If you’ve seen the headlines, 2016 might be the best year of music yet. 2015 ample selection of more than excellent release may be hard to content with, but it just might be matched with what is to come. Just this first month, we have releases from David Bowie’s Black Star (rest in peace Starman), Chairlift’s Moth, Santigold’s 99¢, and more. More content on that in the coming weeks, so stay woke on Radio UTD’s blog. For now, indulge on another issue of AES.
New Release: SCNTFC – Oxenfree OST
Switching it up for this month’s New Release, the spotlight goes to TV, film, videogame and more, composer C. Andrew Rohrmann under the moniker SCNTFC. The Seattle-based man sports a vivid discography, devising ambient and elaborate soundscapes for works such as Sword & Sworcery, Wild Detectives, FEZ and the featured Oxenfree OST.
Oxenfree is a nuanced, slow-paced, dialogue-centered indie-adventure platformer set in a contemporary Americana theme. The game calls for an eerie, whimsical and often dramatic tone in many of the scenes of the game, which SCNTFC boldly obliges. The 21-track OST, like many soundtracks, progresses similar to how the game is played, but are each composed beautifully, evoking a sense of hope, fate, uncertainty and despair. This is a powerful and excellent accompaniment for a brilliantly crafted game that bends the boundaries on contemporary gaming. Oxenfree can be streamed via bandcamp. Also give the game a play if you are feeling spooky.
Recommended Tracks: “Epiphany Fields,” “Argonaut,” “Against The Rocks”
- Details on the Chairlift’s upcoming 3rd studio album were announced via Pitchfork, offering a full track listing, background concept for the album and an official release date, which is next week. A full interview was also done back in October and can be read here.
- A teaser mix for Flume’s second album Skin was posted via soundcloud. The sophomore release will be released through Future Classic.
- More updates on AlunaGeorge, the duo’s first single since “I’m In Control feat. Popcaan” releases Jan. 21, the first non-feature track since 2014’s “Supernatural.” This is only affirmation of a quickly heating up year for the London-team.
- Santigold’s 99¢ is scheduled to release Feb. 26 this year. Details were shared via pitchfork, specifically dishing descriptions on the album title, cover art and overlying message of the album. “We have no illusion that we don’t live in this world where everything is packaged,” Santigold said in a press release. “People’s lives, persona, everything, is deliberate, and mediated. It can be dark and haunting and tricky, and freak us out, but it can be also be silly and fun and we can learn to play with it.” – Santigold
- Bondax once again making the news, the Lancashire lads recently photoed themselves in the studio “full flow.” This either means a finessing session of sorts or another track built from the bottom up, but otherwise an album is eminent.
- If you’re feeling grimey, Grimes announced she’ll be reissuing Geidi Primes on February 5, Halfaxa April 1 and Darkbloom May 20, all on vinyl. Too sweet.
- Arcade Fire’s Jeremy Gara announces a debut solo album with premiering a track “Divinity.” The album is scheduled to release March 11, 2016 on NRCSS Industry. By the sound of the track it’s fairly ambient. Nice.
Artist Feature: Umfang
Under-representation, misconception and marginalization; all words familiar in Emma Olsen’s vocab. She represents a portion of Discowomen, a collective that organizes all-female parties called Technofeminism to promote the presence of women in the making of and propagation of dance music. Her Brooklyn-based techno project Umfang is a household name in the scene, responsible for arranging interviews with female DJs and spotlighting underdog female producers and DJs as well.
Umfang and Discowomen’s publicity boomed in 2015 along with several other grass roots movements similar to her own, giving attention to the matter of feminism in what was called a “male dominated industry.” Several interviews with Olsen clarify her message, stating that there is a major presence of females within DJing globally and that it’s not just some singular style. “I’ve had to be proven wrong over and over again. Women can play well, they can play hard techno sets and they’re not just going to play pop or delicate music. Now that I’ve seen it work over and over again and I’ve been exposed to how amazing all the women we work with really are. I believe it,” said Olsen in an interview conducted with Electric Inidgo via Electronic Beats. More info on her opinions and mission can be found thoroughly with a simple google search.
Under her Umfang alias, techno runs in verve, bringing a minimalist and fine style to a 4-4 beat. Her album Ok released back in August under 1080p of last year highlights this in a surreal landscape of idyllic tone and stance. Classic builds and transitions still emanate with her work, providing a nostalgic taste on a fresh sound. Other original works and mixes resonate this, and will continue to do so as she finesses her style more into the music scene and industry.