Filth-smith Helena Hauff fires up a raw-to-the-bone barrage of bleached drum machines and needle-fanged arps on ‘Qualm’ - the Hamburg assassin’s 2nd album for Ninja Tune.
Arriving at a point where Helena is a hugely sought-after DJ - a time when other artists have often played up to a more commercial style - she pulls no punches with a severely thistly album of extreme pH levels placing her love of Bunker bombs and noisy industrial dance music front and centre, in a way perhaps designed to keep the dilettantes at arm’s length, while offering a sweaty embrace to all madder ravers, cyberpunks and misfits.
Under the title Qualm - one of those words you can chew like gristle - Helena deftly and brutally gets what she needs from her machines, slaving a battered analogue array to the front of the rave and rarely sparing the whip for any of them. However, when more romantic or melancholy emotions come thru, they’re direct and never self indulgent, lending a fine contrast to the album’s harshest aspects.
In transitional flux of alkali and acidic extremes, Helena charts a heavy trip between the salty ghetto lash of Barrow Boot Boys and the bittersweet synth-pop of It Was All Fields Around Here When I Was A Kid which both bookend the set. In the frazzled space between, she laces up some absolute welters with raging acid of Lifestyle Guru, the screwface charge of Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborg, and the switch from ‘floor-swilling 303s to night-vision pads in The Smell Of Suds and Steel, while her electro instincts bubble up in warped ways on Fag Butts In The Fire Bucket and the furtive, slimy creep of Panegyric.
But none of those would be so effective in an album context without the contrasts provided by her more fanciful missives, such as the salty lullaby of Entropy Created You And Me, the blood-curdled horror themes of Primordial Sludge, or the struggling nEuro pomp of the titular Qualm itself, which can possibly be taken as a sort of requiem for a rotting Eurozone at the vinegar strokes of late capitalism.
Gabe Gurnsey, the drumming dynamo behind Factory Floor, explores proper song-writing and dancefloor sensuality on his solo début LP ‘Physical’, including additional production by Phantasy guy Erol Alkan
Effectively offering a more fleshly take on the skinny asceticism of Factory Floor, ‘Physical’ revolves 14 disco and pop-toned pieces that vacillate between home listening and club purposes depending the user.
For the ‘floor, there’s some strong highlights in the darkroom acid sleaze of ‘Harder Rhythm’, the moodier Chicago/New Beat burn of ‘I Get’, and the darkwave EBM-pop pressure of ‘Night Track’, which all works as dance songs in their own right, but if you want to hear a cleaner break with FF forms, check for the creamy synth-pop shuffle of the lead single, ‘Ultra Clear Sound’, the druggy, grinding gynoid-pop of ’Temazzy’, and the muggy bass oscillations and Muslimgauze-like vibes of ’Sweet Heat’.
Effervescent deep house grit from Am Kinem on the ever fertile Out To Lunch label
A prime pick for Workshop fiends, Am Kinem’s self-titled 12” yields a gauzy yet gripping mid-fi sound in the same vein as Actress, Huerco S or Anthony Naples, schwanging from burned-out but blissed Fairlight brass and strings to whacked breaks and melancholic jazz chords, then coming off like KassemMosse jamming with Omar-S, and finishing with a colourfully plumed and uptempo stepper.
The Chosen Brother’s utterly haunting roots reggae classic - as championed and versioned by Rhythm & Sound - comes back ‘round on this new 12” edition, packing Dub and a previously unreleased Version on 12” for the 1st time!
The Chosen Brothers’ original was first issued as ‘March Down Babylon’ on ‘Wackie’s Selective Showcase Volume One’  and subsequently appeared on their 1st album ‘Sing and Shout’  and the ‘Reggae Goodies Vol. 1 & 2’ compilation. However, it’s likely best known for Rhythm & Sound’s 1998 version, retitled ‘Mash Down Babylon’, that was a highlight of the Burial Mix 10” series and later as a jewel in the crown of Rhythm & Sound’s ‘w/ The Artists’ compilation.
Now cut to 12” for the first time by CGB at D&M, who have capably handled all of the Wackie’s reissues since 2000, the OG sounds spectrally massive on this platter, casting a spiders web of FX over the steep valley of dread bass, mournful vocal and melting brass. Madder yet, the ‘Dub’ opens out with a succession of class wheel-ups before omitting the vocal and leaving a dancing skeleton of spindly drums and picked guitar in its wake.
