It’s Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. and that means it’s time to eulogize service members by grilling your favorite meats and consuming beer. We’re going to do our own thing and chat about a load of new music that will be hitting the streets very soon.
Alex Seva – Era/Twisted – Deep Field Audio – Out 30 May
I’m almost convinced that Deep Field Audio has some sort of gimp basement where they keep their artists chained up, cracking the whip, and forcing them to create really good tunes. This time they let Alex Seva out (sans gimp mask, I hope) for his debut release on the label with Era and Twisted. Era starts off with an intricately timed drum pattern layered on top of a menacing sub. Twisted just goes and gets you all screwfaced. Narsty.
Tiiu & Faib – All Good Things/Be With Me – Blu Mar Ten Music – Out Now
Let’s take it back down a notch with the newest release from another label that might have a basement of artists they use as secret production weapons. This time BMT have plucked Tiiu and Faib from Russia for All Good Things and Be With Me, two very melodic pieces of music that hail from opposite sides of that coin. Tiiu’s All Good Things, as the name implies, offers up some hopeful yet haunting vocal over precise drums and subtle bass. Faib, who works as a policewoman in Moscow, joins Tiiu on Be With Me…a dulcet introduction lulls you in before it descends into shadowy synths and adamant drums. I imagine this playing while Asami prepares Shigeharu for the piano wire in Takashi Miike’s film Audition.
Tremah – Blend/Creep – Emotion Records – Out 6th June
This is my first exposure to Tremah’s work and he couldn’t have picked a better label for the release. Blend is right at home on Emotion Records because the track evokes the label’s name. A lovely vocal lays nicely over a deep, steppy bassline. Creep’s name would indicate a deeper darkness and it’s anything but…it straddles a line between liquid funk and neurofunk that’s really rare. You could play this tune in either type of setting and it’d go off. I’ve had both tunes on repeat since they arrived on the 22nd.
SR & Digbee – Level Up EP – 36 Hertz – Out 2nd June
Audio of the individual tracks on SR & Digbee’s latest effort on 36 Hertz are tough to come by. However, SR & Digbee have done one one better by putting together a promo mix that features three of the four tunes on the EP. Nightmare is fucking dark, dark, dark and leads off the mix with its horror movie screams and punishing amens. Nostromo is, in my opinion the star of the EP (you can hear Randall play it HERE). It’s so super bass heavy that it’ll put your headphones through their paces while rattling your inner ear. Harmony, harkens back to an amen driven atmospheric vibe that’s not-unlike mid-90s Good Looking. Finally, Badbwoy Style is straight new jump-up. Solid tunes from first to last showcasing a diversity of flavors.
Arkaik – The Hustle EP – Diffrent Music – Out 26th May
Arkaik and the Diffrent Music crew keep doing their own giraffestep thing while screaming “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!”. Big bass, off-beat, shuffling drums force the listener through a wide variety of styles. The title track, The Hustle, has so much bass on each hit that it rumbles the inner ear. Heat Seeker, a collab with Coma, reminds me of Digital’s work while retaining it’s own unique flair. Babylon Dub lives up to its name…and I don’t mean it’s wub wub dubstep, it’s closer to proper dub but reworked into a roller. One Last Time heads towards halfstep/drumpstep territory with interesting complexity on the second drop. In addition, two more tracks Gain and the Gain VIP, but I don’t have audio samples of either. Check out the Diffrent Music Giraffecast for more DF tunes.
Wizard – Buss It Up EP – Hostage Bass – Out 20th June
This EP from Wizard has a little something for everyone. Featuring the razor sharp dancehall talents of Daddy Freedy and Lady Chann, with special guest spots by Top Cat and Tenor Fly, on top of the original and remixes. Buss It Up is drum & bass ala RAM, while the VIP hits a dubstep/drumpstep hybrid, a deep house mix from Rain City Riot, and a 140 BPM breaks mix that borders on the nu-skool style.
DAAT – Fridge/Apache – Detuned Transmissions – Out 26th May
Soundscapes, experimentation, manipulation…these tracks have turned me into a mouth-breather and left me questioning what’s happening, but not in an unpleasant way. The production extraordinarily tight with DAAT forcing their gear to work for every note and noise. This isn’t everyone’s cup, but I encourage you to listen to each tune all the way through and then press play again.