualified person to tell the late artist’s story. Haack’s longtime friend and manager of his estate today, they met at NYC’s Juilliard School in 1954, while both waiting in the registrar’s line. “We couldn’t have been more different,” he tells THUMP over the phone from West Chester, Pennsylvania.

While Pandel was a classically trained musician, Haack was entirely self-taught, spending much of his early years in rural Alberta in front of his parents’ piano. By age 12, the only child was giving piano lessons to other people in his neighbourhood, before applying to the University of Alberta’s music program after high school. Due to his lack of musical notation knowledge, he wasn’t accepted, so he decided to study psychology instead, continuing to compose for the university’s theatre productions.

Not being able to write out his scores didn’t impede Haack’s ability to perform, in fact, it put him down the path of electronic music. “He never had to notate anything because he’d use a tape recorder and play all the instruments himself. It was the kind of music they’d call musique concrete,” recalls Pandel. It was through these jobs that Haack was introduced to actor Charles Laughton, who encouraged him to pursue his studies in music in New York.

Even with a full scholarship, he didn’t last long at Juilliard, with Pandel explaining that “he didn’t fit into that classical idiom.” Haack started devoting more time and energy into building his own instruments, visiting shops on Canal Street to buy parts for his homemade synthesizers. Many of his inventions were built through trial and error with a desired effect in mind, but no technical knowledge of how to get there. One such instrument was the heat and touch-sensitive “peopleodeon,” or “dermatron” as it was later called, which allowed the human body to trigger different pitches. The idiosyncratic device led to Haack becoming a popular guest on the CBS game show I’ve Got a Secret, including a 1960 appearance where he played the dermatron on Pandel’s forehead, while Pandel performed Nat King Cole’s “Jet My Love” on the piano.

By the time Pandel graduated in 1958, the pair were roommates and looking for work as a songwriting duo, shopping their songs to offices and executives across the city with little success. “We thought what we were going to do was make money at pop music,” says Pandel laughing. “We couldn’t even get past the secretaries.” They finally got a break after writing two tracks, “I Like Christmas” and “Satellite,” for Teresa Brewer, which ended up as B-sides for the American pop singer’s singles “Jingle Bell Rock” and “The One Rose (That’s Left In My Heart).” “The truth is, Bruce wrote most of the songs,” admits Pandel. “He would always add my name because he wanted to have a kind of Rodgers and Hammerstein thing.”

“I Like Christmas” demonstrates Haack’s fanaticism for the holiday, a recurring theme of his discography that would culminate in the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, 1976’s Ebenezer Electric. As much as “Satellite” is a novelty from the Sputnik era, it also has its own orbit, a strong pull created by the dizzying, off-kilter opening string arrangement, and the tension between the singer’s wide-eyed innocence and the expansive universe that the song takes place in. More than a simple pop tune, “Satellite” was just the beginning of Haack’s foray into the kind of world-building we’d later hear on The Electric Lucifer.

With their pop bubble burst, Pandel took up working as a page at ABC Studios, where he met Chris Kachulis, who immediately took to Haack’s music. Kachulis became Haack’s manager, constantly accompanying the reluctant composer to appointments at commercial agencies. Around the time he was writing 15-second jingles on-the-spot for employers, Haack also started working as a pianist for dance instructors in Westchester County, which flexed very similar muscles. “All the dance teachers would say to Bruce was “give me two beats and make it Indian,’ and he’d whip something up,” says Pandel.

One teacher, Esther Nelson, became particularly close with Haack, and they released a record together in 1963. Dance Sing and Listen, a collage of dance instruction, storytelling and song, was pressed for $500 and sold to parents. The album was so successful that they started a label, Dimension 5, with Pandel, and continued collaborating on material throughout the 1960s. Foundational to their approach was respecting their audience’s intelligence. Haack and Nelson were intent on divorcing children’s music and entertainment from the formulaic folk tradition that dominated the industry. The duo used expansive sounds and structures to teach throughout all eleven of the records they made together. Though they used terms like “reverse-psychedelik” to describe their philosophy, their albums resonated with children, parents, and educators alike

Between the Dimension 5 recordings with Nelson and the commercial work he was doing, Haack was able to earn enough money to build his own studio in New York, and began work in 1967 on a project that would become The Electric Lucifer. Unlike his paid work, it wasn’t a record that was commissioned by or for anyone else, and he drew heavy inspiration from the sounds of acid rock introduced to him by Kachulis. In a 1970 interview with Albertan radio station CKUA, he said he appreciated the less formally constrained genre, and believed it worked well with his electronic tendencies.

