Deep techno and house from Ireland’s blooming bedroom dancefloor dimensions, served warm by Greek label Echovolt
Leading on from Der Opium Queen’s remix of George Earnest’s G.E.O. Corp 12 ‘College Derive’, the two make it official with their debut turn of astral acid and blushing boogie, building up the energy withe lip-smacking MDMA-flavoured pads over ruggedly offset Detroit techno-house drums and 303 ellipses in ‘Ultralush’ to leave you rolling on the carpet or hugging the next body, whereas ‘Rainy Day’ sees to a slower blush of pink-hued pads and pendulous electro-soul rhythm, with ‘Time Heals All Wounds’ striding off into the sunset like an Omar-S or Rick Wilhite number.
A centrepiece of ‘Anima’ remixed by Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, plus Equiknoxx, Mark Pritchard, and Clark.
The icy electroid dancehall rhythm of Thom Yorke's original ‘Not The News’ supplies wickedly chewy tackle for the remixers, prompting Equiknoxx’s Time Cow and Gavsborg to step up in killer style with a sort of 2.1-step dancehall take turning Thom’s vocals into childlike chatter, whereas the extended original sees the vocals trimmed back to poignant prongs and diffused into airy chorales.
Mark Pritchard meanwhile swaps the original drums out entirely for a sort of squashed, live-sounding nyabighi or talking drum sounds underlaid with massive subs to recalling Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force gone maudlin, while Clark brings up the rear with a weird glam rock swagger.
That Equiknoxx remix is worth the cost of entry alone!
Hyperjazzy ghettofunk from Brainfeeder’s man in Austria, leading on from 2018’s ‘The Nature of Imitation’ album
‘Toothbrush’ plays out tight helter skelter harmonies yoked to surging ghettotech bumps, whereas ‘Booth Thrust’ dances around the groove in 2.1 step style, injecting the same elements with a fruitier flair.
This is lovely - Baltimore’s Ami Dang navigates alternately lush, ecstatic and meditative fusions of East and West with spellbinding arrangements of sitar, voice and kosmiche electronics. Trust this is no ersatz ethnomusicology but a naturally visionary and well-skooled flight of imagination - mind-boggling new expansions of classical Indian music augmented with stunning synthwork. RIYL SOTE’s ‘Parallel Persia’ , Charanjit Singh’s ’Synthesizing: Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat’
Where too many artists have paid lip service to fusing classical Indian music traditions with modern music, Ami Dang authentically yields something thrilling, entrancing and genuinely unique with ‘Parted Plains.’ Interpreting South Asian and Middle Eastern folktales - the four tragic romances of Punjab, Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Punnun, Heer Ranjha, and Mirza Sahiba; Flora Annie Steel’s Tales of the Punjab: Folklore of India, and selected stories from One Thousand and One Nights - Ami presents a new chapter of Indian fusion music that firmly speaks to a modern, hemisphere-harmonising synthesis of East and West, contemporary and traditional.
In Ami’s hands those ancient tales live on in the tactile, narrative expression of her music. The plangent plucks of sitar lyrically take centre stage, reeling off a range of rapturous, solemn and romantic yarns set against incredibly immersive synth backdrops that both mirror and counter the acoustic parts beautifully connoting the feeling on a mind bifurcating, spiralling and entwining in cosmic helixes. The effect is most striking in the likes of her ‘Bopoluchi’ blinder, where the sitar rings out from the eye of a steeply dark synth cyclone, or ’Stockholm Syndrome’, when her slow, air bent strings coalesce from sweeping gyroscopic synth dimensions, or when they rattle hard but harmonious like Sote’s take on traditional Persian instruments in ‘Sohni’, while ‘Love Liesse’ places her sound in the lushest romantic context, conjuring mental imagery of ancient gods, star signs, and such.
Deerhunter co-founder and drummer Moses Archuleta tests his hand at electronic dance music with results landing somewhere between Eric Copeland’s scuzzy bodgers and a late ‘90s chill-out compilation. Includes guest appearances by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Shigeto, and Angel Deradoorian
“Moon Diagrams is the solo recording project of Deerhunter co-founder and drummer Moses John Archuleta. Two years after his debut album Lifetime of Love, Archuleta returns with Trappy Bats, a mini-LP that interweaves three brilliant new Moon Diagrams tracks with radiant reworks from Shigeto, Angel Deradoorian, and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma.
