Let’s try something different today. I’m pencil-dropping releases sent in my feed and from my followers, but not randomly – truly some great, largely undiscovered gems to transform your mood when you need it most. We still need food, but music is essential sustenance, too.
I got a lot more of these, but tried to string them together into a sort of narrative.
Wonderful summer calm from the UK – just when you need to exhale – by Rhombus Index.
From Osaka, Japan, noda yûki channels the dark secret of many of our lives lately, transmuting it into ultra-chilled grooves like a sonic hug.
In 2020, my life style changed and increased staying at home.
That is why the reduction of stress brought about mental health and led to an increase in feelings.
However, staying at home for a long period of time encouraged an increase in eating sweets and carbonated juices, and staying up late with TV and internet, which not only made my body bloated, but also made my silly fantasies and illusions bloated.
Pretty much. Maybe I’m glad I didn’t have access to Japanese convenience stores since this started.
You absolutely need this collab between two favorite minds, Klara Lewis and Peder Mannerfelt – I desperately want a cavernous power station and a crowd so I can hear it properly, but I can make one in my mind:
Really adore this ethereal composition by Ljubljana-based artist Olenc with accompanying video:
Nairobi’s Riqi’s Afternoon Jam Sessions give you that immediate feeling in the title – blood-pressure lowering charm, and really four utterly perfect miniatures (plus a whole back catalog to follow):
Wow, this is a scorcher, genius gem from Brazil’s ZONAᴇxᴘ, making deep ghetto tech – thanks, Michail!:
Try not to groove to the breaks in the latest Stefan Goodchild EP:
Haunting, expansive music from Buenos Aires, from Joaquín Gutiérrez Hadid:
Beautifully demented machine sounds just keep coming out of the workshop of Melbourne’s dyLAB – never quite like what you’ve heard before. It’s a digger’s delight; your future mix will thank me:
We’ve got enough angry, aggressive acid – here’s a 303 going darker, cooler – “the classic bassline acid sound acts as a point of reference, making the listener feel safe, preventing em from losing contact with reality.” Yes, maybe the TB-303 can be our mental health lifeline. Italy’s Broke One:
Kinnara : Desi La: is a creative force so boundless their work spills into visuals, sound, performance, other dimensions, and projects like the AFROVISIONARY : DARK MATTER Label and Afrovisionary website. Every moment of Desi La’s work is infused with futuristic sounds. Anyone remember that episode of Star Trek where alien beings move so fast the bridge crew just hears the faint sound of insects and can’t see them? Maybe that’s why people like this artist so often fly way past the media’s radar. But check the whole compilation, buy away to support this Tokyo-based human making more, and stay tuned for a feature soon.
Also, I want to catch this live:
Speaking of individuals who do the equivalent of teams of people, Syrphe is a platform for all the electronic sounds and noise and experimentation from the majority part of the world (Asia, Africa, and so on) that the tiny minority part of the world writing press so often overlooks. It’s just one of the best things on the Web, and there are a ton of new releases out now that are a Bandcamp shopping list in themselves. That includes Syrphe’s brain, artist and curator Cedrik Fermont, who does a superhuman amount of work and listening.
IDM and obsessive musical electronic invention live on Bandcamp – as if those seeds found a recognizable place on the Internet to continue to flourish. That’s evident throughout the excellent Triplicate Tapes compilation volume 3 – the American midwest’s gently pulsing, alive brain, including an absolute corker from Chaircrusher that I enjoy more than soft ice cream:
Hexagon. That is all. From wire and sound witch Aesthr:
No other words, really, for whatever wild deconstructed acid thing is happening here with Blank Thomas on Third Kind Records but – it is as it’s marked on the tin:
Heavy, beautiful ambient journeys – also on vinyl – in the work of UK-born, Swiss-resident Rupert Lally, compositions so cinematic you can close your eyes and imagine whole sci-fi sets:
Speaking of sci-fi, Mark Mosher takes us to a fantasized scifi theme park for a trippy experience right at the time that you really don’t want to expose yourself to Disneyland and Disney World, dearest COVID vectors:
Hazy, degraded guitar makes a wonderfully nuanced texture in the work of Philip Dolan:
Achingly beautiful music by Imka from DC works with “‘plant compositional strategies’, with the flora provoking and playing with various music devices and software.”:
Dreamy, sumptuous synth textures weave together in rich colors in the music of blit from Chile:
Our friend Noah Pred – who is also building amazing Max for Live things, including freebies – has a passion project full of collaborations, all for vital causes. Timeshare selects a charitable organization for each release. You can even grab the full discography for sale now benefiting the international Indigenous Youth Council. Check out fine stuff like this gorgeous collab between Noah and The Mole. Other media missed this. CDM sees and hears all underground noises, eventually. (Well, if not, email me ten or twelve times and then the magic works.)
