In 2015, it’s easier than ever to lose track of official releases amid a deluge of new streams, one-offs, bootlegs and mixes.
With a near-constant stream of new material hitting even the most casual listener, follow-through seems to be at an all time low, and with Apple Music’s arrival it’s hard to imagine digital sales remaining at their current level.
So now, more than ever, is an important time to emphasize those releases that are thorough, well conceived and disseminated through relatively conventional means. Even if the traditional EP/LP roll out is dying a slow death, these releases still pay the rent for most artists and that’s reason enough to support, whether that means a trip to your local record store or regularly perusing Juno.
This month saw impressive releases from Walton (Bulldoze EP on Tectonic), Copout (Bardo EP on Liminal Sounds), Beneath (Shlocky EP on Berceuse Heroique), RP Boo (Fingers, Bank Pads & Shoe Prints EP on Planet Mu), J.G. Biberkopf (Ecologies EP on Knives), Dark0 (Solace EP on Rinse), Niagara (Impar EP on Principe), as well as a bundle of others I’m certainly forgetting. It’s slightly ironic to be pushing for the traditional release format in a column that focuses on the most unorthodox corners of the club music world, but the glut of quality records listed above are reason enough to have lasting faith in the form.
Lorenzo_BITW & Mina
With dubs floating about all over the place Lorenzo_BITW has begun to appear in increasingly prominent settings, and one of his latest efforts, played out on the Goon Club Allstars Rinse show, is primed for summer takeover. It’s not just that the steel drums in ‘Tombura’, a collaboration with fellow Londoner Mina, give off warm vibes, but the whole funky-indebted structure of the track – a full bodied, polyrhythm affair – is nearly insatiable in its ability to make you move. Can see throwing on ‘Tombura’ nearly anywhere and seeing the mood rise and, fortunately, that’s true for most tracks Lorenzo is churning out these days.
Nguzunguzu & JoJo
‘I Can Fly You There; With My Foam Feathers’ (SHEEN Edit)
Formerly dubbed Georgia Girls, SHEEN has been floating in the Night Slugs-verse for a good while now, churning out inventive edits and hosting one of Radar Radio’s better monthly shows. His latest edit takes on former America’s Most Talented Kids contestant JoJo and Nguzunguzu’s still-relevant ‘Foam Fingers’, a not-exactly-expected blend that brings out the lighter side of the LA duo’s production and lets JoJo soar. That SHEEN is letting it loose just in time for the hot months is a bonus and I’d expect this one to fly all summer.
With the Armshouse EP out on 4 Seasons, London’s Callahan has begun to attract serious attention for his genre-defying burners, getting Rinse play from Roska and the Swamp 81 crew over the past few weeks. Giving equal time to electro, garage and techno, Armshouse is a must-have for all you drum track lovers and ‘Alloys’ is another unabated success for the producer, a clattering effort that only exists in radio rip form at this point in time. Be sure to run through Callahan’s mix for i-D from the end of last year.
Zutzut & Lechuga Zafiro
NAAFI affiliates Zutzut and Lechuga Zafiro collide on the cacophonous ‘La Berretta’, an unplaced track (as of now) disseminated by the excellent New York-based Remezcla. Hailing from Monterrey, Mexico and Montevideo, Uruguay respectively, the two artists represent the Mexico City label’s growing geographic scope, which now stretches up and down North and South America. The NAAFI NTS show is a great place to catch the latest from the crew and the most recent date featured an excellent guest mix from Lechuga Zafiro himself.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of compilations released every month, but the format does allow for a certain amount of order to arise out of the hectic world of SoundCloud and Bandcamp. And while it’s getting easier to guiltlessly pass over most of the compilations in our inbox, London production team/label Nervous Horizon have got the juice on their upcoming effort. Tsvi, Wallwork, Luru, Butti and Lokane make up the team – Lokane’s ‘See Me’ is the bangin’, Future-sampling jump off track, but the whole effort is well worth a run through. If you caught the Nervous Horizon Boiler Room with Addison Groove, Mickey Pearce and DVA, you’ll know that these guys are loads of fun and make some serious hybrid tunes.
Brooklyn’s Swim Team has earned its fair share of page space in FACT this year, but that doesn’t mean that the Bootleg Tapes-affiliated crew don’t deserve more. As one of the few members of the crew with an official release out (on Plastician’s Terrorhythm no less), Color Plus has a slightly larger individual profile than crew members like Kanyon and Rambow, and his sound is the most polished and developed of the group, referencing squeaky, DJ Deeon-influenced ghetto house as much as it does contemporary rap motifs. ‘Lalai’ is a no-frills, acid-driven tune with an immensely pleasant shimmering synth and it’s exactly the sort of track that comes alive on a big system in a smoke-filled room, which seems to be the aesthetic that much of Swim Team strive for. No release info yet, although stay locked for another Swim Team compilation (catch a few sneak peeks in Color Plus & AceMo’s recent Astral Plane mix) in the not-so-distant future.
In a somewhat bizarre turn, Elysia Crampton’s (formerly E+E) debut LP, American Drift, will be released by FaltyDL’s Blueberry Recordings. While the label hasn’t exactly been home to the sort of subversive eccentricities that Crampton pushes, the release is shaping up to be game-changing. Full of mortal Starcraft yells, misaligned spinbacks and plenty of lasers, all based around a rough-cut machine rhythm, ‘Petrichrist’ functions as an undeniably hectic Crampton track, although it also retains the meditative beauty found on her excellent ‘Moth/Lake’ single. Side note: the track is dedicated to a professor of monsters and post-humanism. Take that as you will.
Masters At Work
‘Work’ (MM Refixxx)
A fixture in Her Records sets for months and a self-described “tribute to DJ Sliink”, Miss Modular’s refix of this Masters At Work classic is exactly the sort of track that has made the London-based crew one of the most talked about elements in modern dance music. Sliink’s ‘Put Cha Back In It’, from his 2012 Body High debut, is the blueprint for MM’s work here, although the track has the metallic bite that’s recognizable in just about every Her Records release to date. Can’t wait to trot this one out.
‘2 Lovers’ (Chants Remix)
With his debut album due in the fall, Madison, Wisconsin-based producer Jordan Cohen, aka Chants, is set to have his biggest year yet in 2015 as he progresses from elegiac beat work to broken, accelerated club constructions. And while Cohen has worked towards more floor-focused tracks as of late, the album will be released by Seattle outlet Hush Hush Records, the home of his past several releases and the outlet for an excellent new Chants remix of MICHAELBRAILEY’s ‘2 Lovers’. Rushed by a forgotten deadline (we’ve all been there), that frantic energy is apparent throughout, although it still sounds as thorough and sound system-ready as his best work. Get MICHAELBRAILEY’s Pericardial EP here and be on the lookout for more Chants in the fall.
‘Come To Your Senses’ (DJ Marfox Remix)
Lisbon figurehead DJ Marfox’s official remix of Animal Collective has the chance to lift the kuduro trailblazer into another stratosphere, although it’s a little difficult imagining fans of the band latching onto the skipping rhythms of the Portuguese capital. That said, the vocal snippets and noisy backdrop from the original do fit nicely into Marfox’s ADD framework. Can’t imagine another artist approaching the source material so earnestly, and the final result is better for it.