Trappy Bats was largely recorded in a single night as a means to process the intense intersection of Archuleta’s social, political, and personal hysteria. Having been arrested for an unknown, missed court date, Archuleta spent 24 hours in a holding cell, offering ample time to reflect on his life, the current state of the nation (the jail televisions were showing a constant feed of the then-active Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville), and the other inmates stuck inside the containment center. Upon being released the next day, Archuleta found himself suffering from a bout of insomnia and feeling the need to process everything through music.
Here, Archuleta is in his freest and most grateful state, channeling the turmoil and confusion he was experiencing into an unencumbered fit of creativity. It’s pure, unadulterated escapism with an even more callous palette of sounds than before, clearly split between two different moods. The end result is an extended traipse through Saturday evening fever-dream techno, Sunday morning cigarette jazz-pop, and every blank-thought in between.”
Nérija are the septet of contemporary jazz luminaries, Nubya Garcia (tenor saxophone), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Cassie Kinoshi (alto saxophone), Rosie Turton (trombone), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Lizy Exell (drums) and Rio Kai (bass). Rooted in friendship, Nérija is a collective whose breakneck shifts in tempo and style rely on a deep understanding of mood, temperament and expression, a solid show of trust that extends beyond the usual bonds between musicians.
"Recorded in the boat-shaped confines of London’s legendary Soup Studios and produced by Kwes, the overarching goal with Blume was to simply capture the rawness, warmth, joy and the spirit of their relationship and performance. One of the recording aims was to channel the feel of Teo Macero and Stanley Tonkel’s records with Miles Davis during his Columbia years, thinking “forward” as they did but for this band, capturing the controlled chaos and frame it with a timeless elegance.
Blume is a truly breath-taking collection of compositions that perfectly encapsulates everything Nérija; vibrant, engaging, infectious and truly current. For just over an hour, they take us on a sprawling wonderful journey, arriving at what is a majestic body of work; their personal and collective experiences and inspirations over the last half decade or so."
Deep Detroit techno mechanics from Xavier De Enciso, on DJ Dex (UR) aka Nomadico’s Yaxteq label
The petrol-powered bassline purr and flickering streetlight chords of ‘Rasquache’ emulates the feeling of driving round the 313 at night; ‘Metzli’ picks up the pace with needling hi-hat swing and baseline moving into the next gear; ‘Warehouse Deep’ swirls sax and acid lines in a ruder house style; and long distance trucks on with a sexier, latinate sort of charge recalling DJ Qu productions.
Yatta’s absorbing 2nd PTP release opens further windows onto a breezy and disorienting blend of jazz-blues vocals, cut-up instrumentation, ambient electronic detours and darker, technoid impulses. A must check for followers of Klein and Moor Mother...
“Influenced by everything from Khan Jamal to Egisto Macchi via Basic House and Konrad Kraft, Why So Mute, Fond Lover? builds new worlds of beats and rhythm, sound collage, ambience and noise using random borrowed equipment, broken gear and household appliances. The album was recorded in Mile End, London and Hamburg (with collaborator Ben Page of Rocketnumbernine and Elite Barbarian), and mastered by fellow Rothko member Mark Beazley.
Donnelly has previously released albums on Exotic Pylon, Hideous Replica and Foredoom Productions, and has been a long-term member of Rothko, performing on a number of their albums including A continual Search for Origins, Eleven Stages of Intervention and most recently 2018’s Blood Demands More Blood.
Why So Mute, Fond Lover? comes with a bonus album (to download with all physical copies, and available separately to download) featuring tracks from Michael’s previous releases plus new remixes by Pye Corner Audio, Polypores, Kemper Norton, Psychological Strategy Board, Basic House and Elite Barbarian.
This new release is the second volume of a new series on Front & Follow – Ex Post Facto – which seeks to celebrate experimental electronic music in all its forms, showcasing new work and old, exploring the relationship between the current and the past, how they influence and shape each other and our experiences of them.
For each volume in the series we ask artists to create a new project of their own choosing and present it alongside a retrospective of their past output. Ex Post Facto: There are always consequences in retrospect.”
Whipsmart, aggy techno rolige from Swarm Intelligence, a new name on Tommy Four Seven’s label
Working right on the biting point of noise/techno and roguish UK styles, the EP turns up some blistering highlights in the recoiling kicks and snarling neuro D&B synth torque of ‘Infinite Density’, and then with a beastly sort of dancehall techno belligerence in ‘Chromium Chambering.’
Bibio pairs a sugary nugget from his ‘Ribbons’ album with an exclusive new song, ‘Spruce Tops’
So sweet in its dedication to beardy ‘60s psych folk that it borders on a kind of Matt Berry-like pastiche, ‘The Art Of Living’ sees Bibio fully assume his natural form as wistful crooner, while ‘Spruce Tops’ is a strolling instrumental that shares a similar sort of boomer nostalgia.
