Disintegration State Records
TBR: 18th October
Adventsong returns to Disintegration State with another escapist soundtrack. Enjoying the label community and contributing to live shows and remix efforts has helped to establish Adventsong as an electronica figurehead. This brand new release was inspired by the course of an entire night. As the artist entered the restless dimensions of the mind, the output features the creative flare of this magical time. By exploring the mental journey of being awake all night long, with our thoughts for company, has been transcribed as this musical journey. Showing that music can be produced in this way, with a certain degree of ad-lib clarity which perhaps never usually makes it past the tab paper, raises a flag for spontaneity and catching that all important vibe.
Beginning with birdsong and the sound of moving traffic, Vespertine Shroud opens the album. An arpeggio dances across waving sonics while a horn synth jumps from notch to notch. Atmospheric and melodic, a sweeping array of tones explore the key with occasional jumps into the minor. The arpeggios evolve and reach up to a higher level. This signifies the start of track two. Merged into one journey, the rhythm of the scaling notes becomes a seedbed for percussion. Tapping drums and jabbing blips build a fluttery and circling array of beats. Gusty under-notes from a battery of pipes and mechanics swell beneath to elevate the sprawling soundscape. Crumbling Dusk builds and flows as rhythm and tone create a spectrum of musical intention.
Azured follows, it yawns open with a shining tone. As this expands into the void, a smooth and accessible rhythm beats forward. Snare and hat combine as a thudding kick injects a moochy tempo. Chiming notes begin to decorate the tempo with a shiny and interlaced with echo serenade. As the music loops, new adjustments lower the amplitude which creates a spacious expanse. The levels climb back up to continue the ambient journey. This comes to an end with a hypnotic sense of dreaminess. Next is a quicker and more punchy number. Two-step drum and clap riffs stand tall among harps which again utilise the arpeggio form. Up and down labyrinths of buoyant sound jostle among up-beat and optimistic drumming. Cut With Dust is laced with energetic synth tones and rhythmic progressions.
Or Aura starts with a buzzing vibrancy which fades into an echo. Huge areas of sound swell and dissipate within curdles of digital spheres of composition. Crawling and stretching monoliths of sonic form lean in with slow and abstract posturing. Abstract drone music with sunny influences holds a moment in time with a clear and perceptive vision. As the drawn out tones shrink into the sky, a beat penetrates the tangible dreamscape. Bouncy rhythms knit a stitch-work of melody and drum which swirls and rotates on neat pinpoints of sound. Marloes Rd twinkles in the street-lit glare of multiple lanterns each one spreading a hazy glow onto tarmac and verge. Twisting ribbons of sound flow from left to right, holding the loops and scale explorations together.
Another cavernous opening marks the intro for Abyssal Skies. Ocean waves roar within cliff-face caves and temporary valleys. A throaty synthesiser melody churns a distinctive dream quality through the murky expanse. Perhaps a nod to Tomorrow's Harvest from Boards of Canada, the eerie and evocative shining progresses into slicing digital beats. Wobbly tones on plucky bells spindle and spark as the progressive rhythms build on foundations of abstract ambience. The album finishes with Matitudinals. Twinkling piano notes dapple the high end as a swelling tone approaches from below. Subtle melody grows from the droning pitch to reveal a warm and harmonious frontage of sound. More high end tones sweep in, shrill yet warm, and invigorate the slowly flowing sound. Calming reflections of synthesiser beam out in radiating shards while gradual rhythms glisten into focus. This lengthy number takes us on an adventure through sound and imagination. It's a great ending to an album that almost feels like the whole thing builds up to this final mix.
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Out 23rd September
Already known for releasing Mixmag's Electro Album of the Month with his previous debut “I”, the LA producer returns with a slightly more dance-floor outlook. Isolating particular retro grooves and techniques then building them into a modern sounding formulation, a merging of past, present, and future creates a multi-faceted production. Utilising rhythm and pulse as well as drone and drifting bass, this new EP challenges the definitions of genre in exciting ways.
Beaty blips rounded with a steady electro kick opens the first track. The amplitude swells, invigorating the synths into new formations. More melody joins in beneath as brassy sounds and swelling bass dance in space-age helices. A dancing motif revolves in the background while powerful synthesiser tones droop and burst across the sonic horizon. As the music progresses, swinging tones swoop across our perspectives. The rhythm stops to allow a smooth insertion of the key melody before a new arpeggio style decoration reveals a tempo. Citrola opens the EP on an interesting and ear-pricking intent.
