[ Geographic North, 2017 ]
After some 10 years in the making, Lifetime of Love finally sees the daylight since Deerhunter drummer Moses Archuleta decided to start a then-yet unnamed solo vehicle. Torn between autobahn-friendly minimal techno and grainy, hazy ambience the album relies on chance and the sense of constant searching. Lifting samples from found LP’s and smearing soft synthesizer textures all over the place gives Lifetime of Love a sense of timelessness and an ominous feeling of reviving dead souls who were stuck under a thick layer of analog dust. Skeletal rhythms arouse the inhabiting spirits into a hypnotic dance while the specters hover in the distance. Recommended!
[ Self-released, 2017 ]
Let’s face it: the Russian/Ukrainian musical project WWWINGS emerged out out the blue, fueled by social media such as VK or Telegram and caught the musical world with their pants down. Move over, NYC; move over, London; move over, Berlin. You ain’t got shit on a bunch of Slavs from the outskirts of Russia whose minds are so deep into the Future they make top futurologists seem like fucking babies. They set the rules now and you just try to catch up. With A+G, the duo of WWWINGS present their super-eclectic blend of post-industrial, UK Bass, trap and IDM into a mass that is yet to be named: maybe it should be Future Bass? Maybe something else? Actually, who gives a shit? This is music from Beyond, pure and simple. You must listen to it to believe it. Highly recommended!
[ IF, 2017 ]
It was in early 2017 when I received a beautifully packaged double cassette by the Atlanta based industrial trio NAARC. When I listened to the tapes, they didn’t catch my attention at first. The harsh, electro-industrial seemed simply out of my league. But then I asked myself: “Since when exactly do you classify yourself into leagues!?”. So I listened again as a means of reverse engineering the post-industrial genre I’m hooked on lately and I got some sort of an epiphany. I’ve never been able to precisely describe the “industrial” genre, but now I am, because it’s so clear now. The rusted, acid-stained sound truly sounds like something born in a dirty factory, and the two lengthy tracks that finish the album go beyond, into the noisy fog somewhat reminiscent of Skullflower. It’s like getting lost in the part of the city you were never aware of, but enjoying the surroundings.
[ Kompakt, 2017 ]
17 years after Pop, Wolfgang Voigt, the fearless visionary behind the timeless techno project GAS and co-founder of the legendary German label Kompakt is back with new material, aptly named Narkopop. Now, if you’re familiar with the music of GAS, you know exactly what to expect: orchestral samples stretched into ambient oblivion, sometimes also complimented with a relentless, hazy techno beat that just goes on and on forever. The music of GAS has no beginning and no end, the lengthy tracks on Voigt’s albums are just tiny glimpses of the endless processes that take place somewhere deep, deep in the primeval woods of Germany, like the hearbeat of Mother Nature herself. Just naming it “ambient techno” doesn’t cut it. At all. This is something much more abstract and primal. This is some Twin Peaks kind of stuff. Highly recommended!
[ Orange Milk, 2017 ]
On his second full-length for Orange Milk Records, Darren Keen achieves the escape velocity that plunge him beyond the clichés of footwork, setting him free of endlessly repeating spoken-word samples that, let’s face it, can get quite annoying after a longer while. The drum patterns are as tight, fast and complex as ever. But here, Keen manages to slow down sometimes, providing a much-needed rest from the sensory overload of the genre, while proving that he’s able to break the mold and look further without locking himself into the safe zone. The album is full of politeness, which is also a welcome thing in the world of ubiquitous trolling and constant middle fingers toward everybody. Keep being polite, Mr. Keen. It works very well. Highly recommended!
[ Jeunesse Cosmique, 2017 ]
Another one from O Canada, this time by Montreal syntesist Charles Barabé, who goes more adventurous and experimental than his last year’s effort Les dernières confessions on two side-long pieces, throwing MIDI vocals, jagged rhythms and modern classical aesthetics into a blender, resulting in an ADHD-addled soundscapes that is at the same time pefectly musical and completely disorienting. Cut-up samples jump up all over the place while a piano plays a simple melody in the distance just to give way to some horns and xylophones. And the whole map changes every several seconds, while never losing the dynamic. How the hell does he do it!?
In case you considered this review tl;dr, here’s a shorter and more concise opinion from the RYM user _nkb:
“what if Phillip Glass contributed avantgarde psuedo-rave music to the Age of Empires 1 Soundtrack?”
Make of that what you will. Age of Empires were fucking cool, and so is this EP. Recommended!
[ LapFoxTrax, 2016 ]
Darius is one of numerous aliases of the Canadian electronic producer D. Halley, mostly known as Renard. FRAMEDRAG is a collection of loose ideas, mostly resolving around airy progressive electronics and MIDI structures, channeling the cheesy hauntology of 80’s science documentary soundtracks and easy listening tunes. The overall effect feels like being stuck somewhere between a lab, a shopping mall and an arcade. There are moments of contrast here: while “OSC Tuning” sounds like Software, “Have You Been to the Tower?” sounds like a schizophrenic metalhead doing an old video game soundtrack and “Strings Fashioned From Old Souls” could easily be an extra track on OPN’s Garden of Delete. Don’t let the cartoony artwork fool you: this thing is closer to CERN than Anthrocon. Recommended if you enjoyed Discoverer, Documentaires or early Giant Claw.