Ilian Tape so rarely put a foot wrong it’s almost not worth highlighting their releases any more: just subscribe to them on Bandcamp or wherever you get your fix and revel in the consistency of their schedule. This is taken from an oblique album by MPU101 (no artist bio, tracks named after various bits of Roland hardware), and is at the more relaxed end of their techno spectrum, with kick drums almost completely expunged in favour of meandering acid lines and warm, hazy synths, and is, in a word, gorgeous.
Breathy vocals you say? Tons of reverb? Distinctive and consistently moody atmosphere punctuated by glistening synths, is it? Yes, yes, 1000 times YES.
French-Senegalese artist anaiis released her 12-track debut album this is no longer a dream earlier this month, which includes this absolute gem of a first track. The album is a self-reflective exploration of the last few years of her career and the effect success has had on her (amongst other things), and is never more engaging that on undulations, which pairs her delicate vocal with hushed piano chords for an utterly spellbinding opener.
I remember a time when the mere mention of PC Music could illicit conflicting moans – of either rapturous pleasure or abject despair – from people I had previously thought were fairly aligned on what they considered Good Music. What feels like decades later but what in reality is probably only a few years, a quite brilliant album from caro♡ (the lead singer of Planet 1999 which was PC Music’s first full band signee), has flown relatively under the radar, which is a shame as it’s a really joyful thing, with enough glossy cartoonish bounce to satisfy the PC purists, and enough genuinely thoughtful and subtle moments to stop anyone getting too angry about it. drop in the ocean is definitely one of the calmer moments, evoking Selected Ambient Works Volume II-era Aphex, albeit backed up with some dappled, shoegazey beats.
The latest single from Jamaican-American artist TWEAKS is named after a series of parties they hosted over the summer, beginning with their debut Boiler Room appearance in Los Angeles. It’s hard-hitting but also haunting, its jungle rhythms and rave-evoking stabs countered by haunting synths and eerie vocals that lend it a more contemplative atmosphere than at first appears.
Find You is the latest track from Maymind – the moniker of LA based producer and DJ Leo Maymind – and is taken from his forthcoming album June due for release in November. Fusing elements of left-field electronics late night grooves and washed out, reverb-heavy vocals, it juxtaposes subdued beats with startlingly bright synths that give the impression of sunbeams puncturing the early morning haze.
Galcher… Lustwerk! Every time I see this guy’s name written down I suffer from an uncontrollable compulsion to say it out loud, mimicking that robotic French tag from his breakthrough Blowing Up The Workshop mix. Try it! It’s fun! Anyway, this is taken from a new Explorations in Analog Synthesis collection (Volume II, funnily enough) where Moog have asked a load of Very Good Producers to demonstrate the “powerful analog sound and sonic possibilities Moog Sound Studio offers”. Each track was built around the Moog Mother-32, DFAM, and Subharmonicon included in each artist’s Moog Sound Studio, and the full seven track EP includes music from Boy Harsher, Hannah Peel and others and is well worth checking out.
Blending pop, R&B, soul and at times some fairly experimental electronica on her latest album 3, Sydney-based artist Ngaiire certainly can’t be accused of playing it safe, and the album is a constantly shifting joy that seems to delight in playing with your expectations of how a polished ‘pop’ album should sound, then gleefully doing something else entirely. Unapologetically sincere and packed full of infectious rhythms, highlights are many – the awesome Shiver also deserves a mention – but Glitter gets the nod from me for being an absolute banger.
Poulson Sq. are Anthony Fiumara and Mathijs Leeuwis – a duo formed as a mutual love of ambient music; specifically creating rich sonic tapestries packed full of the kind of repeating patterns often found in nature. Their latest single is Kosmic Headroom which was created from a combination of pedal steel guitar, Buchla Music Easel, tapedecks, analog effects and field recordings, the resulting track being effortlessly beautiful, with subtle manipulations and variations echoing the fractal shifting of a twilight landscape.
As someone who loved Low’s last album but is only vaguely familiar with their extensive back catalogue, I’ve spent the week trying to play catch up as much as possible in anticipation of their new LP HEY WHAT which arrived today in all its melancholy, distorted glory. It’s been quite a week, and while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend piling through that much Low at once (the darkness! the depths!), it’s been interesting to trace the developments of their 20+ year career in just a few sittings. As a fairly new fan, I certainly don’t have any authority in ranking these things, but also: HEY WHAT is categorically their best album, and Hey is its emotional zenith.