We feel refreshed after compiling this January top: half of the names debuts in it, some favorites (like Heap or Scott Young) are back with mind-blowing music. Nick Klein, Garland, Dopamine Rider, Job Sifre and more, check it out!
Dopamine Rider – Personal FX 12” [Discos Capablanca]
Scott Young delivers some trippy rough electronics on the perfect Discos Capablanca as Dopamine Rider. Cosmic techno in $ LFO is warming things up before acidic tribal of Personal FX. A masterpiece, it wades through a forest of some imaginary vocals to the solid beat. B-side opens with some sounds from open space and finishes with curious percussion house assembly. Adventurous EP, a big step forward for a Hong-Kong producer. P.S. Also admit its mad artwork and very friendly price on Juno.
AJC ДОГ – БАБИЛОН ФИШ 12″ [Brutaz]
Nenad Markovic aka 33.10.3402, Belgrade stalwart, mutated into AJC ДОГ on his recent 12” for Brutaz. And this release is one of our favorite from Serbian mutant. He checks his machines, all buttons and tumblers on 2vs and starts a thrilling saga from a scratch, drilling marching rhythm creates special patterns and vocals attacks you like crazy bats in that Hunter S. Thompson story. You are pushed to enter the space shuttle, then it’s accidentally broken on the bottom of the crater and you are not sure will you have the chance to come back to Earth. Time is going slower and cold heavy dust is covering the portholes of your shuttle. Bye.
Job Sifre – Bestaan 12” [Knekelhuis]
The author of the best record of 2017 (in our opinion) starts this year with another gem. It opens again with a vocal number, Bestaan (to exist or existence, in English), slow gothic dance. Speed up the next banger, Zodiak, a bit, EBM with distorted guitars it sounds like recorded in the same session as Rock Bottom from Job’s debut record. The trippy groove of Mars Express guides you through the darkest corners of the Red Planet. Zeno Dicho is my favorite here, drum-heavy nutcracker with crazy dizzy sounds. At Least We Try is for the winners: a hazy caravan of slow beats and synth solos.
Pre-order it on Bandcamp
Heap – Brasserie Heroique Edits Part 5 12″ [Berceuse Heroique]
Our longtime favorite music nerd from Vienna, Florian Stöffelbauer aka Heap, Neubau co-founder, continues Brasserie Heroique Edits series very boldly and loudly. External Error recreates in my head the image of a fire engine rushing through the streets of New York City in the 80s: steam rises between skyscrapers to the dark sky, ultraviolet neon lights and sounds of sirens. But unlike the fire engine, the track can set any dancefloor in the fire. The next banger, Possessed By The Drums, is really focused on percussion and puts the word “catastrophe” in your mind, some sounds remind me the edits of Sharif Laffrey on Discos Capablanca. Finally, the Tripper slows the tempo to the extreme but keeping the sounds somewhere between the 80s and 90s like the trance record on the wrong speed. Truly fantastic come back from Heap!
Nick Klein – Lowered Flaming Coffin 12” [Alter]
It’s a brand new 12” from NYC-based musician after a bunch of notable records on LIES, Unknown Precept and more. Lowered Flaming Coffin was recorded on a minimal setup of a modular synth and Korg MS-20; the process of recording was “focused around the relentless role of filtering out and managing the anxiety of existing in a metropolitan area in the current political climate.” Nick manipulates extreme sounds on A-side, a meditation on drugs in the opener, Burning Mattresses, and alarming punching techno in Peña Adobe. The B-side is more brutal, it’s closing with epic 14-minutes long industrial drama. Phenomenal release, it feels fresh after listening.
Buy it on Bandcamp
Garland – Preludes #1 LP [Lullabies For Insomniacs]
The promising duo of Phillip Jondo and Simon Weins debuts on Amsterdam label with some ritual, otherworldly material. Ultra experimentalism cultivated by Izabel on her label is continued here. Tribal, dub and some Arabic notes are mixed on Preludes #1 magically. Esoteric songs for the future filled with power, resonating noises and industrial backgrounds.
Pre-order it on Bandcamp
Streetboxxer – Tear Down Level 22 [Kings Chamber]
Didn’t hear anything new from Samo DJ lately and this release cracks silence perfectly. He added some leftfield house flavors to the digi-dub vibes of Hidden Operator on this collaborative 4-tracker. Shaking dub base and crispy synth lines on the top of it. Curious and funny rhythms, unexpected turns, truly essential release. And it’s extra cheap on Juno, don’t sleep!
Kuniyuki Takahashi – Early Tape Works 1986-1993 Vol 1 LP [Music From Memory]
According to Discogs, the first release of Kuniyuki Takahashi is dated 2002, the Kids Breathe single on the legendary Japanese deep house label Life Line. And it’s a job of such prolific diggers like Music From Memory to unveil unknown treasures. According to a press release, Kuniyuki was inspired to experiment with electronic music after his first club experiences in 1986. The results of those recording sessions with equipment like Roland’s Juno60, TR-606, TB-303, Casio FZ-1 were privately released on cassettes, which became a subject of current compilation. The A-side contains some moody ambient pieces, while the B-side is rougher and beats driven. The opening track really captures how it’s called, Night At The Seaside, a cold and solitary one. Day Dreams reminds of Gigi Masin music a bit. You Should Believe is waving synth saga with percussion and female vocals on top, this particular track is a predecessor of late 2000s Kuniyuki sound, especially my favorite release of him, Remixed on Mule Musiq. And don’t forget: this compilation is just the first part, more to come!
Rune Lindbæk – Norsk Tripping 2 12” [Norsk Tripping]
The master is back! The first edition of his Norsk Tripping edits was on a heavy rotation in our sets. And the second one delivers too. Unheard deep disco, heavy synth arrangements and a bit of cheese (which is an appeal of Rune’s edits). Fat guitar riffs and “I heard it somewhere but don’t remember where” samples, crazy vocals, lasers and bongos, heart-wrenching chords. Rune’s in a good shape here.
Various Artists – Lesser Mysteries 12″ [Brokntoys]
London-based Brokntoys continue to bombard us with quality electro. It’s opening 2018 with pretty impressive compilation, Lesser Mysteries. Everything starts with airy and quite melancholic electro from Ben Cohen, the whole composition and some sounds remind me how Shackleton remixed Villalobos’ Minimoonstar. Monotoxine is more heads down straight dancefloor banger. Tharsis Shelter Unit adds pressure and bass. Australian Furious Frank closes the compilation with viscous, dubby and atmospheric drums.
Buy it on Bandcamp or on Juno:
The Pulse Projects – Black Catalogue Rituals 2004-2005 12” [Subapical]
The meteoric start of the last Helena Hauff’s Solid Steel show is Zeta, the opening track of this EP on Subapical. The Black Projects is an alter ego of Albert van Abbe, Eindhoven’s rave veteran. The whole release is quality electro but Zeta is outstanding here. Its dark power frightens like a 10-meters high wave behind your window: there’s no chance to hide from its energy.
Buy it on Bandcamp
Words Sasha Tessio.
Illustrations Turbo Mamba