Recently longlisted for the BBC’s Sound of 2023 – which seems a bit late to the party, given she’s been putting out, often very well-received music for at least half a decade now – Biig Piig’s Bubblegum came out last week, and it’s great, although I’m not entirely sure why it’s a mixtape, rather than an EP. People cleverer than me will know, but like I said: it’s great, and Only One is a low-key vibe.
Lowly – Seasons
It’s another new Lowly single! To be honest, part of me is annoyed that I will have heard quite a large chunk of their new album before it comes out next month, but I also can’t help listening to everything. Seasons is great, obviously, with a big, rubbery synth providing an unusually sturdy electronic backbone for the rest of their characteristic ethereal epicness.
Here’s a brilliant – if deeply unsettling – slice of dubby electronica for you that genuinely seemed to make my tinnitus swerve to an entirely new, ferocious pitch. Taken from her recent LP Les Chemins De L’inconnu, out now on the relentlessly good Ilian Tape.
Awe Kid – Atavistic Paths
If you’re interested in under-the-radar ambient, this end of year list from Post Ambient Lux is worth checking out (although the actual best ambient album of the year by OHYUNG is weirdly missing, which does make me question their judgment just a little). Awe Kid’s ambient breakbeat LP Body Logic is one of my favourite finds on there so far, with the lush, shimmering pads and celestial synths of Atavistic Paths a real highlight.
Moby – amb 23-14
A lot of posts this month are likely to be based on me scrolling through countless end of year lists and writing variations on “how the fuck did I miss this – it’s amazing!” Today, though, I do have something new for you, taken from Moby’s new ambient album released on 01 January, “made to help anxiety (my own, and hopefully yours, too)”. amb 23-14 is a sparse 9 minute piano piece, with a few gently billowing synths drifting in and out, and seems appropriate for the first post of the year.
Traumprinz – life
He left it late, but for the second year in a row Traumprinz comes through with December music: 16 new, original tracks over the course of a 90 minute set. I already know that this will be one of the pieces of music I return to next year. Thumping, emotional ambient-leaning techno from the undisputed master.
Raw Poetic and Damu The Fudgemunk collaborated on one of my favourite albums of this year – the massively underrated Laminated Skies – and this is similarly brilliant: robotic funk, hypnotic lyrics and the second single from their forthcoming album Space Beyond the Solar System, which lands this Friday.
Slezz – Slezzin
I’m really not going to make a habit of sharing festive songs this month, but I just heard this and it made me laugh: a hyperpop/rap/Twelve Days of Christmas mashup that’s totally unhinged in a very enjoyable way.
Inspired by two peripheral characters in Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Klara and The Sun, Brendon John Warner’s new single explores the dissonance of reconnecting with society after years of separation; a theme expanded on by Alex Botton in his visual accompaniment to the song, framing the odd behaviours among and between random individuals in public spaces. Evoking both the awe-inspiring neon-soaked soundtracks of Vangelis and the earthily raw, visceral power of Vladislav Delay’s Rakka, Coffee Cup Lady & Raincoat Man is extremely impressive.
Daniel Avery – Spider
Daniel Avery has assembled an impressive raft of caollborators on his new album Ultra Truth, with production from Ghost Culture and Manni Dee, vocals courtesy of HAAi, Jonnine Standish (HTRK), AK Paul and the “voices” (not sure why that’s different from ‘vocals’, but apparently it is) of Marie Davidson, Kelly Lee Owens, Sherelle and James Massiah. It’s a more contemplative record that he’s produced before – way more afterparty mong than peak time rave up – and is probably the release of his I’ve enjoyed the most, which tells you everything you need to know about my current levels of rave-readiness. Spider is 90s-evoking ambient techno with all the OTT heartfeltness that entails, and I love it.