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Music

Ike – Inter

Well isn’t this a jaunty little slice of future junglism?

https://dieorakel.bandcamp.com/album/stone-diviner

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Music

Wildhart – I’ve Been Waiting

After a strong run of singles over the past few month, Wildhart’s latest album His Arrows Won’t Hit Us Now arrived last week, and although I haven’t had a chance to spend a decent amount of time with it yet on the first couple of listens it’s hit me very nicely in the feels indeed. I’ve written here before about how much I love their 2016 LP Shine, and after a period of worrying silence and a line-up change, it’s brilliant to have them back in all their hushed, synthy glory. Like a lot of their music, I’ve Been Waiting goes in hard on nostalgic yearning, a patient, bubbling lead synth line joined by beautifully echoing trumpets as it moves its understated but powerful final third. I have a feeling this will fly a little under the radar, but it really shouldn’t.

https://twitter.com/wildhartmusic

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Music

George T and Johnny Aux – Amsterdam

Shout out to Joe Muggs’ always enlightening Bandcamp Daily column for the recommendation on this one. Johnny Aux – aka Quinn Whalley, one half of always interesting acid house group Paranoid London – teams up with George T for a three-track EP that includes this dubby slice of post-punk-techno-industrial-electronica-etc, featuring a dour vocal and even dourer muddy bass thumps. Uplifting it ain’t, mesmeric it most certainly is.

https://optimomusic.bandcamp.com/album/making-excuses-for-you-ep

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Music

Ehiorobo – Pool

It’s a tough thing in 2021 to make music that comes even vaguely close to being unique. Rob Brydon made this point more than a decade ago in The Trip: “Everything has been done before. All you can do is do something someone’s done before, but do it better, or differently”. True dat. But at least there are people trying to break the mould, one of whom is Ehiorobo, who, while treading a similar path to better known artists like Frank Ocean, is doing so with such commitment and freewheeling creativity that his music absolutely stands out. Pool is gorgeous, subdued, dreamy r&b that’s so chill it pretty much dissolves into itself by the end. And if you like this there’s an album landing in December, so watch out for that.

https://soundcloud.com/ehiorobo

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Music

Lady Wray – Through It All

Atlanta R&B queen Lady Wray drops her brilliant new single Through It All, a dusty, soulful gem to power us all through a dreary Monday, and the latest stepping stone on the path to her new album Piece Of Me which lands in January. If you haven’t yet heard the title track, it’s absolutely incredible, so expectations are high for this one.

https://twitter.com/Ladynicolewray

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Music

xphresh – xephon

It’s been so long that I’ve been to anything even remotely resembling a rave I can’t speak with anything like authority about them any more. But also, imagine: the overwhelming, Biblical euphoria of hearing this drop towards the end of an absolutely banging, take-no-prisoners techno set – Rødhåd, or whoever the kids are listening to these days – during which you stomped so hard you thought your knees might snap like dry little twigs.

Jesus christ I miss pingers.

https://bblisss.bandcamp.com/album/xephon

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Interviews Music

One Track Mind: Ora The Molecule

Nora Schjelderup delves back into her childhood via a track from the Spanish pop act Mecano.

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

Ora The Molecule is the musical moniker of Norwegian-born artist Nora Schjelderup. Released earlier this year, her debut album Human Safari is a pretty much perfect electro pop record, combining buoyant melodies with robust, 80s-inflected production: bascially tailored-made for me to completely love. Tracks like Helicopter and Creator are among the most exuberantly wonderful tracks you’ll hear this year, and she’s also recently released an EP of remixes of Beat Beat Beat from Gillian Gilbert – the founding member of New Order – Moon Boots and OTON which are all well worth checking out.

For her One Track Mind selection she’s chosen a track from a childhood favourite band, with a message she’s felt a deep connection with for many years.

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Music

Varsity Star – Mixtape

There’s no shortage of people making whimsical, melody-focussed electronica, and in the wrong hands (ie. the vast majority of the time) it can come across as overly sincere or laughably lightweight. Varsity Star hits the tricky-to-find sweet spot here with Mixtape – the lead single from a forthcoming mini-LP – pairing crushed, broken beats with a glistening synth line and demonstrating it’s perfectly possibly to make something beautiful yet punchy in this genre, as long as you get the balance just right.

https://www.instagram.com/varsity.star

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Music

cktrl – safe

London-based artist cktrl broke through with his debut Robyn EP last year, and safe is the final track from his new four-tracker zero which landed last week and starts life with a gently billowing cloud of echoing brass and soothing strings before ending with safe, a bassy, sensual, trappy cut with gorgeous vocals and a satisfying depth to its production.

https://cktrl.bandcamp.com

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Music

The War On Drugs – Occasional Rain

I thought it wasn’t going to happen. Then right at the bitter end, halfway through the final track of the new album, a single, perfect little tear dripped down my ample cheek and finally, everything was right with the world. On first listen I’m a little underwhelmed by I Don’t Live Here Anymore, although given its two predecessors are among my favourite albums of the last decade, it had pretty high expectations to live up to. It’s a little too shiny, somewhat devoid of the turmoil and introspection that, paired with those glistening, timeless melodies made the last two albums so essential. Occasional Rain however takes me right back to those glorious, heartbreaking times: vulnerable, yet hopeful, a personal narrative that transcends its earthy roots and reaches for the sublime.

https://www.thewarondrugs.net