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Hailing from Coacalco, a city on the fringe of Mexico City’s sprawl, Omar Suarez aka OMAAR wouldn’t be thought of as an ideal candidate to star in the world of abstracted instrumental grime and jagged club music, but over the past 18 months or so that’s exactly what the young producer has done. Having already performed at Mexico’s iteration of the Mutek festival, released the jaw dropping NO! EP on D.F. staple NAAFI and graced NTS with both a production mix and a recent contribution to NAAFI’s ongoing takeover shows, fans of OMAAR know the quality of his catalogue and ingenuity of his spars aesthetic, but it takes a little more digging to delve into the heart of Suarez’s music. And like many of the relatively nascent artist we feature, digging into OMAAR’s music can largely be performed on Youtube and Soundcloud, the latter platform offering a treasure trove of genre experiments, club tools and works in progress.

Much of OMAAR’s aesthetic is born out of Wiley’s Eski formula, but few artists approach the frigid sound palette with the care for space, silence and cataclysm quite like Suarez. His approach elicits the atemporal approach of early dubstep, as well as the techno and afrofuturisms of Detroit’s greats, all run through a lo-fi filter. Last year’s NO! EP is easily OMAAR’s most club-ready record and while most of his material is readily play-out-able, Bmore-indebted tracks like “TTHHUUGG” and “Sportswear” offer a certain propulsion absent in many of his more abstract experiments. Having that breadth is exactly what makes OMAAR such an intriguing artist and what makes trawling through his past work such a fun prospect. Suarez’s Astral Plane mix is, as we like it, heavy on originals with a few nods to Logos, Mumdance and Strict Face, unsurprisingly all proponents of the weightless sound. It’s brash, sci-fi-themed and more than a little jarring at times. And like OMAAR’s other mixes, it only offers brief insight into his body of work, but that’s more than enough for us here. Turn off the lights, dust your sub of and engage with OMAAR.

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Conceived of while trapped in a tiny cabin in the heart of Iceland, Australian producer Galtier‘s Atmospheric Reconstructs series is aimed at reconstituting abstract, blizzard-like (inducing?) tracks for the club. Volume one, as well as the concept behind the series which Galtier hopes to continue, was inspired by the work of Hessle Audio artist’s Pearson Sound and Bruce, particularly dire, machinic tunes like the former’s “Gristle” and the latter’s “Trip”. Considering how cacophonous the percussive side of club music has become in recent years, it comes as no surprise that a project like this could come out of fierce weather in a remote location and Galtier’s reworks, while flexed out into slightly more linear club form, retain the pressurized emotion of Pearson Sound and Bruce’s originals. Grab Bruce’s “Trip” from HES027 here and Pearson Sound’s self-titled LP here. And be sure to check out the rest of Galtier’s catalogue including releases on Apothecary Compositions and Files Rec., as well as a number of excellent remixes, bootlegs and compilation tracks.

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The past few years have seen Madison, Wisconsin-based producer Chants grow out of the cozy, beat scene-indebted shell he entered the popular consciousness wearing and into more jagged, barbarous garb if you will. Still a master at twisting, melodic functions, Chants’ recent output has been firmly aimed at the club, specifically metallic, thudding rhythm tracks. His latest two efforts comes as remixes for Hush Hush Records label mates MICHAELBRAILEY and Hudson Alexander, the former out today and the latter our July 10. Chants’ remix of BRAILEY’s “2 Lovers” is out on the British producer’s Perdicardial: Remixed tape, which also features w. baer, yyy and others, and features the sort of noisy, disjointed club patterns favored by the Janus and NON collectives. His take on Alexander’s “So Many Things” is slightly more sonorous than the clattering take on “2 Lovers”, retaining a warped kinetic energy embodied in pseudo-footwork percussion (those toms!) and a swimming sensation carried through the original’s string section. With his debut LP due in the fall, its a pleasure to see more and more Chants material pop up, especially as he diversifies his sound palette and continues to churn out hard hitting club productions. If the album sounds anything like a confluence of “U Had Rhythm” and “Porch Song 1 AM”, I think we’ll all be happy. Get BRAILEY’s Perdicardial: Remixed here and be on the lookout for more tracks from Alexander’s Needs/So Many Things single.

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Coming in hot with a highly tipped release on Black Acre, Tsunga is the latest artist to contribute to Trax Couture‘s monthly World Series, bringing his own brand of ‘ardkore to the London-based outlet. Support from Scratcha DVA and the “Feisar / Maris Piper” single have put Tsunga on the map over the past few months and, along with cohorts Wallwork & RZR, he has begun to makes waves with his hard-edged take on slowed down take jungle/hardcore or whatever you’d prefer to call it several years down the line from “Hackney Parrot”. Where Tessela and the Livity Sound folks take a strict percussion-focused approach to their revivalism, Tsunga indulges in rave stab-led euphoria, harkening not only to the drum frenzy of jungle, but to the earliest, rave-leveling forms of hardcore. “Cica Lights”, named after a popular 90s kids sneaker from Clarks, is the lead off of World Series Vol. 9, a four tracker highlighting fun-as-hell breakbeat productions, a donk and ghetto house-derived “Stomp Mix” and enough rave stabs to satiate us all. Vol. 9 is out July 1 via Rushmore‘s Trax Couture.

