Friday, 4 April 2014

Recent Releases

R.I.P. Sean Stewart (left), founding member of Australian band HTRK - Number 8

1) Four Tet - 'Gillie Amma, I Love You'

A breathy, slow-burning ballad, Four Tet's 'Gillie Amma, I Love You' was released as part of Boats, a long-awaited compilation by Scottish music and film collective Transgressive North. As spacious and haunting as a Sigur Rós composition, it is only one one of the album's 29 original tracks by artists such as Max Tundra, Son Lux and Rustie. Buy it here and all your dollah goes to helping destitute children in India.

2) Mo Kolours - Mo Kolours

London-based Mo Kolours was dropping samples from his debut self-titled album for a couple of months before its release, the most recent of these being 'Little Brown Dog'. Whimsical vocals meet an unusual arrangement of brass and steel drums in a manner typical to the half Mauritian, half English producer. His exotic, breezy sound and sixth sense in sampling mean that his album will make the perfect backdrop to the sunshine that is slowly but surely re-entering our lives. The album dropped on March 24th on One-Handed Music.

3) Erykah Badu - 'Bump It' (DJ A1 Remix)

A key member of her band, The Cannabinoids, it is perhaps unsurprising that DJ A1 is able to treat some of Erykah Badu's most underrated work with the respect and vision it needs. He released two funky reworks of 'Bump It' and 'Back In The Day' off her 2003 full-length Worldwide Underground, injecting extra groovability into the already impossibly soulful originals.

4) Charles I - 'Attrition Part 1'

A mile away from the feel-good mood of the above, LA beatsmith Charles I's Attrition EP demonstrates the coldest, most unsentimental strain of underground techno. A minimalistic beat and an unchanging tempo plough through both parts of the EP, creating a mechanical inevitablility both thrilling and dangerous. 

4) gøldFFinch - 'Black Pyramid'

The release of gøldFFinch's new Black Pyramid EP sees the Belgian duo joining the ranks of some of the most in demand artists of the moment; those providing high energy tech-house stompers for epicurean ravers across the globe.

6) Millie & Andrea - Drop The Vowels

Manchester-based duo Miles Whittaker and Andy Stott, who have been collaborating since 2oo8 under the alias of Millie & Andrea, have released their new album just in time for a place on my collection of March releases. A merging of Whittaker's dubby bass rumblings and Stott's signature booming techno makes for a dark, gritty and at times overbearing experience, pointedly steering clear of easy listening. Made obvious with track names such as 'Stay Ugly' and 'Corrosive', Stott cites elusive Londoner Jai Paul as one of his influences, describing his production as 'super squashed, super compressed, and then there's something really nasty underneath.' You can stream the album here for free.

7) DJ Koze - 'Nices Wölkchen' (Robag's Bronky Frumu Rehand)

Having doted on DJ Koze's Amygdala as much as any sane consumer after its release last year, I quickly began to get excited about the release of its remix EP (previous ramblings here.) While 'Nices Wölkchen' was by far my favourite track on the album, this remix by first-class German beatsmith Robag Wruhme is unlikely to disappoint even those listeners most averse to its modification. Wruhme's version underpins the original with a mechanical, tech-house beat, easing it onto the dancefloor while maintaining its otherworldly feel.

8) HTRK - 'Blue Sunshine'

The success of Australian rock outfit HTRK has never come easily, with a history of depression and emotional hardship reaching its peak when Sean Stewart, bassist and founding member, committed suicide on March 18th, 2010. The two remaining members, Nigel Yang and Jonnine Standish, continue to write music after this tragedy, their progressive rock sound becoming increasingly influenced by darker strains of techno and dub. Their most recent EP, Psychic 9-5 Club, has just been released on Ghostly International, which warns that HTRK's music is 'not a quick-fix for restless, impatients minds; it needs to be absorbed, contemplated and revisited.' Technically, this was released on April 1, not March, but bite me. My blog, my rules.

9) Throwing Snow - Pathfinder

One of my favourite acts of the moment (see previous enthusing here), the new EP from Throwing Snow has induced a new wave of Parklife-itus. Pathfinder sees Ross Tones continuing to adventure further from club-oriented house staples and pushing the boundaries into more experimental realms of electronic fusion. Its opening track 'The Tempest' places hurrying and uncertain synth melodies against the ethereal vocals of Romanian Ada Kaleh to create a faltering 2-step with the astral feel of a Flying Lotus composition.

10) Clap! Clap! - 'Kaluma'

Another jazz artisan gone electronic pioneer, C Crisci dropped the fantastic Tambacounda EP under the candid moniker of Clap! Clap! on March 3rd. It was released through Black Acre, the record label behind the absolutely brilliant Meditations on Afrocentrism by fellow afro-futurist Romare. A restless collection of pounding, African-inspired rhythms and stirring, tribal motifs, the energy that these tracks manage to evoke belongs somewhere in between the dancefloor and the campfire. 

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