BLACK METAL 2 arrived pretty much out of nowhere today, and I’m already completely obsessed. The follow up to 2014’s BLACK METAL, it immediately transports you back into that heady, dreamlike world, pulling you into its thick, fuggy atmosphere and sounding like nothing else out there. People will write far longer, vastly more eloquent reviews of this over the coming days and weeks: all I can say for now is that it’s in a class of its own and deserves all the plaudits its inevitably going to get.
With both the overwhelming grandeur of Sevdaliza’s bombastic, electronic-inflected pop and the hushed intimacy of Portishead, Penelope Trappes’s new album Penelope Three which landed on Houndstooth last week is not to be missed. This collision of the extra and introvert are perfectly realised on Red Yellow, a sparse, delicate and extraordinarily punchy highlight.
I mean COME ON. How much insane talent can you pack into a single track. It’s amazing, because obviously it is. Absolutely ridiculous.
My obsession with video-game inspired/evoking music continues unabated, and Cody Uhler’s debut single Fair Tech is the latest in a long line of tracks to scratch that particular itch. This is taken from his forthcoming LP Darbo’s Island, which Uhler bills as “the greatest video game that never existed”, and like the very best video games, it’s fun, slightly puzzling and relentlessly addictive.
Shout out to Album of the Year for being a consistently reliable source of excellent music releases very few other sites seem to cover, the latest example of which being Libyan-German producer Kaizo Ziad’s electronic project Acetantina, and his new album Carmen Winstead. From start to finish it’s a fairly unsettling experience, with tracks emerging out of a static-y haze or being abruptly cut off mid flow, but it’s also consistency fascinating with some moments of truly exceptional sound design, the closing glassy synths of Blindside not least among them.
Squarepusher-channeling IDM (if we’re on board with that term) from Terror Peaks for you today, which seems to be doing everything it can to wrongfoot you at every turn. Each time it settles on a particular groove or pattern for a few bars it almost immediately switches it up for something even more intense and intricate, which would all make for a pretty headscrambling few minutes if it weren’t for the occasional, gorgeous pads and snatches of vocals that drift into the mix, reassuring you that everything will be all right in the end, honestly.
Our Best Selves is the lead single from a forthcoming six-track EP from Canadian experimental producer yehno, and will be the first release on a new label, Collection Disques Durs. Visceral and hard-hitting, there’s also an incredible amount of nuance and subtlety here. One the one hand, yes, I feel on the verge of a panic attack while listening to it, but on the other, it’s actually warm and reassuring, like watching all your worldly possessions burn while realising you’re probably better off without them. I imagine.
ttypes is the solo project of Michigan-based songwriter Tim Krauss whose music ranges from ambient instrumental, to piano pop, rock, electronic pop and various other styles. His latest – as the title suggests – is an ode to Hollywood icon, (former) cocaine enthusiast and everyone’s favourite irreverent cyborg, Robert Downey Jr.. Not that you’d necessarily be able to tell from the record itself which is a frantic rush of syrupy bleeps and washed out vocals, but check out the video for one of the purest hits of RDJ you’re likely to find outside of a Marvel set.
Lost Girls is a collaboration between Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden. Despite having worked together for close to a decade, they announced their debut album Menneskekollektivet (which roughly translates to “human collective’) only last week, along with this 12 minute epic which starts life as a contemplative, spoken-word piece before progressing through lumbering rhythms and increasingly weird, chattering synth lines. I’ve loved pretty much everything Hval has released previously, especially 2019’s incredible The Practise of Love, and everything about Menneskekollektivet suggests that trend will continue.
JPEGMAFIA produces like he’s channel surfing at a billion miles an hour. The sheer amount of influences and styles packed into relatively short tracks can at times be a little overwhelming, but when it works, it’s some of the most creatively inspired and unpredictable music out there. SUPER TUESDAY is built around a warping, string-led ballroom sample – like The Caretaker doing woozy hip-hop – and is the last track on his new EP (confusingly titled EP!) that packs a frankly ridiculous amount of ideas into its 26 minute running time.