May 2020

Album releases

Ben Lukas Boysen — Mirage

Mirage is a lovely synthesizer album with lots of emotion and detail. But two of the tracks (Kenotaph and Clarion) throw live drums into the mix for even more texture and dynamics; these songs make the record a memorable one.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith — The Mosaic of Transformation

A bubbling synth album with beautiful processed vocals laid on top. I like the direction KAS is going with her sound; it is feeling more and more organic, a merging of electricity and humanity.

El Michels Affair — Adult Themes

A jangly, 60's-cool instrumental record that lives somewhere between a movie soundtrack and a beat tape. Reminds me a little bit of The Postmarks if they were more hip-hop.

Hania Rani — Home

On Home, Rani's compositions start with piano at the core. Nimble arpeggios thrust and parry while haunting vocals dance at the periphery and deep, subtly digital tones lurk beneath. The record can be relaxing background music, but it rewards deep focus as well.

Singles & EPs

Machinedrum & Holly — Berry Patch: Blended

A spicy EP with 2 remixes each of Berry Patch, Yangmei, and Goji across a variety of styles. I think the Berry Patch remixes are my favorites here, with Halogenix contributing a solid neurofunk version and IMANU doing a more heavy bass/glitch treatment. The Craze & Ride remix of Yangmei starts out jungle but morphs into punishing, crackly halfstep. And the Posij/Former remix of Goji is a pleasant midnight garage track.

New to Me

⣎⡇ꉺლ༽இ•̛)ྀ◞ ༎ຶ ༽ৣৢ؞ৢ؞ؖ ꉺლ — )✧⃛* (2017) Highly recommended!

This Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) pseudonym puts weaker blogs' text encoding to the sword! This EP is a lovely one, made up of three chill, synth-driven tunes; track #1 is a little more ambient, #2 adds some jazzy, shuffling drum samples, and #3 sprinkles a bit of head-nod bass into the recipe.

Cykada — S/T (2019) Highly recommended!

A boisterous dance-jazz assault! And yet another very excellent record coming out of the youthful London scene.

Godblesscomputers — Solchi (2017)

An electronic album with a diverse range of styles. Typically with stuff like this I expect a "jack of all trades, master of none" result, but I was pleasantly surprised here. There's soul, dancehall, Bonobo-style house and Boards of Canada-style blips and bloops and all of it is distinctive and high-quality.

Gigi Masin — Kite (2018)

Not all music needs to be challenging. Kite is a mellow and thoughtful album of compositions rooted in piano, although they at times incorporate electronics and effects. Recommended for a sunny spring day after the rain has stopped and the clouds are parting.

Belle Chen — Departure (2019)

What an interesting album. You could start out describing this as "solo piano" but it ends up much too distinctive for such a simple label. There are lots of tasty processed piano sounds, a hang drum (I think?), and even a full-out tango.

Cookin' on 3 Burners — Lab Experiments, Vol. 2 (2018)

Nothing too complicated here: this is a scorching funk album. Perfect music for a breezy summer day or a sweaty night on the dancefloor.