by Irina Kotik
August brings a fresh wave of incredible releases and amazing remixes that spans the wide spectrum of underground house and techno.
We've hand picked the ten favorite tracks of the month featuring such scorching producers as Bicep, Konstantin Sibold, Gacha Bakradze, Kiasmos, Lehar & Mucumeci, Patlac, Dorisburg, Birds Ov Paradise, Tornado Wallace and Polooski.
The Belfast duo Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar, a.k.a Bicep, tease forthcoming self-titled album with second track "Glue", following their single lead 'Aura' which was released this past June via Ninja Tune. Bicep described the 12 track album as a "mixed bag," inspired by classic house, techno, electro, Italo and experimental music."
The second irresistibly gorgeous single “Glue” features a swooping melange of incredibly lush synth layers woven together around seductive melodies and hypnotic breakbeat. This gorgeous anthem of huge proportions will undoubtedly put the groove in any DJ set.
Sun My Sweet Sun (Konstantin Sibold Afro Tech Mix)
Following the success of last year’s ’Sun My Sweet Sun’ EP, Israeli duo Red Axes delivers a quality remix package featuring iterations of its title track. The three-track release includes reworks by Konstantin Sibold, Fango from the Italian Degustibis family and Red Axes.
German wunderkind Konstantin Sibold puts his own distinctive spin on the ’Sun My Sweet Sun’ and takes it to the next level by injecting relentless music energy into the original. He shifts the focus to the deep tribal-infused percussive grooves and hypnotic rhythms to create a mind-bending listening experience.
Adrift (Dorisburg Remix)
Honey Soundsystem Records
Octo Octa’s beautifully dark and edgy single “Adrift” gets a remix treatment from the San Fransisco producer Avalon Emerson and Swedish maestro Dorisburg. Brooklyn-based house producer Maya Bouldry-Morrison’s ( a.k.a. Octo Octa) has recently released an album “Where Are We Going” via Honey Soundsystem Records. “Adrift” was one of the many highlights from the album. This is how Honey Soundsystem Records describes the release”
"When Octo Octa sent us the demos for her first full-length record since 2013, we were floored by how many tracks were single worthy. But, there was one that stood out as something entirely on its own, a song that in many ways sounded like nothing Maya had ever released. Since the beginning, we always knew we wanted to do something special with "Adrift," the 8+ minute space-age synth-dub techno tune. When we asked Maya about doing a 12" with remixes we were blindsided to learn she has NEVER had any of her music remixed before. With some remixers in mind, she asked two of her favorites and they said yes. So, here we are to present HNY-016 Octo Octa Adrift, remixed by Avalon Emerson and Dorisburg."
Dorisburg’s deep and intricate signature style is the perfect fit for Octo Octa’s tune already dripping in darkness. His crisp and atmospheric version goes deeper and drawing the listener into dense, hypnotic state.
Warp Factor 9
The Atmospherian (Tornado Wallace Remix)
ESP Institute continues to impress with another stellar release, this time from Australian duo Warp Factor 9 with a remix from Boroondara’s Tornado Wallace.
“Warp Factor 9 was a one-off project by Russell and John Kibley of esoteric post-rock bands The Chrystal Set and Bhagavad Guitars respectively, and who are brothers of Steve Kilbey ( frontman of The Church, a prolific Australian band we’ve adored since adolescence)… The Atmospherian is a celebration of a lost tune that originated, was re-discovered and re-imagined down under, but sits far left of center.” explains the label.
“The Atmospherian” (Extended version) will immediately whisk the listener into a mysterious labyrinth, with it’s haunting vocals, rolling groove and hypnotic vibes.
Tornado Wallace speeds things up a notch, creating a driving and uplifting version of the original.
Birds Ov Paradise
Gothenburg-based artist David Sable ( a.k.a Birds Ov Paradise) brings his vibrant, hypnotic sensibilities to Swedish Kärvt imprint. A four-track package "Tutor" EP composted of pristine, dreamy minimalism with the mesmerizing, locked grooves. It explores the realms of sophisticated techno.
"Tutor" strikes a perfect equilibrium of thrillingly dark ambiance, fluid motion and magnetic techno.
