Image: Arvida Byström / Hannah Diamond
From breezy house remixes of Haitian Vodou chants to rubberised hyperpop bubblegum, we roundup our favourite releases of the week. In no particular order:
Joseph Ray, Lakou Mizik, DJ Koze – Sanba Yo Pran Pale (DJ Koze Remix)
The collaboration between producer Joseph Ray of NERO fame and multigenerational Haitian band Lakou Mizik was completely unlikely yet triumphantly astounding, resulting in their joint effort Leave The Bones. Tracks like Bade Zile celebrated the rhythm and pulse of Haitian traditional music and intensified the energy with deep and rolling electronic production from Ray, while Zeb Até and Night Drums honoured the thrum of Vodou folk music through subtle waves of ambience. Sanba Yo Pran Pale is a Vodouan chant that opened the record in haunting acapella. That track is given new life as a breezy summer dance anthem by DJ Koze, who builds a jiving, analogue leaning ten minute epic around its arresting vocals. Informed by the groove of amapiano and featuring airy chords with plucked string accents, Koze formulates a simmering take destined for late summer evenings and sunsets on the festival dance floor. He takes his cue from the distinct power and spirit of the chant itself, making Sanba Yo Pran Pale as potent as it is buoyant. The remix is released via Anjunadeep. Listen below.
Nikki Nair – More Is Different
Tennessee born producer Nikki Nair is one of those musicians with an impossibly distinct creative flair, formulating connections between sounds and motifs quite like no one else. This makes for uniquely dextrous music, in his case with a penchant for constant transmutation. His hybridised approach pulls from all corners in dance music, and his latest EP More Is Different finds its point of departure at dubstep, garage and trip-hop. It Goes is a track mostly in flux, shifting through various aesthetic modes from grime-like bass to brighter, angelic melodies and then through moments of early dubstep warbles. Socket is constructed from various bleeps and samples, beginning with buzzing pads and warping acid vocals, unravelling into kinetic drum and bass, then settling into a sort of dub mutation in its final act. Then there’s the live drum-work and analog vocals of Something which recalls the twisted lullabies of Sleep Party People on a track that somehow connects the dots between grunge and garage. Want To You is the most straightforward of the lot, exiting squarely in the realm of jacking house and footwork, closing off an absolutely bizarre and brilliantly unpredictable experience. Released on Dirtybird, download More is Different here.
Qrion – Your Love
Rising Japanese-American producer Qrion found music in the form of traditional Japanese instrumentals in her childhood, and she’s largely taken the principles of this tradition into her own meditative and serene productions. Inspired by organic sounds and the environment around her, she layers electronics atop of these to create deeply transportive soundscapes and sets that have taken her straight to Tomorrowland. Your Love, the first single of her forthcoming debut album I Hope it Lasts Forever, is no exception to her melodic and introspective dance music formula. Opening with an ebbing bass pulse and blossoming into a shamisen-like synth refrain, Your Love grows in subtle waves along piano chords and washes of hazy vocals toward a lowkey grooving house beat. It’s journey-like and reflective, and a promising introduction to a bright new voice in electronic music. I Hope It Lasts Forever is released on Oct 29 via Anjunadeep.
Hypna – Nylon Hood
Post-club has slowly been making its influence on the future of dance music known, with what started as a reaction against the concept of genre developing into a sub-genre in its own right. It’s deconstructed, syncopated form which was popularised by the transgressive queer pioneers of New York’s GHE20G0TH1K parties and sub-culture have been becoming more apparent in releases from producers with more experimental or left-field instincts, particularly in Europe such as Berlin’s Zúir or in this case, Brussels producer Hypna. His latest EP, Nylon Hood, takes its cue from post-club’s manifesto in many ways, but like Zúir translates the form toward the style of the European underground. Featuring five tracks of superfluous and restless club formulations, Nylon Hood plays up the futurism with sci-fi bleeps and extraterrestrial techno flourishes against the stuttering, crashing percussive patterns typical of post-club’s mechanised vogue beat style. Nylon Hood is self-released by the artist, download it here.
Namasenda ft. Joey LaBeija – Finish Him
For all its erratic balls-to-the-wall subversiveness, the surface level face of PC Music and its resulting enfant terrible hyperpop has mostly been white, with artists like Charli XCX, Dorian Electra, and Hannah Diamond popping on the front page of any Google search for the genre. And while Shygirl, Rico Nasty and LSDXOXO have mostly found their way into the hyperpop lexicon, it’s been outside of the PC Music ilk that began with A.G Cook. That’s why Sweden’s Namasenda feels so necessary, a fully fledged PC Music pop star of colour who’s forthcoming long play debut on the label Unlimited Ammo is being given the full PC Music pop star rollout. The latest single ahead of the mixtape, Finish Him, is peak hyperpop madness, saccharine and bouncing through cyberspace. Opening with modulating, shimmering and chrome-plated chords, Finish Him is built around a simple robotised refrain that’s repeated against progressing, rave adjacent production typical of the style pioneered by SOPHIE. It features the mechanised voice of New York queer nightlife superstar Joey LaBeija and a breakdown that chops both artists’ voices into a frenetic cyberpunk breakbeat. Download it here.
Note: This roundup was originally published on September 17, 2021.
Follow our roundup playlist, ‘What We Have on Repeat’ on Spotify to hear and save our weekly selections: