Friday, 4 December 2015

THE ALMOST PREDICTABLES 2015 NO.4 - E.P. OF THE YEAR

E.p's are wonderful things. 3 or ideally 4 choice cuts featuring a lead track and 2 or 3 others that are above the level of a standard b-side as throwaway tracks on an e.p. simply won't do. This year, there have been a number of e.p's that have been fantastic and, in the tradition of end of year post type things, here are my top ten e.p's of 2015, starting at number 10 with....

10. Leitbur - The Moment That I Knew You
The blog expanded its borders this year to take in electronic music from all over the world. Leitbur are a Los Angeles based duo who produce 80's influenced synthpop that is quite marvellous in places. Stranger in LA, the lead track from this e.p. is the one to listen to
http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/leitbur-moment-that-i-knew-you.html

9. Gus Harrower - Mystery e.p.
Gus is a 17 year old singer/songwriter from Edinburgh with a voice that belies his years and a remarkable knack for a tune. The Mystery e.p. was his first release and it promises much for the future
http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/gus-harrower-mystery-ep.html

8. Tuff Love - Dregs e.p.
Tuff Love are getting better and better with each release and Dregs is their standout release thus far. They have limitless potential this band. Get into them now.
http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/tuff-love-dregs-ep.html

7. Turtle - Colours e.p.
I love Turtle. He is a hugely prolific electronic writer who followed this e.p. with an album of entirely new work. Colours is a mix of mellow electronics and clever production that you won't fail to love
http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/new-bands-2015-no-8-turtle.html

6. Wozniak - Auster
Wozniak make noise that would scare a jumbo jet and it's marvellous. Auster was a a storming release and one that I've played over and over again this year.
http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/wozniak-auster-ep.html

5. Okraa - Vultur e.p.
Released on one of my favourite labels Hot Gem, Colombian artist Okraa's Vultur e.p. is a superb slice of dancefloor friendly electronica. One to watch.
http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/okraa-vultur-ep.html

4. MG - MG e.p.
MG is of course Martin Gore. Martin Gore can do no wrong. This remix e.p. featuring two tracks left over from the MG album was naturally brilliant.

3. Eyes Of Others - Nightwalking e.p.
I really got into Eyes Of Others this year. It's synthpop fused with a DFA type feel that is endlessly enjoyable. The Nightwalking e.p. is spot on from start to finish.
http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/eyes-of-otehrs-nightwalking-ep.html

2. Rolemodel - Claire e.p.
Rolemodel are on the Toronto based Hand Drawn Dracula label which I've become obsessed with this year. Claire is as good as you'll get and is basically perfect. Rolemodel are up to something very special indeed
http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/rolemodel-claie.html

1. Machines In Heaven - Displacer e.p.
Ah Machines In Heaven. They never fail to disappoint and Displacer displayed new sides to their sound which continues to evolve quite brilliantly. It rightly wins the Almost Predictable for E.P. Of The Year. Here's the review http://almostpredictablealmost1.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/machines-in-heaven-displacer-ep.html and here's what the band had to say about their year:



APA: Congratulations on winning the Almost Predictable for Best E.P. of 2015. How's the year been for you?

MIH: Thanks very much! Pretty good, quieter gigs wise than 2014 but we've had our own studio for the first time and it's been great fun recording the second album together. It's the first time the three of us have recorded an album from scratch together and big fun it is too! The album is shaping up nicely - we can't wait for you to hear it!

APA: What have been your highlights of the year?

MIH: Playing the Sunday Circus party at the Fruitmarket was a blast; a gig at London's Shoreditch House was awesome and quite a different one for us and we played our first ever boat party at Loch Lomond in the "summer." We were so loud we cut off the P.A. In terms of other people's stuff, favourites have been Grimes, Luke Vibert, Tame Impala and Arca's new record Mutant.

APA: Displacer was an e.p. I really loved and the title track is a cracker. Tell us a bit about the song

MIH: Thanks again! The last release (Hindu Milk) was a 5 track e.p. so this time we decided to do a more traditional "single." It snowballed into an e.p. however after the remixes started coming in. Writing Displacer was probably the most democratic and organic process yet. We were quite busy at the time so we worked on it separately. Davey came up with the pulsing chords and string parts first. Greg then took over, rearranging it and adding all the weird synth bits. Finally, Connor got his hands on it and added smoothness - guitars and ambience, Davey then came up with the lyrics in one take which is pretty standard. When we got together to mix it, Davey commented that it had evolved beyond all recognition. It sort of took on a life all of its own...

APA: I thought some of the remixes released on and after the e.p. were great. What was your favourite?

MIH: Can we polite and say all of them? (APA - aye go on then). We were very lucky to get mixes from four producers we love. The Drvg Cvltvre one was great because he was actually very faithful to the song, replacing the strings with that dirty synth line. We were sitting around listening to it thinking "shit - that's better than our version!" We loved the Revenge dub version because he just left a ghost of Davey's vocal in there which sounded great. And Nightwave took a similar approach but with that distorted electro sound she does so well. Our pal James from Errors did a glitched out, dreamy, beat laden version which is Davey's favourite, under his Infant Telekon moniker.



APA: Your recent live sets have seen you play experimental sets. Is this a hint of what's to come from you?

MIH: We've always been experimental, even on our poppiest stuff. Displacer, our poppiest song, has that weird, melting synth at the end which takes it somewhere different. But in essence, that's exactly what we're trying to do - make catchy music that has all sorts of experimental stuff bubbling underneath. And that's what you can expect from LP2 - albeit spacier and a bit darker.

APA: What are your plans for 2016?

MIH: The second LP (still untitled, though we finally have a shortlist!) will be out in early 2016 with a single first. A lot more live shows and hopefully some festivals. We'd also love to play the rest of England and make our mainland Europe debut.

APA: Finally, given how this blog began, there's an obligatory Depeche Mode question. What's your favourite DM track?

MIH: very tough call as there are so many, but let's stick our necks out and say Only When I Lose Myself and, somewhat inevitably, Enjoy The Silence.

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Fine Depeche choices there! Thanks very much to Machines In Heaven for the interview. I can't wait to hear the new stuff which you'll be able to read about here early in the New Year.

Machines In Heaven - https://www.facebook.com/machinesinheaven/?fref=ts

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