Title-track Arduin comes next, it starts with a dramatic synth-wave style melody. Frantic notes searching for safety explore a rhythmic room of neatly portioned drum. Cymbals begin, their edges crisping the sides of the composition while a surging bass, chunky and vibrant, digs trenches around the walls. A new melody starts, a tripling effect of intent pushes the music forward at an ever increasing speed. The franticity of the mix gives way to dreamy tones which scope slowly for surrounding data. Surging and bass driven parts sludge around in dirty puddles while the precise and energy rich high end spins and twists on neat sixpences.
Next, a wave of synthesiser washes over in a minimal yet evocative melody. Dappled notes spread like blotted inks across wide open cartography paper. Pressure rises over a period of about two minutes to build a wash of emotional sonics. Qom is a short number, which works as a prelude to what comes next. A battery of exploratory synthesisers begin to chug to a simple up and down melody. A drum and bass side ensures that the energy is continually pushed upwards. A smash of cymbals strikes again and again in a neatly portioned river of treble. Synthesiser builds to create a motion of notes that continually grows in dimension and accompaniment. Psychotrope takes us deep and flies us high on two distinct trains of musical thought.
The EP closes on Spiral Jetty. Dreamy low tones scale boulder like shapes while shining and twinkling lights sparkle. Pattering like heavy rain in a street-lit urban landscape, the odd car swooshing past with trails of spray behind, the music builds an eerie and exploratory area. Again, a short number designed to garnish this motivating and interesting EP.
Get music by Principleasure from Bandcamp
And listen to Principleasure on Soundcloud
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Pregnant Void Records
TBR: 30th September
Returning to the decks with a huge double 12” vinyl release, Pregnant Void make way for Francesco Devincenti. The ambient electro dub sounds Devincenti is known for are unleashed for yet more journeys into experimental and boundary defining music. A member of MORK and TDV, as well as a prolific solo producer, Francesco Devincenti has worked in music for years, studying audio before landing a job at a respectable studio. Having a knack for manipulating waveforms using a plethora of knowledge, we are treated to a truly masterful audio artwork with each recording.
Wooden percussion sounds jangling in the wind match a swelling underscore of wobbling bass. Trilling high notes dance on plinths raised from static and crumbly subsections. As the music grows, windy sounds swell in the corners while extra effects build and crunch together in strange sonic architecture. Maths doesn't make much sense, and yet it's an inventive and exploratory journey that's enjoyable. It feels as if the music is being played live with a combination of organic and digital instruments, yet my better sense tells me it's all done with computers.
Fuck You Trup featuring Hi.Mo opens with a sunny burst of warmth synthesiser. Sparkly notes drift in twinkling bursts while a lower projection waves in heat-lines from the surface. A skittish rhythm breaks free. Frantic and hyper-active beats thrust a subtle energy forwards as they remain low in the mix. Throbbing bass tones wander in like ogres over the valley lip. The drums begin to grow in volume, pushy beats jostle together with the synthesiser and flow to bring a bubbling froth of adventurous ambience.
The next number has a happy upbeat melody. Playful notes bounce together in a major key while under-bells chime in harmonising similarity. A tapping of rhythm spells a smooth and easy-going drift through a cloudy surface. We dreamily get swept along in pleasant and forgiving nudges through an inventive and evocative soundscape. Jim Odissey also features Hi.Mo. It's a sunny and well-lit forage through ample meadows and broken pathways.
Plucky notes begin to surge for the following tracks. Pushed up by the ever-present energy of mechanical rhythms, it's as if a machine is typing or stitching in time to some higher purpose. Bassy blips and pattering percussion mingle while hyper-cymbals jingle at high velocity. Digging beats hook subtle lines into the deep end as dancing tones shake and shift in the lofty reaches. Then a vocal sample hand in hand with eerie chords begins to grow into an awkward euphoria. Chiaro' Soldiers is the final number which features Hi.Mo on this record.
Skunk is a quieter track. To begin with, there's only the distant sound of bells. They could be copper and wood, their succulent tones sit somewhere in between. Whistling tones and slender drumming build a tranquil lake of sonic fuzz. Buoyant notes drift along in dreamy corridors of current and wind direction. A plasma of percussion expands in bubbling projectiles of sound while the matrix below churns and simmers with a forceful mixing. Extra music can be heard, plucked guitarish sounds make a smooth melody across like a film of coalescing harmonies.
This is followed by a playful bassline, scoping out random horizons. A spectral ray of sonic intensity washes across the hillside while we avenue through distinctive natural surroundings. Like a journey with a destination, something grows nearer with the following bars. Mysterious tones shine and drift as magical luminary entities begin to join each other in rows at a distance. Their vision like frost as we walk through their territory. Memories is full of rumination and uncertain perspectives.
Lord of Lords starts with a vocal sample of a man speaking about Christ. It's a moving subject, he asks us if we agree with what the bible is teaching and what it means. The sample is played out via funky dancing beats and synths which gargle and swell in vibrant ethics. Smashing and highly effected percussion breaks down before another run of jangling drums sparks a new dancing rhythm. Tones and chords slam down in hits of sound as odd sound effects and murky environments are knitted together.
What follows is a building drum-beat. Distant at first but quick to meet us, the subtle and chatty drums bring along a bell which soon starts to decay into something else before redefining it's original shape. Cymbals scamper along the flat plane of sonic building ground while lifts in the topography gradually evolve into repeating sections and loops. The progressive growth of sound seems to continue into peak after peak. Brutal Reality wants to grow in intensity and pressure as it marches onward with each turn of the record.
6 a.m. Fishing Dub featuring Simone Gatto starts in a windy lakeside. A clean guitar plucks a melody across wide open spaces. Drums begin to cast their magical allure while the music gradually spans out to incorporate more subtle sonics and crafty waveforms. The guitar wanders off from the main area, gets lost and then rejoins the group in a too close to real life twiddle of the blues. Impending drums, distant grumbles, and sounds from some unseen depth mix together as swelling rhythms build a heavier side to the tempo.
Submission features Alice Lobo and it begins on a metronome. It expands to allow room for sultry vocals and vibrant bass strings. Punchy elements of drum and tone burs through to wake us up after Alice has sent us into introspection. She wants us to carry on listening. Her poetry twists onward, through harmony, tone, and expressive intent. Her voice carries a rhythm that once again smashes down into a new era of projection. A rapping element to her delivery touches on the punk warble known from the likes of Johnny Rotten and others.
The final number takes us to springy percussive sounds and dripping globules of semi-molten liquid. They gander together in frolics of wispy sound that swirl from left to right in gusts of cymbal and tonal drum. A spacious and disorientating dredge through astronomical adventures of number and photograph comes to life for Euclidean. This numerical and manicured finale to the record takes us deep into the world of portion and flow.
Francesco Devincenti is on Facebook
Pregnant Void Records are on Bandcamp
Also, get your head into this! Sample Tank Max 4
Stanislav Tolkachev and Marthial
TBR: 15th November
Somewhere in the heart of cultural Milan can be found the Tempio Del Futuro Perduto. Translating as the Temple of the Lost Future, this club and arts scene hosts regular parties. To top that off, the hub promotes independent art via workshops, creativity spaces, and educational gatherings. The associated record label 24H are now ready to set sail with their first vinyl pressing. A super-sized single from Stanislav which includes an exclusive remix from label founder Marthial holds the honour of the first entry in the 24H catalogue. Undoubtedly a collector's edition, this techno electronic piece of sound can be thought of as an acorn, ready to grow into something huge.
It starts with a pounding digital beat. Looping strikes on the synth match with a pumping bass drum. Then, wooden sounding tube drums push a new, more ambient tempo through the powerful surge of beats. Fast paced and full of synthetic energy, the notes begin to merge and crumble together as their decay is given extra sustain. As the amalgam of sound cakes together into a thick and pulsing dough, the ambient side to the rhythm gradually builds to incorporate more phonic drums. Computer blips and plucks of tight strings dance together in circles of intent while that ferocious pulse continues to throb and torrent onwards at high speed. For ten minutes, this dancing track continues to push boundaries of sound while the elements are given energies that dissipate the original form into something more advanced.
A Marthial remix follows. With a lot more focus in the synthetic rhythm, the track begins. Travelling in a different direction to the original, the same structure is given a dose of treble and a new angle in the delivery. More cymbal strikes make prominent hearing as the undertone of bouncy sponge bass throbs and swells in timed bursts. An atmosphere of abstraction knits in through the mix as the high end flutters and sparks like living daylight in dusty rooms. Comparable to walking through a forest at night, or exploring an old unlit building, a sinister quiet is permeated by the inner motions of raging stimuli.
