Concept releases are relatively common-place in the world of electronic music, but entire labels based around specific concepts and/or alternate realities are still relatively rare. That’s where Galtier’s Nostro Hood Systems steps in; endeavoring to realize what music would and could sound like in an alternate galaxy of their own creation. Intending to build out the framework (“lore” in their words) over time, the label arrives with the Nostro Hood Anthem EP, produced by Galtier and friends and accompanied by three remixes from Sylvere, Strict Face and She’s Drunk. Full of agile rhythms and dance-forward structures, the single matches disorienting shamanic chants with 808 heavy percussion, the resulting concoction perfectly primed for peak time club play. We’ve got the Strict Face remix on premiere today and the Australian producer has smashed up the NHS Allstar’s original into a hydraulic-loaded grime monster, driven by an forcefully twangy bass line that seems to eat up space even as brief moments of silence provide respite for the listener. To top off the package, the indomitable Rachel Noble has provided fitting cover art for the release, offering up a spectacular visual analogue to the sonic machinations of the crew. Nostro Hood Anthem is out digitally on June 20.
German artist Broshuda has flirted with a number of sounds and genres over the past few years, skirting the periphery of everything from Los Angeles’ beat scene to soupy, washed out house and techno and the nebulous regions of post-rock and krautrock. With a flair for working playful narratives into his work and a ceaseless work ethic, the artist otherwise known as Flo has released on labels like Sonic Router, Seagrave, videogamemusic and Phinery over the past several years, plying his trade mostly on cassettes, often accompanied by his own hand drawn cover art. Currently residing in Berlin, Broshuda has coyly referred to his work as glambient, Eno-grime and post-wonk and while all of that nomenclature comes across as slightly silly, it usually comes from a strong conceptual base and more often than not is right on the money as far as descriptors go. With a host of forthcoming releases (see below) and a hotly tipped collaboration with Joane Skyler on the way we grabbed the shapeshifting artist for an Astral Plane mix and a quick interview, going over his preference in labels, work flow and his online persona. Like his sonic and visual output, the mix is an honest take on what he’s been enjoying and challenged by recently, a cornucopia of beautifully analgesic sounds from across the past few decades. Hit the jump to read the full interview and stream/download the mix below.
While he normally rolls through Los Angeles with a crew of affiliates, whether they be Ikonika and/or Scratcha DVA or a posse of Teklife greats, Hyperdub bossman Kode9 holds more than enough weight to carry a night by himself and this Sunday he’s headlining Union with a local lineup heavy on 160 business. If you’ve caught Kode9 in recent years you’ll surely have received a good deal of footwork and with 6Blocc, The Professionals and the Juke Bounce Werk team providing support for the night the crowd better be ready for a barrage of hyper-speed alien rhythms. 2015’s Nothing LP, Kode9’s first solo effort and a paean to the late great Spaceape, was also somewhat slept on so it’s time for the London legend to take his proper crown on this tour. We’ve got two pair of tickets to give away for Sunday’s show so if you want to experience a seminal UK artist tear down Union’s Funktion One system then write in your favorite Hyperdub album below and we’ll contact you day of show if you win. Otherwise, grab tickets and RSVP for the night here and we hope to see you out on the floor come Sunday.
Having previously churned out ballroom inflected productions as 199? (and thrown the Aerial parties with AQWEA), London-based artist Henry Degnin has re-dubbed himself SYYMSTRESS and has readied the introductory 04.04.90, a five track effort that flirts with slower melodic sounds and turn-of-the-millennium R&B influence. Out today as a free download, 04.04.90 functions as a step away from Degnin’s more prickly dancefloor material and towards and more carefully constructed sound and no song on the release epitomizes that more than “CRD”, a collaboration with fellow Londoner Don Sinini that functions on a similar wavelength to productions by the likes of Mechatok, Sami Baha and Silk Road Assassins. With a release on Tight Knit Records and a collaboration with Yayoyanoh on the way, expect to hear much more SYYMSTRESS this year, but for now 04.04.90 is an idyllic introduction to this London up-and-comer.
