Don't know about you, but I've long held the belief that if you immediately play a song again once you've listened to it all the way through (like that infuriating halfwit Zane Lowe) then you're probably going to hell. Either that or something terrible will befall someone else who just so happens to be listening to that song at the same time. Or a kitten will die. Something bad anyway. I'm not talking about rewinds or putting an album on repeat, both of which are reasonable to some extent, but without a damn good reason putting a song on repeat is morally reprehensible.
Imagine my horror then, when this morning I stumbled across two recent productions that almost forced me to do exactly that. Luckily I happened upon them at the same time otherwise I'd already have killed a kitten/fellow listener twice over in one morning. The first of these magnificent hypocrisy traps is the Floating Points remix of Sing from Fourtet's recent album There is love in You. By now you should have listened to the original and the rest of Four Tet's lovely album so I'll spare you further hype, however this remix, weighing in at a hefty 14 minutes, is just astonishing. The build up alone could hold it's own weight as an abstract reinterpretation of the original, but as the tune subtly unfolds there is so much going on that it would be nigh on impossible to take it all in on the first listen. If Floating Points hadn't already won over the hearts and minds of the wider part of the underground music community, this track alone should cement his reputation.
The other culprit could almost escape the purported repetition dilemma seeing as it consists of two separate pieces that make up one breathtaking release, however the central theme continues from one to the other so I imagine that damnation would ensue regardless of this loophole in the theory. Demdike Stare's latest offering The Forest of Evil is utterly phenomenal, I can honestly say that I have never encountered a more unsettling yet compelling piece of music, especially in light of the subversive way they have gone about achieving this effect. The eponymous forest is split into two aspects Dusk and Dawn, painting such a brooding and suspenseful picture that you find yourself drawn inexorably into this shadowy netherworld, simultaneous teetering at your nerves end yet utterly enraptured by the hauntological sounds. It goes without saying that unless you possess a perfectly balanced and suitably robust speaker system, this one is very much intended for the headphones massive.
Just in case you were after something a little less epic or all consuming to occupy your ears, here's a quick roundup of just about everything else that's tickling my fancy right about now...
Various/Jahtari: Jahtari Dubbers Vol 2: Wicked choons!! You know the bill, dead sunshiney atari-island sounds. The tunes by Disrupt and Black Chow are fucking awesome. Also visit Jahtari's website for no end of quality, free Digidub releases, including Net 7"s and Tapes complete with authentic viynl/tapes hiss and crackle. Bo!
Jneiro Jarel: Android Love Mayhem: It's fucking amazing. New cosmic moves for Dr Who Dat's alter ego. No more needs be said. Gettit
Pariah: Detroit Falls: Outer Hebrides!! It's bloody awesome mate, like Bullion and Dilla trying to claw their way out of a printing press running in reverse. On the flip there's a supremely crafted slice of 4/4 dancefloor business that easily holds it's own alongside the leaders in the scene.
Gold Panda: Quitters Raga: Sublimely insane, I'm running out of superlatives here. This however is dead, dead, dead good. (Also worthwhile is You EP)
Pursuit Grooves: Foxtrot Mannerisms: Elegantly crafted nu-soul, rnb, hiphop flavours all packaged up real nice with some tasty beats, a breath of fresh air for Dubstep's mainstay label Tectonic.
Dam Mantle: Grey EP: Well interesting, sounds like Paul White fighting Rustie in an orchestra pit.
TAKE: Only Moutain: Predictably very tasty and certainly a grower, would be a strong contender for the best thing coming out of the LA/SF scene right now(as would the Free the Robots album and the new Tokimonsta EP) if the impending Flying Lotus album wasn't casting such a monolithic shadow over the West Coast. Impressive nevertheless.
Hello, couple of very different things for your consideration this week, but there's such a sharp contrast between them that it stands to reason that both should receive fair representation at the same time. Suffice to say one of them makes everything currently termed epic or lush seem drab and shallow in comparison, the other makes everything dark, heavy and brooding seem like the tinkerings of a naive, angst ridden teen. Either way until I tire of listening to them whole swathes of music have been irreparably tainted by their looming brilliance.
Not sure quite how to begin describing this, nor do I think it can really be done justice in writing, nevertheless this needs saying. If you like me you've become a little jaded in by the constantly expanding and diversifying world of electronic music in recent times, or even if you just have a love of vast, magnificent, glorious music, listen to Johann Johannsson and be fulfilled. There's no point really analogising it or trying to draw contemporary comparisons it's just beautiful in every sense. There are elements of Post Rock and Ambient Electronica at play here, but for the most part it can only be described as cinematic Modern Classical; unutterably beautiful and massively expansive in it's composition. Indeed anyone familiar with his discography will be aware that his work has predominantly accompanied experimental films or theatrical pieces and perhaps it is for this reason that they have such an enchanting sense of narrative flow. His most recent offering and in the endless pause there came the sound of bees is the award winning soundtrack to a BAFTA nominated short film called Varmints and IBM 1401: A Users Manual is the musical accompaniment to a stage production of the same name, based around some instructional maintenance tapes for his fathers early prototype IBM computer. I really can't give this a higher recommendation, go get it and be happy. Otherwise give it to your nan, she'd probably appreciate it.
This said, if you'd much rather listen to some claustrophobic, distorted dirge filth complete with clashing metallic stabs and bowel shredding bass you should probably go check out Cloaks. If you suffer from a weak disposition or you've been feeling a little under the weather give it a miss, I have no doubt that it'll make you ill from both ends at the same time. Despite it's sizable fan base the tearout dubstep sub genre is a glutted market; new artists keep popping up every five minutes, each with a marginally different approach to splintering their gutter splattered basslines and serrating their ear bleeding synths. However Cloaks appear to have singlehandedly knocked a whole scene into a cocked hat without even breaking sweat. With nods to original benchmarkers Vex'd and Distance, they've created a terrifying sound that lurches into a very murky grey area between Dubstep, Techno, Black Metal and Experimental Noise, remorseless in it's execution and utterly unrestrained by the norms of the scene. If this sounds even remotely like your idea of a good time track down Against Grain and Hi-Tek EP, they will satisfy your darkest audiological cravings and irreparably damage your relationship with the neighbours. Well good.