Acropolis 02 begins on a chewy beat. Tonal drums pound up and down a small stair while a plucky melody begins to chant and burst in repeating phrases. Another quick tempo frames a dose of powerful dancing energy with up-beat and euphoric qualities. Electro style melodics push on, bringing a jittery and spontaneous volley of sound. Then, dirty and crunchy bass drum strikes on regular beats. It gives a new depth to the piece as the rotating dynamic drills down while holding onto the ceiling. Chatty harmonies bubble and squirm in the sunlight while digging and churning rhythms root us to the floor. Electric pulses of percussion merge with shining wavelengths of computerised expression.
Acropolis is a full-on EP, these three tracks all cast a magical spell on audiences that almost forces them to dance.
Catch up with Stanislav Tolkachev on Facebook
24H Records are on Bandcamp
If the Temple of the Lost Future sounds like a great idea, why not visit Alternative Fruit? From the author of The Electro Review, a site helping you to be more creative!
Out: 30th August
Tin Man makes an appearance for the eleventh release from Dutch Konstrukt Records. The acid genre which began in the 80s and became synonymous with Chicago now finds its way into other styles, poking its influence into many electronic music outfits. Tin Man puts this into action with a major homage to the sound by releasing a deep and hypnotic EP that pushes the acid style into as many crevices as he can. Featuring four tracks, each twice the length of a typical single, this record is a small party in its own right.
Quick snappy hats rummage around with a throbbing bass kick, it's held back by a whistling tone that breaks free. Jumpy oscillator synths bounce around on harmonious plinths to create a distinctive swirling arena. As the amplitudes roll onward, releasing gradual amounts of pressure, a space-age journey into swirling spacial dimensions ensues. Acid Swirls lives up to its name, and each track is given a similar self-descriptive title.
A new pulse opens for Acid Distances. A reverb on the drum and cymbal spans the sound into huge gaping valleys. A blip melody in the mid-range section opens the progression. It marches on to a 1-2 beat through rocky canyons and wide open landscapes filled with mists. The pace is quick, more than a walking pace, we jog briskly in a labyrinth of openness. Gain increases and a new element of space works its way through a dimension of sound as the notes in the melody begin to disintegrate.
I think this is the quickest tempo yet, Acid Breaths starts with a break of drums and cymbals that sound insisting and energising. A plucked melody walks up and down a short scale in a rhythmic pulse while dancing drums push us forward. The music builds and the effect on the warbling synth clarifies and distorts in neat packages, throwing the harmony in various directions like elastic changing its length with each pull.
For Acid Effects, the whole spectrum begins at once. Only the volume is set to low and we wait as the music amplifies. Distinctive parts begin to manifest from the original faded hum as new dimensions and sound elements emerge from the pudding. A chirrup of digital crickets brings a windswept and open space feel while echoing vibes and steady notations form like rafters in a tall and spacious barn. Swinging on support poles and acting out various situations through the mode of dance, the effect of this track is evocative and dreamy.
This minimal release is for people who love acid house, and for people who like interesting music. It's a demonstration of what can be done with relatively few instruments, and a mild beat consisting of only a handful of percussion tools. Less is more translates at volume too, making the music sound epic in a dancehall.
Konstrukt Records are on Bandcamp
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Out 31st August
Celebrating four years as a record label, Glasgow's very own Bricolage Records have put out a brilliant various artist release. Featuring a spectrum of talent from within the city itself, the release is titled as the dialling code for Glasgow. With each artist having a potential phone number that begins with 0141, it's a perfect title to highlight the city's home grown skills. Music from Bricolage explores the deeper and atmospheric side of electronic music production. Less dance and more dream, stitching this collection of musicians together, Bricolage unveil a joint hallucination as we peel back the time to explore their sonic sculptures.
Opening with Chambers from Iain Bethel, tubular synthesiser sounds span out across choral undertones. Steps of melody sprinkle glittering tones across a gradually building scenery. As trees grow and hillsides roll into view on the close horizon, it's as if a mist is fading to reveal the first sonic architecture. Like waking up in a new realm, somehow familiar yet unlike anything we know, the glowing transition gives us a new lease of life in a fantastical destination. Then, piano begins to speak. The slight echo on the notes dapple like struggling sunlight in dusty corridors. Are we going underground? Something about the glowing crystal walls signifies a deeper sense of majesty.
