ABE HOLLOW - "GOLDEN CALF"
A golden calf. A substitution for the divine. An idol created in haste in the absence of clear direction. On Adam Hirsch’s “Yiddish Gothic Trip”, the Oakland multi-instrumentalist fleshes thoughtful and contemplative tunes with a producer’s ear squinting just right to hear layers of percussion and synths piled atop a strummed neo-folk slowburner. An early Sufjan Stevens light in the dark track with boundless charisma.
CHRISTOPHER WILLITS - "COAST"
Long time Ghostly Intl. artist and frequent Ryuichi Sakamoto collaborator, Willit’s latest finds new streams and lanes for these enveloping and gentle drones to seep out of. Full of drifting tonal shifts that blend from warm to cool, “Coast” is a stately but approachable entrance point into Willit’s textural sonic paintings.
PHIL ANKER - "LOVE"
Phil Anker’s track “Love” is punctuated and defined in the moments of absence from a pounding 4-4 house beat. Elongated synth passages define the gentle build to a total dance floor workout that is unrelenting as it is completely serotonin inducing. By pushing these beats under the floorboards in key moments, we hear a club beat miles above the strata of a base board rattling DJ mx. Amazing track.
BOKKI - "01160131"
The Argentinian producer starts with a gentle build. A slightly out of tune piano, gentle acoustic guitar, buzzing bass line and sparse synths snap into place with each other, never quite building to some grand apex. “01160131” doesn’t require a sharp drop or tempo change. The laid back groove allows the listener to sink into the track, like becoming one with the afternoon heat of a humid August day.
BEJESUS - "новая жизнь"
There is a lot going on in this track. The listener is first met with a wall of lo-fi shoegaze guitars before a sharp 4-4 beat ushers in an entire bevy of percussion that snaps and punches through the Kevin Shields-style noise wall. The Russian artist Bejesus is not without their predecessors. I compare this favorable to Odd Nosdam’s classic “Level Live Wires” during anticon’s golden years. Crucial find.
GERDA - "TOUCH ME"
“Touch Me” is the lead single from a 10-song narrative album called “The Uprooted” chronicling the story of a boy soldier murdering his own father. The South Korean 5-piece tread lightly across heavy post-rock composition, deftly orchestrated chamber pop and deconstructed indie rock. Compared favorably to Sontag Shogun, the group incorporate field recordings and heartfelt lyrics to create a stunning track.
WALTER MMARI - "THE ESSENCE OF DARKNESS"
The South African composer is no stranger to creating eclectic music that seems to score movies made in the head of Mmari. For “The Essence of Darkness” Mmari pairs plucked and bowed strings against the heavy draw of synthesizers. Exploring themes of integrating the lightness and darkness that co-exist within us, “The Essence of Darkness” rides that razor edge of hopeful and melancholic.
RUCHIRA PANDA - "BIN SAWAN"
Ruchira Panda’s voice is a singular force within the greater export of fusing traditional Indian music with modern composition. On “Bin Sawan” we get to eavesdrop on a jam session between her soaring vocals and a rock band bowing towards the power of the raga and devotional vocals Panda is internationally recognized for.