JOSEPH FUTAK - "EYE FOR AN EYE"
Anchored on a repeating minimalist piano line buried in analog hiss and fuzz, the carnal horror of “Eye for an Eye” is sublimated through the downcast melody and Futak’s whispered vocals. Aesthetically, Futak pulls from the subtle and sturdy grace of Grouper’s “Ruins” with the creeping, dark folk of Sparklehorse. Brilliantly manipulated and sparse.
CHRIS CHILD & MICAH FRANK - "PEERING AT DAWN"
“Peering at Dawn” is the first look into Chris Child and Micah Frank’s collaborative record and the creative process that inspired it. Moving away from the limitless precision that digital loop-based music provides, the two holed up in Portland, MA to create tape loops of hand played synths that revel in the way impreciseness can open aural pathways into woozy, decaying tones and rhythm. The project draws a line between Throbbing Gristle and AMULETS.
CHARCOAL BURNERS - "RINGS RUN CIRCLES"
Emerging from Dunedin, New Zealand – the same fertile crescent that birthed Flying Nun Records, Charcoal Burners bear the torch of their skewed pop forebearers.”Rings Run Circles”, however, has more in common with the muscular post-hardcore blitz of Husker Dü than much else. Velvet buzzsaw guitars, hummable melodic lead buried just under a thin layer of fuzz, it’s a song hatched from Bob Mould’s brain circa 1985.
MINOR PIECES - "ROTHKO"
Minor Pieces is a new collaborative project between Ian William Craig and Missy Donaldson. Having grown accustomed to hearing Craig’s voice manipulated and run through degrading tape, hearing him and Donaldson lock-in, largely unadorned, on “Rothko” was stunning and startling. Craig’s operatic vocals shine through the duo’s deconstructed folk and pop on this soaring opener to their new album on Fat Cat.
JODY GLENHAM - "WAR ON THIS WORLD"
Vancouver’s favorite sun, Jody Glenham has created a towering, shimmering power-pop track with “War on this World” that builds into a powerful climax that basks in a propulsive back-beat beneath roaring shoegaze guitars and synthesizers tuned to the golden hour before the twilight of this sadly sinking world. That little gasp of beauty before night falls is where this track has staked its claim.
D'NOUS RÊTÆ - "COMIN' 2 U LIVE"
“Comin’ 2 U Live” is a wonderful noise bath to soak in. Meant to be a “commentary on the ubiquity of gambling culture in Las Vegas”, it would be completely possible that the source material is the tinny electronic chimes and the less-frequent sound of change hitting metal trays, processed and looped beyond recognition. All but the disorienting din of Las Vegas is recognizable when this is played at ear-bleeding levels.
SLIMYUNGMAN - "TELEPATHINE"
“Telepathine” is the second single we’ve shared from the young Maryland producer and represents a major leap forward. What starts with a heavily arpeggiated guitar breaks into a locked in house beat and additive groove right around the 30 second mark. The track races forward from there: triggering heavily layered synths and organic, off-rhythm percussion til reaches its natural conclusion.
JEROME BLAZÉ - "CHAME FT. JOFI"
If you were to take the first minute and a half of this track just on its face, “Chame” would be an impressive track focused on pulling chopped melodies over the surface of a light, jazzy hip-hop beatscape. That is until the bottom drops out and the track reveals itself to be a deeply studied neo-classical exercise in obfuscation. Woodwinds that stop the track dead in its tracks are added to the mix pulling the direction even further into pure tonal uplift.
BY GUNNARSSON - "EUPHORIA"
What does “Euphoria” sound like? The German pianist and producer who creates deeply emotional works poses this question. Centered around a rapidly moving piano line sparring with it’s similarly weighted violin counterpart. The second in his emotion series seeks to answer this question, and in doing so explores sonic space augmented by electronic production and resonant percussion.
PLAYDATE - "TAPE VII AM"
Playdate create “fully improvised music oscillating between bingo hall Casio suites and komische dreamscapes”. There is perhaps no better description for the way these gentle, minimalist compositions break open like life-giving dawn, imbuing everything they are working with – retro synths and field recordings – with a golden hue. I hear quite a bit of Cluster, Les Halles and German Army’s softer side in this brilliant track.
REUNION ISLAND - "ERASTO DREAM"
Much like a companion piece to Playdate, “Erasto Dream” finds the synth trio delving into more meditative, mystical qualities of Komische pop. Recorded with John McEntire, Reunion Island center their timewarping track around ascending synth lines until breaking into slightly more propulsive, synthwave nervous energy. It’s a deft move that pulls the track into a retro-futurist headspace.
BROKENKITES - "WOOD BETWEEN THE WORLDS"
“Wood Between the Worlds” is a pensive and rhythmically complex composition that exists in the interplay of intersecting synth lines and percussive patterns layered atop one another like concentric chemtrails. That pensiveness creates its own gravitational field that holds all of the moving parts at its serene center. An excellent track from an untraceable artist – unless there is a sick IDM scene in Antarctica no one is talking about.