Photo de Hélène Feuillebois
If you’ve flipped on Boiler Room, Overdrive Infinity, Rinse France or Radar Radio over the past few months and heard the tinny call outs of 1990 pseudo-hit “Do The Bartman” airing through, you can be pretty damn sure that Betty is behind the decks. A recent calling card of the Parisian DJ, the Michael Jackson-assisted track is hard to take seriously, but when matched with serious tracks by the likes of DJ Marfox, Loom and Nkisi, it’s caricaturish dimensions take on a lighter hue and tend to make the mix experience far less predictable. Betty is the driving force behind Paris’ Bonus Stage parties and a member of the House of Mizrahi, as well as a regular on the aforementioned Rinse France, engagements that have led to an international audience and an integral roll in several overlapping Paris scenes, smashing together the classic, the excitingly new and the hilariously out-of-sync across a number of venues.
With “Do The Bartman” representing one of the end of the spectrum of Betty’s mixing sensibility, she has championed everything from French rapper MHD to Tobago Tracks’ UK funky provocateur Zini and on to Crazylegs’ increasingly hard to pin down Gage. These artists can be found throughout Betty’s mixes, as well as at her, by all accounts incredible, Bonus Stage parties, positioned in a manner you’d never expect to work, but succeeding consistently with flying colors. Betty has a flair for mixing percussive and melodic sounds in extended blends that almost supersede the original intent of the songs and on her Astral Plane mix, the opening minutes see and almost reckless smashing together of MHD’s “Afro Trap Part.4 (Fais le mouv)”, Roska’s “Blame The Speakers” and SHALT’s “Acheron”, three wildly different efforts that undeniably cohere under Betty’s touch. When rounding up Betty’s work over the past few years, it’s easy to point to left-field inclusions like “Do The Bartman”, but it’s her legwork as a genuine advocate of radical Parisian artists nightlife that has led to her current position as one of the most influential club music DJs in Europe.
A regular at Los Angeles’ Cybersonic night, Farsight has been busy as of late, co-founding the Big Sigh Brat Club label with Botaz and Ballast, receiving play from the likes of Mumdance and Blackdown and preparing his debut EP for the Bristol/Birmingham-based Prjkts label. Widsom will arrive on May 23 and sees the LA-based producer step into exciting new sonic territory, matching springy melodic portions with his predilection for prickly, hi-tech club output. We’ve got “Faded Memory” on premiere today, the EP’s opener and one of Farsight’s more delicately composed efforts to date, a track built around a slippery synth melody that almost hypnotizes as the song progresses and skittering pots and pans percussion. Remixes from Luru of Nervous Horizon and Prjkts’ own +/- round out Wisdom, which functions as an excellent introduction to Farsight and a promising start for the label.
Across releases for Coyote, Local Action and an excellent self-released EP (all in the last six months), Abeedeen-based T_A_M has shown off an ability to excel across a number of genres of styles, traversing from funky lo-fi house to cut up 8 bar grime and beyond. Neither Watty (Coyote) nor Silk/Sweat (Local Action) came off as anything but natural though and despite working in so many different sonic realms, T_A_M maintains a level of comfort and a low-slung consistency across all of his work. Next Friday (May 13), he’ll release his debut album, titled In Tandem, through Druid Cloak’s Apothecary Compositions label and the results are rather stunning, seeing him take a step back from the dancefloor to approach various ambient, new age, grime and pop tropes from an impressively delicate, immersive perspective.
