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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

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We decided to put a spotlight on our favorite artists from our home city of Los Angeles this Summer. Over the coming 10 weeks, we’ll feature a cross section of what the city has to offer. Far from a selection of the biggest touring entities, we hope to shine light on the individuals who brighten the airwaves and nights out on a regular basis.

To this point, AMAZONDOTCOM has existed in the interstices of a number of seemingly divergent spaces. Those spaces are geographic, sonic and conceptual and have allowed the producer and live performer to maintain an aesthetic that is distinctly her own. Geographically speaking, AMAZONDOTCOM has largely spent time between Los Angeles and Mexico City, performing at nights like Rail Up and NTS’ residency at the Ace Hotel in the former and taking her live set to a memorable Boiler Room set up in the latter that featured a slew of off-the-wall artists riffing on footwork. Those performances are hard to pin down, but display a confident grasp of club dynamics, allowing for a start-stop approach that defies traditional genre arrangements and easy emotional outputs without losing its clear dancefloor efficacy.

Releases to date have been sparse for AMAZONDOTCOM, but the material available is definitive. A joint release with Siete Catorce, the Teardropz EP for Nostro Hood System, sees the two artists complementing each other to the fullest, resulting in some of the most disarming club music to come out this year. The release is focused and arranged around a core idea, that being constantly mutating rhythms matched with minimal, spectral sound design, but it results in a complex of brilliant moments that are bound to wow and throw off listeners and dancers alike for years. Other standout moments have come in the form of single track contributions to labels like Juárez’s LOWERS and Mexico City’s Piratón“youknowhowwedu” also appeared on our own NEW YR NEW US 2 giveaway compilation at the end of 2017, a preview of a more longform release to come on Astral Plane Recordings.

The smattering of AMAZONDOTCOM releases mentioned above paint a picture of an artist who fluidly moves between a number of sounds, touching on dembow, footwork, hip hop and a more amorphous beat aesthetic without falling into the trap of emulating calcified forms. It’s a sound that is already distinctly hers and a sonic space that will rapidly expand as more material is released. Her Astral Plane Mix is a good measure of that, comprised of over an hour of unreleased AMAZONDOTCOM material that gracefully bounds across tempo and rhythmic structure without losing an ounce of focus. Distended low end, cleverly snatched vocal samples and metallic drums have all become AMAZONDOTCOM hallmarks, but this volume also introduces sections of distorted breaks and a range of pleasing textural elements, ensuring complete immersion. No track list for this one, although you can pick out DMVU’s “Flew” towards the beginning of the mix. The rest is all AMAZONDOTCOM. Download here and be on the look out for more in the near future.

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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 TemplateIf you caught SHALT’s FACT Mix in May or any number of our recent NTS shows, you’ve likely caught glimpses of the Seraphim LP. SHALT’s debut album has been bubbling up for over a year now and we’re extremely proud and relieved to announce it to the world. Available on September 14 on LP and digital, the former featuring full color jacket work by the amazing Isaac Chabon, Seraphim is our most involved release date, a mini-epic with a dense conceptual core and a brilliantly abstract narrative. The album is accompanied by a series of brilliant video works by Nick Zhu and Tea Stražičić, a dream collaboration that can first be seen via the video for “Fleeting”. We’ll be unveiling more details on Seraphim over the coming weeks, but you can have a go at “Fleeting” here and pre-order your copy of the limited 200 run below. Bandcamp will likely be the most affordable option for those of you in the US, while the other Euro/UK-based retailers are likely cheaper for the rest of you. Give us a shout if prices seem unreasonable and we’ll see if there’s a local shop that better fits your needs. Thanks as always for the love and suport.

SHALT – Seraphim [LP/Digital]
APR115 | Out September 14
“Fleeting” video
Pre-order LP/12″: Bandcamp | Boomkat | Juno | Red Eye

1.) Conceived on Ash
2.) Preserved in Amber
3.) Seraph
4.) Fleeting
5.) Ardour
6.) Charred, Cleansed

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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

No guests and no worries on this month’s edition of our NTS Los Angeles show. This was recorded after driving out of (near) a forest fire so the mood is slightly uneasy/ominous for the first 45 minutes. Excuse the abruptness of the start. It was hot in the studio. We also played out the entirety of SHALT’s new ʃælt single, out now on Astral Plane Recordings. You can get that one here. We’ll be back on NTS on September 30. Full track list after the jump.

