Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – July, 6th 2018

Here at Blisspop, we aim to show our audience who’s making their mark upon electronic music culture today. We sort through the good and the bad, bringing you the latest sounds. Back at it again with the latest edition of our series, Feedback Friday. This week, our group of Blisspop contributors includes: Justin Barini-Rivers, Connor McInerney, Patrick Blinkhorn, Lu Makoboka, and Alex Rubenstein . This week’s music includes tracks by Martha Hill, Sub Sequence, SARIN, Gorillaz, and Motez. Check it out below and send us your suggestions for future Feedback Fridays on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.



Martha Hill – “Spiders”


Justin Barini-Rivers - These vocals had me from the start. I love the beautiful vocals and the depth of the production behind her. This is short and sweet. Not my personal favorite in style, but I will give points in production and writing. Solid song for those who are into more laid back vocalists. Personally the vocal take and the style of beat sit with me wrong. I want to like this track, but i think they made the wrong choice in the beat. They could have conveyed more emotion holding back on the drums. The snare specifically seems out of place. (5/10)

Connor McInerney - Martha Hill contends via her Facebook page that she “makes not shit pop.” I would contend the “not shit” qualifier – on “Spiders,” she completely bungles the vocal elements that ruin what is an instrumentally interesting and accessible pop backing track. Too many syllables crammed into verses make this track feel forced, the sort of kitschy alt-pop record that might’ve been a breakout record at the Urban Outfitters of yesteryear, but in 2018 just feels stale. (2/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - These are some great indie vibes in here. Solid drumbeat, good vocals, and really strong guitar and bass melodies — I dig it! (9/10)

Lu Makoboka - My music on Google Play was on shuffle and when this came on, I thought Adele was back with a fire track. The look on my face when I found out it wasn’t Adele… Priceless. This is Martha Hill’s first song and she is making waves through the blogosphere with this gem titled Spiders. It’s very easy to categorize this as ‘Indie’ but it’s tough to overlook the ‘Pop’ that is oozing from her powerful voice. When she says speaks of Spiders in her head, I’m pretty certain she is speaking about the undesired thoughts that keep crawling up in her conscious. It is very refreshing to hear so much passion in the indie realm, especially when the subject matter doesn’t revolve around love. Something that also can’t escape mention is fantastic use of the sonic space with ghostly vocals and roaring guitars that reverberate at various instances. (8/10)

Alex Rubenstein - This is a well produced song, no denying that, it just doesn’t sit with me right. Maybe it’s the vocals feeling a bit too big for the backing track, maybe it’s the lyrics, maybe it’s the Starbucks-After-Dark vibes, who knows? This is a pass from me. (2/10)



sub sequence – “world of mirrors”

Justin Barini-Rivers - I usually like my experimental music a bit more aggressive (aphex twin, burial, etc), but this is smooth and catching. Reminds me of bonobo with the backroom style grooves and piano. Its able to hold its own for quite some time. The evolution and tension that’s built is lovely. Finishing off with some nice grooves and samples. Very solid production. Will be looking for more. (7/10)

Connor McInerney - capital letters apparently do not fit with the broader aesthetic of this type of music. sub sequence’s ambient groove feels like the perfect soundtrack to an n64 water-themed level, or a train ride in a miyazaki film. it’s well-rounded and aesthetically pleasing, but like a lot of ambient is so inoffensive that it nearly breaks into elevator music territory, save not for the variations in its last minute. (5/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - We received German artist sub sequence’s “world of mirrors” as a promo on Submithub earlier this week. I later realized that the track is eight years old, which goes against our rule for only reviewing new music on Feedback Friday, but we’re making an exception this once for “world of mirrors.”

The “ambient groove” genre description on Soundcloud sums this track up well. The track has some great sounds in it, and along with the strong melodies, harmonies, and fabulous breakbeat drums the come in at 2:56, this is a standout track. I look forward to listening through more of sub sequence’s catalog. (9.5/10)

Lu Makoboka - Bells, keys, a bass that almost lags behind… The amount of anticipation created in “world of mirrors” is very impressive. Plus, if I were to be in a “world of mirrors” this definitely would be what I can imagine is playing in the background because of the ambiance created and the abstractness. The drums literally had Boards of Canada influence written all over them, and they arrive in a timely fashion. There is this alien-like pad near the end that sweeps from the left to the right which also caught my attention, and definitely set a weary tone to the song and amplified its atmospheric texture too. Honestly, this is amazing background music or something that would be great to study too. (6/10)

Alex Rubenstein - This is the soundtrack to a dream. A dream everyone has dreamed. A dream older than time. sub sequence straight fucked the ambient game up right here. (9/10)



SARIN – “World Condition”

Justin Barini-Rivers - The dark intro has caught me. I do enjoy industrial leaning music and I believe this qualifies. The arrangement has me wanting to add this to my USB for a gig. This is a roller that will last the test of time with its nostalgic sound design. I think this would destroy a dark dance floor. So you should try this at home. (8/10)

Connor McInerney - The audio sample informing SARIN’s dystopian jaunt is from a 1975 House Intelligence Committee hearing regarding the CIA’s usage of disinformation within American broadcast networks is eerily prescient in 2018, accentuated by an aggressive, dark synth lead against syncopated, echoing percussive accents. Impressively, SARIN accomplishes in five and half minutes what many techno artists struggle with throughout their entire discographies, which is to explore the darker elements of technology to thematically inform the genre while crafting something concise, accessible, and dance-able. I’m more than hyped to hear the rest of Kuleshov Effect when it drops later this month. (8.75/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - Oooh, we have some quality industrial music on our hands here. Love the vocal clip, the relentless drums, and that bass. Not what I normally listen to, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. (8.5/10)

