Another week of amazing music... 2019, we got the tunes.
clipping. - He Dead (feat. Ed Balloon) [Sub Pop/Bandcamp]clipping. - Blood of the Fang [Sub Pop/Bandcamp]clipping. - bout.that (feat. baseck) [self-released]clipping. - inside out [Sub Pop/Bandcamp]clipping. - Hot Fuck No Love (feat. Cakes da Killa & Maxi Wild) [Sub Pop/Bandcamp]clipping. - A Better Place [Sub Pop/Bandcamp]clipping. - All In Your Head (feat. Counterfeit Madison & Robyn Hood) [Sub Pop/Bandcamp]
Who knew that noise artist William Hutson and breakcore artist Jonathan Snipes would in the last half decade be making some of the most vital hip-hop ever? It helps that the half-Jewish, half-African American frontman Daveed Diggs is an incredible rapper and lyricist who throws references around with ease, even when rapping at supersonic speed, negotiating that fine line between absurdity and profundity. Their deep knowledge of science fiction (and Afrofuturism) came out in the amazing concept album Splendor & Misery in 2016, so it's no surprise that There Existed An Addiction To Blood, released this week, finds them focusing on horror movies (and the short-lived horrorcore rap subgenre) - referencing both the exploitative use of African and African-American themes in the "classic" horror genre and Jordan Peele's recent turning of the tables with Get Out and Us. It's pure genius, of course.
Billy Woods - Stranger in the Village [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]Armand Hammer - Hunter [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp/FXCK RXP/PTP]Billy Woods / Kenny Segal - steak knives [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]Billy Woods / Kenny Segal - bedtime [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]Billy Woods - Shepherd's Tone (feat. Fielded) [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
Over to someone else at the vanguard of hip-hop in the late 20-teens, Billy Woods. Born in the US, grew up in Africa & the West Indies, and ended up getting involved in the New York poetry & rap scene. He often works with unusual beats, with various interesting producers including longtime collaborator ELUCID - as Armand Hammer their album Paraffin was one of last year's highlights. With west coast US hero producer Kenny Segal, Woods has already released one of the albums of the year, unquestionably to my mind - Hiding Places. But Woods is back with another solo album now, Terror Management, with various different producers (I can't disentangle who produced what, at least yet), and if it lacks something of the lugubrious consistency of the Kenny Segal collaboration, it's nevertheless vintage Woods, thought-provoking raps, strange beats, interesting collaborations (Fielded's contributions on the last selection are gorgeously strange next to the weird glitchy beat).
hyperdawn - avalanche [Them There]
A couple of months ago I played something by the experimental tape artist Michael Cutting, from a lovely album released by Eilean Records, featuring vocalist Vitalija Glovackyte. Their duo is hyperdawn and they've just dropped their debut album on UK label Them There. Glovackyte processes her vocals, auto-harmonising, and adds other electronics to Cutting's reel-to-reel tape machines and homemade instruments. It's a very experimental take on pop, perfectly suited to Utility Fog's sensibilities.
Eartheater - Lick My Tears (prod. Tony Seltzer) [Bandcamp]Eartheater - Fontanel (prod. Dadras) [Bandcamp]
After last year's brilliant album for experimental electronic label PAN, Alexandra Drewchin's Eartheater has just come out with a mixtape of sorts called Trinity, with tracks produced by a few different interesting people including in-demand underground hip-hop producer Tony Seltzer, and diverse techno/grime producer Dadras. There's plenty of opportunity for Drewchin's big vocal range and songwriting talents to shine. Despite the great producers, it's not quite as adventurous as Drewchin's solo work, but still a great collection of songs.
Julien Mier - Memories On Soil [Julien Mier Bandcamp]Julien Mier - Wet Paper Trails (feat. Tim Fain) [Julien Mier Bandcamp]
Dutch-French musician Julien Mier has been making idm, ambient and experimental music for a while now, under his own name and as Santpoort Nord. He's actually been based in Sydney for a while, and needs to be enticed to play live a little more. His latest album Industries In The Trees has the feel of a kind of environmentalist utopia - lovely twinkly folktronica with classical touches like Tim Fain's guest violin on the opening track, and a few more upbeat numbers. There was a limited vinyl edition but I think that's gone now!
Nick Wales - Under The Milky Way (feat. Alyx Dennison) [unreleased]
Sent direct from the artist, this cover of The Church's classic indie gem comes from Sydney musician Nick Wales, who's been mixing classical composition & electronics for decades. Vocals are by the one & only Alyx Dennison, who's overdue for a new album herself. The track was created for the Powerhouse Museum's Step Into Paradise exhibition about the fashion work of Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson. It's got some nice callbacks to Nick's early solo work as Altar Boy, as well as some ravey bird calls (think 808 State circa 1990).
Coda Chroma - Catacombs [Coda Chroma Bandcamp]
A lovely tune from Melbourne's Kate Lucas aka Coda Chroma, with a mournful 6/8 piano refrain that slows grows into something doomier with an overdriven bassline, with bewitching vocals.
Lochie Earl - Superyacht Party [Lochie Earl Bandcamp]
A little song about first world problems, refugees and the state of the world from Sydney artist Lochie Earl, who manages to mix a lot of strange adventurousness into his classic piano-driven songwriterliness. He skewers a kind of selfish cynicism of the current day in this new single.
Serafina Steer - Auto (words by Sally O'Reilly) [Serafina Steer Bandcamp]Serafina Steer - Peach Heart [Static Caravan/Serafina Steer Bandcamp]Serafina Steer - Time To Recover [Serafina Steer Bandcamp]
I've been following English harpist & singer-songwriter Serafina Steer for over a decade, since her first releases on the great Static Caravan, original home of Tunng (whose Mike Lindsay co-produced a few of her early tracks including "Peach Heart"). It's been a little while between albums, but her new album The Mind is a Trap is a lovely mix of electronic tracks - some instrumental - and her harp work. Her reading of a poem by Sally O'Reilly is a nice example, with harp through delay pedal - she's an ever-adventurous artist, and it's so lovely to be reminded after 6 years. It's a shame, though, that I didn't get to play anything from the intervening time since the first album, including some more full band, fully-produced songs. So enjoy this one from 2013:
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.