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armin van buuren embrace

Armin van Buuren ‘Embrace’ – Album Review

Armada (2015)

After years of trying, superstar DJ Armin van Buuren finally scored that elusive mainstream hit with 2013’s Grammy-nominated “This Is What It Feels Like.” It’s little surprise, therefore, that the majority of his sixth studio effort, Embrace, sticks rigidly to his belatedly winning formula. Indeed, “Heading Up High,” “Freefall” and “Indestructible” are just a handful of the songs that attempt to replicate the over-emotive male vocal delivery, hands-in-the-air chorus and […]

Jean_Michel_Jarre electronica1

Jean Michel Jarre ‘Electronica 1: The Time Machine’ – Album Review

Following in the footsteps of Giorgio Moroder’s star-studded comeback, fellow electro wizard Jean Michel Jarre has also assembled an impressive line-up for his first new studio effort in eight years, Electronica 1: The Time Machine. But whereas Moroder’s unexpected return largely relied upon today’s synth-pop sirens, Jarre’s features a far more eclectic list of guest artists that have inspired him over the past four decades, ranging from legendary horror film […]

avicii stories

Avicii ‘Stories’ – Album Review

Island (2015)

Third only to Calvin Harris and Tiësto as the world’s richest DJ, few have done more for the EDM cause than baby-faced Swede Tim Bergling, aka Avicii. But his second studio effort, Stories, suggests the 26-year-old is getting ready to leave the world of epic drops behind. The follow-up to 2013’s hit-packed #TRUE is still very much a floor-filling affair with ventures into everything from tropical house (“Gonna Love Ya”) […]


The October 2015 Dance/Electronica Playlist

From a belated summer house anthem to an indie-pop supergroup’s surprise reinvention, these are the key dance/electronica tracks you need to wrap your ears around this month. XYconstant ft. Tom Aspaul – “Do It Well” The summer may be well and truly over, but fresh from his triumphant remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do,” rising British producer XYconstant is doing his best to keep the sunshine vibes […]

chvrches every open eye

CHVRCHES ‘Every Open Eye’ – Album Review

Universal (2015)

Having recently bemoaned the fact that “too many bands end up throwing away the thing people liked about them in the first place,” it should come as little shock that the second album from Scottish electro-pop trio CHVRCHES, Every Open Eye, doesn’t exactly deviate wildly from their first. Indeed, the 80s-inspired wave of celestial synths and booming echo-laden beats that defined 2013’s The Bones of What You Believe is still […]

oh wonder

Introducing: Oh Wonder

Following in the footsteps of Justin Bieber’s Journals and Ash’s A-Z, British electronic duo Oh Wonder are the latest act to toy with the album format by pre-releasing every single track that appears on their first full-length studio effort. The risky strategy might not have exactly reaped rewards for the former tween idol or Northern Irish rockers, but with each song racking up over a million Soundcloud plays and topping […]

disclosure caracal

Disclosure ‘Caracal’ – Album Review

Island (2015)

After their debut almost singlehandedly changed the landscape of commercial dance music, in-demand siblings Disclosure now face the difficult challenge of avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump with Caracal. Thankfully for the Lawrence brothers, the follow-up to 2013’s Grammy-nominated Settle is unlikely to derail their career, but by sticking rigidly to their well-worn formula, it’s also just as unlikely to elevate it. Indeed, like its predecessor, which flirted with two-step garage, […]


Introducing: Georgia

A product of the BRIT School that launched the careers of Adele, Amy Winehouse and Jessie J, 21-year-old Georgia Barnes (often stylised GEoRGiA) could have been lining up for England in the recent Women’s FIFA World Cup had the lure of the drums not proved too hard to resist. The daughter of Leftfield’s Neil Barnes was once a gifted soccer player, serving as defender for both QPR Ladies and Arsenal […]

Nils Frahm Late Night Tales

Nils Frahm ‘Late Night Tales’ – Album Review

Late Night Tales (2015)

Having already released a surprise free album to celebrate the inaugural Piano Day and provided the soundtrack to one-take film Victoria this year, German classical-electronic composer Nils Frahm continues his prolific streak by becoming the latest contributor to the long-running Late Night Tales. Now in its 14th year, the series which invites artists to showcase their own personal pet sounds isn’t a stranger to Frahm’s music, with both Mercury Prize […]

petite meller

Introducing: Petite Meller

If you’ve ever wondered what a cross between Brigitte Bardot, Lolita and Lady Gaga would be like, then the emergence of eccentric Parisian chanteuse Petite Meller means that you don’t have to wonder any more. Combining the breathy high-pitched tones of the 60s French icon, the childlike chic of the fictional temptress and the wonderful wackiness of Ms. Germanotta, this 28-year-old is undoubtedly one of the more curious acts to […]

empress of me

Empress Of ‘Me’ – Album Review

XL (2015)

Formerly of Brooklyn art rockers Celestial Shore, Honduras-American talent Lorely Rodriguez, aka Empress Of, now cements her transition into full-blown synth-pop songstress with her first full-length solo effort, Me. As its simple title suggests, the self-produced ten-track collection is a highly autobiographical affair which deals with everything from the financial difficulties of living in a gentrified city (“Standard”) to Rodriguez’s carnal desires (“How Do You Do It?”) in a manner […]

neon indian

The September 2015 Dance/Electronica Playlist

From a beachside anthem by Texas’ biggest chillwave export, to a dance-rock stomper from Mumford and Sons’ unlikely touring buddies, these are the dance/electronica tracks you need to wrap your ears around this month. Blonde feat. Karen Harding – “Feel Good (It’s Alright)” Two rising stars of the British deep house scene, production duo Blonde and former U.K. X-Factor contestant Karen Harding, continue to build on their promising year by […]

dam funk invite the light

DāM-FunK ‘Invite the Light’ – Album Review

Stone's Throw (2015)

Continuing his quest to revive the synth-funk sound of the 80s, Los Angeles producer Damon Riddick, aka DāM-FunK, has roped in an intriguing array of guest artists to provide assistance on third solo album, Invite the Light. Having previously recorded joint albums with Steve Arrington and Snoop Dogg (the latter of whom also shows up here on the low-slung G-funk of “Just Ease Your Mind From All Negativity”) 44-year-old Riddick […]

the black dog neither neither

The Black Dog ‘Neither/Neither’ – Album Review

Dust Science Recordings (2015)

Continuing their prolific streak, the fourth incarnation of IDM stalwarts The Black Dog use Neither/Neither, their seventh album in a decade, to address the dangers of political systems, propaganda and social media. The fact that a garbled sample of Adam Curtis, the acclaimed documentarian renowned for his work on media manipulation, is the only dialogue heard makes the efforts of Martin and Richard Dust and founding member Ken Downie all […]

fka twigs M3LL155X

FKA twigs ‘M3LL155X’ – E.P. Review

Young Turks (2015)

The release out of nowhere, the accompanying videos for nearly all of its tracks, the recruitment of producer Boots – FKA twigs’ surprise E.P., M3LL155X, may share several things in common with Beyoncé’s self-titled opus, but its five tracks show that sonically, the two stars remain poles apart. Named after her “personal female energy,” (pronounced Melissa), the more imaginatively-titled follow-up to 2013’s EP2 certainly won’t spawn any radio or chart […]

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