Soundtracking the emergency: Is there space for climate change in dance music?
Delilah sings songs about love loud and strong over huge yet spare orchestras. She’s a 22-year-old songwriter signed to Atlantic Records, and ‘From The Roots Up’, her debut album, has a radicalism and personality so often missing from current pop music. The concept is simple enough – great songs, often re-interpretations of classic disco or soul records, over sparse but emo string and drum arrangements reminiscent of Digital Mystikz, Fever Ray, Phil Collins and ‘Protection’-era Massive Attack.
Though born in 1990, her sound recalls in spirit the fresh sound of 80s soul – the smartness of Neneh Cherry, the bounce of Fine Young Cannibals, the sparse yet lush control of Tracy Chapman and the abandon of Chaka Khan. It’s clever, sumptuous and sexy music, made with imagination and intent that deserves to be a British youth classic, as bold a statement of intent as any that has emerged this year. Cold songs for hot days, night songs for end days, ‘From The Roots Up’ is one of the most radical and affecting records from a British major label artist released in years. [CRJ]
Paperclip People – ‘The Secret Tapes Of Dr. Eich’ [Planet E CD remaster]
Of the slew of second-wave Detroit electronic music veterans, there are few with as many side-projects and varying monikers as Carl Craig, at least with the elegance and impact he makes his own. The talented producer’s musical ADD spans multiple genres while tying things in with his unique, unifying sound that retains the core musical principles of The Motor City. Paperclip People is both one of his longest running and well known forays from his solo work. With its debut ‘Oscillator’ EP coming out a year after Craig’s first release as Psyche, Paperclip People has always occupied a funkier, more melodic side than his other output and has been covered by a host of bands and producers including LCD Soundsystem. It also draws much more from old disco samples than a lot of his other output and sits a bit better at peak-time versus his characteristic 4am-and-on deepness. ‘The Secret Tapes Of Dr. Eich’ is a remastered version of the 1996 album that pulled Paperclip People’s top twelve tracks from the previous five years into a heady compilation. It came out under various labels, with different mixes of some of the tunes, so this remastered repress offers a chance to get a definitive statement on just what Dr Eich’s Secret Tapes are. Substantially less expensive than the few originals still floating about on Discogs, and now finally on CD after the first vinyl run in May sold tonnes, this compilation album is a must-have for anyone who likes the Detroit sound and wants to explore yet another facet of its roots. [ZW]
Stream samples and buy Paperclip People – ‘The Secret Tapes Of Dr. Eich’ [Planet E CD remaster] from Boomkat
Seams – ‘Tourist/Sleeper’ [Full Time Hobby Records]
Berlin-based producer Seams first made a splash with his chimes-and-field-recordings debut EP ‘Tourist’ on Pictures Music at the backend of 2010. Having just signed to Full Time Hobby, this release reprints that debut EP alongside new EP ‘Sleeper’ as two sides of the same coin, or two summers in the same life. While ‘Tourist’ still stands up as a sweetly evocative snapshot of a summer spent in Berlin, ‘Sleeper’ finds Seams moving away from the place of sunlight he shared with Gold Panda and Pantha Du Prince to a more interior world. Recorded at home last summer in his native Hampshire, it leans toward more tightly woven techno structures as if reaching out to the Berlin he’d then left behind. Potential is the real heart of the record, tenderly driving multiple synth lines to ecstatic culmination, while Punch builds steadily for the first couple of minutes before swerving off-road into beautiful chaos. That’s what really appeals about Seams’s music: an appreciation of structure and yet also the good sense to sometimes do away with it. [RS]
Listen to ‘Tourist/Sleeper’ on Seams’ Soundcloud