BUT, the big number for any reggae or Rhythm & Sound collector is the B-side’s languorous Version, leaving the vocal out for a lusher take than the stark Dub, and making very clear the links between Lee Scratch Perry’s Black Ark sound, the in-house style of Lloyd Barnes’ Wackie’s label, and ultimately the Berlin vikings of Mark Ernestus & Moritz Von Oswald (Maurizio, Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound).
‘hej!’ is the hauntingly hyperreal first album proper by Felicita, for PC Music.
Arriving 5 years since Felicita’s beguiling ‘(>’.’)>#’ and ‘Frenemies’ releases took us by surprise with their lacquered textures and uncannily poignant arrangements, ‘hej!’ claims their place in the same dimensions as Arca, Sophie and 0PN with a highly personalised expression of hyperreal modernity.
Polish folk, trance, trap and and classical chamber music are melded into the same mutant body of music with deceptively effortless appeal that’s both pop-wise and avant, charming and at times unsettling thru its juxtapositions of new and old.
Warbling keys haunt much of the album, but in a way that swerves the poshness of, say Nils Frahm and co, for a more surreal and unreal effect, especially when he adds in snatches of processed Polish folk song, and then sharply switches to needling electronics, as with the vacuum sealed hyper reggaeton of ‘coughing up amber’, while the melodic couplet of ‘soft power I + II’ feel paradoxically timeless yet right in the pregnant here-and-now, though their pastoral field recordings came from a computer game, rather than the real thing.
The salty blatz of ’shook’ is a tart palate cleanser at the centre of the album, bristling with an outright aggression that contrast the rest of the set, particularly the eerie highlight of Caroline Polachek’s take on ‘marzipan’, an old Polish folk song reinterpreted with lustrous Reese-like bass and synthetic strings, while the sickening rush of ‘night soil (fade out)’ recalls the devil in the detail noise of Croww, and the closing ‘Mosaic’ elicits a most curious synthesis of emotions - ecstasy, fear, and romance in it’s fleeting choral cadence.
Full schwing boogie, drowsy blue 4th world vibes and dream sequence ambience, dug up and remastered for DJ play and optimal home listening by the on-point Seance Center
“MJ Lallo sings to trees and distant planets, plays drum machines, synthesizers and processes her voice to sound like percussion, space ships, trumpets, birds and words from an unknown language. Lallo works in post-production music and SFX, and founded her own company MJ Productions in 1983. Although she has been creating music for films and other projects for over forty years, she only released one Hi-NRG 12” under a pseudonym, a small-run cassette in the late 80s and a CD in the early 2000s. Séance Centre is exploring Lallo’s unique and fascinating body of work with this maxi single and a forthcoming 2LP compilation.
Star Child focuses on Lallo’s love of movement in body and mind. Star Child Going Home is a late-night FM boogie transmission, a soaring wordless ode to an interstellar visitor departing. The song conveys a complex synthetic love beyond the realm of language, using voice, Juno 106 and deft LinnDrum programming. Aquarius Bluemoves languidly, a sun-soaked Californian cosmic cruiser. Lallo’s voice swims and plays in waves of synth and drum-current, like sun-rays across the sea at magic hour. Also Deep Dreams, an epic entrancing meditation for synth, drums and voice. A journey and transference of the mind from verbal consciousness to pre-lingual dream-state.”
For the 1st time in over 30 years, The Chosen Brothers’ mellifluous roots reggae masterpiece ‘Sing & Shout’ returns, re-shuffled, abridged and re-cut to vinyl by CGB at D&M, Berlin
Most notable for the gorgeous ‘Mash Down Babylon’, which was versioned by Rhythm & Sound to classic effect in 1998 and now opens this new edition, ‘Sing & Shout’ is perhaps one of roots reggae's more overlooked efforts, but arguably also one of the most distinguished of its mid ‘80s era.
Recorded at Bullwackie’s studio in White Plains, NYC, by Douglas Levy, Sugar Minot and Bullwackie, ‘Sing & Shout’ blends classic roots lyrical themes and dub production with early traces of the digital drum machine and synth styles that would come to dominate the dancehall from this phase forward.
For this new edition, the now Berlin-administered Wackies deign to resequence the track-list, which now starts up with the evergreen original of ‘March Down Babylon’ (which has also been issued on a 12” with bonus dub + version this week) and the wickedly slow and easy digidub of ‘Jah Don’t Like That’ along with the mellow wooze of ‘Sing & Shout’ and the misty precipitation of ‘Dancing In The Rain (12” Mix)’, and comes to rest with woozy praises to Jah in ‘All Things (12” Mix)’.
