The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight rounds up his favourite releases from the past week-and-a-bit, featuring Shall Ocin, Empty Orchestra, and India Jordan on singles/EP duty, and Paula Temple with album of the week.
There was a metric tonne of top-notch electronic fayre released since our last Editor Selects column, which led to a return of the inevitable difficulty we have in separating the cream from the milk – an almost impossible task when you’re dealing with 100% cream and no milk.
A whole host of picks landed in our release schedule which we have somehow managed to whittle down to just four records. Singles/EPs wise we have: Shall Ocin, who debuts on Truesoul with his fantastic Isolate EP; Empty Orchestra, who mark the launch of Orson Bramley‘s Transparet Sound imprint with Nervous Smile; and India Jordan, who heads to the taste-making Local Action label with her full-throttle EP, Dnt Stp My Lv.
Our album of the week comes in the form of Paula Temple‘s devastatingly brilliant long-player, Edge of Everything, released via Noise Manifesto. Fans of power electronics and emotive, deeply moving techno, will be all over Temple‘s record, which has been produced to perfection and offers the listener a tempestuous musical journey.
Anyway, before we let everything slip…lets take a look at the picks of the week…
Singles/EPs of the Week
Shall Ocin Isolate EP
Argentine artists, Shall Ocin, heads to the Truesoul imprint for a triple-header of organic modular techno that is sure to excite the earbuds. He has produced the entire EP using a bounty of custom synths, effects, and sound modules to create a package that is brimming with effervescent energy.
Opener Isolate is a grin-inducing track, loaded with endorphins that immediately hook the listener into a feel-good frenzy of undulating 303 and organic percussion. Believe takes on a deeper approach, plunging us into analogue depths with a thumping kick that lies below a growling synth and discombobulating vocal interruptions.
We close the triple-header with Archea; a track which rises in intensity from the off, working melodies to the bone as futuristic whooshes and zaps penetrate through the bottom-end, and sparkling synths float around the headspace. Grab your copy here.
Empty Orchestra Nervous Smile
It is always exciting to see a familiar name flung back into the public conscious and Orson Bramley, formerly of Transparent Sound, has just launched his indie label of the same name, debuting the imprint with a stunning cut from Empty Orchestra.
Nervous Smile is pure electro. Breakbeats underpin the track, which features some deft pad-work and a snarling bassline that that conjures futuristic worlds, especially when combined with the glitched-out vocal that permeates through the mix, sounding like a distress signal from some far-flung celestial body.
Rework duties are taken on by Acidulant and Alero May. The former re-imagines the track, washing it with acid licks and taking the pH right down to zero. Brightonian Alero May gives the original a healthy dose of percussive funk, alongside some stunning pad swells and cheeky beeps. Oh, and those bass stabs…divine.
India Jordan DNT STP MY LV
London-based producer India Jordan debuts her first EP on the Local Action imprint, storming in with five belligerently blistering tracks that draw upon her many influences to exhilarating effect.
The EP opens with the title track, DNT STP MY LV, a glitchy workout that absorbs house, garage, and soul, and spits it back out as a funky number that is primed for the dancefloor. However, if you really want to watch a crowd explode into a fine crimson mist before your very eyes, then whack hardcore rave number, DN4, on and see how everyone totally loses their shit as the rattling breakbeat takes hold, awash with an acidic bassline.
Through Lacuna brings the mood to a significantly more etheral tone. The skittering breakbeat is not lost, but the padwork is lush and thoughtful, before we are treated to some Bug in the Bassbin style riffing that would have Carl Craig blushing. The final original production on the release is Leaving Stanley – it is ripe with euphoria as trancey stabs permeate the oscillating bassline.
ELLL adds a touch of Dublin darkness to Through Lacuna, whacking the subs into overdrive for a bass-heavy closer. Buy it now, here.
Album of the Week
Paula Temple Edge of Everything
Paula Temple is a well-known name in electronica circles. She has a rake of impressive releases under her belt, and has remixed numerous high-profile tracks, from The Knife‘s Stay Out Here to The Prodigy‘s Roadblox, which saw light of day via the iconic R&S Records – a label that has consistently championed her uncompromising techno sound.
Her latest album, Edge of Everything, is a vitriolic number, in which the aforementioned uncompromising techno is punctuated by delicate-yet-darkened interludes of an atmospheric nature. The album opens with the formidable Berlin, in which demonic white noise achieves sentience, engulfing the listener in a terrifying miasma of urgent electronics. This sets the stall for what Temple intends to do with her album; explore the more tenebrous side of the techno sound.
Productions such as Futures Betrayed and Quantum Unfolding give the album its energetic quality, ploughing into the eardrums with intense ferocity. Kicks thunder along heavily, carrying with them growls and stabs that evoke images of flame-eyed hellhounds, chomping and gnashing the air as they bay to be freed from the chains by their mistress. Of course, the Cerberus are set upon us, as we are chased at high speed through the soundscape.
Tracks like Joshua and Goliath (Slow Version) and Nicole feature twinkling ambient textures that cascade like sonic waterfalls over swathes of static, and sub-bass elements so abyssal that they are positively Marianaic in their depth. Lush pads blow through the listener like mysterious winds in a spectral tundra, as glistening icicles trickle freezing droplets of sound into cavernous, dark hollows below, and into the unknown.
It is these mercurial qualities that grab us by the guts and wrench them hard, so that we may feel the music that Temple is producing. This is an album that is rich in emotion and vehemence. It is by far one of the best debut albums we have heard, and quite possibly one of the best, if not THE best techno albums we have had the pleasure to listen to in 2019 so far. An absolute masterpiece, and we are not exaggerating.