With its latest release, the Awesome Tapes from Africa label has again done what it does best—reissuing a largely undiscovered gem of decades-old African music, this time in the form of Penny Penny's 1994 debut Shaka Bundu. Pulled from the eight-track affair is "Dance Khomela," a house-minded dancefloor workout which adds airy organs, MIDI saxophone melodies, sharp piano chords, and chanted vocals to its steady drum-machine skip. The results are as genuinely fun and carefree as a South African house tune from 1994 should be, and one featured on yet another record which lives up to the name of its label—except for the fact that Shaka Bundu is actually currently available as a CD, LP, and in digital form, rather than just the usual cassette.
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British newcomer Manse is a perfect fit for the ever-experimental dance imprint Opal Tapes. Both have a tendency to warp the dancefloor into a more cerebral environment, and the title track from Manse's forthcoming Lying in Wait cassette for the label exhibits that style in full. "Lying in Wait" is a blistering techno cut surrounded by guttural soundscapes and sanitized bleeps, with buoying kicks and tumultuous FX assaulting the ears from every angle. The rest of Manse's six-track release is set to drop sometime next month.
It's only been a week since we heard Oslo producer Snasen's reworking of Janka Nabay's "Somebody," and he's already back with yet another remix. This time, the source material comes from Los Angeles-based "sci-fi duo" The Deep and its "Singular Silence" single, a track that utilizes some lo-bit, grinding percussion sounds and an upfront female vocal to create an eerie atmosphere. Snasen chooses to go straight for the core on his version, as he pulls away the lead vocal and raw surroundings until the track is left with an efficiently svelte rhythmic center. The shuffle of an added kick drum and an ethereal synthline complete the transformation, as Snasen pushes "Singular Silence" into a cold-but-intriguing new light.
Living up to its name, Brooklyn duo Mind Dynamics delivers a proper brain fuck with "Praise Hi," a cut from the outfit's forthcoming EP for Canadian label 1080p. On this particular outing, the pair pieces together more of a sound composition than an outright tune, uncovering a dense world of modulating electronics, buried vocals, and abstract rhythms which all ooze and shift in order to culminate into one beautiful, uncompromising mess—or as the label so finely puts it, "an all out distrodian [Ed. note: ??] frenzy." "Praise Hi" is set to appear alongside five other efforts full of similarly melted electronics when Mind Dynamic's forthcoming Precision Instruments cassette drops on December 3.
London producer Otik proved himself adept at creating house tracks that fall on the silky side of the spectrum when he sent over his "Thugluv" tune as a free download early this year. His latest, an eight-track EP entitled Persist (out on November 25), shows that he's equally capable working with a palette of raw, gritty sounds. Pulled from that release, "Green Tea" finds Otik juxtaposing a one-note, portamento synthline and chopped sample against a dirty hi-hat pattern. Its arrangement takes some unexpected detours, at times flirting with the type of underwater, modulated synth sounds that have become de rigueur recently, while nonetheless maintaining a steady flow.
Italian producer Stèv—who appeared on Project Mooncircle's Uprising compilation earlier this month—takes a patient 90 seconds to build up an intro for "Winter Train." To his credit, this first movement proves a strong enough listen in its own right, as soft melodies mix with subdued pads and the loose strums of guitar strings. Eventually, Stèv laces the track with a simple-but-inviting groove while continuing to shape a rich tapestry of atmospheric, often reversed elements and miniature melodies—sounding somewhere along the lines of a more bubbly Tycho. "Winter Train" will also appear on the producer's five-track Elsewhere EP, set to drop via the Portland-based Loci imprint on December 10.
Intentionally lacking much detail on his various internet portals, A Theory is a London-based newcomer who is set to drop what appears to be his debut EP early next month via the Zang Tuum Tumb label. Serving as the forthcoming effort's ghostly opening cut, "Elevens" takes a solemn path through dubwise electronics, using dimly lit piano chords and lush synths to create the swelling bed on top of which A Theory constructs the song's intricate and propulsive percussion patterns. With A Theory's first EP set to drop on December 1 (and, from what we can gather, bearing the title One Point One), the impressive "Elevens" is a somewhat haunting introduction to this new UK talent. Those interested in hearing the man's full EP before it drops can do so using the stream included after the jump. Read more »
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