Wednesday, 30 August 2017


There it is, that liquid sound, that trickling water, the jagged trajectory of a countryside rill becolumned with rocks and pebbles and clear as glass, all of it glistening atop and refracted below, glinting glinting, overhanging plants, the gnarl of ancient trees, flowers, heather, stone and water, angular and fluid. And it's all created with percussion, plumes of percussive sound that jingles and rat-tat-tats metallic and clinking, all light and lo-fi, a constant trundle, close to haunting with the vintage crackle infused in this textured tapestry. Romantically titled 'For You' this wildly ornamental piece of sound bedecked in silver and gold and iridescent gems was created by LA-based producer GEO, sultry and splendrous, smooth and shivering.

The clanking evolves into more woody sounds, clopping clonking robust hollow tick-tockings lashed together with sharp sheafing hi-hats, blessings of percussion that make the skin quiver, hairs tightening in their follicles on the nape of your neck. As if that wasn't enough, bass with a beautiful thick rounded tone scoops out the underlayers of the track and fills it with slow bubbles of groove for a slow-jam feel, soon joined by warm piano chords that lock in with the bassline, play with organic power the hot sighs of a beating heart. Vocals lifted from somewhere paint in silken soothing brushstrokes crooning romance. Little squelchy bleeps act all playful with soft melodies and synth peals soar into the sky. Streaming and flowing riverine and pastoral, here is that sonnet of sound, that melodious pouring forth of emotions, something beautiful carved for a beloved someone.

GEO Internet Presence ☟


At first listen this seems like a regular indie pop sort of song, you know, but there are touches to it that are unexpected, gorgeously so, and that's when you realise that actually there's a lot going on here—it's a cocktail of sound, a blend of different flavours that help to create this delicious unpredictable morsel of music. Called 'Center' it is this word that indeed places itself at the centre of this song, the word skipping in the choruses as sung by its creator, the LA-based Dresage. It's her vocal that adds one seemingly ill-fitting element to the bounce of the track, with her bright tone and swing rhythms and flitting melody, it is the epitome of breezy soul, best accompanied you may think by slapdash sixths and sevenths on a nylon string guitar.

But that is not the case here. The carefree spirit of her vocal pirouettes and leaps through the French touch infusion of the slow simple beat – the same robust kicks, the same semi-abrasive snares – through the rounded gloops of bass synth that nod in syncopation, simplistic and VGM-conjuring. It has this happy-go-lucky dewy green grass feel. Yet more elements subvert this: cuts of her own vocal breathy and whooshing rise up and down like a boat jostled by choppy waves, an inkling of glitch; and the most brilliant touch, a cluster of high-pitched tumbling piano, instant frosty chill in its twinkling notes, its far-reaching reverb garnishing the track with airs of melancholy; bright synth chord stabs that shock you awake with their plasma beam stridulation. 'Center' doesn't actually inhabit a central point, but instead is the things that orbit it, the influences and audiophilia on and of the musicmaker herself evident in the different moods it can conjure.

  • πŸ”” Little bit of trivia for you: Dresage is also human person Keeley Bumford who has, amongst other things, contributed to the Bayonetta 2 soundtrack with the official theme for the game 'Tomorrow Is Mine', so there you go.

Dresage Internet Presence ☟
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This is the sound of dopamine acrostics, the sound of wondrous sultry nights permeated with loneliness, the sound of the gargantuan grey of rainy mornings, the intensity and power of distraction, the chimes of loss, the jostling gongs of creativity—it is many things. 'Hey Ho' is all about texture, from the curved angularity of metallic percussion and the bright clinking strings of a sampled East Asian instrument, to the insectoid crinkling trickle crackle like white noise and the smooth satin of oscar oscar's voice itself folding its falsetto through the diverse soundscape. Texture, and the variety of it, sets this track ablaze with lightning intrigue.

The noise that stands out the most in this slow bopping refreshing sluice of sound is that soft clonk of marimba, each note in the chord deliciously minutely out of time with others, producing a low-key audio instrumental version of a light slurring voice, just ever so slightly off, the reverb luscious, the sound so very organic, so very human: it's no wonder that this noise is often left to its own devices in the track, cradled between thudding kicks and tight snapping snares. The second half of the track is more about the samples, truncated snippets of oscar oscar's vocal like avian ad libs, as the song reaches its dissolution into its simplest elements towards the end, languorous and nocturnally downtrod as it began.

oscar oscar Internet Presence ☟


This track is a proper little journey, a progressive electronic symphony that twists through darkness with snaking smoke twisting curling caught in angular spotlights that make cones of the thick whitegrey clouds, pulsing and strobing in time with the offbeat percussion that booms clicks and ticks for the duration. Fittingly it's called 'Sweet Honey Flows', the words which ReykjavΓ­k-based artist einarIndra sings in the choruses of this dark minimalist electronic pop song, accented with undeniable kinetic energy – but slow, aching – from its offbeat trip-hop foundation.

