I’m reviving an old music blog at the end of 2021?
Maybe it’s foolish, and maybe I’m the only one who misses the blog ol’ days, but I’m gonna give it a shot. I’ll be working on restoring some of the old content, though much of it was lost. If there’s interest, I’ll try to figure out how to safely share some more of the old remix sunday archives.
For now though, you can find all the label’s releases here, on bandcamp, or anywhere you listen to music these days. I’ve also still got copies of some of the old vinyl releases, and I’ve just released the first in a set of charitable cassette compilations to raise awareness about the continued [mis]use of broken windows policing methods.
Plus I’ve put together a playlists section with a handful of spotify lists that hopefully start to capture a [slightly] updated version of the moods we used to peddle. Give those a listen and a ❤ if you would be so kind. If people want me to put together soundcloud playlists, or something else, give me a holler.
Remix Sunday 161
Remix Sunday 161
If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.
– (attributed to) Florynce Kennedy
It was then, floating in the passivity of induced consumption, in which it became clear that this functional mechanism of time was but a codified drift. With our particular indifference to an imposed rationality, all semblance of alterity had been lost […]
I remember in the Napster and Limewire days how often I’d find tracks that were mislabeled in order to mislead people into thinking they’d stumbled across the long lost Boards of Canada or Aphex Twin song, or whatever, and how hard my young ears would have to work to discern if these were in fact […]
Donna Missal, who recently put out the best work of her career – an excellent EP produced by Sega Bodega – was dropped by Harvest/UMG shortly after the EP’s release. Subsequently, she posted to twitter a good encapsulation of how preexisting economic privilege is often the most potent ingredient for music industry success: Nepotism and […]
Past Palms is an artist from Richmond, VA. Each song from Ambient Music for Watering Plants focuses on one typical tropical houseplant, in hopes of capturing the simple serenity of watering that life “while living in a gray, nature-less city”, as the artist describes their project. An ode to Eno’s Music For Airports, the substitute […]
Venus absorbs and tempers the masculine essence, uniting the masculine and feminine in mutual affection. She is assimilative and benign, born of sea foam, a charm, a magic philtre. You’ve no doubt heard this Loleatta Holloway-sampling 1990 classic by the polyonymous Dutch trio composed of Eddy de Clercq, Gert van Veen, and Erik van Putten. […]
On a day like today, it’s hard to feel like the world isn’t repeatedly sending us the same gruesome message. That justice isn’t real; murderers will go free while innocent people will languish. […]
On a day like today, it’s hard to feel like the world isn’t repeatedly sending us the same gruesome message. That justice isn’t real; murderers will go free while innocent people will languish. And we’re supposed to be thankful that at least the state didn’t sanction the murder of one innocent black person today, it will only keep him in prison forever; […]
Those early scans can be a terrifying time, you are a bundle of nerves and heading into this great big unknown, and there is something so visceral about hearing that living heartbeat the first time. It’s one of those life moments where you are overwhelmed by emotions that you don’t quite understand, and yet you are also scared to let yourself feel them in case something goes wrong.
That nice sweet sort of sentimentality on this track from North London’s Sound of Fractures, real name Jamie Reddington. This song was built around a recording Reddington made of his daughter’s heartbeat in utero. Hearing my daughter’s heartbeat gave me the same kind of combination of feelings. Wild excitement and anticipation, coupled with an instinct to hold it all in as much as possible. Both out of fear of the worst, but also a sort of self-doubt–because you no have real idea what you’re about to experience or whether you’ll be able to handle it when it happens. But I found that was, and if you’re in that spot, the sheer fact of wondering those things about yourself and your baby means you probably will too.
The track is out now on bandcamp and streaming. Also check another nice one from Sound of Fractures released early this year.
darkDARK is Genevieve Vincent and Chris James, the former based in LA, the latter in Austin.
Ghost Complex is their latest album, a sci-fi concept record about a pair of AI living in a post-human world, grappling with the choice between creation and replication, forced to confront the ambiguity of sentience. Humans left them a set of songs, designed as fables, so that the pair might recreate civilization in humanity’s image. The central question is whether will they accept their role as custodians of the past or choose to become architects of their own future?
