Shcuro: Particle of Memory 12″ EP (Dark Entries, 2020)

March 30, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Shcuro: Particle of Memory 12″ EP

Part of the same Lisbon club scene as Violet and Photonz, who both released excellent albums on Dark Entries last year, Shcuro makes grim yet sparkling dance tracks joining the circuits of hard electro, techno, and EBM. “Afterlife” kicks this EP off with steely yet bouncy electro, featuring seductive vocals by ELLES. The following “Decadent Dub” of the same song emphasizes the track’s detailed, striking beatwork. “Left at Dawn” is much heavier and snappier, folding some almost shoegaze-like blown-out melodies into its cold, lacerating beats. “Can’t Let Go” has a faster, more restless beat which is made all the more tense with frequent pauses, ending up a sort of future ballroom-electro. “The Predator’s Dream” is haunting, subterranean electro which growls and prowls, but in a chic way. Lastly, “Is It Real” is one of the EP’s spaciest cuts, bouncing with heavy kicks and sideways raygun blasts.

Chris Russell: Destiny (Spotted Peccary, 2020)

March 29, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Chris Russell: Destiny

Chris Russell’s third Spotted Peccary release is a frankly astonishing set of slow-moving dark ambient pieces which make you feel like you’re gradually sinking into the chasms of your mind. It’s vast and filled with mystery, and while it could seem cold, distant, or foreboding, it actually ends up being incredibly soothing, especially as I’m stuck at home for an indefinite amount of time. This has definitely been some of my default “getting through all this” music, this and Burial. I feel like this provides the sort of replenishing and healing qualities that new age music is supposed to, but without the yoga instructor cliches often attached to it. It’s dark and light and glowing and strange and beautiful and it’s making me feel like we’re all going to get through this and it’s all going to be okay. “The Path Less Traveled” is the most memorable and probably the most Projekt-sounding piece here, but it’s all equally stunning, and all gives you that “slowly melting into eternity” feeling.

Red Axes: Voom 12″ EP (Dark Entries, 2019)

March 28, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Red Axes: Voom 12″ EP

Previewing their upcoming third album, Israel’s Red Axes bring some steady beats and acid on this 4-track 12″. While their last album was a wild mixture of psych-pop, lounge, and disco, this EP contains strictly DJ-friendly club tracks, edging between new beat and analog acid house with some trance creeping in. “Voom” is direct and slightly breaky, while “Dosa” stretches out a bit more. “Mister Q” is where the record really takes off, however, seeming to break free and just rocket outwards. Easily an entry into the pantheon of classic dance tracks which mention the letter Q (including “The Voice of Q” by Q, and “Theme from Q” by Objekt). “Prblems” is longer and trancier, and feels like a much more gradual transformation to an elevated state.

DJ FLP: 33451 12″ EP (3345, 2020)

March 24, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

DJ FLP: 33451 12″ EP

DJ FLP’s first vinyl release is on a new Vanity Press sublabel, presenting records playable at either 33 or 45 RPM. Or maybe there’s 1 side pressed at 33 and the other at 45? I’m not sure, I only have a digital promo so far, not the actual record yet. Regardless, FLP is Ann Arbor’s #1 juke aficionado, and these are tightly constructed, complex yet smooth tracks balancing footwork with drum’n’bass. “Liquid 2020” is aquamarine holographic rave music, flitting between breaks and hypercharged hi-hats. Ariana Grande glides throughout the slick but slippery “Ariana”, and the more ghetto house-leaning “Kush Cloud” is jittery but euphoria-buzzed. “Save File” (featuring “Ariana” co-producer Joon) is a delicate banger with bubbly watercolor synths and some slamming Amen breaks at just the right moments. Bonus track “Otherside” is much closer to the original, rawer Chicago-style footwork rather than the more hybridized post-Teklife developments. Nothing but quality here, do not miss this one!