Synth plays a big part, fizzing and softly soothing at times, a great backdrop for the crooning vocals, both of which float into the voidsomeness going on here, the emptiness that sloshes all around and that ebbs and flows on all sides of the islets and crags of sound, a tide of dim spaciness that gives this track a moody somewhat sultry atmosphere—reminiscent of James Blake, for instance. The simple intricacy of the beat is something to get latched onto as well, with interesting rhythms between the alternating sharp sheen of the hi-hats and the full-bodied smash of snares and the thudding kicks playing in rubato triplets. It rises up later, progressing as it does into a tract of fairly intense synth buzzing and striking soulful strings, but it is restrained, maintaining its neo-noir cool, its nowhere romantic despairing flavour.

einarIndra Internet Presence ☟
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Tuesday, 29 August 2017


The space in this track give those simple electronics that ping and twinkle a luscious cushion, the best cushion: room to breathe. The muffled but sharp lo-fi fuzz of these synth blips resonates into a thick void, making this track by Romanian musicmaker and film score composer Silent Strike one that is nocturnal and sultry, aided of course by the aching vocals of featured singer EM which shimmer with a mist of vocodered plasma. Slowly the song unfolds, sadness haunting its every graceful kinetic step.

Alongside the vacant space and reverb in 'Melancholia' there is warmth. Bass kicks boom tumbling along, a trickle of blooping boops spread softly, a fizz of synth warmly winds its way into the mix, a delicious fingerclick keeps time. And in the chorus it grows ever thicker, swaying with EM's now lilting layered voice and a slew of unexpected ornamentations, high-pitch chords that flash like mini shards of lightning, locking in with explosive snares, and hi-hats that tick and then rattle and then uzi drill panning left to right. The song is an exercise in creating pop music with real experimental elements, the almost outlandish use of noises, rhythm, space, makes this an evocative piece deserving of its title.

Silent Strike Internet Presence ☟

EM Internet Presence ☟


Hue is sat in the middle of Vietnam between Hanoi in the north and Saigon right down in the South. Once home to the royal city it is famed for its historic UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

A strange combination of everyday life infused with the tourist draw of the citadel and the old royal tombs means the food on offer in town is very local—on the evening we arrived we tucked in to a simple dinner served in a family's living room. But strangely, alongside these uncomplicated home-cooked offerings, are new sparkly businesses with trendy Insta-worthy themes. It is through this mix of homely meals and modern munchies that we were able to see Hue as a city that is more than a place with a site to see: as a city that is evolving and learning with the tourism and the opportunities it brings.

In ten years Hue will be a whole lot different to the city we saw with crumbling pavements and dusty roads, but, for now, take a look and salivate at the Things That Are Tasty and see the foodular depths of a city that has more to offer than its past.

🍴Lick n Bite
Gelato-lovers and sweet-toothed seekers should hone on in this place immediately. We arrived in Hue on a Friday evening and this trendy ice cream parlour was packed inside and out with a vibey local youth scene. Thinking there must be something tasty to it, we sauntered in to Lick n Bite on a quiet afternoon. Treats lay in store.

Homemade gelato on a stick in dozens of flavours. We selected sticks of our favourite flavours (passionfruit; mint), and watched them get dipped and patterned with chocolate and presented to us in a cardboard tray. More sweet toppings can be added for a little more money but the pure stylish design fresh with punchy flavour were enough for us.

🍴Family Home Restaurant
A small, rustic restaurant run by a enormously sweet family. The kind ladies from different generations serve simple dishes out of their family kitchen while guests sit at tables in a comfortably decorated front room. The prices are very reasonable and the food is tasty and easy, great for breakfast lunch or dinner. We left our phone at the restaurant overnight by accident and they had it ready and waiting for us the next day and greeted us with huge smiles when we stopped by.

We especially loved the grandma who was very happy to chat with us even though we didn't share a common language.

🍴Cafe on Thu Wheels
Another family run cafe along the same lane as Family Home Restaurant, this one has scrawls form previous travellers all over the walls, as is common in backpacking destinations.

More tasty servings of simple, homely Vietnamese food for a good price and their coffee hit the spot too. Thu also offers tours and tickets with good reviews from past diners. One of the owners' sons politely asked us for help with his English homework sheet which we happily sat and went through with him. A cafe with a really good feel.

🍴Lien Hoa Vegetarian Restaurant
Oh this really was a thing that was tasty. A place where tourists and locals enjoy food alongside each other in an inside-outside setting. The price is really cheap so you are able order a few different dishes and try out some new things. The crispy jackfruit was delightful as was the fried banana flower.

