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April 8, 2021 Experimental electronic music producer Joel Wells, deals with grief in new music video

Experimental electronic music producer Joel Wells, deals with grief in new music video

Following on from the “Asleep Awake” single, Joel Wells is releasing the second in his series of multidisciplinary releases/works with interconnected artwork, typography, video and riso art prints. The new track is called “Gaslight” and is out.

‘Gaslight’ is broadly about the idea of collective grief, shame, guilt, responsibility and forgiveness” says Wells. “It reflects on how we move forward in solidarity, in the wake of an atrocity that is particularly divisive.The song addresses ‘gaslighting’ and the danger of being consciously or unconsciously complicit in undermining the validity of someone else’s experience . “Gaslight” is not about one specific incident but Wells explains that “the song was written around the time of George Floyd‘s murder, and the cultural movement that followed was a catalyst for some of its themes.”

A musician equally inspired by techno, house and alt-disco as he is by alternative pop, Joel Wells’ music has previously been compared to Thom Yorke, John Martyn, LCD Soundsystem and Arthur Russell. Gaslight” is inspired musically by one of Wells‘ favourite pieces of music, Ecophony Rinne by the Japanese collective Geinoh Yamashirogumi – which was also the inspiration behind the soundtrack for Katsuhiro Otomo’s film version of Akira.

Influenced by the vocal harmonies and low frequency hums from that piece, Wells says he “created drones, layering vocals and sub-frequencies to underpin the track with an ominous choral melancholy.” By then pitch-shifting these at unusual intervals, Wells brings an otherworldliness to “Gaslight” something he says “felt right to accentuate the feeling of warped unease….the shock of witnessing a man’s murder online and the distressing strangeness of seeing it shared repeatedly on social media.”

As with previous single “Asleep Awake”, the artwork created by Joel Wells was designed to mirror a relationship between form/structure and abstracted amorphousness. “Sculpting letter forms from their inherent basic shapes and fundamental geometry,” explains the artist, “in an effort to create compositions that retain a simplicity and minimalism that blurs the line between text, abstract pattern and image.”

Of the accompanying video, Wells states:

It was filmed predominantly on my phone at the British Museum. I distorted footage of Empirical statues and iconography in combination with blocky graphic shapes from my Critter & Guitari video synth to illustrate the censoring and editing of historical narratives.

Follow Joel Wells:

Instagram / Bandcamp

January 11, 2021 Experimental pop duo We Will Kaleid releases evocative EP

Experimental pop duo We Will Kaleid releases evocative EP

Image credit: Anne Ludwig

Absorbing our seasonal sadness, art/experimental pop duo We Will Kaleid released two last songs last year: Revoke/Aphelion.

“Revoke” is about self hypnosis floating on a wave of uncertainty, finally resolving into a stream of regret. The band details the track. It’s about the moment you realise that you did or said something that caused damage beyond repair. You are lost in indecision and uncertainty but somehow still comforted by monotony. A mellow, weightless, translucent, lulling state of mind.

“Aphelion” deals with what lies underneath it all, the one thing that we desire most. Loosing yourself in loosing one another. A void that even though filled with loss and grief, remains empty. Pure, calming, honest, weird.

We Will Kaleid create dense and oppressive arrangements with minimalist sound material. Upon rough textures of analog synthesizers, a dark and intoxicating atmosphere is forged with few but multi-faceted beat and voice fragments. We Will Kaleid are looking for a strong contrast. In dense electronic songs they prefer direct confrontation to comfortable harmony.

Just as on their latest EP “Tongue” We Will Kaleid take up dysfunctional aspects of communication and offers both spaces for self-confrontation as well as an escape from reality. The band’s output is a confusing, unpleasant trip into one’s own aggressive, ugly self. We Will Kaleid are a haunting and captivating appearance, with a clear stance: they do not offer an easy cure, the band remains consistently unforgiving.

Follow We Will Kaleid:

Website / Facebook / Instagram

August 26, 2020 In conversation with experimental pop singer That Brunette

In conversation with experimental pop singer That Brunette

Madeline Mondrala, well-known as That Brunette, is a Brooklyn based Experimental Pop songwriter and performer who began writing and performing music from the young as of eight years old. Mondrala would later attend the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in New York with peers like Mitski, Verité, and Sean McVerry. She released her first EP Cloud in 2013 and Madelin in 2017. The musician was scouted as a writer and artist BMG Publishing and would work with producers like Dem Jointz (Brandy, Rihanna), Larzz Principato (Dua Lipa, Halsey) and Ryan Marrone (Nicki Minaj). Madeline released her single ‘Coolest Girl’ last month, and is soon to release her EP Millenium Fig on the 28th of August. 

We find out more about this singer and songwriter below.

What are some of your earliest memories of music?

Listening to Motown in the car with my mom on my way to school, Playing Hole in my headphones under the blanket in my room when I was supposed to be asleep. Rummaging through my dad’s cd collection and discovering Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. Magical…

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I usually like to start with me and a piano. I typically come up with a baseline, melody and lyrics simultaneously. Once I’ve written the song I’ll think about the type of production I envision for it. From there I’ll present to the producer I think would be the best fit to help bring the song to life. If they’re into it, we’ll get to work producing the track together.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

That’s a toss-up, but I think I have to say that I like the process of creating music a little bit more. That’s what made me fall in love with music in the first place. I love the feeling of birthing a new piece of music. Every song is my favorite song I’ve ever written when I’m writing it.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I remember and cherish any time anyone has ever told me either in person or online that one of my songs meant something to them. There’s no better feeling than knowing you had a positive impact on someone through a melody you crafted or words you wrote.

If you could put together a radio show, what kind of music would you play?

It would be the perfect mix of bright shiny pop, hip hop, alternative pop, indie R&B, and musical theatre.

Name five artists and their albums who would appear on your radio show

Right now I would definitely be spinning Kah-lo’s latest single ‘Melanin’, some Caroline Polachek, Sudan Archives, Taylor Swift’s latest album Folklore, and Avenue Beat’s jam ‘Fuck 2020’.

What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?

I would like to achieve a sense of fulfillment within myself in creating authentic songs that represent my life experience. I make music because it brings me joy. I always go back to that truth if I start to feel societal pressure to “be somebody”. Success means being me, and I’m already myself. When I look at things through that lens, I feel very successful indeed.

One last thought to leave your fans with?

Hang in there. Every day is a new opportunity. Rest when you need to. Eat nourishing delicious food. Take a bubble bath. And listen to my new EP Millennium Fig

Follow That Brunette:

Website | Instagram | Spotify | Twitter