Erased Tapes Records
The Iceland-based award-winning composer Ólafur Arnalds and Faroe island-born musician Janus Rasmussen, also known as Kiasmos, continues to delight.
In October electronica duo will release their 12" EP Blurred on the avant-garde Erased Tapes. "To write new material felt like a new begging for us after two years of touring," explains Rasmussen. "The plan was to write something a tad darker than our previous stuff. Spring in Reykjavik had other plans though, as this turned out to be our biggest release to date." The package will come with four original tracks and two remixes by Bonobo and Stimming.
"Stimming was the reason we started making four-to-the-floor music and we have been listening to Bonobo since we were young," Arnalds admits. "It was a great honor that they want to contribute the remixes for the EP."
The title track "Blurred" is a gorgeous journey into smooth layered harmonies, dreamy textures, beautiful landscapes of piano and soft techno flourishes.
Smagghe, Cross & Herbert
‘In The Morning (Polooski ft. Clémemnt Froissart Smooth, Not Criminal Mix)
Huntleys + Palmers
his year marks the 10th anniversary of Huntleys + Palmers label. To commemorate the occasion, the Glazgow-based outfit’s sub-label Belters released a new EP from Ivan Smagghe’s Smagghe & Cross project, featuring a collaboration with Matthew Herbert.
“MMMMMMM” is a seven track “ special release with a combination of our musical influences old and new,” describes the label in the press release. "Ivan Smagghe has been a long time influence on the H+P world and we’re huge fans of his new Smagghe & Cross project with the film composer and programmer, Rupert Cross. Not only that, but one of the tracks features another hero, Matthew Herbert - making a rare appearance on vocals (and sounding pretty Robert Wyatt-esque in the process).
Additionally, we’re really chuffed to have commissioned a Honey Soundsystem Generator remix by Jackie House, super-Swedes, Samo DJ & Pedrodollar turn in a trippy groover, AND have enlisted the services of the DJ who played the first ever H+P party back in 2007, Pilooski - completing another circle during the 10th anniversary year."
Georgian exploding producer Gacha Bakradze returns to R&S sub-label Apollo Recordings with a gorgeous brand new EP, prior to release his forthcoming full length album via Apollo later in 2017. Crafted in the autumn of 2016, the five-track "We Must Be Woods" EP is a shrouded in ambiance kaleidoscope of sounds, tempos and moods.
Here is what Gacha Bakradze is inten to say about the first track on the EP:
"Gather" was the first track I started working on for this record. My girlfriend was watching Givenchy's show. It has really nice music - like 10 minutes of mbira. I had an idea to combine and build a track with mbiras, electric guitar, and CR-78[drum machine]. The slowed-down pads are made from the field recordings I have made in a variety of locations over the years.
This is very much a live performance track. I had a 1-minute background voice in my sampler for five shows; during the performance I really enjoyed it with breaks. The other day I started messing around with that noise. Added couple of textures from Omnisphere, synth chords recorded with a JU-06, which is very practical recreation of a Juno 106 [polysynth]."
Lehar & Mucumeci
Luca Bacchetti’s Endless imprint continues to fuel the fire with “Lotus”, the newest release from two Italian producers Lehar and Musumeci. A blazing three tracks is a powerful collaboration of both sound and style. Here is what the label had to say in a press release: “Lehar and Musumeci come to ENDLESS to share with us their passion and romance, and we are most eager to listen. Lotus is their first EP together and you only need to let yourself go with their melodies, voices, vocals from Ost & Kjek and synthetic atmospheres to realize just how two Italian thoroughbreds have mapped out their own original musical territory.”
The first track on the EP, Jungle Heart”, brings emotive and enchanting techno with lush grooves, funky bassline underpinning the cornucopia of twisted melodies and cosmic synth radiation.
Pacific (Patlac remix)
Following his successful album "Mare" released in October 2016, German producer and musician Christian Löffler returns to his own Young Alaska imprint with a dazzling remix package "Mare (Club Mixes)" EP, featuring reworks from Avatism, Hunter/Game, Patlac, Kris Davis, Daniel Höppner, Yotto and Christian Löffler himself.
A mind-melting 'Pacific' gets a subtle and graceful remix rendition by the Hamburg-based produced and remixer Patlac, who turns it into a deep with a touch of melancholy gem.