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; […]
Previous-era Palms Out stalwarts Big Dope P and Feadz from Paris team up to remix this classic NYC house track by Uncanny Alliance, the duo composed of Brinsley Evans and E.V. Mystique. The original was a hit in the clubs of early-90s New York, but probably is better remembered for its bootleg by Louie Vega and Kenny Dope. This new 2022 version strays pretty far from the original and the early boots, with a shimmery touch of the French and a bunch of jukey fake-outs, but it definitely maintains some of that OG sass.
It’s out now as part of Moveltraxx’s excellent comp Street Bangers Factory 20. Grab it on bandcamp, or stream it wherever.
Uncanny Alliance – “I Got My Education” (Big Dope P & Feadz Remix) (sc)
True to its title, this one’s all a flurry of hoovers, breaks, and rave pianos from London’s 4am Kru, who I’ve covered in the past. “Pianos Raining Down” is also designed as a useful tool, starting at a moderately fast 165bpm, but slowing down during the first breakdown to 134bpm while still keeping the NRG high. By the by, that stab melody is sampled from a track by Yorkshire duo McDonald & Janetta, who are credited as collaborators. All fun here.
Hard-as-nails electro meets g-tech from Osutin, real name Austin Crumpley. Osutin may hail from Phoenix, but this is the stuff that would make nearly any Michigander grimace and start moving their butt.
Osutin’s Bass Go EP is out now on LA label, Teethy. Grab it on bandcamp, or stream it all over.
Sharp, clenched, grand electronica from LA-based Tommy Simpson, aka Macro/micro. Simpson recently stopped work as an engineer for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, where he assisted on the last two NIN albums and their recent film work, including that excellent score for Watchmen.
Simpson’s own work as Macro/micro definitely exists in a similar space as does that of Reznor and Ross, particularly in his use of tightly controlled distortion (see e.g., “Awe” and “He’ll Be With You Shortly”). But there’s definitely a generational divide; as a much younger artist, Simpson seems more willing to open the blinds more often and let in some light. Despite its general darkness, this is not dour music, there’s plenty of optimism to be found here too (see e.g., the closer, “Gratitude” which is probably my choice from the record).
Definitely check out the whole album, which has been getting a lot of play over here since its release this past July. It’s out now on bandcamp, and streaming everywhere else.
Macro/micro – Things Will Never Be The Same Again (bc)
I’m slowly returning from paternity leave, and this kind of ditty from LA-based apob speaks well to my current mood. Having a little baby who smiles constantly and squeals in delight 100x/day makes it hard to have anything but fun, even though my wife and I are both wildly exhausted.
The sound of “having more fun v1” is true to its name, for sure, but it’s still got an artery of subtle seriousness running through it — maybe it’s that Twin Peaks-y secondary bass line. This song is the first solo release from apob, real name Aaron O’Brien, but he’s produced and written for some interesting names these past couple of years, including Dora Jar, Aiden Bissett, and JELEEL!. One to watch, this one.
Not on bandcamp, but streaming all over, including on spotify.
Cando is a Bristol-based production duo composed of Chad Leotaud and Owen Roberts. Roberts comes from the world of commercial pop and dance, working as a songwriter for the likes of BTS; Leotaud was raised in part in Trinidad, with a background in dancehall and early 2000s DMZ-era dubstep. The track these two sent over recently, “Sting in the Tail”, is the b-side from their most recent two-tracker, and crosses percussive dancehall stylings with touches of both that first-wave dubstep sound and some mainstream sheen. I’ve also included an older track, “Bleak Dub”, from 2019, which sits more firmly in Deep Medi territory, and burns nice and slow. Ones to watch.
in response to the healthcare system feeling so criminal, my mom joked that we should just start stealing things. we went to cvs later that day, and I may or may not have stolen a pack of peanut m&ms for her.
“Sorry CVS” was written by Lyrah and her brother, shortly after his diagnosis with stage 4 cancer. It’s a song about a criminal and unjust healthcare system devoid of humanity, replaced instead with insensate cynicism. If a system like this bills itself as compassionate, but happily denies care to those unable to pay, what form of twisted ethics should ever protect that system from theft? Besides, CVS is the kind of place that’s just begging to be stolen from. Sending love to everyone out there unable to get adequate or appropriate care, and all of those forced to navigate a labyrinthine Medicaid system.
More blissed out breakbeat house from Monolithic and Queens-based label Mechanical, both of whom I covered a little while back. Monolithic describes the song as the sound of those times when you’re forced to act calm in the face of a situation that’s getting out of control. No doubt this is cool, calm, and collected stuff — just as fit for a late 90s roll as it would be for today at the beach.
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the divisions of the autonomic nervous system, particularly the parasympathetic and enteric, and the ways in which the branches of the trigeminal nerve may be affected by changes in the rate and consistency of peristalsis. Could it be that the chronic migraines I’ve experienced since I was a teenager might be affected by finding a way to change the pace of peristalsis and/or attaining better conscious control over general parasympathetic function? No easy answers to questions like these.
Digital Artifact is an artist who clearly spends time trying to feel out the answers to difficult questions. Not only because he’s a computer engineering student, an experience which I can only imagine bears with it a fair share of challenges, but also through his music, which is distinctly explorative. Most of his music is iterative–as in, it’s made by applying the same set of rules a number of different times, and recording the outcome. That’s a heady endeavor, no doubt, but all of it manages to maintain touch with an emotional nerve. These are explorations worth following along with.
I’ve selected a couple of songs for you here, but he’s got a wealth of material available to stream on his soundcloud and spotify profiles, so I really recommend going there, hitting shuffle, and letting the material take you where it may.
Digital Artifact – “A Quantum Entanglement of the Mind” (Iteration One)
Digital Artifact – “A Hollow Blue Cube In The Sand” (Iteration Two)
Digital Artifact – “An Involuntary Hallucination” (Iteration One)
I rinsed Moderat‘s 2009 self titled album to death. I was traveling constantly at the time, and it just fit perfectly in my head and headphones. The songwriting on that record always felt a bit dominated by Modeselektor, but just with the sort of careful percussive refinement of an Apparat track. I wasn’t mad at that at the time, but it never felt quite like the act had it’s own distinct sound.
The trio’s recently released new record, MORE D4TA, on the other hand feels like something else entirely. It’s not a Modeselektor record, it’s not an Apparat record. Sure, plenty of of the typical technique of all three producers remain (thankfully), but the songwriting is a departure, and the influences feel broader. Case in point, the sound palette of the song I’ve included below seems less 2010s Berlin, and more 1980s Manchester.
Two perfectly forward cuts of leftfield bass from Brooklyn-based Tano, from his recently released five tracker on his own In Armatura imprint.
Did you know that a clock works in much the same way that a synthesizer does? It depends on an energy source controlling an oscillator that marks intervals. In the case of a synth, those intervals become the relationship between notes on a scale; in a clock, the intervals are equal temporal units–seconds. I recently learned this, and it feels appropriate to share in the context of this record, since “Clockworx” is my pick of the bunch. Pure and distinct grime references in that lead line, carefully refined breakbeats, it feels like a timeless and timely record (I’m full of bad puns, get at me). Also check “Step Into Vesuvio” — a tight bit of percussive broken beat techno. But really, the whole EP is extremely strong, and should not be slept on.
In Armatura 003 is out now for streaming or on bandcamp.
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
Music–especially electronic music–is usually a feeling exercise. It’s for dancing, for crying, for running.
Most artists just want their art to make you feel something. I’ve always subscribed to the idea that the worst reaction art can evoke is indifference. As much as I hope my own music gives people good feelings, I’d ultimately much rather a song I write elicit a strong negative reaction like disgust rather than boredom or indifference. But some of my favorite music is also thinking music. Music can have tremendous activating effect on the occipital lobe and frontal cortex — it can conjure not just emotion, but also give us visions, trigger complex thought and academic inspiration.
Thodén (real name Kris Rehfeld) is a Danish artist whose music has that desired substantial emotional effect, but is also full of visual stimulus. This may be by design– Rehfeld’s debut album, This Codified Drift was written during the first lockdown, at at time when we all had more time for thinking, and maybe a little less room or willingness to feel.
The album doesn’t hit you over the head with meaning. It’s bursting with imagery, but it’s all cloaked — it’s left to the listener to decide what this music means. Listening to a song like “Hyperreal”, I find myself fantasizing about the patterns of wasps nests and the organization of anthills. “Gush” feels like the frustration of new lust; when you’re feeling intense magnetism, but trying to play it cool. “Signal on Baikal” is a swamp boat right after you turn off the airdrive fan and let it coast towards the mouth of a cave. All eight songs on the album are full of these kinds of feelings and imagery. But they all mean what you make of them, so go make them mean something.
This Codified Drift is out now for streaming or on bandcamp, via French label Electroménager.
Concrete and plasticine murmuring post-dubstep sounds from Mexico’s AAOM, real name Alfonso Otero. This is the kind of music that plays through drywall and out from the storm drains. Warm, but still full of shivers.
Twinkly brooding bass music from LA-based RamonPang. Consistent with the main lyric, the tension in this feels like being held underwater for a few seconds too long — just long enough for fight or flight to start setting in — until finally that tuned sub bass comes in with a great sigh of relief.
Baalti is San Francisco-based duo Mihir Chauhan and Jaiveer Singh. They recently sent me a couple of songs from their 2021 self-titled record, and it’s perfect music for beginning the summer. Chauhan and Singh describe Baalti as an expression of their love of sample-based music, and a forum for recontextualizing the sounds they grew up hearing as kids. It does just that. Reimagining old Bengali disco and Gujarati funk records as straightforward organic house music, Baalti does well not to over-process these precious samples — if the ingredients are great, why mess with them too much?
“Aame” turns Gujarati funk into effective modern house; “Kolkata ’78” flips a classic Rupa Biswas record into shuffling percussive disco-house. The whole EP is worth checking out, and will work as well on a dancefloor as it will soundtracking your next summer cookout. Available now for streaming, or on bandcamp.
A Path Untold, real name Daniel Merrill, is an artist from a city in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.
Merrill’s music fits well within the artistic the legacy of those mountains — like the work of their greatest champion, Ansel Adams, this is monochromatic, stark, and naturally beautiful stuff, with just a touch of melodrama. Stylistically, there’s some commonality with Scandinavia’s distinct branch of broken beat dub techno, but it’s got a bit of the spirit of manifest destiny that makes it much more American. There’s gold in them hills, and this is made of it.
Both songs are from A Path Untold’s latest long player, Sourcery, which is out now for streaming and on bandcamp. The whole album is gorgeous.
Unexpected submission from the legendary techno label Tresor. This is not what you’d expect from Tresor — it is not techno, it’s glitch hop. But in context, this makes a lot of sense. First of all, The Fear Ratio is composed of UK techno heavyweights Mark Broom and James Ruskin, so it’s not surprising they’d have the attention of Tresor (Ruskin released two seminal albums on the label). And second, Tresor is not just a label — it’s club in Berlin that has been open in various incarnations and at various locations around the city since 1991. Berlin is not a city unfamiliar to this glitchy branch of hip hop — after all, the godfathers of this sound, Modeselektor, came up in the city, and have undoubtedly played plenty at Tresor. I’m just glad to see Tresor championing stuff like this.
Featuring fellow Brit King Kashmere, “Spinning Globe” sounds a bit like what I imagine we might be hearing if Company Flow had never broken up and had instead moved across the pond at the turn of the century (and maybe El-P’s EPS-16 had been lost on the way, forcing him to start using a cracked version of Acid Pro and whatever thrift shop drum machines he could get his hands on). It’s sci-fi hip-hop for a new decade; and the production is sharp as nails.
The song is the first single from the upcoming album Slinky out on June 24th. Pre-order the album now on bandcamp and get the first two singles straight away.
The Fear Ratio – “Spinning Globe” (ft. King Kashmere) (sc)
I have a thing for melodies that have a naive quality to them. Maybe it’s the eternal teenager in me, but I love when a song manages to capture the feeling of early teenage melancholia through the use of a sort-of miniaturized and humble melodic loop. This song, sent over by Australian producer 44 Ardent, does just that. Mellow modern house rhythms right for a ride to the forest on a spring day, “nomoreheat” relies largely on this kind of sweet child-like and comforting melody–to great effect.
Out now for streaming, but unfortunately no bandcamp.
Back in the earlier days of Palms Out, we were emphatic champions of a breed of house music that was coming out of the Bay Area. It seems quaint to say now given the ubiquity of what became known as the Dirtybird sound, but at the time, it was cutting edge stuff. Claude VonStroke was the torchbearer, and pockets of the sound sprung up all over, including in the UK (where artists often framed themselves more as an evolution of the fidget sound). But behind VonStroke, Justin Martin and his brother Christian were probably the most visible names of the pack.
