The latest installment of our weekly round-up of the best in new music takes Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke from Moscow to Majorca as he uncovers only the finest in Russian experimental jazz, revivalist alt-pop and an embracing Italian electronica.
We are, of course, dedicated here at Unknown Pleasures to leaving no stone unturned when it comes to digging up the best of all things new and musical, and issue 20 is of course no different. It should come as no surprise, then, that we begin this with only the finest blend of jazz and electronica that Moscow has to offer.
Russian trio Fogh Depot are an interesting proposition, their self-titled debut (due for general release next month) a stimulative swirl of looming Eastern strings, brooding trip-hop interludes and splurts of manic sax, underpinned with the same kind of measured tenacity in the drums that GoGo Penguin so boast to their advantage. It’s an entrancing debut effort, and a welcome addition to jazz’s current electronic surge.
In sunnier climes to the aforementioned’s PR-proclaimed “cozy melancholic cocoon in the midst of a looming, cold, unwelcoming metropolis of Moscow”, Majorca’s Beach Beach are likewise as much of an opposite musically. Where Fogh Depot are at the very least forward-thinking, the retroist jangle of the latter’s hazy melodics feels far more of a throwback.
That, however, is never of itself a bad thing, and Beach Beach do more than enough in the space of an upbeat less-than-three-minutes to forge their own identity away from the majority of their similarly beach-based peers (House, Skulls, Fossils et al.)
Just Like Before, the first taste of March’s upcoming album The Sea, for example, does indeed follow an unswervingly 80s proto-indie formula reminiscent of The Clean or The Feelies, but does so with a shimmering fire of pace and wist, and with a satisfying eye upon the best of modern guitar-pop. The result is as finely crafted a single as any of their predecessors could have hoped for, and an intriguing glimpse of what’s to come.
Casa del Mirto‘s charm’s are less immediate, but on upcoming album Still the Italian collective have an intimate unravelling of ambience, synth-pop and perhaps even just the slightest hint of space-rock at its mellowest to offer similar gratification for one’s ears.
Flitting between serene moments of swelling, gently cascading electronica and refined hints of dance in the Toro y Moi mold, it’s an album that simply demands attention, and when indulged is as absorbing an example of chillwave as you’re likely to find – however maligned that sub-sub-genre might have become – and with dedication comes a raft of rewards.