Paul Woolford’s Special Request takes the reins of DJ-Kicks’ latest for a cosmic soulboy trip harmonising myriad stripes of astral jazz, disco, deep house, electro and classic ‘90s jungle
Over the course of 25 tracks in 75 minutes, Woolford illustrates the influences and styles of his Special Request project at its most widescreen and emotive, encompassing the far out coordinates of Sun Ra, the classic AI of Speedy J, and the ravishing jungle of Steve Gurley’s Four Horsemen, alongside a ruck of secret names such as LS1 Housing Project and Intergalactic Quartet that a quid’s bet would stake to Woolford himself.
It’s as much a showcase for SR’s influences as Woolford’s DJ tekkers, coolly scaling from unquantised jazz to grid-twysting breakbeat hardcore with an immaculate, harmonious flow taking in his aforementioned turns as Intergalactic Quartet alongside deep-end digs by Morgan Geist and Virgo Four, thru to his sparkling house nuggets as LS1 Housing Project and compatibles from AceMo and µ-Ziq, to a killer run of new/old jungle spanning Sonar’s Ghost aka Domu’s aggy take on ‘Drowning in Her’, a lush Tim reaper remix of SR’s ‘Pull Up’, and a scalp-tingling beatless collaboration with prodigal loiner 96 Back, named ’Petrichor.’
Turn back the clock a decade or two and step into an acid-folk bath with Ben Chasny and Skygreen Leopards' Donovan Quinn. Ah it was all a bit easier back then eh?
Back in the mid-2000s, we were locked in a psychedelic folk whirlwind and somewhere near the center was Ben Chasny, aka Six Organs of Admittance. Not far from him was Donovan Quinn, whose band The Skygreen Leopards released some of the most memorable folk pop of the era via Jewelled Antler, Soft Abuse and eventually landing on Jagjaguwar. The duo teamed up in 2014 for the first New Bums full-length "Voices in a Rented Room" and are now back, just in time to remind us of simpler times with skeletal, jangling songs that are effortlessly memorable.
It's really like time has stood still; Chasny's vocals echo into the ether as Quinn's songs ring out with a radio-friendly intensity without sounding bait. It's a real achievement - just check 'Onward to Devastation' or 'Wild Dogs', familiar like old friends you havent seen for a while.
Now the Foxy Digitalis zine is back (on Substack, natch) it feels like the perfect time to rediscover New Weird America once again. It's got to be better than current America, right? Jeez.
Heady collaborative drone workouts from Beirut's Ruptured Records stable and Stockholm's Lumen Project. Deep, dense material, from floatation tank soundscapes to blunted doom rawk.
Last year, Lebanese label Ruptured Records assembled a team of 14 local musicians and paired them off to prepare a series of "drone" recordings. The results are collected on this fantastic seven-track set, that investigates the possibilities of drone music as well as its application in Lebanese leftfield music.
Opening track 'Roots' is a disarming ambient dream pop jam from Fadi Tabbal and Julia Sabra, with airy vocals smudged over throbbing analog synth pads and loops. From there, we're taken into a chattering electronic soundscape from Anthony Sahyoun & Jad Atoui and Elyse Tabet & Jawad Nawfal's gloomy, glacial dark ambient workout 'Courbe Lisse'.
The best is saved for last, a collaboration between Liliane Chlela & Ziad Moukarzel that's as grim, transcendent and blissfully noisy as Steven O'Malley and Peter Rehberg's seminal KTL sets.
Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen – guitar/Ellen Brekken – bass/Ivar Loe Bjørnstad – drums.
"Only nine months after her momentous debut solo album Ekhidna, the guitarist is back fronting her trio. With their previous album, Smells Funny, this explosive and expansive trio experienced a breakthrough of sorts, having gone from strength to strength through five albums since their 2011 debut Shoot!, gathering respect from both rock and jazz camps, sharing big stages with the likes of John McLaughlin and Black Sabbath, and being equally comfortable on jazz and rock stages. Hedvig enforced this breakthrough with Ekhidna, appearing on both jazz and rock best of 2020 lists, like coming in third in Prog´s “Album of the Year” poll.
