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.
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.
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.
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.
Currently residing in Cardiff, LOFT (also known as Loftmind) has traversed quite a few styles over the course of several mixes, one cassette release and a spastic digital self-release. Strands of roughhewn techno, electro and other stripped down forms can be found on the t w o y e a r s a s t h r e e p e o p l e mixtape, made up mostly of LOFT originals and maintaining both a strict aesthetic sensibility and an awareness of low end-heavy sounds. Meanwhile, August’s VIOLET TAPE, accompanied by the tag “Bubblegum Gum Bass”, is an energy drink fueled speed run that is more Glass Swords than PC Music, but absurd nonetheless. VIOLET TAPE opener, “hi i’m alice”, is only a minute and twenty nine seconds long, but is one of the producer’s finest moments to date, full of the sort of undulating synth work and rebounding, cacophonous noises we’ve come to expect from a Oneohtrix Point Never or Actress.
Overall, LOFT’s musical identity is a bit sprawling at this point and while his Astral Plane mix certainly doesn’t close any doors, its chaotic approach to left field house and techno comes across as incredibly poignant matching Why Be, Skyshaker and Scotty B with Randomer, Demdike Stare and Pev & Hodge. Matched with a smattering of banging LOFT originals, the mix balances lo-fi techno with raw ballroom and Bmore, balancing out sounds from each realm with an ear for sound system music and club operability. We shot a few quick questions over to LOFT and discussed maximalism vs. minimalism, favorite chicken spots in Cardiff and his three dream jobs. Catch that and a full track list after the jump.