Time is short when there's so much decent music on the go, so here's a quick round-up of a few albums I've been enjoying recently:
Krikor Kouchian - Pacific Alley
Another long-established producer that's been flying under my radar is French producer Krikor Kouchian, who's been making Techno and Ambient since 1998! Pacific Alley is his second long player and in the press release it suggests
this LP could move thugs to tears, I concur! If loping beats or downtempo vibes is your thing, get onto this ASAP, it really is superb. Out now, on L.I.E.S.
Four Tet - New Energy
Kieran Hebden delivers his tenth(?) album and it's another masterclass in quality control. It's also like a retrospective of sorts in that he references recognisable elements of all his previous work, like
harpischordsantoor, hip-hop beats, manipulated vocals, electronic-meets-guitar-EDM-style and some dancefloor-focused tracks.
Nosaj Thing - Parallels
After his slightly disappointing third album Fated I'm really happy to say Jason Chung is back on track with his fourth: Parallels. It's short (at just over half an hour) but it's packed with great tunes, including some strong vocal contributions from Steve Spacek, Kazu Makino and Zuri Marley (yep Bob's granddaughter). I'd also add that it's his most accessible to date. Well worth investigating, especially if Nosaj Thing is new to you.
Belief Defect - Decadent yet Depraved
Categorised as Industrial and Techno on their Discogs page, Decadent yet Depraved is some satisfyingly heavy electronic music from a pair of established musicians choosing to work anonymously. Great album artwork too! Out now on Raster.
The Caretaker - Everywhere at the end of time
This is the third of six planned albums from Leyland Kirby as The Caretaker where he explores the ongoing effects of dementia through the use of old music. Very cleverly composed and mixed and also very enjoyable to listen to, although I suspect that may change over the course of the next three installments as we bear witness to the devastating effects of the condition.
Pessimist - Pessimist
This feels like forward-thinking music, cutting edge. UK producer Kristian Jabs describes it as
Drum & Bass that works as Techno(read the interview at RA) and it's this crossover that stirs my loins before each play. Listen to Glued for a fine example. Out now via Blackest Ever Black.
Rafael Anton Irisarri - The Shameless Years
For fans of theatrical Ambient. The term " force majeure" is foremost in my mind when listening to this monster of an album. At once malevolent and soothing: a dangerous combination. Best played with the volume at 11.
Nadia Struiwigh - Lenticular
A slow-grower this one, as the best albums usually are! Debut LP from the Dutch producer is primarly hardware-led, which gives the sound a richness and depth. Loosely categorised as Techno throughout the press, it's actually closer to IDM.