Wednesday, 11 April 2018

🐣 ANOMALIE — CANAL

From literally the first few seconds of 'Canal' we're dropped into an ultrachill atmosphere, one that begins smooth and viscous, hefty on the sub-bass and the lounge-flavoured piano that meanders throughout—and which turns cinematic, with flashes of freewheeling strings that zing on beds of wide warm synth; this morphs into a tract of hard-boiled electronica, with wibbly synths and brash columns of synth-bass buzzing beneath. Canadian musicmaker Anomalie sets us floating down this chilled flow, actual water noises and waves washing on sand interspersed throughout.

And besides the obvious chill of this track there's the dynamism of it all – very much helped by the rattle and thump of the prodigious drums ; the way it sways between different atmospheres and different textures, being neon bubbling contemporary synth jam one moment before reverting to peals of kinetic piano the next: the corollary being this contemporary nocturne, a highly polished, ornately sculptured piece of noir that remains light instead of weighed down by the world. The six seconds between 2:24 and 2:30, with the piano's motif at the end before those synth chords again, sums up the playful virtuoso and expansive subdued nature of 'Canal', sitting somewhere at the juncture between gorgeous inactivity and exciting hyperactivity.


  • 🔔 This wonderful slice of classy piano is taken from Anomalie's upcoming second EP, Métropole Part II (out 13th April), the follow-up to last year's Métropole EP, which featured tracks like the well balanced jazz of 'New Space' and the elastic 'No Way'.
  • 🔔 You can download and stream 'Canal' variously here.
  • 🔔 The artwork was created by fellow Montreal resident Ali Hassanein.


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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

🐣 NAKURY — NECESARIO (BARZO REMIX)

Last time we heard for this Costa Rican MC it was from her incredibly breezy and bustling 'Aunque Quieras' (that's "whatever you want" in English), but this time around Nakury has offered up something quite different. Although the original 'Necesario' is a bass heavy brute of a track, ticking along with a nearly dubstep rhythm with minimal decoration save for the trilling rapid-fire flow of Nakury herself. However, this flip by fellow Costa Rican musicmaker Barzo adds a thick wall of metal guitars for an entirely different take on the track.

At first this reminded me of 'Dog', a crunchy SebastiAn song from Ed Rec Vol. III - the guitars are richly distorted, and the beat below thuds hard, with the snares grippingly abrasive and the hefty robust kicks entangled with just a touch of sidechain. Barzo's version sees the original vocal now skipping over the distorted riffs, the hook now anthemic with three pulsating chords giving the track a new smouldering rock atmosphere. A mix of not only hard beats and hard guitars, but also of Latin rap – ostensibly disparate styles (nu-metal, anyone?) – this is a sultry, genre-bridging track.




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Nakury Internet Presence ☟
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🐣 JAPOR — OH HEART OF GOLD

This is an enigma of a track, a home recording with choppy ambient noise both warming this morsel of music and making it feel exposed, a simultaneous lonely feeling sinking behind the superficial fuzzy texture of it. With that in mind, 'Oh Heart Of Gold' by the equally enigmatic Japor seeps into your consciousness not like most lo-fi tracks with their hearts set on triggering your nostalgia, but more anti-nostalgia: a true representation of lo-fi. Live, very raw, and unedited.

It pulls no punches in this regard. Listening to 'Oh Heart Of Gold' is like listening to a slice of reality - a lingering twinkle of guitar plays throughout, unconcerned for tempo or a steady rhythm, becoming more agitated as the song continues until the rattling keyboard drum preset kicks in, when the guitar morphs into a sparse offhand groove, something that morphs into something more legible by around the 5-minute mark. Throughout there is a percussive thump - the unheeded sound of a hand or foot setting off the drumbeat.

Unimpeded by pretence, Japor has created their own unconventional type of music, and with its looping feel and the stream-of-consciousness guitar - sort of 'automatic' playing: a surrealist approach - it feels hypnotic as much as incidental.


  • 🔔 Classification seems to play a big part in the music of Japor. For example, description for this track on YouTube is:

    "This is my instrumental live single "Oh Heart Of Gold (Guitar Drum Instrumental)". It has an early eighties modernised rock guitar melody. (It is best listened on headphones)."

    Similarly, the description for another track reads as follows:

    "This is my live single "It Is A Dark Time". It has a hard rock guitar based tone. It has a hard lyrics addition. It is a blended contrast. (It is best listened on headphones)."

    His Twitter, in likewise fashion, seems to follow a pattern of four or five tweets that vary in subject matter but are structurally identical. It's a mystery.



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Japor Internet Presence ☟
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🐣 TSUKI — LAPSE

As if it wasn't enough to treat us to such a stunning display of textured beat - as if those gorgeous handclaps, delicious organic flesh-and-boiled-sweets sort of texture to it, the streaming liquid sounds on loop gently swaying from left to right, the treble of it rising and falling like that warm state on the cusp of sleep and waking life, the shuffling grit of the let's-dance shakers, the delicate clockwork toy hi-hats, the tambourine's sparkling shiver; as if all that weren't enough, TSUKI had to go and make 'Lapse' even more beautiful, a vessel of delicate decay. (In fact, there is a feel to it that's reminiscent of the percussion in the Gerudo Valley theme from Zelda: Ocarina of Time).

The synths in this track, soft like silky smoke, like tea diffusing in boiling water, croon out a gentle repeating melody, this worn-down moderately decayed texture combining with the unexpected high notes in the pattern to give it a sense of tired-eyed drama. A feeling of watching the world from a window. Slow chords join in, warm and fuzzy, as a new lead melody wiggles in, crooning its spectral heartache, a friendly ghost seeped through your door leaning on your wall sighing beyond belief trembling from the cold; there's love in the warbling melody here, lost love, found love, a feeling of seeing someone passed just once more. But fleeting: in the ceaseless handclaps of the beat there is a sense of motion, or continuation—time rolls on in spite of what your heart has lost.


  • 🔔 This lovely morsel of music appears on this year's WINTER WINDS vol. 5, an annual compilation by collective SVNSET WAVES meant for the chilly weather of winter. It can be purchased and streamed over at their Bandcamp.


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🐣 GHASPER — LUVN U

Future bass is the sort of genre that tends to produce many copies; similar beat sounds are used by different artists, the same fizzy synths flutter in the drops, accompanied by the same pitch-shifted vox. It becomes a paint-by-numbers: the same overall outline, which might be pleasant and interesting, but is ultimately reused in varying colours. This track, 'Luvn U' by US musicmaker Ghaspr however, is something different. Though structurally it follows the build-and-drop foundation, its heart feels in a different place, its noises scream with intrigue, even in the drop which, whilst somewhat typical, uses it to present a gorgeous and delicate antithesis to the more glowering elements of the track.

Yes: the first thing to note here is by and large future bass is pastel-toned, bright, summery, positive. Ghaspr instead conjures a brooding, nocturnal atmosphere, one that's feels quite garage-flavoured - mainly in the rainy-night vocal sample, the shuffling two-step rhythm of the beat, the rumbling modulated bass bulging beneath. It's somewhat sinister, the beat rattling with bristling textures, little insectoid noises wheeling in the background, a spooky music box plink, too. So the drop, with its sudden plasma beam of synth and sense of space, feels like coming up for air; the javelins of sunlight piercing through tracts of overcast sky.




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Ghasper Internet Presence ☟
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