All of the other diners seemed to be digging into hotpots, which maybe is a sign of this particular dish being heartily recommended. Even though the restaurant was packed with customers the owners were friendly and our waiter was funny, rushing around and skidding on his heels. No beer served, but that's ok.

🍴 Nhà Hàng CƑm Chay
A quiet outdoors vegetarian eatery near to the river with a chilled atmosphere. When we ate dinner here people were sat quietly at tables that were scattered across the grassy grounds. Again, we ordered quite a few dishes to share here but with a beer this time.

We tried jackfruit here, too, but the other vegetarian restaurant’s was our favourite. Everything we ate here was tasty though, for instance that pumpkin, so we can’t really fault it.

🍴Ancient Town Restaurant
Ahh, a beer by the river. Similar in feel to a Southbank bar next to the Thames, we were right at home here. Watch marketgoers, tourists, wanderers stroll by, and enjoy the music flowing from further down the walkway.


πŸ– More things that are tasty from… πŸ–
GUIYANG (πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³)KUNMING (πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³)HANOI (πŸ‡»πŸ‡³)


Sounds from here, sounds from there, sounds from everywhere in this buzzing collage of sound, a list of luscious samples located and lifted into the frame of 'Heartships' by Berlin-based musicmaker Cord Labuhn. Record scratches, vintage crackling thumps, bass kicks, a delicious fingerclick, trickling hi-hat ticks—a treasure trove of percussion beats out an exploded hip-hop rhythm, sparse and minimalist to an extent, but on the other hand it's also packed full of flavour, each sound texturised and four-dimensional, a snippet of life, Cord Labuhn as the lepidopterist of sound pinning each one in new shapes and patterns.

Guitar pings add to the percussive nature of this collage so far, reverbing into the gallons of negative space that brim with chill either side of the punctuation perforating the quietude. Aching moments from unidentifiable songs appear throughout, rapid sonic snapshots that resonate even after their brief flash on the bustling canvas. Things agitate towards the middle: the feeling of running or rolling downhill, picking up momentum, new samples sliding into the mix getting ever busier, packed with flavours, and then it falls back to the cooling patterns as before, subtly and simply dynamic; funny how something so clearly constructed, so abstract in execution, can also be so smooth and natural to our ears.

Cord Labuhn Internet Presence ☟
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🐣 11:37 — FALCON

A juddering twang of a synth bass, halfway between doinging a ruler on a table and the crundering of a plectrum picked bass guitar, a sort of synthesised bass vibraslap, and it pops out with groove that sits simply in the bottom layers of this bitesized track called 'Falcon' from newcomer 11:37—this enigmatic name is taken, the musicmaker says in the track's description, from their time of birth. Although in this digital setting, something they wrote calls to mind a DIY ethic that is often overlooked when it comes to SoundCloud producers: "Saw no need to draw it out," they said, "because if the Ramones can keep it short and sweet why can't I."

The producer keeps it bright and textured, adding shakers and shimmering tambourine hits as well as delicious wet handclaps and a gleaming chime that glomps into the distance, all before the main body of the track begins beset with a parade of pitch-shifted vocals. Wordlessly these call out rhythmically jumping octaves, skipping and dancing through the columns of thudding bass kicks and tight snares that punctuate the streaming glittering mist of reverb from those vocals, the ticker tape of hi-hats and sheafing cymbal whooshes subtly detailing the beat. Here in 11:37's debut track there is expansiveness, attention to fine-tuning the track's ingredients, sort of like the eponymous soaring falcon zooming in on the minutiae of the landscape with its keen vision.

  • πŸ”” You can show early support for 11:37 and 'Falcon' on iTunes if you want.

11:37 Internet Presence ☟

Friday, 18 August 2017


Last month we saw TUSKS live. In fact, we didn't so much see it as experience it: her vocals fill the room, her guitar aches and conjures wide reverb-soaked expanses, her beats are sparse and minimalist, accentuating the wild sense of space that her music evokes. She played songs taken from upcoming debut album Dissolve, including Foals cover 'London Thunder' and lead single 'Toronto'. "Musically a lot of them are inspired by more cinematic music and scenery from travelling around the world," the musicmaker tells us via email.

This globetrotting nature manifests itself in the names of some of the songs—an allusion, she explains, to her experiences in those places at those times. "It's a really personal album for me," she says. "Six of the songs were written in the space of a very changing and dramatic year where I was really struggling with a lot, so I think they've ended up being quite raw and emotionally charged." And behind the power in the music is human person Emily Underhill, real name of the entity that we know as TUSKS, and she has agreed to tackle the fabled lazy interview so that we may learn some things about her.


w h o   a r e   y o u ?   w h e r e   a r e   y o u   f r o m ?   w h a t   d o   y o u   d o ?
I'm Emily, I'm from London and I make music.

h o w   d i d   y o u   s t a r t   c r e a t i n g   m u s i c ?