Societal AI OD aside, this is a resonant question for us humans too. Do we use our energy to focus on doing something truly original, or do we accept we are products of our influences and make the most of that? I live primarily in the second camp. I expect Vincent and James do too. The album is delicate and beautiful, but also doesn’t seem to shy away from honoring its stylistic inspiration. Getting too specific with genre or reference points–when we’re ultimately dealing with pop music–is maybe a touch superfluous, but for me, Ghost Complex sits somewhere between the gauzy UK and Scandinavian trip-pop of the late 90s and early aughts, and a minimalist strain of blade runner revivalism; plus probably also with a dose of the graceful quality of a record like Chairlift’s Moth.
Notwithstanding the satisfying chunk of the bass on songs like “Cult” and “Petals”, darkDARK are best at their most gossamer. Album opener “Face With No Name” is the one that gets me the best. Vincent’s vocal delivery skips over the air, playing carefully with the bed of Rhodes beneath it. The shared fx on both elements automates exquisitely until you’re not quite sure what’s what. It’s all nicely suggestive of the album’s concept of a pair of machines wondering whether to emulate or separate from humans.
This is high-concept stuff, sure, but far more importantly, the album is really easy on the ears. No bandcamp for this, unfortunately, so go find it on streaming services.
darkDARK – “Face With No Name” (sc)
darkDARK – “Cult” (sc)
darkDARK – “We Had Everything” (sc)
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This is one of those songs that has so many different versions, and so many people associated with it, that no one ever seems to agree on its provenance or exact history. Some versions list the primary artist as True Faith, others as Bridgette Grace–I think True Faith was intended to be Grace’s artist name before the song was briefly picked up by Atlantic and Polydor, who both evidently preferred Grace use her real name. Others still list Final Cut as the primary artist–sometimes presenting or featuring or with True Faith. Final Cut was a production duo composed of one Jeff Mills and a fellow Michigander named Anthony Srock; later, it was Srock and various others after Mills left to focus on solo work and Underground Resistance. Even the names of the songwriters and performers are often misspelled. Srock is often spelled “Stock”, and Grace’s first name is spelled every which way possible (I believe the correct spelling is actually “Bridget” and she’s often not credited as a songwriter at all.) I haven’t seen Mills get skipped or misspelled, go figure.
I suppose only Srock and Mills would be able to say for sure how exactly the timeline of the song took shape, but for all I know, they might not agree with each other, and maybe Bridget Grace would have a different story too. Maybe all the confusion is the reason why many of the original and best versions of the song are out of print. In 2012, Anthony Srock uploaded a kind of strange compilation of relatively current remixes (including that Prodigy song that samples Grace’s vocals) under the name AsRock. That compilation does indeed include a version titled “(Original Mix)”, which I suspect is in fact the first version produced. But it’s still not the version I think of as my original.
The version that hits closest to my heart is a five-minute-fifty-second uncredited “Pinned Up Mix” from 1990 on Network Records (who appear to have owned the UK/Euro distribution rights by the end of 1989/early 1990) which featured prominent use of the Hot Pants break and various liberally sampled elements of Kevin Saunderson’s “Definition of Love” release as Kaos.
The “Pinned Up” tag refers to the Pin Up Girls, who discogs tells me is Paul Waller. (Waller later worked on Björk’s Debut, among other important records throughout the 90s and beyond.) This mix was likely derived from a shorter version released a few months earlier as an original by the Pin Up Girls on a bootleg 12″ on Soft Records, which was then rebranded as a remix and released on Network (and some continental labels too). The label notes of one release claims that True Faith and Final Cut are the Pin Up Girls, but that doesn’t feel right to me. There are also other Pin Up Girls versions floating around. (One other contender for the best is a version very similar to this one that clocks in a minute or two longer.) Based on the prominent reliance on a breakbeat, and the sampling of Kaos (it’s almost a mashup), I’ll bet Waller probably produced the first initially as a bootleg using the acapella from one of the first 12″s, and then redid his version later in various incarnations on license back to Network and other labels.
I could have a lot of this backwards or plain wrong, but this is all my best attempt at unraveling this historical rat’s nest. The Quietus reviewed the reissue of Final Cut’s Deep Into the Cut, their only album released while Mills was still a member, which provides a bunch of great context, but unfortunately doesn’t address “Take Me Away” at all. Still a good read, and a great album.
