VOYAGER II - "FALLING"
The London duo comprising Voyager II dig deep into a lush world of live, jazz-influenced percussion, eroding samples, vocal drones and repetitive arpeggios to create a sound somewhere between El Ten Eleven and The Album Leaf. Elongated ambient passages are snapped into focus by the crack of a locked in snare, opening up a new aural lane of contravening melodies and dips into textural shifts.
GIRL BAND - "SHOULDERBLADES"
The Irish noise-rock band returns with a terrifying maelstrom of swaggering talk-sung vocals, visceral low-end rumble of downtuned guitars, percussion that at once sounds like it is pumping through a subterranean club and punching holes into sheet metal. There are no riffs to speak of but of but blizzards of noise that come upon suddenly, crippling infrastructure and jacknifing trucks on the interstate.
SREYM HCTIM - "READ MIRROR"
Mitch Meyer’s past Hear Hums project was a favorite of ours, with Sreym Hctim, Myers pushes his playful, but dark-gilded, melodies into chamber pop excess. An everything-and-the-kitchen-sink production where everything has a place. “Read Mirror” blooms from a stuttering, blurred malaise until it is punctuated with woodwinds and strings that hit with percussion like stabs of precise emotional turmoil.
INSTUPENDO - "PINCH"
Aidan Peterson’s floating, downtempo compositions have the unique ability to be both rapturously transportive and inwardly melancholy and introspective. Blunted beats and whip-sharp snares hit at the same time, highlighting “Pinch’s” emotional dichotomy. It’s like dancing alone at a 3AM rave, hugging yourself near the speakers.
AIRES - "AZUL METALIZADO"
The Portugese Aires was an amazing find. As the track recycles tiny fragments of melody, folding and bending itself back and forth, it eventually grows and blooms into what Aires describes as an “EDM banger playing through random.org…. purposely self-referential, accidentally melancholic and strangely accessible.” Perfect.
PCM - "MA"
PCM is a collaborative project comprised of three ambient musicians on top of their game. Francesco Perra (P), Matteo Cantaluppi (C), Matteo Milea (M) share common musical space as they bend notes, overlap meldoic phrasings and turn tonal shifts twoards each other. The album, ATTRAVERSO, is “pictured as a metaphorical trip through to human inner consciousness.”
CHRISTOPHER WILLITS - "PACIFIC 1"
It’s always nice to get new work from the longtime Ghostly Intl. artist. “Pacific 1” is the opening track on his 2019 release Sunset. Designed as music to soundtrack the closing of a day, we hear melodic phrases blur and collapse upon one another, drawing into themselves the way the sun gradually melts into horizon. Beautiful work.
FEU DOUX - "LE LAC A GELE DEVANT NOUS"
The duo of Stéphane Lafleur and Christophe Lamarche Ledoux have yielded pensive and moving soundtracks for movie and stage. On Quatre climats habitables the two explore generative music created by modular synthesizers to soundtrack the closing of a winter day. The eliding tones are easy to sink deeply into. Perfect day-ending music, the two create gentle melodies that generate their own inner-warmth.
SEABUCKTHORN - "THE CLOUD AND THE REDNESS"
Andy Cartwright’s modern composition and experimental guitar work under the name Seabuckthorn has long been a favorite of mine. “The Cloud and the Redness” layers bowed strings atop, accruing more and more sonorious sound and meaning upone each pass. Crossing, released on one of our favorite labels – Eilean Rec. is full of these moments of quiet profundity.
TUDO PASSA - CONFLUÊNCIA
The Brazilian bedroom pop artist Tudo Passa continues to impress with this melodic dream pop jam. Answering the question no one thought to ask, “what if Toro y Moi and Wild Nothing had a love child”, “Confluência” if full of pulling, playful melodies, downtempo beats, percussive keys and a pretty sick saxophone solo. High-key great stuff from a musician keeping a low personna.
TONY NJOKU - "HAPLESS"
The British-Nigerian avante garde musician is a true gift. Full of thick ascending arpeggios, nods towards Nigerian pop, UK Garage blended into a masala of influences and voices that range from TV on the Radio to Spoek Mathambo. Truly visionary work.
PAST PALMS - "II. KENTIA"
The crips crack of a snare when laid atop a lush and woozy sound palette of keyed down vocals stretched to muted tonal shifts, distorted triplets and angelic harps is one of those objectively pleasing aesthetic moves that never fails to bring a smile to my face.