She was included in Downbeat´s “25 for the future” and received heaps of international attention and great reviews.With the hypnotic title track, the spacious ballad Four Candles and generally a more varied mood, Ding Dong. You´re Dead. is the trio´s most dynamic album to date. That said there´s still enough solid and creative riffing here to satisfy the headbangers, as well as the jazzheads, as they further explore the free and open landscapes most notably started with their Black Stabat Mater album and continued with Smells Funny. As Nate Chinen wrote about "Black Stabat Mater" in JazzTimes: Her trio, which has Ellen Brekken on bass and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad on drums, caught my ear then with its audacious style references: the loose swagger of early Black Sabbath; the density and prowl of peak Led Zeppelin; the expeditionary urge of Jimi Hendrix; the incantatory fervor of John McLaughlin.
As recent performances have shown, online and in the flesh, this trio radiates confidence and have become a surefire hit on the Norwegian live scene. And while we rightly praise Hedvig´s exceptional abilities, let´s not forget how important the rhythm section is to make it all work so well. Ellen Brekken is an accomplished bassist, driving the band just as hard on the electric bass as on the acoustic. Then there´s Ivar Loe Bjørnstad, not your regular rock drummer, not your regular jazz drummer, but in possession of the loose swagger mentioned above.Hedvig first picked up her mother´s acoustic guitar at ten, before discovering a whole new world through her father´s jazz and rock record collection as a teenager. She was given her first electric guitar and amplifier as a confirmation present."
Harold Budd’s profound influence is absorbed deeply into Dialect’s zen-like debut bouquet for RVNG Intl., marking a very welcome return from the Liverpool-based composer after his 2018 LP on Forest Sword’s Dense Truth
Ever since the release of his 2015 album ‘Gownanus Drift’, and in particular the emotional punishment of its quietly blub-worthy standout ‘Ghost Of Red Hook’, it’s been a real pleasure to keep an ear on the movements of Andrew PM Hunt aka Dialect. His 4th album, ‘Under~Between’ now sees him blossom a gorgeously understated style of electro-acoustic ambient classicism every bit as restrained as it is enchanting, characterising a refined sort of honest emotional intelligence and knack for gently suggestive, ephemeral melody and harmony that speaks to his ongoing interests with Buddhism, and related ideas of interdependence and relativity.
‘Under~Between’ began life as a series of orchestral pieces commissioned for the Immix Ensemble some years back, but somehow the artist has managed to sit on the recordings until now. Their release is effectively the culmination of a long-standing friendship with RVNG Intl., and was prompted by the artist’s reading of ‘Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory’ by Joanna Marcy, whose thoughts on the Buddhist doctrine of Pratītyasamutpāda gave Dialect the nudge needed to give these gorgeous works their wings.
It’s really not hard to hear the influence of Harold Budd’s arch pastoralist touch to the proceedings, but there’s also a vital sense of NYC minimalism, as well as wide skied Liverpudlian wonder, to the 11 works that should be correctly identified as Dialect-ical, and distinctly accented. They unfurl at a conversational pace, bubbling with a friendly energy and fizzing with detailed invention between the poetic title piece and lucid, eastern-inspired tonalities of ‘An Archipelago’, with his animist FM synthesis abilities fully in check on the folksy whims of his ‘Yamaha Birds’ works and the Visible Cloaks-esque ’Stacks’, and while Budd’s evergreen beauty informs the centrepiece of ‘Sentimental, Sedimentary’, and the likes of ‘Feathers Dance’ or ‘Avert Yr Path’ recall the evocatively timeless beauty of Ernest Hood’s ’Neighbourhoods’ as much as Budd’s sublime descriptive skills.