We’ve got “Bleak End” on premiere from In Tandem, one of several album highlights that, like much of the more abstract material on Gobstopper, could very loosely be called grime, but is about as far removed from the genre’s roots as you can get while still maintaining a few recognizable motifs. Kicked off with reverb-heavy piano and a sickly sweet vocal that sounds like it’s coming from a child, “Bleak End” is the type of sad song that lets your thoughts wander as the piano melody seems to wander off, only drawn back in by the whip cracking sound and lightly throbbing sub bass. It’s angelic without being corny and classically beautiful without coming across as morose all while balancing a very contemporary sound palette with a structure and atmosphere more befitting of a post-rock album. In Tandem is out next Friday and the good people at Apothecary have pressed the record up beautifully so go cop that and enjoy “Bleak End” in the meantime.
Having previously plied his trade as a drummer, beatsmith for rappers and emotional producer extraordinaire, Chants is something of a musical polymath and while his work extends into a number of cultural, geographic, social, etc. contexts it always seems to push boundaries and ask questions. The Zookeeper is the Madison-based artist’s latest work and we couldn’t be more excited to release this outsized, bludgeoning, heaving piece of club music. It’s certainly not a release for the faint of heart, but if you’re ready to have your organs and or blood-brain barrier reorganized then this is the release for you. The Zookeeper is out now on all digital streaming and download platforms and is probably already in the darkest rave near you. We’ve also just launched a revamped Astral Plane Recordings website, designed by Sam Meier and featuring an incredible, synapse overloading music video for “Crushed Lollipop” by Isaac Chabon. It’s our goal to offer up a complete a/v experience and the sheer physicality of Chants’ music was the perfect opportunity to institute that vision in full.
Alex Compton exists in a world where Lady Saw, Hard Creation and Slowdive meet, a deeply emotive tangle of floating squares, riddims, gabber kicks, rainstorm field recordings and video game soundtracks meet. Currently residing in New York, but hailing from the West Coast, Compton has creeped into our consciousness over the past few years on the back of a series of excelling edits, ranging from a weighty take on Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right (championed by Endgame over the past few months) to a tearjerking take on a Lady Saw freestyle. On the original front, a sino-grime-inspired collaboration with Fallow has been making waves (and showed up in the Manchester producer’s Astral Plane mix) and a few ambient-leaning bits have been popping up in left-leaning sets here and there.
For the most part though, Compton is something of an unknown entity, avoiding the well worn imitator hat while delving out a sonic space for himself somewhere alongside the aforementioned touchstones. His Astral Plane mix sheds some light on possible contemporaries, from TCF and Rabit to Young Thug and Mica Levi, but the most common thread is an overriding notion of feeling and sentiment. Avoiding the sense of dread and paranoia that so often permeates experimental electronic forms, Compton’s music seems to touch on loss, love and hope without any preamble and while it is largely instrumental music it retains a tenderness and humanity. We’re in the midst of talking with Compton about the mix and his music so look out for an extended interview in the next week or so. In the meantime, dive into the mix and check out the track list after the jump.
We only came across Yoshitaka Hikawa‘s music this year, but in the matter of a few months he has become an Astral Plane favorite, showing off his clattering aesthetic across a series of edits, collaborations and mixes and establishing himself as one of the foremost voices in the edit/collage sector. Noisy, manic and often full of odd vocal bits, tranquil piano and enough paranoiac ambience to unsettle just about anyone, the Japanese artist’s work is truly special and it was a pleasure to have him come on our Radar Radio show earlier this week. Hikawa came through a special of only music from London’s Beatgatherers outfit, which makes sense because he’s released some of his best work on the label. Tracks from Hikawa himself, Pope, Graves and Barla highlight the mix which starts at about an hour and thirty three minutes in. The Astral Plane DJ Team starts of the first two thirds of the mix with a heap of Astral Plane Recordings material and new dubs and releases from Sully, Bruce, Leonce, Liquid City Motors, Mr. Mitch, Mechatok, B. YHZZ, Silk Road Assassins, x/o, Celestial Trax, Dis Fig, GAIKA, Famous Eno, Tsvi & Lorenzo_BITW, DJ Tray and DJ Haram. It’s all over the place as we like it so trap in and enjoy. Track list after the jump.