Recording under his 96 Back alias, 9696 Dream is the excellent new album from Manchester producer Evan Majumdar-Swift; a body of work that can handily be summed up in all its fun-loving, electro-leaning glory by its title track. Some of the sound design here reminds me a little of Holly Herndon, but without any of the oppressive intensity her music often explores. Instead we get warm, open chords, stripped-back rhythms and an almost uncontrollable desire to listen this at a volume that would doubtless upset my neighbours.
Pioneering electro pioneer The Egyptian Lover has doubled down on his 2015 album 1985 with new LP 1986. Like its predecessor it focusses entirely on the kind of sounds and techniques he was using back in the mid-1980s, and aside from it perhaps sounding a little more polished that some of the electro and proto-hip-hop being produced then, its otherwise sounds completely indistinguishable. Cinnamon Oil Massage is a definite highlights, complete with the omnipresent crisp, punchy 808 beats and an outrageously over the top electric guitar solo which is absolutely joyous.
Sanity is fierce, crunchy, eerie, swaggering and a whole load of other adjectives that I can’t really be bothered to get down on paper (screen?) as I’m too busy really, really enjoying listening to it. It is electro? Punk? Post-punk-inflected electro? Who knows, and more importantly, who cares? Big up Sneaks for creating my #trackoftheweeksofar – IT’S. A. BANGER.
Automatic Tasty is Ireland’s Jonny Dillon, an electronic music producer who specialises in squelchy acid and electro, while also releasing various experimental acoustic guitar pieces under his own name. On the surface his latest EP A Farewell to Reason is the most overtly ‘poppy’ thing he’s produced – almost saccharine in its happy, open chords and bubbling synth lines – but there’s a darkness to a lot of the lyrics, not least on Wake Up Dead which lists various things you shouldn’t worry about as there’s a chance this will be your last day or earth. My pick of the bunch is opening track Ballad For a Modern Man though, which pairs a chunky bassline alongside beautifully billowing melodies and Dillon’s intimate, closed-mic’d vocals.
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.