Saturday, 22 June 2019



Space and colour get dribbled around the court like basketballs in karyme's 'Backward Thoughts', a gap in the fence of doziness and warm grass. Chords like the panting of a cosmic dog zoom in before warping away in a woozy procession punctuated by pummelling kicks. This double-tap rapid beat, the scratchy worn pastel tones in the wheeze of synth, adds to the cartoonish frame of 'Backyard Thoughts'. As if that wasn't enough, karyme throws jazzy chiming progressions for optimal haphazard lounge feeling. Part uobtrusive, part mindfully scattered: perfect for the nebulous thoughts and cloudwatching of a lawnside pause.

  • πŸ”” 'Backyard Thoughts' is taken from karyme's freshly released Backyard Thoughts EP. You can stream it on Bandcamp. The coordinated and clashing artwork was created by Daryosh.
  • πŸ”” The Backyard Thoughts EP arrives after Full Cream, an album of squidgy grooves and diagonal beats released by karyme in April 2019.

karyme Internet Presence ☟

Thursday, 20 June 2019



With gleams of jazz in the wide arms-resting-on-leather-sofa chords, 'Surface Tension' is an excercise in late-night fluidity, a warmly lit space inhabited by mid-century furniture and people murmuring in dark corners, touching each others' elbows and looking into each others' eyes. More than just in the sultry tropicalia groove that swims in the music, Tomos provides a clipped croon, setting the precedent with lines like "I guess there's more to us than being friends."

As the South-East London (via West Wales) musicmaker tells us, however, it was in a "YouTube binge" that 'Surface Tension' was born.

"As a lyric writing technique I often randomly write down lists of words influenced by what I've seen, heard and been interested in that day," he admits. "A couple of years ago, I had been researching the adhesive properties of water, but also found myself watching that trending video by Tatia Piliva, FIRST KISS (the one with load of ‘strangers’ kissing upon meeting for the first time)."

Loop crafted, lyric book in front of him, 'Surface Tension' was born - and then forgotten about, only to be found two years later and be magicked into some brand new music. Tomos carves this pearlescent soundscape not only of watery surface tension, complete with submerged-yet-surfacing synths splashy in their wah-wah-esque repetition, but also the surface tension of a convivial meeting between two people, their underlying desires concealed but bubbling like the agitated, heat-warped percussion shot through the track—and which it ends with, like a hearbeat.

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There's a lot to like about 'Alien Monster' by R.Black. The synths twisting and melding with each other in the background definitely effuse a sense of, well, alien-ness and that's the first thing: this unobtrusive instrumental that, without getting in the way of what Houston-based, Jamaica-born musicmaker is doing with his voice, still conjures this bizarre backdrop of retro UFOs and pixellated, far-off galaxies.

Vocally, and lyrically, 'Alien Monster' is a gem. There's this hushed, rapid rap to begin with – featuring the no-bullshit of "I'm young and reckless / I'll snatch your breakfast" – and later on this slower, playground rhyme kinda rhythm, that kicks off with "Lover not a fighter / not a coward I'm a writer."

With this and other references to the literal craft of rapping, the skill of hopping on the beat, contending with nouns and verbs, R.Black has some originality that makes listening to his bars almost like hearing an alien man from outer space, which he mentions throughout. Combine with prime useage of reverb on some lines, brazen inexplicable yells and yelps for ad-libs, and you get a feel for the unique hype that is at work in 'Alien Monster'.

  • πŸ”” Get to R.Black's SoundCloud to hear more (since 'Alien Monster' the tracks have mostly been produced by others and don't have the same soul, personal touch or DIY charm present in this track).

R.Black Internet Presence ☟

Thursday, 18 April 2019



By the trundling false-starts, erratic thuds and empty scrawls of shining synth and vocal sample etchings, it certainly does seem that in 'Shanghai' Swiss producer Feldermelder achieved the goal of reflecting a late night walk through a deserted area of the Chinese megacity. Based on a visual recording of that experience ("an attempt to capture nightly nothingness," wrote Feldermelder), 'Shanghai' glitches, squawks and buzzes throughout the track, a noisy, gleaming morsel with a mood ripe for remixing.

On that remix is long-time friend, Beijing-based producer and sound designer Shao. "It was last summer, on a rainy morning, I was drinking on the rooftop beside my studio," Shao remembers. "I got the message from Manuel [Oberholz, aka Feldermelder], asking me to remix a track that he did in China."


Creating the remix was as simple as stripping the original track bare and then processing them with "some effects pedals, some delays" whilst adding a drum beat that matched the atmosphere.

"I just followed the feeling and the atmosphere and made a relaxing track," Shao, formerly known as Dead J, explains simply. Though focused recently on techno-flavoured production (see Shao's Doppler Shift Pt. 1), he decided to change things up for this remix.

The result is unrelaxing. A doomful doppelganger of the original, a doped dirge of surging drama like an undersea cave, a mirror to the mire of irony of lonely deserted streets in a huge city, crushing isolation told in drawn out growls of distortion and warped glitter.

And the beat, a sparse march of organic thuds, gives it a feeling of techno deconstructed, four-to-the-floor-minus-two, simultaneously creating – along with the teasing rise and fall of the synth waves – a sense of something about to teeter over the edge.

  • πŸ”” This Shao remix of 'Shanghai' arrives ahead of Feldermelder's The Sound Of Remixes, out tomorrow 19th April on Zurich label -OUS. This release sees three tracks from the Swiss artist's 2018 The Sound Of EP. You can pre-order the remix EP here.

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Thursday, 11 April 2019



With its delicious blooping bumps of bass drum and pastoral soft sounds rising in thumb-daubed pastel arpeggios, 'Salty' is a mist of sea air, a coastal breeze, an idyll of freshness swirling around gnarled trees; it is also urgent, a bubbling of thoughts, gradually turning into something that feels almost panicked.

"hurry up" KAZU sings towards the end, whilst sounds become like short breaths, spots of light in your vision, being unsure where to look anymore. Cells vibrating like molecules.

That KAZU is Kazu Makino, co-founder of rock Blonde Redhead, and 'Salty' - so named for its cryptic and statemently loveable hook, "i bet you're salty" - is the first track to be taken from her upcoming debut solo album, Adult Baby.

With credits on the single a starter-pack rollerdex of names ranging from Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco to composing legend Ryuichi Sakamoto, the instrumental for 'Salty' is unquestionable. Plumes of lightness, trinkets of percussion, analogue loops and dives that breathe extra vitality into the track. Though KAZU, with her expressionist lyrics and distinctive, rounded tones, emotes enough for multiple lifetimes throughout.

  • πŸ”” 'Salty' is taken from the upcoming debut from KAZU, Adult Baby, which is set for release on Kazu Makino's brand new imprint of the same name later this year. It will be distributed by !K7, by the way.
  • πŸ”” The video for 'Salty', a concept of Makino herself, was directed, filmed and edited by Paride Ambrogi and Jonas Ranner in Elba, Italy.

KAZU Internet Presence ☟