Nice and easy definitely wins the day here. Unmissable!
Solo début Lp by Brandt Brauer Frick’s Paul. Features a guest vocal by Nina Kraviz
“Apollo welcome Paul Frick to the fold. Frick is a Berlin-born music composer primarily known as one part of the group Brandt Brauer Frick. Stunningly despite a 20+ year history of making music ‘Second Yard Botanicals’ is his debut album.
With BBF keeping Frick inspired and busy since 2009, other ideas had piled up until a temporary break allowed him to fully dive into them – “While it took so long until I made my first album, it took about two months once I started.”
Exploring a vast number of instruments, field recording and deconstructed breakbeats woven with undulating filters and gossamer melodies, the album sees Frick drawing on the world around him in a free associative style ; “A word I sometimes had in mind was „Alltagspoesie“, the poetry of everyday life,” he explains. “The thought that however small and unimportant things and people are, they – or we – all hint towards each other, if not to say towards the whole. The fact that half of the pieces on the record are short miniatures has to do with that. Throwing something in and hearing what it tells.“
‘Second Yard Botanicals‘ at its core is based on sonic collage, from a genre point of view it’s highly eclectic, remotely echoing Frick’s classical composition background as well as his hip hop / trip hop past – “which is how I first learned using sequencers about twenty years ago”.
While Frick is coy about direct influences on his music, non musical inspiration played a key role – such as the novel ‘Anniversaries‘ by Uwe Johnson, which is divided into the 365 days of a year and weaves a large nonlinear picture; „It’s among the things that showed me on how many levels a piece of fiction can be able to resonate without falling apart completely.”
Besides the actual recording of instruments like piano, guitar and percussion, Frick sampled heavily from his twenty year deep sonic archive of performances and field recordings. “Mostly they were from unused sessions, forgotten projects that I rediscovered or live recordings of my chamber music pieces, using them as samples to make something new,” he explains. „Also chance recordings on the phone like the boomy snares in ‚Church 5 Loop 2‘ which Daniel (Brandt) played during soundcheck for a BBF gig in a huge church, or rain drops in the gutter of our studio backyard, and more things like that.”
Recorded in the band’s shared studio space in Neukölln and mixed by bandmate Jan Brauer the whole project was kept in house.”
Trevor Jackson reveals hitherto unheard ambient aspects of his hip hop/breakbeat alias The Underdog with Y.O.U, his “lost” album as FROM, produced over 1994-1997 and initially intended for release between his production for UK hip hop crew The Brotherhood’s Elementalz  LP, and the debut Playgroup album in 2001.
R&G innovator Terror Danjah returns to the style with cinematic flair alongside writer/producer Nii-Teiko on ‘The Scene Vol.1’
Leaning in with a mix of richly atmospheric sound design and feminine G-funk pressure of ‘Scene 1’, they run a ruggeder mix of brassy stabs, speaker-worrying subs and splashing acid-dub madness in ‘Scene 2’, saving the trippiest and best for last with the wickedly dissonant synth lixx and swaggering march of ‘Scene 3’.
NYC’s Forma regroup around iridescent axes of minimalist kosmische, ambient and techno tropes on ‘Semblance’, their playfully absorbing 2nd album for Kranky after a pair of early sides with Spectrum Spools
Revolving around George Bennett and Mark Dwindle with John Also Bennett (a.k.a. JAB and member of Jon Gibson’s live band), Forma continue in pursuit of a coolly intuitive and suggestively psychedelic sound on ‘Semblance’, meshing polychromatic harmonics with rolling, curling rhythms in a way that owes as much to Steve Reich as Alice Coltrane, Laurie Anderson and Jon Hassell, but with a disjointed sense of anachronism that time-stamps Forma in the flux of the present.
“Brooklyn trio Forma's latest LP continues their mission to "broaden the idea of what an electronic music ensemble can sound like." Semblance emerged from exploratory sessions at The Schoolhouse, the Bushwick loft where members Mark Dwinell and John Also Bennett live, then was tracked at Gary's Electric studios, where their previous album Physicalist was also recorded.
Inspired by polyrhythmic composition, the human voice, and conceptual improvisation strategies, the songs are striking in their textural detail and emotional nuance, alternately synthetic and sentient, futuristic and intuitive. Incorporating flute, piano, guitar, saxophone, acoustic drums and cymbals alongside an array of synthesizers, the record persuasively demonstrates the group's unique playing abilities and fluid chemistry - attributes they credit to "techniques we've developed to trick our electronic machines into mimicking the spontaneous character of live instruments."