Texan chanteuse Molly Burch returns with two heart-stopping tracks.
"Entitled Ballads in homage to the strong and powerful female vocalists that she admires, this 7” EP embodies what Burch loves to do and what she does best: crafting music with emotion, drama and romance, giving her voice all the room it needs to burn bright."
Vancouver’s Regularfantasy (Ciao, Plush Managements Inc.) trips a fine line between shabby chic smarm and off-kilter, lo-fi dance pop
‘Condobed’ is their follow-up to a tape and 12” for Total Stasis in 2018. On one hand it trades in a sort of manicured shabbiness that we’ve heard a million times before, but on the other hand, there are sweet moments to be found in the sideways R&B of ‘Don’t Want Pain (Wetface Tribute’) with its pitching vocals and punchy drum machine, or the knackered slow house of ‘Never Wanna Let U Go’, and the half-awake boogie budge of ‘Life is Expensive.’
All in all, bit of a charmer!
The slow and sexy OG version of ‘Feel The Love’ from the ‘Ambitions’ LP, backed with the campy canter of Prins Thomas’ uptempo ‘Diskomiks’, plus a pair of punchier late ‘80s styled takes by Lauer bringing its saucy disco flavours to the boil and then the darkroom
NYC’s Haus of Altr turn out deep house and driving techno jams by MoMa Ready
Make sure to check for the tuff, Green Velvet0-style push of ‘Faith & Release’; the simmering breakbeat techno flex of ‘The Fade’; the haunghty heft of ‘Peaking’; and their ace blend of 2-step and ballroom “Ha’s” in ‘Shade’.
Berlin club night/label/misnomer, African Acid Is The Future, present traditional turns from Niger’s Les Filles De Illighadad and Edimony Krater (Gwakasonne) backed with rolling and jazzy tech-house remixes by Dauwd, Maryisonacid, and DJ Oil
Tapping a sublime vein of purely vocal improv inspired by local landscape, history and people, Norfolk’s Laura Cannell and Polly Wright quietly blow us away with their debut collaboration.
Remarkably conceived, recorded and released in 2019 - the same year they first met - ‘Sing as the Crow Flies’ is a super-natural meeting of mutual souls seeking to limn a sort of deep topographical reading of their home turf in a series of haunting, near-wordless hymns. Shockingly effortless in execution and spine-freezing in effect, the nine songs are Laura & Polly’s beautifully concerted effort to rectify the lack of historical female voices in text or music hailing from the Norfolk/Suffolk borders where they live and create. With little to go on, they decided there’s no better time than now to start adding their joint female voices and experiences to the rural sound ecology and culture of East Anglia, and we, at the least, are dead happy they did so.
Drawing on a shared formative background in classical music (and specialities in medieval composition), they nod to the sort of heterophonic improvisation found in Pslams from the Isles of Lewis (as on those Arc Light Editions volumes), as well as Hildegaard Von Bingen inspired call-and-response styles, while taking select words from the 18th C. text ‘Norfolk Garland, A Collection of the Superstitious Beliefs and Practices, Proverbs, Curious Customs, Ballads and Songs, of the People of Norfolk’ to provide structural underpinnings. But what happens in between is just a spellbinding sort of magick, using Raveningham Church as a sounding chamber for their finely controlled but naturally keening and graceful, unhurried expressions of tradition and folklore.
The piece also exists as an installation of five telephone receivers dangling from a tree, in the landscape it was informed by and created for, and may well draw us for a maiden voyage to Norfolk just to get the full experience of this beautiful album.
Through the use of drum machines, synthesizers and electronic vocals, solo producer Josh Mills adds a rich emotional gradient and a fresh rhythmic step to the archetypal darkwave narrative as Missions.
"This impressive collection of addictive bass lines and smooth drum beats are produced and arranged with the proficiency of a polished studio engineer, while the core of Mills’ craftsmanship explores the shaded nuances of seduction and vulnerability. Subcreature is perfectly suited for both late-night dance floors and private listenings, with creative subtleties that peek through the hook-laden anthems and hopelessly romantic lyrics. The heartfelt songwriting and sculpted sound design on Subcreature reflect a unique interpretation of funk, new wave and early electronic music, making up the sophisticated language of Missions.