{arsonist}: Reality Structure tape (Unifactor Tapes, 2020)

March 23, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

{arsonist}: Reality Structure tape

Part of Pittsburgh’s thriving experimental electronic scene, {arsonist} composes mathematically derived destruction on her first album. There’s some fractured beats and prismatic sounds you might expect from deconstructed club music, but there’s also rich, foliage-like strings and saxophones, growing past decayed electronic noise into a sort of digital contemporary classical music. Her vocals poke out on two occasions, first on the gentle shadowscape “Till Human Voices Wake Us”. “Suppose We’re Hypnagogic Elopers” starts out bright and fluid, kind of like Foxdye’s ambient work, before rushing into a heady noise standstill. Then “Projecting Into Phantasmagoric Subspace” carries out the rest of the album, beginning with soft, swooping vocals and star-synths, then erupting into a fantastic supernova later on. Truly remarkable music for cosmic rebirth.

Little Snake: YADTC (Brainfeeder, 2020)

March 22, 2020 at 11:03 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Little Snake: YADTC

Little Snake’s track on the Brainfeeder X compilation completely blindsided me. Just totally futuristic broken beat sound design mayhem which seemed to be propelling in thousands of different directions. The mysterious artist has released a few EPs, and this newest one is sort of a mini-symphony. Four movements, most of which are around 10 minutes, and they vary in pace from moment to moment, with long stretches of drawn-out beats, periods where it’s fast and frantic, and others where it’s arrhythmic and patience-testing. The artist seems to constantly dare the listener to keep up, and it’s hard to tell where you are in relation to what’s happening — there’s lots of quickly disappearing and re-appearing Cheshire Cat-like sounds and voices. And at least one completely ridiculous drop.

Sudan Archives @ Deluxx Fluxx, 3/5/20

March 21, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Photos | Leave a comment

So WCBN is suspending live broadcasts for the time being, and I’m working from home for now. Not a whole lot to do other than stay at home and read and listen to music. In the meantime, here’s photos from the Sudan Archives show at Deluxx Fluxx in Detroit earlier this month!

Om Unit: Submerged 12″ EP (Submerged, 2020)

March 15, 2020 at 10:59 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Om Unit: Submerged 12″ EP

Om Unit continues to expand and refine his singular fusion of multiple genres on this latest EP. Atmospheric jungle breaks, insistent footwork bass, and dub fx are all perfectly tuned into each other, building up tension and pressure which is sustained throughout these 6 tracks. “Runes” is some seriously futuristic mystical dub, while “Patterning” and “Long Summer” have tighter, more complex rhythms, reminiscent of mid-’90s intelligent jungle but with a tiny bit of a half-time bounce in them. The stormier “Peninsula” tips closer to darkness, but there’s enough light surging through that the music remains positively uplifting. Fantastic work, as always.

Craven Faults: Erratics & Unconformities (Leaf, 2020)

March 8, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Craven Faults: Erratics & Unconformities

Described on Bandcamp as “Half-remembered journeys across post-industrial Yorkshire”, Craven Faults follows several EPs with a sprawling LP containing 6 lengthy tracks approximating countryside train rides. There’s rising synth arpeggios and steady beats, but the beats aren’t heavy or fast enough to dance to, and on tracks like “Deipkier”, they don’t quite land where you think they would. They do move everything forward one step at a time, and the synths slowly progress through different stages and sequences. The tracks don’t feel as long as the track times read, however, since this really does feel like being transported somewhere. You press play and let the music guide you, and the minutes just fly by. The music is remarkably free of tension or suspense, or if there is any, it’s more subtle and not overbearing. It’s like an endless horizon, but it does move, and you do end up somewhere else.

Jade Helm: Days Gone 7″ (Gilgongo, 2020)

March 8, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Jade Helm: Days Gone 7″

Magnificent post-punk from a band fronted by Phoenix-based guitarist/vocalist Jackie Cruz. The A-side is dark and driving like Joy Division, but the vocals switch from reserved murmuring to brash riot grrrl shouting from line to line. Really refreshing, energetic, and powerful, a blast of both gloom and sunshine, and it curiously ends with a brief sample of almost carousel-like music, from what I imagine is a faded old record found in a thrift store somewhere. B-side “I’ll Decide” is another ecstatically charged post-punk delight, much in the same vein. It’s worth mentioning that this record is currently available as a pre-order, and all proceeds will directly benefit Cruz, who is fighting cancer.

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