Electronic & experimental sounds from around the globe tonight…
Arrom – Split Caress [Provenance]Arrom – See How [Provenance]
New Melbourne artist Melissa Valence has a background in choral singing, which really shows in these lovely experimental pop songs – as does her love of “dirty industrial beats”. Her vocals are layered and sometimes turned alien through auto-tune, always forming the basis of these unusual songs – but by the end of many of the tracks, everything is often taken over by glitchy, bassy beats & processing. Excellent stuff.
Sevdaliza – Libertine [Butler Records]Sevdaliza – Human [Butler Records]Sevdaliza – Do You Feel Real [Butler Records]
Unlike a lot of the music from tonight, which was released this very weekend, the debut album from Iranian-Dutch singer Sevdaliza came out in April this year. I only just discovered her though, and it couldn’t be more tailored to me – a glitchy, politically-conscious update on ’90s trip-hop. Unsurprisingly Björk is an obvious touch point, as are Portishead and the sadly-now-forgotten “other” MONO. Glitchy stuttering vocals, weird pitch-bends & stumbling beats (with regular collaborator Mucky) accompany her very strong vocals.
Chafik Chennouf – Hanneton [Opal Tapes]Chafik Chennouf – Ferroequinologie [Opal Tapes]
More Dutch electronic music: Amsterdam-based producer Chafik Chennouf runs the Leyla Records label, releasing contemporary techno, but on his debut solo EP, coming out via the ever-reliable Opal Tapes, he’s breaking down the elements of rave & techno on three restrained tracks – although joined by the likes of Lucy on remix duties.
Lee Gamble – A tergo Real [Hyperdub]Lee Gamble – Pandemonium Institute [PAN]Lee Gamble – Razor [PAN]Lee Gamble – Ghost [Hyperdub]Lee Gamble – Déjà Mode [Hyperdub]
For his first album on Hyperdub, Lee Gamble has taken a left-hand turn with his music, turning in the most straightforwardly comprehensible sounds of his career – to great effect. I’ve loved his earlier releases, for the likes of PAN, which took a look at dance music forms as if from a plane that intersects ours at some weird angle. His debut Diversions 1994-1996 is built from samples of jungle mixtapes, recontextualized into minimal techno and ambient (on the whole) – whereas on this new album there’s a piece of actual melodic drum’n’bass (albeit more of the µ-Ziq/Squarepusher variety). The title Mnestic Pressure would suggest that the weight of 2 decades of dance music still drives this music, but equally his amazing work curating the UIQ label must have fed into these sounds. Brilliant work.
Om Unit – Twilight [Cosmic Bridge Records]
On the whole, the new album from Om Unit harkens back to his previous “album proper”, Threads, with slightly jazzy bass music & ambient segues – but there are also nods to the fantastic corpus of footwork-flavoured drum’n’bass he’s released in the interim (including an album for Metalheadz).
Andrew Broder – Get This Off My Body [Andrew Broder Bandcamp]Fog – The Rabbit [Lex Records]Fog – Kid Kuma [Totally Gross National Product]Andrew Broder – N.Joise (feat. GABI) [Lex Records]Andrew Broder – Smoke Bandaids [Andrew Broder Bandcamp]
It’s been a long journey from the very weird hip-hop Andrew Broder initially released on Ninja Tune & other labels as Fog, along with various Anticon collaborations such as the beloved indie-hop duo Hymie’s Basement, and the various evolutions of Fog as free jazz-influenced indie and then more direct indie rock, to the wonderful fucked-up idm & bass musics he’s put out on a few EPs lately, including “Wertheimer” (alias and then EP title) for Lex Records, and now on his own Bandcamp. Last year’s return to Fog employed a lot of top-notch electronic production skills to underline the quirky, catchy songwriting, and now that production gets to shine on some terrific instrumentals.
Battling The Atom With Spades – Scrying Dish [Floating Limb Bandcamp]
Cellist, singer, producer, noise musician & visual artist Oliver Barrett has long been revered by this show, earning favourite album of the year for his debut as Bleeding Heart Narrativeback in 2008. He has a talent for making off-kilter sounds in any medium (his solo cello records under his own name are not for the faint-hearted!) and he’s now collected all his music outside of his main band Petrels on a new Bandcamp – including this debut of a new project focused on beats of various sorts.
Invisible Church & Marie Davidson – Never Release the Tension [Yerevan Tapes]Invisible Church & Marie Davidson – Collage [Yerevan Tapes]
Significant collaboration here between Berlin-resident dark ambient artist Invisible Church and Montréal-based singer/producer Marie Davidson. Spooky processed vocals from Davidson hover around electronic soundscapes and minimal beats. It’s an example of the kind of experimental, industrial-influenced sounds which seem to be breaking into some kind of more mainstream recognition (if not exactly pop music). It’s pretty extraordinary anyway.
Isnaj Dui – Diffraction Gratings [Rural Colours]Isnaj Dui – Blind Spot [Rural Colours]
Lovely to have a new album from English experimental flautist & cellist Katie English aka Isnaj Dui. It’s very much in the vein of her other music under this name – complex yet primitive-sounding loops on flute and percussive sounds, creating spooky, undulating ambient sound-worlds, akin to the queasiest parts of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Vol II. It’s almost all clearly loop-based, but I never fail to marvel at how she creates this beautifully odd aesthetic. Highly recommended.
This is an Australian track.