Manchester's Opal Block—a producer said to have been raised "on a diet of analog synths and 8-bit MIDI software"—dropped his debut release, the genre-hopping Tyson, late last month as part of an ongoing tape series from the fledgling Astral Black label. Opening the 10-track effort, "Star of David" is a production seemingly at odds with itself—its stuttering boom-bap and precious melodic adornments seem to come from two entirely different worlds. Still, Opal Block manages to make it all fit together, lacing the tune with FX and manipulated sounds that come and go in the blink of an eye, and even managing to sneak in just a hint of G-funk in the tune's low-swung bassline. For those who find themselves adaquately enticed by this teaser, Opal Block's full Tyson cassette can now be streamed over on Bandcamp.
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On its latest 4x4 EP collection, the 1980 label offers up four new tunes from the techier side of house, including this sleek workout from budding Londoners Carlotek and Raisingtheroof. Focusing on a set of descending chord stabs for most of its six-plus-minute run, "Donna" is a calm, collected dance tune, but not one afraid to venture into percussion-heavy breaks or unexpected moments of refracted vocal processing. And even then, Carlotek and Raisingtheroof never take their eyes off the prize: the low-end bump which makes the pair's tribal-laced track ideal for steamy dancefloors.
Ahead of Distal'a and Mite's forthcoming split-cassette, Concrete Space (out on December 3), the latter Atlantan producer's "Witch Doctor" tune has been sent over as a preview. The unwieldy dance track crashes in with knocking beats, wobbling pads, and a motoric rimshot pattern, tumbling around a plushy bassline and steady claps. Along with the release, Distal and Mite have teamed up with West Coast design company Nocs to give away 15 high-end headphones with the first 15 orders of Concrete Space, as well as 10 cassette players for the first 10 buyers. Info for the sweepstakes can be found after the jump. Read more »
Newcomer Jorge Day has logged time behind a synth in the Plastic Flowers band and dabbled in production work, but his new project, Fast Times, is the culmination of a year spent traveling and crafting his own demos. "Comfort Zone," pulled from his recently released Bodytalk cassette for retro-minded LA label 100% Silk, rides a dusty, drum-machine groove as swelling chords and a bouncy bass riff join the mix and a light-hearted synth melody floats above it all in a haze of reverb. Though Day's track might not necessarily set dancefloors ablaze, it will, as its name implies, bring comfort to those seeking some analog warmth during the long winter nights.
London minimalist Kit Grill has shared "Changing Patterns," a cut which appears on his recently released full-length record Mirror Image. The production largely consists of undulating and beatific synthesizer patterns that Kit Grill anchors to a pulsing drum kit. Each tone and melodic structure seems to roll off of the other before locking into place and gradually coalescing into a composition that shimmers with simplicity.
Originally produced in 1981, DeeKay Jones' "New York, New York" is an experimental bedroom production that hints at the origins of house and hip-hop. According to the Shaddock imprint, the track did not receive its due back in the day, and so the label has resurrected the song, along with two other previously unreleased DeeKay Jones works, on the Jones Coming Down EP (which also boasts a new remix from Hercules & Love Affiar). Actually the work of two producers—Dennis Kelley and Bruce Grant—"New York, New York" combines restless percussion loops with rugged synthlines and the manipulated twists of vocal samples, appropriately setting the scene for the much grimier and menacing NYC of the early '80s which DeeKay Jones called home. Out now, the Jones Coming Down EP can be previewed via the streaming player included after the jump. Read more »
Last year, Melbourne producer Hugo Frederick was profiled as one of the the winners of Warp's and Bleep's Filtered competition, a contest in which unsigned electronic musicians submitted music in hopes of being discovered by the seminal label and selected to appear on a digital compilation of the best entries. Since winning the competition, Frederick has signed to the Plastic World imprint, and is set to unveil his Waved EP for the label early next year. "Hanging Gardens" serves as a teaser of the release, and sees Frederick exploring aquatic textures and movements which skip and weave over buoyant toms and autumnal synth pads. The production is full of bubbling builds which develop into pressurized bursts of interlocking melodic passages.
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