1 – SOPHIE – UNSIL, Numbers
I looked into your eyes I thought that I could see a whole new world. It could be the tragically poetic end of a movie or a novel, a heavenly creature who dies too young falling from the roof while watching the full moon. Too soon, just like we never said goodbye.
Since January 30 our hearts are broken, mourning the most innovative artist of the last decade, who sculpting the sound was unveiling the possibilities for a whole new world that is both glossy luxury and utopic revolutionary impulse, controversial and fractured, martial and playful.
“I cant believe they made their own model of the bouncy castle” says a comment under Sophie Xeon‘ last single UNISIL, released as a bonus track of a limited singles compilation in 2015 then published as a b-side of a not so brilliant, old school remix of BIPP signed by Autechre. Of course, even as a b-side, this tune slaps as an absolute banger, the last example of the technical abilities of SOPHIE to guess and master the potential of electronic music, between an incredible sound design and that personal sense for carving out the sound. You’ll be forever missed.
(Giovanni De Scisciolo)
2 – ПИР – Feast 21, ПИР
Diverse yet deeply coherent, Feast 21 is the Moscow-based label ПИР label’s sonic manifesto, its show of intents, featuring both established and new artists from Russia and Belarus. Spacing from ФАНКШН’s deconstructed jungle to ccontrary emotional take on techno, passing trough Rapid Antics’s mental percussion and Sozorje’s mystic half-tempo beat, this collection of hard and break-y tunes constantly captures the listeners’ attention, implanting in them the irresistible urge to dance.
3 – Arca – Madre, XL Recordings
With Madre, Arca takes up that melodramatic, operatic taste which was widely explored in her 2017 self-titled album. The EP shows the suffered process of composition of a so intimate track, started years ago with the extremly touching “Madreviolo”, where Arca played the cello herself and then destroyed it. Madre was in fact ultimated with the arrangement of the great musician and composer Oliver Coates, an ethereal textures on which Arca’s voice takes on a shape which is both feather-light and tearing apart.
(Giovanni De Scisciolo)
4 – James Ferraro – Terminus, Self-released
The third installment and penultimate release of the Four Pieces For Mirai series, Terminus is one James Ferraro’s most accomplished work to date. Layering hardcore dance music, industrial, ambient and church chants, this fourteen-track masterpiece is a sonic window over a world so horrifying that it seems impossible to express it with words. All we can do is scream or chant, as what feels like the imminent destruction of the self relentlessly approaches.
5 – Slick Shoota – Function, Teklife
Fancy a high-octane no-nonsense all killers no fillers 160 workout where footwork frenzy meets jungle breaks meets ghetto brashness? Teklife x Slick Shoota is the combo we didn’t know we needed.
6 – Voronhil – Phantasmagoria, CLAM
Last chapter of the low tek, eco grime saga by the italian label CLAM. A ridicolous amount of incredible nameless, raw and harsh bass driven tunes filled with sounds coming out from everywhere. A thousand plateux of now deconstructed as observed in the very moment they are processed inside the forebrain.
(Giovanni De Scisciolo)
7 – Clouds – The Parallel, The Parallel
A good mixture of classic techno bangers, industrial atmospheres and raw extravaganza from the Scottish duo. Drone lovers will find a bunch of worthy tracks too. This 16-tracks album comes quite multi-faceted and a bit chaotic, but the high-level production is pretty remarkable.
8 – Mica Levi – Blue Alibi, Self-released
One month after her official debut album, the English producer drops a surprise release even better the previous one: low-fi magic and psychedelic guitar riffs over hallucinatory rants make “Blue Alibi” an hypnotic trip dotted with important guests (Young Lean included) and new versions of old gems.
9 – HOLY SIMILAUN – Ansatz, OOH-sounds
“Ansatz” is the German word for “attempt” or “approach”, and the music of HOLY SIMILAUN perfectly fits this spirit. Experimental beats draw dystopian landscapes made up by glitches, unconventional broken rhythms and cybernetic voice manipulations, with fluffy and harsh sounds melted together in curious ways.
10 – Ziúr – Now Now, Now Now
No stranger to that kind of hybrid, bold, raw-yet-finely-sculpted electronic music that we love so much, Ziúr shows her ‘poppier’ facet with five tracks which will delight all those looking for digitally enhanced R&B of the most compelling species.