Archive

New Music

céci

With CÉCI‘s Vortex EP out this Friday, we figured it’s a good opportunity to drop the second single and release opener from the project. “Force” epitomizes the prickly energy that the Danish artist brings throughout Vortex and will be followed by an equally special music video. If you haven’t caught the Emilie Alstrup-directed video for “Heartbeat”, then head here to have your senses torn apart and reconstructed.

CÉCI – Vortex
APR118 | Out February 15
Listen to “Force”
Pre-order EP

ceci-vortex-hi-res

50604627_296010677721669_6435304870038732800_n

We’ve maintained a fairly insular approach to label curation over the past few years, releasing music from a core group of artists and slowly bringing new individuals and approaches into the fold. It’s a deliberate way of working in an extremely cluttered/top down music media environment and it clearly hasn’t limited the scope of the sonic ecology we push.

That said, going into our fourth year in existence, we’ve decided to open up the gates a bit and let some new voices ring out. Over the coming months, we’ll be introducing four new artists into the APR family, bringing everything from algorithmically designed string music to fuzzed out Iranian pop.

The first of those artists is CÉCI, a Danish, London-based vocalist and sound artist who we’ve partnered with across a number of projects already. If you’re in London, you may have caught one of her Celestite nights at Rye Wax, featuring a combination of performance and DJ sets from some of our favorite artists in the city.

Vortex is CÉCI’s debut on APR and a jarring introduction to an artist we’ve tipped for some time. The sound is as enticing as the production is angular and across six short songs, CÉCI snakes her way through major hooks, resolute sound design and a range of inward facing affectations.

Today, we’re unveiling “Heartbeat”, the first single from Vortex and our initial introduction to CÉCI’s work. The single is accompanied by a striking music video directed by Emilie Alstrup and is a fitting introduction to CÉCI’s artistic voice and tactile approach to production. Relevant links below and much more to come.

CÉCI – Vortex
APR118 | Out February 15
Stream “Heartbeat”
Watch “Heartbeat”
Pre-order EP

1.) Force
2.) Foreveralone
3.) Taste
4.) Wait
5.) Want
6.) Heartbeat

“The Danish-born, London-based artist swathes her voice in intricate, prickly electronics on her new EP for Astral Plane, which sounds both massive and intimate.” – Resident Advisor

“Her music—a stripped-back, skeletal type of pop—is built from mind-bending sound design, haunting vocals, and ethereal energy that draws you in on first listen.” – XLR8R

“The London-based artist, who has a background in sound design and dance, employs motifs from a variety of contemporary club styles and a broad vocal approach.” – FACT

ceci-vortex-hi-res

nts1_18_19

Pittsburgh’s Boo Lean has been a fixture in the Midwest club music fabric for years and recently, her expertise and passion for putting on aspiration, experimental-minded music festivals has expanded to Vancouver’s New Forms. Born Lauren Goshinski, she’s also a force behind the decks, claiming a residency at Pittsburgh’s legendary Hot Mass and showing off a talent for a tightly wound, percussive mixing style. It was serendipitous that Lauren reached out to us with a guest mix the week of our most recent NTS show and we can’t think of a better way to jump off 2019 than with her “Winter Eclipse” selections. The first hour of the show is handled by the AP DJ Team and features forthcoming material and holiday smashers from CÉCI, LOFT, Chants and SHALT, as well as recent faves from BFTT, bod [包家巷], crystallmess, Don Sinini, Emily Glass, jjjacob, Nkisi, SCAM and Ytem. Boo Lean will also be playing at CTM Festival next month, as well as in Galway, Ireland with Gash Collective. Find details on both dates below. Download the show here and hit the jump for a full track list.

