With ‘January Tape’ Cut Copy Ditches Electro-Pop for Ambient

songs-to-dance-to

I’ll never forget the first time I heard Cut Copy. It was way back in 2009, and a classmate sent me a mix filled with electro-pop acts to introduce my ears to new music. The CD (you remember those things!) was filled with tracks from Miami Horror, MSTRKRFT and more, but one track reigned supreme above them all — Hearts on FireAs a child of the 80’s the nostalgia hit me pretty hard, and everything from the synthesizers to the vocals reminded me of Depeche Mode — a way more upbeat and less emo version no less.

For the next 4 years I made it my mission to seek out each new Cut Copy release. I purchased 2011’s Zonoscope on vinyl and marveled at how they masterfully weaved political statements into insanely danceable tracks:

And though 2013’s Free Your Mind wasn’t high on my list of favorite albums from the group, I still enjoyed it for what it was: a great album of House tracks for late-night groovin’. But as with many of my favorite electronic acts from the early aughts, Cut Copy too disappeared. That said, you can imagine how I felt when I heard the group was working on a 44-minute cassette tape of instrumental ambient music. Of course I was even more thrilled when I saw the album pop-up on Spotify a few days ago, and after spending countless days listening to each track I can confidently say I’m loving their new direction.

If (like me) you enjoy the meditative pleasures of Aphex Twin, Brian Eno or Kraftwerk, you’ll instantly be entranced by January Tape. Over the course of 5 tracks (titled Parts 1 through 5), we’re introduced to a more subdued version of Cut Copy. Hushed, reverberated vocals give way to longer tracks filled with hazy, analog synthesizers that linger in-and-out of phase, never quite reaching release. And as subdued as the album begins, it slowly fades into the ether on the wings of some truly ethereal synth pads. In short, January Tape was well worth the wait, and if the switch from electro-pop to ambient is any indication of Cut Copy’s future, I welcome it with open arms.

 

GEOTHEORY – Gallivanture

About a year ago, this young DIY producer from NYC dropped an ambitious EP of future bass/house tracks using the celestial bodies for inspiration. It was mystical, transcendent and utterly otherworldly. Well now he’s back — on Fool’s Gold Records no less — with a stunning 4-track EP chock full of spacey chords, hypnotic beats and Daft Punk samples to boot! But the opener — Gallivanture — is a 2-minute sonic exploration filled with dopamine-inducing drops that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention. Check it out below, and pro tip: grab a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and turn it way, way up.

Pet Shop Boys – A Cloud in a Box

Everybody goes through a New Wave phase at some point in their life, right? Well for me, that happened nearly five years ago when I first discovered the Pet Shop Boys. Something about the juxtaposition of their high-pitched British accents against the analog synthesizers drove me wild, and I just couldn’t get enough of “West End Girls.” In the 30 years since their debut, the duo has continued to put out a steady stream of releases, but none in my opinion could ever top the New Wave hit that first put me on their radar. “A Cloud in a Box”, a bonus single off their latest album “Super“, takes the Pet Shop Boys to new heights. And I completely love the way they’ve managed to showcase that classic House sound, yet make it all their own. Give it a listen below and get ready to dance!

Mix For Your Week: Du Tonc Mix for Clash Music

Any mix that manages to casually drop smooth jazz hits from Herb Alpert alongside Todd Terje remixes is a keeper in my book! This mix by Parisian duo Du Tonc (for London magazine Clash Music) is full of little surprises like these, which makes it all the more exhilarating because you never quite know what’s coming next. Over the course of 90(ish) minutes, hints of tropicália, disco and avant-garde electronic bubble just underneath the surface ready to break free. In a nutshell, I’m pretty sure this is what it felt like to party at David Mancuso’s underground raves in 1970’s New York. Give it a spin below.

Chaos In The CBD – Significant Others

Sometimes you just really need to listen to lounge music. And as the weather gets cooler, so do my tastes in electronic music. I find myself leaning towards less abrasive tracks with lots of reverb and varying amounts of low end; so it was only a matter time until I discovered the subtle Deep House charms of Chaos In The CBD. Now, after listening to this magical track off their latest EP, don’t be surprised if (like me) you immediately start Googling them to listen to every song they’ve ever produced.