Following on is a windy and whistling atmosphere, it crackles in a digital static while natural tones froth in a sheltered eddy. A tension grows, allowing the stillness to spread out in a coalitionist canter through ample space. Glorious rainbows of sonic colour decorate the sides as a deeper harmony bellows forward through the centre. Splattered with happy paintings and spring flowers, a radiance of the soul feels like it's attempting to burst out of an awkward egg. Lay Still Beneath The Pylons by Broken Form digs in to a spiritual sense of electromagnetism, perhaps connected to material when within the scope of travelling charge.
Thousand Wolves' Polygon or Primitive opens with a spoken word sample alongside digital fuzz and distortion. We hear poetry over a slightly out of tune radio while meaningful musical tones spill their own story tastes across the palette. Dreamy rain windows open with mist sketches that trickle their detritus into the previous images, now distorted and with running lines, seeping into abstraction and speculation. New sounds jostle in, drums delicate like added spices bring a neat hold-on for us while the swirling and melancholy music drapes our surroundings. Extra percussion finds its way through, nestling itself among the fizzing sounds and dancing undertones. This all breaks down to let in a summery glow, a guitar starts to play the blues over chiming pads and playful cymbal strikes. Pot drums give a wholesome edge to the music as the music unravels into pleasant realms of care-free rumination.
Fourth in, a break of rapid drumming starts a whole new tempo. Subtle blips and wobbling tones grow into floral bouquets of sound while shakers and drums gather their high energy repetitions. A vocal sample pushes in, asking us to trust our own intuition when we cannot see the way forward. The drums increase their power as yet more looping rhythms are layered over the top. The culmination is an insisting pressure to motivate the mind. Scattering tones decorate the underside while the punchy and uplifting surge of rhythm keeps us on our toes. Fragile X brings Losing Dreams To Sleep, a curious title perhaps pointing to metaphor. More sampled vocals break the hypnosis. It sounds like Alan Watts, reminding us to not fight our body when it doesn't do what we want. This in turn makes way for more synthesisers, wailing notes push vibrant energy into the space above our heads.
Nerotic by Justin Case is up now. It begins with bouncy tubular drums that shimmer with deep resonance. Snares and cymbals add their flavour to the mix while twangy bass tones begin to dictate a melodic flow. Funky and driving forces break with the ocean surge to surf on waves made of ever rising currents. New angles and perspectives with loud and harsh edges make sudden entrances while the music smashes around us. This fades to bring on a whooshing sound, swinging past our ears. Synthesiser hits begin a tempo, the dancing pace brings out a forward push with drums and bass that compliment each side of the coin. It's a sporadic and jumpy number, full of interesting vibes which often take us by surprise. Extra umph in the heavy and digging bass-line that follows leads the track into brambly avenues and leafy glades.
Deep, spacious drums pound out in a tribal melody. Odd perspectives on metal-work and a funky bass-line prepare us for a new layer of percussion. A fast-paced and uplifting drum-beat gently unfolds to bring a higher state of being in the mix. Dialling tones and chewy bass glisten in to fill a void left in the wake of the previous movement. The drums begin again, and now they're joined by these new fractals of musicality. Swirling around maypoles and merry-go-rounds, the revolving loops are complimented again and again by sonic shifts and tectonic rumbles which jiggle the scenery. Whistling elements and tapping drums beats keep an ember glowing while a calmness washes through the track's hair. Now, as a warmth and elevating energy builds once more, the wholesome nature of the progression is given another free run in the upward direction. Esef's Viral is a great up-beat introspective journey.
Time Span by C4 opens with more vocals. This time, we're listening to an American woman explaining what sounds like psychology. Ghostly wails and haunting chimes scatter in the thickness of air as diffracting wavelengths travel at differing speeds. A new drum, fast and inspired by drum n bass rhythms smashes in. In an explosive likeness to the artist's name, the synths and rhythms spiral in outward surges of excess energy. Culminations of intense sonics and percussive thrust peak and curl like oncoming tidal-waves bound for deep in shore valleys. Craziness is held down by tight bonds of strapping clarity which penetrate misty and crumbling elevations with neatly notched buckles.
