Plus 8 Records
Out: 6th December
Plus 8 make their move for the end of the musical year with this Various Artist recording. +8138 reminds me of a great VA release from Glasgow's Bricolage, which in turn reminded me of a book of haiku (written by myself) called 575365. Interestingly enough, someone else released a book of the same title a few months after I did. I detect a trend. Never-the-less, this music-o-numerical concept perhaps is best suited for electronic productions. The digital realm, reliant on amounts and data-sets, plays host to numbers with meanings beyond their value. There is a numerological mystique involved here that is translated into the material world via unique sounds.
The first artist on offer is ANNA with High Contrast. Since being featured as a Mixmag best DJ of 2018, then heading up an Essential Mix earlier this year followed by a handful of successful releases, it's probably only right she brings it on for this album. ANNA makes an imprint for Plus 8 after a long and fruitful friendship with Richie Hawtin. ANNA is on Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud.
With a throbbing bass matched with piercing eerie whistles, the music enters a shadowy centre. A thudding bass breaks free, sucking up the ambience in a rhythmic material. Shuddering cymbals with echoing taps then are added, which are ultimately followed by a hard-hitting snare. The rhythm is furious, electronic and abstract. Unusual percussion instruments feed the bass-line with various elements of beat. The music builds and progresses as a fat synthesiser roars across the top with a vibrant and shifting array of scale.
Next is Amsterdam resident and Japanese musician YUADA. Established as the resident DJ of Melkweg in the Dutch capital, YUADA gives us Circle of Acid. After meeting up with Plus 8 label captain Richie Hawtin at the recent Awakenings festival, he gave her the thumbs up to work on a demo of this track to be put on the new VA album. The master is here and leaves us in no doubt as to Hawtin's ability to see talent through the rough copy. Listen to YUADA on Spotify.
With a fast paced rhythm full of bass, cymbals, and snare, a rummage through the dancemoves finds us magnetically drawn to this track. Distant synths create metallic surges behind the flow of percussion. As the progression continues, extra elements are injected in which creates a distorting wobble of rhythm that pounds from left to right. It breaks down again to reveal surging bass synths which reverberate across the timings. The continual pressure of tempo rages beyond the skin which froths and curdles with various notches of synth and sound.
ENTER resident Fabio Florido is on the three spot with a track called The Bliss. Plus 8's Richie Hawtin has been utilising Fabio's arsenal for many years in his own DJ slots. This Italian DJ attends global events as well as his regular appearances at home, under the umbrella of ENTER and Space Ibiza. You can follow Fabio Florido on Twitter and Facebook. Plus you can listen on Soundcloud and Mixcloud.
It begins with a gradual influx of sound. Before we know it, a thumping bass that's synthetic and novel brings on the force. That subtle sound from the very beginning begins to grow. The swelling forms a distinctive sweeping melody that fizzes and distorts with electronic goodness. Fast housey drums play alongside a definitive techno beat which is encapsulated in cybernetic motifs of the synth. Then, a layer of cymbal finds its feet. This brings with it other sounds of percussive intent which all merge in a flowing river of danceable rhythmics. Through various break-downs and shifting melodics, the rhythm continues via several guises and incarnations of sound.
After this, we are treated to That Days from DJ wizard Toni Alvarez. With a famous technique of mixing four simultaneous decks in his techno shows and a whopping list of over fifty unique tracks with his name on, it's clear he's earned a slot on this stunning VA release. The Spanish DJ was so eager to be involved that when invited to contribute, he sent in everything he'd made. Toni Alvarez is on Twitter, Facebook and Soundcloud.
It opens straight away with a fiery minimalist beat. Simple drums tap and tamper with a distinctive bass-line that rumbles away at the atmosphere. A pressurised whistle grows and become siren-like as the volume amplifies into a lead instrument. A warbling oscillation in the tone brings on a super-quick tempo that fits snugly in the consistent drums. A vocal sample breaks in a human angle before more jittery synths add another layer of rhythmic quality. High energy and tense drums bash out a frantic beat while the under-score of melody works up and down in motions of progression.
