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Following 2014’s Syro and its follow-up EP's Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2 and MARCHROMT30a Edit 2b 96, Richard D. James keeps up his prolific streak with his first release under the AFX moniker in over a decade. Picking up where the acid laced Analord series left off and following the nexx level club focused material of the recently-revealed-to-be material as The Tuss orphaned deejay selek 2006-2008 goes down a more floor focused approach as evident from the off, opener serge fenix Rendered 2 is prime time Analord acid following on where Fenix Funk 5 left off and moving further into sounds never seen electro and acid territories. dmx acid test goes down a proper panned 303 route crafting a nice interlude before the bouncing ball acid of oberheim blacet1b rears its reverb drenched tab for a tight electronica track of hallucinatory proportions (which ends with a crafty amen break - giving nod to the days of his jungle tracks ala RDJ) bonus EMT beats fully lets the drums go, focusing on tight percussion pinning sharply throughout the field of audio. Flip for the killer live fan favourite simple slamming b 2 a haunting techno track that sounds like nothing else really out there, part gabba part old school sublow and proper darkside synths rinsing through the sky above. midi pipe1c sds3time cube/klonedrm recalls The Gentle People's outside ambience but with a 7 am grin(gurn) while NEOTEKT72 and r8m neotek beat roll up a hip-hop sound to cap off whats an absolute highlight in a discography of legendary proportion and possibly the finest AFX (under any alias) release in years.
Kelela’s Hallucinogen EP is her major first release since the Cut 4 Me mixtape on Fade to Mind. Cut 4 Me was an incredible body of work and one of the strongest debuts in recent memory, so topping that would be a huge task for even the most confident musician. Kelela breezes through it though, making good on her staggering early potential and suggesting an incredibly bright future ahead. The Hallucinogen EP exists in the interzone of mutable R&B, chart pop, and grime-inflected production, with behind-the-boards work coming from names like Arca, Kingdom, and MA, but more than ever it’s Kelela who appears front and centre on the release, with her biggest and most powerful hooks underpinned by next-gen, hyper-sensual studio moves.
Slackk returns following last years Palm Tree Fire LP with a hefty six-tracker of melodic grime for R&S. Slackk, much like his palm tree is on fire right now, his Backwards Light EP showcases some of his most jaw-dropping cuts yet. Opener Bells is packed full of slinky pads and melodic percussive bells, all with a fat pound of bass weight and a groove that will have you pulling back the 12" repeat times. Posrednik incorporates an evil acid line with its grime strings and cocking snares back and forth in true OG skeng style while Monument slows things down to a hip-hop crawl but has vocal snatches that nod to the faster rounds from his LP. The B-side opens with the sawtooth synths of Sleeper Carriage while Backwards Light picks up where Bells left off but in a more sleep-deprived stance while Saigon inserts catchy pop melodies, absolutely sick EP and a sure fire shot for anyone chasing that new wave grime dragon.
The first of three compilations released by Warp showcasing Lisbon's emergent strain of mutated club music. DJ Marfox (the artist largely considered responsible for spearheading the movement) tears open this release with the aptly titled and fittingly ferocious sounds of Take Off. DJ Nedwyt Fox keeps the carnival clubbing hybrid in motion on Grandes Invejosos where a fidgeting synth line rattles from the raw percussion. This undefinable sound is showcased even more by DJ Nigga Fox and DJ Ly-COox. This unique Portuguese sound is one of unrelenting energy and unmistakable DIY sentiments; raw fiesta drum sounds locking in with infectious synth melodies. It is no surprise that Warp have made a commitment to sharing such a special scene.
Oscar Powell’s insurmountable rise to the top of the hit-parade continues unabated with this second double-A drop on XL Recordings. The last bullet to have landed on Richard Russell’s XL was the heat-seeking ‘Sylvester Stallone’ , and here Powell laces up another all-American-male into his body music bricolage – Steve Albini. ‘Insomniac’ is the song that inspired an e-mail thread that inspired a viral-storm that inspired a billboard… in April 2015 Powell asked Albini over e-mail to use a chopped n’ screwed vocal from a Big Black LP into the song… Albini agreed but told Powell (and the world) that he detested club culture, dance music… music blog-sites foamed at the mouth. Twitter went into overdrive. Regardless of the PR shenanigans, it represents one of the most concise slabs of PowellMusic yet – all twisting synth, hefty breaks and snappy, gnarled bass. On the flip ‘Should Have Been A Drummer’ he messes with the synapses yet further in a squall of acid gurgle and propulsive ‘ardkore rhythm – like the bastard child of Front 242 and Altern-8.
