Good morning. Music is the soundtrack to our life. That means it's not always positive or joyful, but in more difficult times we need it more, almost, be it to wallow in or to help us rise up from a figurative ditch. I hope these mails can be a reference point for you no matter where you are in your life.
.itt | Tingle [GB002]
R. Kitt has been making a name for himself this past year, perhaps not easy when you're the younger brother of Dublin mainstay David Kitt, aka New Jackson. No matter, as R is a classy DJ whose productions always come with a touch of the sublime. Take the opening track on Tingle, the second release on Dublin's Goldbrick. Featuring the breathy vocals of Jenn, aka Bandcloud favourite Dreamcycles, it starts off with dreamy chords (sorry) and bongos, only to move into a frivolous and cheeky main section, following the repeated refrain of "bring your body, close your eyes". Perfect for the dance. It's fun, energising and (dare I say it) sexy. The other tracks are similarly slick and emotive, but that one gets all the words from me this week.
spectral waves - science in the setting sun
This 15-minute slice of ambient is just... breathtaking. It's from a US duo, one from Mississippi, one from New York, and it's built around a gentle, lilting arpeggio that drifts and repeats ad infinitum, while Explosions in the Sky-type guitar solos float languidly, mournfully overhead. It moves in waves, not quite separate but seemingly discrete, but junctures so slight they're almost imperceptible. It kind of reminded me of Friday Night Lights — funnily enough, one of the artists also goes by Friday Night Youth.
CMD094 - Lost
I thought this was CMD but it's not. It is excellent though. Coming on the same label that brought you Yakui's Pillars / Other Heart Tracks, it's a lovely breeze through blissful sounds. A little more than half an hour, it's the perfect length; any longer and the melancholy becomes morose. Instead, wallow in the haze that arises from pulsing beats and ever-so delicate synths.
Le Catalyste Standalone: CMD (live set - Montreal / CA)
This actually is CMD though! This is a live set recorded for weekly show Le Catalyste on CKUM FM in Canada. It's as crisp, spacey and ethereal as you'd expect from this wonderful artist. It's a superb set that really takes flight around the halfway point, nervous grinding energy digging in and getting under your skin.
Francis Harris - Minor Forms
Superb new music from Francis Harris, of Frank & Tony and Scissor & Thread fame (this release comes on that label). Not only do the two originals positively shimmer with heartfelt emotion and beautiful jazz overtones, they come with a brace of remixes from the beautiful hands of Valentino Mora, who inches them from deep to dub, his loops and pulses leaving you spellbound, utterly rapt.
Off Land - Quiet Earth
This is apparently a beatless version of an album from last year entitled On Earth. Naturally I was drawn to it. It's gorgeous stuff, calling to mind John Carpenter as much as 90s ambient sounds. Scorched, epic beauty, it's one to savour. Drink in every delicious moment.
VA - Together (Oxtail Recordings)
This is a big release that's raising money for issues related to events in Charlottesville last year. The label has ties to the area and was heartbroken by the far-right rallies and ensuing violence last August. In fact, Oxtail artist Tyler Magill suffered a stroke after being assaulted with those famous tiki torches. This comp is helping raise money for his medical bills, and also Showing Up for Racial Justice Charlottesville, the local chapter of a white-led group fighting racial inequality. With two 80-minute tapes here, there's a lot of music on offer. Everything from mournful ambient and angry EBM to strange sonic experiments riven with vocal samples from many different episodes of racial tension in the US over the past century. A time has come...
Bake with akash - 22nd February 2018
Bake and bambooshooter in the studio! Been a while since I included Bake here — not because of a lack of quality but you already know he's worth checking out. This is a special one though. Extra-special. In the first hour, Bake opens with vibey, atmospheric dnb and jungle before moving into entrancing percussive jams, dipping into 'Blue Pedro' and Simon Haydo and Kuedo (all the -Os). In the second hour Akash steps up and in for clubbier fare, through his own inventive lens. Think mutated pop vocals over hefty beats, Indian songs and a totally screwed rendition of 'Never Let Me Down'. And it wouldn't be a Bamboo set without Ciara's 'Ride'. Big fun.
I had a guest mix go out on Stranded.fm this week, big thanks to Abel for the invite. The mix included stuff from Kraftwerk and Danny Tenaglia right up to new ones from TML and Yamaneko, as well as a blistering track from Object Blue. That release is one to watch out for. Anyway. Check the archive! Peace.