I learnt piano when I was little, and then picked up guitar in my teens and studied music tech at uni which got me into the production side of things.

h o w   w o u l d   y o u   d e s c r i b e   y o u r   s o u n d ?

Someone described it as evolving dark pop recently which I think fits really well.

i s   t h e r e   a   p e r f e c t   t i m e   a n d   p l a c e   f o r   l i s t e n i n g   t o   y o u r   m u s i c ?

I reckon at night on headphones somewhere, maybe outside…

I always wonder about when we're actually going to run out of original things to write that haven't been written before
w h a t   i n s p i r e s   y o u   m o s t   w h e n   m a k i n g   a   t r a c k ?
I'm not sure, I think I just like being alone somewhere and getting caught up in making the track. It's all quite a subconscious experience for me - I don't really plan it or consciously get inspired by things. It's more of a realisation after I've made the track of what's inspired it.

w h a t   i s   y o u r   m o s t   m e m o r a b l e   m u s i c a l   e x p e r i e n c e ?

The last tour around Europe supporting Asgeir was amazing - they were the biggest venues I'd played and we finished in London playing to a sold out Koko. I'm such a big fan of Asgeir, so it was amazing touring with them all and watching their show every night.

w h a t   a r e   y o u r   f a v o u r i t e   t h r e e   s o n g s   a t   t h e   m o m e n t ?

The War On Drugs – Strangest Thing

Foals – Mountain At My Gates

Lapalux – Rotted Arp feat. Louisahhh

w h o   d o   y o u   m o s t   a d m i r e   i n   t h e   m u s i c   w o r l d ?

I’ve got a lot of respect for BjΓΆrk.

i n   y o u r   o p i n i o n ,   w h a t   i s   t h e   f u t u r e   o f   m u s i c ?

I always wonder when I'm writing songs about when we're actually going to run out of original things to write that haven't been written before. I think it depends on the creation of technology to open doors into new sounds and genres - it's something that's exciting though. 

w h a t ' s   t h e   f u t u r e   o f   y o u r   m u s i c   –   w h a t   d o   y o u   h o p e   t o   d o   n e x t ?

I want to start on the next album as soon as possible - I'm already writing new songs that I'm really excited about. I think if I can just do that and tour for the next 18 months I'll be very happy!

w h a t   i s   m o s t   i m p o r t a n t   t o   y o u ?

Just to be happy.


TUSKS Internet Presence ☟
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← #27: GLACCI #29: ??????? →

Thursday, 17 August 2017


"Over the years I've developed a nasty habit of digging for music during my spare time," Manila musicmaker Jorge Juan B. Wieneke V aka similarobjects writes in an email. "Whether it be the sounds of the past, present or future it always seemed like I've got a habit of seeking for something good for my ears to munch on." He's the latest artist to step up to the plate and smash a guest mix out of the park—and it seems as though he's a good choice because music, and not just making it, is a big part of this producer's life.

"For writers, people say that "reading is writing" and I feel like this applies to us musicians as well," he explains, "so when I'm not creating I just spend a lot of time digesting music from everywhere and anywhere."

In this guest mix, our 29th, similarobjects takes metropolitan Latin flavours and psychedelic guitars, moods conjured with gentle glossy keys and meandering jazz journeys, magical crooning pop party music, and gradually mixes them into the indigenous interiors of the Philippine islands with darkly chiming percussion and fresh organic textures: it is a cocktail of history and culture.

"As of late I’ve really been stuck on listening to a lot of Filipino records from the '60s, '70s and '80s that draw influences from Western jazz, Indo-jazz, jazz-funk, jazz-fusion, ethnic, samba, folk music, Brazilian, as well as some pieces that fall under the category of ethnomusicology," Jorge writes, taking us through the mix. "I thought I'd share a slice of Filipino culture through some of my favorite selections as a lot of these artists/songs really spoke to me and I hope this mix finds you well. And for those who follow my work maybe this mix can paint a picture of where my head is at the moment."

Previously the musical output of similarobjects has been typified by enigmatic atmospheres, otherdimensional flavours, beats that range from dusty organic to clipping and chaotic, a sonic world of synthetics and introspection. The gentle, cleansing house ambience in last December's two-track release Etheric is different to the high-concept frame of SoundCloud album Happiness is a deactivated Facebook Account, filled as it is with nerve-racking breakcore-style beat glitches and a hectic dystopian mood. He mentions in his email that he's working with RBMA Paris alumni JOHN POPE on "a collaborative EP in the form of a videogame," which will be announced properly soon.