Lu Makoboka - The intro creates the image of an Apollo mission in the depths of inner space, particularly with
the effects of the field recordings and the recorded dialogue. When the drop finally arrives, that was the moment I felt like putting down my earphones and just walking away from my computer. The mid-range bass is repetitive; the drums lack originality and this monotonous pattern just keeeeeeeeeeeps going. The track definitely would be ideal for different situations, like hearing it in a video game or a movie, but if you’re at home and you feel like jamming to
something; SARIN’s “World Condition” would be a peculiar pick. It did an amazing job of capturing an atmosphere and the textures in some of the synths I found interesting. (4/10)

Alex Rubenstein – SARIN does an excellent job of crafting an extraterrestrial banger with “World Condition.” The syncopated drums are what keep you locked in while the vocal sample adds a captivating creepiness. Connor brings up a good point with how prescient the sample is in today’s world – it’s a bit scary. (8/10)


Gorillaz – “Kansas”

Justin Barini-Rivers - I am gonna give this track points for nostalgia and class, but it didn’t do much for me. The Gorillaz didn’t seem to develop anything in this track it’s just some funky runs on loop. The arrangement is seriously lacking and they even really approach this style in a different way. If Tame Impala could cover this maybe I would listen to it again. There music used to do something for me. I guess I have become a jaded fan. I want to know why it took so long. (3/10)

Connor McInerney - Much like the other ten tracks from Gorillaz’ sixth full-length effort The Now Now, the lyrical and instrumental components of “Kansas” are profoundly melancholy, a product of the album’s greater sense of dread surrounding the present (be they political, environmental, or personal factors.) The most visceral component of “Kansas” is its chorus, in which Damon Albarn begs the question of “find[ing] another dream,” the idea of sussing out an alternative reality from the one he (or we) currently occupy. It’s a sad-yet-relevant meditation on whether we as humans are able to chart a new course, or if we play victim to self-induced circumstance, that has no easy solution. (8.5/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - “Kansas” is a strong track. The highlights of the track for me are the Thundercat-style bassline and the break at 2:34. It didn’t hit home with me as much as their older music, but still good stuff here! (8/10)

Lu Makoboka - From the get go, Gorillaz have us swinging our heads back and forth like a boomerang by virtue of the simple drum pattern. Although what really grabbed my attention was the bass! In the background the stereo field is decorated with these glistening synths reminiscent of their 2010 album, “Plastic Beach,” but the bass is so funky you’d literally think a member of Parliament is pulling those strings. It seems as more psychedelic approach is taken on this track, and as we can tell from the video, some of the weird leads and vocal effects. The beginning hardly comes across as trippy; it is around the halfway mark of the song where we realize Kansas actually makes a good stoner song. In all honesty the beautiful harmony of the instruments eclipses the relevance of the lyrics. With so many things going on, by the end I asked myself, “what was this man talking about?” (6.5/10)

Alex Rubenstein – All of the bombast and high-profile guest appearance of Humanz have been replaced by more laid back, yet poignant displays of Damon Albarn’s songwriting and it’s great. “Kansas” recalls more Plastic Beach vibes than anything else. I particularly am enjoying this baseline’s funkiness and also need to take another look at The Now Now. (7.5/10)



Motez – “Roll Out”

Justin Barini-Rivers - We have a clean techno track from Motez. The Australian is stepping into some more experimental territory(pun intended) and I am excited to see how deep he goes into experimental. Hoping he will join forces with some of the more dark producers from the island. Alas I digress. This is simple tech leaning track with some simple builds and a catchy complementary vocal. I am a sucker for low passed vocals and deep kick drums so sue me. (9/10)

Connor McInerney - The individual parts of Motez’s Late Thoughts B-Side are interesting enough – a solid build, plus I’m here for these ambient, atmospheric sounds at near breakbeat speeds. However I do think the second half of this track falls short of maintaining the energy established during its first act and will incline more listeners to “roll out” by the four minute mark. All things considered, a decent track. (6.5/10)

Patrick Blinkhorn - I don’t like the vocal sample or the hi-hat timbres in the intro, and for that matter, the intro is way too drawn out. There’s a solid kick drum and good shakers when they finally come in, but for me, they are too little too late. I could see this doing ok at a club, but I don’t want to listen to it outside of that environment. (6/10)

Lu Makoboka - Vibes! Such a great tune for a club environment, or even if you feel like you’re pumped for something. I particularly enjoyed the chants that came in every now and then, really amplified that initial hype. Not really the biggest fan of this kind of music and even if you aren’t, this is one of the tracks that could get definitely somebody keen to hear more of this house/techno. The repetition of the words “Roll Out” I find to be catchy too, catchy enough to get stuck in your head even after a couple of days. There’s no solid bass line in the track which I find quite interesting, it’s the kick doing much of the low end work and its impressive that a vibe can be maintained through its recurrence. (7/10)

Alex Rubenstein - This makes you want to call up your crew and roll out to the club, spend too much money, and ultimately not remember most of it. Regardless of the potentially devastating consequences to this song, it’s like “totally worth it dude!” For real though, this track is a roller will turn up a dance floor with it’s high-speed kicks. Solid offering here, but not something that’s gonna get plays outside the club after 1 am. (6/10)


The Winners and Losers:

SARIN – “World Condition” – 7.5/10

sub sequence – “world of mirrors” – 7.3/10

Motez – “Roll Out” – 6.9/10

Gorillaz – “Kansas” – 6.7/10

Martha Hill – “Spiders” – 5.2/10