[ 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.
[ UNO NYC, 2017 ]
The map of Tumult: Emerging from the depths of the Internet, the co-founder of NON netlabel and Richmond citizen Chino Amobi has slowly worked out a personal brand in the world of digital punk through a string of EP’s, singles and mixtapes, resulting in the debut full length PARADISO, out on the NYC based label UNO NYC known for fishing out visionaries and weirdoes such as Fatima Al Qadiri, Mykki Blanco, Gobby or Arca. PARADISO may be overwhelming not only at the first listen, but also at the second, third and so on… Hell, it may always be a bit overwhelming. But what else you might expect from an album that is trying to convey the sense of disinformation and chaos of the Planet Earth in the year 2017? Sirens wail, speech patterns fly in the air like bullets, the information overload is unbearable while abrasive electronic beats and melodies batter you like riot police during a peaceful protest gone wrong… Disjointed narratives emerge from brutal drones and an industrial atmosphere creates a feeling of constant invigilation. The world is a mess, everyone’s an enemy and there’s no place to escape. Chino Amobi captures these feelings of information war perfectly. Highly recommended!
[ Planet Mu, 2016 ]
Post-Soviet Hyperfuturism: WWWINGS is a trio of (post)electronic producers coming from the different regions of Russia and Ukraine who are pretty much leaving the rest of the musical world far behind. Hiding under the aliases GXXOST (also known as Lit Internet), AWRWSW (Lit Daw) and Lit Eyne, they seem more like a group of elusive hackers straight outta cyberpunk fantasies than actual musicians, juggling data packets and gliding through bleeping, cut-up sounds like digital ninjas. If Berlin acts such as Amnesia Scanner or M.E.S.H. provide a glimpse into the future, these guys are a fully paid, all-inclusive trip to the world of “unthinkable complexity”, to quote William Gibson himself. After listening to this album, who cares if it’s grime, post-industrial, or whatever else? It’s the Future, with a capital F. Highly recommended!