This guest mix, however, acts as a precursor to another upcoming release that seems as though it will be moving away from his past futurist abstractions. It's an EP called UGAT.

"Ugat means "Roots" and it carries with it a sense of re-connecting with our roots as Filipino people," Jorge tells us. "The underlying concept of this EP is that the whole body of work is an ode to forgotten and lost instruments, rhythms, cultures, traditions and practices of the Philippine Indigenous Tribes and our Ancient Ancestors."

As such, some parts of this mix – the obscure mystery of 'Suling Suling' and 'Ugnayan' for instance – really feel like a moodboard for the producer, fresh paint on the palette for his next artistic endeavour, the next step of his musical evolution.

00:00 Bong PeΓ±era – Batucada Sa Calesa (1977)
02:οΌ•οΌ” Bobby Enriquez – Recado (1982) 
09:οΌ”οΌ” Flip NuΓ±ez – See You Later (1976) 
οΌ‘οΌ—:οΌ‘οΌ” Bob Aves – Gongs Can Swing (2014)
20:οΌ•οΌ“ Boy Katindig – Midnight Lady (1978)
οΌ“οΌ‘:οΌ’οΌ• Dakila – Makibaka/Ikalat (1972)
40:06 Pasta Groove – Suling Suling (Dr JosΓ© Maceda Rework) (19??)
οΌ”οΌ’:08 Dr JosΓ© Maceda – Ugnayan (1974)
οΌ•οΌ’:02 Joey Ayala – Buwan Buwan (1991)

similarobjects Internet Presence ☟
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Wednesday, 16 August 2017


The subterranean tunnelling feel of this, the cold stark descent into the earth, the stifling temperature of it, the mild claustrophobia like miasma tendrils reaching through the labyrinthine space. The house beat of this track is muffled, a juddering rumble, deep and formless, simply the subduing boom of it, this treble-drained procession of kicks helps that underground feeling, the smothered nature of them feeling very in-the-earth, not cavernous but enclosed, buried. 'This One' by Polish musicmaker FM2 continues with the fluttering delay of unknown creatures in the dark, light abrasions texturising the lo-fi murk of these soft but percussive plasma synths, their bouncing stutter like some sort of echolocation, heightening the lonely wall of rocks that bound this stony warren like a blind mirror.

And in these tunnels lined with bare rock and punctuated with glowing minerals and calcified growths there is damp mist, drip-dropping water, the whispering reverb from the ticking hi-hats like rhythmic rain, open hi-hat razor sharp metallics leading the expedition to where they want to go, a garbled vocal sample like a lost radio update crackling into dust, finally around halfway through—the main chamber. How vast, sunlight glaring in from some unknown opening many hundreds of feet above, plantlife swaying in some warm errant breeze, the new brighter tone of the synths a gloss of triumphal discovery, a glittering upbeat new refraction, happier than before, all-encompassing bass gripping your body, soothing and cleansing, tumultuous exploration and its new world end game as told by this analogue techno journey of sound.

FM2 Internet Presence ☟


Here we are inducted into a harsh world of cliffs and outcrops, jagged mountains, errant bewildering boulders, an arid landscape strewn with stones and with suitably tough greenery dotting the brown-grey-red of it all with mossy juttings; totemic natural or are they natural structures tower into the pale tangerine sky half-toppling above it all. It is an alien landscape, something wholly foreign, a visual conjuration courtesy of these breakneck bone-shattering beats built by Berlin-based musicmaker ZiΓΊr. The pugilism, the violence at work here cannot be understated: this is a brutal piece of work, the alarm clock of the deep cosmos calling you, wrenching you awake, rollicking machine-gun snares, sub-bass-explosions opening up fissures in the earth, an avalanche of perilous percussion.

Yet behind these hard and hefty tracts of beating battering drum sounds there is something more gentle at work in 'U Feel Anything?', noises erupting from the cracks opened up by the piledriver bangs and booms of the beat, sonic awakenings, modulating unidentified sounds pouring out and into the air. In the midst of this irregular pneumatic drill almost grime-flavoured uptempo-ness, this seismic doom, ectoplasmic synth bulges and bubbles in simple patterns, high-pitch needling insectoid sounds sharp and lasering, augmenting the sense of alien unfamiliarity in the already far-flung force of the drums—those drums, textured with crunching, crushing, exoskeletons bursting, the fragmentary abstract ADD itch, the champion drum, the charred earth, the nucleus of energy cracking the frame of terrestrial reality.

  • πŸ”” This amazing track is taken from ZiΓΊr's debut release, also called U Feel Anything?, which is out via Planet Mu / Objects Ltd. on 6th October.