Members George and John Also Bennett also cite as an influence their recent stint in minimalist composer Jon Gibson's ensemble, performing his 1973 proto-ambient masterwork Visitations. The long-form modal piece requires restraint and deep listening to execute, qualities especially apparent in the more muted moments of Semblance, such as "Rebreather" and "New City."
The group states the intent of the new album as "to be more direct and exacting", which it is. Over half a decade spent writing and recording together has distilled Forma's hybrid electro-acoustic interplay into an attuned and astounding language, capable of articulating impossible symmetries and reflective states.”
Mixmag presents a compilation of house and techno cuts selected by Peggy Gou
Following her recent Ninja Tune EP, the star of Mixmag’s current front cover gives a taste of her DJ sets, peppewred with cherry-picked pieces by friends and family.
Worth checking for the darkside heft of ‘Venom’ by Dorisburg, the snappy electro patter of Suzanne Kraft on ‘Moving’, and the subaquatic electro of ‘Harajuku’ by Pépe for Or:La’s Deep Sea Frequency.
Sharp Veins evacuates the contents of his HD with a massive 30-track, 2hr 24min album covering the wingspan of his styles, from bittersweet ambient to mutant R&B and grime, for UNO NYC...
In terms of both its variegated quality and expansive quantity, ‘Detritus Preterit Selections’ is inarguably Sharp Veins’ most significant release to date, and, like his colourful, prickly oddity ‘Bleeds Colours and Puddles’, it finds a perfect home amid UNO’s inventive roster, which already counts Arca, Chino Amobi and Aquarian in its number.
In his now distinctive style, SV moves freely in each track, often starting out one place only to end up somewhere quite different by the end of the cut, and with a grasp of off-kilter, bittersweet digital dissonance that watermarks these 30 tracks as his own.
DJs could do much worse than check for the strongly synaesthetic grime tang of ‘Televise Icarus V1’ for an ideal example of his electronica/grime hybrids, while lovers of stranger electronic pop should check out ‘Lets Wash Our Hands V3’ for something like a salty, technoid Panda Bear, and weightless seekers need to clock the curdled ambience of ‘I Care For What U Wish For V1’, and the pirouetting figures of ‘Drawing.’
Leathered-up EBM from the gimp-masked SΛRIN for Phase Fatale’s Bite label
Authentically skooled in the grease and spunk of classic EBM, SΛRIN takes what he needs from that style and leaves the rest to rot on his ‘Kuleshov Effect’ 12”, resulting four stripped-down and hungry killers aching for a dark room, smoke and strobes.
A-side spits out the clenched grind of ‘World Condition’ along with the dry, pulverizing drums and strapping 16th note arp of ‘Jigar’. B-side steps up the pressure with cold war samples setting the scene for a frozen, militant stomper that really sinks its teeth in, while the nihilistic ‘Nuke Me’ will put a rocket up the ‘floor’s collective ass.
Disco Vumbi jumps from ‘Boutiq Electroniq’ for Nyege Nyege Tapes to their Hakuna Kulala sublabel for alternately heavy and light-footed dancefloor styles
‘Jo-ducuroma roma’ generates an inexorable momentum from swingeing drums and bass, while call-and-response vox echoes out above in hypnotic effect. This one will dominate any situation it’s played!
On the other hand, ‘Wilobo Man’ is much more light hearted and twinkle-toed, working clipped soca-like drum patterns and mellifluous vocal harmonies into a frothy charm.
Trevor Jackson taps into his Underdog cabinet on ‘Of The Night’, a dark blue set of trip hop nocturnes produced c. 1994-1998
The Underdog has long been the place to go for Jackson’s ruder and deeper work, from remixes of UNKLE and dozens of others, to his coveted breakbeat volumes known as ‘The Attic Tapes.’
For the Of The Night selection he’s picked out some of The Underdog’s drowsiest nodders, with special highlights found in their most depressed moments, such as the heavily introspective slug of ‘Lapis’ and the desert-crawling country smudge of ‘Dawn Burn’, which should both appeal as much to DJ Screw as The Caretaker or Express Rising.
Isle of Jura’s new Temples of Jura offshoot pay dues to On-U Sound in fine style.
Melbourne’s Len Leise holds down he front with a balmy take on Mr. Sherwood’s signature flex in For Adrian, rolling and skanking around a hot-wired and humid sort of electro-acoustic mesh of dub, boogie and endearingly dippy ‘tronics.
