D. Strange: EP 12″ (Vanity Press Records, 2019)

August 31, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

D. Strange: EP 12"

D. Strange: EP 12″

Late last year, Indianapolis’ D. Strange followed several Bandcamp releases with a four-song EP on Vanity Press. Hard to place in any one category, this is simply kinetic, exploratory club music at its finest. “Loaded” is a bleepy, breaky puzzle with lots of heavy bass plunges and ricocheting vocal samples, and a sort of anticipatory, floating-in-space breakdown. “Dat N. Gone” is like particles of spacey electro and ghettotech mingling together to form a new energy source. “Shift” is more electro to cruise down the aquabahn to, and “IRO” is a downtempo, not-quite-trap curiosity with indistinct vocals (a lower mumbly loop and a slow, ping-ponging echo) and a few swerving-downward riffs.

Show #545 – 8/30/20

August 30, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

The Answer Is In The Beat In Exile 8/30/20
Windy & Carl ~ Alone
Vini Reilly ~ Suicide in E Major
Noveller ~ Zeaxanthin
Nubya Garcia ft. Ms Maurice, Cassie Kinoshi, Richie Seivwright ~ Source
Yaeji ~ In the Mirror
Lapalux ~ 51 Endless Pulses
Arca ~ Mequetrefe
Foul Play ~ Survival
XBass ~ Night Worker
Stazma ~ Compu1
Robin Saville ~ Bojagi

JOBS: endless birthdays (Ramp Local, 2020)

August 30, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

JOBS: endless birthdays

JOBS: endless birthdays

The third album from JOBS is an obtuse, oblique set of audio puzzles which occasionally resemble proper songs. The vocals themselves question conventional lyricism, with some tracks entirely spoken word (like opener “A Toast”) and others existing in between speech and some sort of chanting (“Brian”, which contains linguistic criticisms such as “plain speech is so-so”). “Opulent Fields” is the most accessible, hummable song, even if the lyrics end up being about gun violence. Other tracks are far more deconstructed, such as “Planned Humans”, with its skittering beats, glitchy vocals, and fluttering solos. “3 Being 2” has punchy Motorik beats and airy droning, with a feverish, rapidfire guitar solo taking charge three minutes in, and not letting go until the energy is exhausted. The contrast between technological precision and lack of restraint provides the album’s most gripping moments.

Machine Girl: RePorpoised Phantasies (self-released, 2020)

August 29, 2020 at 11:09 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Machine Girl: RePorpoised Phantasies

Machine Girl’s third release of year (and that doesn’t even include the Prolaps tape on HausMo) is a 20-minute dolphin party closer to the artist’s bouncy, ravey side than their angry digital hardcore side. “Cyan Hardcore” is candy-colored sea-rave music outfitted with scratches and footwork-tinged breakbeats, while “Waited So Long” is a more plastic-sounding variation on deep disco-house. A remix of Merky Ace’s “Greaze” brings glowsticks into a grime clash, and then “The Storm” is is an absolutely wicked breakbeat hardcore track with tripped-up time signatures, keeping it on-the-edge and exciting. “Infinite Potentiality” is another slice of pure NRG which also seems too excited to stick to strictly 4/4.

Tiger Village: Amblyopiac (Suite 309, 2020)

August 28, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Tiger Village: Amblyopiac

Tiger Village: Amblyopiac

Tiger Village’s self-released tenth album is all about the eye troubles he’s suffered from as a kid. I’m not going to go into all the details listed in the press release, but the track titles point at some of them. Like his other recordings, this one contains fractured, sporadic beats and effects that sort of forge their own logic. The synth pads on opener “Strabismus” are relatively calm and smooth but they’re accompanied by a series of dripping drum machines and buzzing effects which only vaguely coalesce into a rhythm at times. Yet it sounds more than just a random splatter of sounds. “Smiling Sounds Of Warm” is a fast, hobbling thumper which periodically derails and rematerializes, still keeping up its pogo pace. “Prism (Acoustic)” and “Circus Work” have some particularly juicy squeezed beats and elastic textures, while “Amblyopiac (Right)” has a stronger bassline and more wistful melody — even if these are both sliced into shards. It all wraps up with the playpen breakcore of “N-O No”, filled with squeaks, splatters, tiny fireworks, and lots of bonks. Hugely fun music for those who like challenging but highly imaginative beat constructions.

Lapalux: Esrevoinma (Brainfeeder, 2020)

August 26, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Lapalux: Esrevoinma

Lapalux: Esrevoinma

Lapalux’s shift from syrupy nu-R&B to sci-fi sound design has resulted in his absolute best, most transporting work. Ruinism is a must-listen, and Amnioverse is even more ambitious and nearly as fascinating. Esrevoinma is its brief, digital-only companion piece, and its 6 tracks include 3 unreleased tracks and 3 alternate versions of album cuts. “51 Endless Pulses” is on the jarring, hard-hitting tip, while “Earth (Live Version)” is more of a trancey journey which accelerates into harder beats later on. The EP obviously isn’t as deep or immersive as his full-lengths but it’s a good showcase for his inventive style of advanced audio world-building.