We are shoved into a new higher gear as the next track breaks free. Huge rampant bass and drumming thrashes forward in a massive surge of sonic energy. Sonic breakdowns and fizzing power gradually overturn the initial flow to make room for a drive of snare and tom-tom. These increase in velocity until they become a single tone of percussion, then a snaking melody of yet more drums begins to twist in the rushes. Behind this, a penetrating and subtle sub-bass pounds on air-drums that penetrate our chest. No Arrival's Nudge is a spooky place, it's exciting too and filled with interesting angles of waveform and frantic directions. Glitching and hard-core coolness make this a track which breaks any ice in its way.
Next is X from Ly Tumnus. It begins with reversed notes that speak of a distant realm. Building bass and resurgent tones flavour steady drumming to unravel a slow and dreamy wander through almost disturbing chapters. A new melody pushes through on a barrage of rushing air. Perhaps a little sad, yet hopeful for the future, the music escapes a previous cell and aims to fill the entire available space. Pressure releases and churning melody creates buoyant alleyways which all lead to the same backlit projection of now. Where do we stand in this forest of nocturnal sound and backward dynamics? Where-ever we are, it creates a mystery that we can all enjoy.
A more delicate sound wafts from the speakers as Danni Rowan's Heck begins. An airy synthesiser becomes ghosts and phantoms while a distant drum grows in the foreground. Tapping rhythm marks out footsteps through an eerie soliloquy wrapped in mirrors and looping atmosphere. Is there a right way to go, or do we just enjoy the experience? As the corridor widens out, and the reflectivity fades into blankness, a heartbeat in time to the footsteps keeps us going through the pitch.
Track eleven begins with a space-age warble of energy. It dissipates into vapour as a strange sound breathes out. Another burst of sci-fi energy allows a steady paced drum beat of abstract percussion to break free for just a moment. Then, more ambience in silence stitched with sonic experiments and astral complexity. These things take time, as a crunching wave of dystopia destroys all in its path, yet more silence ensues. Odd noises and skin-tingling sensations sculpt the airwaves as a siren begins to churn out its universal message. Has something happened to the software? A strange bend in the pitch makes us wonder if it's a particular message being communicated. Kill Them With Noise brings an experimental and unique composition with UR.GU.LA, utilising unpredictability and rests as part of the sound construction.
A gorgeous piano melody opens for the next number. Finish What You Started lights a hearth on another plane for us while the warming notes conjure a progressive melody that functions as much more than a solitary instrument. As echoes of the previous tracks reverberate in our memory, the oceanic delivery of notes swell and surge through motions similar to nature itself. Wullae Wright shows us a mastery of the keyboard. Lost in jumpy and almost ad-lib composition, we drift along helpless to the flow of the music.
Finalising the work is a euphoric synthesiser motif. Sunken chords dress a catchy drum as plucked notes drift alongside multicoloured flags. When the synthwave bass-line unleashes its energy, a brilliance of melody shines out as chorded sound structures cast magical incantations across realms of wide open canyons. Blippy notes and drawn out sustain hold hands while a steady and easy-going rhythm dictates the mood. When The Rain Comes Down by Dreamland Fantasy ends the album on an evocative high.
A truly remarkable set of mixes from Bricolage, Glasgow's musical talent pool is undoubtedly rising from the depths. A premiere album chock-a-block with interesting and exciting music, 0141 has something for electronic fans from all corners of the art. It's a brilliant way to recognise the four great years so far since Bricolage began what they were always meant to do.
Royalty from this record is destined for staff at the ICU in the Golden Jubilee Hospital, Clydebank, Glasgow. Medical professionals are unsung heroes so get one for them.
As always you can find Bricolage Records on Facebook
Into The Deep EP
TBR: 20th September
Head of DeepLab and proficient producer Luke Hess brings us Into The Deep EP. As much a homage to his kit as a creative venture worth talking about, this three track record continues the thread of Detroit Techno for dance music fans around the world. Deciding to make the best of use the retro equipment for a modern sounding release meant Luke Hess had to work hard to build all the sounds himself. No fancy digital software this time, sculpting waveforms with switches and dials really gets our teeth into the work of making music. An interesting note is that each track is released with a verse from the book of Jonah. This famous Old Testament tale of a man being swallowed by a whale and then preaching to a non-Jewish populous with success is of course an inspiration for us all. No matter our whale, no matter our Nineveh, we all have an optimum destiny that is achievable. Having faith is something all artists can relate to, even if it's faith in our own natural abilities to create.
