Wednesday, 30 January 2019


Chaos and calm collide in this calamitous track, a dirge of insular sunbeam hope, a decree for celebration burned at the edges and wet from acid rain. Shlohmo's 'THE END' basically works out for the best.

It's a tale of different influences, from the doom of the clanging metallic guitars and their twinkling-in-the-basement arpeggios – feeling a little like Brand New's most despondent moments – to the vital trap thump of the beat with its ripped paper handclaps and ticking white noise hi-hats, it is a beast of everything; thin synths even herald better things with their shining, future bass builds—before, of course, the guitars tear them to shreds.

Dusty pianos tumble decayed in the background, spook house chimes trickle by warped and chopped with radiation shimmer, whilst bass rumbles lo-fi in the distance. As far as a track charting apocalyptic mess goes, Shlohmo's is one of consideration, playing your favourite trap heroes as the windows melt; nonchalance in the face of extinction.

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Tuesday, 22 January 2019


With its popping pinprick starry synths setting things off to a steady sojourn on a spacey backdrop, London producer Kantakin is all about slow-moving majesty. Shifting from sparkling icy-lonesome to gradual cosmic menace, this track is all about gradual dynamics, a tilting gradient of power.

At the same time, 'Parallel Universe' is a ship adrift. The irregular arepeggios and brooding, looming clouds and rails of sound, much like John Carpenter's 1979 Halloween theme, summon a sense of horror. Though mirroring that heavier, earthy grounding, closer to Kantakin's subject matter is the title screen theme of Super Metroid, a haunting number soaked in galactic ghastliness. The stepping synth melody feels like we are practically looking over Samus' shoulder: tension is the word.

'Parallel Universe' has this sharp minimalism. But it also feels gigantic. Pumping sub-bass and growling modulated synths rising up highlight the drama of a cruiser on a backdrop of nothingness—and all the epic proportions and unimaginable human impact involved.

  • πŸ”” Like what you hear? Kantakin's 'Parallel Universe' can be downloaded from Bandcamp if you feel like it.
  • πŸ”” Kantakin also creates music for film, TV, etc. under real name Paola Cantachin.

Kantakin Internet Presence ☟



The kicks bubble and boom in Shigeto's homage to DIY dancefloors, 'Fight Club'. True to its name, this track flexes and thumps with pugilistic vigour. From the clean edges and simplistic space-filled beginnings of it all, right to the cavalcade of cauterised breakbeat clackings and harsh destroyed snares, the energy ramps up from boxing studio warm up to spun out sparring.

But it's not all the flurry of hits that keeps you on your toes as you listen. There's the smoke-filled, dystopian sheen of it all (much like Shigeto's 2013 'Detroit Part 1'), a darkened room and strobes feeling, rust and concrete toppling below the cyber hedonism of it all. This is what a club in Final Fantasy VII's Midgar Slums should sound like, the bouncing bass of the area's soundtrack mixing with the same sort of airy, scorched-out synth chords that play in the 'Infiltrating Shinra' theme later in the game—aged and ageless.

Needless to say, it summons this same soundscape, matching it for tone and mood with the funk jollity and downtrodden darkness of it all, mechanical beats and threatening space in a brutalist, otherworldly conjuring.

  • πŸ”” 'Fight Club' is taken from the ghostly-released Weighted EP, which arrived unto the world on 28th September 2018. You may stream and purchase this from Shigeto's Bandcamp.

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Sunday, 20 January 2019



It's the far-off vocal sample in 'Hurt U' that gives it a sense of instant feeling; stretched, pitch-shifted and flung into the distance, this scratchy, soulful voice gives the track its name. Partway between hearing somebody sing in the shower and listening to bootleg MP3 of your fav new pop song, the sample is all love and reminiscence—sometimes close to your ear, sometimes a ghostly recolletion.

Teaming up for this number, Caius and EAUXMAR lay warm classic chords on a bed of thick, clarified bass, seasoning it with sparkling ornamentations and gooey plasma synth. Layering the dusty grandeur of old-school funk and futurist glitter, it shifts between classic house piano desire lines and the robust fizz of mechanical bass with sweeps of chiptune sensibility. The aural equivalent to a mouthful of tangy, wholesome food, the production on 'Hurt U' is deliciously stodgy and packed full of textures.

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Thursday, 13 December 2018

🐣 CLAWS AI — 777


Fully formed like a pile of earth you'd pat down as a kid till it was no longer dirt but a solid construct, '777' is all about its earthy substrates. Musicmaker CLAWS AI ensures that it not only goes full throttle, but that the track has solid foundations. So naturally the bass drum thumps and the punchy, punky bass guitar shoots through it like an electric current, screeching distortion leaving scorch marks over everything. It's a cross between heavy industry and discovering you've got superpowers, but there's more to '777' than inspiring noise.

"I sat down to write a simple song about a girl," CLAWS AI tells us over email. But it became more than that. "I am convinced the past few weeks of my life were steered by divine intervention. You know the feeling when you meet someone you know could change your life? Maybe fate had me and her intertwined and I got what I always wanted. You have to consider that it might be no coincidence."

This – and the history of making "mindless rock songs," as he describes it – gives CLAWS AI the perfect grounding to create something that scores top marks in somersaulting its way into your psyche. A stun grenade of sound, it's not only the power of the production in this track that immobilises you: it's the questioning lyrics that inject the intrigue, and the humanity in the explosive desperate vocals, that truly gives this track the nitro it possesses.

CLAWS AI Internet Presence ☟