B-side, Isle Of Jura take over with three mixes of Udaberri Blues, slyding from the boogie downstroke of the original to a more spaced out, bumping Dub Version lapped with ocean sounds, and a lushly suspended Space Version.
Upfront studies in abrasive computer music traction for tuuun’s Copenhagen-based FLUF from Bilbao, Spain’s Sarah Rasines
‘0016A’ is the gnarlier of the two, committing minutes of amorphous, gravelly grain before calving off into black hole sonics flecked with scurrying pointillist rhythms.
In stark contrast, ’0016AA’ is rhythm driven from the outset, with brittle dembow-like patterns chipping away over stereo-rolling concrète shapes in teetering meter for a wickedly abstracted dancefloor push ’n pull.
TTT cop a pair of sylvan downbeat beauties from Conrad Standish and Sam Karmel’s CS + Kreme
One of the most distinctive acts to emerge from the southern hemisphere in recent memory, CS + Kreme’s first self-tiled 12” marked them as ones to keep an ear on, and each subsequent rendering has only made us love their immaculate blend of ambient-pop and shoegaze even more.
Safe to say we’re feeling this one too. Where previous outings have been partly defined by Standish’s plaintive vocals, they contrarily don’t appear until the closing strokes on this one, as they roll out 9 minutes of horizontally-inclined vibes in ‘Eyes On Ceiling’ with its sonorous 808s and shallow plasmic dubbing recalling a long soak in the bath that’s starting to lose its heat, before ‘Husk’ emerges into balmier air streaked with filigree electronics, shimmering pads and a pleading sax that paves the way to a very Mark Hollis-esque denouement.
Renick Bell follows up the gloopy dynamics of his ‘Wary’ LP for Halcyon Veil with a more spacious and percussion-focussed sound in ‘Turning Points’ for the Seagrave label
Renick’s ’Turning Points’ are concerned with pushing structures to the point of breaking down. Ok there are some moments that could be compared with Autechre or Rian Treanor, but perhaps better compared to a modern antecedent of Funkstorung and Funkarma, or the complex explorations of Dalglish.
“Renick is a computer musician, programmer, and teacher living in Tokyo, Japan. He is a graduate of the doctoral program at Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan. His current research interests are live coding, improvisation, and algorithmic composition using open source software. He is the author of Conductive, a library for live coding in the Haskell programming language."
Killer jump-up jungle jams from anonymous, incognito sources
Infectious rave goodness on both sides, teeing off a ’95-into-’05-into-’18 sound with the A-side’s jungle and grime flex, then diving in with a lush re-fusion of bifurcated happy hardcore, deep and jump-up vibes on the B-side...
Ruffhouse follow-up one of the D&B tracks of ’15 - UVB-76 - with launch of a new label of the same name.
A-side loads up their classically styled hardstep remix of Aspect & Gremlinz’ Kilo, entering with smoky intro before fully rolling out dreadnaught breaks and murkiest dancehall subbass patterns.
On the other side, Overlook & Gremlinz sustain the darkness with a numb but nimble halfstep roller veiled in brooding grey atmospheres.
Steve Hauschildt’s grasp of synthesis reaches alchemical, intuitive levels of lushness in ‘Dissolvi’, keening towards a broadly appealing ambient-techno-pop sound without losing the enigmatic, abstract, deep space quality of previous efforts. It’s his finest achievement since striking solo from the influential Emeralds and, quite honestly, isn't a million miles away from late 90's IDM keeprs like Arovane's Atol Scrap. And on we go in circular motion...
“In search of the sublime, contemporary electronic musician Steve Hauschildt has designed grids and panoramas of sound across multiple releases through the rise and dissolution of his former band, Emeralds, an American touchstone of 2000s home-recorded psychedelic noise music. Consistent with his solo work is Hauschildt’s ability to coil his craft in precise, varied, and distinctly physical forms. Gently spinning arpeggios converse with post-industrial decay. Sonic fibers sway like pendulums from static melancholy to motorik bliss. Dissolvi, the artist’s first full-length with Ghostly International, engages sublimation from an ontological perspective: by dissociating the self. Hauschildt steps out from the singular path, for the first time in a traditional studio, to compose and arrange contributions from friends. As a result, his most collaborative work to date extends a vast, vibrating framework in which to consider the state of being.
