Fake News Records
TBR: 27th December
Founded with a passion to rid the world of fake news, this prolific record company spans the whole table with various genres and artists taking up the good fight. Even John Lennon's music has been handed over by his estate, meaning that the giants of British music and beyond are all rooting for this cause. It seems like a fair while ago when I wrote about fake news back in 2016, the subject has become a lot more widespread for the right reasons since then. Even certain unpopular presidents know how cruel it can be. fckdsko and their offering of Dusk is the latest chapter in this crusade against lies. To make it even more relevant, as well as entertaining, the track is being sold to raise money for mental health care and awareness in N. America. Suffering through poor mental health is something also close to my heart, and I've written poetry recently on the subject.
The track starts with a thick layering of sound. A synthesiser tone revolves around a chunky rhythm which with mechanical accuracy, taps and catches the engineered sections of substance. As it swells and grows in the mental space, a new energy rings out in the form of an electric string with distorted edges playing an uplifting and intriguing melody. Another element joins in with a new key, allowing for harmonising phrases and patterns to run through droning sustains and choppy composition. The progression moves quickly, at a walking speed the surroundings evolve and adapt to new corners with every few paces. Ideal for musing to, or perhaps drawing inspired images, the effect of this experimental yet accessible sound is one of dreamy sky-painting, joining up the stars to form unique constellations that match the stories of our own lives.
Listen to a decent sample now on Soundcloud,
and keep an eye on their channel for the release on the 27th!
Resonance Moscow News 12/18
TBR: 28th December
The Resonance Moscow radio show on Megapolis 89.5 FM has been instrumental in the flourishing of the Russian and former Soviet nation electronic music scene. Piping cutting edge and modern dance-floor filling mixes and rhythms to the masses has reflected the very best of what this cultural block has to offer. Since things have been so good recently, Resonance Moscow's own Nikita Zabelin has decided to expand into producing records. Fortifying the scene's up and coming talents and sounds in packaged instalments will definitely help to cement the work of these prolific artists into the halls of fame.
Beginning with Guys Call Me Dude and a track called Relaxing, smooth vocal lines and chiming synth sprinkles a sunny energy into the room. Sun-lit corridors of sound span out, melody begins to create a distinct flavour. Soon, a crackling electronic static begins to build in behind and it muddies up the water. The track breaks down at this point and unleashes the second number. Kvarta's Afraid and Run begins with a tense rhythm and pounding bass tone. A distorted percussion thrashes out a tinny melody while kick drum and rim-taps craft a snaking journey. The element of rhythm is really strong, there is a grabbing sense of movement in the delivery, squelchy bass and sonic rumbles add an extra dose of sonic depth.
Thorj with IDGAF is up next. An eerie and frantic synthesiser rhythm spans out in a pulsing bass and wandering melodies in the treble section. Once we grow accustomed to the levels of strange, a bass drum begins a quick timed pulse through the middle. It stitches everything together tightly, leaving little space for inserts, the melodies and drums crinkle up into a homogeneous mass of moving sound that would be extremely difficult to not dance to at high volumes. It grows in intensity and then draws back, settling on a crazy piano that tinkles in and out of time, throwing jazzy elements in for fun. A new even quicker rhythm is injected and everything falls back into a dancing number once more.
A moody and industrial hum with clicking beats grows from the frantic echo left behind by Thorj. With Junction by Molodoy Chelovek, a gloomy and dark audial space is created, the walls quaver and shimmer in adjustments of resolution. Mechanical grumbles creep in the shadows while the sound of moving metal greets electronic engineering. Deep and throaty under-currents of tone give an appearance of long and reaching shadows that stretch from low lights embedded in distant corridors. It fades into static drones which crackle and distort, making way for the next track. Uasmi Nasser brings The One I See In The Mirror. It's got a quick bass drum that has a snap to it, it beats in a timing with a staggered 1,2,3, in the bars, although it's in 4:4. This makes a snaggy catch for dancing, giving revellers a chance to perhaps be a little more creative in how they choose to move. Repeating melodies and subtle trills into the sky from a synth gives it a spacious and open feeling.
