Nia Archives, Broadcast, Sam Valle, Nahi Mitti, LXV, Annie Hall, Plant43, hinako omori, Max Stadtfeld + STAX, See Blue Audio, ireless, Amphior, Hayk Karoyi, SØMA, Ozel AB and DOTT
The weather’s been nice in Dublin this week. I’ve spent most of it inside but that’s not the point. On Sunday night I’m dedicating my monthly DDR show to the magic of Róisín Murphy. Everything from Moloko to Crooked Machine and the two decades in between. Didn’t mean for that to rhyme but sure look. Sunday at 9pm Irish time.
Nia Archives makes “soft-hearted lo-fi jungle for introverted extroverts”. This release is made up of six tracks that flit between emotional moments and raucous explosions of sound. Epic drama across any given three minutes.
Broadcast rereleased a bunch of stuff recently, and the most fascinating for me was Microtonics, which brings together material that was originally available only on CDs sold during their tours in 2003 and 2005. The subtitle of these releases was Stereo Recorded Music For Links And Bridges, and indeed each track is under two minutes in length, hinting at their liminal and ephemeral nature. Some are quirky and bouncy, some are strange and unknowable.
More strange and unknowable sounds here. Clanks and bells that could be musical instruments or chains dragged along the ground. The crunch of gravel or crisp packets folded in on themselves. A crescendo of effects in Ableton or the recorded sound of a truck passing through a tunnel. Or none of the above.
I featured Nahi Mitti’s Preta I Hag last year and mentioned the wonderfully chosen Clipse samples. I believe the first track on this release features the growl of a dog, but I’ve been wrong before. There is true expression throughout, with dance-ready tunes and a sort of wistful ambience, and the album blurb that mentions “the artist’s explorations of expression through tempo, dynamics and prettiness into a focussed/blurry journey into stor(i/ey)ed sonic ecosystems” isn’t inaccurate or overblown. ‘Pupdumai’s Promise’ is particularly entrancing, with its shuffling yet understated percussion and beautiful melodies.
This whole week is dedicated to the unknown and unseen, unsure and uncertain. LXV, who put together a mix for us (that’s you and me) last year, quietly dispersed this selection of whispers into the world a few weeks back. The title reflects the sounds within, everything imbued with a sort of cagey reticence.
Semantica have rereleased/repressed Annie Hall and Plant43’s 2009 split album Elephant Road. It’s an album that somehow manages to be both crisp and smudged in its approach to electro. The beats are crisp, the sounds smudged. The melodies waver, the percussion is direct.
Houndstooth really struck gold with this one. I had already listened to the wavering sounds of the title track more times than I could count, but now I’ve had the album on repeat. It’s simply beautiful, and hyperbolic words like gloriously resplendent seem apt, no matter how ridiculous they may appear on paper/screen.
Shuffling and fascinating jazz in a land that knows no tempo. Well, it’s there somewhere but it’s not a fixed point. ‘Diseased’ is brilliantly haunting.
See Blue Audio celebrates another year of existence with this collection of sounds from its various artists. It features one track from each of the previous 15 releases and a new track in the shape of a remix by one label artist of another. Artists like f5point6, Steve Hadfield and Sulk Rooms have featured here before, and on this release they sit side by side. There’s also a mix of the whole bunch of tracks put together by Fragile X.
Chilling and strange sounds from 1995. Working on a theme of “distant interactions with an angel caught on a satellite orbiting the Earth”, it definitely speaks to something in the ether.
More deeply arresting and soothing/unsettling sounds from Glacial Movements, this time from Danish artist Amphior. I’ve been listening to the audiobook of The Woman in Black, so the title of this album and its various tracks (‘Void’, ‘Phantasm’, ‘Pathfinder’, ‘What Was Lost’) seem strangely apt. ‘Dream Traveler’ is the dankest of the lot.
I’m not fully sure what this is. Hayk Karoyi is an artist based in Yerevan, Armenia. He shared this set on SoundCloud, and it features two tracks by the account Nvagaran. From what I can gather, Nvagaran appears to be a collective or school, I’m not sure. The titles are in Armenian, and Google Translate suggests that in English they are ‘Music |: Blul |: Fact:’ and ‘Music |: Apricot Tube |: Fact:’. The blul is a modern variation on the medieval sring, an end-blown flute. I believe apricot tube is a rough translation but the true meaning is the duduk, which is made from the wood of the apricot tree. Each track features a low drone and a vaporous, fascinating performance on each instrument mentioned above. Now the question is, what is Nvagaran? Who is performing? Is it a showcase? A live recording? A future album release?
A rather glorious mix to accompany the good weather mentioned above. Acid trance, breaks, swirling epic sounds. Lovely stuff.
My friend Tim is always hankering after new music from Ozel AB. Well, here’s a whole EP. Due next month, it features squidgy techno and rough, chunky sound design. Bouncy and techy, it’s a hoot.
Finally this week, some playful house that comes with some incredibly silly but sweet artwork. Uptempo and exciting, it’s slightly spacey and definitely aimed and fun and frivolous dancefloors. The opener is my highlight, with its wonky yet mournful theme, and there’s also a super remix of the title track from Titonton Duvante.