by Irina Kotik
October was music heaven for the underground electronic music scene with a slew of stunning releases and remixes from the likes of Joakim, Jimi Jules, Neil Flynn, Davis, Echonomist, Young Marco, Human Machine, Beanfield & Thomas Herb, Quentin and LOR through leading labels such as Life & Death, Zukunft Records, Lossless, In Their Feelings, Hivern Discs, Cin Cin, Compost Black, Diynamic, Rotary Cocktail Recordings, Smalltown Supersound.
We’ve hand picked our ten favorite tracks of the month for you to enjoy. Tracks are listed in no particular order:
Life & Death
The Life & Death record label continues to impress, release after release. Following their outstanding “Divisions/Chirality” EP, released earlier this year, the Italian powerhouse delivers the “Daemon” EP by an incredibly talented Parisian producer, Joakim. The EP comprises of two original tracks by the artist.
Here is how Kompakt describes this powerful release:
"The first release by Parisian Joakim for Life And Death records is a miniature nocturne for dance floor meditation, a cascade of unfurling fizzy moods and introspection, finally tuned and expertly rendered by the electronic music maestro.”
Joakim gave a little insight into how Life & Death were introduced to this tune:
"I met Manfredi (Tennis) through Luke Jenner (ex-The Rapture) in NYC. When Manfredi has a few days of his busy touring schedule, he comes to my studio to work with Luke on their collaboration project. We usually talk about synths, food, DJ gossip and complain about espressos in NYC. About 6 months ago we were eating Korean fried chicken and Manfredi asked me if I’d like to do something for his label Life & Death. At the time I had a bunch of club tunes I started working on and somehow had a feeling some of them could be a fit for Life & Death so I played those and Manfredi very quickly picked one, ‘Daemon’. I thought putting out something on Life & Death was at the same time kind of odd (and if you didn’t notice yet, I like when things are unexpected) and totally appropriate.”
Hailing from Zurich, incredibly talented producer, Jazz musician and DJ Jimi Jules has quickly become one the most promising upcoming talents in the international underground electronic scene. His latest album “Equinox” via Zukunft Records has been making waves across the globe ever since it first started falling on people’s ears earlier this summer. The album’s 13 tracks masterfully balance the diversity and sophistication of Jimi Jules’s unique sound, creative energy, endless passion, and musical identity.
One of the exciting tracks in the album, ‘The Moon’, has been a highlight of sets by Dixon, The Drifter, Patlac as well as many other artists within the industry. This stunning tune enthrauls the listener with mesmerizing percussion, sweeping melody, and an unforgettable vocal.
Dedicated to high-quality cutting-edge productions, “Lossless” continues to build on their exceptional year with the stunning “J.E.N” EP by Neil Flynn. The Irish producer returns to the stylish imprint with a masterfully crafted package of two original cuts and a beautifully twisted remix by Trikk showcasing elegance, style and power.
The EP starts off with a gorgeous title track “J.E.N.”, which features Dublin-based indie-folk singer Katie Kim. The shimmering percussion-driven tune is brought to life by Kim's mesmerizing, silky vocals, and a haunting hint of tribal vibes. This magical melodic journey has the power to seduce the listener's mind and stimulate senses on the dance-floor.
'Mercurio (Davis Remix)'
In Their Feelings
Established Brazilian imprint ‘In Their Feelings’ continues to gain momentum as an innovative, genre-defying record label infusing Brazilian house roots with elements from Europe and US to create a uniquely diverse, sophisticated, and versatile sound. For this release, ‘In Their Feelings’ brings a spellbinding new three-track EP called Mercurio by “freak-disco-house-Brazilian” duo of Pedro Zopelar and partner Vermelho, a.k.a Sphynx. The EP’s eponymous track also comes with a remix from label co-owner Davis who masterfully wove the melancholy key components of the original track with a futuristic vibe, breathing fresh air into an ever-evolving sound.
John Talabot’s Hivern Discs is a label that has consistently released incredible music, establishing itself as one of the most interesting and inspirational electronic music record labels. Talabot teamed up with Marc Piñol as Quentin to release a long-awaited EP entitled 'Mirage/Rain'. This is John Talabot's second collaborative effort this year, following the edit 12-inch with Pional as Lost Scripts.
