I'm back after a couple of weeks - thanks to Chuyi Wang for his two great playlists filling in while I was off in the USA managing not to get murdered.
Sarathy Korwar feat. Deepak Unnikrishnan - Pravasis [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]Sarathy Korwar feat. Zia Ahmed & Aditya Prakash - Bol [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]Sarathy Korwar feat. MC Malawi - Mumbay (Bandish Projekt remix) [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]
Second album from the Indian jazz musician Sarathy Korwar, now London-based, US-born and raised in Ahmedabad and Chennai. He learned tabla and Indian classical music, but also played the Western drum kit, and moved to London to continue bringing these two worlds together. His first album was released on Ninja Tune in 2016, and this new one comes via The Leaf Label. Here his crossover of Indian classical and jazz is further augmented with rappers from Mumbai and New Delhi, along with spoken word from London-based poet Zia Ahmed and author Deepak Unnikrishnan, and this is taken further with Indian bass/hip-hop crew Bandish Projekt's 7/8 drum'n'bass remix of the excellent single Mumbai featuring MC Malawi's ponderings on colonialism (bouncing between "Mumbai" and "Bombay"). The album tackles Brexit Britain by amplifying brown voices and championing multiculturalism – it's fantastic.
Last Life - Rotterdam [Samurai Music/Bandcamp]The Untouchables - Bushi Ronin [Samurai Music/Bandcamp]
Before we get to some more hip-hop, we're taking off from where the Bandish Projekt remix brought us with a couple of contemporary drum'n'bass tracks from the ever-reliable Samurai Music. Their latest compilation takes its inspiration from the Japanese Noh tradition – the Hannya masks represent a female character transforming into a demon, through her sadness and anger. It's a series of 3 12"s for the 3 masks, and also a single compilation. We hear some updated tech step from from Italy's Last Life, and something even more stripped down from Belgian d'n'b collective The Untouchables.
Saul Williams - Before the War [Pirates Blend Records]Saul Williams - Encrypted & Vulnerable (feat. Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah) [Pirates Blend Records]Saul Williams - Fight Everything [Pirates Blend Records]Saul Williams has drawn on jungle beats since the very beginning of his career, including an incredible collaboration with DJ Krust called "Coded Language". New album Encrypted & Vulnerable has no drum'n'bass to speak of though - it's a continuation of the MartyrLoserKing project which his recent Kickstarter project Neptune Frost also relates to – a "meta-character" who's a hacker I believe. The album draws broadly from the music of the African diaspora, including thumb pianos and jazz, with some beautifuly guest playing from jazz trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah on one track. It's as dense and difficult and catchy as Williams always is.
Wreck and Reference - Dumb Forest [The Flenser/Bandcamp]Wreck and Reference - Stranger, Fill This Hole In Me [The Flenser/Bandcamp]Wreck and Reference - Closer You Are [The Flenser/Bandcamp]Wreck and Reference - In Uniform [The Flenser/Bandcamp]
OK, this ain't hip-hop anymore. But it's not exactly black metal either. OK, Wreck and Reference were never conventional – always eschewing guitars for keyboards and drum machines. But here there's very little anguished screaming either (you're probably thanking your lucky stars). This new album Absolute Still Life is the most emo/new-romantic, and also the most blatantly electronic, with glitchy beats and samples and synths, and existentialist, despairing lyrics as ever. I think it's absolute genius.
I also played a mopey track from their great 2014 album Want, and a track from last year's EP of Guided By Voices covers, Alien Pains.
hence therefore - vile offspring [3BS Records]hence therefore - North Pacific Gyre [3BS Records]hence therefore - vile offspring [3BS Records]
As hence therefore, Simon Unwin, Sydneysider based in London for the last few years, brings us his new opus SECULAR HELLS this coming week through 3BS Records once again. It's an amazing work of fidgety bass techno which ruminates on the other apocalypse that's just around the corner. If climate change doesn't get us (hint: it will), then we'll become vassals of runaway surveillance capitalism, fed algorithmic content while our livelihoods are automated away. It's a grim diagnosis. Also mad props for referencing the Vile Offspring from Charles Stross's masterpiece Accelerando – corporate entities that have gone through the singularity and become sentient posthumans intent on cannibalising all the matter in the solar system.
Speaking of environmental concerns, in the middle we had a track from 2016's Machine For Destroying Value.
(((o|o))) - a question of safety [(((o|o))) Bandcamp]
This unpronounceable artist sent me their new EP this week. (((o|o))) assures me they're from Australia, but don't give away anything else. It's dark ambient stuff that fits with the fairly creepy theme for tonight's show.
Cilt - atrium [Cilt Bandcamp]
New work from the collaboration between two originally Canberran artists, viola player & noise artist Hannah De Feyter aka alphamale and singer/producer Becki Whitton aka Aphir. These two murky tracks have hidden depths, with vocals and subtle rhythms lurking beneath the surface drones.
Siavash Amini - A Recollection Of The Disappeared [Room40]
And now, the astonishing new album from Iranian master Siavash Amini, now at home with Brisbane's Room40. A nervous breakdown illuminated for Amini a sensation of detachedness, of being half in the dreamworld at all times. In this dramatic work of drones and clatterings, Amini is joined by compatriots Nima Aghiani on violin and Pouya Pour-Amin on double bass.
Sebastian Field - To Your Arms (Tilman Robinson Remix) [Provenance Records]
This new single takes a track from Sebastian Field's recent album Picture Stone and hands it over to Perth-via-Melbourne artist Tilman Robinson to notch up the intensity. There should be a whole set of remixes coming soon.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.