Read More

scam_press_shot

It’s easy to get bogged down in the constant balkanization of contemporary dance music. Keeping up with the lexicon alone is a formidable task and while classification is important, jargon is almost always utilized as a means of keeping the uninitiated out. Understanding dance music as a continuum of mechanized global rhythms, grafted, hybridized and superimposed into new forms, offers a key to the madness though, offering a path that sees not homogeneity, but the similarities in the constituent elements of seemingly disparate material. It’s a skill that Sydney’s SCAM has brought to his work as a writer, DJ and producer, building out from the clunky “global ghettotech” terminology of the late 2000s to make innate connections between seemingly dissimilar rhythmic logics.

2018 saw the release of his debut Vibrio EP on DECISIONS, a body of work matching “OTT emotionality and TMI sentimentality” with a focus on slime and the chemical interactions that lead to effects like bioluminescence and petrichor. Seayams provides vocals for two tracks, grounding the work’s frisky bio-chemical motions with a distinct humanity and allowing its two instrumental tracks the space necessary to flourish. American R&B and rap are obvious reference points, but EP closer “QQ” is also based on a Coil sample and the skittish drum programming throughout recalls the angular constructions of a range of regional club music.

The bonds created throughout Vibrio continue to be explored in SCAM’s edits, works that offer subtle mutations on post-punk, rap, dancehall and techno. It’s these edits that allow ESG to sit comfortably with Stefflon Don in a SCAM mix, making rhythmic links between ostensibly dissimilar tracks and offering a correction to the temporal and spacial record in the meantime. His Astral Plane Mix does exactly that, making simple connections across recent time (Araabmuzik into Dinamarca couldn’t be wrong) and drawing in contemporaries like Air Max ’97, Emily Glass and Fridge into an assemblage of familiar vocals twisted into new shapes. The mix offers a curatorial approach devoid of the pretenses of the critic, allowing new forms to develop at an instinctual pace and hybridities to develop naturally. Grab a copy of Vibrio here and download AP Mix 182 here. Track list after the jump.

Read More

md-james-5-year-lapse-final (1)-2

We’ve been teasing out M.D. James’ debut project for most of this year and Friday saw the release of his 5 Year Lapse mixtape, the first free form mixtape release on APR since Exit Sense’s Amor 107.5 in 2016. The mixtape is out now on cassette and digital and is comprised of seven movements comprised of organic and electronic composition. Nick Zhu, who has released on Knives and Quantum Natives this year as bod [包家巷], as well as contributing a series of visuals to SHALT’s Seraphim LP, features on “Summer’s End”, and Kevin Silva, Nick Flessa and Zack Crumrine appear throughout the rest of the release. Cassette design is by Caleb Ali Miller, photography by Isabelle Harada and mastering by Will Mitchell. M.D.’s Astral Plane Mix from a few weeks back is also an excellent extension/analog to this release.

M.D. James – 5 Year Lapse
APR116 | Out Now
1) Pariah
2) Dogblood
3) Summer’s End
4) Remembrance
5) Broadside
6) Carceral Season
7.) Untitled I

Cassette/Digi Availabe Here

IMG_5389

We released M.D. James’ “Swan” as part of our 2017 year-end free download release. Its inclusion came after we saw a live M.D. performance at one of his CAMEO parties. It was raw and unadulterated and felt no need to trade intimacy for corporeal affect. It achieved both in droves and our mind immediately wandered to our it would translate to a recorded format. 5 Year Lapse is the result of that process, a mixtape exploring the unexpected paradoxes that arise during times of self-care and healing. It’s comprised of seven chapters and will be out on Friday, October 5. AQNB was kind enough to announce the release and premiere “Carceral Season”. 5 Year Lapse is available as a digital release, as well as a limited run cassette manufactured by Cryptic Carousel in Los Angeles.