Beautifully engrossing with hues of elegance and sonic suspense, "Mirage" takes the listener on a spine-tingling journey through hypnotically terrifying modulated synths, eerie Hitchcockesque melodies, and a deep mysterious baseline. Here's what Hivern Discs said about this release:
"This world exists nonn-ecessarily, improbably, and causelessly. It exists for absolutely no reason at all. It is inexplicably and stunningly actual. The impact of this captivated realisation upon me is overwhelming. I am completely stunned. I take a few dazed steps in the dark meadow, and fall among the flowers. I lie stupefied, whirling without comprehension in this world through numberless worlds other than this one". Quentin Smith, The Felt Meanings Of The World (1986). Written and produced by John Talabot and Marc Pinol
Belfast’s rising star LOR (Lunar Orbit Rendezvous) brings two masterfully crafted tracks to Fort Romeau’s impressive imprint Cin Cin as part of the label's fourth installment, entitled "Bwana/LOR [Cin Cin 4]". The four-track package features the partnership of LOR and Bwana who contribute to the release with a two tracks each. Tinted with icy harmonies and ominous bass arpeggios, one of LOR’s two “Factories” tracks, “Factories -1979”, carries the listener on the surreal journey to the darkest corners of the dance floor.
'The Sublime (Beanfield & Thomas Herb Remix)'
Compost Black label continues to impress with a gorgeous "The Sublime" EP from the newcomer Lukas Bohlender. The incredibly talented Munich-based producer has begin to make a name for himself in the electronic music scene, and this two-track debut record is a good indicator as to why. Here is how Compost Black describes this stunning release:
"A couple of years ago – around 2009/2010 – when we hosted our Black Label Sessions parties at Munich club Harry Klein we’ve regularly spotted a guy on the dancefloor – dancing and grinning – well he always seemed to enjoy himself hanging out at our parties – this guy was Lukas Bohlender . It didn’t take too long and a little chat has been held beside the DJ booth – exchanging thoughts about this and that and of course about the music or the DJ who was playing. So sooner or later the seed for our relation has been planted. When Lukas sent us his tune 'Club Chateau' in the autumn of 2012 he primarily wanted to hear our opinion but we were simply blown away and signed the track for the Various Artists threetracker Black Label #94 which has been released in spring 2013. Lukas tune went into the boxes and playlists from Agoria to Tiesto (no joke!) and marked a first success. The year after we hooked up Lukas in order to remix Robinn’s 'The Game Is Now Over' feat. Nathaniel Pearn (aka Natural Self) on the vocals – and again he did a great job delivering a beautiful remix. So we were quite curious and excited when Lukas knocked on our door earlier this year and played us two tracks he just finished – 'The Sublime’ and 'Curly Bun' – and he truly took our hearts by storm again. To round things off we’ve asked our longtime Compost Records stalwarts Beanfield & Thomas Herb to contribute a remix for 'The Sublime'. The duo who already teamed up previously to remix Emilie Nana’s 'Tolstoy Changes' , stripped back the rich musical elements of the original to it’s essence, add a rougher SP1200 twist in their beat programming and took a more repetitive / Detroit inspired route in their arrangement / mix to make it work their dance floors"
The seventh installment of the Diynamic’s popular “Four To The Floor” EP series brings together “talents who are being welcomed into the label fold for the first time". Four to the Floor EP is comprised of four dancefloor-oriented tracks from different producers, handpicked by the Diynamic family. The first track on the EP comes curtesy of Human Machine, a musical project comprised of four Sicilian DJs and friends. ‘Africa’ features slow-building layers of synth cords over a strolling bassline, for a "straight up track that fits perfectly into the Diynamic sound.”
The “Four To The Floor” EP also includes tracks by the Neapolitan duo Moonwalk, the upcoming Italian DJ and producer Alex Schaufel and Parisian artist Marst.
C (Young Marco Remix)
Following the release of the remarkable album "Prince Del Norte”, the Norwegian maestro Prins Thomas invites heavyweights of the electronic music scene to give the album a new treatment in the form of a two-disc remix package. It will feature two remixes by Ricardo Villalobos and reworks by Gerd Janson, Young Marco, The Orb, Hierogliphic, I:Cube and Sun Araw. Amsterdam's musician and producer Young Marco adds his abstract minimal techno touch to the spellbindingly beautiful "C" to create a visceral, hypnotic experience entwined with acid textures .
Rotary Cocktail Recordings
Thessaloniki’s eminent producer Petros Manganaris, a.k.a Echonomist is back on Rotary Cocktail Recordings with a stunning “tribute to the deep and hypnotic vibes of early Detroit" in the form of "Dusk" EP. The two-track package is joined by two perfectly curated remixes by Norm Talley and Xdb. Powerful and edgy, with a dark attitude, the title track is a proper dance floor destroyer of the highest quality.