Wednesday, 11 November 2020


'Monoc' by Japanese digital artist and producer Satoshi Kanno appears like a electronic spectre on a nocturnal city street. Sparse chopped vocal samples merge with flickering percussion, skittering on a bed of bumping kicks and the soft bursts of distortion. Its angular structure feels mechanical, industrial almost, as the track moves into a moody footwork-infused midsection.

The splicing sounds and fusion of elements in 'Monoc' was a result of Kanno's approach to the track.

"I was inspired to compose this piece to reflect on the ways and meanings of communication between all things in our time," he says to yes/no via email. "The noise in the song refers to nature, animals, plants, machines, and humans, and even though each form remains the same, when they overlap each other, they transform into another form."

The track ends up as a "collective form", each element adding to a whole that brings together its fragmented parts to a sonic sum: a reflection of how an individual is ever-transforming, reacting to their situation, the times in which they exist.

Satoshi Kanno Internet Presence ☟
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Wednesday, 4 November 2020



There's more meaning behind the title 'Sixth Week' than an arbitrary measurement of time. It actually refers to when UK producer Visco City actually created it: during the sixth week of the country's nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus.

As such, the track bristles with anxiety — tracts of clattering metallic sounds, gnawing and insectoid, appear crushed and crinkled like the sound of a car crumpling sped up a hundredfold. But there are hints of hope here, optimism (or nostalgia for "old times") spelled out by a melody dancing over it all, thick warm plumes of bass enacting a sonic embrace.

The focus, Visco City tells yes/no via email was "to try and highlight the contrast between something anxious and something beautiful." And though shattered lines of chaos spark through 'Sixth Week', in essence it is a lush soundscape of better days, a slice of blue sky beyond the giant clouds.

Visco City Internet Presence ☟



The minimal production of 'Goddess pt. 1' by Swedish artist Shadi G doesn't just serve to create a luxurious atmosphere — it allows the vocals of the musicmaker herself to soar and glimmer unimpeded. A patter of kicks and the abrasive pop of a snare propels the track forward on a blanket backdrop of soft synth chords, a glitter of zithers ornamenting it all; at the forefront, Shadi G's voice itself lilts and meanders with slow, acrobatic ease, vocal reverb like mist casting a dreamlike softness over proceedings.

"I felt I was in a place where the fun and playfulness could take a bigger part," says Shadi G in an email to yes/no.

'Goddess pt. 1' may be at its core a silky R&B number, but it's also a soulful exploration of the singer's Iranian heritage: lines of Farsi curl and spiral into earshot in the finale. "I love the melody of the language, the nature of the language itself is so poetic," she says, explaining that she chose include Farsi into her track because of the importance the language has played in her life.

"I really want Farsi to get a platform to be heard and seen," she adds. "Music isn't just made in English, even though it's the language that's given the most exposure and space by the industry."

Shadi G Internet Presence ☟
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Thursday, 29 October 2020


Beginning with an acoustic version of itself, musicmaker Elliot James Mulhern's new track 'How's It Gonna Stop?' asks a simple, very timely question. It's the titular refrain, layered and bouncing in the crunch of its decayed disco drums.

"Looking back on it now I suppose I was actually wondering ‘how *is* it gonna stop?’" Mulhern tells yes/no via email. "This song was a constant dream; I remember during lockdown waking up with it in my head persistently."

Eventually, that persistent creation became a one-take voice memo: "The more I played, the song took on a life of its own, like a chiseled granite statue," he recalls. It was already there: an atmosphere waiting to be captured.

There's a soft nocturnal sound to 'How's It Gonna Stop?' — a sense of fatigue in the low glimmer of the chords, of street-lit tension in the high siphoning strings, of thudding feet on dark tarmac in its clipped bass groove. Mulhern's voice itself flutters among it all; downcast but bright, slow and measured, before skipping up the scale.

The song summons a day lived, a dream dreamt. Or the tired glow you feel walking home from work: happy, but too exhausted to celebrate. Sort of how we'll feel when 2020 is finally over.

"It’s certain none of us knew how bizarre and challenging this year would become," says Mulhern. But he notes a silver lining in the hefty clouds of this annus horribilis, citing how artists are (to some degree) conditioned to work in isolation.

"This was the most extreme version of that," he continues. "And if I’m truly honest, the intense amount of emotional weight on us all drove me to write from an entirely new, rawer vulnerable place."

The video for 'How's It Gonna Stop?' takes Mulhern from the reality of a London phonebox and its surrounding grit, soundtracked by the organic skitter of acoustic guitar, and flings him into a visually disorienting world of rapid cuts and offset angles. Watch it below.

  • ๐Ÿ”” 'How's It Gonna Stop?' is taken from Elliot James Mulhern's upcoming album Tiny Correspondence, Dangerous Ideas and Sensitive Affairs. It's due out 20th November on Mulhern's own Blossรถm Records. You can pre-order it on Bandcamp.
  • ๐Ÿ”” The track was mastered by Frank Arkwright (Coldplay, Elton John, Oasis) at Abbey Road Studios, London. "[I'm] eternally grateful to have ['How's It Gonna Stop?] completed at Abbey Road, minutes from where I was born and raised, whose records had immeasurable impact on my life," Mulhern tells us.

Elliot James Mulhern Internet Presence ☟

Monday, 19 October 2020



It's on a backdrop of skittering Geiger ambience, the fuzz and dust of the years made sound and launched burrowing into the air, swarms of Big Bang television static, that Russian producer sth (short for "synthetic sequencing") overlays an otherwise calm, relaxing atmosphere.

There is a panicked feel in 'Finish Crossing' — noticeable in the bio-mechanical micropercussion shredding the air like paper rain, and the gurgling gรผiro-esque calling out like unknown nocturnal insects, the arrhythmic deep bass thuds — but there is laid-back lounge cool that exists here, too.

Electric piano chords spread muted gleaming softness into the proceedings, with later melodies inching in from far-off corners, and the clonk and woozy resonance of a vibraphone providing horizontal jazz. sth summons wordless vocals from the noise, adds a few drops of elastic synth and punches in dynamic punctuation (an abrupt one second of quiet at 3:16) to complete this comprehensive study in atmospheric sample-made music.

  • ๐Ÿ”” 'Finish Crossing' is one of the tracks taken from sth's album 35mm, the musicmaker's latest release for Russian label Radiant Sound. Recorded between 2018 and 2020, it's dedicated to analogue people living in the digital world. You can download it or stream 35mm on the label's Bandcamp if you like.

sth Internet Presence ☟