by Irina Kotik
Spring has officially sprung blossoming with colors and shining a light on beautiful albums of the electronic music releases during the month of April. From returning favorites like Aera, Tom Trago, Rival Consoles, Fluxion, Efdemin and Matt Karmil to impressive emerging artists like Pedro Zopelar and Gacha Bakradze, and a cult mystery-man DJ Healer, this is a list of 10 albums that we loved the most. The albums are listed in no particular order.
All Possible Worlds
The mystery man DJ Healer stakes out a unique space in the gorgeous landscape of intricate and hypnotic techno with the “Nothing 2 Loose” album announced via the Traumprinz-related SoundCloud page and released on Easter Sunday. The anonymous producer behind Traumprinz, Prince of Denmark, DJ Metatron and a few other aliases including the Prime Minister Of Doom, is further taking his sound into a realm of moods and emotions. The breathtaking 10-track collection is an elegant artistic interpretation of a dialog between the futurism of unknown realms, and a nostalgic, deeply emotional sense of time. It serves as a beautiful invitation for listeners to dive into the unique universe of his music.
The prolific Georgian producer and Transfigured Time label boss Gacha Bakradze delicately capture ears and imaginations with his astounding, kaleidoscopic new mini-album “World Color” released through the Lapsus Records. The multifaceted nine-track package is described as “a cinematic arrangement of captivating melodies, rhythmic experimentation, textures landscape, and micro-vocal samples.”
Respected UK-bork Berlin-based studio engineer and producer Matt Karmil released his musically fourth album, ‘Will’, via Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound. Mastered by the careful hand of Rashad Becker at the legendary Dubplates & Mastering plant, this driverless vehicle takes bumps and curves with ease but passes through enough scuzzy neighborhoods to make the journey more memorable.
Will is an intelligent and incredibly diverse album with intricate and immersive material derived from a wide range of influences, including Wolfgang’s Voigt’s project GAS, and adds to what is already an extensive musical palette over the breadth of Karmil's back catalogue.
“The human face is the great subject of the cinema. Everything is there.” - Ingmar Bergman
Respected producer and a veteran member of the London-based endlessly inspiring Erased Tapes Ryan Lee West, the mastermind behind Rival Consoles, creates a sonic arthouse, with his beautifully bewitching, sensual and delicately expressive new album “Persona”. Taking inspiration from the timeless and enigmatic masterpiece Persona (1966) by Ingmar Bergman, it explores the most famous haunting images and a mystery behind the identity of an inner and outer human persona. This is what the artist intends to say about this utterly gorgeous album:
“My music is generally inward looking. I like finding something about the self within music, that doesn't have to be specific but maybe asks something or reveals something. This record is a continuation of the self through electronic sounds. Like Legowelt once said ‘a synthesizer is like a translator for unknown emotions’, which I think sums up what I am trying to do. I think all these emotions we have to make up our persona. So in a way by finding new ones you alter or expand your persona. And that is what I want my music to try to do. I deliberately aimed to be more sonically diverse with this record. I wanted to experiment more. I wanted to create new sounds and new emotions.”
The multi-talented Bergen-based veteran producer, musician, and mastermind behind Voyage Direct, Tom Trago stepped out into the spotlight to the Dutch festival powerhouse and record label Dekmantel for a fourth full-length album “Bergen”. The stunning album was composed in his family town Bergen, northern Netherlands, where the artist reallocated from Amsterdam. “If you change your environment, your music will also change with you,” Trago reflects on the new album. The gorgeous, sonically-diverse collection of 10 tracks masterfully blends intricate shades of electro, techno, and house to create a sound that is fully formed, sophisticated, and uniquely refined.
The Sound Path
Berlin-based producer, musician, sonic innovator, and Aleph Music label boss Aera steps up to Munich’s Permanent Vacation with his second full-length album exploring passages of textured ambient soundscapes and traversing beautiful realms of sound. Entitled “The Sound Path”, the multifaceted collection of 12 tracks is “the most coherent and definitely most personal work to date.”
Germany’s talented producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and DJ Annegret Fiedler a.k.a Perel has fast risen through the ranks as one of the most exciting producers and live-acts in the underground electronic dance music. After a huge success of her first kraut-esque beauty “Die Dimension”, Perel has finally arrived with a highly anticipated debut album “Hermetica” via New York’s DFA.
‘Hermetica” takes its name from the series of Egyptian-Greek wisdom texts in form of dialogs between a teacher ( Hermès Trismegistus ) and students focusing on the divine, cosmos, and mind. The album is described belt the labels as “a striking amalgamation of house, new wave and kraut motifs that crystallize to form a unique sound.”
Vibrant Music Spain
Following on from a series of 12” successful partnership with Deepchord as Transformations, the veteran dub techno producer Konstantonis Soublis, a.k.a Fluxion returns to Vibrant Music Spain with an outstanding new album “Ripple Effect”. The 9-track record beautifully navigates enigmatic spaces between cinematic ambient soundscapes and hazy with a touch of melancholy dub techno flourishes.
”Fluxion felt the need to bring there two musical forms (e.g. dub techno and film scoring) into dialogue with each other,” the label says, “Lending structure to electronic and deconstructing score music to create a malleable and expressive hybrid.”
Efdemin brings back an impressive fusion concept of blending an artist album format with the “continues DJ mix” format. Entitled “Naïf”, the incredible collection of 29 tracks consists of
19 distinct tracks from respected producers such as Margaret Dygas, Inland / Ed Davenport, Steve Bicknell, Jeroen Search, Pom Pom, Marco Shuttle, Gunnar Haslam among others and another ten featuring Efdemin himself as a soloist or a collaborator. “Naïf consists of completely unreleased/never-before-heard material from both himself and valued collaborators, all of which will eventually manifest as EP releases: two will be available on Curle Recordings, with an additional five on his own Naïf label. All of the individual contributions are combined here in a painstaking assembly process that took an entire year to complete, and the result is that the album flows with an almost paradoxical effortlessness from one style to the next.”
Stepping Stone To The Future Of Space Exploration
In Their Feelings
It seemed like only a matter of time before Pedro Zopelar made his first fully formed, impressive, and immensely varied album. The multifaceted Brazilian producer, musician, live-performer, In Their Feelings record label co-owner, and Red Bull Music Academy alumni is a fast-rising artist with a genuine underground ethos and a strong emphasis on the artistry of sound.
Pedro Zopelar emerged into the international underground electronic music scene in 2015. He astonished deep house circles with his debut EP, ‘Hamato,' released via his own In Their Feelings label. Since then, he has released music on Endless, Connaisseur Recordings, Get Physical, Doppelgänger, and City Life among others, and managed to create his trademark sound and style.
The beautifully crafted nine-track debut album, “Stepping Stone To The Future Of Space Exploration,” preserves his vision on the sonically dense and mind-twisting sound of futuristic house and techno. It pushes forward kaleidoscopic, tumbling acid rhythms and sophisticated grooves.