I had a really fun radio show on Sunday, playing celebratory classics and anthems. DDR won Best Online Radio Station in Europe, as decided by both listeners and judges, at the Mixcloud Online Radio Awards. How exciting!
CLOTHILDE - Twitcher
A new release from the Portuguese LABAREDA label. This one is from Clothilde, and it's a host of twitchy and uncomfortable drones. It was put together using home-made machinery and ebbs and flows with electronic noise and whirs. Soothing with a delicate harshness.
Altered Natives - Venus EP
Altered Natives is an unsung veteran who remains as prolific as he's ever been. This new EP is full of broken beats and minor strings, echoing sparsely against subtle claps. Maybe that sounds familiar, but if it ain't broke. It's all heads-down dance stuff, dark and moody with the occasional sweet keyboard melody to catch your ear. Snarling bangers for life.
Harmony Podcast | Hydrangea
A lovely deep and melodic mix from Hydrangea. To be honest I'm not great at describing this. Slow and foggy dubby techno, filled with reverb and yawning chasms of sound that would accompany a misty morning or a beautiful sunrise. Silent Season kinda stuff.
Olivia - Skawa [KHT004]
Olivia is a resident DJ for Krakow's Unsound festival, and DJs in many countries beside her own. This is (I believe) her debut release, and it's a thrilling collection of techno joints. It's punchy and exciting, at times blending ravey tropes with darkroom techno beats (see 'Korsarz'). Some tracks are bleepy and silly but delivered with a straight face, giving the tape just the right balance of intensity and fun.
Toxe — Big Age (PAN 88)
Forthcoming on PAN, this release from Toxe is maybe not what you might expect from someone known for "stomach-churning music productions" (that's from the artist's own bio) and whose write-ups regularly include words like brutal. Of course, there are intriguing drum patterns and blasts of noise, but the driving force is a variety of gorgeously swollen bleeps and tones, almost, dare I say it, lovely in their harmonics.
Aqueduct Ensemble - Improvisations On An Apricot
You may have heard of this one, it's a collaboration between some friends in a relaxed atmosphere, growing out of one guy tuning another's piano and a conversation then developing around the potential for a 70s/80s ECM tribute. It's a lovely release, with breezy piano, mournful trumpet and playful clarinet. It sounds mutedly spectacular on sunny afternoons.
Lucaufer, ‘Pupa feat yma’ (2018). Courtesy Tobago Tracks, London.
The latest Tobago Tracks release is from newcomer Lucaufer. I can't confirm if her name is devilish but the music is sickly sweet. It's a digital sheen of slightly broken harp arpeggios (harpeggios?) and slighly chopped vocals by yma, lush and beautiful and dreamy. The full thing is out next week.
SRENITY NOW w/VERA DVALE guest mix
More gorgeous sounds, this is a guest mix from Vera Dvale for the monthly Srenity Now show. I came across Dvale via the excellent Udu album with Psykovarius on Sex Tags Amfibia last year. This guest mix is a lively collection of new age, ambient electronic sounds, with field recordings, animal song, Laraaji-esque vocals, Huerco S, weird radiophonic ditties, just general excellence. It ends with some Nina Simone.
Jump Source - Homeward
Project Pablo and his mate Priori are behind this one, a collection of lush and emotive summer house jams for Pacific Rhythm. It's just a little bit too sad for pool parties, maybe it's more appropriate for deep reflection on a yacht as the sun beats down. Heck, I duno.
Dennis DeSantis - Clock Wise
This was the first thing I ever bought on Bandcamp and I'm reminded of it this week. Mainly because of the sound of the last track on the Jump Source record above. I first heard some of the tracks from it on the relentlessly sunny Danny Howells mix from Miami for the Global Underground series in 2005. There's a palpable sunny air to the music, Ibiza terrace stuff, or something like that. I guess I always wanted to feature it, for reasons of nostalgia, and this week feels like the right time.