Skam continue through their purple patch of late with the second dubplate style 10" in the newly primed Kasm series. This time they enlist legendary electronic/jungle/techno/all-sorts outfit Meat Beat Manifesto to bring home the bacon (no pun intended). Across four tracks they mix a blend of uptempo, almost-house cuts all executed with a background of dub FX that is quite the departure from the normal Skam rooted electronica. Opener, 'Nocebo' starts things off with a steppers riddim with extra squelch and a dub undercurrent that after repeated listens really comes to the forefront, its an addictive effort and splurges of twisted vocals compliment the track nicely. Next up, MBM cook up some breakbeat house with extra sizzling squelch and full phone signal, all backed with the EP's characteristic slick dub licks circulating around the middle. Flip for Present for Sally for some peak time acid while Agelast ends things on a Maurizio meets NMB All Stars up Oldham street extended echospace glide with added Skam tilt.
Since bursting onto the scene in 2013 with his acclaimed debut single 'Lifetrax', German producer Florian Kupfer has dropped a flurry of singles and found himself jet setting around the globe for an influx of DJ gigs. Still, he's happiest back at home in his bedroom, surrounded by hardware, ready to cut up a whirring new chug of bass rumbling electro house or techno designed to unsettle even the most hardened dancefloor veteran. The 'Explora' EP lands on Ninja Tune's single label Technicolour and has been inspired by the solace of a Berlin winter and dormant post 9/11 emotion. Opener 'Explora (Slave)' throws us into an intimidating bass pit, surrounded by disorientating synth stabs before the uncomfortable crush of 'Headpiece.' Prepare yourself too for the oppressive fug of 'Shpel'. A low, psychedelic trudge through the isolated corners of Kupfer's mind.
Bleep are proud to release the debut EP of a mysterious producer named Zap Francis. These beats first aired on Black Milk’s Boiler Room set about a year ago but other than that, not much is known about Zap Francis.
When Black Milk (rapper and producer from Detroit) was questioned on where the tracks came from, he answered: “Zap Francis gave them to me”.
With this debut E.P., Zap delivers 6 tracks of instrumental hip-hop that soundtracks journeys across intergalactic realms.
From the opening hi-hat of shuffle and bass and synth-line drops of ‘Scuffer’, you know what you are dealing with here. The soothing tones of ‘Spirit Felt’ shows a more delicate side to the mysterious producer. From the neck-snapping snares of ‘Chime End’ to the frenetic closing track of ‘Age Of’, the self-titled marks a new era of Zap…
Death Waltz Originals makes a much welcome return with the debut recordings from Black Channels, a two-piece whose music sets out to explore the dark tapestries running underneath the veil of modern life. E.P. executes this perfectly, its swirling mixture of insomniac post-punk and nightmarish electronics come together to create an ethereal release featuring a wide array of icy minimalist synths; all this against a vast backdrop of dark skies in which ghosted vocals drift throughout and dramatic drums creep along haunted by a dose of otherworldly originality.
Following Novelist and Mumdance’s excellent ‘Take Time’, released by Rinse in 2014, the duo team up again for ‘1 Sec’ and ‘Shook’, released by titanic independent label XL Recordings. ‘1 Sec’ is an instant anthem, coming with a no-frills intensity and a murky sense of dread. On ‘Shook’, the blend of Novelist’s Rottweiler flow and Mumdance’s breakdown instrumental leaves dancefloors and radio selectors reaching for the rewind. The track’s instrumentals round out the release, putting the emphasis on Mumdance’s murky hardware production: minimalistic but punishingly loud, they’re grimy in the literal sense of the word. The EP is also a savvy signing from XL, their first proper grime release since putting out records from Dizzee Rascal and Wiley in the early 2000s.