Parrots/All My Money/ Bro Music
Another slice of bruk, sideways techno coming straight out of Milan, Piezo’s latest 12” starts out sounding pretty regular (for him) with the early 2562 channeling ‘Parrots’ and the driving ‘All My Money’ — which is fantastically adorned and interwoven with tape hiss, feedback and bit crushed oxygen — but ‘Bro Music’… now THIS is me to a tee. A gorgeously non-committal slow patterning, hip-hop paced, wandering drum piece full of weirdness with a slight skweee nod. Deserves a 10/10.
There’s something rather restrained about the rhythm tracks for both ‘Bad’ and ‘Get Out Of The Way’. And I say that being fully aware of how emphatic The Bug’s reputation for going hard is. Both cuts — when you listen to the instrumental versions at least — back themselves off wonderfully and it’s a technique that actually highlights their sense of menace. With all The Bug’s hallmarks of tension and dub sirens, they’re the perfect darkside jump off for Flowdan and Killa P.
As a collection of seven cast-offs from his rather formative ‘Great Lengths’ period, what’s particularly neat about Martyn’s 'GL Outtakes' is that they feel instantly transportative. Like some long forgotten smell, the blend of swung drums and thick, gelatinous chords puts me back in that Sunday night FWD>> period when some bastard stole the front wheel of my bike. Tbh I didn’t realise I was nostalgic for that time, but there’s cuts in here that I’d bump not just for old time’s sake.
It will come as no surprise that I’m an avid supporter of the Berlin-based Broshuda, considering that I put my hand in my pocket to put out two of his records, but this latest swamp of gauzy instrumentals are even more wrong-footing than the unreleased material I’ve heard from him before. There’s very little semblance of drums here (even though they’re certainly structured to a grid), and consequently Jemi is an eight-tracker full of glooping, swirling, wonderfully confounding ambience.
Komon & Appleblim
The first new music from the partnership of Appleblim and Komon since 2014, 'Know Yourself' is the latest three-tracker to drop on Blim’s new label, Beatnik Boulevard. ‘Know Yourself’ is the out and out showpiece, a nicely swung driving stomper whose power comes from the cut-up whoops and the descending metallic tomtoms. ‘Enigmatic Light’ is more slow moving and fractured while ‘Stepping Out…’ is buoyant with an abundance of staccato drum patterns and acid bass squelches.
'Oksana (Ivy Lab Remix)'
Ripped from the forthcoming Various Artist compilation on Alix Perez’s 1985 Music label, Ivy Lab’s re-rub of EPROM’s ‘Oksana’ is a very potent example of why I continue to hold the trio in the sort of regard that I do. It’s spacious and dreamy and obviously all the layers are cleverly processed and arranged, but despite it’s prettiness it also feels like it could be poised for a rumble at a moment’s notice too. Them dudes are ready to explode.
The Manchester-based producer Walton returns to Pinch’s Tectonic for the label’s 99th release with a duo of cuts that explore the micro niche of ‘sinogrime’ — a heavily Asian instrumented, digi half-step sound that was explored to acclaim by Kode9 on his 2005 ‘Sinogrime Minimix’. And whilst my description of this particular musical spectrum is properly reductive, what Walton does is best personified on ‘Koto Riddim’ where he contrasts stark, spacious, dubbed-out dread with passages of Chinese and Eastern melodies.
'Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough'
Finn might well be assuming the title of ‘bona fide party starter’ with his latest clutch of material on his latest six-track EP, 'Sometimes The Going Gets A Little Tough'. All of it (save the closing track, ‘So Confused’) is a fast-paced stomping romp of 4x4 that's built around his rough-shot but incredibly satisfying sampling technique. Repurposing the vocal hooks, Finn goes hell for leather with the big beats, punching them out of his DAW with abandon.
The fact that I’m probably just as besotted as Blackdown is with the whole weightless, drum-less grime thing that’s been happening for the last three or four years might be a bit of a hindrance when delving into his beatless album, 'These Moments'. Me? I LOVE all the patchworks of cheap-sounding synths and midi trumpets but 'These Moments' is not that. It’s a terse and tense and unsettling exploration of dissonant synthesizers and snatched conversations that’s soooo decidedly brooding.
I’ve always admired Hello Skinny from afar. As an accomplished drummer, he already has a big slice of my admiration because, try as I might, my foot just will not do kick-drum hits steadily; and in time. It’s infuriating. But the blend of styles and approaches on 'Watermelon Sun' definitely isn’t. It’s an open-minded blend of boogie, four to the floor disco, drum experiments and footwork tempos that veers all over the place but grounds itself in jazz instrumentation.