The well trodden path of the Silk Road unveils new secrets to David Shea, who turns years of research into a masterfully absorbing trip for his latest opus with Lawrence English’s Room40
Landing square between the third eyes of Michael Ranta’s focussed east/west experiments and the more impressionistic scenes outlined by KWC 92, ‘The Thousand Buddhas’ feels out an epic journey across continents in a searching side intent on creating practical and esoteric connections between the myriad cultures, regions, and belief systems that follow the Silk Road between China and Rome, linking the ancient realities of Africa, Asia, India, Europe, and the Pacific region.
It’s no new obsession for David Shea, whose dozens of releases sine the early ‘90s have returned to these themes, specifically on ‘Hsi-Yu Chi’, ‘The Tower of Mirrors’, ‘Satyricon’, and ‘Rituals’, which were all based on adaptations of myths connected to the world’s ancient trading routes. Decades later, in a time when China is keenly pressing ahead with Silk Road 2.0, Shea’s latest retun to the area is a multi-dimensional thing, plotting a steeply immersive course from fathomless layers of gamelan percussion, field recordings, and keys, that reach some astonishing heights redolent of Alice Coltrane’s spiritual jazz as much as Michael Ranta’s forays deep into Eastern tradition.
Laetitia Sadier's offshoot project from Stereolab, Monade is very much a band in its own right - in its 12th year at the time of this release. This, the group's third LP is an especially well-thought out affair, boasting intricate productions filled with instrumentation going far beyond the project's roots in kraut-influenced jangle. Monstre Cosmic features arrangements more comparable to Stereolab's late-nineties sound palette, coloured by strings and Serge Gainsbourg-like prog-lounge melodies. 'Etoile' is especially pleasing to the ears, with its harpsichord-like synths and a bass part that has that twanging Histoire De Melody Nelson feel to it. In fact it's the bass parts that go some way towards making this album as enjoyable as it is: they're often panned hard into a single speaker channel, and at first seem rove around in an excessively elaborate fashion, but in the process, the mix seems to become all the more cinematic and spatially dynamic. Sadier's writing seems especially on form here too, with songs that manage to be both memorable and intricately segmented, much as you'd expect from a top flight Stereolab full-length in fact.
Aisha Devi's Danse Noir label reissues GMO's mindboggling combo of microtonal Balinese gamelan and screaming carnival gabber. Absolutely galaxy brain post-colonial hardfuzion free expression from one of the globe's most fascinating duos.
Originally released in 2018, Indonesian duo Gabber Modus Operandi's debut album "PUXXXIMAXXX" showed the world the artistic and political power of radical fusion. By bolting together trash culture, European hard dance hedonism, heavy metal/punk theatrics and Indonesian gamelan elements, Ican Harem and DJ Kasimyn came up with a "chaotic pastiche" that has by now surpassed its influences without losing its cutting sense of humor. If you heard 2019's SVBKVLT-released EP "HOXXXYA" then you should have an idea of where GMO's interests lie - "PUXXXIMAXXX" is maybe more raw, more unhinged and even more flamingly carnivalesque. From the very beginning the duo make their intentions clear, wielding a wavering trumpet loop before adding 400bpm kicks that roll like a tidal wave over traditional Indonesian percussion like it's nothing at all.
There's no hesitance in Kasimyn and Harem's resolve, they take risks here that should make most producers thoroughly embarrassed. Think the Danes are putting a fresh spin on hard trance? Well listen to 'Pariah', that takes the "festival somewhere in the distance" supersaw sound and slathers it over rolling gabber kicks before disintegrating into wobbly, ambient ritual magick. 'Jathilan Titan' might be even better, wrapping those same trance leads in beating Indonesian percussion without losing the 7am-on-a-mystery-drug-cocktail essence of the 'ardkore experience. By the time we get to 'Goroxxx' with its swung rhythm and dense, chattering vocal mangles, there can be no denying that "PUXXXIMAXXX" has something that's far beyond repetition, revival or nostalgia. While half of Europe is trying to recapture the sounds of a lost rave they never attended, GMO use the discarded shells of dance subgenres to cobble together a completely unique vanguard rave sound that doubles as a middle finger up to the dull, aggy purists.
Sleezy disco-funk avant sludge that drags itself thru decades of dance history - Chicago house, dnb, DIY techno, rave - and emerges seriously hung over.
