With each leaning towards futuristic experimentalism, improvisation, and the bending of genre tropes, these are the releases that caught our attention this week. In no particular order:
bonebrokk- The Astral Catalyst
The Astral Catalyst is the first track released from the EP of the same name by Athens producer bonebrokk. Part pounding techno, part malfunctioning machine, it’s outre sci-fi punk at its goriest best. The orchestra of wheezing synths and icy stabs recall early SOPHIE and there’s a sort of knowing irony here that lends bonebrokk’s broken beat futurism a louche edge. The Astral Catalyst EP will be released in July via Infinite Machine. Pre-order it here.
Tristan Arp- Curved Space
Taking inspiration from the concept of the fourth dimension, Tristan Arp creates a remarkably multifaceted piece of music that literally curves through its influences of minimal techno, jungle and ambient. Arp pulls from foley, the recording of everyday sounds for film and creates layers of texture that lend Curved Space a dynamic sense of motion. The result is an IDM leaning offering driven by a rhythmic, undulating chime synth and sparse, bubbling percussion. Released via Eternal Ocean, you can download the track here.
Renslink – !8
With !8, Leeds producer Renslink presents a sweepingly cinematic piece of experimental dance music as the lead single from EP Curiosity is a Type of Youth. Pulling from bass and complextro motifs, !8 is a captivating overture composed of mechanical, futuristic arpeggios and a mournful organ-like refrain that lends a gravitas in the same vein as Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar. These all break down into stuttering, pneumatic revs, like an alien spacecraft calibrating for takeoff and leaving us both awestruck and somewhat unsettled. !8 is released via new label Impossible City Records, which is fittingly curated by Teki Latex. Download it here.
London Modular Alliance- Cracked Dice (EP)
The latest offering from electronic supergroup London Modular Alliance swings from retro machine funk to uncanny alien UKG, from the poolside boogie of Lemon Mishap to the breakbeat driven Head of the Keeper. The latter is for the most part fairly straightforward, but when the beat recedes at the three minute mark a strange, ominous ambience takes over full of extraterrestrial bleeps and growling, mechanical roars. The improvisational methodology of the group is evident in the almost jazz-like structures of the tracks on Cracked Dice, making it a satisfying exercise in playfulness. Chemical Peel warrants a special mention. Cracked Dice is released via CPU Records and is available to download here.
Eomac- Reasons To Live
Taken from Irish producer Eomac’s latest album Cracks, Reasons To Live is an example of what results from the conundrum of creating club music in lockdown. It’s a track that simmers and slithers with tension, constantly wanting to erupt but exercising a restraint that lends it a quiet sense of danger. There’s something sinister lurking under the disparate beat that threatens to leap out at any moment. With its distorted techno motifs and snarling vocal refrain, Reasons To Live comes to encapsulate the agitation of confinement through an erratic energy that is denied the space to explode. Listen to it below and download Cracks, released via Planet Mu Recordings, here.