Next, another mechanical sounding rhythm begins to churn out the sounds. It's joined by a rapid firing cymbal that tingles on the tip of the revolving underwork. A snare brings a stable and easy to dance to rhythm right in the middle of the sound, and it's joined by a strange sample which drags everything into a sonic mire. It breaks down, revealing a ghostly pang that's greeted by a stabby yet soft synth tone which begins jumping around in circles. More rhythm is piled in, bringing it back to a dancing number, revolving beats and repeating compositions become almost hypnotic in their delivery. Confluence by Vsu Nezhno has a house and techno heritage yet with dreamy additions there seems to be some shoe-gazing going on. Maybe just not in the way we're used to.
Ваня Лимб is next with Синяя Петля. It seems important to remain in Russian script for this artist, and as it opens, I can see why. An almost romantic nod towards classical composers is revealed as a sudden and hearty bass tone is pulled from a chorus of cellos. Violins add another layer to the sensual ocean of vibration that's built from so many self-similar yet uniquely moving parts. This track takes us to the other side of electronic music composition, the harmonic and arranged music brings a whole stringed orchestra into being. It's slow and moving, full of drama and intriguing waits for the next section. It builds us up in energy and tension, allowing Yung Acid to fall into place with Shorty.
Scatty beats repeat and revolve in a feedback of rhythm, new tones and drum sounds are given to the mix and they all begin to follow their own related journeys. A bass echo begins to spell out the bones of the piece and everything slides neatly into place. As we get used to the flow, a new double-timed drum begins and it heats everything up until it changes state. Vocals start, rapped lines and frantic builds on dance music drums invigorate and enliven the album. It's very much a 90's clubland revival anthem, with jungle style rhythms and up—beat sonic staircases. Crop by Diloveje is next. It starts straight away with a catchy beat and spacey sounds which resemble antique sci-fi. Glowing apparatus and analogue readouts spring to mind as the sound-track to a rocket-ship journey into the unknown unravels.
The next track opens with a distant static and twisting sounds that seem to create a strange tune. Perhaps we can hear a television in another room, or a show in full swing across the street, for some reason it's not clear what we can hear and it feels as if we're trying to work it out. As we approach, odd fair-ground like chimes begin to play out of tune melodies and furious exclamations of intruder as we amble by. Awkward rhythms cast a spell of uneasiness while the archaic instruments do their best to form a reasonable attraction. Charity Apes by Stas Karpenkov is an interesting number, and one full of experimental ideas.
The album ends on a throw-back to some 1980's late night bar. Hushed male vocals sing a balladic tune to a slinky sleek drum which is dressed in haunting vibes that glitter by dimly lit lamps. Layers of vocal build new harmonies that paint a slowly moving picture, the sounds suddenly get stripped back to reveal the passionate yet controlled quietness in the words. AL-90 with Prokhor Song ends the record perfectly, with a dreamy and intriguing peer into the timeless halls of musical direction.
Listen to and buy Resonance Moscow News 12/18 on Bandcamp
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And remember, Музыка дело чести!!
Out 17th December
From Tambov in Russia, Vladimir Dubyshkin arrives on the трип impress to unveil his first solo offering. Paying attention to the lower-case lettering in its title, the notion seems to conjure up a sense of self-defeatist optimism. It's a curious paradox that creates an alluring desire to check out the music. Designed to be unleashed during the high hours of the dance-floor, in which clubbers are all crammed together and bouncing to the high energy beats, cheerful pessimist brings home more of that satisfying dance music that keeps everyone having a good time. Nina Kraviz herself, the iconic owner of трип records, has pulled out numerous tracks by this techno-heavy dance musician in her premiere DJ sets.
It begins with a quick paced bass drum, pounding in pinpoint zones in the middle of the stereo. A unique flavour on the sound gives it an instantly recognisable flow. Rhythmic sounds of synth in treble and bass bleep in static pulses, growing in amplitude with each whirl of the energy. It all builds up and soon is greeted by squelchy bass that digs and squirms around in the under-passage of the track. Constant motion with repetitive progressions keep pulling us in further yet contains stability to implement the powerful dancing tempo. A new synth, one in the family of the muddy bass-line yet somehow able to fly, swoops down and greets the rhythm in the centre. Belissimo is a wonderful and simple plunge into the depths of the dancing crowd.
