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New ΔKTR: CAMOble

ΔKTR has long re-arranged songs from yesteryear into new forms, but with CAMOble the producer tries something a little different. Here he is taking the 2017 Camoflauge EP by the rapper Kyoh3i and basically remixing it, swapping out the sparse boom-bap inspired beats of the original for backdrops ripped from ΔKTR’s record collection, resulting in a radically different take on the album…but one where the rapping still fits in nicely. While CAMOble works fine by itself, I’d recommend listening to the original album too in order to really see what transformation goes on here. Get it here, or listen below.

New TOMC: “Bake The House”

Sometimes simply getting completely lost inside a song is all you really need. TOMC’s “Bake The House” ostensibly plays out like a dance track, with a shuffling beat guiding everything forward, but nobody would blame you if you missed it because of all the stuff stewing on top of it. Disoriented noises, dislocated human voices and samples of bubbles and appliance and, uh, elephants play out over the beat, creating a bit of floor-ready collage to lose yourself in. Listen above.

Backwards And Backwards But Done Well: Upusen’s Signal

Is everything just going to be a loop backwards from now on? This isn’t about Upusen’s Signal specifically, though it does factor into the larger trend. Maybe it’s just Japan’s current obsession with all things ’90s — this movie is literally “do you remember gyaru fashion and Tamagothchi?” — or the Western world’s love of anything dappled in neon and a sense of yesteryear. Is this the new “get off my lawn,” where you look at nostalgia and bemoan that because it lacks innovation?

Well, as existential as that can make me, Local Visions deserves credit for just doing it better than anyone else in 2018. The music they’ve put out this year finds new angles on nostalgia, avoiding cliche in favor of finding sounds that evoke a melancholy warmness. Signal is the label’s Odyssey, a particularly fuzzy set of wordless synth numbers that probably works wonders set over warped footage of The Simpson’s. “Signal” sets off those comparisons right away with its synth night drive, growing in intensity but never losing that emotional pang. To Upusen’s credit, the whole album isn’t just one big Teddy Ruxpin’s hug, with “Poolside” being a particularly dizzying cut and the blunted whirl of “Float” operating in more dreamy territory. But by the time “Daydream Drive” comes around to end the note on a particularly triumphant blast of retro-wave synth-work, Upusen has shown they can do this backwards looking better than most. Get it here, or listen below.

Stare Right At It: DJ FFFTP’s The Sun

When you have a good idea, take it as far as you can. Oita’s DJ FFFTP closes out the summer with The Sun, which is technically a song served up a bunch of different ways. Fittingly, the trio of takes on it by FFFTP themselves follows the course of the day, opening with a “Sunrise Version” that greets the day with a swift beat but accompanied by bell chimes that make it all a little easier to move along with. “Afternoon Version” offers up some easy-breezy post-lunch vibes that make for the most laid-back cut here, while “Sundown” cranks it up the other way, making for a late-night delight. Get it here, or listen below.

New Le Makeup: “Couples”

Le Makeup contributed a new song to a compilation put together by the Berlin label Oxyorange. The whole comp is worth checking out, but the Osaka producer’s track for it offers a nice break from mostly thumpier material. “Couples” propels forward on guitar melodies, offering a nice pace but without ever really getting as chilly as the other songs across the release. Yet as the beat becomes more prominent and the main melody mutates, it also becomes clear that this is Le Makeup adjusting his older sound — one which would have fit nicely on this comp too — to the one he has embraced over the last year. Listen above, or get the comp here.