31ST SELECTION – A new one every Monday.
Want to stay up to date with the most recent music, for instance for your DJing? Each Monday, we list and comment on our favourite releases of the moment. This week:
Mystic AM – AI-30: Cardamom & Laudanum [Astral Industries, 2022-07-15]
The Fakir’s hypnosis is already at work with Teo Ellsworth’s art cover, opening its scintillating draperies to an oriental peace-building tale: the visitor is invited to walk in the footsteps of a traveller from the ancient times, experiencing a spiritual break-through while resting in a Persian caravanserei. Rarely a sonic experience has been so close to its transcendental plot: the traveller could be Ario himself, witness of his label‘s enchanting journeys for more than eight years and having finally the awakening to be more involved in the production, among his inspired artists.
“Ario the traveller”, with his evasive mixes and frequent flights to Iran to collect sounds, remains for us an eternal “treasure seeker”. Among his precious stones and jewels: Rod Modell, well known as Deepchord, who inspired the birth of the label, and transformed the oriental sound collection into rich “woven silks”. They are together “Mystic AM”, a duo of travellers worth following…
Predawn Records – Voices 01 [Predawn Records, 2022-07-15]
“Voices 01” is the occasion for us to discover that Laima Adelaide owns a label, called Predawn Records, of which we were totally unaware. It is worth saying that before this VA, the label only released one EP in October last year. By knowing this incredible news, we would have certainly celebrated it on our Facebook page, as we did for Zemög, who launched Tepuy Records some weeks ago. The present VA has been composed by the most exciting contemporary techno artists of the moment, which can only lead to amazing music. Not sure which type of engine sits under the label’s hood, but just based on the VA, we hope that it will be fuelled with more frequent releases over time.
Forest Drive West – ITX025 – Creeper [ILIAN TAPE, 2022-07-12]
His past work on Midgar (just a reminder):
Legendary label Ilian Tape made itself a name in the underground electronic music culture mainly with the cutting-edge funky minimal tech house of its founders, the Zenker Brothers. It then opened up to a breakbeat “tainted of drum’n’bass”, with artists such as Stenny, Skee Mask, Andrea and Surgeon. The first drum’n’bass release is probably “Chronicle” by Sciahri in 2016, with a remix from Pessimist. Today, we present “Creeper”, by Forest Drive West, well-known for his electrifying jungle music and his jazzy polyrhythmic productions. He sometimes visits our hypnotic techno scene (we all have in mind his sick EP on Midgar), but “Creeper” is dedicated to his first love, jungle music. The tracks impress from their complex architectures, declined in efficient percussions, intertwined with elegant urban atmospheres and sonorities, for an overall spectacular electronic music show.
Vel – Era L [XX LAB Records, 2022-07-15]
Vel explaining her artistic approach:
Francophone artists such as François X (owner of XX LAB), Hendrik van Boetzelaer, Bambounou, GiGi FM, Elise Massoni and Vel have quickly linked their productions to their first love, DJing, while sharing their fascination for both the cinematic ambient music genre and the minimal hypnotic techno. From the heat of trendy clubs, they’ve brought a fresh sensuality to our culture, without necessarily realising it.
Vel, for instance, is an angel, with a very pure approach to the production, playing around in Ableton with the mischief of the musique concrète. But then, the “Nina Kravitz-alike” vocals injected in some of her tracks dialogue with the clean grooves to give her work a sexy touch, perfect to fill the dancefloor or spice it up.
18 Figures – Saturnalia EP [Southern Lights, 2022-07-11]
Mike Parker on his artistic approach:
Mike Parker’s music is also sexy, with its acid spirals and through the palpable intimate link that he builds with his “amnesic machines”, unable to save presets and leading him to do a live mix for each of his tracks. Parker has some disciples worldwide, including a certain Donato Dozzy… 18 Figures, unknown in our ranks, obviously follows the path, adding his own cinematic twist in the production. His music on the Australian label Southern Lights is a sign that Parker is at the source of an ongoing musical movement. We won’t complain: “Saturnalia EP”, well-designed and charismatic, with a massive remix from Sciahri, is a pleasure to dance on.
DJ Sodeyama – Konstrukt 015 [Konstrukt, 2022-07-14]
With artists such as Primal Code, Mohlao, Wa Wu We, Birds ov Paradise, Konstrukt somewhat recalls Hypnus, but this is reductive, the Dutch label having also in its family other inventive talents such as Svreca, Retina.it, ASC and now DJ Sodeyama. The present EP is an impressive piece of art, coming from the mind of an artist who has been involved in three decades of underground electronic music. It explains his eclectic discography and mixes, his epic 2016 set in Dommune being maybe the most representative of his rich background. “Konstrukt 015” is an EP worth listening to in full, without “jumping” into it, as you would miss the amazing intros that he designed for some of the tracks, as well as the richness of the mental journeys.
Marooned Solar Siblings – Hydra [Khoros Records, 2022-07-10]
We are back to more familiar vibes with “Hydra”: this is the music that we love, with its beautiful deep drones, efficient beats and warm haunting cinematic pads. The three-tracker is signed by Marooned Solar Siblings, a duo of Georgian artists not very active in the scene yet. They are described as “techno lovers” having one foot in the dark ambient genre and the other in the hypnotic architectures. Outside of that, we only know about them that they released only one EP before, one year ago, also on Khoros, and looking at their wonderful progression from 2021 to 2022, we are hoping to hear more of them in a near future.
Blindfold – Static Mind [Intersum, 2022-07-15]
More and more Georgian artists are emerging in the hypnotic techno scene; here is another one, Blindfold, that we discovered from his epic mix for Dark Underground Podcast. His EP “Static Mind” marks the resounding comeback of the British label Intersum, after almost two years of radio silence. The EP is fabulous, deep and well-designed, featuring artists who could form a techno gang together: Blindfold himself, first, definitely well-inspired, then Farazdeck and label owner Mechanist who, thank God, extended the beautiful but too short track “Static”, then Fernie, label owner of Space Textures, bringing “Canvas” to the heat of the dancefloor, and last but not least: Motion Symmetry, label owner of NFEREE, sometimes in charge of the mastering for Fernie and for Mechanist, like in the present EP, brilliantly arranged. We take the opportunity to recommend also Sam Wilson’s last work on NFEREE, released one day before.
* Page’s cover picture: Oye Kreuzkoelln in Berlin, a record shop from a member of our community.