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Traditionally a stronghold for house and techno forms, Northern Europe is slowly becoming fertile ground for a wide range of producers mutating Caribbean, South American and West African into their own idiosyncratic aesthetics. Even Scandinavia, hardly thought of an outpost of black or brown culture, is home to several important outposts, all part of an interminable trend that points to the mucking up of monolithic dance forms (for the better). Few individuals have managed to bridge the many gaps between the hegemonic clubs, labels and scenes that striate modern European dance music, but Munich-based artist Mechatok has, somehow, effortlessly infiltrated both worlds. A recent adoptee of Stockholm’s intoxicating Staycore crew (Dinamarca, Ghazal, Toxe, Mobilegirl etc.), Mechatok has developed a remarkable unique sound that touches on many trans-continental motifs, but rarely settles on one consistent groove. Unlike, many of his contemporaries, a Mechatok track often trots along at a leisurely pace, eschewing snares almost entirely and never giving in to an ad lib-heavy approach.

Often sitting around 120 BPM, Mechatok bases many tracks around rhythms like the tresillo and often utilizes round, wooden-sounding percussion, a welcome change from the metallic soundscapes that dominate contemporary club music. That isn’t to say that tracks like “Regio” and “Gulf Area” aren’t machinic, just that Mechatok’s sound palette offers a welcome reprieve from the monotony that marks much of the material we come across. It’s an aesthetic that can already be described as distinctly his own and one that has garnered the attention of Munich’s Public Possession, better known for Balearic-tinged releases from Bell Towers, Samo DJ and Tambien, who will release his debut later this year. Several of the tracks from that release can be found in Mechatok’s excellent Astral Plane mix, an original-heavy 30 minutes that goes a long to explaining how both he has managed to entrance figures as disparate as PP label heads Marvin & Valentino and Mssingno. Moving at a breakneck pace, the mix weaves through gqom, weirdo rap from Haleek Maul and Young Thug, implacable chants and a bevy of Mechatok originals, rarely sitting down long enough for the listener to feel comfortable, but always retaining enough percussive thrust to keep the body moving. Along with the aforementioned Public Possession release, expect plenty more to come on the release front from this promising young talent who seems to be bridging just about every sound, scene and movement we currently enjoy.

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Like many other artists and crews coming of age, leaving university or entering the work force in the early 2010s, Brooklyn’s Swim Team first had to leave the beat scene behind. It’s easy to forget just how big the beat scene was in America circa 2011 (and still is in a certain sense), or just how many artists were drafting behind Flying Lotus and the legacy of J Dilla, but for most kids in their teens or early 20s at the time it was their initial entryway into the greater world of non-EDM dance music. Of course, AceMo, Color Plus, DJ LILMATT, Kanyon, Lord SMS, Rambow and Izy, collectively Swim Team, were lucky enough to have friends, older brothers or other mechanisms with access to dance music’s rougher forms, particularly footwork, ghetto house, jungle, garage, ballroom, etc. Household, which was inaugurated in January 2015, is the crew’s monthly night where its members flex out new material and improve their DJ chops, also bringing out similar minded folks like Juliana Huxtable, DJ New Jersey Drone and Helix. And while Brooklyn certainly has no dearth of club music producers at the moment, there’s a certain inescapably earnest, open quality to Swim Team’s approach that differentiates them from the hyper-serious masses.

Which isn’t to say that the crew’s individual members don’t take their craft seriously or don’t have mountains of heat on the way and in the works. For our 75th mix, we are lucky enough to have Swim Team’s AceMo and Color Plus on for a collaborative mix, featuring a ton of exclusive and and unreleased music from almost every artist in the team. With a release on Swim Team allies Bootleg Tapes, AceMo might be the artist with the most beat credentials out of the crew, formulating a sultry, soul-based aesthetic before delving into percussive, vocal-laden club music on tracks like “Gat In My Lap” and “Don’t Front/Run It Down”. Color Plus has, to this point, the most high profile Swim Team release, the Mangata Sequence EP on Plastician’s Terrorhythm Records, a four tracker that matches the rugged bang of Jersey club with beatific, vocal-led melodies and heaving, garage-inspired bass lines. Considering that the movement is still relatively nascent, it’s no surprise that their are so few official Swim Team releases, but that hasn’t stopped them from reaching out, collaborating and extending their reach into the US, UK and beyond.

AceMo and Color Plus’ mix is as concise of a document as we’ve received from the collective to date, a lightning quick 33 minute trip through unreleased and forthcoming Swim Team material, much of it coming out on the follow up to 2014’s Swim Trax Vol. 1 compilation. There’s all sorts of heat inside the mix, much of situated around 130 BPM and a lot of it taking cues from the likes of Pearson Sound, Jam City and French Fries, artists combining numerous localized strains of dance music into their own idiosyncratic blend. At this point, its hard to say if a Swim Team sound exists, but the groundwork is their and, through Household and their other ventures, it appears that their number one priority these days is to make you dance.