For whatever reason, you can buy digital copies of a bunch of the song’s versions, but I don’t think you can buy this one, even though it’s the best one. At least I haven’t been able to find it. Maybe it’s that Saunderson sample preventing release, or maybe no one’s on the ball. Who knows. So I’m sharing a vinyl rip here. If you’ve got the scoop on the deeper history of this song, I’d love to hear it.
Graffick (real name Blaine Counter) is a San Diego-based producer who sent me this lovely tune last week. According to Counter, the Graffick project was born in the wake of a near-fatal semi truck accident that left him unable to walk for months. Yeesh, respect to him for doing anything after that kind of trauma. As far as I can tell, most of the Graffick back catalog sits at lower tempos than the instant track, which is a nice slice of bell-driven, live-drum-kit organic house. Really well put together stuff here.
No bandcamp here, so find the track on streaming services instead.
A handful of glimmering submissions from Chicago-based Shidi Midi.
I’ll readily admit that when hyperpop became ubiquitous in the mid-2010s, I was never quite able to fully grasp its appeal. Not that I couldn’t appreciate the intensity of its production, or even its plastic-obsessed aesthetic–but I think coming from a time and place where gabber kicks were the antithesis of cool, I just couldn’t quite stomach all of it as well as some of my friends. But I like where it’s gone, or at least what it left in its wake. I appreciate the ease with which the stylistic merging of dance music and video-game retrophilia has become commonplace; and I really like how many artists that might have been termed hyperpop five or ten years ago, are now just as easily embracing jungle and breakcore references over 150bpm+ gabber 4×4. It’s become embodying of exactly the kind of musical free-for-all that I’ve always sternly believed breeds real creativity.
Shidi Midi is one shining example of the class of artists working in that space. Their work seems as unencumbered by genre as it is proudly technicolor. I’ve selected a few good ones here — the first is the opener of their newest EP a-coo-stics; the second the closer of their album Birdhouse, released earlier this year; the last, an hilarious choice cut I discovered on their soundcloud that was an immediate winner in my book.
Sometime about 20,000 years ago, a wiry-haired and very hungry pack of descendants of the Miacis decided collectively that they should brave a plea for help from those strange smooth creatures with the strong rumps and weak shoulders. They’d been following these hairless beasts for some time, subsisting on what was left behind in or near piles of burning embers. But with an unexpected glut of healthy members having arrived in the spring, the pack needed more. The alphas of this particular pack were unique in that they were somehow capable of more than brute force; they knew how to demonstrate leadership of a more nuanced sort, the kind that centers strength derived from affection and protection, not only violence.
These canids were the first to tie themselves to the fate of humans. A few thousand years later, when men and women had stopped moving constantly, and built cities perfect for the proliferation of pest, small wildcats took the cue, and decided to set up shop too. Now we love these animals as family, and they love us.
Necessity and opportunity can breed sincere connection. It’s not always so different when two people find each other.
Hot Spoon, Cold Mango is a project from dutch-born artist Stephen Meeker, pursuing a genre he calls Motion Vision — a collage of modern classical, ambient, and post-rock. The project was born of the love between Meeker and his partner while indulging in Mango sorbet together using a spoon fresh out of the dishwasher. Despite these intimate beginnings, his latest album, Paws on Ears is lofty and conceptual; what Meeker terms as “easy listening for weary space travelers”.
The eighteen pieces on the record aren’t characterized by any single sound or effect. From the plasticine and putty-like woodwinds of “First Dance of Eight Paws”, to the amber-from-sap pianos of “Amongst the Roots of Trees”, to the fairy-buzz chimes of “Walk to Find Trees”. A disparate collection tied together by something ephemeral, but somehow also familiar.
Meeker describes his inspiration as rooted in his sense of his own existence. He explains that his music is an expression of his “profound lack of understanding of the world that surrounds [him]” and his desire to decipher our collective experience into something narrative. Paws on Ears does indeed strike a narrative chord, albeit an abstract one — not one that’s easily categorized. Maybe it’s that willingness to accept what he doesn’t know that gives the music its nearly-naive-but-surprisingly-complex quality. In any case, the feeling that resonates with me after a handful of listens through is simple the unconditionality of love possible between friends who need each other deeply. Symbiosis as devotion. Take that for what you will; I suspect Meeker wants the meaning to lie with the listener. Paws on Ears is out now for streaming universe-wide.
