Loud Sounds 26
Cover photo: from LDN Monos – First Exit video
"Loud Sounds" are some of the best new tracks we've found. We are coming back with the twenty-sixth installment of the series.
LDN Monos – First Exit

LDN Monos is the moniker of London-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Neil Curtis. His debut single First Exit is a rich layered tune that brings together ghostly vocal samples and field-recorded ambience and tape hiss similar to Burial's, organic unsquare percussive patterns, lonely and rainy harmonies and beautiful counterpoint melodies. The track has a lot going on, but it all happens so organically that you discover more and more details only after repeated listens.

LDN Monos
The track was written along with a set of other songs towards the end of 2020. With the days drawing in, I holed myself up in my studio and wrote non-stop. I had recently bought a sample pad: that was a huge inspiration behind the tracks. I grew up practising guitar 10 hours a day and ended up somewhat bored of the instrument. I found sample pads to be the exact opposite of the guitar: they don't go out of tune, I don't have to balance them on my leg whilst tweaking pedals and they sound beautiful in a very imperfect way. I love that 'chopped', or 'triggered' sound I can get from a sample pad.

Artistically, I was trying to balance a strong sense of freedom/liberation alongside sadness and regret. I think you can certainly hear that freedom in the movement of the instruments: nothing is static. All the synths move around and the pitch is constantly shifting on the simplest of sounds. Even if it's subtle and barely audible: you can feel that movement. Nils Frahm, Oneohtrix Point Never, Jon Hopkins: they're all big influences in that regard. And the way they create these gradually evolving patterns excites me. I don't do that in a subtle fashion, but the influence is still there.

On the flip side, the chord structure and the vocals/lyrics provide a melancholic element. And that's what I'm constantly trying to achieve: I love creating these stark juxtapositions. That to me is hugely interesting and also a very natural expression. I really love Saves The Day's 'Stay What You Are' and 'In Reverie'. Both albums feature songs with dark, often morbid lyrics, but they sit on top of these upbeat, joyous melodies. And early Trail of Dead are also a big influence: both spiritually and musically. Especially on 'Source Tags and Codes'. You have these brutally uncompromising rock songs, but the lyrics are often super heartfelt and tender.

I would also say the acoustic elements of Bonobo's later work influenced 'First Exit' and the other tracks written alongside it. Some of the sounds I used are the result of me feeding different instruments into an FX Loop and then through to a sample pad. So you get a more natural, organic sound that can either be subtly or blatantly manipulated.

In regards to personal information, I'm effectively obsessed with making music. I produce my own tracks, I mix them, I play the instruments, I make videos. And if I didn't do that I'd be making or building something else.

And I have a dog. She's dope. I love taking her to the woods and watching her run free. That's an inspiration for sure.
Intruder – Out of Sight
Intruder are a well-respected Serbian indie electronica band with five albums and a few hits in their portfolio. Now they are back with their first single in 10 years. Out of Sight builds its tension slowly but never really releases it. The track is dark and atmospheric, with an almost mystical quality to it.

When working on this track, everything fell into its right place very quickly, the atmosphere was pulling in more and more with each new sound and layer, and somehow we ended up with with a deep glitchy electric gospel sort of place. Ivana, our singer, instantly felt the vibe and wrote the lyrics. She says: "The music reminded me of those situations when everything is slowly building up, and before you burst, you just leave for a walk, for a swim."

As for our working process – we've been together for a long time, but we're excited that we always seem to find some sort of new way of working on music together and experiment with various sounds and ideas, and this track and the whole new bunch that are coming soon are a good example of the relatively laid back approach where we take our time and simply know when things really click for us all.
Amor Amor – Playing Like You Used To

Capetown duo Amor Amor are back with a new energetic guitar-driven single with a catchy hook and an overall summer vibe. They say the song "was inspired by an old flame that wants to kick it again but unfortunately it's just not the same as before. It also relates to our current times of how life has changed in so many ways and now we all have to discover a new normal."
Iván Llopis – Dropped

The short and dramatic dark ambient track was inspired "by the underwater fluctuations and the sonic footprint of it". The Spain-based artist made it entirely with his Prophet 6 and some shimmer reverb and delay pedals. The composition is like the sleeping sea – calm on the surface but with dark and complex life bubbling underneath it.