[ 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!
[ Wharf Cat Records, 2017 ]
Born in Florida, matured in New York City, Deep Marble Sunrise by the stoned sungazers Coca Leaf take the best of both worlds: the balmy, hot atmospherics of the swampy southern state and the eclectic mish-mash of the Big Apple, with all its dynamics and movements all rolled into one big ball of pure fun. Jumping between catchy disco, smoky psychedelia, piano-driven ambient, no wave nihilism and overall experimental willingness to go beyond genre boundaries, the album is a rollerocaster of emotions and moods, travelling from the dancefloor to the deepest neck of the woods in the wilderness while retaining echoing drums, meaty basslines and crazy guitar solos. It’s a league of their own. Highly 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!
[ 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!
[ MIE Music, 2016 ]
Recluse Disco: Michael Morley of The Dead C has been creating music under Gate moniker since the late 80’s, constalty exloring the outer bounds of the lo-fi aesthetic. On 2016’s Saturday Night Fever he flirts with disco and dance music, adding a beat to his rusted soundscapes, something that took listeners by surprise on 2010’s A Republic of Sadness. Here he takes his beat work to the next level, making his tunes almost danceable, on the verge of mutating into a full-on dancefloor banger. But then again, almost. The four tunes on SNF bear the signs of being a dancey records, but Morley makes sure this is his turf: his tuneless singing, washes of white noise, walls of distortions gradually overtake and drown out the funky brass sections or catchy basslines, turning the Saturday night party into something deeper and more primal. If the sound of the Dead C is like regular rock music abandoned on an empty parking lot and left to rot, then Gate’s Saturday Night Fever is a smashed mirror ball left to decay on the dance club’s backyard. Recommended!
[ Instant Classic, 2017 ]
We Are the Knob Twiddlers: Krautpark by the Polish duo Pin Park is the result of a meeting between Maciej Bączyk and Maciej Polak, who entered the studio shortly after Bączyk’s synth broke down and Polak lent him his own EMS synth. The result a collection of largely improvised, old-school psychedelic electronic soundscapes, with influences ranging from Cluster to Boards of Canada, in the creator’s own words. Sometimes bordering on glitch, at other times getting close to the classic Doctor Who theme, Pin Park push the limits of the old hardware to forge a distinctively retrofuturistic sound.