The new Hercules and Love Aff air album, ‘Omnion’, is a vital step forward and sideways from what came before. The band, renowned for their killer disco-tech sound on stage and record, will cause ripples with these eleven songs that sparkle with faith and tolerance as a response to our troubling times.
Take a deep breath… you might even call it a concept album.
“Sometimes songs are born out of an intense moment that has nothing to do with club music,” explains Hercules main man Andy Butler. “The last album, ‘The Feast of the Broken Heart’, was a celebration of the dance floor but I’m not just a techno-head, a disco-head who just wants four-to-the-floor. I was always just as touched (if not more) by Sinead O'Connor singing about change with ‘Feels So Diff erent’ ;or Kate Bush singing artfully about the eff ects of war in ‘Army Dreamers’; or Nina Simone singing her devastating version of ‘Strange Fruit’.” Thus Hercules’s fourth album sallies forth into new territory, representing a new-found engagement with the world. Butler is assisted on his mission by a world class cast of singers, including The Horrors’ Faris Badwan, Lebanese rockers Mashrou’ Leila, New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten, and Icelandic sister act Sísý Ey, as well as regular collaborators Rouge Mary and Gustaph. Then there’s ‘Fools Wear Crowns’, a deliciously spacey electro ballad with the chorus “Allow me to raise my hand and admit what a fool I am”, sung by Butler himself.
“Dance music has left me really wanting more,” says Andy, “Sometimes the dance floor represents a decision to avoid dialogue with the wider world, to commune with people but not really talk, but humans need to challenge themselves and step it up. Not that everything has to be so serious but this Hercules record is.”
He says it with a smile and, actually, you can dance to a lot of ‘Omnion’. But he does also mean it.
Swedish singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Alexander Sjödin doesn’t fit most of the archetypes associated with electronic music. Recording under the name Sailor & I he mines a territory that brings to mind the melancholic, ambitious and richly orchestrated songwriting of Sigur Ros or Bon Iver, as much as the deep Balearic techno class of DJ-producers such as Solomun and Dixon. And yet it’s all done in such a way that you’re liable to hear his music crop up in the sets of unashamed populists like Pete Tong and Eric Prydz. He is that rare creature, a serious, boundary-pushing producer who has the common touch.
With the support he’s gained and his billings at renown events such as Afterlife (Ibiza), Womb (Tokyo) and shows across the world; Alexander Sjoden now readies his debut album on Skint/BMG with support already from Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart, Pete Tong, Mixmag and tastemakers far & wide.Read More
On top of winning numerous awards, 29-year-old British-Japanese DJ/producer Maya Jane Coles has amassed millions of plays on YouTube and Spotify, and can boast a staggering 3.2 million Soundcloud followers! Maya has now released her most substantial body of work to date; her sophomore album ‘Take Flight’ on her own label, I/AM/ME via Skint Records, that we are extatic to be collaborating with for this, her second album.
Much more than just a DJ Maya Jane Coles is a producer, engineer and label boss. Maya is an independent artist in complete control of her own music, from writing, producing and arranging to even creating her own artwork - something of a rarity in today’s culture of co-producers, ghostwriters and engineers.Read More
‘To Reinvision’ is a collective interpretation of the duo’s catalogue to date and runs the gamut from Nick Cave’s balladry to Trentmoller’s drum and base tinted electronica.
TOYDRUM: "For ‘To Reinvision’ we let a lot of friends, peers and people we love to work with explore our songs,” explains James Griffith, one half of Toydrum. “Steve Mason, for instance, took an instrumental and, with Tom Gray from Gomez, turned it into a full song,” adds Pablo Clements. “Others took snippets and made whole new tracks from them. We also invited label mates Joel Wells and Abi Wade to cover a song of their choice. It was a green light to do what they wanted.