Josh Mills was born and raised in Texas and spent the bulk of his adult life developing his craft within the dense synth community of Austin alongside bands like S U R V I V E and BOAN. Mills was brought up in a large family of music enthusiasts with a profound appreciation for dance music and pop culture of the ’80s and ’90s. Industrial, new wave, punk and hip-hop became dominant forces of his formative years and blossomed with the rise of music blogs in the early ’00s and his own college radio show. It was not long before Mills began playing in various bands ranging from disco-punk to shoegaze and honing his skills with electronics, eventually adopting the solo moniker Missions. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2017, Mills has maintained a heavy collaborative side to his career, working with Emmy Award winning Stranger Things composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein as well as writing, producing and performing with Parisian pop starlet Lou Rebecca. Now on Subcreature, Mills has constructed infectious rhythms interspersed with moments of pure cinematic beauty, carefully mastering the intricate balance of style and technique.
Reminiscent of late ’70s and early ‘80s electro-boogie, the vocals of Missions are synthesized through a vocoder, injecting a vibrant groove into the often cold realm of contemporary dance music. The passionate lyrics on songs like “Spoken” and “M’aidez” have a tangible human quality veiled through slick electronics and thumping bass. In addition to his lush synth tones and driving sequences, one of the most significant characteristics of Missions’ sound is the heavy half-time swing of the drum programming. The beats on tracks “Dark Blak” and “Feelin’” reveal an intrinsic worldview with hip-hop and R&B ingrained into the fabric of his musical vocabulary. This infusion of bounce and swagger underlines the wistfully drab overtones of Subcreature’s ten tracks, making this record stylistically complex and intensely fascinating. Mills’ catchy melodies and clever arrangements are indicative of a brilliant pop talent with the lens of a skilled composer, showcasing a unique blend of influences that are both innovative and classic.
At its essence, Subcreature is a fun and compelling statement of originality within modern dance music. Mills has built a truly endearing identity and established Missions as a new cultural force majeure."
Big room UK rolige from Silas & Snare for big stage player Madam X and her Kaizen label
‘Pressure’ comes with dramatic intro, precipitous drops and dry claps to cut thru big rigs, while ‘Dreamscape’ opens out with brooding pads over percolated subs and minimal but militant percussion, with the tense build of ‘Whistle Blower’ leaning into a rugged sort of proggy UK bass style.
Outstanding debut album by I Jahbar, nephew of Congo Ashanti Roy and Duppy Gun’s mainman in JA, with production by SKRS Intl, Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras aka Duppy Gun. Essential picks for anyone into fresh Jamaican mutations from Equiknoxx, Sikka Rhymes or STILL!
Rolling on from a pair of 12”s in 2013 and the ‘Lighter Thief’ EP in 2016, the longtime Duppy Gun MC delivers hoarse bars over production from Sun Araw’s Cameron Stallones and studio supremo M. Geddes Gengras (here known as Big Flite and Velkro) who go riddim for riddim with SKRS Intl in a mutant back and forth where dancehall dissolves in a grimy bath of swinging meters and frictional textures riddled with GRM-style shrapnel and heatsick romance in 10 scenes stepping from sticky, viscous lovers rock to fractal digi-dub and manic fast-chat mutations.
While comparisons with Equiknoxx, Sikka Rhymes or STILL are patently warranted, ‘Inna Duppy SKRS Soundclash’ is wildly distinguished by its intersection of operators, triangulating a madness between JA’s south coast, Vancouver and California’s West Coast. Where SKRS dematerialise the vibe in the bleepy froth of ‘DemNoBad’, Duppy Gun go sweet and treacly on ‘Turn It Up’ to test I-Jahbar’s versatility in fine style, whereas SKRS tees up something fizzier, freaky to best showcase RDL with ‘RichMiProud.’ One of the biggest highlights is the wonky- red-eyed ride of ‘Weed Patrol’, getting the best out of Stallones and Gengras’ modular digi-dub prisms, and we can almost promise the Nike vs Adidas tune ‘Ipy Ipy’ will burrow its way into a lot of faves folders, while SKRS Intl’s sizzling tilt for Buddy Don’s fast chat in ‘DuppyKilla’ makes a straight-up rabble rouser.
Swear this tape will dominate the rest of summer 2019.
Benny Ill and Matt Horsepower roll out heavyweight old skool breakbeat pressure for Sneaker Social Club.
Cut form classic moulds, replete with dramatic intro, rugged drops and well placed samples, they balance rude square bass torque with running man breaks and cinematic gunfire in ‘Stranger’, while ‘TP’ goes harder with gnashing breaks and squashed subs that go all the way down.