The clear stylistic distinction between electronic music and rock on the record helps illustrate the tension essential to the album’s concept of a war between heaven and hell. It also creatively alluded to the paradigm shift happening in the late 1960s and early 1970s as electronic music was growing increasingly popular. Once the record was completed in 1969, Pandel recalls it was Kachulis who came through again for Haack, orchestrating Columbia Records’ involvement and eventual release of the album. “Chris through his perseverance got a hold of John Hammond, who was the big man at Columbia Records. Chris called his house and talked to his maid and convinced her to put him on the phone,” he says. Somehow he got Hammond to hear The Electric Lucifer and he loved it.”

To their credit, Columbia, who had just had major success in 1968 with Wendy Carlos’ Switched-On Bach, were not only receptive to the potential of electronic music, but in particular, the Moog. Part of the label’s agreement with Haack stipulated that he add Moog parts to the album, which he happily obliged, further cementing the record’s place in electronic history.

While it was well-received by college radio and music critics, it would be his only major label release, with every subsequent Haack album coming out on Dimension 5. Though in his lifetime he never enjoyed the recognition he has now, his cutting edge work with children’s music ensured that the next generation of musicians would have the tools to understand the legacy he left behind. In children’s music Haack found his creative impulse, a place where electronic music wasn’t fringe or a novelty, but an exciting new sound full of possibility, living outside of form and convention, much like he did. Rather than an anomaly that exists outside his body of work, The Electric Lucifer is the culmination of the artist’s delve into children’s music, a wide-eyed and innocent look at conflict, and an expression of the exciting potentialities of the future.

“When you hear something like The Electric Lucifer, and when you put it in context with its time even, you know it’s coming from somebody special,” says Telephone Explosion co-founder Jon Schouten. “History tells us that people who have this kind of genius just aren’t typically recognized within their own time.”

The Electric Lucifer comes out Oct. 8 on Telephone Explosion Records, pre-order it here or the Bruce Haack Super Paack,” which includes all three LPs and a 10″ limited edition back patch.

Michael Rancic is on Twitter.

Carla Dal Forno Is Better Off Alone

All photos by Tonje Thilesen.

A less rational person would have blamed ghosts. In December of 2015, after a brief stint living in Berlin, Carla Dal Forno had just moved back to her native Melbourne, Australia and into a house recently abandoned by an old friend. She was living alonesleeping on a mattress on the floor, surrounded by dust and ephemera from her friend’s recently dissolved relationship. But then things not easily explained started happening: electrical wall sockets would buzz erratically; lamps would flicker off and on uncontrollably. She blamed it on “dodgy wiring” and an equally dodgy landlord who refused to do repairs on the house, but on a recent Skype call from Berlin, she says she never got to the bottom of it: “I was quite frightened at times.”

She soon found another place to live in Melbourne. But during the months she lived there, she set about working on her music, crafting spectral, post-punk recordings that distracted her from her surroundings while also mirroring the ambient gloom. You can hear that sulking fear in the slow chime of the guitar lines on “Better Yet,” the B-side of a single she released earlier this year on Blackest Ever Black.

Dal Forno recorded her debut solo LP, You Know What It’s Likedue out October 28 on Blackest Ever Blackbefore “Better Yet,” before she moved into that house. Coincidentally though, when she started working on the album in late 2014, she’d been living in a different Melbourne residence that was also, by her own description, “falling apart.” It had an outdoor toilet and lacked space for a proper studio, so she set up rudimentary recording gear at the kitchen table. “You could see the sky through the cracks in the wall, and it was hideously cold in the winter,” she says. Making these meditative piecesusually composed of distantly droning guitars, gasps of reverberating synthesizers, and dry-cough drum machinesserved the same purpose in the one space as the other: to pass the time, to get out of her own head.

Though she’d studied classical cello throughout her childhood and adolescence, Dal Forno’s relationship to music, until now, has been largely collaborative. After college in Australia, where she got a degree in fine arts with a focus in painting, she started playing guitar in “jangle guitar pop bands” around Melbourne. ” more than others.” But listening back to “Fast Moving Cars,” one of the more lyrically legible songs on the record, one might say that she’s already provided something of a hint, albeit in the form of a question. It’s one that reads as hopeful, somehow, perhaps because of the way she sings it: “Now we’re alone, what will we do?”

Grimes Shares Seven New Music Videos Recorded In Europe On Tour

Restless experimental pop star, Grimes, has shared not one, or two, but seven new music videos recorded on tour with Los Angeles musician HANA and her brother Mac Boucher. Four of them are for her own songs off 2015 LP Art Angels, namely “Butterfly,” “World Princess part II,” “Scream (ft. Aristophanes)”, and “Belly of the Beat,” while the other three are for HANA’s songs “Underwater,””Chimera,” and “Avalanche,” off her self-titled EP.

The clips are available to watch separately or all at once, as “The AC!D Reign Chronicles {Director’s Cut}.” They were shot on an iPhone over a two week period in Europe during the AC!D Reign tour, according to a message Grimes posted to Twitter today.