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Enlisting aliases is also a tricky game for artists, a virtual DNA split that can have unforeseen effects on popularity, but can also elicit irrational hatred on the part of fan bases and the media. Granted, most aliases, whether kept secret or not, eventually go by the wayside and while its a pleasure to look at Girl Unit’s Hysterics or Shed’s numerous projects as successes, the truth of the matter is that these side-projects fail far more often than they work out. Russian producer Nikita Frolov aka Fisky makes the sort of post-Night Slugs, post-Hyperdub, post-Planet Mu club music that ignores genre boundaries, not as a statement, but as a basis of their understanding of the music itself. With tracks out on Helsinki-based Top Billin and Moscow-based Hyperboloid, Frolov has begun to build up his catalogue, churning out fast, mechanical efforts that draw upon Jersey club, ballroom and late era Dance Mania for inspiration. Frolov’s latest effort is out now on Infinite Machine as Roller Truck and, if anything, represents a parring down of his influences into a concise, percussive bundle.

The Roller Truck Sounds Vol. 1 EP comes in an six originals and, with a few exceptions, is almost entirely made up of drum sounds, eliciting the work of Steve Poindexter, Robert Armani and, more recently, Helix. Its unrelenting in nature and while the tracks are mostly four-on-the-floor, they borrow from myriad influences past and present. Considering that Frolov’s work as both Fisky and Roller Truck is heavily percussive, borrows from numerous eras and can widely be described as club music, it might be difficult for a non-discerning onlooker to tell the difference between the two projects, but that’s exactly what makes them so fan. Lacking a grand statement or stylistic derivation, Roller Truck is allowed to exist on its own merits and the EP is a startlingly immediate effort. Frolov’s Roller Truck mix for us draws on numerous percussive foundations, from the gqom stylings of DJ Lag to classic Detroit techno and electro from Rhythim is Rhythim. 90s style New York house, Ghanean kora music, UK funky and early Latin house also play into the mix, an enormously fun journey through era and geography that belies the stringent, utilitarian nature of Roller Truck Sounds. And while the mix could probably function just as well under the Fisky pseudonym, its fun to imagine its constituent elements making up the fabric of the Roller Truck sound.

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Due to some technological constraints, we spent our most recent slot in the KCHUNG studios playing individual tracks off of our laptop and while mixing is always preferred, the change of pace allowed us to play some of our favorite, less-dance-oriented tracks out to the very end. You’ll find a few tracks from our recent Don’t Watch That chart and For Club Use Only feature in FACT Mag as well as some stray Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf, Smurphy and Ana Caprix tracks. Tonight, we’re filling in for a friend and will be back on KCHUNG for a special, vinyl-only session from 9 to 10 PM Pacific Time. As always, tune into 1630 AM if you’re in Los Angeles (and near Chinatown as the reception is dodgy as hell) and stream here if you’re global.

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After releasing the excellent Silver Shadow of a Shrine on Hush Hush Recordings last month, New York-based producer Kadahn is back with Eraser Meditations, his arrival on Kastle’s Symbols label. A sprawling effort at 16 tracks, Eraser Meditations is made up of a series of short, sketch-like efforts, touching on bizarre, ephemeral grime and idiosyncratic beat work. Like label mate Kid Smpl (who has released on both Hush Hush and Symbols as well), Kadahn’s work has taken a harsher turn as late, pairing beatific melodic work with a busy, metallic aesthetic. “Arc Eye Matter” exhibits that approach perfectly, matching tinny steel drums and pleasant synth washes with grime’s characteristic machine gun snares and whooshing, swiping sound effects. The track swells and swells, but like the rest of the album, has no discernible drop or payoff, its constituent elements instead slowly dissolving into silence. Considering Kadahn’s source material, the effect is disarming in a deeply satisfying way, a non-combative conclusion to a series of motifs fraught with conflict and violence. Eraser Meditations is out June 16 via Symbols and if you pre-order it now, you’ll get three tracks instantly.

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As Montreal-based label Infinite Machine has expanded its roster over the past few years, its scope has also expanded, each new release offering a unique perspective, all under the umbrella of a singular operation. Their latest release comes from Moscow-based producer Roller Truck and is one of the most bare bones, club-focused EPs the label has released to date, as much in the vein of their partner label Tessier-Ashpool as it is past IM releases. Strictly percussive techno, frozen electro and Club Constructions-esque machinations are the common parlance on Roller Truck Sounds Vol. 1 and like the EP title, the tracks come almost unadorned of bells and whistles. With only a single remix across seven tracks, Vol. 1 gives Roller Truck plenty of room to shine, although Galtier‘s ‘Drum Effort’ is a certain highlight. Stripping down “WIDI” into its kick, snare, hi hat essentials, the Australian producer flexes out a paranoia-filled night over six minutes that are sure to exhaust every limb. Check out previews of the whole EP here.

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