the latest between the weird and the conventional

DRIFTMACHINE : nocturnes : Umor Rex (20.06.2014)
Dars: Haunting and moody soundscapes served by Berlin-based electronic duo Driftmachine comprised of Andreas Gerth and Florian Zimmer. Expect a wash of trance-inducing (neo)cosmic synth lines, thrilling dubstep minimalism and lot's of hypnotically rolling moments. Solid stuff to my ears! 7.1/10
Seven: I’m not too sure if the album title refers to the oldschool term of musical compositions that are inspired by the night, but actually it would be a perfect fit for these dub-infused songs that place themselves between the rather challenging and the pleasantly moody. 7.5/10


BARBAROSSA : elevator : Memphis Industries (out now)
Seven: Wow, this reveals itself as a rather unexpected reinvention. James Mathé has swapped his neat analog acoustics for old casiotone keyboards and synths in order to give his songwriting talents a brand-new direction. The result definitely leaves you hungry for more, a flawless soundtrack for those days where staring at a white wall for hours seems to be the best option. 7.5/10
Justine: London-based singer/songwriter Barbarossa - also known as James Mathé - is back with four luscious tracks. Initially conceived as a soundtrack for a short film, “Elevator“ is a melodious experimental EP. Mathé’s sensual voice remains the most poignant instrument though that goes perfectly well with the electronic and slightly symphonic sound. The whole thing feels a bit like a lullaby with deep lyrics, with a beautiful and dreamy atmosphere, which will definitely transport you to a place where you will hear (and feel) the rolling waves. 8.5/10


BLACK BANANAS : electric brick wall : Drag City (27.06.2014)
Dars: Weird intersection of funk, noise-rock psychedelia, metal, glam-core and disco stuff that makes me wanna jump off a cliff or something. What's happening here? 2.2/10
Seven: Jennifer Herrema is happening here... and not surprisingly, she just loves to polarize with her latest project as well. Since she brought the Royal Trux saga to an end, she’s busy in front and behind the camera, was involved in various musical projects, did her JJ X fashion thing and whatnot. This hyperactivity can be found on “Electric Brick Wall“ as well, which doesn’t necessarily work in the album’s favor. 4/10

MARTYN : the air between words : Ninja Tune (out now)
Dars: The third studio album by Dutch producer Martyn isn't an album full of bangers or future dancefloor classics, but an album that steers you along an electronic path of discovery. On offer are excursions into deliciously filtered analogue techno, drifting spectral house and sculptured minimalism - elegant and beautifully realized. Top notch! 8/10
Justine: According to the artist, the title of the album really says it all: “It’s the space between the spokes that makes a wheel a wheel. The air between the words is what makes it a sentence. In a way, the untouchable is what gels everything together; the things we can’t see end up making the world go round.” The highly acclaimed artist took me by surprise as he brings a complete new sonic direction to the table... but it’s an exploration of all his past work as well. The album features two collaborations: one with Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet, and another with Copeland (also known as Inga Coepland) for “Love Pleasure” - which probably is the best song of the album. As Martyn has always done, “The Air Between Words“ fuses modern and ancient, it has a pleasant vintage sound, yet it can also be interpreted as a clear-sighted futuristic one. A great album that will definitely make you dance. 7/10


BOB MOULD : beauty & ruin : Merge (out now)
Seven: The biggest guitar. The largest hooks. The fastest pop songs. Mould is back with another great pop/punk/indie album filled and fueled by the wisdom of age. 8/10
 Dars: This guy can't stop, won't stop. The latest effort of the one-time Hüsker Dü frontman is yet another collection of catchy, guitar-driven indie rock, continuing the creative resurgence he's enjoyed since 2005s “Body of Song“. “Beauty & Ruin“ is a cohesive piece of art where Mould’s soul and sound clearly shines through the entire album. Although it can be a little repetitive at times, it's not a repetition that becomes bothersome. In fact, it’s a real turn on. This is probably his finest work in nearly two decades, that leaves you desperate for more, whether you’re a long-time Mould fan or not. 8.2/10


HUNDRED WATERS : the moon rang like a bell : Owsla/!K7 (out now)
Justine: American indie band Hundred Waters’ second full-length surprised us with its refined and mellifluous sound. The melancholic album is as strong on the lyrics than on the melody, with Nicole Miglis’s beautiful voice floating above the arrangements like a delicate whispering that makes the somber lines less hard to swallow... if mermaids were real, they would probably sound just like her, I guess. The electronic sounds are much more present than on their first album, which obviously leaves less room for acoustic instruments. nonetheless, the atmosphere remains a very similar one as they manage to camouflage the digital trickery quite well. “The Moon Rang Like A Bell“ is a fantastic fairy-like “digital folk” album that stands out from everything else I’ve heard recently. 8.5/10 
Seven: I’m actually not too sure about this one here. While a song like “Cavity“ comes dangerously close to state of the art pop perfection, too many others feel as if they’re designed to win the Kleinkunstpreis. 5.5/10


DAVE HARRINGTON : before this there was... : Other People (out now)
Dars: Being one half of the dynamic electronic duo Darkside, multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington establishes himself as an equal voice to band buddy Nicolas Jaar on his first solo release. Expect a series of interconnected compositions, split across two tracks. It's a lot more abstract than I would have guessed based on what this guy brought to the Darkside table, with Harrington leading a rich sonic odyssey made of delicate musical thoughts. 9/10


HOW TO DRESS WELL : what is this heart? : Domino Records (20.06.2014)
Justine: It seems like Tom Krell has put all of his heart into his latest album. After “Love Remains“ and “Total Loss“, Krell has finally found himself with “What Is This Heart”., as the musician with the magnificence voice shows a side of him that we never heard before. “What Is This Heart” goes through an intense mixture of diverse emotions that are sometimes not so easy to live nor to face. His voice resides his main strength though, and it goes perfectly with his moody atmospheric songs. This probably is Krell’s best album to date, and it’s also his most emotive and personal one. 8,5/10
Dars: Tom Krell has ventured out on a journey of self-reflection on his alter ego How to Dress Well’s third studio album, an experimental version of laptop soul or rather profound and sophisticated pop music, combining all the liveliness and dynamics of the past releases, but is ultimately more subdued, more intricate, and much more convincing. 7.9/10


STRATUS : mirrors EP : Fragments (out now)
Dars: Inspired by 70s/80s scores and some experimental Italo/cosmic themes, these two English gents with a love for warped soundtracks and fuzzed-out psychedelia deliver five notable catchy slo-mo pieces this time... and they’re actually much darker than expected. The perfect companion for your nighttime highway ride, that makes me extremely excited for their next full length album to come! 8.8/10
Seven: Seriously, it’s almost obscene how shamefully underrated Stratus is. So, yeah, continue listening to Glass Animals and Disclosure or whoever is hip today... you can already look forward finding out about these guys as soon as their first album will be released posthumously. 8.5/10


GREYS : if anything : Carpark (16.06.2014)
Dars: Toronto’s Greys’ debut LP bridges a gap between genres and offers a refreshing blend of heavy noise rock with pop sensibilities. If you like heavy music that is smart, catchy and has more to offer than wanting you to slam your fist into the air, give this one a spin. Greys have struck a chord with me and if you are into contemporary heavier acts like Roomrunner, Dope Body and Low Fat Getting High, and older stuff like Fugazi, Polvo and Shellac, this should be an automatic purchase. Fierce, fast and full on! 8.2/10