I decided to fly enters after a bashing into oblivion from the beats of belissimo. A wobbling and fast moving bass tunes in to an even faster rhythm, made of bass and snare, with tappy hats keeping everything smooth. Vocal samples repeating phrases evolves into a ghostly emotional depth that seems to blanket the rest of the track in an organic yet digitally infected warmth. The rhythms build and grow to become catchy and with rumbling clarity, the dancing energy is made to become a peak on a mountain of sound. It all boils down to reveal the repeating vocal lines which are constant and pulsing, and as we grow accustomed to the reduced sound, everything spills back over the rocks and this time with an extra layer of percussion with a wooden sounding ping which catches the off-beat.
A disjoined static infused rhythm, similar to a digital didgeridoo begins to pound the bass-end of the sonic spectrum. A much shorter offering in machines behave badly gives a frantic escape into rhythm based sonic fusion of ideas and tempos. A bass drum begins to form a stable entity behind the furious expressions from the ever shifting digital and distorted pipes. Gradual throws of effect and pushes on the tone functions bring out different and curious sections of its ever powerful rhythm. Pigeon epilepsy begins with a staggered bass-drum, thrown from side to side by an echo effect. Tones that could be interpreted as synthesised pigeon sounds begin to coo and crow over the layers of percussion. A magical energy swoops in behind the scenes in another cooing, this time on the opposite end of the spectrum to the manic and aggressive feeling over sounds.
The EP ends on rooyggbiv. It's comprised of a plucky bass with two-step drums which become a sounding board for more vocal samples. Up-beat and intense energy flows into the mix, which brings everything into a pitch-shifting bend upwards and outwards. The whole record brings a fascinating set of tempos, fills, and sonic experiments together which undoubtedly make perfect sense within those peak times on the club dance-floor.
Listen to and follow Vladimir Dubyshkin on Soundcloud.
Catch Vladimir Dubyshkin on Facebook
From the author of The Electro Review: 575365 - 365 Haiku and Senryu
Out: 14th December
Multi-talented electronic musician Engyn had a whirlwind success with his debut LP, Leaving Glenwood. After this initial burst of fuel for his creative energy, the motorman went on to create several pieces along mainstream and eclectic experimental avenues. Truly honing his craft perhaps so that all cylinders fire when the next Engyn record cuts the surface. The time has come, Berlin Techno gets another shift of gear with all the extra revs with Jesus Pose. This new single sports three tracks, two originals and one remix of the eponymous number. With a dance floor ethic of great beats with grabby melodic fills, plus an inspired mind that loves to explore sensual synthcraft, Engyn has us all fixated on his mould splitting sound.
Entering with a jittery synthesiser, a broken arpeggio of notes splash in sonic droplets into the tranquil stillness. Their pulsations and harmonics gradually build to create a rhythmic tangle of shoots, all growing in unique directions. A root starts to plunge down, anchoring every tangent in a throbbing bass drum that quickly begins to echo, doubling up the tempo. Cymbals sprout like leafy green buds, reaching out in finger like sky facing eyes. The bubbling synthesiser combines with the drums and cymbals to form a splashy dance tune that's unique in the way it builds melody in from interesting angles. Variations on the synth tones bring out distinct qualities of colour within the sounds, and as the drums disappear into a cloud of mist, the subtle work on this element comes alive.
The second track starts with a blip rhythm which is joined by claps and hats. The tone wobbles on an axis to make room for a bassline that resonates in distant corridors, a spacious sound of rhythm and melody builds in a spherical dancing zone around the ears. As new waves of drum are added, extra catchy beats make it undeniably fun to listen to. Mirror Pyramid brings to mind an illusory world of distorted reflections merging with infinity. Combined with the mental picture of a Jesus Pose, the title of the single and first track, with arms out stretched and in complete submission or maybe preparing to give everyone a hug, the picture is one of repeating submission to the shifting allure within electronic music.
