Every now and then I go through cycles where I despair over my place in ~music journalism~ only to come round to the idea that I just share stuff I love that I hope you will love too.
Hey Exit - Which Ones Will Be Restored (Slow Names 6)
Hey Exit is a New York artist who works in drone and electronica. He just put out two tapes, both of which are excellent, but this one really grabbed me. In his own words, it' s "About sixty minutes of oceanic ambient music, recorded over the summer". 'Where I'm From' is split into different tracks, representing different movements and moments, while 'Sphere' and 'Glass Knots' are granted a sole track each. Blissful melodies, dark introspection and wistful yearning would be the three moods, to put it simply.
DIVIL A' BIT - WHAT IS THE STARS?
I use superlatives every week and sometimes I feel "surely not everything can be stunning", but this really is. It's folk, with lilting guitar plucking and dainty violin melodies, but it's also swathed in droning noise, creeping found sound, recorded in and near, among other places, various woods and canals and even a megalithic tomb and a strange dark sunken cave beyond said tomb. Magic.
Ciel - Electrical Encounters
You may recall that Ciel fka CL did one of the first Bandcloud mixes. A promoter, DJ and producer, she's just put out her first 12" on Shanti Celeste's Peach Discs. It's crisp, modern techno that harkens back to 90s breaks and electronica. The title track has immaculate percussion, its claps sitting perfectly in the mix while a gorgeous melody bounces about like water. 'Elevate (go off mix)' is a denser affair, its melodies paired with racing hi-hats and emotive piano chords. 'Rain Dance' is a bit stranger, an off-kilter theme meeting uncertain drum patterns. You might remember it from my DDR show back in May. Overall, it's a thrilling debut, and I'm looking forward to more.
Fossil Aerosol Mining Project - Cassette Opalescence 1997 / 2017
From straight-up lovely music to weird sounds submerged in the dirt. The Fossil Aerosol Mining Project has been working with uncovered sounds on and off since the 1980s, their Bandcamp bio reading "Songs of enhanced decay and faked resurrection". This latest work is a 16-minute piece that moves between various modes of electronic messiness.
LOFT - Heffalump (Alis Remix)
LOFT's new one on Wisdom Teeth was deliciously murky and offbeat, while their Astral Plane release was more direct and abrasive. This remix by Alis takes the track's warm, bassy melody and plays around with it, layering her drifting, wordless vocals on top. A mutant banger of sorts, it's a brilliant un-working of what's already a hyper track.
Philip Sherburne - Caceroladas
Philip Sherburne recently shared a recording of a Catalan protest march outside his window. I was going to share it here but he advised that he was writing a piece about the practice and its history. That piece went online yesterday at The New York Times. In short, a cacerolada is a protest that involves banging on pots and pans, and there have been many such protests lately in Barcelona, where Sherburne lives. He can describe it better than I can, so read the piece and take in the sounds.
Solaris Hilton - Young Chopwalla Mixtape
This is absolutely stellar, and my only complaint is that it's a paltry 14 minutes long. It's a chopped and screwed Bollywood mixtape from Chicago-based Solaris Hilton and it's unlike anything I've ever heard before. You've got all the excitement, musicality and catchiness of Bollywood songs rendered narcotic and sluggish, thick with groove. I asked the artist who made the tunes and he said that bar the first and last track the reworks were all his. He said there may soon be a sequel, so I can't wait for that.
ANGEL DIARY - my place
So Angel Diary produced the first track on the above mix. When I saw the title of this one I immediately thought of Nelly and Jaheim. This short track features soft, gorgeous vocals and silky soft ambient synths. I featured this artist years ago when she was going by Little Cloud, and I'm glad to hear from her again in a new vein.
DATASTREAM 003 - TAYSTII - Clangistan Vol. VIII
Tayyab Amin is that guy. Great writer, great editor, great thinker, funny and whimsical too, lest you think he's all serious. This mix shows that side. The whole thing is dedicated to humour, and he weaves together a huge variety of silly sounds – from the new E.M.M.A. release, riffing on the Encarta theme, to Disney music and older sounds from Exuma and Jelly Roll Morton. It's probably the only mix where you'll hear a Jersey club take on Paul Johnson's 'Get Get Down' near a jungle remix of 'Little April Showers'.
JOHANNA KNUTSSON - SOMNIS VIUS (PREVIEW)
This is an incredibly beautiful tape in which techno DJ Johanna Knutsson veers down a different path, with a title that means "vivid dreams". Ambient sounds, field recordings, it's a kind of sleep/comedown/relaxation aid. I did indeed fall asleep to it on the train this week. Oh and the tape comes with an incense stick. Vibes.
LAIR - Juncture EP [EXP001]
LAIR released a super 12" on Eotrax earlier this year, and here she's moved to Rhod Records for a release in their EX-Pression series. Rumbling, clanking sounds, faraway vocals, it's dark, unnerving and creates a singular sonic world.
It ain't no more to it.