Listen to “Carceral Season”
Pre-order Cassette/Digital

Precision 12 Inch Jacket Template

SHALT – Seraphim LP
APR115 | Out Now
1) Conceived on Ash
2) Preserved in Amber
3) Seraph
4) Fleeting
5) Ardour
6) Charred, Cleansed

LP/Digi Available Here

Watch Visual Album Here

With four APR releases under his belt, SHALT turns in his longest statement to date in Seraphim, a mini-epic that unfolds over six intricately arranged, brilliantly colored acts. Once again focusing in on the intersection between the technological and the natural, the London-based producer builds a narrative around an angelic being, a visage displayed by accompanying video work by Los Angeles’ Nick Zhu. More concretely, the album delves into the contradictions inherent in technological development, ruminating over the capitalist myth of scarcity, coming (and present) ecological disaster, and the contemporary path of medical research.

Sonically, Seraphim features a fusion of the sensibilities featured on Acheron, Inertia and ʃælt, noisy effects and a barrage of rugged percussion juxtaposed with passages of melodic bliss. It’s music preoccupied with technology, but with a naturalistic ethos at its core, emphasizing our confusion over humanity’s influence on the world (even when uncynically trying to perform good deeds). That ethos is embodied in the baroque ambience of “Seraph”, as well as the impactful, multi-layered crack of “Fleeting”. It’s deeply visual music and like the best sci-fi, deals with lasting contemporary issues under the guise of futurity. As described by the Bureau of Linguistical Reality, we are living in shadowtime and Seraphim is a nod to the distinct intellectual, moral and temporal crisis of our time.

Seraphim features album art work and vinyl design by Isaac Chabon and accompanying video work by Nick Zhu and Tea Stražičić. It will be released digitally and in a limited LP press.

shalt press shot

Some more nice words on SHALT’s latest, which is out today on all platforms. Have a go at Nunu’s destructive take on “Nid De Guêpes” and find all download/streaming below.

AQNB: “ʃælt ii features three tracks of tactile noise with dance-friendly, post-rave touches. ‘Nid De Guêpes’ (French for ‘wasp’s nest’) is a clattering march of beats and urgent, high-frequency synth lines, while Nunu’s remix stretches out and flattens the composition, reducing it down to an ambient resonance that’s at times punctured by intense and high-speed rhythms.”

The Quietus: “The Astral Plane is another label and collective consistently pushing leftfield club music. The LA-based blog and imprint’s next release sees a return for SHALT with the second instalment of his ʃælt series. These releases see the British producer focusing on “sound mechanics and loop-based dance forms,” as the label puts it. The second instalment makes for more intense listening than the three tracks featured on the previous ʃælt volume. Lead track ‘Nid de guêpes’ crashes to life with a hail of abrasive drums. Cruising just below the 100 BPM mark, it’s carried by a rousing melody and bursts of harsh noise. ‘Liquesce’ is a slightly more restrained affair, its menacing bassline swamped by lo-fi synths and a heavily cloaked vocal line. Fellow Astral Plane affiliate Nunu rounds out proceedings with a remix of ‘Nid de guêpes’ which picks up the pace of the original while maintaining its raucous energy.”

Download/Stream here.

shalt press shot

Following yesterday’s announcement of SHALT‘s ʃælt ii, Mixmag has the premiere of “Liquesce”, the opener and second entry from the EP (listen to Nid De Guêpes” here). Dominated by a steady, lilting central rhythmic pattern, “Liquesce” is a perfect example of SHALT at his most functional, allowing a dense array of textural elements to swirl around a steady core. ʃælt ii is out this Friday (August 3) and is available for pre-order here.

shalt-shaltii-hi-res

We’ve been fairly quiet in the aftermath of our inaugural EU/UK tour, but this Friday that all changes. ʃælt ii is the first of an almost monthly run of releases that will see a SHALT album, debut releases from Alis and M.D. James and the long-awaited return of Nunu. First though, Resident Advisor has the goodies on the second entry into SHALT‘s functional, non-narratively inclined ʃælt series. A few of these tracks were previewed in SHALT’s FACT Mix, a must listen if you haven’t checked it yet. You can find pre-order links below and be on the lookout for a very special, tremor-inducing Nunu remix.

SHALT – ʃælt ii 
APR114 | Out August 3
Stream “Nid De Guêpes”
Pre-Order EP