Finishing with a remix of Jesus Pose by John Trajeda, the original creation is given a dose of the dance-floor polish. By elevating various functions of the track, a new-found constant is brought into being that makes the danceability even stronger. Maybe a reduction in brain food has been necessary, there's less to think about and strictly less to do on the decks while performing this version, it does however make a substantial and wholesome insert to a DJ's repertoire. It begins to close down with a frantic breakbeat style offbeat splice of drum which throws everything into a hyperdrive for a few moments, it's a pleasant surprise to this middle road experimental release.
Catch Jesus Pose by Engyn on Soundcloud
Jesus Pose by Engyn is available to buy on Amazon
Follow Engyn on Facebook
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Out 30th November
Escapism within music into the realms of subconscious dreams and fantasies, Takeleave brings us Inner Sea, a full length record of deep and introspective electronic music. Clothing sensations and life-pinning feelings in delicately mastered sounds for us to experience, this album makes the invisible visible and what better than through the audio lens of the individual who experiences them. Maybe as we listen, it's possible to detect similarities and ready to walk avenues of emotion and imagery that the music directs us towards.
It begins with Burrow. A subtle and vibrating metallic sheen starts the track and it grows in volume alongside a layering of drums and notation. Everything bursts into bloom and the percussion sets off a smooth and easy listening rhythm which is sprinkled with delicious chords and melodics floating around in neat organisations. Quick moving twisting sounds and upbeat drumming involving lots of metal work flow around a steady dancing bass beat, a dreamy feeling manages to encapsulate the whole sound, keeping it within a defined bubble of intention.
A vocal sample rings out from the intersection of silence. More thoughtful bell melodics reverberate over the building sound, and a jazzy drum-fill starts the pace of with a rolling start. Hip-hop elements knit the sounds together, bass notes and high end melodies all give the feeling of mixed vinyl. Interesting and well-planned drumming keeps the sound in absolute fresh quality, no plastic wrap required. Flurries of notes on various instruments splash a multi-textured colouring over the slow-moving and enjoyable Away From Here. Cosmic Bath speeds up the process a little bit, and keeps the slow breathing alongside for company. A laid back groove with happy drums give a fast yet imaginative section of sound for this third instalment. The elements of jazz, hip-hop, and electronica flow together in a wonderful mixture that's perfectly balanced in all directions. Synthesisers and loops made to their best. It's a shorter track, and one that perks us up for the next offering.
Groovy tones with a thudding beat on the bass drum give us a sound we can absorb like skin cream. As we sit back and let the wash envelop us, a juicy synthesiser begins to dance and wobble in a dualistic voice over the top. A rhythm here and a melodic fill there meet in the middle to form a bubbling glass of liquid pep. Shakers garnish the sides of Habitat in beautifully timed portions. More dreamy tones roll open the next number. Reverb and echo work in gentle doses to give chiming synths and bellish tones to the opening of Bedroom Eyes. Then a funky bass riff adds a whole new dimension to the sound, elements of Squarepusher sneak in through the bars while a distinct vinyl crackle keeps everything toastie warm.
Calibu begins with a section of bells repeating a catchy melody full of the black notes, keeping things in small movements from one end of a scale to another. Synth bass gives a retro-phonic feel to the underscore while bells and reverb span out in huge skies above our heads. Rhythm on human drums begins to cut through the heady mists and as we get even more settled into the sound, a new bass tone starts to add its quality once more. I'm reminded of listening to Bonobo with this one. New samples and miraging effects bring out the echo heavy introduction to The Eyot. A guitar picks a bluesy melody with a few well placed notes while a repeating rhythm gradually builds into fully-fledged drumming. As the music progresses, extra umph is given to the drums and bass while swells the sound into a forward facing drive through consistent scenery.
Passage begins on a piano, sombrely dishing out a melody to a warming crackled distortion behind. After a few bars of lucid visions of sound, a fast moving rhythm picks up the pace as begins to drive us forward once more. Melodies on the piano play joyously with the percussion, giving us a great section of happy and perky audio. As the next number begins, a new hedonistic melody soars from the stereo. A fabulously mixed rhythm and vocal sample twist together into a double-helix of beats. Slower and with an element of the sensual, Vacationin' lets us enjoy a sunny energy on our faces while steady abstract flow moves all around us.