Hot Spoon, Cold Mango – “A Beckoning Plea of a Call For Bears” (sc)
Hot Spoon, Cold Mango – “A Cow Stands Guard Protecting Their Llamas” (sc)
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As she stares into her laces, a bee buzzes and hums in her ear is that a tune she remembers? or is it one she should? Grampa used to ask her what she expected from music
whether she thought it would fulfill her now as she waits for her ride, she wonders if the color is enough to keep her going whether things will change for the better or
if the volume will continue to dim.
Graffiti Warfare is the nom de guerre of Denver’s George Lattimore. Revolving Shores is his second album under that name. It’s an outright embrace of nostalgia, but broader in emotional scope than the work of some of his contemporaries. Nostalgia indeed, but not just for stoned teenage angst and romance, also for sharp-eyed grandparents, kite flying, and plastic cutlery.
From the opening song, “To Be It,” which features spoken word recordings by mid-twentieth century perennialist, Alan Watts, the album feels like it must have been a really personal process for Lattimore. I was quick to want to characterize the record as intimate and wooly, and at many moments, it is that. It’s certainly interpretive; some of its references feel like they must be Lattimore’s alone, or akin to the kinds of inside jokes siblings keep–almost indecipherable, but nonetheless totally charming to outsiders. It’s a largely instrumental album, only making sparse use of vocals on most songs, with greater focus on synthesis, pillowy drums, and pedal work. But where some of Lattimore’s nostalgia-seeking colleagues may opt to dive headfirst into fuzz, tape warble, and binaural synth washes, most of Revolving Shores maintains a sense of earnest clearheadedness, at times even bordering on the piercing.
What might seem at first like a weedy and cozy lay in grass (see early standouts like “Just Follow” or “DejaBlue“) pretty quickly turns into more of a healthy not-quite-micro-dose on a brisk autumn beach. There’s plenty of flirting with melancholia, but also an apparent attempt to tackle concrete family anxieties, grief, and insomnia. I’ll admit I’m usually more of a weedy lay in the grass type, but the album is probably strongest when it embraces the colder and more frenetic — the collage slap bass of “Volume” or the stop/start-synthesized-shrill meets soft underbelly of the album’s closers “Missing the War” and “Seashell.”
Revolving Shores is Lattimore’s own personal moment on a cold bright day in wet sand, but most listeners will find themselves feeling welcome to join him.
The album is out now for streaming on all major outlets.
Graffiti Warfare – “Just Follow” (sc)
Graffiti Warfare – “Volume” (sc)
Graffiti Warfare – “Seashell” (sc)
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Bombastic steppy heavy bass from Tokyo’s RIII (those are three i’s). “Kick” is the B2 off of RIII’s newest Vibesy EP, out now on Aranck Collective. The other track I’m including here is from Aranck Collective’s 2.0 compilation that was released this past June; “Howl” is dubbier, and reminds me of the kind of quasi-DMZ we used to push hard on Palms Out. Those were the days. Glad to know people are still pursuing this sound, and doing it well.
Caught me falling, that’s not fair I’ll move on, just tell me where
Lemfreck (stylized as L E M F R E C K, real name Lemarl Freckleton) is a welsh singer, rapper, and producer from the city of Newport. His most recent album, Blood, Sweat, & Fears is really lovely. It might be fair to characterize Lemfreck’s sound as somewhere between a Sampha croon and the uniformly international modern sound that pervades rap and rnb these days, but all with a slightly naive underproduced quality, and a pinch of welsh grey-sky gloom. That might be too convoluted a description for music that doesn’t need to be overcomplicated to get its point across. Notwithstanding a few harder rap tunes, the album is largely romantic, wistful, and yearning music. I’m feeling that way myself these days, so this hits the spot. No bandcamp for this one, so find it on streaming.
I should also mention, Lemfreck recently fronted the BBC documentary program Black Music Wales, which explores the often-overlooked history of welsh Black music, and introduces some of the new generation (of which he is a part). It sounds totally fascinating, but unfortunately I can’t overcome the geo-blocking to get to watch it. If you’re in the UK, or you’ve got a better VPN than I, give it a watch.