Drumskull: Interlocked (Seagrave, 2020)

August 25, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Drumskull: Interlocked

Drumskull: Interlocked

Drumskull’s hard-cracking grime-rave burner “Negative 7” was one of the highlights of Seagrave’s Fugitive Pieces compilation, and his full-length Interlocked delivers more of the same type of energy. Without fitting into one category, his music draws from early ’90s jungle and breakbeat hardcore, as well as the formative influences of hardcore punk and golden age rap. “Battle Stations” is smoothly shuffling atmospheric jungle with devastating bass, while “Interlocked” references early Prodigy as well as bleep techno, yet has choppier breaks and a more easygoing vibe than either. “Broken Rinse”, more of a broken beat-style track, is shorter and doesn’t travel as much as other tracks here. “Braincleaner” is another swell combination of relaxing pads and spiraling breaks, pushed along by thumping kicks and blinky oscillations. After the more low-key, minimal “Unarmed Opponent”, “Information Society” is a sublime, carefree deep house joint with a brief sample that may or may not refer to some sort of conspiracy theory. “Restart” recalls the type of dubstep that Hyperdub was known for during the 2000s and early 2010s, with a reggae drum fill and snatch of saxophone popping up over a smooth, sophisticated beat. Lots of promise here, definitely an artist to watch out for.

Show #544 – 8/23/20

August 23, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

The Answer Is In The Beat In Exile 8/23/20
Anna Burch ~ Can’t Sleep
Charlotte Dos Santos ~ Helio
Madison McFerrin ~ No Room
Shabaka & the Ancestors ~ You’ve Been Called
Chicago Underground Quartet ~ Westview
Horace Tapscott Quintett ~ The Dark Tree
Max Eilbacher ~ Metabolist Meter (Foster, Cottin, Caetani And A Fly)
Bay B Kane ~ Hello Darkness (20 Years VIP Remix)
Genevieve Artadi ~ All I Want For Now

Stazma: Shapeshifter (Concrete Collage, 2020) + Fluorhydrique EP (Defunkt Records, 2020)

August 22, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Stazma: Shapeshifter

Beautifully crafted chaos from French producer Julien Guillot, who has released music on Peace Off, Murder Channel, Acroplane, and lots of other labels. Shapeshifter, which is NYP on Bandcamp and will eventually be available on vinyl, as a remarkable set of complex, hugely emotional tracks which apply fizzing acid and occasional dubbed-out textures to kinetic, always-alert IDM, and while there’s tracks that explore a more reflective mode, like the almost choral-sounding “Psev”, the producer hasn’t given up mind-battering breakbeats, as the epic “Triton” or the Speak-N-Spell-ified “Compu1” will attest. Really, the best ones here are the once that balance more ponderous moods and subtle details with moments of all-out onslaught, which is the majority of the album. Breakcore and IDM are always going to be extreme niche genres, and especially something like this that’s at the intersection of both, but for those that can get into it, this is some lovely, engrossing stuff. In some ways, it’s as grotesque as the cover art suggests, but don’t expect the bodily function obsession of Otto Von Schirach or the metal/baroque/chicken clucking blender hybrids of Igorrr. This is outlandish and intense but not as obviously wacky or shocking as those artists might come off as.

Stazma: Fluorhydrique EP

Fluorhydrique (also NYP with hope for a vinyl pressing, someday) is shorter but similarly focused, and maybe a bit more immediate. Drawn-out glitch-breaks that snap back into perfectly orchestrated mayhem, acid drizzles, menacing tension, and a frantic sense of progression are all present in these relatively short but powerful tracks. “Margin” is a diversion into soothing electric robo-dub, made extra slippery by Terminal 11’s remix, and intro track “Jardin Bleep” is a brief moment of spacey signal transmissions, but otherwise there’s hard-hitters like “Blue Screen” and “Defunktional”.

Evil Robot Ted: Lunaclast (Brokecore, 2020)

August 21, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Evil Robot Ted: Lunaclast

Somewhat of a lost album from Brokecore John, this was mostly recorded in 2017, with the exception of one earlier track and another one that was reworked this year. It’s a mixture of crushed-beat jams, beautiful noise drones, and beautiful noisy breaks. All of it sounds raw, in the moment, and packed with feelings. This is not music that pays attention to trends or tries to outdo anything, it’s just pure expression, and it sounds fantastic. The noise elements are bright and sun-blasted rather than harsh or oppressive, and when there are beats, they’re usually twitchy, breaky, and stuttery rather than dancey or hypnotic. Some of it I can only describe as sounding like charred neon. Magnificent.

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