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Category Archives: Music

New Yahyel: “Iron”

Electronic outfit Yahyel caught our attention primarily because of the unnerving edge lurking in their music — the way things are bent ever so slightly, or prone for rippling. Yet despite a pretty clear James Blake influence, the group haven’t gone crazy with manipulating their vocals. On previous song, the singing was pretty untouched give or take a few cuts. Not so on latest single “Iron,” which is almost fully a display of electro-tinged singing. The music itself is sparse, giving the floor over to vocals that are far more filtered than usual, and with multiple versions crashing over one another. And it is all in service to a big build up at the end, which makes the pay off worth it. Listen above.

Inner Nutrients: Nazoyama Meisoun’s Mineral

Nazoyama Meisoun’s work on Mineral makes for a nervy, at times disorienting listen. The 11-song set highlights the producer’s approach to beats, but it is not a simple collection of skeletons begging for something more. “Quartz” rumbles ahead, adding in metallic sounds that seemingly lower on to the song (like…a docking bay from Star Wars?), but always maintaining a glimmer of lightness via bell chimes. It’s also a great diving in point, as most of Mineral’s songs are built on a solid foundation, but are gradually mutated into something different over the course of their extended run times. Get it here, or listen below.

New Gnyonpix: “Tropical Cider Blue”

“Can this be called juke?” Gnyonpix wonders this in the description for “Tropical Cider Blue,” and my initial reaction is no, as it resembles more of the reggae-inspired output of someone like Quarta330. But also! Maybe lightening up about genre would be a good thing (to a degree) in 2017, and “Tropical Cider Blue” does feature a skitter that pushes everything forward, albeit on island time rather than what you’d expect to hear out of Chicago (or Gnyonpix’s own library, for that matter). Whatever you want to call it, “Tropical Cider Blue” is chilled out and a nice way to end the day. Listen above.

Goes Down Nicely: ((The Submariners))’ Mitsuya Cider EP

One of the areas where I’ve lightened up in regards to music is getting bent out of shape out of unorthodox band names. Which isn’t to say that a random semi-colon or WaCKy CapiTILIzation is something I just swallow…I just roll with it more, content that most new band names are pretty dumb all over the globe, and that there are worse crimes than adding a period to the middle of your name. So…((The Submariners)), who have (( )) worked into their name for some reason (I think it is because it vaguely looks like the shape a submarine would make as it plows through water?)! Their Mitsuya Cider EP is a lovely three-song set of feedback-glazed indie-pop, a downright delight when they move at a swift pace…which they do on every song save the title track, the one moment that feels a little too slow for its own good. But when they zip ahead…and when they feature tag-team male/female vocals, like on the intro track…it’s some of the most charming indie-pop of 2017, crazy name be damned. Get it here, or listen below.

New ΔKTR: Lala

Busy year for Yokohama sample whizz ΔKTR. He’s already shared one of the year’s warmest releases via the hazy dance grooves of suburbanfunkessentials, and now he’s letting listeners even deeper into this world with Lala. Via Fuzzoscope, it’s a beefed-up set, clocking in at 22 tracks, ranging from the laid-back glow of “Toundsrack” to the slippery funk of “Getdownlikedat.” If suburbanfunkessentials felt like a tight and concise work that feels more apt as a 2017 statement, Lala comes off like a deeper dive into the many approaches of ΔKTR himself. It’s a long listen, but one that is constantly shifting — sometimes within songs, such as early highlight “Taste Of Magic,” which goes from seaside guitar fireworks to having everything turn to a blissed-out crawl — and always enjoyable. Get it here, or listen below.