Lemfreck – After (sc)
Lemfreck – “Play with Silver” (sc)
Lemfreck – “Death by Nyash” ft. Manga Saint Hilare (sc)
JASCE (pronounced like the first syllable in the name Jason) is a producer, vocalist, and violinist based in Philly. She sent me the attached eerie number, and I’m into it. Sort of a little like if Tori Amos on one of her breathier days went to a rave full of goths and dnb kids. Maybe that’s a little reductive. Based on a quick scan through her catalog, JASCE is a really talented producer, and clearly her background as an instrumentalist brings the sort of musicality that’s not infrequently lacking in bass music. I respect her commitment to merging proper singer-songwriter stuff with monstrous bass. Some of her songs go a little too far into mainline dnb territory for my tastes, but on this one, the percussion is super sharp, and that bassline is just really well contained and tense.
Stream this at any of the usual places, or grab it on bandcamp.
Somewhere in the middle of last year, in preparation for his imminent return to music after four years away, and in recognition of his third year clean and sober, Jack Adams shared a methodically prepared archive of over 315 hours of his previous work–mixes, productions, and other work. Then, at the end of the year, he released two new songs. This is the B-side from his triumphant return record. Really happy for this guy.
This year, he hasn’t released any new discrete productions that I’m aware of, but he did put out a cassette mixtape that marries the use of a pair of decks and his modular system–using prototype synchronization hardware presumably built by ALM Busy Circuits–as part of that company’s ten year anniversary celebrations. I hope we get to hear more from him soon.
These guys were mainstays on Palms Out during the blog’s heyday, and I gigged with them a few times when I was living in Copenhagen in the late aughts. Pretty sure I was involved in recording something or other with them at the old Yo Fok studios (where I lived in the attic, shout out my old pal Åsmund/Copyflex for that ridiculous hookup, notwithstanding the pneumoniatic mold). But my memories of those years are disturbingly blurry.
From their base in Munich, Schlachthofbronx were always cranking out that particular German take on global bass music. A touch of Berlin techno, a touch of dancehall, a touch of Modeselektory-glitch hop — never content with fitting squarely in any of those categories.
I was so pleased to discover they’re still doing their thing, and they have a new record out: More Rave and Romance. The album features some legendary vocalists, including Flowdan, Warrior Queen, Kbh’s own Lady Smita (big up), and even a posthumous feature from the late Nicky Da B, among others. As strong as the vocal showings are on the album, I think my pick of the litter is an instrumental track, “Cruise.”
I’ve selected a few for you below, but grab the album on bandcamp, or stream wherever you do that sort of thing.
I’m such a sucker for a good Burial homage. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the dude developed a genre and no one who works in the space can avoid the reference. But I say just own it.
Leeds-based music educator Andrew Potterton does that. He seems like the type of artist who just loves figuring out a genre. A quick scan through his soundcloud reveals a new genre almost every tune. It ranges from dusty house to mainline dnb to pure ambient synthscapes to rave to trap to phonk to lofi beats to study to–to just about everything else. Some might say that indicates a lack of focus, but from a pure skill standpoint, I find the versatility impressive, especially because it’s all pretty well executed. And I think putting it out under your government name indicates a real lack of pretension, which I totally respect. It makes sense coming from a music teacher. You’ve got to be able to approach lots of genres to effectively teach electronic music composition to students with wildly varied tastes. Plus, kids are brutal, so being pretentious isn’t going to get you far.
No bandcamp for Andrew, unfortunately, but check his soundcloud and spotify profiles.
Subfiction is one of those artists who wears a mask. A lot of the time, this makes me skeptical. But who knows, maybe the guy behind the mask has a job they need to protect, or maybe they’re the son of a couple of mysterious masked super villains, and they’re just keeping the family tradition alive. All credit due, the mask in question is kinda cool; it’s less of a mask, really, and more of a collection of lacey scarves, sometimes worn in conjunction with LEDs. In the case of the cover art above, I’d say the rest of the fit lends itself to my super villain theory.
In any case, the only other thing I know about the artist is that they’re operating out of the Netherlands (ideally in a secret mountain lair, but Holland doesn’t have any mountains). The music wears its influence on its [robot villain] sleeve, and track titles like “twerkin’ aphex” hammer the point home. But is that a bad thing? I don’t really think so. The aforementioned song is frenetic and NRG-etic and delivers on its title. The other featured track is no less ambitiously titled “killa4dafloor” — manifest what you want out of a track, I suppose! It’s a nice and simple breakbeat track with acidic 303s and ravey sampled vox. Not exactly groundbreaking, but still a solid shot at its stated purpose. Floors often thrive with familiar references as much or more than they do with newly broken ground.
