There’s yet another collaboration between visionary producer Actress and the Tate Modern. Following his stunning contribution to the DJ-Kicks series last month, the Werk Discs founder has scored a short film about American painter Agnes Martin, a glimpse of which you can hear in the trailer above. If I’m not mistaken, the film was shown at the exhibition‘s opening last week, not sure possible about re-runs.
A couple of weeks before the new Actress album Ghettoville becomes available, the Werkdiscs-founder drops the highly limited black label 12-inch Grey Over Blue. If you’re after the vinyl, you better be quick, otherwise you can always go for the digital release. Available from Bleep and the Ninja Shop.
Actress’ Ghettoville has been expected for quite some time now, avid fans will remember the announcement about a release in autumn. Autumn 2012 that is. After all it was as unbelievable as it sounded back then, it would have been his second album released within a year, following the excellent R.I.P. There’s still little news about the record, the artwork has been released, accompanied by a cryptic note, the tracklist and a release date (January 27, 2014!)01. Forgiven
02. Street Corp.
You might not like the idea of pre-ordering a copy of an album, you haven’t heard yet. But I feel obligated to recommend a look at your options, specifically the deluxe edition of the album which will be accompanied by the first-ever vinyl pressing Hazyville, his 2008 debut album. Exclamation mark. According to the NinjaShop that will be exclusive to the box-set.
Lastly, if you missed them before, Actress shared three tracks back in October: Wee Bey, treF and jumpyju.
What better news to start the year than with a new release from Actress? His label Werk Discs and Ninja Tune have teamed up once again to release a new 12-inch sporting three new tracks. Above you can watch a video for one of its tracks, made by Nick Hamilton using “digitised, re-purposed and time-warped memory” of Tokyo’s skyline.
You can pre-order the 12-inch directly from Ninja Tune (says “sold out” though) or from Boomkat.
When it comes to football versus music, I guess I’ll take Dego‘s side and choose the world’s finest sport. But as I haven’t posted any mixes lately, I wanted to give you an update on those anyway.
I meant to post those Waajeed beat tapes, but as they weren’t embeddable I never did. If you haven’t heard them elsewhere by now, you can find parts one and two on his SoundCloud page.
Remember those days when Mr Beatnick played records on Ustream once a week? I really miss those! This month there’s no reason to complain, as the London-based producer did a guestmix for Hyponik and another on for i-D magazine.
A photo shoot with Actress? Forget it! A next level producer needs a next level visual presentation, and he gets it from from painter and photographer Pierre Debusschere, just in time for the release of the new album R.I.P.
All this was commissioned by Dazed Digital (I think), who also did an in-depth interview with the lumious producer.
Happy New Year to all of my readers, I hope 2012 will be a good one. It should easily be better than last year, at least when it comes to my private life: in 2011 I was robbed and later I suffered an ear stroke, possibly as a late reaction to the robbery. But well, we’re not talking about my private life so much, let’s talk about music!
In the first year of this blog, I wrote an article on best-of lists and I still think they’re kinda ridiculous. However, I also think it can be of benefit for those who only read this blog every now and then and wonder what good music they might have missed. I tried to limit each list to 5 items, because otherwise I wouldn’t know where to stop as 2011 was another year of rich releases. So without further ado, here are my personal top releases.
Don’t have much to share this week, but still a couple of things you should know of.
When I’m asked for my favourite concert, I will answer Kahil El Zabar without hesitation. I accidently came across this trailer for the documentary Be Known, which is currently in post-production. Looking much forward to this one!
Back in the day, James Pants tried to be a hip-hop producer. I’m not saying I’m happy he failed, but I certainly prefer the music he’s doing now. Anyway, he has decided to give away some of his old beats.
A year after releasing the groundbreaking Splazsh, London’s Actress is currently resurfacing with a couple of new productions. His last record came out on Nonplus, and this week saw the release of his remix for Panda Bear.