ZiΓΊr Internet Presence ☟
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Tuesday, 15 August 2017


Four years following the release of previous album No Better Time Than Now, Shigeto has produced a follow-up to 'Detroit Part I', an almost symphonic morsel of music, a journey of a track in which a brooding atmosphere is beset with bristling sounds, a melancholy atmosphere where a sense of downcast dystopia looms somewhere in the lament of it all. 'Detroit Part II' is a different beast entirely. If the first part of this sonic homage to the Michigan city charts abandoned buildings and boarded up houses and forgotten assembly lines, the dereliction of Detroit, all angular and atmospheric, then the second part is humanistic, living-and-breathing, focused on how people react to their surroundings in terms of art: its musical culture and heritage.

The track thumps along with a dusty wheezing organic thud of a kick, luscious handclaps and muffled snare rimshots and delicious clopping woodblocks and shuffling shakers punctuating and decorating this subtle driving force of a beat, a tangible waterfall of textures. Soft synth bass plunges fuzzy giving the track a wandering breezy groove, the meandering jazz feel of it augmented by saxophone peals that prize open the heart of the song and allow life to flow forth. Barely discernible, a mist of gentle keys gloss glassy nebulous aching and accepting, merging with the whispering tones of the vocal sample that reverbs into the streaming percussive beat and its homely comforting sense of space. This is a change of heart, the silver lining of the cloud, the other side of the coin.

Shigeto Internet Presence ☟


The swirling hypnotic synth, the gentle nature of it, makes you feel that you're in good hands, that you're in a safe, comfortable place; these cushions of sound, these soft fluttering filtered noises, fading into the negative space left lovingly at the heart of 'Kekeke', providing the perfect backdrop for the vocals of London-based South African musicmaker and singer, Toya Delazy. Sung in Zulu, her mother tongue, the artist channels her great-grandmother – actual Zulu royalty, Princess Constance Magogo KaDinuzulu, "one of the first indigenous female composers," she tells us – by infusing the praise singing traditions of her ancestor with contemporary surroundings that fizz contemporarily energetic. "I wanted to bring back the concept of praise singing in a modern setting, almost in a slam sort of way," Toya explains.

So we have this bright voice, a vocal that seems to shine as it calls into the mists of synth that curl as the track's backdrop, just a few portions of percussion to help solidify the frame surrounding the blissfully content yet far-flung and nostalgic singing. A sparse scattering of a beat thuds lo-fi four-to-the-floor whilst hi-hats scrape, in a section where the vocals turn to something more akin to rap: the lower pitch, the rapidity, the low-slung laid-back nature of it, the superb simplicity of it, the airy instrumental letting the words breathe. "The song is about the hypocrisy of people talking behind your back and the crooked smile they wear when they next see you," Toya explained the song's Zulu lyrics over email. "No matter how pearly white the smile, beware the crocodile."

Toya Delazy Internet Presence ☟
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In a sea of melted electronic digital chords we have an eternal sense of chill, slow whirlpooling swirling in the air like heavy curling weed smoke, it's an instrumental immersion in relaxing horizontal flavours that fizz and bubble with undeniable chill. This sonic aromatherapy is actually a double helping, too, so we're extra lucky that we can get a comprehensive feel for both artists carving and etching their souls online in two slightly different vessels of sound. In 'chill', Virginia rapper wilkjayy exhibits flawless rhythm with this creaking elastic tone as much as his wordplay stuns impossibly, each rhyme like a great flash, alliteration raining down as producer rocco lays down these sleepy glassy lounge chords, these crunching overdriven kicks, razor hi-hats and cannonball splash cymbals, sounding like a marble-floored gold-detailed elevator lobby in some retro-futuristic dimension.

But things take a colder turn aside from the garbled jazz of the first half of this track, as 'wavy' right away veils the world in breezy synth, muffled and breezy and all-encompassing, losing the playful edge of 'chill' and instead blooms spacey, rocco floating it up to where the air is thinner: kicks quake, handclaps and hi-hats tick-tack metallic. The spacewalk of sound is narrated by wilkjayy, who begins 'chill' slowly, low and creaky, before he breathlessly blasts lines of rapid-fire dactyls for about a minute, all based around the same hypnotic rhyme scheme: "everything that i be doin original / switching so often it's not too predictable"—ending this rolling ridge of rap with a comment on tradition within the genre: "boom bappin rappin aint nothing additional / they say they loving me no not conditional / so far above you you're hardly formidable."

The devastating virtuoso and savage calm of wilkjayy, seemingly determined to make an impact on the world, combined with the freshly juiced soul-cleansing beats of rocco, feels like a powerful partnership, and one that is only just beginning to blossom for the ears of the globe.

  • πŸ”” Though 'chill // wavy' is technically just wilkjayy "prod by" rocco, there's a more recent collaboration between the two that labels them both as joint creators of the track. It is the wonderful, maybe equally wonderful, 'lost in the smoke', released via underground label-collective osty (oh shit that's you).

