Continuing their run of wildly successful, sonically-themed compilations, Paris-based imprint Sound Pellegrino has released SND.PE VOL.04: Melodic Mechanisms, a tape featuring Moleskin, Sudanim and CYPHR, as well as a whose who of the label’s stable of French producers. With a focus on sound design, spatial awareness, and, of course, melody, SND.PE VOL.04 is a compilation intended for a heightened club experience, for listeners bred on Japanese video game soundtracks, trance and devil mixes. A few weeks ago, we featured newcomer Doline‘s excellent contribution to VOL.04 and the strobe light brilliance of the Parisian’s “Karidja” set the time for an immaculate listen through and through. Get your own copy of SND.PE VOL.04 in digital form or on vinyl and stream snippets of the full tape here.
Over the course of the past twelve months, the trans-continental South/Central American dance scene seemed to grow in both confidence in recognition as producers from Chile to Mexico flexed their various reinterpretations of folks musics and dance forms. Moreso, artists like Lao and Paul Marmota, Tomas Urquieta and Imaabs transgressed the traditional world of house and techno, drafting up wildly creative takes on dance music that subverted the hegemonic, often racially inferred physical and technological spaces in their respective cities of Santiago and Mexico City. We snagged Imaabs to lay out his favorite releases of the year, drawing source material from Chilean, Mexican, American and British producers. Enjoy and excuse the language barrier!
A selection is always a constellation, each track has to be able to open dimensions, generating movement, shouts, expressions, the body into a future, that does not subtract and multiply , but rather becomes intense; several of these tracks are instrumental, very percussive, others have voices that produce some recognition, voice, usually on a track is a face in which we identify.
This selection of the 10 most important tracks for me in 2014 focuses on links that open. For example, Rushmore’s “Bitch Please” has been apex at parties I played in Chile and Mexico; Marmota with “Malianteo” reopens a recognition territory between Chile, the apocalyptic vibes and Latin America ; the masterpiece called “Black Jesus” of Vaskular & Valesushi, two Chilean friends, thrill mixed with a Latin-Dembow dimension with Deep House vibes. Meanwhile, Kid Antoine is very European, but an expert in a post-apocalyptic latin dimension and that reminds me of Marmota´s Nueva EP (out now on NAAFI), resonating in such extreme places as Mexico and Denmark.
With transformations in mind, a song from the last quarter is “How About” of Dinamarca x Zutzut, Kassandra’s soft voice resonates much to the work of Kelela, but achieves a density and quite distinct flavor. Tomás Urquieta, my fellow battles, built one of the most consistent Eps I’ve managed to hear in this last year, beyond thinking about the Club, this EP is out of it, or at its limit; Somebody called it a kind of Post-club. Future Brown, opens a window and a way of doing pop, thinking of the club, and this track, Wanna Party, is but a manifesto of those osmosis. Another track that impressed me was the 2014, is the remix by Cyphr to “Moments XTC” of Zutzut and Lao (Extasis/Her), and the original track had struck me, but when he left the remix… I Said: amazing.
Inevitably you can not do a review of 2014 without mentioning Neana; means most of the old continent as USA, considered him as someone to must be listened to; the consistency is not enough, and successes are needed hits to the expected visibility and consolidation; the remix he makes to SPF666 is required in any dj set. Finally another great Latin American producer going to have to talk this 2015, what impresses me greatly is the expertise that takes into percussions, I think unusual and very unlike anything that has been done regarding club music.
Continuing our year end coverage, we asked Tomas Fraser, head of breathtaking grime outlet Coyote Records, which 2014 songs he wished he could have signed. It’s a bit of a silly hypothetical, but while signing a “Take Time” is almost always a heartbeat decision, the amount of factors that go into a label signing are often overwhelming. Tomas does an excellent job with Coyote and while he couldn’t snag the following, Mumdance x Novelist, Murlo, CYPHR, Visionist or Gantz x El Mahdy Jr. tracks this year, his label has turned out quality releases from Chemist and Spare, as well as their annual compilation, Coyote Kings 2. Check out Tomas’ selection below and hit the jump to stream Rejig’s contribution to the aforementioned compilation. Also, be sure to peep Riley Lake’s Fave Discontinued Hardware from yesterday!
Would loved to have released a record on this based primarily on the fact that it single-handedly gave power back to the MCs – it proved that MCs could do the intricate, new world of contemporary instrumental grime production justice and vice versa. Don’t think we’ll fully appreciate it for a few years yet either.
Spent the last 10 months or so fast-forwarding mixes just to reload ‘Cold Stroke’ – it’s just one of those tracks that I’ll always love. Was chuffed to see it get a proper release because I still think it stands as one of his best pieces of production to date.
CYPHR – Sun (Her Records)
Went under the radar a bit this one but it blew me away listening to it for the first time. The way the track builds and all the components intertwine is genuinely beautiful – even my boss bought the EP after I played it in the office. Says it all really.
Visionist – More Pain (Lit City Trax)
Visionist has my favourite production aesthetic in the game and ‘More Pain’ is probably the best example of how he goes about his work. It reminds me of a prayer of sorts in the sense that it’s gothic and moody and haunting and almost spiritual, all at the same time – it’s this sense of emotional urgency that makes him stand out from the rest for me.
Gantz ft. El Mahdy Jr – Rising (Deep Medi)
Not my usual bag but I know Gantz is a great producer and alongside El Mahdy Jr, something clicked for me. There’s a real tangible sense of spirituality about ‘Rising’ – perpetuated by Mahdy Jr’s enchanting vocal – and the way Gantz joins the dots between the classic Medi template & the sounds of his own heritage and culture is first class.
The multi-faceted approach of the Her Records squad is readily apparent in the cycle of new singles/EPs, from each member of the team, that have arrived in the past year. Each release, stylistically divergent from the last, has offered a new prong in the Her arsenal and June’s Her Records Vol. 3 compilation tied the whole endeavor together in neat, singular package. The next project titled Ekleipsis, comes courtesy of CYPHR later this month and sees the London-based producer continue the harmonic backflips we saw on his remix of Zutzut and Lao’s “Momentos De XTC”. The EP’s title track is coliseum large, but also strangely intimate, drawing on battle-drum percussion and vocal-esque pads for a wholly encompassing affect. Ekleipsis is set for a September 30 release date, but can pre-ordered now.
Last June, Her Records caught our attention with the unique, R&B-inflected club vibes of CYPHR’s Girl Shake, a free EP that set the stage for Miss Modular’s wildly popular “Reflektor Pack”, although hasn’t received nearly as much popular acclaim. With Sudanim’s The Link EP already under their belt, it’s clear that the Her crew are looking to flex their shit in 2014 and today brings release of CYPHR’s Brace/Gloss Finish single. More unbridled than Girl Shake, both “Brace” and “Gloss Finish” abandon the R&B trappings of CYPHR’s first Her release, the former opting for a growling, percussive monster and the latter straining ebullient vocals and analogue synth work into a techno framework. Both tracks are wildly efficient club efforts and allow CYPHR the room to remove himself from the shadow of his fellow Her artists. The single is out now and can be bought at the Her store.