Ravioli Me Away have been upsetting conservative listeners since 2013, and in 2019 decided to put together an opera, cuz why not. "The View From Behind The Futuristic Rose Tellis" was performed across the UK, with two sold-out shows in London, and forms the basis of "Naughty Cool", that rewires these operatic brain dumps as vintage club music. It's weird stuff too, from the discordant, Dubstar-esque breakbeat funque of 'Optimists Lament' to the Photek-cum-Bukem intelli-step of 'The Vanilla Alternative'. This isn't going to be for everyone, but those of you with a strong stomach for psychedelics and quirky musical theatrics are gonna have a field day.
Three additional tracks lifted from the same sessions that brought you Stereolab's eleventh album, Chemical Chords, this EP length offering condenses complexity - the likes of which is ordinarily confined to '70s prog - into a shiny pop context. Stereolab sound in tighter form than they have in years, managing to balance their lofty sonic ambitions with a necessary succinctness. 'The Nth Degree' sounds positively jubilant, full of piercing harpsichord sounds, elaborate glockenspiel lines and slick jazz-inspired chord changes. Meanwhile, 'Magne Music' slips into bloopy electronic funk mode, illuminated by off-kilter Raymond Scott synth sounds, only for 'Spool Of Collusion' to chirp in with its playful beat combo psychedelics and peppy organ riffing.
Multidisciplinary artist Jamie Krasner is back, finally, with a short set of dizzy soundscapes and gauzy electro-addled dreamwave.
It's been way too long since we last heard from James K. The New Yorker last burst into view back in 2016 with her debut full-length "PET", a keta-fizzed, romantic set of electronic ballads that sounded like Enya gone all vapor, or a bedroom pop Cocteau Twins. Now we've been blessed with five new tracks to remind us that we're still waiting for that sophomore album.
Unsurprisingly, they're absolutely gorgeous, with 'Ultra Facial' layering reverb-drenched vocals over frothy beats, sounding not a million miles from Jenny Hval's brill "Blood Bitch". Krasner takes a left turn on 'Everyrose', burbling through a voice-changer and sounding like a broken robot dressed in Sunday best. 'Subliminal Burn' takes things deeper into another forgotten crevice, introducing Bola-adjacent airlock beats but retaining Krasner's ethereal, twinkling vocals.
Smurphy shines on Bokeh Versions again with angsty roller 'Summer Riddim', featuring three vocals from G Sudden, King Kush and RdL.
Mexico City-based producer Jessica Smurphy has been offering pure bottled heat to the Bokeh label in the last few months, and 'Summer Riddim' might be her moodiest beat yet. Duppy Gun vocalist G Sudden is first to the plate with a mind-bending mutant vocal that mirrors the cheeky charm of his blistering debut EP "Burnout Boss". King Kush throws down a dryer but no less impassioned take, chiming effortlessly thru Smurphy's woozy synths and pinprick finger-clicks, before Portmore's RDL rounds things up with another sing-along version, following an impressive turn on February's 'Streets'. Sci-fi dancehall transfigurations for adventurous headz.
RIYL: Alvvays, School of Seven Bells, Tamaryn, Chairlift, Cocteau Twins.
"Keith Kenniff’s solo projects Goldmund and Helios have solid fanbases, and strong support from DSPs including over a million monthly listeners on Spotify. Created slowly over a years-long span that encompassed the recording of 2019’s Stray Fantasies, wife and husband duo Hollie and Keith Kenniff deliver In a Deep and Dreamless Sleep, a distinctly hazier chapter of their technicolor pop venture Mint Julep.
Where the former album bore a crystalline latticework of defined pop structure, the latter blunts the sharpness and softens the glare, striking a balance between songcraft, and Hollie’s solo material, as well as Keith’s output as Goldmund. In a Deep and Dreamless Sleep assumes a more aerated form, exuding a heavy fog of shoegaze sensibility, though the infectious pop know-how of its precursor remains firmly intact. “Our previous material tended to be structured largely in a verse/chorus setting,” Keith explains, “but these songs are more free flowing and through-composed with a focus on mood and texture. He continues “A lot of the songs are more stream-of-consciousness than premeditated; we went with first ideas and let them guide the composition rather than planning a definitive road map-- which hopefully lends itself to creating a specific and unique emotional connection.”
