If you’ve listened to SHALT’s Astral Plane mix or his recent, more dancefloor-oriented mix for Ninja Tune’s Solid Steel show on NTS Radio, you’ll have caught on to just how acute SHALT’s ear is. Whether he’s bringing in dancefloor smashers from contemporaries or isolating the sheer physicality of more abstract works, every bit of the process is deeply considered from a thorough spatial perspective. Today marks the release of the Acheron EP, a work that functions as both a fully formed narrative and a vessel for a discussion surrounding artificial life extension and its potential consequences. Interviews with FACT and THUMP offer insight into the project, but the best way to experience Acheron is to listen in an isolated setting and while it’s too much to demand uninhibited attention in the contemporary media landscape we can assure you that this extended player is best heard in focus.
It’s release week! Since announcing SHALT’s Acheron EP last month, we’ve been aching to get the full project out to you and it’s finally out on digital platforms this Friday (1/29)! Last Thursday, FACT Magazine premiered the second single from the project, “Unconfined”, and spoke with SHALT about artificial life extension, Tim Hecker, and the club-via-noise context of his music. Check out the interview here, “Unconfined” below and keep an eye out on our Bandcamp for the full release on Friday.
Last Wednesday, The FADER premiered the title track from SHALT’s Acheron EP, the first track from the Lausanne-based artist’s forthcoming release on Astral Plane Recordings. Coming in as APR101, Acheron is the first solo release on our platform and will be out digitally on January 29. Isaac Chabon contributing the breathtaking cover art and Sam Meier led the artistic direction of the project while Riley Lake put his inimitable talents forwards for mastering. Out To FACT, RA and THUMP for all picking up the news of the release and spreading it around to their respective readers. We’ll be back with more on the record in the new year so keep and eye out and enjoy “Acheron”.
This year, FACT Magazine offered me the opportunity to compile a “25 Best Club Tracks Of 2015” list and after weeks of agonizing over the selections, it went live last week to many readers’ consternation. Unfortunately, a good deal of tracks that I would have liked to include didn’t fit in to the feature’s scope, which was more of less limited to club-focused material and original works (a self-imposed limitation). The following 25 tracks either aren’t aimed at the dancefloor, fit the club-theme or just didn’t quite fit the rubric for the column. Like the FACT list, we’ve kept this one in alphabetic order and considering that these songs come from across a ridiculously wide spectrum we felt there was no need to order them otherwise. Hit the links below to listen to each respective track and enjoy. Big thanks to anyone and everyone who has stuck with us, enjoyed our releases and/or followed the FACT column.
Acre – Always Crashing
Acre x Justine Skye – Never Physically Leave (Prince Will Edit)
Angel-Ho – Yah Cunt
DJ Haram & Mhysa – No Ordinary Love
DJ NJ Drone – Banger (Fools)
Elysia Crampton – Lake
Faro – Hold U (Hi Tom Edit)
Fis – Kal
GAIKA – Sodium
Haleek Maul – Medicine (ft. Kit) [prod. Haleek Maul & Shy Guy]
Iglew – Urban Myth
Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf – Spirit
Joey Labeija – Euphoria
Kadahn – Arc Eye Matter
Kuedo – Cellular Perimeter
Lotic – Heterocetera
Mechatok – Mass Appeal
Mr. Mitch – Dru (Peace Edit)
Rabit & Myth – Lonely Backseat Love
Pan Daijing – DISEASE 疾
Pitcheno – K1. 不明白” (feat. Organ Tapes)
Smurphy – Missing2MyBB
Strict Face – Into Stone
Teeflii x Mr. Mitch – 24 Hourz x Feel (Rabit Blend)
Tim Hecker – Stab Variation (SHALT Edit)
A little over a month ago, we decided to take a short hiatus from our weekly mix series. The series is the crown jewel of our operation and as we get busier, it gets more and more difficult to maintain. In this case, it became something of a burden and the fun of placing mixes from our favorites artists every week almost felt like a hassle. Luckily, we’ve got the verve back now and will actually be expanding the series by including interviews with as many of the mixes as we can. Hope you enjoy.
The marriage of the pristine and the rugged can be throughout the history of electronic music, everything from acid house to hardcore to bassline smashing together beatific vocal samples with clattering breakbeats, roaring sublo frequencies with exquisite keyboard work. Some of our favorite music takes that ethos to another level, blurring the lines between traditionally beautiful sounds and unadulterated noise, forcing the listener to face the scraping, banging, dragging characteristics of computer music. Arca, Fis and Rabit achieve this with particular aplomb and it appears that a whole wave of producers are willing to not only include, but embrace, industrial characteristics, whether derived from the hardware and/or software they use, the urban environment they reside in, or the literature or film they imbibe.
Across two EPs, for Slime Recordings and Clubwerks respectively, York-residing artist SHALT has built up a strong case to be mentioned in the aforementioned conversation and his forthcoming work should only cement that place. Built around crackling, disintegrating percussion and widescreen melodic work, abetted by disembodied vocal samples, SHALT’s work has a distinctly tactile feel, building out from techno, the darker side of garage and other UK club forms into an aesthetic distinctly his own. SHALT refers to science fiction as a means to investigate themes of life extension and extraterrestrial exploration and it’s not difficult to imagine tracks like “Callisto” or his edit of Tim Hecker’s “Stab Variation” soundtracking those advancements. That being said, SHALT’s work isn’t just some bland futurist statement or appraisal, its function as much body music as it is a science fiction statement. His Astral Plane Mix acts as a prologue for future work and considering the all-encompassing nature of the originals within, alongside work from Fis, Pinch & Mumdance, Cristobal Tapia de Veer and more, SHALT’s next step will be a further example of how to match the dissonant and sonorous forms.
Hit the jump to read our interview with SHALT and to check out the full track list…