by Irina Kotik
Spring brings all kinds of changes, from new leaves to amazing new albums, releases, and remixes from fresh and well-established artists.
We hand-picked the 10 best tracks released during April, featuring such impelling artists as Aera, Melatonin Man, CMD Q, Versalife, Tom Trago, DJ Healer, Kev Sheridan, Bookwood, Pedro Zopelar and Gacha Bakradze released via Permanent Vacation, Something Happening Somewhere, Maeve, KANN, Nous’klaer Audio, Dekmantel, Cosmic Society, In Their Feelings, Lapsus Records.
Releases are listed in no particular order.
The Sun Will
Berlin-based producer, 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 colorful collection of 12 tracks is “the most coherent and definitely most personal work to date.”
The fifth track on the album,“The Sun Will”, is a soulful ode to the musical journey. Here is what Aera said about this tune:
“The obvious dance floor track on the album. And it has me singing! Through a vocoder luckily, but still. The lyrics were partly inspired by the sun-worshipping practices of the ancient Mayans in Mexico - I just left out the part with the human sacrifices. They were also partly inspired by the idea that the sun will never stop shining, no matter the course of our insignificant human actions, which gives me at least some peace in these troubled times. Even though technically not 100% correct (the sun will of course stop shining and explode in about 5 billion years), I hope you get the idea somehow.”
Love Over Entropy
Off The Grid (Versalife Remix)
Something Happening Somewhere
Nuno Dos Santo’s label Something Happening Somewhere (a.k.a. SoHaSo) launched an exciting new compilation series in the form of the compelling musical stories. Entitled ‘NOWHERE’, it has been described by the label as the “Shards of tales long forgotten are told and retold by a group of fellow travelers, exploring sounds in many shapes and forms. Sailing towards an unknown destination, revealed here are the hymns luring you into the abyss…”
The stunning “ twelve track tour-de-force contains a myriad of fresh sounds built from uncharted odysseys along a host of forgotten trails. Quince, Tracey, Sigward, Patlac, Love Over Entropy & Pete Blaker, Kiani & His Legion, and Fader From Borneo all provide freshly crafted propellants. Also taking the opportunity to reimagine music by Kurt Baggaley, Fatima Yamaha, Mayaku / Dilated Pupils, Lover Over Entropy / Versalife and Quince. Distilled from this full-blown three-mast comes a vinyl sampler containing five carefully selected tracks. “
The track “Off The Grid” by the Dutch maestro Love Over Entropy has been remixed by another respected Rotterdam-based electronic music producer Versalife. A man of many monikers, the ever-prolific artist Boris Bunnik has been releasing music under many monickers including Conforce, Hexagon, Mi-24, Vernon Felicity, Silent Harbor, Terramodis among others, and successfully running his own Transcendent imprint. Versalife’s version of the gorgeous “Off The Grid” is a breath-taking musical journey filled with pushing energy, infinite layers of shimmering percussion sounds, silky warm pads, floating sequences and intriguing melody that magically transports the listener into a deep electro dream.
Alone in Berlin
The ever impressive German/Irish powerhouse Maeve welcomes a long time friend Kev Sheridan to the family with a debut EP entitled “Alone In Berlin”. The three-track collection that blends delicate lyricism, and imaginative warm harmonies in its gorgeous exploration of colorful sounds.
The title track “Alone in Berlin” is a sonic painting of Berlin. Crafted with a beautifully poetic melody and nostalgic undertones, this tune is an elegant record that continues the tradition of elevating dance floor melancholia.
My Head Is A Tornado
utch producer and record collector Melatonin Man, a.k.a. Tammo Hesselink returns to the forward-thinking Dutch imprint Nous’klaer Audio with an impressive solo EP “Cruise Control Love”, following on from his 2017 debut summer anthem “Garrol” on the Paerels compilation. The outstanding three-track package is an articulate display of young artist’s intricate musicality and attention to detail.
The closing track on the EP “My Head Is A Tornado” brings a magnetic breakbeat groove interwoven with flowing harmony, sparkling arpeggiated synth line, and sun-blanched melody.
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 a beautiful invitation for listeners to dive into the unique universe of his music.
“Planet Lonely” is an elegant artistic interpretation of a dialog between the futurism of unknown realms, and a nostalgic, deeply emotional sense of time.
You & Me
Hanover-based producer Bookwood, is an undoubtedly one of the most exciting young producers to appear on the underground electronic music scene. Following on from the success of his stunning debut release on URSL label, the multitalented producer and musician return to German imprint Cosmic Society with “Polysin” EP. The utterly gorgeous package of three original tracks and two remixes by Soukie and Windish and Brigade brings an air of subtle melancholy and sophistication.
Bookwood worked his magic on “You&Me” offering listeners an elegant and hypnotic journey into the deeper shades of intricate techno and atmospheric sounds where moments of intensity meet melancholy… This track is a stunning addition to the deep after-hours sessions.
Brain Waves feat. Tin Man
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.
“Brain Waves feat Tin Man” propels the listener on a bright neon journey through waves of colorful acid-drenched musical landscapes filled with abstract textures, irresistible percussive groove, futuristic emotive synth lines, and cosmic qualities.
Leipzig-based KANN Records has been consistently peppering the underground electronic music world with incredibly impressive releases since 2008. Run by Map.ache, Sevensol, and Bender, the label has collected an outstanding catalogue of talented artists such as Traumprinz, Llewelyn, Falke, Johannes Beck, Polo, and Daniel Stefanik among others.
KANN’s 35th release welcomes back enigmatic producer Cmd Q for his third release on the label. The “Long Distance Call” EP features three diverse club-oriented tracks employing excellent production technique and a broad palette of techno sounds. With short melodic synth stabs, warm techno inflections, and rhythmic percussive groove, the second track “False Flag” offers the locked-in dance-floor techno hypnotism for the intelligent electronic music lover.
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 centerpiece of the album is the third track, “Zeeweg”. “The LP was built around this track,” Trago states. The b-boy tinged electro helix of twisted synth arpeggios, intriguing bassline, and moody melody, “Zeeweg” opens up the powerful door to pure musical alchemy and magnetism.
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.”
Fused with a pulsing sonic energy, unabashedly cinematic instrumentation, and intricate sub-jungle rhythmic tapestries, “The Prayer” is a radiant breakbeat flare-up of melodic elegance, introspective tones, and timeless beauty.