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.
Photo by Rachel Roze
Orlando Volcano’s Escape From Nature has proven to be one of 2016’s most exciting new labels, an outlet for club and club-related material with a focus on sonic exploration and a strong audio-visual connection. Detroit’s 2Lanes, who showed up on the label’s EFN Sound Library Volume 1 compilation, is the latest artist to join up with Volcano’s outfit, bringing bleak techno diagnoses and warm sonics on the Diamonds In The Rough EP. Glimpses of human emotion abound on “Jet Slit”, a scintillating piece of amorphous sound that comes is an an EP standout despite being Diamonds In The Rough‘s shortest song. Stream it below and look out for the full release on October 28.
If you’ve got caught one of our recent Radar Radio shows, you’ll surely have caught at least a glimpse of “With Eye Contact, the luminous closer of LOFT’s forthcoming Turbulent Dynamics EP. Out this Friday on Astral Plane Recordings, Turbulent Dynamics is LOFT’s official debut and the fifth release of the year for APR, a release that has been in the works for the entirety of 2016 and that has gone through a number of forms on its way to its current incarnation. Turbulent Dynamics on the whole is an immersive listen and “With Eye Contact” is a perfect example of that, a patiently unfolding effort that holds a grotesque beauty, digging under the proverbial skin as much as it soothes. Stream “With Eye Contact” below and pre-order Turbulent Dynamics here.
Having already debuted on Portuguese label Enchufada and featured heavily on the Boko! Boko! JOY compilation (which she co-curated with Tash LC and DJ Chin) in the past few months, London’s Mina is back with the Satellite EP, a collection of five light hearted efforts that traverse ground from dancehall to UK funky. “Balafon Bata”, a collaboration with Freetown-based Sillati, is a highlight from the EP, a propulsive number that sees Mina take a more meditative route than her usual sun-dazed, replete with droning bassline and brillaint mid tempo syncopation. Having previously worked together on “New Patan”, the a-side to the Kabala single, Mina and Sillati are clearly a winning combo and future work from the duo would surely be appreciated. Satellite is out September 28.
Coming in as the fourth release on Air Max ’97’s Decisions label, Jikuroux’s Ruptured Pulse EP has had us geeking out since we first received the promo, a whirlwind of drums and sneaky brilliant melodies that tend to stick out in mixes. Based in Sydney, Jikuroux is a co-founder of the EVE night, a “crucial” outpost according to AM97 that has hosted international artists like Venus X and Imaabs as well as likeminded Australians Strict Face, Jalé, Rap Simmons and Aspartame. On the production front, we’ve only heard bits and pieces from Jikuroux, an edit found in a self-hosted mix from 2014 and, most recently, tracks from Ruptured Pulse floating around mixes and sets including our own session for Dummy. Set to be released on September 30, we’ve got EP opener “Only U” on premiere today, a beatifically cut throat track that balances battering ram kicks with rhizomatic synth work and enough digital noise to make the whole thing feel like its coming apart at the seams. On September 23, EVE will host the Ruptured Pulse release party in Sydney, featuring fellow Decisions artist Waterhouse as well as Candlelyte, Scam b2b Aph and AM97 himself. Each respective release on Decisions has involved a drastically different approach and as the crew grows it’s exciting to see how it develops and engages with the small, but brilliant, scene that Australia has to offer.
Coming in as the 10th release in the Liminal Sounds catalogue, French Mount Ultra’s Static Assembly is a striking label debut for the London-based producer, six tracks of searing industrial noise and reinforced grime structures. Having self-released two sprawling EPs/albums including August 2015’s excellent Sirens. Heavy. Poison., FMU has found a home with the club experimentalists at Liminal Sounds, following a Summer-ready release from Orlando Volcano and following in the steps of artists like Copout, Air Max ’97 and Soda Plains. Today we’ve got “Broken Teeth” on premiere, a resolute take on video game grime that comes across like a wild animal trying to break out of its cage. It also recalls the beat stylings of artists like Samiyam and Dibiase, or even more recent work from Iglooghost, a spastic take on sound design that takes knocking the listener out of their seat as first order of business. The rest of Static Assembly is no less manic, making the quick run time of 21 minutes seem both lightning fast and oddly distended. Static Assembly is out September 23 and is available for pre-order here.
With releases out on TAR and Heat Records, Bay Area-based artist Botaz has begun to make waves over the past few years, entering his clear-eyed approach to production into a growing network of internet-connected individuals pushing club music’s various stands and variants. Also part of San Francisco’s Bread crew who have been bringing out some of the best lineups on the entire West Coast, Botaz is something of a Bay Area hold out, especially when it comes to his label, Big Sigh Brat Club, which is run in tandem with LA’s Farsight and Ballast. Set to be released on September 19, Botaz will debut on BSBC with the Stuck EP, a collection of three widescreen originals aided by remixes from Kieran Loftus, Ca$h Bandicoot, HABIBIBOI and Patrick Brian. We’ve got the EP’s title track on premiere today, a beatific take on the Gobstopper/Coyote school of weightless grime built on glassy synth work, an amnesiac sensibility and a bassline that both grounds and drives the track forward. It’s an intro in a sense, but whereas “Anxious and “Trying” take a more club-oriented approach to the same palette, “Stuck” sits nicely in its own realm, an almost incongruously lush landscape that almost demands a visual analog. Look out for the Stuck EP on the 19th and hit the jump for a preview of the full release.
Inaugurated at the beginning of August with Eaves‘ Mauled Heretic, Kid Smpl’s DISPLAY label/series is a new endeavor intended to “showcase longform single-track musical explorations.” If you’re familiar with operations like Disc Magazine, Novembre Magazine, aqnb or JG Biberkopf’s Unthinkable show on NTS, this format will likely be familiar to you, somewhat based in the ambient tradition of extended songs but with far more of a concise narrative bent. July’s MAMI X NON compilation, featuring short mixes from Nkisi, Marcelline, Asmara and more, is another example of the shorter format, this time blurring the lines between original/mix formats in a way that allows for a collagist underpinning and a runway soundtrack overtone.
Despite the mix-cum-collage format becoming increasingly popular, DISPLAY has been established to feature solely original works and the second entry into the series, Promise Emulation, comes from Kid Smpl himself. An expansive synthesis of the hi-stress style style found on the producer’s releases for Symbols, the piece aims to “explore a succession of decrepit futurist locales,” a dystopian purview that the producer, recent relocated to San Francisco, manages without the heavy handed posturing and cloying sci fi motifs of so many of his contemporaries. Largely beat-less, Promise Emulation is a largely textural affair, briefly breaking out into trance-like crescendos and bursts of raw noise, but by-and-large retaining more restrained exterior that recalls Ben Frost at his most subtle. Promise Emulation is out now in full and available as a free download.