Back from the crammed tour around the country! Hi! Thanks to Krishtie Mofazzal for filling in last week!
Happy Axe – Cheshire Heart [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Wonderful new single from Canberra’s Emma Kelly aka Happy Axe. A mysterious rhythm from some kind of field recording underpins layers of violin and electronics, plus beautiful layers of vocals. It’s very low-key, very beautiful. Really looking forward to the rest of this album!
Tom Hall – Remains [Elli Records]Tom Hall – As To Think It’s OK [Complicated Dance Steps/Sonoptik]Tom Hall – Vast Limitations [Elli Records – now available at Tom Hall Bandcamp]Tom Hall – 1123581321 [Elli Records]
Great to have a new album from Brisbane’s Tom Hall, for some years now based in LA. He’s got roots in both the noise and ambient scenes, and thus his electronic releases have a pleasing edginess and mania bubbling away under the usually beatless, synthesised constructions. He’s a master at tweaking and fucking up his sounds, so that they sometimes feel like they’re just a breath away from completely falling apart – but you know they’re doing just what he wants them to. He also injects a surprising amount of melody, often coming at you from unexpected directions. To me his production took a turn to the sublime (although I loved his noisier work as AXXONN as well) with the 2011 album Muted Angels, from which we took a cut in the middle.
Air Max ’97 – Kermes [DECISIONS]Air Max ’97 – Nacre [DECISIONS]Air Max ’97 – IP68 [DECISIONS]
Melbourne’s Oliver van der Lugt is the hard-to-google Air Max ’97, and he’s been making tunes for about 5 years, tearing up clubs around the world with his bass-heavy broken beats. Nacre, as his first full-length, allows him to spread into some slightly less obviously club-oriented stuff, such as the title track – still beat-driven, but a little more off-kilter. He’s adept at catchy melodies and interplay between tight, skittery beats and bass. You can see why he’s talked about all around the world.
Peder Mannerfelt – Every Day Had A Number [LazyTapes]Peder Mannerfelt – Limits to Growth feat. Glasser [Peder Mannerfelt Produktion]Hodge & Peder – All My Love [Wallroom]
One of the most noteworthy electronic producers of current times, Sweden’s Peder Mannerfelt covers a lot of ground. He works with Karin Dreijer of The Knife in Fever Ray, with soundtrack composer Malcolm Pardon in the brilliant Roll The Dice, and has released a string of EPs and albums under his own name exploring club architecture of various sorts – usually with a nod to rave and sometimes drum’n’bass, as well as cut-up experimentalism. His new EP on Cera Khin‘s LazyTapes has the most bewildering beats I’ve heard in a while, still somehow repeat in patterns that you can totally groove along to. Masterful.
His albums tend to focus on unexpected themes – 2016’s Controlling Body being all about the communicative power of the human voice, even as his collaborator Glasser finds her vocals chopped up into almost abstract units. And on last year’s collaboration with Bristol producer Hodge we have that jungle ting, twisted into a techno shape.
Philip D Kick – Drown [Astrophonica]
As Philip D Kick (a punny artist name I can totally get behind!), Om Unit pioneered the mashing up of Chicago footwork with UK jungle. He’s since made a bunch of first class pure jungle/drum’n’bass stuff, as well as the dubstep/drum’n’bass slow-fast hybrid, but it’s nice to have some new stuff from Philip D Kick, here sampling Gang Starr. This one’s definitely the hip-hop/jungle hybrid, and there’s some funky acid elsewhere… pretty mixed up stuff and very nice.
Beta 2 – The Rolls [Metalheadz]
Dom Purcell has been making drum’n’bass as Beta 2 for a few years, with a couple of EPs on a Metalheadz sublabel, and now one on the label proper. Reminding me a little of Tim Exile‘s classic tweaked, restless drum’n’bass circa 2005, this is excellent jumped up stop-start dark funky beat-making.
Oneohtrix Point Never – warning feat. Prurient [Warp]Oneohtrix Point Never – we’ll take it feat. ANOHNI [Warp]Oneohtrix Point Never – same feat. Prurient & ANOHNI [Warp]Oneohtrix Point Never – last known image of a song [Warp]
Once upon a time Daniel Lopatin’s Oneohtrix Point Never was a weird project by an analogue synth-obsessed dude who I started playing because of his connections with New York’s noise scene around 2010. Since then he’s found his way on to various legendary labels such as Editions Mego and now Warp, and through these transitions he’s branched out far from the analogue realm into digital glitch-fuckery and all manner of genre destruction. And of course he’s a world famous superstar – but for all that the first single from this album was an odd piece of electronic pop featuring James Blake on keyboards and ANOHNI on vocals, Age Of is probably his strangest album yet. I’m loving the gutteral vocal contributions of noise legend Dominick Fernow aka Prurient, and ANOHNI on a track like “same” is perfectly strident in her delivery. A number of tracks also feature cellist, keyboardist and r’n’b/jazz singer Kelsey Lu.
Boards of Canada – olson [SKAM/Warp]
Yeah I dunno, there’s this flute line in “last known image of a song” that really reminded me of “olson”, so there you go…
Paco Sala – Tu m’enseigne à vivre [SEAGRAVE]Paco Sala – It’s Been A Long Time Since I Cared & It Feels Good [SEAGRAVE]Paco Sala – Associate Producer [SEAGRAVE]
After shelving his much-loved ambient/folktronic Konntinent project, Antony Harrison formed Paco Sala with Berlin-based Quebecois singer Marie-Pascale Hardy. With pitch-shifted vocals and beats that draw from footwork, trap, disco and who knows what else, Paco Sala still has an air of mystique, not quite pin-down-able, with that vaporwareish tendency towards short tracks that shift perspective and often sound fragmentary and incomplete. Which I love.
Feryal Dawa – Cairo Boy feat. Abu AMA [SEAGRAVE]DJ Melania 666 – Saviour / Terminator [SEAGRAVE]
Compiled by The Fissure Family, Animal Chin is a new compilation also out on SEAGRAVE, with some fairly obscure artists doing cool experimental electronic stuff. I don’t know the provenance of Feryal Dawa, although I guess she may be Egyptian? And she’s collaborating here with London-based Abu AMA. And we finish up with some noisy sardonic stuff from DJ Melania 666.
This is an Australian track.