This is exactly the vibe I need for today. Unhurried, gentle melodies bubbling over warm pads alongside soft 8-bit bleeps and the occasional purred ‘yeah’. Like Boards of Canada without even a shred of existential angst. Taken from Khotin’s new album Release Spirit which landed last week on Ghostly.
Bouncy, shimmering electro-pop-meets-soul from a trio of US collaborators. Shiny, chill vibes for a gloomy Thursday.
It’s hard to imagine a world in which a track so gloriously unassuming as Röyksop’s Eple could achieve such ubiquity, but for what felt like the entire first half of the 2000s I reckon I heard it every day. So did you. And even if you can’t immediately call to mind how it goes, listen to it for five seconds and you’ll immediately be transported back to a simpler, happier time when we were all basking in the glow of a post-2YK realisation that all the computers didn’t in fact collapse, and that everything was just going to be just fine from now on.
Anyway, I don’t think I’ve thought about Röyksop for a good 15 years now, but last week they put out a new album and some of it is really lovely. Like this – the penultimate track on Profound Mysteries – which seems tailor-made for the next time Traumprinz makes one of his Very Poignant Mixes.
Earthen Sea – Felt Absence
The latest album from New York artist Jacob Long recording as Earthen Sea, Ghost Poems spans ten tracks of lo-fi ambient and minimalist melodies created from a combination piano samples and field recordings. I’m usually draw to long, sprawling ambient, characterised by very slow progression and rich, warm pads a al Stars of The Lid. Here, tracks rarely break the four minute mark, and there’s a very defined rhythmic structure, but the sense of space created is nevertheless completely engrossing. I hadn’t paid attention to Earthen Sea before today, but I’m very glad he’s now on my radar.
Puma Blue – All I Need
Covers usually get a hard pass from me, especially if they’re of songs I really like, but Puma Blue’s All I Need gets a pass for a couple of reasons. First: it reminded me how much I love Radiohead’s original, and as In Rainbows is the album I probably go back to least frequently from their catalogue it’s been a very long time since I listened to it. Secondly, it’s fucking great, capturing and expanding on the yearning sadness of the original, and pulling back just a touch on the paranoid sketchiness. Not that I’m averse to a bit of mental wrangling, but it’s Friday and the sun’s out.
Dzang – Retreat
Dzang is an on-going project of LA-composer/producer Adam Gunther, and Retreat is the first single from his latest forthcoming EP. Late night vibes galore on this one, and I really feel I should be staring wistfully out over a dark, sprawling cityscape while listening to it, despite the video being very colourful, as well as parrot-heavy. Anyway, it’s really lovely and really evocative and I’m looking forward to the EP when it lands.
An admission: this time last week I don’t think I’d ever heard – or at least paid enough attention to – the name Guy Sigsworth. For more astute music fans out there however – Gia Margaret included – he’s one of the more celebrated producers of the last 20 years, working with artists including Björk, Goldie, Madonna, Kate Havnevik, Alison Moyet, AURORA and so (so) many more. With a call sheet like that it’s perhaps unsurprising that his remix of Solid Heart sounds absolutely sublime, transforming the lo-fi, duskiness of the original into a slick, downtempo electronic cut complete with a little flurry of cascading synths as delicate and bewitching as you could possibly hope for.
Yu Su – Xiu
Written and recorded across various continents, Yu Su’s debut album Yellow River Blue attempts to capture the transient nature of touring, being constantly on the move and trying to be accepted in different places over the course of several years. An homage to her home beside the Yellow River in China, it is an extraordinary tender LP, even in its more upbeat moments, with the now Vancouver-based producer occasionally utilising her ethereal voice to create an additional texture alongside electronic drums and melodies that are rarely anything less than sublime.
Foundation Three: Loss of Identity is the third track from New York based electronic musician Salvatore Mercantante’s album The Foundations Of Eternal Sin, which I have not heard in its entirety, but on the strength of this it’s something that’s worth seeking out. Meditative and highly atmospheric, Foundation Three had me hooked from the opening few bars, pairing rich, warm pads alongside crisply skittering percussion. I wish it were twice as long, as it’s a highly enjoyable place to lose yourself for a few minutes.