by Irina Kotik
The month of February is full of love, candy hearts, exciting new releases, mesmerizing albums and stunning remixes to help us get through the end of the winter.
We selected the ten favorite tracks of the month featuring incredibly talented producers such as Lake People, returns to Uncanny Valley under his Amrint Keen moniker, the Tokyo-based producer Powder who delivers the first installment of the new Beats In Space mix series, Brazilian futuristic-techno producer Davis who brings the 90s nostalgia with a kick of adrenaline, Scissor and Thread head honcho Francis Harris and his hypnotic reform on Tomi Chair, the Dial label founder Lawrence who made a gorgeous contribution to the monthly XLR8R Plus series, the German producer Perm who brings the Kosmische inspired sounds to the always quality KANN Records, the techno don Efdemin who released his fourth studio album on Berghain’s in-house imprint Osgut Ton, the Rome native producer Feral embarking on his 5th solo journey on Hypnus Records, the Leipzig-based talented producer Mary Yalex displaying her signature sound on Dichotomy Records, and Spanish producer Pedro Vain who releases his second full-length album on his own Modern Obscure Music.
Beats In Space
Tim Sweeney’s forward-thinking Beats In Space Records launched a new mix series and the first installment named “Powder In Space” invites the Tokyo-based producer and DJ Powder to curate the first edition. The diverse compilation features two exclusive contributions from Powder, “Gift” and “New Tribe”, the first-ever release of Samo DJ & The Hidden Operator’s “Захват Сзади Rox” and the reissue of Daphne’s “ hen You Love Someone (Groove Instrumental)”.
The Kafkaesque “New Tribe”, also comes with a video produced by the animation studio of Tory Adachi and Shunsuke Itakura, who “created a biographical video of Powder’s evolution from 9 am - 5 pm office worker in Tokyo to 9 pm - 5 am DJ”, transports listeners into the psycho-sonic world of neon synths, robotic rhythms and the edgy, futuristic glides of masterfully balanced percussive elements.
The online music platform XLR8R is proud to present the eighth edition of their XLR8RPlus series which supports independent music and journalism. This month’s installment features exclusive and unreleased tracks by Berlin-based producer Levon Vincent, Seattle producer, and musician Bruno Pronsato, and Dial label founder Lawrence.
With rising electronic micro-crystalline textures, airtight sequences and rolling hypnotic groove, Lawrence deftly navigates dazzling “Central Park” in smooth, sophisticated style. Bright, spacey and intricate, it will for sure satisfy those seeking his trademark sound.
The Berlin-based techno don, Berghain resident Phillip Sollmann, better known as Efdemin, has released his excellent fourth full-length album which stuns with a crushing power and style. Entitled “New Atlantis”, the new album released via Ostgut Ton, the Berghain’s in-house imprint and “takes the name from the title of Francis Bacon’s unfinished novel from the 17th century, which also served as his inspiration. “In it, Bacon describes a fictitious island dedicated entirely to social development through the synthesis of the arts, science, technology and fashion. In the story, Bacon imagines futuristic ‘sound houses’, which contain musical instruments capable of recreating the entirety of the sounds of the universe; a 400-year-old prophesy of today’s digital sonic reality.”
Driven by a subtle techno sensibilities, delicate melodicism and intriguing blend of stylistic inspirations, Efdemin’s 'Good Winds' comes dancing with its listeners right out of the gate bringing its eclecticism through an irresistible hypnotic groove and intricate waves of sound.
Live At Robert Johnson
Sao Paolo-based producer, “ In Their Feelings” label co-founder and a driving force behind the Sao Paolo’s underground electronic music scene, Davis has arrived with his sophomore effort on Live At Robert Johnson. Marking the label’s first release of 2019, Davis’ “Ordinary Sleep” EP sees the Brazilian artist embrace his trademark futuristic techno and sophisticated breakbeat sounds across three startlingly different tracks.