Somewhat counter to its title, In a Deep and Dreamless Sleep is rife with dreamworld inclinations in which waking and sleeping, loving and leaving, living and dying, are all interchangeable. The album is imbued with the soft opiation of oncoming love-- or perhaps that’s the mournfulness of a love in its twilight. Or, further still, that feeling is the spousal duo nurturing their love against the backdrop of their busy lives. “Time is a valued commodity, but we make it a point to do this together.” Says Keith. “Mint Julep is a good bonding experience, it's akin to a date night. Our routine is not structured, but we chip away at it, sometimes in long bursts, sometimes in short windows of opportunity.” In a Deep and Dreamless Sleep is a window into an intoxicatingly romantic parallel world the Kenniffs have constructed out of analog synths, masterful sound design, nectar-drenched hooks, and airy vocals that wade way out into a sea of texture. They have managed to hone years worth of date-nights into a 46 minute collection of phosphoric ambient pop which bears a sense of skillful consistency that belies the album’s casual creation."
Off-centre, minimalist techno experiments from Georgia-via-Berlin’s Irakli, moonlighting from his Intergalactic Research Institute For Sound on Hamburg’s ever reliable Dial
‘Major Signals’ is their debut album and most substantial solo payload since arriving on the scene as half of the I/Y duo with yac in 2013. It’s an unpredictable but coherent long player that speaks to all corners of their aesthetic, encompassing minimal techno traits and wistfully wandering asides familiar to Dial, but done in a looser way than one might have been lead to expect from the long-running label.
From Sun Electric-esque ambient coordinates of ‘Forever, to lissom slow acid reminding of Tin Man in ‘Blessing From The Future’, thru to chiming techno landing between Mills and Efdemin on ‘Major Signals’, ‘This Way’ and ‘Surface’ they prove equally adept at multiple modes, but it’s the album comes into it own thru its shapeshifting narrative via odder globules of techno that and starry-eyed ambient that make it more than just a collection of club cuts.
"Who is Jane Inc.? She is CEO and pencil pusher; she is a blank, unknowable Jane Doe, and she is the singular solo project of Carlyn Bezic. Also known as one half of weird-pop duo Ice Cream, one fifth of rock and roll fever dream Darlene Shrugg, and touring member of US Girls band, Bezic has been building a body of work on merging a pop sensibility with off-kilter influences."
"Jane Inc's debut album, Number One, out on Telephone Explosion in March 2021, is an exciting progression of that body of work: a meditation on the self that marries pop songwriting with swirling sonic experiments. The eight songs on Number One act as pieces of a collage, forming a face that's both familiar and strange, direct and oblique. Synths sneer and shimmer, fuzzed-out guitars play against Bezic's soothing and hypnotic voice, and a constant and confident bass grounds each track. She brings us into flowing, dreamlike reflections, creating an expansive world that stretches beyond the album’s limits. Number One began with Bezic layering bass, guitar, synth, and vocals on top of drum breaks and samples. She later recruited Toronto recording engineer and stalwart Steve Chahley (Badge Epoque, US Girls, Ben Stevenson, et al) to co-produce. They then recorded live drums performed by Evan J. Cartwright (U.S Girls, Tasseomancy), saxophone by Nick Dourado (BUDi Band, Aquakultre, Fiver) and Wurlitzer by Scott Harwood (Scott Hardware), expanding a bedroom project to blown out depths and glittering heights.
The album’s thoughtful production and lush layering of futuristic synths push the quick satisfaction of pop song structure into a hypnotizing work that reveals more of itself with each listen. Know thyself. Number One is a testament to the endurance and the shortcomings of that familiar maxim in our current climate. How do we make sense of the world and our place in it when we feel both complicit in it’s ills and victimized by them? How do we navigate being more connected than ever, when that connection twists reality and disconnects us from ourselves? How do we understand our mental health, our relationships, the structures that surround us? We look inward to find glimmers of truth, watching the fragments come together to form a distorted reflection, our own eyes atop a stranger’s grinning, Colgate smile."