Full Clipp from dance-floor composer Matrixxman is the fifth track. This multi-talented musician has worked in several genres including pop and hip-hop. Matrixxman knows where his bread is buttered though and has enjoyed repeated accolades in his electronic music productions. By utilising the benefits of the Detroit, Chicago, and UK dance music scenes, a unique blend of head-spinning beat infusion ensues. Matrixxman can be discovered on Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud.
With disparate melodics, a tune opens out with rhythms like a multi-faceted flower. Skyward pointing notes reach up while digging beats increase the sense of grounding. A subtle cymbal strikes through for a brief moment, perhaps as a sign of what's to come. The beats and melody continue as hypnotic waves of sound begin to merge. Then, a fast paced and high energy cymbals bashes out a section of rhythm which briefly builds the track into a spire. These break down to push the synthesiser into a tube of sound that compresses the ability to jump along the scale. Then deep and resonant bass thunders through to bring out yet more aspects of this flavoursome mix.
We head over to the techno clubs of Frankfurt for the next number. For over a decade, Dave Simon has been laying down the beats and tunes for revellers from this part of the world. Those who remember the legendary U60311 may well recall Dave Simon from their roster of regular faces. The Proper Techno Tunes founder and regular visitor to several big name Berlin clubs brings us Methagem. Is it as addictive as it sounds? Dave Simon is on Facebook and Soundcloud.
A fast beat, full of bass and snare, opens out. It's quickly joined by tappety hats which continue the theme of quick rhythm. A sludgy undercurrent of bass grows from the corners and the floorboards before a wave of sound washes in the assist in the progression. This is followed by an unveiling of distant melody which grows over the bars to be accompanied by ever more dynamic drumming. The simple yet infectious synthesiser breaks open a section of the music to grow and blossom in its own right. The drums catch on and with a frantic push of fury, they reassert themselves.
MISBHV comes next as we're given a dose of ONYVAA. Taking the plunge and releasing outside of her regular label for the first time, Paris based ONYVAA issues a new original. With a wealth of material established on her Passeport Records label which sits alongside artists such as Marcel Dettman and Charlotte De Witte, music fans from across the board are paying attention to this dynamic musician. You can follow ONYVAA on Facebook and Soundcloud.
With a snappy bass with a twangy underlying note, a low-end rhythm breaks forward and runs the show. A higher side of percussion builds gracefully and is soon joined by some slightly muted cymbals and snare. A flux of motivation follows the beat as various energies seem to boil and coalesce within the minimal and hypnotic production. More rhythm is added and a distinguishable melody gives rise to more kinesis. Then, a sweeping rubbery sound adds a new dynamic and it's soon propped up by yet another layer of percussion. This track faces in one direction and pushes all of our energy into the middle.
Perhaps a wild card or maybe just a well-earned slot on an album of fellow superstars, Agdam by Orbe completes the record. Known for adapting atmospheric IDM and ambient to fit dance-floor ready bangers, Orbe has achieved recognition not only with his solo work but also with his regular duo Lost Epcot. Orbe is on Soundcloud and Facebook.
The music opens with a subaqua rhythm like a sonar. Delicate melodies are played out across metallic sounding pipes and surfaces. A static rhythm maintains a forward pace while the atmosphere expands with drips and clatterings of mechanical pressure. New drums are added, they fill yet more space in the dynamic of the track, thrusting an array of metalwork and strange industrial sounds into a penetrating rhythm. Repetitive yet complex and full of character, the music sways and branches out in polyphonic directions rich with pitch distortion, echo, and reverb.
Plus 8 Records can be found on Bandcamp
You can follow Plus 8 Records on Facebook
Got a demo? Send it in to Plus 8 Submissions
Listen in to Plus 8 on Soundcloud
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
Thanks for supporting the documentation of underground electronic sounds!
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