On Friday April 29, 2005, I was in the pub with colleagues. I'd just bought Erol Alkan's first Bugged Out compilation and the UNKLESounds Edit Music For A Film release. I remarked that it was almost May. I think my exact words were: "what business has it being May?!" That was 13 years ago.
doon kanda, Luna (HDB116D)
This artwork is fascinating. It's horrible. It's like a decrepit elf from Warcraft or Middle Earth, decaying and rotting in front of us. It's for a release by doon kanda, aka Jesse Kanda, whose visual work adorns covers for artists like Bjork and Arca. Fitting to the cover, this music is like elven hip-hop, soft and delicate beats accompanying evocative flute-like synth melodies. It's all beautifully morose, minor-key tunes living and dying in short, two-minute bursts. A vinyl edition is to follow this initial digital release, so you can hold that vile creature's visage in your hands for eternity.
blusher - fón púca
"a month ago i made a ghostly song for my friend millie in exchange for some beautiful ceramic ghosts she made." The title means phone ghost. I've listened to this a load of times and still don't know how to sum it up for you. Beautiful bells meet shrieking synth rolls, a slow, leaden acid line shuffles alongside scattered percussive rhythms, a wash of noise starting early and outlasting everything in a ghastly half-life.
Eomac - Reconnect
More frightful artwork for you. Eomac has been exploring the outer limits of techno for a number of years, both in his solo guise and as Lakker with Arad. He's since been expanding these ideas through his Eotrax label and releases from artists like LAIR and Kaltès & Nene H. Now his latest album travels even further, bringing together a variety of thrilling percussive tracks that explode at different tempos, refusing to be pinned down to a simple, perceivable source. 'Fall Rise' is astonishing. The album is meant as a kind of cry for a new mode of existence, Eomac's own screams expressing frustration and desire for change. Let your children run wild and free.
VA - Warrior Formulation (Sound Warrior)
Here's a four-track collection on Sound Warrior, who've teamed up with female booking agency Mint, that features tracks from Lady Fingers, Ena Lind, Lady Blacktronika and label boss Jenifa Mayanja. Lady Fingers brings slow grooves — well, a lazy 115bpm — and a satisfying crunch, while Mayanja goes for a more upbeat approach. Ena Lind goes tougher, a grinding bass meeting insistent strings overhead. Lady Blacktronica, finally, pulls at your heartstrings with understated vocal samples and hints of emotion.
maŕa - cry me to sleep
Slow-burning dank vibes here from Argentinian artist Maŕa, forthcoming on Always Human Tapes (Always Incredible Artwork). It feels like it could be a dance-floor slammer but never goes in that direction. Eerie synths hum in the background as strange pulses bubble beneath. There's one mid-range note that never changes, landing off the beat throughout the track. It lends a startling sense of unease.
Eve Essex - Here Appear
Shouts to Robin for tweeting about this. Completely unexpected. Described in the accompanying text as "classical, drone, avant-jazz, and distorted pop", Essex's voice recalls that of Merril Garbus, especially in its daring swoop. There are manifold elements at play, however, from other-worldly sax to rumbling noise and searing harmonica. It's a treat of an album, and just LOOK at the hand-embossed print that comes with it.
hope stress dose - Best Of Vollda Club Trax 01
This mix is amazing. It starts with some weird dank stuff, then goes lumpy half-time before jumping into trancey skittery jungle breaks. And then just as quickly moves to different ideas. There's lots of weird and wonky hardcore-tinged intensity, hard house almost, impossible to pin down. hope stress dose is based in London and will soon be doing a party (as yet unnamed) with Scientific Dreamz of U. Keep an eye out.
Galloway - Hallogalloway
And we close this week with some masterful noise from Galloway, a Derbyshire-based musician releasing on the strange Bloxham Tapes label. The "exorcism of the ghosts of a Sheffield childhood", they call it. It moves between creepy radiophonic instrumentals and thundering feedback and distortion that wouldn't feel out of place on Eomac's album above. Clanking noise, muted bass, BoC-esque tape wavers, ghostly whines. Play this on Monday morning to accentuate your existential dread.