First on the list is Breakers. Listed tech includes a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 and Roland RE-201 Space Echo Tape Delay groove, TR-909 drum work, and a TB-303 acid line. With a chewy synthesiser and drum-beat, pulsing in a catching tempo, the music beings. The notes span out in new dimensions of sound. Delay and echo give the placements of notation an abstract and wholesome edge. A thick bass laps in, its bouncy vibration plucking into the depths of the track. Soon it's joined by more drums, this time quicker, filling in the spaces beat the other beats. Airy notes drift skyward completing the mix in a serum of layered sound. Shifting elements of drum and gradually increasing velocity within the keyboards culminate in a rising energy which cusps over and over.
Spaced out drums canter from the small break in the music. An atmospheric synth warbles in the near distance and it releases bursts of percussion. Cymbals snake in, like a sheet of polished obsidian, topping the track in a dark yet inviting lamina. Breathing synth sounds swell in and out across a valley of percussion, the echoes filling the voids in deteriorated mirrors. Eerie sensations wash through the music, airs of mystery and pressure squash with each forward step. A murky world of floating still life expands before us as we journey through the track. Depths is noted to have been made with a Roland SH-101, Dave Smith Prophet 6, Vermona Retroverb, Roland RE-201 Space Echo Tape Delay, with TR-909 & Acid Labs Miami drum work.
Quick step cymbals with a snappy snare on the off-beat gives us the intro for the third and final track. Splashing metalwork frames the piece, high end notations and rhythms pound down like heavy rain. Swollen notes puff out their formations in a dusty undergrowth while more vibrant and energetic vibrations grumble and shine in-between. Atmosphere and hard-hitting dancing tempos merge in a twist of squidgy and introspective apparatus. More melancholy than frantic, there's still an edge of the party stitched into every bar. Dreamy progressions of tone like sirens of sleep nuzzle down with splattery and anticipatory beats. This is Submission, it's made with real-time recordings of fireworks and a Prophet 5.
You can find Luke Hess on Soundcloud
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八仙过海,各显神通 (8 gods crossing the sea, each demonstrating their unique superpower) Various Artists Kepler 452b Records | The Electro Review
八仙过海,各显神通 (8 gods crossing the sea, each demonstrating their unique superpower)
Kepler 452b Records
Out August 23rd
Techno Tai Chi magicians, Kepler 452b, release a massive label taster various artist record. Featuring work from Ma Li, Tropikal Camel, National Park System, Nihiti, Mataya, Sestrica, MIKEY, Yr Lovely Dead Moon, and Miiia, this eclectic and fully rounded mixture no doubt carries the flag. A super-earth in a distant solar system with the possibility for biochemistry makes a great symbol for this out-there sound production team. Utilising subtle energies and universal constants, the music takes us through the fabric of space-time in expertly composed motions. Known for their art shows and fantastic music performances, this Berlin based travelling sensation is now ready to be enjoyed from the comfort of home.
It begins with long cymbal tones, smashing against the drumsticks in clatterings of sound. Then, a synthesiser tone pushes through the cacophony joined by more distant and subtle percussive strikes. Multi-tonal sounds creep and crawl in gradually progressive bursts of forward intention. Like pipes, the drawn notes hum and buzz as puffs of motivation fill the valve. Then, from out of the edges, comes a deep and resonant bass-tone. It crunches and fizzes with electronic energy, over-powering the previous peaceful sensation. As it drips and fades, it's over-shot by singing. Slightly discordant and childish, the voices repeat no-doubt famous words from some distant culture. Ma Li's The Children Of SurahAmma takes on a haunting quality as bashing drums and echo in the voices merge with sinister thumping bass.
Nihiti next with Techno Tai Chi. It starts on a distant thumping bass-tone. A growing world of huge weight begins to slowly fill the viewport. A computer sound and a percussive bash like a clock break in and find a way to mix with the groove. Slow and steady heaves into gravity and time adjust as the tempo increases with each bar. Hats and small strikes build between wafting synthesiser and space-age orientation. Heavy synths drag their cumbersome loads in as dappled music drops through the spaces in the line. Satellites and rocket-ships jostle for space in an orbiting frenzy of investigation. Strings and flurries of sporadic notes jump from the underground and project bright and vibrant chapters into the area above the music. Pressure grows and dripping drums bounce between sudden and energetic boundaries.
