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Music

Jehnny Beth – Flower

Flower was released back in February, but I’ve only just heard it on my first listen of her new album TO LOVE IS TO LIVE which came out today. It starts life as a brooding electronic pulse with her closely mic’d vocal barely raising above a whisper. And then the chorus, which takes us from Portishead-like restrained anguish to full blown OTT drama in a single swoop.

https://www.jehnnybeth.com

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Night Sea – Manila

Flawless ambient dub techno taken from Night Sea’s LP Still, which is in their words “the culmination of a two-year journey playing with the relationship between sound, repetition, and impermanence.” Couldn’t have put it better myself, so I’m not going to try. It’s out now on Silent Season, which is probably my favourite label for this kind of stuff, and if you like Manila I would highly recommend checking out their Campfire Stories series of mixes, as well as the rest of their catalogue.

https://shop.silentseason.com/album/still

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Music

Elisabeth Elektra – Sadie

Shimmering electronic pop from the Glasgow-based Elisabeth Elektra today with Sadie, which is far and away the most restrained track from her new album Mercurial, steadily building the tension for its duration with billowing pads and an increasingly anguished vocal. I love it: it’s pure, glacial melodrama and the rest of the album is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for 40 minutes of joyous, synthy escapism.

https://www.instagram.com/elisaelektra

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Music

Cindy – Never Let Me Go

Cindy is an alias of Kai Hugo, who produces various shades of house music as Palmbomen II. The backstory of the Cindy project is fascinating and involves the X-Files and an extensive fictional biography for ‘Cindy’. It’s too lengthy to go into in detail here, but there’s a great Quietus review of the album complete with David Lynch comparisons that you should check out if you’re so inclined. In terms of the music, Never Let Me Go is part stripped-down electro, part dream-pop and entirely beguiling.

https://world-of-paint.net/i-m-cindy

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Music

Moses Sumney – Two Dogs

I have tried hard to love græ, the new album by Moses Sumney. It’s clearly brilliant, and the scale of it is pretty staggering, but I’ve found it almost overwhelmingly impenetrable on the many occasions I’ve sat down to listen. This is a failing on my part. However, there is a three-track run at the start of the second side of the double LP that is utterly sublime, kicking off with Two Dogs. I just wish I liked the rest of the album as much as these 10 minutes or so. I’m sorry, Moses: I have tried, and been found wanting.

https://www.mosessumney.com

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Music

Armand Hammer – Pommelhorse

Billy Woods has now contributed to two of my favourite tracks of the month, featuring on Preservations’s Lemon Rinds last week and now under his Armand Hammer project alongside Elucid. Pommelhorse is dark, eerie, politically charged and brilliant, as is the new album Shrines from which it’s taken.

https://armandhammer.bandcamp.com

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Music

Westerman – Big Nothing Glow

Sitting somewhere between bedroom pop and folky electronica, Big Nothing Glow is taken from Westerman’s new album Your Hero Is Not Dead. It’s a gentle, hauntingly affecting song that calls to mind various other artists with whom I’m more familiar: Autre Ne Veut, Her, Toro Y Moi amongst them. I haven’t properly got stuck into the album yet, but on the basis of this it’s something I’m going to be spending a lot of time with.

Also, remember Just Jack? Westerman looks so much like him I had to check several times that they’re not the same person. So there’s that.

https://www.westerman.world/

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Music

Andrea – LG_Amb

LG_Amb is taken from Italian producer Andea’s debut album for Ilian Tape which explores various different electronic styles, from ambient and dubby techno to more visceral jungle/breakbeat cuts. LG_Amb sits somewhere in the middle of these: what starts as dreamy, shimmering ambient is quickly joined by clattering broken beats and eventually rich, warm pads. It’s really lovely: so lovely in fact that I do wish there had been a few tracks of a similar vibe on the album. There are a few that sound a little overproduced and clinical as a result, whereas this melts out of the speakers, fully formed and organic.

https://iliantape.bandcamp.com/album/itlp06-andrea-ritorno

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Preservation – Lemon Rinds

On his latest LP Eastern Medicine, Western Illness, renowned beatsmith Preservation – who’s produced for Mos Def, RZA, GZA, Raekwon and Aesop Rock amongst many others – crafts every beat from Chinese-issued records he came across while living in Hong Kong. The result, unsurprisingly, has a similar vibe to some of those Wu-Tang affiliates’ albums but absolutely stands on its own feet, with a heady, smokey atmosphere complimented by some solid guest features, including bill woods on the stand-out Lemon Rinds.

https://djpreservation.bandcamp.com/

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Music

Kate NV – Marafon 15

Kate Shilonosova is a Moscow-based producer, composer, designer and front girl of the Moscow new wave-post punk band “ГШ”. There are significant Kate Bush comparisons to be made on Marafon 15: the meandering structure and whimsical nature of the production, vocally when she hits the high notes – even before you get to the video, which is pretty much a direct homage to Bush’s avant-garde theatrics – but it more than holds its own.

https://katenv.bandcamp.com