Ten Thousand Yen push the proverbial boat out with a fittingly resplendent screen-printed sleeve for xxxy's mighty 'You Always Start It'. Riding a wave of adulation from Fact Magazine and his label boss, Doc Daneeka, xxxy has arrived at his most substantial, emotionally arresting single to date. The title track is a proper Bobby dazzler, swinging with a sussed deep garage groove but taken in any direction you need to go through judicious use of a cascading arpeggio that envelopes the whole track and turns it into a twirling double helix of mutant Techno and anthemic Garage. 'Ordinary Things' is a little simpler, relaxing into a plump, subs driven roller with MDMA-triggering euphoric builds like a more sensitive cousin to the all-together-now rave of Hot City. Fans of Joy Orbison, Roof Light, or Julio Bashmore - this one is massive!!!
Brizzle's Julio Bashmore impresses yet again with two tracks for the Ten Thousand Yen label, fresh outta Swansea's burgeoning Bass music scene. Apparently these tracks were inspired by Julio's recent trip to Finland, where he competed in the International Amateur Rifle shooting championships. He was victorious, in case you're wondering. Most notably this release includes the magical 'Footsteppin' jam, a true anthem in the making, full of Deep House sensuality and infectious garage swing. Currently on rotation with Brackles and TRG among others. The more tribalist 'Chazm' takes the flipside, smoothly blending sub-loaded, cruising rhythms with a hovering tropical synthline to brilliant effect. Choice!
Presk’s recent debut drop on Fourth Wave took our breath away so it’s good to have him back so soon with a hefty EP for Doc Daneeka’s crafty Ten Thousand Yen label. Four tracks of thickset, UKF-infected techno from the Dutch producer: ‘Devour’ is a guaranteed anthem, a skippy little mover with some cut-throat edits and expertly deployed synth stabs for the tech-savvy steppers – think Hot City on a more sober but no less funked tip. ‘Love Again’ and ‘Slick Rick’ are on a broken neo-garage thing, before ‘Headway’ lunges straight for the 4/4 jugular, greased along by oily chords and outrageously fat subs. Total dancefloor dynamite all the way, with more presence and energy than most chancers on the scene put together, recommended for fans of Julio Bashmore, Seiji, Kingdom, Daneeka, Joy O, Pearson Sound, Deadboy and the rest.
Classy contemporary Garage styles from the Ten Thousand Yen label, introducing new artists Didz & Chico, and a tightly tucked swinger from C.R.S.T. Cardiff's Didz & Chico make an impressive debut with 'Something New', full of carbonated 2-step beats and warm, vintage-sounding strings with a rich snippet of soul vocals. C.R.S.T's masterful 'Roulette' further proves why they're on the tip of everyones tongue right now, firing organ stabs and fractured rhythm programming to command hips and shoulders in silkily syncopated style.
Hypnotic new EBM techno project from Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant and Ori Ofir, highly recommended if yr into Nitzer Ebb, DAF, Boy Harsher, Phase Fatale!
Juan Mendez a.k.a Silent Servant finds his ideal EBM vocal foil in Ori Ofir under their Sterile Hand moniker. The duo’s first vinyl round for Not Waving’s Ecstatic label is a dark and sleazy run of deviant industrial techno and pugilistic EBM cuts made over the last year.
Following Silent Servant’s killer split 12” with Not Waving and Pye Corner Audio in 2017, and two fierce 12”s with Marcel Dettmann and Phase Fatale in 2018, the L.A.-based artist behind Sandwell District and Jealous God is at the apex of his game right now, combining EBM and techno in faithful but inventive new ways. If there was anything previously missing from Silent Servant’s music, it’s only become apparent thru the seamless and natural incorporation of Ori Ofir’s classic-styled but unique vocals.
The two L.A.-based artists push each other down tightening alleys of EBM and industrial techno, with Ofir’s stark, blunted declamations haunting and highlighting the most fetid corners of Mendez’s rolled-steel productions. It’s a style that works to cryptic, head-turning effect in the Voigt Kampff-like probe of Personality Test, then with increasing dancefloor force in the Nitzer Ebb-esquer flow of The Hunter and the punishing, gnashing bite of Security, whereas Listen For Water and the creeping figures of Untitled explore the esoteric powers and parameters of Sterile Hand in mesmerising psychoactive detail.
Cam Deas is a guitar virtuoso who has switched to modular synth and computer productions resulting in these staggering studies in polymetric, mercurial and dissonant tunings - hugely recommended if you’re into the work of Autechre, Rashad Becker, Roland Kayn, Fis, Coil, Xenakis.
Time Exercises is a complex study in amorphous polymetric rhythms by Cam Deas for The Death of Rave. His first album composed solely for modular synths and computer, Cam’s follow-up to the acclaimed String Studies for Luke Younger's Alter label marks a headlong tilt from acoustic to electronic spheres with a staggering effect resulting from meticulous research and process. It sounds as advanced as Xenakis or Roland Kayn superstructures, with the rhythmic displacement of FIS or Autechre, and with a grasp of slippery, mind-bending timbral dissonance comparable to Coil and Rashad Becker records.
Cam’s six Time Exercises form both a bold break with - and an extension of - the avant, folk, blues and outernational traditions that he’s worked to deconstruct and fluidly syncretise over the past decade. In the past four years he’s stepped away from the guitar as a compositional tool, turning to electronic hardware in a focussed effort to consolidate myriad tunings and meters with a precision that had previously eluded him in the acoustic sphere.
Severed from the tactility and sentimentality of instrumental inflection, Cam’s disembodied music plays out a thrilling dramaturgy and syntax of alien dissonance and disorienting rhythmic resolution. Harmonic shapes as densely widescreen as those in Roland Kayn’s Cybernetic Music roil in unfathomable fever dream space, where massed batteries of synthetic percussion swarm like an orchestra of Cut Hands in viscous formation, and where polychromatic mentasm figures converge like cenobites laying siege to Rashad Becker’s utopia.
On Time Exercises Cam articulates a synthetic musical language that speaks to the listener in myriad, quantum tongues awaiting to be deciphered by keen ears everywhere. It’s an outstanding record for lovers of forward-looking but deeply rooted electronic music.
Hunee plucks out a bouquet of peaches cross-bred from boogie edits, outernational grooves, and deep house and techno for Hunchin’ All Night.
It’s all killer no filler packed with highlights including Hunee’s uptempo edit of Belgian beauty Trance Fusion by Mappa Mundi, Ron Trent’s sexy AF beat down remix of Blak Beat Niks’ Ritual Of Love, and the pendulous subbass and sublime chord washes of Larry Heard’s Burning 4 You.
Antinote pull out a ruggedly bittersweet pair of bleep techno swervers by Slowglide, a new artist hailing from Reims in the middle of France’s Champagne region.
Worry not though, this is not champagne music - it’s much better suited to garys and a bottle of Evian. On Reign he percolates a rude groove of pinging bleeps and rolling, wooden bass heft akin to Beneath but giving way to a dead sweet breakdown and vocal ident that recalls The Connection Machine (jeeez when are they going to reissue that one!) in the best way.
Haipa is dreamier, infused with a dusky melancholy that coins thru beautifully in a way reminding of Huerco S, but on a swung groove built from blunt drums definitely rooted in UK swagger styles a la Batu and pals.
Jenny Hval heralds her new EP The Long Sleep with Spells, perhaps the most conventional and radio-friendly pop song we’ve heard from her thus far.
Seriously, it’s like The Corrs dabbling with adult contemporary jazz in a 4 star hotel lounge. Nice but not our bag. Maybe it’s yours?