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H is for Hue and also for History. The Ngyuen dynasty was Vietnam’s last ruling family, who moved the country’s capital here in 1802 and built Hue's citadel and imperial city. Their reign was fraught with struggles against and later pacification and special treatment by the ruling French colonialists. Hue was also the scene of a terrible massacre by North Vietnamese forces after they besieged, bombed and captured it during Battle of Hue, part of their 1968 Tet Offensive. Modern day Hue is a small, quiet city centred around the wide lazy banks of the Perfume River. When we visited the town it had an unfinished feel about it, dusty roads and gaping holes in pavements. There is a sleepy romantic charm, with breezy riverside bars and a buzzing nightly market, but the rough undercurrent is hard to ignore, which makes the city appear neglected and wayward. Lounging cyclo guys tout for business as we walk by, and as night fell men riding mopeds sidled up alongside us with hushed calls of “Marry-wunna?” and gestures of puffing hard on a joint. We were accosted by a 10-year-old child, who walked with us, chatting, told us he was fifteen, and after we didn’t want to buy his multi-pack of Mentos, bid us goodbye when he saw some friends. There’s a tourist-borne ugliness here, making it feel as though Hue exists somewhat solely for visitors drawn there by the UNESCO citadel and outlying tombs. The citadel, or more specifically the Imperial City within, is a playground for anyone with imagination and patience and a couple of two litre bottles of water to hydrate you in the heat. We've heard it compared to the forbidden city in Beijing—nothing is forbidden here though, you can wander around everywhere from the ornate walled gardens of the imperial mother's residence, to the bombed-out shell of a former temple like a grassy wasteland in the midst of it all. It's an open-air museum with a peaceful and unhurried atmosphere. There's a lot of information in some places and none in others making it a nice mix of school trip and dreamy timewarp. A fantastic place to takes pictures, especially when the light is nice. Part of the entrance fee for the citadel covers the museum, five minutes up the road and round the corner from the citadel. You can spend a fairly interesting 45 minutes gazing at old keepsakes, clothing and fancy furniture from the rich remnants of Vietnam's last imperial dynasty. The emperor and his court was, in essence, powerless under French rule and had a lot of time for decadence and privileges such as a French education overseas and other leisurely pursuits—one of which was spending their time building elaborate tombs for emperors and family members in various sites around the city. With no real focus on them as yet as proper regulated "sites", some have an entrance fee, others are forgotten ruins. In the early years of its victory, the socialist Vietnam dismissed the dynasty and all of its physical leftovers and relics of its feudal past and did little to nothing in terms of preservation; aid from being made a UNESCO site in 1993 and more recently the promise of tourist dollars has changed the fate of the citadel and, hopefully, eventually, the tombs as well. The heart of present day Hue is found along the south bank of the Perfume River between two major bridges; in the evening the promenade awakens with gentle lights glowing in the dark, illuminating small market stalls selling things from your name on a grain of rice to traditional Vietnamese clothing. We bought a necklace from a cool girl who crouched over her small collection of handmade accessories. A group with Hue Acoustics printed on the back of their t-shirts put on sort of open-air open-mic event where singers along with musicians belted out Vietnamese classics. Crowds came and went, the ballads lingered in the warm glimmering air as we sat alongside the river and enjoyed a cold beer.

On another evening, in search of food we stumbled upon a promotional event put on by Tiger Beer. Mostly young people flung themselves off of a diving board onto a massive inflatable cushion, bassy dance music thundered through the streets and people attempted a rock-climbing wall. Crowds of scooter riders blocked the streets, parked up for a look at what was going on in their small town. The city sits in the middle of the country, neither North nor South, near the former DMZ, in-between and far-flung—hope here as always lives in the youth. One evening as we walked along the riverfront we went politely invited to donate what we could to help raise funds for a full moon party in a remote village. One of the girls fundraising was a student who hoped to teach English one day; she explained to us about the children who don’t have enough money to celebrate this really important festival as she led us down to the waterfront and we placed a paper lotus flower on the river and watched it float away.


  • Sunny A Hotel, £11.50 (35,0000 Dong)
    A pleasant surprise, Sunny A Hotel is located down a small alleyway which we walked straight past when we first arrived. We thankfully found the entrance after noticing a sign on the main road and we were happily welcomed in by the kind lady behind reception. We had been on a train all day and were practically overjoyed when we were shown to a room that was spotless, with a large bed and balcony. The location was very good, in walkable distance to the citadel and with restaurants on its doorstep. In the lobby they serve breakfast (extra charge) between bookcases filled with manga. We would stay again.

