by Irina Kotik
Winter brings a whirlwind of highly anticipated albums, impressive releases, and amazing remixes.
We have compiled a list of our top 10 picks that we enjoyed listening in clubs and on headphones featuring such talented artists as Kann label founders Sevensol & Bender, New York electronic music veteran Francis Harris, Swiss maestro Ripperton, Dutch craftsman Love Over Entropy, German producer Aera, Romanian producer and musician Petre Inspirescu, Pampa's don DJ Koze, Irish producer The Drifter, Lake People under a new alias Amrint Keen, and a techno producer Conforce with the new project “Severnaya”.
Sevensol & Bender
KANN Records is a German electronic music label with a truly underground ethos and sound curation approach. The next release on KANN is a beautiful collaboration between label founders Sevensol and Bender who combined their talents to produce the mind-bending “Das Ideale Geschenk” EP. The three-track collection displays endless artistic creativity and sonic elegance.
Deep, timeless and elegant, “Driftwood ” is a gorgeous, break-beat infused gem which hypnotizes with simple yet moving melodic progression complimented by organic and dreamy undertones, slow builds and intricate percussion.
The long wait is finally over!
Swiss electronic music maestro and Tamed Musiq label boss Raphaël Ripperton brings his very special long-awaited ambient album to NYC/LA-based ESP Institute. Titled ‘Sight Seeing’, it is an utterly gorgeous collection of 15 tracks which is described by the artist as “a series of postcards to himself; messages from his subconscious recoded to tape, capturing the melancholy moods of Mondays as soundtracks that have often followed his weekend journeys.”
Eloignè is an endlessly beautiful introspective exploration of sound with its slowly evolving intricate textures and atmospheres.
Acid Bells (DJ Koze Edit)
10 years after the conception of Efdemin’s debut mix-cd “Carry On, Pretend We’re Not In The Room” and single “America”, the Belgian label Curle Recording brings Terrence Dixon to remix “America”, and DJ Koze to edit Efdemin’s classic “Acid Bells”.
DJ Koze’s version retains the same balance between raw and subtle minimalism that “Acid Bells” has, but it is a dense affair with a pulsing kick, and dissonant bell tones lending a syncopated atmosphere throughout.
Dancing In The Parking
German producer Martin Enke, better known as Lake People, returns to Dresden’s Uncanny Valley under a new moniker Amrint Keen, which is another sonic gem to delve into. A year after his stunning debut ‘Break The Pattern’ EP on the label, Uncanny Valley welcomes back the talented artist for another impressive outing. Entitled “AK OK”, the three-track package is driven by groovy, propulsive rhythms, grinding funky elements and twisted 303 acid lines.
Here is what the label said about the “Dancing in the Parking Lot" track:
“At “Dancing in the Parking Lot" we welcome Uncle Acid on the dance floor or in front of the petrol station, just to be carried away by warm synth cascades a short time later.”
Scissor & Thread
The latest installment in the stylish Brooklyn-based imprint Scissor & Thread comes courtesy of label co-founder Francis Harris. A skilled producer working under various monickers such as Adultnapper, Frank!, Lightbluemover, co-member of Aris Kindt, each representing a different shade of his broad, eclectic production palette. After a three year hiatus, Francis Harris returns with the mind-bending “Minor Forms” EP featuring two original tracks and two remixes of the title track by Berlin-based Valentino Mora.
‘Minor Forms’ fronts a mesmerizing, jazz-flavored deep ambiance that’s masterfully fused with a thrilling groove, traditional xylophone synth, and sensual muted trumpet of Greg Paulus. A hypnotic vibe ready for a modern dance floor.
Damp Thoughts (Love Over Entropy’s M is for Moody Remix)
Manjumasi Music starts off the New Year with the mighty five-track “Cathedral” EP from Doyeq. The Moscow-based duo has treated listeners with three original tracks and remixes by the respected musical duo Audiofly, and electronic music maestro Love Over Entropy.
The Dutch craftsman Love Over Entropy worked his magic once again to create a sonically rich and elegant “M for Moody” version of Doyeq’s “Damp Thoughts”. He puts an emotional twist on the enchanting original by infusing the sophisticated vibe with delicately layered alluring harmonies, beautifully intricate textures, and hypnotic atmosphere.
Desert Sound Colony
Tethered (The Drifter Remix)
Edu Imbernón’s Fayer imprint continues its hot streak into 2018 with “Tethered” EP from Desert Sound Colony, the alias of the electronic composer and musician Liam Wachs. The big-room, incredibly beautiful record is described by Wachs as “most appropriate for an after-hours session or a sunrise at a festival”. The “Tethered” EP is comprised of two originals and three remixes provided by the Danish producer Denis Horvat, Diynamic mainstay H.O.S.H, and Maeve label boss The Drifter.
The Drifter’s reworking of the “Tethered” keeps the mesmerizing summery feeling of the original but fuses it with the hypnotic, ever-evolving groove perfect for the dancefloor.
Guava (Aera’s Sunset Acid Remix)
The Dutch duo Emiel van den Dungen and Raynor de Groot, a.k.a Tunnelvisions follows up on their stunning debut LP, “Midnight Voyage”, with an impressive remix package of their tropical hit “Guava”. With two powerful versions of the title tracks and contributions from Luca Musto and Aera, this release is another smashing success.
German producer Aera provides a stunningly driving, acid-fueled remix of “Guava”. Pulsing acid tones accompanied by vibrant vibes make this a perfect late night track.
German record label Fauxpas Musik welcomes Boris Bunnik to their family for a new project called Severnaya. Releasing music under a wide range of monikers such as Conforce, Hexagon, Mi-24, Vernon Felicity, Silent Harbor among others, and running his own Transcendent imprint, Boris Bunnik has garnered respect from all corners of the electronic spectrum with his superb musicianship.
“Originally hailing from the Island of Terschelling, the most Northern and remote part of the Netherlands”, describes the label, “he now made a piece of music dedicated to this special place. Severnaya means north in Russian and refers to the bright frozen landscapes of the northern archipels. Boris often plays with the influences and elements of ambient in his music. If we have to believe the man himself, Polar Skies is his most personal sound trajectory to come from his mind.”
“Polar Skies” is a collection of 8 beautifully textured, slightly melancholic compositions presenting itself with a continuous theme of ambient oblivion.
“Terramodis” shines in being beautifully intricate and evocative, steering towards the realms of introspection and reflection. Dreamy and cinematic soundscapes give the track a timeless quality.
Movimenti della Luna D’Oro (Petre Inspirescu Remix)
Kingdoms is a newly fledged imprint founded by the electronic music production guru Francis Harris. Their latest release welcomes Brooklyn-based film composer, songwriter, producer, and musician Léah Lazonic who brings a contemporary edge to classical music.
“Movimenti della Luna D'Oro” is a four-track package which is described by the label as “a beautiful quartet of contemporary classical music with a twist”. The EP is backed by a mesmerizing remix by the multi-talented Romanian DJ, producer and composer Radu Dumitri Boidu, better known as Petre Inspirescu. He takes the “Movimenti della Luna” down a deep and groovy path, drawing on beautifully evocative musical elements, and evolving minimal techno constructions.