Check the EP on bandcamp, or stream it wherever you listen these days.
My eyes are bigger than my stomach sometimes. Or something like that — becoming a dad is really all-consuming, sorry folks. Sometimes it’s hard to have the long term follow through necessary for all these lofty hobbies. I’m working on it! Love y’all.
LDN Monos, real name Curtis Neil, is a producer from London who’s recently released his debut long player, August in Winter. It’s a nice amalgam of styles — not stuck in any particular genre, but still totally accessible and friendly on the ears. Mostly mild and easy to digest, but still evocative, and wholly unpretentious. I posted the video for the excellent first single from the album earlier this year. In general, the video treatments for the single have all been outstanding.
No bandcamp for this unfortunately, but stream the album on spotify or wherever, or if you don’t have that kind of thing, it’s also available for free streaming on soundcloud.
Lightfooted cut of midtempo electronica from Birmingham-born, London-based Mattr, real name Matthew Clugston. The track he sent over, “Lex”, is a really lovely song, but perhaps most striking is what consistent and plentiful output Clugston has had over the past couple of years. This may be projecting, but he seems to be one of those producers who really took advantage of the 2 years indoors and decided to finish a few dozen of the tracks he had sitting in his draft folders. (And look, as a producer who didn’t do that, to each their own, pandemic was/is pandemic. But power to those who made the most of it creatively.)
In addition to the new one he sent over, I’ve picked out a couple of others from various releases he had this year. Grab them all on his bandcamp, or stream your dreams away.
I’ve written about Taut (real name Jacob Bergson) before. The song I wrote about last time, “Prime”, became a favorite of mine this past year. At the time Bergson initially sent it over, it was just a single with a B-side. But since then, it was included on a six-song EP, Polarity. Also on the record is this beautiful new song, “Eternity Behind the Veil”, which I suspect will get just as much airtime in my home as did that last one.
Bergson’s nom de plume is really appropriate — he has a knack for writing songs with tight and tense structures, and he shapes drums and synths that have the quality of an outstretched rubber band.
I’d be surprised if Kraftwerk didn’t play some formative role in Bergson’s musical upbringing. “Eternity Behind the Veil” is romantic and robotic simultaneously, a machine love song that I think the grandfather robots would approve of.
Grab Polarity now on bandcamp, or wade into the stream for it.
For months now, I’ve meant to post about Pittsburgh-based Davis Galvin. Their output over the past few years has been nearly faultless, and just as regular. They recently put out a new record, Meratana, a tight set of “(fun)ctional” tracks that are strange, but still well-woven for the floor. But while I really enjoyed that new one, I’m still playing catch up on Galvin’s bountiful discography. The release I’ve been stuck on lately is Otsinni, which came out in May ’21 (Galvin has no fewer than 8 releases since, if you’re in doubt about their prolificacy). It comprises a trio of skittering breakbeat moods that I can’t really choose between — they really work best in tandem. Galvin is an enormous talent, and with such a fast-growing collection, do yourself the favor and get started on absorbing their work.
Galvin seems to avoid streaming services, so go support them on bandcamp instead.
The dreamiest sky blue synth pop from LA-based Piper Durabo, aka Maraschino. I posted the video for her last single recently, but just the other day she followed it up with this gem. Extra-dimensional nostalgia for just about any generation.
Also, Durabo’s monthly show on NTS ‘Kiss Cafe’ is just fabulous and you should absolutely tune in.
Grab the single on bandcamp, or stream away anywhere you do that kinda thing.
Not many words necessary for this one. I’ve been obsessed with this song since it came out in 2018. It’s perfectly balanced.
The 12″s of this are long gone, but for whatever reason, this is on a record that appears to only be available for streaming, not for download anywhere. But give Zodiac Childs a follow on soundcloud anyway, or grab something else from their bandcamp.
Old friend of the blog, Colin Bailey–most commonly known as Austin Ato, but previously best known to Palms Out partygoers as Drums of Death–recently did a great revamp of a seminal Latin broken beat tune by zero dB that came out on Ninjatune in 2006, arguably the tail end of that label’s golden era. Bailey keeps intact the spirit of the original, including the left-handed piano line that leads its rhythm, but he beefs up the bottom end and sharpens its edges, bringing the tune into more modern and accessible dancefloor territory.