Monday, 14 August 2017


Visual distortion and contortion, twisting, trapped in a virtual world: this is the video for 'Distrust' by Canadian DJ and producer, Lunice, the videogame feel of it evident not only in the glorious glitching visuals but also in the music, in the atmosphere-conjuring sounds that Lunice lovingly sets into motion throughout. We have these stoic synth bass hits, rounded and gloopy, the foundation for this macabre march of music, the slow rolling snares, the soft wonky sounds that have this veilsome spooky quality to them fluttering phantomatic alongside it all. On top of this, we have three vocals that perforate the polished parade of this track: Nell and Denzel Curry, as well as J.K. The Reaper, who starts proceedings with nihilistic flair—"I'm an outer body experience, my ligaments attached to this soulless corpse i been living in"—before he asks existentially, "am I the only human in truest form?"

In his breathless verse, Denzel Curry casts some vivid vital imagery: "here's a kiss from the dragon hot as the back of my spliff" precedes the relatable line "fisticuffs, knock your ass out, that's Jigglypuff," which references either the ability of the PokΓ©mon to sing opponents to sleep or, as a character in Super Smash Bros, a seemingly innocuous move ("Rest") that if executed correctly is a very powerful attack; either way, this line has made an impact. For the outro of the song, Lunice suddenly turns it overcast and gloomy, low-pitch piano and atonal chiming strings marking the beginning of the finale, a tract of noise-inspired harsh abrasive beats and ever more gruesome glitching and Curry's final distorted mantra: "Tell the cops i don't give a fuck / run and hide, boy you better duck."

  • πŸ”” The wonderful digital gore of this video has been created by director Sam Rolfes, which was recorded "live within a game engine." The resulting warped human forms that are thrown and skewed around the screen reflects the revolt of the soul intimated by the lyrics (notice the decayed confederate flag in the still we took from the video up top), the unconventionality and affront of these same images a suitable accoutrement for the noisy sonic experimentation in this track.
  • πŸ”” Listen to and/or purchase 'Distrust' via this link here.
  • πŸ”” 'Distrust' is taken from Lunice's debut album, CCCLX, which will be released on 8th September via Scottish label LuckyMe. Pre-order it here.

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This lovely track is arrives like a cool breeze through a window, contains within it that sheepish drowsy feeling that accompanies the delicate stages of the early morning following the inebriation and fun that bubbles between four walls and down corridors and in the garden, with its wonky boom-bap beat describing sonically that state of disarray as you awake from slumbering stupor and attempt to be a human, memories of the house party arising as you survey the room that was so hectic the night previously which now is filled with hangover and headache. "This story is totally about the morning after," says 19-year-old Leicester-based Mahalia about her track 'Sober'. "Thinking about the night before - all the mistakes you made, all the muddled texts you sent."

And so the track bounces this off-kilter pathway, the low subtle bass groove which charts this fresh, clean feeling throughout, the wobbling nature of it all giving the track this post-spinning-room relief in drymouthed stability. Yet we also have the vocals of Mahalia herself, not wonky, nor hungover, but self-assured and epiphanous, silkenly spinning lines that represent a realisation of good sense; "This is me waking up and smelling the roses," she explains further her first official single. Smooth, hazy, soulful, 'Sober' is an analogy for turning your life around, a night of revelry illustrating past mistakes, maybe even a whole lifetime of folly, but realising in a moment of clarity that things should and could be different.

  • πŸ”” You can download or stream 'Sober' in various ways via this link here.

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It's a jostling multi-faceted party atmosphere, that heat-warped guitar chord sweeping sultry in the cool balm of night and the bounce of the lightly shuffling beat, those foot-tapping hi-hat sheafing, the starry open skies of the slow melt into meandering dance and conversation through the lens of intoxication, carefree and sprinkled with hedonism, somehow those bopping percussive drum machine toms rhythmically echoing measuring time in their rounded synthesised droplets. In 'Just Wanna Be Single' Miami artist Brika invites us to the party, says stay a while, chill.

She sings slow in the verses, silken and low and conversational with the pattern of notes that skip up and down, amidst the luscious spread of percussion, the lovingly crafted handclaps, the sandy shakers, the thump of the kick. Light decorations tastefully adorn the nocturnal groove, little guitar licks in reverse like strings of fairy lights, the occasional wah-wah wobble of a synth chord, and that last slowly building shade of plasma sound, into the eponymous chorus, the laid-back vibe supporting Brika's desire to remain free of obligation and commitment, this sombre starlit saturnalia of sound a suitable vessel for the vocalisation of single life.

  • πŸ”” This track has been co-written/produced by Shy Girls alongside award-winning producer Julio Reyes Copello—it's taken from an upcoming EP, so keep your eyes out for that if you like the sound of 'Just Wanna Be Single'.

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