Back Water grows slowly from an eerie windy tone. A plucked steel-string acoustic guitar brings a new touch of the late-bar feel but this time, much more cosy and huddled. Tampered drumming and funky beats on the synthesiser give the easy-going feel the once over and with a more organic sounding wash, we are swept along on this beautiful journey. That's what this whole album is, it's a relaxing saunter through stress-free and happy times, perpetual motion of intention and reasons to be happy give it a soundtrack to life quality that we can all make use of. It ends with Safehold, followed by You. More soulful and homely, the album makes everything just a little more personal before it closes down for the night. Opening hours, any time you like.
Watch the single Calibu by Takeleave on Youtube
Buy the album Inner Sea by Takeleave on Bandcamp
And visit Project: Mooncircle online
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TBR: 7th December
Based in Buenos Aires, the Hermetics project is administered by Columbian sound technician Santiago Niño. Since moving from Bogota, and releasing a wave of experimental and psychological techno and electronic music, Santiago has been snapped up by R&S to work on his latest musical project. Since releasing the debut Hermetics track Collider, things unfortunately took a slump. Like many musicians when starting out, expenses became too large an issue. Santiago had to sell his professional studio, leaving him with only a laptop and a few bits of home kit to work with. Knowing that a great craftsman cannot blame their tools, Hermetics set out to create something anyway. With the help of R&S, and his technological wizardry, Techgnosis EP surfaces like a hurricane from seemingly calm skies.
Deep and throbby bass notes peel open the initial number. Non-Physical Friend begins with a juicy rhythm that takes us by the shoulders. It steps in a square pattern around in a pulsating loop and then it's filled with a string synth marking the bar with each turn. More notes and sounds enter the listening zone, and soon the rhythm is built up into a steady and continuous sled-ride of passing percussion. Vocal expressions with homogeneous drumming relax into a flow which then allows a melody to enter from one side and gradually spill into the middle. It's got an ethnic sensation in the tuning, what-ever scale is being used delicately fits over the progressive beats like a figure hugging shawl. Spongy sounds begin to bounce in the backbeat, sliding through the long grass into the foreground gently, providing yet more energy to the frothing mixture of timings and tune.
For the next track, a crackled distortion warms up a steady but staggered kick drum. It builds into a steady flow while a revolving clicking slap keeps a higher sense of time above the slurry. A psychedelic atmosphere weaves in through the spaces as a sonar style beat glows in the undergrowth. It's quickly added to by more beats with a quicker pace, filling in the missing pieces. Sonic drops with frantic drumming allow Axis Mundi to quickly progress into a channel for high energy dancing. This floor filling number shows us why Hermetics can be fun as well as intelligent. Swerving inflections on the tones and effects within them give a swirling and driving feel to this quick stepping and catchy mix.
What's considered the Silver Side on the Vinyl release begins with track three. Much like the previous Black Side, more interesting and thought-out electronic rhythms make the scene. This time it starts with a slower and mechanical sounding rhythm. It's as if some greasy machine with computerised parts is churning out self-similar clumps of compressed sound. An angelic chime cuts in through the grimy backbeat to bring out a glowing light at the top of the room. Everything grows in pressure and density, tones begin to coalesce and sonic amalgams progress into further changes in output. Special Access Programs is a slower and dreamy track, chilled-out sounds drift around the constant rhythm set by the underlying mechanics.
Final track is Sonnenrad. It starts with a new found energy in the form of a quicker rhythm. A bass drum pounds in regular bursts while crackling and clapping sounds make a rolling drum effect in the background. Quick stepping left-right marching sounds enter around a minute in, and it brings out a whole new dimension to the track. An insistent sensation of carrying on through thick weather and dry days gives this a human and familiar feel. A sonic “Hey” shouts over the sound, and helps the music cut down into its formulative parts. Sludgy bass grinds underneath which surges into earth rumbling shudders while the hiking rhythm above keeps on going through the ever changing surroundings.
Buy/pre-order Techgnosis by Hermetics from Bandcamp
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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