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DJ Python – Angel

DJ Python moves from the dark, claustrophobic polyrhythms that made 2020’s Mas Amable such a moody delight towards something far more warm-hearted and accessible with latest single Angel, a gentle 10 minute opus that skips merrily along on a broken beat, shards of sunlight glinting hazily off its soft corners and buoyant chords: perfect for sending you (or me, at least) off into the weekend with a smile and long overdue sense of optimism.

https://djpythonnyc.bandcamp.com/album/club-sentimientos-vol-2

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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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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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Skee Mask – LFO

Honestly, Skee Mask is just outrageously good. I’m only three tracks into his latest album Pool which kinda came out of nowhere last week, and I’m already convinced it will be in my top 10 of the year. Very few other producers can touch him in terms of rhythm, creativity and his ability to create unique, engaging and highly emotional musical landscapes. LFO is one of his gentler efforts, beatless and almost devoid of percussion, with the ebb and flow of synth lines driving it forward.

https://iliantape.bandcamp.com/album/itlp09-skee-mask-pool

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Kas – In The Absence Of Becoming

Ilian Tape really is a remarkably consistent label: I don’t think I’ve heard a single thing on there I haven’t really enjoyed. This is taken from Galaxian alias Kas’s new album Like Sunlight Threads – the first LP on the label since the Zenker Brother’s brilliant Cosmic Transmission from last year – which veers wildly between fairly accessible, melodic breaks and terrifying, panic-inducing techno. In The Absence Of Becoming sits very much in the former category, and is unlikely to make my wife ask “What the fuck are you listening to?” with quite the same venom as some of the other tracks on here.

https://iliantape.bandcamp.com

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Versalife – Shadow Warrior

I first heard this on a live set Versalife (aka Conforce) posted a little over a year ago (it’s great – you should listen to it!), and have been thinking about it daily ever since. He really does do this kind of emotional, hypnotic, breaks-driven techno better than pretty much everyone else. Especially Bicep. Ouch! Bet they’re smarting from that one. This is one of the tracks on his new Present Shock EP, which includes three more of a similar ilk. One day clubbing shall return, and I hope this gets played fucking loud every single day when they do.

https://soundcloud.com/conforce

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Automatic Tasty – Rising Sun

The most amazing thing about Rising Sun is just how optimistic it makes me feel, given the current state of everything. So in that spirt… it’s not mid January, it’s not lockdown central, we aren’t staring down the barrel of some of the bleakest months of our short and ever-diminishing lives. Instead it’s actually mid summer, the sun’s just creeping up past the horizon, and you’ve just had one of the best night’s out of your entire life with some of your favourite people. One day, perhaps even this year, this will have happened to you. Until then, we have music like this to keep us going.

https://soundcloud.com/automatictastys

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Flaurese – Sake Of Lust

I heard this on the radio earlier today as the sun was just breaking through the morning haze and it made me feel incredibly calm and happy. It’s from London producer Flaurese’s debut EP which is out now on Circa ’99, and it’s a real delight: warm chords and winding melodies with an almost 8-bit bassline that chugs on throughout before entering throwback rave territory for the final third. Quite the debut.

https://www.instagram.com/flaurese_

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Special Request – Family Doggo

Special Request’s Spectral Frequency came out last week on R&S, and is very much an EP of two halves. The title track is pretty much what you’d expect from a ‘typical’ Special Request record – taught jungle breaks and vocal stabs – with the second track Inverse Request an interesting experiment in filtering out all the low end: a sketchy rave transmission from another galaxy. It’s the second two tracks where it really comes to life though, and Family Doggo is a warm analog hug of a track, all reverb-heavy hats and hazily shimmering pads, which is exactly what I need right now.

https://special-request.bandcamp.com

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Patricia – Turtle Funk

Turtle Funk is taken from the new Patricia (aka Max Ravitz) album Maxyboy: his second full-length outing on Ghostly International following 2017’s Several Shades Of The Same Colour which I liked very much. Like its predecessor it could be loosely described as atmospheric, breaks-driven techno, but while Several Shades…felt restrictive and gloomy, there’s an optimistic bounce about many of the tracks on Maxyboy, not least in the playful acid lines and shimmering pools of Turtle Funk.

https://patriciaaa.bandcamp.com