He also posted the track above on Twitter yesterday, so if you like it grab it here or there. And never misspell parallel.
We’re already halfway through the first month of 2011, so you probably don’t want to hear about my favourites of 2010 – and I usually don’t either. Still there are two reasons for this post. First, the previous year had an amazing output of great new music. And secondly, I took it kinda slow last year, writing not many reviews or other special features. So let me take one last look at 2010.
Before we start, I want to point out I don’t list these in any particular order, but I created these categories.
I. The Unquestionables
Four Tet – There Is Love In You (Domino)
The year started with the release of Four Tet‘s fifth solo album There Is Love In You, in my opinion his best to date. That is probably because it both works on headphones and the dancefloor. Accompanied by remixes from Joy Orbison, Floating Points, Mosca, Caribou and Jon Hopkins, it should have been hard to miss the album. The overall quality made it clear instantly: this would remain a top spot by the end of the year.
Actress – Splazsh (Honest Jon’s)
Alright, if I had to pick just one favourite I’d have to go for the second album by Werk Disc founder Darren J. Cunninham, better known as Actress. Released in May, Splaszh leaves me with all kinds of weird feelings. It’s sinister and depressing at times, and it puts me in a state of hunger or sleeplessness. I can’t really figure it out , but I keep listening to it over and over again.
Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma (Warp)
There is a whole generation now inspired by the music of Flying Lotus and 2010 saw quite some good attempts to stay in his vicinity. But with Cosmogramma Steve Ellison not only raised the bar, he changed the entire game. He could’ve continued just making beat instrumentals or work with any MC he likes. Instead he chose to make his music broader and richer on all sides. It’s maybe not as easy to get into, but once you’re there you know it was worth it.
II. The Unexpected
Gonjasufi – A Sufi and A Killer (Warp)
One might argue that sampling a bunch of old records and having a guy sing over them can hardly make a good record these days, I give you that point! Still, Gonjasufi’s debut on Warp has been on rotation for months. It kinda came out of nowhere and it’s the first Gaslamp Killer production that really got me. A great choice of samples and fitting vocals are the simplest ingredients imaginable, but they work terribly well.
Lone – Emerald Fantasy Tracks (Magic Wire)
Already the fourth album by Matt Cutler, but the first to be released on his own Magic Wire label. It’s a rather mellow dance album with strong links to late 80s/early 90s house music. However, the overall sound benefits from modern production techniques, so you won’t end up with a set of bleeding ears. Instead you will use the repeat function.
Teebs – Ardour (Brainfeeder)
The debut album by Los Angeles based Teebs had a perfect timing, for me anyway. At the time I was making my own experiences with the wonders of Northern winter. The bells, harps and other wonderful twinkles on the album seemed to be the perfect soundtrack while walking through snowed in European cities. Probably my favourite Brainfeeder release to date.
III. The Underrated
Ital Tek – Midnight Colour (Planet Mu)
There were probably a handful of albums that hit into a similar vein as Ital Tek‘s second album Midnight Colour. Ultimately, it was its melodic nature that made the difference to other strong records in the field – say Scuba’s Triangulation or F’s Energy Distortion. The album was also accompanied by a fine set of remixes by Ikonika and FaltyDL.
Sotu the Traveller – Left (self-released)
Probably the most overlooked record of the year, partly due to the bad timing (summer holidays) and for being self-released. To me it was a great relieve to hear the record, as I was suffering from an overdose of dark gritty beat albums. Along came Sotu the Traveller to deliver a super smooth record, stroking your ears at every minute. You can buy Left for a fair price at Sotu’s Bandcamp, where you’ll also find remixes by Daisuke Tanabe, Dynooo and Portformat.
Of course now that I got started, I could go on an mention the albums by Ikonika, Caribou or Shackleton’s Fabric 55. But then I’m quite happy with my selection and I already told you I take it kinda slow these days.