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shalt press shot

Coming at the end of an almost year long hiatus, SHALT returns to the fold with ʃælt, the first in a series of singles focused on sound mechanics and loop-based dance forms. A sonic extension of the sheer physicality and cataclysmic sound design introduced on his two previous Astral Plane Recordings releases (Acheron and Inertia), ʃælt sees the recent London transplant exhume those forms from the narrative realm in order to experiment with functionality, crafting a series of absolutely cracking club tracks in the process.

BPMs are kept low across ʃælt‘s three tracks and fans of SHALT’s mix work, for the likes of Solid Steel and Truants, will recognize the microwave warm lilt of “Warm Chaos” and the crunching dramatic sway of “First Pulse”. Like all of SHALT releases, rhythms tend to emerge from a dense field of electricity, but the drums are more immediately accessible on ʃælt, lending a sense of distinct movement to the corporeal intensity his previous work has introduced. The “outsider” label is rather contrived at this point, but if this isn’t an outsider record for peak time then we don’t know what is.

More details on ʃælt via RA

E.M.M.A. PROMO SHOT

LA Mermaid is E.M.M.A.’s second official release for Astral Plane Recordings and arrives on July 14. Comprised of five drama-filled, hallucinatory compositions, LA Mermaid is a microcosm of the glistening, magical aesthetic Emma has worked tirelessly to fine tune. The result is music that is larger-than-life, while simultaneously insular and immediately graspable. E.M.M.A.’s music has always existed in these brilliant margins between, and LA Mermaid is a definitive statement of ownership over that space.

Coming on the heels of March’s Glacé single, also released through APR, LA Mermaid is a triumphant statement of intent for E.M.M.A., a release that draws threads from 2013’s Blue Gardens LP and pitches them into ever more vivid shapes. Jump started by the dramatically arranged, long-awaited “Magna Kanye”, LA Mermaid’s bombast is tempered by sequences of quiet brilliance, juxtapositions that are tied together by E.M.M.A.’s signature arpeggiated synths.

“This EP covers a lot of different moods and atmospheres. Themes which have inspired me are dreamy things I can’t quite grasp like the allure of Hollywood, mermaids, the illuminati, the open sea, the composition of the earth, and diamonds” said E.M.M.A.

“Magna Kanye was made after I saw some inspirational footage of Kanye in the studio, like it was a life or death situation, which is how I want to be when I’m in the studio” she added.

With the continued excellence of her Angel Food show on NTS and the huge industry support for her Producer Girls workshops, Astral Plane is delighted to shed some light on the cosmic creations of an artist who has made a conscious decision to not to be prolific in the face of disposable internet culture. As well as previously unheard material, some of these tracks have been eagerly anticipated for some time. The body of work should remind many why this London dweller has long been lauded as one of the era’s most unique talents.

E.M.M.A. – LA Mermaid
APR110 | Out Now
Apple Music
Bandcamp
Bleep
Boomkat
iTunes
Juno
Soundcloud
Spotify

 

Last Friday, the Astral Plane DJ Team hopped on NTS for a two hour solo show before running over to the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive to play a pre-recorded piece called ‘Canopy’. We also intended to play the piece in the last bit of this session, but forgot to load it up on the USB. Instead we ran through a load of new LOFT dubs + forthcoming E.M.M.A. (very soon), Chants (very soon) and SHALT (soon). Hit the jump for a full track list and download the show here.

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E.M.M.A.’s Astral Plane Recordings debut is out now. Get it here.

London’s E.M.M.A. is one of the most celebrated producers to rise out of the British capitol in recent years, conjuring vibrant sonic landscapes and breathtaking dancefloor-driven formations in equal measure. Glacé marks her arrival to Astral Plane Recordings, offering a glimpse into a wealth of new material recorded in recent years. Never one to accept the status quo of her surroundings, E.M.M.A. has also delved full on into radio and hosting production workshops for young women as co-host of the Angel Food show on NTS and founder of the Producer Girls workshops respectively. It’s a cliche, but half a decade after emerging from the London underground, E.M.M.A. has turned her focus to the community around her as she continues to push bleeding edge sounds on her own terms.

Glacé came about in the midst of those efforts, born out of the on-the-ground energy of both projects and informed by a desire to make something one step removed from daily routine and reality. Richly layered synths are the name of the game on “Glacé”, a colorful melange of percolating highs and mids that pulse and quiver as the track progresses. The percussion is influenced by classic new wave sounds, providing a flexible structure for the dense textures to unravel around and for the listener to grab onto. A beatless version and a spacious, tactile remix from Gobstopper artist Iglew round out the package, which is out in full now.

E.M.M.A. – Glacé
APR109 | Out Now
Apple Music
Bandcamp
Bleep
Juno
iTunes
Spotify