I’ve been waiting for JakoJako‘s new one, exquisitely transcendental electronics for Berghain-resident label/party Leisure System and it quietly dropped end of July. More on this soon.
My god, this is gorgeous from SUNFEELS – thanks to Nalepa for alerting me. And actually feels like we could make should make that Berlin – LA connection happen again soon.
Let’s not only be calm and lovely, though. Turning to –
Khazad Records, industrial madness, I only just heard about via Berlin’s MOIA who has a scorcher on this one. An epic industrial compilation is out today. The label boss’ moniker is “Balrog.” Sold already.
Hey, remember earlier in the page when basslines were going to calm us and help us keep our grip on reality? This one is … going to rip us into a ravine of madness. I’m game. TFT, also on some very nicely toxic-green cassettes:
What does madness sound like when we get there? Maybe like Eden Grey, presently in Miami:
Or maybe like Cokehead‘s self-titled EP, which reveals the apocalyptic dark side of Shelly Duvall we know awaits us all at the end, the chanting refrain we hear as the world finally burns:
Why is there a big wolf on this cover? Why is it set in the old Apple font Chicago? Dunno, but it’s super weird uncategorizable broken beat futurism, so I’m in – thank you, London’s Slundarq:
It may be that the prize for “music that sounds least like the cover looks” goes to this – On Waikiki Beach by Tomoroh Hidari (maybe just because I’m not reading the Japanese):
Tons and tons of deep-feeling productions from Athens’ zodivk – code “friday25” for 25% off the entire catalog:
What would futuristic rainforest music sound like? Maybe the “sonic ecosystems” of Llyr, aka Gareth Williams, also releasing on Max Cooper’s Mesh imprint:
And we get AI music, too. Here’s a crazy concept from Berlin’s AQAXA which you can order as an ephemera-packed SD card:
In Corporeal EP, AQAXA weaves audio messages and voice memos recorded over the years into an enveloping, warm, and pulsating kind of electronic music. The exploration of this personal archive is guided by machine learning algorithms, with which AQAXA performs, building new narratives from ephemeral digital remnants of its recent past.
Speaking of AI, it’s wonderful to see our AI Art Lab with MUTEK (in Montreal and Japan) and GAMMA (in St. Petersburg) bear some fruit – the brainchild of curator Natalia Fuchs (ARTYPICAL). Was an honor to co-facilitate that.
That includes this wonderful creation of ultra-talented composer/musician Rutger Muller:
Sonic booms in a non-linear space. Electroacoustic music composed during the MUTEK.JP AI Music Lab 2019. A spatial, cosmic deconstruction of Japanese traditional sounds and more. I used source extraction tool Spleeter for sampling, and I celebrated the glitchy artefacts of this extraction process, which I thought resembled waterdrops or liquid movements. Inspired by this idea of glitchy VS organic, I started to combine the ‘spleeted’ sounds with regular samples, and composed a semi-chaotic, playful microcosmos.
Artwork by me. The MUTEK AI Music Lab was co-organised by Gamma Festival, EdgeOf, Natalia Fuchs/Artypical, Keio University SFC.
Singing as if from inside the Internet is Anak Utara, who queries, “Why am I trying so hard just to hit that 404 error again and again? Who knows?” Singing in Bahasa Indonesia, a CDM computer anthem if ever there were one:
Let’s go out on a weird, funky, Bavarian-poppy compilation note, with this from Munich’s Permanent Vacation. Play it at a picnic / BBQ with your dearest, vaccinated Internet friends and talk about how to build a solar-powered, decentralized BBS system for the afterscape.
Bonus track: this probably sums up Bandcamp Friday as cultural phenomenon. Bryony Williams. Almost… too real.
Plus, follow CDM’s own label Establishment – a return starts this month with something new: