In the second of his weekly run-downs, The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight has been keep his ears busy with a plethora of great music. Here are his selections for the best releases of the last week.
It is hard to believe that a week has gone by since our first Editor Selects feature was foisted upon you. It does illustrate one thing, though, there is a LOT of great music out there. So much so, in fact, that I genuinely struggled to make my selections from this past week’s releases, there was so much inspiring music put out there for us to feast our greedy ears on.
Anyway, you’re not here to read my prattle. You want to know what this week’s top releases are, right? OK, then, here they are, in no particular order…
Saytek Live Stories
You really should be familiar with the works of Joseph Keevill, also known as the prolific live artist, Saytek. His productions, all recorded live, have been garnering support from some of the biggest names in the industry these past few years, with Kevin Saunderson, Mr. C, and Darren Emerson all picking him out.
Live Stories heralds Keevill‘s return to Emerson‘s Detone imprint, with 12 live jams that illustrate the artist’s dexterity in handling myriad synths at one time. If you like your albums to cover a gamut of electronic music, then look no further, as Saytek‘s Live Stories traces a path between acid, techno, and house. (Buy link).
Francesco Terranova Forma Mentis EP
Italian producer Francesco Terranova slips in smoothly with two hypnotic cuts on his Forma Mentis EP, out now on EPM Records. The release features three tracks, the first being Madama, the production on which conjures imagery of foggy mornings in Far-East Asian mountain ranges, as a misty haze lifts and offers the day’s first glimpse of lush, green foliage.
The second track is equally mesmerising. Metacentro takes us to the dancefloor, this time, enveloping us in a thick, warehouse miasma, as syths ricochet off walls and ceilings in a cavernous, darkened space. Ben Long and Oliver Way give the track a futuristic re-rub, with an undercurrent that instils a sense of general unease, as cybernetic drones chase the listener down against a disused industrial backdrop. (Buy link)
Swedish talang, Almaty, dropped her debut release, Gennaro, this week, via the Naive stable, and it stands out as a personal high from the past seven days. This is an exciting, promising debut from the young Swede, which illustrates her depth of musical knowledge – the original has certain rave idiosyncrasies about it, particularly if you take the skittering breakbeat into account – as well as her skill in the studio.
Octo Octa turns up the techno on her stomping remix, while Photonz drops premium grade wobblers all over his interpretation of the track. Endian delivers a thunderous house boomer that will rattle your chestplate just as much as he did as Commix. I, for one, can’t wait to see what Almaty gifts us with next. (Buy link)
Various Artists Blunted Breaks Vol.1
Western Lore, the bass label headed by Bristol producer Dead Man’s Chest, sneak in with a four-track sampler of their upcoming label album (out in September), showcasing the talents of four of jungle’s most prominent emerging acts. The scene is enjoying a renaissance, it seems, and so the EP is perfectly placed to hit the public conscious at a time when the cyclical wave of musical tastes breaks back at the shores of jungle, breakbeat, and rave.
Lore label-head, Dead Man’s Chest teams up with Sonic to deliver a classic, dubby, take on the jungle sound on Kool with a K, with the vocal bearing a call to arms…“Watch Me Now”. Outer Heaven offers a track constructed with frenetic breakbeat cuts and chops, that hark back to the days when artists were smashing atoms of jungle together in a mashup style. Cavanaut‘s organ-drenched workout is equal parts chill and equal parts ill, as the rushing breakbeats carry along a lilting melody and synth swells. Dead Man’s Chest returns with a re-rub of Coco Bryce‘s Adventures in Perception, alongside Josimar, for the closing track, which takes organic sounding percussive breaks to another level. (Buy link)
Various Artists Arboreal Summer Vol. IV
Gibbon Records releases always have the same effect on me. It is difficult to describe the feeling, but the emotion that their signings instil into their music can be felt on a level that transcends just a ‘great listen’. It is something similar to that overwhelming sense of euphoria, the one that is experienced when a DJ plays your favourite track. The hairs on the nape of your neck stand to attention, and your gut follows suit. That is what effect Gibbon‘s releases have on me.
Their yearly summer mix comes this year in the form of Arboreal Summer Vol. IV. Regular Gibbon contributors such as label-head Benwaa, Drew Miller, Max Jacob, Paul Sawyer, and Chris Nord all contribute to the latest compilation, which sways deftly between electronica, house, and techno. The compilation kicks off with The Other Side of Who?’s haunting, dubstep number, La Fin Sans Fin, which features low slung percussion and some devilishly deep sub-bass, all with a lilting melody drifting over the surface. This track sits as nicely with Chris Johnson‘s All of This, which is drenched in beautiful string swells and trumpet flurries, as it does with Hellwr‘s Late Night Tales.
K-Punkt and Dan Baber both switch it up a notch with their brooding house acts, the former opting for an acidic vibe on Apex, the latter’s eastern promise whisping tendrils of mystery through the percussion and field-recorded elements of St. Æebbe’s. Carl Higson goes all-out Bodzin on his soaring track, Above Eleven, as Acutek positions himself in a similarly melodic space with the futurism of Cairngorm Avenue.
JAWJEE drops a blistering slab of techno on the table with the hypnotic, siren-led Groovehammer; a track containing a terrifying breakdown which actually saw me jump in my seat. This is full on panic-techno and my favourite from the collection, followed closely by the funked-out tech-house epic that is Eric Louis‘ September Gift. The techno continues with all-out club-readies from Eric Bruce, with his atmospheric Reflections, while Ron. S delivers huge dollops of Detroit with Heracleion.
Max Jacobs‘ offers up a lovely little disco tinged, synthy, house number, heavy on the 80’s vibes, with heavy synth work also being prominent in Ivan James‘ bottom-ended Serpentine, I love the arpeggios on this track, which reminds me a little of Vitalic‘s remix of Visions; Slam‘s production with Dot Allison. The 80’s influences are also prominent in Drew Miller and Iain Sabiston‘s Dyson Sphere. A more minimal approach is the order of the day with Paul Sawyer‘s beautiful Mercury track. House and broken beat heads are catered for by the skittering Something from Nothing from NonProfits.
Closing out on Tom Watt‘s, with his contemplative production Mickey Bandaids, and Ben Waa‘s Not Strange Strange, which offers sonic enlightenment and edification, with its euphoric string swells. The collection takes us on a journey that sweeps us over undulating mountains of static and into deep valleys of cavernous bass, exploring the audio-vista laid out before us. As always, this is a wonderfully coherent compilation, which has been expertly crafted and considered by Gibbon Records. The Paul Sawyer continuous mix melds the whole bunch together perfectly. Grab it now. (Buy link)