In a recent post, Oli Marlow of underground music blog Sonic Router announced his “retirement” from writing (uhm, or something like that), focusing on the label side of the brand. The label achieved to release an impressive body of work in last three years or so, and continues perform strong.
Their latest release “Outlines” is the work of designer-by-day Broshuda, 10 tracks of deep electronic music, featuring a collaboration with label mate B£AMS and Dimlite.01. Altar
04. Decoy Unit (Skit)
06. Champagne (Skit)
07. Celebrity Skin
08. I Never Had A Sega
10. Show Me The Way (Outro) ft. B£AMS & Dimlite
Available from Bandcamp on black tape and digital.
There’s little to say about a record with collaborators of the quality of MED, Blu, and Madlib. Nope, Madlib’s skills haven’t worn off. Yes, it’s great record. The incredible line-up includes guests such as MF Doom, Dâm-Funk, Frank Nitt, Oh No, Anderson Paak, Hodgy Beats… Why do I feel like trying to sell something that’s already sold?
Just go on, get your copy. Don’t let that fugly sleeve spoil the whole thing, just think about what Bo Diddley sang. You can buy this everywhere: Rappcats, iTunes, your favourite record store. Everywhere!
All I can leave you with are these two fantastic tracks taken from “My Name is Doug Hream Blunt”, the LP now available directory from Luaka Bop, and at your favourite record store. Oh, and iTunes… for the lazy ones.
Another of those gifted Vancouver artists that have been popping up lately through the Mood Hut and 1080p labels, Journeymann Trax is a side project of the city’s own Bobby Draino. His album “Smoke Tape” was released in late July on tape and digital, sporting “47 minutes of meditative, floatational house and techno abstractions”. Not just a great album, but my favourite this week!1. Jade Tour (feat. D. Tiffany)
2. Arboreal Harp Jam (feat. Khotin)
4. Canopy (feat. D. Tiffany)
5. Black Forest
7. Ice Sheets
You can buy the release directly from 1080p and worldwide retailers such as Boomkat.
Five months into 2015 and I got my second contender for album of the year, following John T. Gast’s Excerpts on Planet Mu. Bill Kouligas’ PAN continues to be one of the most innovative labels in recent years and this debut album by Lifted is a prime example of their wonderful work. Lifted is an ongoing collaboration between Beautiful Swimmer’s Max D and Matt Papich aka Co La, and the record features guests such as Jordan GCZ (Juju & Jordash) and ambient producer Gigi Masin. The resulting music is as varied as its ingredients: jazz percussion, ambient synths, and the piano; “1” does not fit into genre definitions, it breaks them up and re-arranges them beautifully.
As the year comes to an end, there are plenty of albums worth considering the best of the year. Here’s one that snuck onto my list in the (almost) last minute. I first came across Hashman Deejay‘s music through one of the best Hessle Audio shows of the year: the Pender Street Steppers special aired last summer. That’s really when I first got aware of Vancouver’s Mood Hut label and its associates, one of them being Hashman. Among the tracks played on the show that stuck with me in particular was “184”, and as life sometimes goes, I only re-discovered it by pure chance when going through this week’s Bleep newsletter. And this is where I came full circle, as the track is taken from Hashman Deejay’s new album “Sandopolis”, which is out now on Max D’s Future Times label.
Not as obvious as some of the bigger titles this year, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who anticipated the release Lord RAJA‘s debut album on Ghostly International. Following his seminal releases on the Astro Nautico, it was only a question of time when some bigger label would sign the 22 year old producer from New York. With label mates such as Dabrye, Com Truise or Shigeto, the Ann Arbor-based label looks like the right choice. So, finally, the wait is over: “A Constant Moth” is available as of today! If you haven’t had the chance to listen to any of the upfront leaks, like the tune featuring Jeremiah Jae, you can stream the album in full in the SoundCloud widget above.
So it’s here, as everybody on the planet already knows the new Flying Lotus album You’re Dead! is out now on Warp Records. In the last couple of weeks, I was overcome by the same awkward feeling that returns whenever there’s news about an album by Los Angeles native producer Steve Ellison. It’s an unsettling mix of fear, doubt and skepticism. What if he might has lost it, sold out. The big marketing machinerey surrounding such an event certainly plays its little part in this, for I don’t really care about those leaked tracks. Especially when I know a Flying Lotus track is best enjoyed in the context of the full album it’s released on — which at this point is still weeks away.
Anyway, I’m glad to say that there’s nothing to fear or doubt, Mr. Ellison outpaced everything you had in your books, doing it in such ease. So this is his jazz record? It’s what a jam session with Thundercat, Herbie Hancock, and rappers Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and alter ego Captain Murphy sounds like? The Kendrick Lamar collaboration is a good example for those feelings I described in my intro, for I have to say I wasn’t exactly blown away when I heard it for the first time. But now it works so much better hearing it in the context of the full record. There are a lot favourites to choose from, yet interestingly for me it’s those little interludes with just him and Thundercat noodling on the bass, that I love the most. Well, „Coronus, The Terminator” has been a charmer before (by the why, who is singing on there?) and “The Protest” is an equal masterpiece.
You can buy your copy of „You’re Dead!” just about everywhere (Boomkat, iTunes, I said everywhere!) or stream it on Spotify. There’s an limited box set including the instrumental LP and I think you can only buy it on the Warp-associated Bleep store.
When I first saw the haunting trailer for Beyond The Black Rainbow, I was blown away by the visual language of the Panos Cosmatos-directed dystopian sci-fi movie. It took at least 9 months until I could get my hands on the full movie, but my expectations where soon disappointed by the movie’s weak narrative. What did leave an lasting impression, aside from the 2001: a space odyssey-inspired visuals, is the soundtrack to the movie. Back in 2011, I came across an interview with composer Jeremy Schmidt of Canadian stoner rock band Black Mountain, in which he expressed his hope for a physical release of his music. It took another three years for this wish to fulfill and I couldn’t think of a better label to release the music than soundtrack specialists Death Waltz (it’s out on Jagjaguwar in the US.) Together with Mica Levi’s music for Under The Skin, this makes for one of my favourite soundtracks to come out in a while.
A limited vinyl pressing and the digital release are available as of now, I’ve spotted both on Bleep and the stream on Spotify.
Not too long ago, Los Angeles-based producer Mndsgn released Breatharian on friendly blog and label Fresh Selects. Fast forward nine months and he landed a deal with Stones Throw to release his new album Yawn Zen. My first impression is, that it sounds an awful lot like an old Dimlite record, maybe even a bit too much at times. But then again, that’s not exactly an awful thing, especially while still waiting for the Dim Grimm “debut album” to arrive.
Well, you can listen to the Yawn Zen in full on Spotify. It’s available on all sorts of formats via Bleep, HHV and just about every other good record store on Planet Earth.
New York producer Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL has been teasing us with tracks from his new album, “In The Wild”, for some weeks now, but the wait finally comes to an end. The much awaited follow-up to last year’s Hardcourage will be available in record stores around the world starting on Monday. As he mentioned himself on last night’s Swamp81 show, he feels he returned to form, had a very productive year and so the album was finished in not time (“return to form”, can you believe he said that?!) I just had a first listen myself, and it’s nothing short of a great record, possibly his most diverse to date. But why don’t you give listen for yourself, aside from Spotify you can do so on the New York Times’ Press Play without having to sign up for anything.