Spooky season has begun. I wrote a few tweets on why Halloween and the surrounding period is important to me here. To the haters, I say BOO. To the fans, I say BOOOOO.
Malzof At Hot Mass 08 - 31 - 2019, gFx
This opening set from Hot Mass kicks off with swirling synths that give way to Mo'Wax sounds (or something that sounds a lot like the early UNKLE stuff). It's a slow and steady build, and I'm not just including it because Malzof plays two tracks from Missives — 'Leaf Lottery' from Motoko & Myers and Violet's 'Baby Doll'. It's a great opener that covers nicely pulsating grooves alongside crowdpleasers like Errorsmith.
Mosca - Touchie Riddim EP
Wubby wubby wubby wubbby wub wub wub. This is a strange one. Loveable rascal Mosca was initially known for club hits like 'Bax' and releases on labels like Night Slugs and 3024. Since the heady days of the early 00s he's used his NTS residency to show the breadth of his interests. This release, on Danish-based label Fluf, is fascinating. In a sense, it's what you should really call 'deconstructed club'. Examining and exploring the tropes of early 00s grime, he isolates ideas, bouncing sounds together and firing lasers into space for the hell of it. It's almost as if he's got a sound bank and he's just seeing what happens. Across four tracks he just messes with everything from heavy bass to weird poings and inaccessible frequencies at both ends. Totally new territories.
AQXDM - Infrared
How many massive stadium anthems do you know that go on for a solid eight minutes yet can maintain your interest for every second? This one from AQXDM, the collaboration between Aquarian and Deapmash, is the title track of their forthcoming EP on Houndstooth, and it's like .. intelligent big room techno. I made up a genre. There's no other way of putting it. It's huge. Gargantuan. Monstrous. Big big sounds. Big drums, big, yawning chords, big, swooping melodies, reverbed breaks sent into oblivion. It's one of those tracks that's too long, too short and just right all at once. The sounds are techno meets rave but the rhythms are choppy and broken, sounding like Atlantic Ocean's 'Waterfall' if it splashed over the edge of the flat Earth on to the turtle's shell.
Nocturnal Emissions & Bir - Joint Statement #04 (Noise In Opposition)
The latest statement from the Noise In Opposition series is from Nocturnal Emissions and Bir (who's worked with BC pal April Larson in the past). The first track is a short and choppy, clubby almost. The second, with the glorious title of 'You Left the Ketchup Out of the Fridge for Two Days' (which in itself wouldn't be a problem for me) feels like it's two days long. In a good way. Noisy, explosive, angry, bizarre.
Louis VIII - 75:150 Mix
This one has a simple concept, moving between tracks that are at 75 and 150bpm. It opens with one that I truly love even though I hadn't even thought of it in a long time, Trentemøller's 'Snowflake'. Louis then moves into newer terrains, with the mix focusing on artists like Forest Drive West, Batu, Simo Cell and Second Woman. The latter act provides some of the most mind-bending moments here, straying from the prescribed tempos to disintegrate entirely.
Sug - Music for Cycling Waste
I love everything about this. It's a release on a new label called Dreamtone, a sublabel of the ever-exciting and innovative Jacktone. The label will have a rolling body of curators, but at present it's overseen by Hi-Vis. This release "imagines the music that people listen to in the far away shipping yards, workshops, or incineration centers where our waste sits at the end of a global journey that begins when we're done consuming". Fascinating. Naturally there's a lot of what sounds like industrial machinery, conveyor belts, beeps, clattering noise, as well as delicate melodies and strange synth drones. It's quite calming but also unnerving. I'm always wary of lumping anything instrumental and beatless into the "music to be a productive citizen by" so this one absolutely throws that on its head, both musically and by nature of its concept and execution. As well as the digital release, the project also appeared on recycled iPods, really tackling and exploring the question of consumption and waste. They're all sold out now though.
Red Spells Red - Secret Sounds
Dank and murky sounds, clanks and drones, shadowy guitars, strange pulses. Perfect music for this strange season. Silent Hill vibes.
object blue - Cordelia's call to arms [Alec Pace "exploring remix"]
Another massive techno number, seems to be a trend this week. Italian producer Alec Pace took a track from object blue's 2018 release on Let's Go Swimming and refashioned it for ravey purposes. The original is a focused, heads-down number for the club. This takes it to a different level, with massive wobby bass noises and huge sound effects. Put simply, it's bigger than before.
Ordos Mk.0 - Solace
The opening track on this release, 'Enkoded', is a perfectly rendered track that whispers with its lo-fi, outsider house vibes. It's short, at just four-and-a-half minutes, and ends with the words "and just like that, it's gone". Apt. The next track, 'Lost', is extremely competent and well composed, but something about it just doesn't do anything for me. There's nothing wrong with it, per se, but maybe that's the problem. It's too pristine. The title track features elements of both. The bass is appealing, the chords are delightfully mournful and there are enchanting wibbles at play. It's clean, but with an edge. I don't know anything about Ordos Mk.0, but this shows ability and ideas. I hope to hear more.
Danny Tenaglia - Don't Turn Your Back (Paradise Mix)
I can't quite believe I'm sharing something from Hot Creations here but such is life... Earlier this week I saw Chicago DJ Wolfgang Amadidas tweet that "the new Danny Tenaglia track is actually.........good?" So I had to go check it out. It's like the Tenaglia of old, thick, chunky sounds with detuned male vocals and hefty drums. It's kind of swampy, at least on SoundCloud, and I don't know if this is deliberate or just digital compression. Either way I'm into it. It borrows liberally from 'Optimo', but that's welcome too. There's also a fun remix from Harry Romero like it's 2001 all over again.
Kush Jones - "Blessings" EP
It's not that long since I last included something from Kush Jones (May 31 in fact), but this release just hit me. Operating out of New York, he's another US artist firing on all cylinders lately. This new one starts with the urgency of 'We Must Step', a track hitting the sweet spot of house and techno. Glorious chords and clicks, somewhere in that Octave One kind of space in terms of tempo and instrumentation. 'Magic Cuh' is slower and smoother, yet with a kind of gurgling, bubbly bass line. 'Company' jacks things up again, not quite hitting jukey tempos but pushing 136. Things seem sparse until these really delicious chords sweep in underneath. The Bandcamp page says "3 tracks + Bonus track (When you buy the whole release)" so in the interest of research I went on out and bought it. The bonus track is called "Some Acid", and that's what you get. Imagine the electronic squiggles in between the beats of Kraftwerk's 'Numbers' paired with huge, speaker-blowing acid lines and syncopated kick drums. Absolutely booming stuff. That's before the track switches and moves intro proper electro territory. You need this.
GREENHAUS on VPN Radio
GREENHAUS is a radio show from JENNGREEN and this is the archive for the show. Around the time the show was going out she tweeted this incredible track by Phlowgod that evoked feelings of 2013. Huerco S., Anthony Naples, people still doing it but .. It was a time you know? Anyway, the latest show is smokey, vibey, deep. I love it. The track after the new Galcher is that perfect balance of house vibes and jazziness, a wistful trumpet solo taking you into unexpected realms but never taking you away from the feeling.