Out now for streaming all over the place on Tru Thoughts — or grab it on bandcamp.
zero dB – “A Pompa Girou (Austin Ato Remix)” (bc)
Also, for good measure, here’s a phenomenal cut from Bailey’s Sensitive Techno for Today’s Shut-ins, a record that Colin put out about six months into lockdown that flew a bit under the radar–undeservedly–and I keep meaning to post about it. Check that one on bandcamp on LA-based label Fantastic Voyage.
More fwd-thinking jungle from Ottawa-based So Durand. “Lies II” is a reimagining of one of the tracks from his stellar This Unruly Kingdom release, which I covered earlier in the year. This new version takes what was previously a sludgy codeine trip of an instrumental hiphop track full of warm yellow bulbs, and keys it way way up, substituting all the dope with uppers and throwing it into a strobe filled warehouse night. Roughhouse yet refined jungle for peak time.
It’s out now on Irish label Choki Biki. Grab it on their bandcamp or stream it to your heart’s content.
So Durand – “Lies II” (bc)
Also, while I was on paternity leave, So Durand put out a maxi with a couple of hi-NRG jungle crossovers, and I’d be remiss not to share this one. Grab it on his bandcamp.
A pair of beauties here from DC-born, London-based, Iraqi-Puerto Rican-originated Waleed. He’s only released these two tracks thus far, but they’ve received immense support from the likes of Four Tet, Dan Snaith, Floating Points, and Ben UFO, attention that ultimately also quickly secured him a deal with the venerable German label City Slang (European/sometimes home for the likes of Caribou, José Gonzalez, Yo La Tengo, Gold Panda, Calexico, etc).
Not much more information about Waleed has yet surfaced to provide much context for his music, but it shares plenty with the work of its high profile supporters, none of whom are slouches, to say the least. Both songs have a nice heft to their shuffle, and plenty of intricate detail. A comparison to Burial is unfortunately inescapable here given the post-garage swing in those drums, but where the godfather tends towards the icy, rainy, and cold, Waleed manages to imbue his music with a good deal more optimism, humidity, and sweat. Both of these songs still have enough emotional weight to tug the heartstrings, but Waleed does a great job of steering clear of the sap, which is hard to say for many others in the genre.
Despite the ever-crowded field, and the relative simplicity of these songs, it’s really no wonder he’s gotten a different level of attention compared to others exploring this sound. It’s natural, easygoing, and loose music that still sounds perfectly intentional and professional.
There are still copies of the 12″ available, and I can kind of imagine the first pressing might become a bit of a collectors item, so grab a copy on bandcamp. (Or stream away, as you do). And definitely check the video for the b-side, “Sueños”, animated by Matt Portner.
Growing up is scary. When you’re a kid, you probably have one of two generally misguided perspectives on getting older. (a) It’ll get easier to just be alive, and I’ll finally be self-determined, so I’ll be more able to do what I want. (b) I’ll be bored, and boring, stuck in a normie life forever, so I better let my light burn bright (or out) while I have the chance.
Neither is particularly accurate. For most, the just being alive part does get a little easier, but self-determination doesn’t usually truly mean the time or power to do what one wants, especially when time speeds up on an exponent. If you have a family, you probably won’t often be bored — though sadly you might seem boring — but at least for many, you’ll fucking treasure the moments when you get the chance to have a few normal boring hours. And sure, go ahead and let your light shine bright as a kid — I’m glad I did — but also leave yourself a little fuel for middle adulthood, because it can be legitimately exhausting to have babies and jobs and purpose, even as thrilling as all that can be.
London-via-Leeds hailing Wittyboy burned bright early — do you remember those niche/bassline Craig David remixes he did back in 2007ish? I think he’s still doing that banger sound for the most part — and power to him for it — but like many of our age group (he’s about a year younger than me, according to wikipedia), he’s at the least supplementing his speed wubs with some more “grownup” (or maybe just mild) sounds, and offering listeners a touch of introspection. “My Fear” is a sweet and simple song that exists in a space somewhere between that post-garage sound that I hate describing but like listening to, and something a bit more akin to straightforward dancefloor pop. It’s really listenable stuff, and hats off to a wubgawd for showing his softer side. We all gotta take a breather sometimes as we approach our 40s.