Aussie underground mainstay Eugene Carchesio returns to Room40 with another collection of off-kilter rhythmic studies. This is a weird one: insectoid, hotwired rhythmic patterns for fans of Goem, Thomas Brinkmann or Ryoji Ikeda.
26 (!) tracks here, from 30 second car-alarm-gone-wrong siren jams to 11-minute slowly-shifting beat exercises. It's an uncompromising listen too, striking in its minimalism - really there's only ever one sound source - but a fascinating study of synthetic textures and pulses. Basically, it's like a hyper-minimal spin on the Pan Sonic model - Room40 describes it as "ant sci-fi" and that's pretty spot on.
This second collection of synthetic experiments from veteran Australian artist Eugene Carchesio is less stark than its predecessor, exploring Radiophonic blips and sci-fi synth tones with expert restraint.
There's a charming dedication present in Carchesio's music. He's clearly inspired by the early electronic innovators who would release short-run private press records that simply experimented with a single synth sound or element, wringing out every bit of creative potential in the process. On "No Place II" he shows his confidence with his chosen instrument, allowing rhythms to cycle into the void and tones to cascade, bounce and squelch until nothing's left. Fans of vintage library music or the BBC Radiophonic Workshop's golden era will find plenty of head-wobbling, lunar cave-dwelling goodness here. Doctor Who sounds for days!
Bokeh Versions bursts out of the screen into four dimensions to present Mars89's immersive, uncompromising new EP.
'New Dawn' is Japanese dancefloor technician Mars89's headiest excursion to date - so much so that Bristol's Bokeh Versions have launched Bokeh.tech to present the record in a VR setting. The move is an attempt to bring back the immersive experience that listening used to allow with lavish gatefold vinyl filled with stories, artwork and info. Because "New Dawn" isn't a simple record, there aren't easily drinkable ADHD bangers that can be flipped through and forgotten - it's a grimy set of submerged beats and grotty soundscapes that rewards patient listeners.
Honestly it makes sense that the EP has been issued with a visual component, the set sounds like a continuous soundtrack to a doomed automated dystopia, painting a vivid virtual world. Opener 'Magnetic Ghosts' fires damaged subs thru cracking Space Echoes and haunted vocals before it disintegrates into disembodied screams and cursed foley on 'In the Shed'. It's like a mirror universe Demdike Stare, all ashen textures and the faintest traces of club formula left to smolder in punishing, warped doomscapes.
When beats do emerge - a grinding kick in 'Grotesque Reflections', acidic hats in 'Nocturnal Animals' and 'Body Collapse' - they're hollow signifiers of recognizable dance forms, like the dead remains of a world long left behind. Breaks emerge but are stripped of function completely, empty discarded husks to remind before rattling into the abyss. It's engrossing, expertly engineered stuff - somewhere between SVBKVLT's precise 4K club deconstructions and Space Afrika's noisy dubwise ambience. Big.
On-U Sound round up rare dubs and version excursions by the legendary rotating assembly, New Age Steppers, who have at various times counted Neneh Cherry, Ari-Up and Keith Levene among their ranks
‘Avant Gardening’ rakes back over the band’s tape vaults during their initial phase 1980-1983, plucking out gems from Japanese CD-only reissues, obscure 7” B-sides, and exclusive deejay cuts that add up to frame the seminal group at their sweetest and rudest.
We advise checking for their two versions of Chaka Khan’s ‘Some Love’ in the rugged ‘Aggro Dub’ and woozier ‘Some Dub’, while disco-dub players need to be clocking their plunging stepper ‘Izalize’, and lovers of early ‘80s post-punk dub mutations should be all over what sounds like Ari-Up channelling Klaus Nomi on ‘I Scream (Rimshot)’, and the teetering skank of ‘Wide World Version.’
