Another few weeks, another deluge of new music from all corners of the spectrum. This time around we've got raucous garage from Phone Traxx, otherworldly atmosphere from Eartheater, a gamut of grdinding delights from Tzusing, and much more. Get listening!
Moa Pillar's latest album is influenced by "skipping CDs and other digital glitches", but on this track in particular the chaos of digital distortion is forcibly reigned in and moulded into a pummelling, drum-laden workout, featuring a particularly lithe groove and quivering zips of energy which spit past the listener like shrapnel. The press release states that it's been "tested in big rooms under high pressure" and I can certainly envisage the destruction such heavy artillery might dole out.
'I'd Say Croydon'
This most recent release from WHARFWHIT is one of his more lowkey efforts to date, not reaching the same levels of dizzying mayhem as tracks like Crumble and KEEP U SWEET, but still maintaining all of that unusual charm with the characteristic warped vocal samples and percussive claps throughout.
'No More Mr. Nice Guy'
The recently unmasked Phone Traxxx crew return to the airwaves for their third set of addictive UKG wobblers. Vol. 3 features ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’, their quirkiest cut yet: a jamming toy keyboard, vocal snippets from the video game series ‘Worms’, and a sudden jungle breakdown before the beat slams back in. Dial 999 if you come across this in the club because it’s absolutely lethal.
4 Down - Puzzled Together by Bullion
This compilation embodies the 'Pop, not slop' ethos of Nathan Jenkins' Deek Recordings. I've featured him previously for his beautifully dreamy and psychedelic 'Heartrunner', but here that warm sensibility is turned outwards, as friends and collaborators join forces for a myriad of covers and reinterpretations. From an ambient-leaning rendition of Mazzy Star's 'Fade Into You' to Joviale's stunning 'Storm', the breadth of material here is groove-laden and eminently listenable. What takes the cake though is the bluegrass cover of Eleven Pond's New Wave anthem 'Watching Trees'. Nathan Micay and Ben Osborne embody a playful approach that the album consisntently pairs so well with brilliant musicianship, and the result is an inventively twisted classic.
In Pursuit of the Sun 逐日
Eartheater’s fourth album brings more of that ethereal goodness which has become a staple of her work over the last few years. Trinity feels significantly more dance-oriented than previous endeavours, especially when looking back as far as Metalepsis, with tracks like ‘Pearl Diver’ and ‘High Tide’ which combine 808-style percussion with a more light, atmospheric sound palette that appears throughout her discography. Her vocals here are the standout, as airy and elusive as ever – a quality that only encourages you to listen more intently and try pluck out the words and phrases that float by.
Danny Brown returns to Warp Records for his fourth studio album, uknowhatimsayin¿, which marks the Detroit rapper’s stark departure from the chaotic and physically arresting beats of his earlier work in favour of Q-Tip-produced old-school hip-hop. The slouchy swagger of this production provides a launchpad for Brown’s verbal parkour, giving the rhythmic gymnastics of lines like “Henny got me wetter than whale piss/I’mma die for this shit like Elvis” on ‘Combat’ more focused acuteness. Beyond his technical ability though, the most remarkable thing about Danny Brown’s rapping is his personality. uknowhatimsayin¿ is a “standup comedy album”, but the master of punchlines once again deploys his one-liners in a way that mixes hysterical crudeness with thoughtful reflectiveness. His raps might reminisce on crack cocaine, sex workers and time running out in the same breath, but the way these themes blend humour and melancholy together is testament to the depth of Brown’s character.
at Dekmantel Festival 2019
This set closed what was my first ever Dekmantel Festival, but removed from the joyous release that such an occasion brings, it still stands as an inspiring and wickedly curated blend of music. Tzusing's trademark style of grungey, industrially-flecked slammers is merged with gentler touches of trap, beatless electronica, and a host of other sounds in what has proven to be a heady concoction listen after listen. GRRL's 'Showdown' slides smoothly into Kendrick Lamar's 'Humble', building the atmosphere to a frenzy before spiralling forth into Slikback's remix of Bamba Pana's 'Kusini', much to the amazement of the man himself as he danced white-knuckled at the front barrier alongside the rest of the onlookers. It's the transcendental introduction of the aptly named 'Happy Song' by Baby's Gang that seals the deal though: Knowingly daft, with lyrics about ice cream and a music video of children singing in class, it somehow fits perfectly with the rest of the music in a way that still feels like magic when the best DJs pull it off. The cover photo does not represent the playful smirk Tzusing wore for most of this set.
FACT Mix 727
This is a perfect mix for the spookiest week of the year – IVVVO starts off intense and then proceeds to get scary. Expect breaks, distortion and shouty vocal samples.
Special Guest DJ
xcuze my serenity
The enigmatic Special Guest DJ traverses unknown worlds with this spellbinding mix, cleanly mixing between vaporous pads and odd-footed IDM while enamouring the listener with a lustrous, captivating atmosphere throughout. Big intergalactic tip.