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:
Notzing – Sonimir [Knotzept, 2023-05-13]
From Mulero to Reeko, the Spanish school has a unique way of dissolving the mind through its dense textures. Notzing from Madrid took the best from his peers and brought a high emotional presence to their music, by adding an extra fat sound more or less restrainedly in almost all of his tracks. Such a signature impressed us in his previous release, as well as on his recent Page for The Memoir. In “Sonimir”, out on his label Knotzept, he brought the concept into deeper territories, creating a particularly efficient trippy effect…
Luigi Tozzi – Spiral Remixes [Non Series, 2023-05-12]
The deep techno community is in a state of turmoil with the recent resounding announcement of Rrose’s coming new album, planned for the 23rd of June on his label Eaux. While waiting for it, we can enjoy a new massive remix by the maestro, on Tozzi’s remixed version of his last EP.
As if it wasn’t enough, we also have remixes by three more great names of the scene, who bring Tozzi’s sound into their own worlds; into Refracted’s deep eerie atmospheres, Psyk’s hot nocturnal vibes and Mörker’s ingenious structures. “A must-have”…
We invite you now to play a thrilling ping-pong game between the original and remixed versions to compare them. No winner in our humble opinion, just dope music…
Einox – Clinamen [Self-released, 2023-04-20]
Russia has Toki Fuko, South Korea has Einox: two producers sharing many common points: an impressive talent at a young age, an experimental approach which doesn’t compromise on musicality and groove, and a well-designed complexity which invites the listener to visit and revisit the release, recommended to fully appreciate the numerous sonic details.
His killing 2022 EP on Crescent London created a growing impatience and it’s a pleasure to see him back in the studio.
If Sweden is mainly represented by labels such as Hypnus or Northern Electronics (ok, mention Drumcode if you really want, but at your own risk), the country’s electronic music is also valued by small yet high-quality handcrafted projects, Navigare Audio being clearly one of them.
After more than two years of sharing great productions (and podcasts), it is time for the label to release its first VA, with “new and old friends”, as mentioned by the owners, Don Pepe, Anders and Fredrik Navigare.
With the artists at work on the VA, it is certain that the label’s network is on point, and the tracks, deep and beautiful, contribute to sending the label’s artistic message: “Navigare” comes from “Navigare vivere est” in Latin, meaning “To sail is to live”, while movement and free will are definitely palpable in the music (and in the titles), presenting an inspiring ode to life.
If today’s mankind became the wealthiest most powerful generation to ever live on Earth, we are more stressed out, more worried, facing more anxiety than ever. While such states only exist in our minds, Navigare Audio reminds us that music is a way to “navigate” between thoughts, emotions, energies, hopefully from darkness to light.
With nearly 200 releases, the legendary label continues to cast its broad shadow on the hypnotic techno scene, through its dusk atmospheres and electrifying beats. If it sometimes opens the door to raw and/or space techno, which we personally connect less with, it also regularly welcomes talented designers of moods, thinking of Svarog, Notzing, Surt and, of course, Alexskyspirit. With “Transmissions”, the Greek artist shows elegance and mastery for the fourth time on the label, making him – for us – one of its valuable assets.
Rightly or wrongly, you can sense in this album that Itoyama must have made some compromises to fit the label’s sound. His music is usually more linear and textured, while the label is more melodic, psychedelic and dreamy.
The second track, for instance, seems to merge both worlds, and if you take a closer look, you can read in the description that it has been “edited” by the label owner. No matter what he exactly changed, we feel that such collaboration is an enrichment for the Japanese artist, just based on the rendering that is more cinematic than in his previous works. Itoyama is a cinephile, having sampled sounds from movies for his music, and obviously aspiring to make it exactly that: “cinematic”.
Apart from these hypothetical considerations, we appreciate the dancefloor bangers that the album contains (tracks 3, 4 and 7). In line with artists such as Wata Igarashi, Lucy or Xhin, Itoyama is what you call a “noisemaker which stays in control”: half punk, half mathematician sort of. As sensed also in his previous album, “Autocatalysis“, he blows the mind with his sonic overkills, yet carried by reassuring 4/4 beats in the background. The tension is built and released at the same time, creating instant fascination…
Empty Rituals – Summoner [Kurnugû, 2023-03-23]
Here, we rehabilitate a dope yet almost two-month-old release that we missed, probably due to some collision of parallel universes. It belongs to a genre that we follow closely, with artists such as Lemna and Blòt Heathen, merging dark ritualistic flavours with impactful drums. It’s intense, spectacular, it throws an ancestral tomahawk in the head and we love it…
In one of our interviews, Samurai Music owner Presha said about our guest: “He’s for me one of the most unique and important musicians operating in electronic music. He’s very detail-focused and shows a very deep devotion to the craft. He’s also a primary collaborator in my projects.” Such praise sheds light on our guest’s well-recognised talent to design polyrhythmic drums, usually painted with deep yet intense inner moods. “Simply said”: if it’s 170 BPM, then it’s on Samurai Music, if it’s 128 BPM, then it’s on Horo, in collaboration with Presha, or on Grey Area, in collaboration with ASC. “Less simply said”: the three artists collaborate together everywhere, they are three druids, having brought to the world an entire musical movement. Our guest, in particular, is on a fence between occultism and impressionism, as sensed in “Omen Rising“, in his Page for The Memoir and in today’s selection:
SAM KDC PRESENTS DJ, PRODUCER AND LABEL CO-OWNER OF GREY AREA
Sam KDC: Not much really makes my ears prick up these days, but Aelk Minsur’s “Ground Reflux” certainly did.
It is a unique and distinctive blend of many of my favourite things – shadowy soundscapes, slow churning rhythms, futurist mysticism, dystopian doom, industrial timbres and tectonic low end – all seasoned with a pinch of paranoid psychosis.
Whilst listening, I find myself transported to unworldly scenes and inspired by the meticulous craftsmanship, patience and wizardry it takes to conjure up a brew as transfixing as this one.
Ground Reflux starts low and slow, picking up the pace throughout and finishes at full throttle with a belter of a remix from Stanislav Tolkachev.