I lost touch with that scene as the blog wound down in the early 2010s, but I’ve come to find that Justin Martin never let up, eventually starting his own What To Do imprint, and realizing impressive levels of main room success. His work got deeper, as is demonstrated on the track his label sent over recently, but it’s still got that characteristic Bay Area mixture of sharp percussion and big bottom end. The track comes with a nice remix pack, including the ace 2-step version below by British phenom lau.ra. But definitely check the whole pack, it also includes a really lovely mellow breakbeat rendition by Tom Jarney and one from old Palms Out favorite DJ Sliink, among others.
Justin Martin – “Let’s” (ft. Claire George) (bc)
Justin Martin – “Let’s” (ft. Claire George) (lau.ra Remix) (bc)
Parisian producer ooo_k sent me this shimmering club cut a couple of weeks ago. People love to talk about the distinct sound of French house music, but often overlook how well that pillowy aesthetic translates on French takes on the genres championed by the likes of HudMo and Rustie in the early and mid 2010s.
“WDYK” is a perfect example of this — it’s not as weeded as purple music from Joker or JKamata, or as orchestrally grand as Taz or early Girl Unit, or as glitchy as the catchall vapor twitch term, but it’s got the ingredients that tend to tie all of those references together, plus a bit of something else. I find that extra something distinctly French, though I’m struggling how else to say why. In any case, this is supremely enjoyable music.
I’ve also included a couple of previous releases from ooo_k for a little context. These are all out now for streaming, but no bandcamp unfortunately.
ooo_k – “WDYK” (sc)
ooo_k – “Way Back” (sc)
ooo_k – “Aaa” (sc)
And if you’re looking for more quasi-purple, we’ve got a new playlist for just that.
As inspired by house and techno as she is by the likes of classic Missy and Timbaland, Heroicgenius (real name Tranée Pope) is making really compelling music. She recently sent me her debut song, “Humans”, and I’m hooked. Near-operatic vocals over tight M1 organs and modern house shuffle, the song is catchy as fuck without ever veering into the saccharine. Though it’s her first proper release, Pope clearly has the chops of a seasoned producer. Without doubt one to watch.
Can acid be summery? Sure, I used to love to drop it lying under the sun in the fields in Central Park. Same goes for the music, why can’t squelchy resonant filters be used in the context fun uplifting breakbeat happiness? They surely can.
Picpoul, an artist from the UK, sent me these two tracks recently. Picpoul is the name of a variety of grape that literally means “sting the lip” — named as a result of the grapes’s high acidity. So it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that Picpoul (the artist, not the grape) is going to have a knack for the acidic.
The first track I got is a remix for fellow Londoner Hardt Antoine–all dark swirling acid psychedelia over tight JB yelps. Perfect acid breakbeat workout, if you ask me. Out now for streaming, or on bandcamp.
Hardt Antoine – “Awa Power” (Picpoul’s Awa Acid Remix) (sc)
The second, “The Feeling”, is from the recently released maxi-single of the same name. It takes those acidy basslines and pairs them with the kind of go-lucky unfiltered breakbeat looping and piano stabs you might hear on a Dusky record, then layers that with the intermittent use of a low in the mix robot telling the listener to keep up the search for that feeling (which I’ve interpreted to mean that feeling I used to get in the fields of Central Park). Also out now for streaming, or on bandcamp. (And be sure to also check the B-side for more of these lip stinging summertime vibes.)
MIKRO.MONO is an artist from Poland. The first thing that struck me about MIKRO.MONO’s music is the atypical work he’s doing with panning in the stereo image. This is a touch ironic, given the second half of the artist’s handle — this is anything but mono music. While this may sort of preclude the effective use of these songs in the club, it makes for a pretty mind-bending headphone experience.
The eight songs on the artist’s latest release, Rituals/Habits, run the gamut from the west coast beats of “Slow B”, through more traditional house and techno rhythms, to the stuttering uptempo minimalism of my pick of the litter, “Drill N Base”. All of it is carefully sculpted and vibey stuff, and really listenable. The record is out now for streaming or grab it on bandcamp.