Bullet-time hardstyle tonkers from french producer Guillaume Lespinasse (Jonquera) in Tera Octe mode following his Boosterpack 7” with a full album for the works at Brussels’ PRR! PRR!
Dicing with Italian-style lento violento and dembow drum patterns, Tera Octe comes for the big rooms with pure, wide eyed gusto in nine forcefully slow joints packing all the builds and drops of the peak time, but at a knackered tilt akin to early Andy Stott or a Vladimir Ivkovic DJ set.
Koreless returns with keenly awaited debut album ‘Agor,’ fine-tuning inspirations ranging from Benjamin Britton to UK rave within distinctive electro-acoustic sound designs.
Prizing the futureshock and enigma of electronic music as much as the immediacy of dance-pop and finesse of ambient classical composition, Koreless achieves a high watermarkwith ‘Agor.’ Arriving a decade since they debuted on Peckham’s Picture Music, which ultimately led to their appearance at Young Turk’s clubnight, and a small but promising clutch of singles for the label between 2012-2015; the album finally unveils a bold new sound at its fullest, calibrating instrumental flourishes with generative vocals and sheer computer music tekkers in plush, spacious designs that benefit from immaculate mixing and mastering.
The ten tracks of ‘Agor’ makes their 33’ run time feel even shorter thanks to the artist’s mercurial grasp of refractive harmonic colour and diffractive pacing. Synth-pop in effect, but soundtrack-like in scope, they cascade from the pendulous metric freedom of widescreen opener ‘Yonder’ to the valley sweeping choral majesty of ‘Strangers’ in measured turns that coalesce into a dramatic description of landscape, both external, hyperreal; and inner.
Previous single ‘Black Rainbow’ plucks the heartstrings with a piquant sort of hiraeth, bringing to light a remarkably precise, bespoke sound design that underlies its windswept highlights, from the Barker-esque weightless flight and choral dramaturgy of ‘White Picket Fence’ and digitized chamber music of ‘Act(s),’ thru to standout darkside bouts of droogy electro in ‘Joy Squad,’ crystalline AI R&B in ‘Frozen,’ and scalp-tingling elision of trance-pop arps and classical pastoral elegance in ‘Shellshock.’
Since their early singles, Koreless has been busy producing for FKA Twigs and Rita Ora, but ‘Agor’ sees them step from behind the scenes into the light of the uncanny valley.
A new addition to the Hakuna Kulala family, Congolese producer Chrisman torches the borders between gqom, trap, taraxina and Afrohouse on his debut release 'Ku Mwezi' - a potent club cocktail that's one part Slikback, one part DJ Lag and one part DJ Plead = next gen dancefloor futurism.
Erupting in a haze of trance arps, gqom-influenced kicks and convulsing synths, 'Hewa' is an apt introduction to Chrisman's musical star system. Currently the in-house engineer at Nyege Nyege's villa studio - having recently replaced Don Zilla - he brings serious technical knowhow to the kind of cybernetic next-wave intensity familiar from Kenyan wunderkind Slikback, slowing gqom to a ruff crawl, cross pollenating it with Atlanta trap and double-timing it into frenetic hard dance.
The title track offers a curveball; a collab with Egyptian mahraganat alchemist Yunis that evolves from a molasses-slow Cairo template into eerie, synth-led 2CB nightmare fuel. It's a midpoint between 3Phaz's furious electro-mahraganat hybrids and Jasmine Infiniti's aerated, midnight electronix, but without any easy payoffs. 'Lamuka' and 'Mukwano Gwange' lock into a Durban rattle, slicing into the template and introducing weightless vocals and synths, anxious percussion and nauseous atmospherics.
Chrisman once again demonstrates East Africa’s rich seam of delirious club invention. The Hakuna/Nyege axis is basically untouchable, still.