Electronica surges through for the next number. Frantic volleys scamper up and down the keys while soggy rhythm drips tones and pads down in neat capsules. Disorientating yet exciting and fresh, a horn begins to chamber through in deep and resonant colour. As it expresses in varying notes, it begins to take on a string and then vocal quality as the range reaches ever higher. All the while, jumpy and energy laden tones twinkle and splatter around static points of focus. Again, space-age tonics flavour the piece with feelings of expanse and cosmic concurrencies. Dreamy elements of solar wind flap like giant sails into deep and unknown pits of perspective while the rays of a nearby star fill the fabric with effervescent energy. State Of Weightlessness by Sestrica whisks us away, somewhere far and beautiful.
A vocal and sampled beat burst through the intermittent quiet. A story told by a seductive female voice with a slightly disturbing imagery fills us with a sense of together. Drums patter and churn while abstract synthesiser speckles the bars with garnish. Flow permeates like a cavern carved in ancient hillsides, vectors of sonic projection knit stars in the digital sky. New and interesting musical phonics continually blend in, inviting us to pay attention and expect to be surprised in pleasant ways. Yr Lovely Dead Moon brings us Physical Corpses. The music evolves again, allowing the vocal line to predominate before close.
Miiia comes after, with a massive number named Hal_trephes Mas_in_My_Dream. It's got a snappy and hard hitting drumbeat. The spoken words that glisten underneath continue on the poetic vibe from before. This time though, everything seems a little more hardcore. Gothic edges to the undercurrent of synthesiser bring out an epic ruin scene. It's as if we are walking among the remains of some vast complex where now only ghosts and undecipherable scripts can be found. Is this track a Rosetta Stone to some ancient mental thought structure? Or perhaps it's a Philosopher's Stone, transmuting vibratory principles into physical being. Persistent drumming and looping melodics keep a bubble afloat with neat and interesting kicks into the air. Minimal yet attentive to itself, the slow and meandering progressions bring on a hypnotic and mysterious energy.
It's followed by a vibrant and bouncy tempo. Boingy drums scatter their percussive voices as a tribe of ethnic vocalists enter with a holler. A rock drum beat lays across the top, snare and bass laying down a great vibe for the music to snugly fit into. One two drums make way for a snaking melody that creeps from left to right like a cobra rising from a basket. Another layer of melody comes in from the ground up, it wobbles and shakes on a sixpence curve of articulation. The eastern folk music quality shines through in brilliant bursts of clarity while heavy beats mangle with the labyrinthine sounds. Tropikal Camel brings us Rollerbergerstrasse, a track that speeds through gaping turns and bumpy straights while strobing effects maintain an atmosphere of apprehension.
The Ship Beneath The Sand from National Park System follows. With sunny notes, the music spills out in luminous shimmers. A changing tone with self-similar expressions that grow and swell with increasing pressure breaks open the tune. Distant kick-bass marks a dancing tempo while chimes and technological synthesiser sounds jangle and juggle their intense and joyful presences. A merging of tones and dream-land sounds folds together as a chunky and warm bass-line begins to wander. It all fits together in harmonious packages, a sudden barrage of new drums marks a euphoric upswing into even higher musical spaces. Side to side motions of synth and drum crackle and spurn within bubbling waters of sonic profundity.
Next, a whispering whistle enchants us with a drifting tune. A sleek entrance lets in heavy drums and a traditional sounding vocal melody. Another area of folk, this time perhaps from the west. Pounding castle drums reverberate on stone walls while a princess in silks opens her heart to the moonlight. A plucked bass-line knits through in stitches of vibrancy and melodious accompaniment. The music unwraps to reveal a dancing core, full of energy and emotive charm. Whispered voices dictate poetic lines while an ever increasing charge on the drum gives way to ever present percussion. River Fade by Mataya Waldenberg sweeps us along an adventure of timing and almost melancholy conduction.
More vocals lead for the final number from MIKEY. Spheres begins with a musical chant with pretty notes giving us a new dimension to this diverse album. We get lyrics and song with a backing of beautiful orchestration. This time it's a final chapter and it gives us something to remember fondly. We are all musical spheres, it's an attractive thought that we can relate to. Violins vibrato while slow and passionate drums fill in abstract spaces between. Peaceful attitudes with a clear direction to the stars allows us to drink in the music like a warm, nourishing soup.
You can visit Kepler 452b Records online
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and get the music from Bandcamp
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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