The album's title — a reference to cupio dissolvi, the Latin phrase meaning "I wish to be dissolved" — needn't be taken one-dimensionally or as purely solipsistic. It does, however, serve an apt reference. Physiological phenomena are of interest to Hauschildt. These back-of-mind ruminations find their way out. Songs are cerebral in orientation, but beyond explanation, the music is truly visceral. Involuntary eye movement inspires the serene, sanguine-nearing-suspicious "Saccade." Hauschildt feathers soft percussion beneath the echoed refrains of Los Angeles musician Julianna Barwick, together shaping a svelte suggestion of the anxieties brought about by modern-day surveillance; if everyone is being watched constantly, there is no individual, no self, only a broadly monitored and clumsily cataloged populous. The work of Chicago poet Carl Sandburg comes to mind: “I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.” The individual dissolves into the taxonomic crowd.
Minimalist techno impulses provide a stylistic through-line for Dissolvi. Understated synth phrases and drum grooves take hold in selective moments, like synchronistic structures onto which nebulous mists, like the rapturous voice of Gabrielle Herbst aka GABI on "Syncope," cling to and cloud, producing a dazzling rift in consciousness. The 7-minute centerpiece "Alienself" reiterates this creative logic, burbling like an amorphous body of water on a low-gravity planet, on the verge of dissolving, but never fully dematerializing. The album was constructed in Chicago (where Hauschildt now resides) and partially in New York. "Much of it was recorded in a windowless studio which removed elemental or seasonal references to time in the music," says Hauschildt. "The focus this time was on mixing the album and incorporating a broader set of instrumentation. I describe my compositional approach as being quasi-generative." Embracing new methods and philosophical curiosities, and in turn, expanding the range of his repertoire, Hauschildt proposes a fascinating and profoundly rich experience in listening, being, and deliquescing.”
Conspicuous by his absence over the last few years, Dorian Concept breaks his silence with a colourfully plumed and intricately woven batch of prog-jazz-fusion cuts showing off his virtuoso instrumentalist skills on both acoustic and electronic gear...
“Following the release of “Joined Ends” in 2014 - a deeply intimate and textured project he describes as his “chamber music” record - Dorian Concept performed everywhere from Glastonbury to Sonar to MoMA PS1’s Warm Up and then deliberately took himself off the radar. The time since has been spent meticulously un-learning his prodigious production process and developing a brand new sound that even the most clued-up won’t be expecting - showcased on ‘Promises’, in the most prominent use of his voice to date. The recording and processing of his vocals represent not only a more human expression of his highly technical sound, but also an inclination toward recursion - the challenge, ephemerality, and demand for attention of “unequal repetition” which shapes the build and deconstruction of energy throughout the record.
Taking inspiration from multi-generational eclecticism (‘60s jazz, ‘70s fusion, ‘80s neo prog-rock, ‘90s electronica), Dorian Concept sought to replicate “modern” music elements with old-fashioned methods, live-playing and hand-recording deceptively digital sounds in service of a tongue-in-cheek “parody of nostalgia”. Having produced the record largely in the years 2016 and 2017 - widely characterized as periods of a cultural reckoning throughout the democratic world - he ambitiously took timely themes of cumulative error, shortening attention spans and subjective experience and transposed them into his making. As is to be expected from him by now, for all the considered, high-concept musing, the result is refreshingly unpretentious: dizzying swells, cacophonous breakdowns and formidable rhythms are both expert and childlike, hyperactive and hyper-focused.”
Toronto/Berlin’s Nathan Micay, a.k.a. Bwana, returns via Whities. Sleek, rolling and tremulously optimistic, on the A-side he works with the agility and grace of a ribbon twirling rhythmic gymnast on ‘First Casualty’, whereas the B-side’s ‘Beginning Ballads’ is a teasing display of deferred gratification, rolling to cusp-of-the-peak tech-trance styles.
"Nathan Micay (formerly Bwana) steps out under his own name for the first time with a pair of glistening panoramas well-primed for those exultant hours of the early morning. The 12” opens with 'First Casualty’, aka *that* track played by Avalon in her Printworks set last year, before heading into deeper territories with 'Beginning Ballads’ on the flip. In Nathan’s words: "These are without a doubt the most personal tracks I have written to date. I made them as a sort of exercise in self-therapy during my first few months in Berlin. As time has gone on, more meanings have unfolded with each listen. For me, these tracks are a rebuttal to the endless churn of negativity in the news and online. They have become my battle cry in the club, something to mobilize while also offering a chance to escape it all, even briefly."