London-based Krinks began his voyage into music over a decade ago with the humble aim of making two records play together in time. After years of producing beats for other artists, DJing and engineering bands, Krinks is the sum of all those parts. His debut ‘Sheds’ EP has warmth and depth and is as live as electronic music can be, favouring recordings of live jams over a loop-based approach. From cute-techno opener ‘No Thunder’ to party anthem ‘He Needs Dance Lesson’ - featuring dance floor princess-in-waiting Holy Vickers - Krinks will grow on you as you groove.
“The Limbo Lounge exists on the edges and in the margins. In the periphery of your vision. You won’t find the Limbo Lounge if you’re looking for it - if the conditions are right, it’ll find you. When you are lonely and lost. When you are psychically confused or physically disembodied. When you feel like you’re floating and nothing is quite real anymore. It’s then – and only then – that the Limbo Lounge will reveal itself.”
Ron Noah. Date unknown.
At the end of 2016 Beach Baby found themselves in strange and murky waters. They were without a record label, internal relations felt strained, and the collective mood was anxious. Without any contractual obligation to release new music, the motivation to get together to write and record new material was …lacking. The band were in limbo.
But in the last whimpers of 2016, songwriters Lawrence and Ollie hesitantly coughed up two new demos. And whilst the band’s debut No Mind No Money wistfully documented early 20’s malaise, drawing on the post-punk stylings of 80’s indie, and the dreamy organ sounds of Beach House, these two new songs felt…different. Gone was the elaborate, flange-drenched ‘riffery’ - in its place, straightforward, propulsive chord progressions, which highlighted the songs’ newfound lyrical dexterity. Self-eviscerating, sarcastically humorous and direct, Big Wow and Way Too Meta felt like the start of a new chapter. And together, the two new songs had already begun to make the soft-focus introspection of NMNM feel oddly distant. From another time.
Tentatively encouraged, the band began to convert the summerhouse at the bottom of Shep’s garden into a makeshift studio. But it wasn’t Summer. It was January. The ‘Beast from the East’ was just around the corner, and you could see your breath mist. Shep was working 9-5 as a Teacher’s Assistant – and was actually living in the Lodge. Ollie was a waiter, a gardener, a nanny and everything in between. Lawrence had shaved his head, and was in India in the middle of a full-blown existential crisis. Kit was hiding in his parents’ house in Tunbridge Wells. In many ways, it was an inauspicious start. But it was a start.
The band christened the converted summerhouse the Lodge, and in these early stages, it felt like a sanctuary; somewhere where the clock stopped ticking; where any song could be pursued to its logical conclusion. And whilst Ollie had always been a keen bedroom producer, the Lodge allowed him to explore DIY recording on a significantly larger scale. After buying a bunch of battered microphones from an old junk shop, and spending hours perfecting the Glyn Johns recording technique, he began to feel like the Lodge could be more than just a place for demos. Whisper it now…the band could record an album here.
Big Wow and Way Too Meta would be returned to, but ultimately it was a new song, Lovin’ Feeling, that fully heralded the band’s ‘second coming’. An ode to romantic disaffection, the song began life in Ollie’s bedroom – but it was in the Lodge that it first came alive. A few glasses of wine deep, Ollie encouraged Shep to lay down some congas – and something new and groovy bubbled to the surface. A lead saxophone line and some ‘wah’ guitar followed - and the band suddenly found themselves in new territory. The song was still melancholic – but now it was supple, sleazy and salacious - and more than a touch 70’s. It was a breakthrough. The band turned the heater up to full to celebrate.
But if Lovin’ Feeling gave an initial idea of the new music’s style - it was Limbo Lounge that set the scene. Inspired by the sordid world building of Tom Waits and Lou Reed, in Limbo Lounge, Lawrence began to explore a place. Written from the perspective of one of the Lounge’s resident barflies, the song describes a subterranean basement, where the drinks flow and the music doesn’t stop. A purgatorial netherworld, where ‘down is up, and up is down’; where ‘no-one cares where you’ve come from, and no-one cares where you’re going to’. If you’ve found yourself in the lounge, then yes you’re lost. Yes, you’ve got some unhealthy habits. But so does everyone else. Welcome to the clan, man.
Whilst the band never set out to make a ‘concept’ album (the word can inspire dread in even the most adventurous music listeners), with Limbo Lounge, it suddenly became clear that all the new songs shared certain common themes. Existential confusion and spiritual dereliction. Romantic burnout and sexual dysfunction. Quasi-religious encounters. Character sketches of people living on the margins and in the shadows. Delusions of grandeur rubbing up against rock-bottom loneliness. As such, a new idea dawned. What if the band re-cast themselves – not just as Beach Baby – but as the house band of this weird little world?
And so it was decided. The new songs weren’t just Beach Baby’s ‘second album’. They were Songs From The Limbo Lounge. And Beach Baby were the Limbo Lounge house band. In many ways it made perfect sense. The band had no label, no cash, and a DIY production underway in a shed. They really were in Limbo.
