Premiere: AF85 – plazamayor (Side A)

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London’s Tobago Tracks outfit always seems to be bringing new faces into the mix, whether through their regular club nights at venues like HUB16 and the Alibi Room, their regular shift on Radar Radio, or an always-impressive mix series. Nonetheless, the label is still selective with who it chooses to bring on for official releases and despite hosting mixes from Brood Ma, Asmara (fka MA Nguzu), The Dance Pit and beyond, TT is just passing the 10 release mark after launching in mid-2014. This Friday (July 15), Londoner AF85 will join the TT roster with plazamayor, a three track effort featuring two long form nu age ambient sessions and a collaboration with Organ Tapes. Comprised of six stanzas, “plazamayor (Side A)” is laid out over eight and a half minutes, full of wispy choral vox, gorgeous layered pads and plinking strings that rise seductively out of the depths of the mix. plazamayor is orchestral in composition and disarmingly pristine, briefly interrupted by a monologue delivered by a daughter who has lost her mother to gun violence. That moment is underlaid by morose pads and followed by a small, gunshot-recalling pop, the piece’s clear nadir and the sort of emotionally direct moment so rare in electronic music’s cryptic annals. Having only released short pieces to this point, the longer format of plazamayor befits AF85’s extensive affective range and with Organ Tapes playing the role of bridge on “Air It Out”, the tape fits comfortable in the avant-pop-dance world of Tobago Tracks.

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