Having flit around the periphery of a number of sounds in recent years, January 27 will see the release of Canadian producer Spurz’s debut album on Apothecary Compositions, a self-described exercise in opposites and juxtapositions. Now residing in London, Spurz’s sound can generally be considered within a UK sphere of influence (grime, jungle, dubstep, etc.), but the Loud Futures LP is anything but a strictly hardcore continuum-derived record and generally thrives in abstraction, tying in dancefloor relevance to the sorts of bizarro synth escapades and punchy drum programming that is best described as state-less. “Damu Recall” is a case in point, a minimalist track that starts with organic bits of percussion and hoover bass before transitioning into a high energy stomper that ends just as abruptly as it begins. Like much of the recent material on Apothecary Compositions, the song and album fall into an intriguing middle ground between home-and-club, UK and US, relevancy and abstraction, etc., which are exactly the sort of complicated juxtapositions we tend to enjoy delving into. Loud Futures is out January 27 and can be pre-ordered here.
“S/O Ali Berger for mastering and being a good pupper.”
Arriving at the tail end of 2016, 2Lanes‘ Diamonds in the Rough EP, released via Escape From Nature, is a perplexing release, a marriage of natural tones and sharp angles intended to represent and reflect the environment of his hometown of Detroit. Devils Dub II — the second live set in a series that will culminate with a performance at Bossa Nova Civic Club in New York this Wednesday — is the latest project from 2Lanes and his most definitive statement to date, 65 minutes of meditative techno inspired by drum machine/space echo videos on Youtube and intense sensory experiences. It’s an incredibly deep, physical set that trends far more towards a head nod crowd than the rave, but there’s a heft to the project reminiscent of the digi dub experiments of the late 80s and 90s. Like “Jet Slit” off of Diamonds in the Rough, the set maintains an uneasy quality throughout, embodied in the fluttering bird calls that are more Hitchcock than “Pacific State” and the gut wrenching sub bas that intermittently rises from the deep. RSVP for the Boss Nova gig, which will also feature sets from AceMo and Olga, here.
We’ve always been a huge fan of the informal tangle of edits, blends and bootlegs that fly around both public and private channels. The constant deluge of Rihanna takes might annoy some, but there’s nothing better than hearing “Sex With Me” flexed in and out in every way possible. One of our favorite developments of the past 12 months was seeing our own releases informally bootlegged and blended in some genuinely odd directions. We heard Mechatok and Cupcakke, Nunu and Illapu, and SHALT and The Supremes — takes that would have been inconceivable until they came to fruition. To celebrate the new year and all of the wonderful support we’ve received, we gathered a few of our favorites from family friends for a free giveaway project titled NEW YR NEW US. We’ll be back on the official release train soon enough, but in the meantime we grabbed Why Be, Nunu, SHALT, Kablam and LOFT for this short entry. You’ve likely caught a few of these in our radio sets, as well as sets from the artists involved and they have just as much raw energy removed from that context. Hit the download link below and share around if you’re so inclined.
APR pres. NEW YR NEW US
1.) SKY H1 x NUNU – I THINK LOUD (WHY BE BLEND)
2.) NUNU – CORE x COG
3.) JAM CITY x M.E.S.H. – CITY HUMMINGBIRD (SHALT EDIT)
4.) BEY x NUNU – WE RUN THIS MAMAMAMAMA (KABLAM MESSUP)
5.) LOFT – A SALAAM MALE GENIE
It was around this time last year that we were putting into motion SHALT’s Acheron EP, the debut release on Astral Plane Recordings and a stunning record that set the tone for the rest of the year. Physical music that doesn’t fit into existing structures has become our calling card and we’re extremely proud of each of the six releases we’ve worked on this year. It’s been a pleasure to work with SHALT, Chants, Nunu, Exit Sense and LOFT and each respective project corresponds to emotions felt throughout what was an intense year for many. It’s become second nature to follow the happenings, minor and major, of the music world, but we fully understand that the process is time consuming and arcane to many so we decided to gather up details on all of our activity this year and collate them in one place.
The following mixes, videos and other audio-visual detritus from the past 12 months follows something of a linear timeline. They paint an overview of what we and our artists have been up to and it turns out we were busy for pretty much the entire year. It’s not easy to run a small, independent label, but it’s made far easier when the people around you are constantly hustling their asses off both in public and behind the scenes. Nunu has been particularly busy this year – both in an active and removed sense – with his Mind Body Dialogue twisted up by the likes of Why Be, Elysia Crampton, Kablam and more. Meanwhile, LOFT came through with a self-directed, reality-distorting for “Zissou”, a highlight from the British artist’s Turbulent Dynamics EP. SHALT remained busy on the remix/edit front as well with takes on Rizzla and Kid Smpl that have become favorites on our various mix and radio appearances.
APR artists also stayed busy on the mix front, although you’ll have noticed that none take part in any traditional scene per se and none of them are what could be called a straightforward DJ. SHALT started off the year with a huge entry for Solid Steel and was serendipitously matched up with Autechre. Chants turned in a release-themed mix for NTS in April while our resident DJ team put forth their first studio mix for the Symbols label. Throughout the year, Nunu turned in angelic volumes for Endgame’s Precious Metals show, Disc Magazine, Jerome and our own series while LOFT stayed quiet with the exception of a manic, no fucks given session for our debut NTS Radio LA show (all Astral Plane radio can be found here). We’ll be following up tomorrow with round-ups of our official releases and we hope this little review proves helpful in sussing out what exactly we’ve been up to this year. Thanks for tuning in.