Invigorated, the recording process begun to pick up pace – and to reflect the ‘concept’, the band decided to make more comprehensive use of deliberately 70’s instrumentation. Whilst the saxophone’s regular appearances are probably the most obvious nod in this direction, it’s the piano that marks the more fundamental shift. As soon as Ollie played Limbo Lounge on an upright, it felt right; the awkward jazz bar atmospherics suited the subject matter perfectly. Other songs followed suit. Delicate torch song Candy Thunder now featured a suitably nocturnal counter-melody, courtesy of Ollie’s sensitive work at the piano stool. Lawrence’s existential rocker Way Too Meta was imbued with a whole new kind of power when it ditched a Beetlbum-esque guitar riff in favour of cascading piano chords; more Elton John than Graham Coxon. Other songs went in the opposite direction – Lonesome Jim began life as a lo-fi creeper – but in the hands of the band, it became an out and out Black Sabbath-indebted brawler -- and arguably features the album’s finest moment of guitar heroism!
Whatever the case -- all four band-members were suddenly excited by what they were shaping and for the first time, they felt able to fully reflect the music they listened to, in the music they were making. Listen closely to the album, and you might, just maybe, hear elements of: 70’s power pop, Laurel Canyon singer-songwriters, Phil Spector-era George Harrison, every-era The Beatles, Bowie at some point or another, Glam Rock, un-Glam Rock, Piano Balladry, Country Blues, Country and Western, Lou Reed and pals, lo-fi, hi-fi, funk, punk, funk-punk and…the list goes on. But all this is arguably beside the point. The important thing was that whatever was going on in The Lodge, the band were digging it. And, galvanised, it wasn’t long before Kit and Shep had wrapped on the rhythm tracks, with Kit’s lolloping bassline on pervy jazzer Dryclean, and Shep’s understated drum-solo on Lonesome Jim becoming firm band favourites. Ollie and Lawrence set about finessing the vocals and arrangements, and Shep took to posting hopeful alerts on social media that the album was ‘basically done’. It wasn’t. But it wasn’t far off.
And as Ollie continued to pull long, lonely nights tinkering with tape machines and plug-ins, Lawrence worked on the visual world surrounding the album. What would this house band look like? Who would they play to – and how did someone end up in the Limbo Lounge? Wim Wender’s Paris, Texas, David Lynch’s Wild at Heart and the surreal novels of Haruki Marukami soon became the project’s aesthetic Godfathers, and despite rumblings that Lawrence was getting slightly too into his research (he’d started referring to himself as ‘Ron Noah’ and had taken to wearing a weird pair of white dress shoes) – the work paid off, and a series of suitably moody mood-boards would go on to form the backbone of Songs From The Limbo Lounge’s distinctive artwork and videos. What had begun as a DIY project in a shed, had suddenly become something bigger, more colourful, and ambitious.
By late Summer 2018, the vocals were finished. And it was with no small sense of achievement, that Ollie handed over the project files to mix-man Nathan Boddy (Shame, James Blake). By the time the mixes were delivered, the whole process had taken the best part of two and a half years. Kit had taken 136 trains from Tunbridge to South London. Shep had left the lodge, and moved into the actual house. Ollie had become part of the actual furniture. And some of Lawrence’s hair had grown back.
But it had all been worth it. If NMNM provided a snapshot of a group of 25 year olds recording their first songs, and taking their first steps into the unholy mess of the music industry - SFTLL finds a group of nearly 30 year olds, finally freed to do exactly as they like – and grabbing the opportunity with both hands. With STFLL, Beach Baby were free to create a whole world. And the world they’ve created - is a weird, off-kilter sort of place, built from a mad jumble of influences – but it’s strangely coherent for it. And, perhaps most importantly – it’s fun to listen to.
Originally from Yorkshire, Le Module creates thoughtful, playful electronica. Driven by his haunting vocal performances, the tracks on his debut EP 1 vary between moody soundtracks to a late-night drive, to something definitely more danceable. Lyrical and explorative, that floating voice is underpinned throughout by detailed instrumentation and production wizardry to form a sound that is unmistakably Le Module.
Previously one half of dance duo Pavan, Le Module sees (real name) Joe, solo, pursuing both his more experimental tendencies, and his talent for traditional song-writing, whilst drawing on the drum machine and synth-based euphoria that made a Pavan party so magical.
Aside from the ever-present synths, Joe plays a dizzying array of instruments on EP 1, including piano, bass and electric guitar, accordion, drums, djembe, tabla and trumpet (to name a few). Lyrically, subjects include love, flow, choice, regret, and the beauty of being.
As all-encompassing as that sounds, this is just the beginning.
OSUSU is Krio (Sierra Leonean) for a pool of cash funded collectively, for the benefit of the collective.
In November 2018 17 artists came together in Freetown, Sierra Leone. 5 from Iceland, 4 from the UK, and 8 Sierra Leoneans 🇸🇱🇮🇸🇬🇧 spent 3 days in pop up studios, exchanging ideas, jamming and creating music as OSUSU - arranged by the team behind the @freetownmusicfestival and @aurorafoundation_official and supported by the @britishcouncil . Out of those 3 days came 22 songs.
Released on @moltenkeys / @cuppagumbo , every Friday for 12 weeks will see a new single from that session, paired with an image by @jaykammy which has been wrapped in @labrumlondon textiles.
On the 6th December, the full compilation will be released alongside the 3 part documentary series about the music’s production and the 12 part photo series by @jaykammy .
We started Molten Keys LTD in our garden shed/studio in South London as an outlet for independent music we believe in. Most of the music was recorded in the shed (we called it 'The Lodge').
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'LTD' stands for 'living the dream'.
'Molten Keys', we think, speaks for itself.
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