Tycho has grown. With the release of Scott Hansen's fourth album, Awake, we see the audiovisual project of the San Francisco-based musician and graphic designer develop into something more than ambient synth pop: it's the realization of Hanson's dream to form a full band at the cusp of rock and electronic music.
Translating to "Bird Sunrise" in English, Pajaro Sunrise is a peculiar alias that aligns with the bittersweet texture of Yuri Méndez Jr.'s songs. His lyrics tell of lost love and forgotten memories, woven into a pop-folk canvas of driving rhythms and electronic undercurrents.
There's a unique power to the pairing of music and film; energy harnessed in droves by Pete Lawrie Winfield. The British DJ, producer, and singer elicits an ominous shade of pop under the moniker Until The Ribbon Breaks, fusing R&B beats with prophetic vocals that speak of isolation, social decay, and the crumbling world around us.
The three members of Moderat may have been playing together for over a decade, but they still find it hard to establish common musical ground. It's not surprising; the German electronic supergroup comprises Sascha Ring—who creates soulful opuses under the moniker Apparat—and Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, co-producers of a harder fusion of techno and glitch as Modeselektor.
José González, Tobias Winterkorn, and Elias Araya go back a long way. The trio formed Junip in 1998, uniting over a desire to explore a softer, more acoustic sound than their respective hardcore backgrounds had afforded them. But busy side careers and a zooming solo trajectory for González left the band little production time; this week marks the release of the band's self-titled sophomore album.
For Simon Green, beat-making is personal. The British musician did the band thing in the 1990s before emerging as Bonobo, alone with a sampler and a cacophony of instruments, at the turn of the millennium. The North Borders is a pure reflection of Green as a musician, demonstrating more than ever his ability to transform myriad influences and thoughts into rich soundscapes that enthrall and enlighten.
Yannis Philippakis forms each sentence with consideration, following from his lyric-writing mantra: "Every word has its worth." Spoken in gruff tones with punctuating outbursts of excitement and frustration, the Foals frontman personifies the humanity that erupts from the band's latest album, Holy Fire.
New Order's music is more relevant than ever, inspiring a new generation of musicians and producers to revisit the sound that took many of its leads from New York's early 1980s club scene. After a temporary breakup in the 1990s, the band went on to release a new album in 2005 and their first Joy Division-New Order compilation last year.