In recent years, Paris has become home to some of the best parties in the general club music sphere, becoming an outpost for artists big and small to play out. The result is an ever-growing circle of producers and labels developing their own sound in the French capital, a sound that might be 100% unique to France yet, but that is certainly on its way to idiosyncrasy. Tommy Kid’s [Re]Sources label is a prime example of those developments, an operation that grew out of the party series of the same name and has featured artists like Chaams, Nunu, Dehousy and She’s Drunk on its compilations and solo releases. Lil Crack is the latest artist to join the [Re]Sources ranks, coming through the dancefloor-focused Inner Flight EP, four sleek, cutting original efforts joined by remixes from Endgame, Spooky and Pixelord (catch the first two at [Re]Sources tonight in Paris). “Tactical Violence” is the most stripped back, minimal of the release, three and a half minutes of ratcheting percussion and trap shouts that seem to reach into the deepest recesses of the body. Most dance music is programmed to elicit a certain emotional/corporeal response from the listener and Lil Crack’s arrangements on “Tactical Violence” are a perfect example, matching raw energy with a call to arms felt in both sonics and naming language. Pre-order Inner Flight here, out December 9 on [Re]Sources.
We headed up to Highland Park this past Friday for our debut show on the brand new NTS LA station, bringing along an absolutely mad LOFT guest mix and a USB full of our favorite synth, weightless, ambient, noise and beatless music. It was a pleasure to use the new studio for the first time and we got a chance to run through favorites from DJ Lostboi, Dedekind Cut, CLU, Yves Tumor, JG Biberkopf, 0comeups, SKY H1, Sharp Veins, Abyss X and more. We also rinsed a few off of SHALT’s new Inertia EP, out the some day on Astral Plane Recordings (available here). Meanwhile, LOFT’s guest mix is an all-original affair, offering rebooted version of tracks from his Turbulent Dynamics EP (available here) before descending into stuttering, clattering breakbeat insanity. Both Inertia and Turbulent Dynamics exist entirely on their own wave and were a pleasure to bring from conception to release. Hit the jump for a full track list. We’ll be back on NTS LA on December 23.
Logo by Rap Simons
A key node in Australia’s small-but-dedicate map of boundary pushing club music producers, DJs and promoters, Sydney’s Body Promise show airs weekly on FBi Click radio and this Friday they’ll expand into label territory with Harmony From A Dominant Hue, a 15 track compilation featuring artists from across the electronic music spectrum. Named after an early 20th century color theory manual, the compilation traverses a number of moods and textures with artists like Jikuroux, Marcus (Not Singing) and Kimchi Princi providing drastically different takes on club and club-adjacent material. Body Promise’s Amelia Jenner sent over the following statement on the release, which reads like a mission statement:
What started out as a humble radio show on FBi Click in Sydney, Australia has now turned into a fully fledged label focussing on boundary pushing club music. Tired of hearing the same bro dominant house and techno that has become the norm in Australia, Body Promise emerged as another platform for this incredibly diverse community that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. The time has come for them to unleash their debut compilation into the world. Over a year in the making, the compilation is the culmination of everything Body Promise stands for. It is adventurous, transportive, and unpredictable.
It doesn’t focus on one certain genre in particular but rather on a vibe, opting to work with artists who have the same attitude towards music as they do.The act of arranging these seemingly different tracks into one complete body of work means that complementary sounds, moods, and textures become apparent in ways they not have been seen otherwise.
Longtime listeners will be familiar with this ethos, one born out in the crew’s own selections and their guests which have recently included DJ NK, Mina and Svani, as well as a host of Australian talent. We’re lucky to have Mya Gomez & Felix Idle’s “T2 Meltdown” on premiere today, a highlight of Harmony From A Dominant Hue and a collaboration that seems to haunt long after it ends. Heavy breathing, distant firecrackers and wind make up the atmosphere on “T2 Meltdown”, skewing towards the baroque before ratcheting drums and diaphanous effects take over. Look out for Harmony From A Dominant Hue this Friday and don’t sleep on the Body Promise show.
In a recent interview with RBMA’s Lauren Martin, former Vex’d member and Knives boss Kuedo discussed futurism and its roll in electronic music: “I don’t believe it’s the essential job of music that calls itself “futuristic” to literally attempt to reach into a future and bring us back a piece of it early.” In a genre where the vast majority of releases are proposed in the context of a relentless push forward, the future is a near-constant trope, brought up and considered in an infinite array of subtle and not so subtle ways. As Kuedo notes though, futurism does not have to envisage an or preview what the future holds and more-often-than-not, it’s a far more apt tool for understanding and contextualizing the personal and the present. Which brings us to Kid Smpl, the San Francisco-based artist who will be releasing his second full length, Privacy, through Kastle’s Symbols label on November 11.
Never one to sit on his laurels, Privacy comes on the heels of a mixfile release on Smpl’s own Display label, a collection of hardcore techno experiments, and a smattering of radio and remix work. From his first releases on Seattle’s Hush Hush Recordings, Kid Smpl’s music has balanced an ardent futurism with an innate sense of the present and Privacy is the fullest realization of that project to date, an album that deals with day-to-day digital life, in all its complex inconsistencies and contradictions, through searing surround sound epics. The sonic tropes from previous works are all there, especially the strangled vocals, but like his recent “Promise Emulation” mixfile, they’re rendered on a larger scale, We’ve got LP standout “Riven” on premiere today and it’s a prime example of Privacy‘s expansive scope and present-day futurism, a futurism that attempts to represent the grotesque nature of the present far more than any predictive stab at what is to come. Pre-order Privacy here and check out a full track list for the album after the jump.