Dusty fourth-world house for fans of The Field or Thomas Bangalter.
Peruvian artist Sofia Kourtesis draws on her personal experience for "Fresia Magdalena", infusing her rolling, lounge-house productions with her own vocals and the spiritual backbone of her commiunity. "Fresia" is her mother's name and "Magdelena" the region she grew up in, so while the music retains its utility, it's struck through with deeper meaning. Musically, it veers from rolling Kompakt-esque slow burners ('La Perla') through dusty Roulé-esque filter house ('Nicolas') and into gleeful piano house that sounds like it could end up sporting a Drake verse in a few months ('Juntos').
US techno innovator Troy Pierce and Colombian A/V artist Natalia Escobar concoct late-night erotic industrial ambience inspired by Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus. OK then.
'Shatter' was made backwards, insomuch as the duo put together "a collection of shadowy, surrealist videos" before they began working on the soundtrack. The result is a midnight cadre of electro-noir: wobbly analog synths, distant half-heard beats, metallic clangs, whispered vocals and corrosive bass.
Given the experience of the two artists, it's hardly surprising how well their vision hangs together, and they've even roped in some of their friends to help out. Monochrome techno producer Konrad Black adds his suffocating atmosphere to 'Obsidian Glass' and bass pioneer dBridge pops up on the noisy 'It's A Love Story, After All'. Thick like syrup, and all the better for it.
By day she is mild mannered Laetitia Sadier; front-woman for electro-popsters Stereolab, but by night she dons her cape and steps out into the Gaelic mist as Monade, proudly brandishing her first full album 'A Few Steps More' to all who dare stand in her path. Comprised of richly filtered, Gaelic guitar music, 'A Few Steps More' is a distinct move away from the DIY stylings of debut release 'The Bedroom Recordings', with Monade now a fully fledged band as opposed to a multi-instrumental solo work. Opening with 'Wash and Dance', what starts off as a tempered, almost languid take on Parisian tarnished grandeur, soon develops a locomotive urgency over which Sadier delivers her caliginous, instantly recognisable vocals. Following on from this is the bright and colourful title track, which marries a Metronome rhythm to some grubby Accordions whilst 'La Salle Des Pas Perdus' manages to get away with a load of kids supplementing Sadier's breathy vocals. Undoubtedly the standout track is 'Paradoxale' with it's alliteration pleasing trio of Hammonds, horns and haunting vocals all conspiring together to create an intoxicating blend of understated musical verbosity. Viva la Monade!
Follow-up to Vegyn’s widely acclaimed debut album (‘Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds’), supplying a warm, fuzzy hug of low-slung grooves and off-kilter jazz/electronica by the Frank Ocean and Haim collaborator
Now based in LA, Vegyn turns inspiration from tarot cards, depressive existentialism, and his circle of pals, into a positive experience on ‘Like A Godo Old Friend.’ After taking time out since his resoundingly well received debut LP, and following a chance encounter with a mate’s old piano, Vegyn finds his groove again in six nuggets that effectively split the difference between BoC, Mica and Arca, drawing on a naturally learnt (gwed check his dad’s discography!), but wonky pop sensibility and talents as a graphic designer, to articulate a gentle, playfully animated sort of daydreamy wooze that owes as much to deep house and beatdown as indie-pop and R&B. We’re most feeling the likes of his hazy blooz in ‘So Much Time - So Little Time’ and the fructose-boosted house at the EP’s fondant core, but the air-stepping, pill-belly energy of closer ‘Sometimes I feel Like I’m Ruining Songs’ makes for a close runner-up.
UNO NYC look under their noses for Dadras’ wild blast of sawn-off trap, techno, rap, and Jersey club business
His title tune coughs up a chunk of murky trap grot with buzzsaw leads, and ‘Nightcrawler’ locks into a driving deep techno groove somewhere between MoMaReady and Minimal Violence. ‘Austin’ feels out a hybrid of screwed grime/drill with glossolalic vox, and Heems jumps on the hard, snapping snares of ‘Buy The Water’