The breakbeat infused hypnotizer “Different Angle” offers a wide palette of sentiments through a mind-bending journey of late 90s nostalgia. This tune will have proper dance floors locked in the vibrant broken beat groove.
Transient Loss Of Response
Leipzig-based multitalented, versatile producer, live-performer Martin Enke, better known as Lake People, returns to Uncanny Valley under his Amrint Keen moniker with a new “Transient Loss Of Response” EP. The four-track package masterfully wove in frenetic aspects of raw and intriguing club-efficient house music.
The title track “Transient Loss Of Response” is powerful broken-beat electromagnetism, with a throbbing bass line, glistening synth and emotive pads delivering waves of melancholia with a maxim club efficacy.
Heat Exhaustion (Francis Harris Reform)
Scissor and Thread
For their latest release, Brooklyn-based Scissor and Thread proudly welcomes Japanese producer and DJ Tomi Chair, also known as Tominori Hosoya, to the family with a splendid “Tropical Imagination” EP.
The five-track mini-album encompasses a wide spectrum of sounds while hypnotizing listeners with beauty and elegance.
The wizard label head honcho Francis Harris applies his magic ritual to craft a delicately honed take on the “Heat Exhaustion”.
With its rich, intricate textures, sophisticated leftfield palette and an enchantingly beautiful ambient atmosphere, this tune sparks the imagination.
Leipzig-based KANN Records is a record label that has proven to be a constant provider of quality music. Their next release welcomes German producer and co-founder of the DUR Records Perm back to the label for an impressive debut EP. The three-track package “leads from subtle hypnotic techno over to fast sweet Detroit love into the deepest realm of krauty acidic vibes”, the label describes.
The closing track “YPT” draws upon the layered sophistication of Kosmische inspired sounds and colorful effects with its washes of spacey synth and gentle acid flourishes.
Modern Obscure Music
Amsterdam-based Spanish multitalented producer and musician returns to his own Modern Obscure Music imprint with a self-titled second album. “Recorded between 2014 and 2018”, explains the label, “the self-titled LP opens with a melodic flourish, drops down through mournful vocal is driven pieces and lands on fast moving synths across a set of 12 deeply personal tracks. A follow up to Vian’s 2016 acclaimed debut album “Beautiful Things You Left Us For Memories” - supported by Pitchfork, RA, XLR8R, Ransom Note, The Quietus, NTS - this sophomore LP shows the breadth and maturity of Vian’s sound, falling in between the cracks of downtempo electronica, ambient and post-rock. Pedro discloses: “I have tried to be sincere, transparent and pure. During the recording process, I have avoided artificiality. I do not like the overproduction of music. I like to feel the naturalness and the essence of the beat of the instruments. I like to look inside until I find something real with which to communicate”.
Here and Nowhere Else
Following releases on KANN Records, ADSR Collective and her own Yalex Recording imprint, the Leipzig-based talented producer Mary Yalex brings her production prowess and musical affluence to Dichotomy Records, a newly fledged Dichotomy Records dedicated to refined electronic music. She joins the label roster with a new four-track “Remember When” that showcases intricate subtleties and pellucid sounds.
The EP starts off with the track “Here and Nowhere Else, a warm sonic tapestry which evokes something very sentiment with it’s ingeniously crafted rhythms, rich textures and sparse sprinkles of elegant piano passages.
Marking the Hypnus Records’ first release of 2019, Feral’s “Court Of Light” EP sees the Rome native producer embarking on his 5th solo journey showing his continued commitment to developing his signature sound of deep and intricate dub techno. Here is what the label intends to say about this release:
“Most of you will be acquainted with Feral by now as he’s been an essential part of our guild for quite some time. Those of you who enjoyed his last two EP’s will be pleased to find the sound of ‘Court of Light' to be a solid evolution of his inimitable dubbed out deep techno sound."
The EPs opening track “The Enchanter” is a standout exhibition of an intricate blend of rich, atmospheric textures and introspective electronic sounds, replete with the distinctive Feral touch for mysterious deep and dubbed out techno.