1 – Glass – Anxiety Prime, Comic Sans Records
After excellent releases on labels such as OOH-sounds and Santé Records, Glass land on Comic Sans Records with an exploration of the fragmentation our personalities and identities go through in modern society and in virtual hubs. Anxiety Prime is in fact a fragmented work in itself, where bits of original sounds, processed samples, composition and production techniques come together as shards of a broken mirror, united, yes, but still showing the cracks. The result that came from this particular approach is a deeply deconstructed form of club music, which, while always unsettling, somehow brings to life exotic and unexpected grooves.
2 – —__–__ – The Heart Pumps Kool- Aid, Orange Milk Records
Probably one of the most interesting releases of 2021, The Heart Pumps Kool-Aid is “the expression of Midwestern sadness, the entrapment of class and inexpressible discontent”, as stated on —__–__ (the collaborative project of Orange Milk’s co-founder Seth Graham and Mari Maurice) Bandcamp page. A body of work that is as numbing as it is touching, thanks to a unique combination of long pauses (too often forgotten in contemporary music), autotuned shards of vocals, reverberated explosions of metal screams, spaced out by electroacoustic and free-jazz manifestation. If you spent a considerable chunk of your life in the suburbs, this album will talk to you more than you can imagine.
3 – Oblinof – 元數據火車站 (Metadata Train Station), Soul Feeder
Post-internet club maximalist Oblinof is back via Soul Feeder with three sick, hardcore and relentless bangers, structured as a constant flow of data, where fluidly Latin rhythms infect the club structure while the basic and demented trance arpeggios hit compulsively. The EP is enriched by the remixes of DJ GHEPARD & Cherry Ills, cellvl and Dj Hristos.
(Giovanni De Scisciolo)
4 – Lee Gamble – A Million Pieces Of You, Hyperdub Records
For the latest installment of his Flush Real Pharynx trilogy for Hyperdub, Lee Gamble hits the spot with a perfect balance of intimate, even gloomy pieces and more percussion-driven ones. That’s why A Million Pieces Of You is perhaps the most convincing among the three – all great – EPs. With the isolation and slowing-down of life due to the pandemic looming over it, this release discloses the intimate side of Lee Gamble we don’t often have the chance to see.
5 – H2OP – 100 REASONS, Posh Isolation
Out via Posh Isolation, this is the second double-single released this year by the Danish band formerly known as KhalilH2OP. In the two tracks, unambiguously called part 1 and 2, while preserving their experimental hallmarks, H2OP offer more aerial and minimalist arrangements, with emotional lyrics sung in autotune and surrounded by pointillistic electronics.
6 – 7038634357 – My Way Out, self-released
A series of variations on the same theme, 7038634357‘s new EP is a labyrinth-like record in which every track feels different yet the same. Processing and arrangement variations feel like possibilities that need to be exhausted in order to escape, in what seems an almost OCD approach to production.
7 – KELMAN DURAN – NIGHT IN TIJUANA, self-released
The LA-based Dominican producer KELMAN DURAN gets to his debut album already as one of the most interesting artists when we talk about deconstructed rhythms from the South of the world. Still, with NIGHT IN TIJUANA, he’s able to pleasantly surprise, melting delicate sound design and freaked out folk percussions with elegance, even expanding the path outlined by artists like Nicolas Jaar, in an heterogeneous but cohesive sonic world made of ambient, South American folk, conscious hip hop and free jazz in shades of Ethio.
(Giovanni De Scisciolo)
8 – Jaijiu – 42 AM, nodo label
Since its birth in 2019, the Argentinean nodo label has showcased new experimental local musicians. This time it is the turn of the audiovisual artist Jaijiu, who combines D’n’B and garage house with cumbia and Latin music. The icing on the cake is the stunning production that makes each track able to raise the temperature of every dancefloor.
9 – Simo Cell – YES . DJ , TemeT
TemeT founder, BFDM and Livity Sound regular, eclectic selector – go check his Dekmantel Selectors set, now – Simo Cell is revered as one of the key figures in modern dance music. The six tracks featured on YES . DJ confirm this well-deserved status, thanks to a peculiar blend of dancehall, trap/drill, UK techno-bass, and a Miami-Chicago penchant for flipping vocal samples. From slow burners to high-octane stompers, YES . DJ comes in handy for any DJ duty.
10 – dvdv – What is the opposite of ambivalence, self-released
The music of dvdv is made of uncountable layers of sound materials, collected over time and space. In her second album, the German artist builds landscapes shaped by amorphous sounds that echo deep in memory: vocals, field recordings, ethereal digital sounds, uncanny noises and experimental beats are melted together in a unique way.