Here's a selection of the best music I heard on Spotify but never bought during January 2016. There's some top class stuff from Alex Smoke, Christian Löffler, Tropic of Cancer, Fort Romeau, Doc Daneeka and Aucan among others.
It was always going to be a mammoth task to reach the lofty heights of his previous album Life Cycle of a Massive Star, but with third album Third Law, Roly Porter provides sound composition of contrasting extremes which should satisfy most camps. Opening track for this month's selection is In System which warms and warns in equal measure. This is followed by the euphoric opening track of New York-er Joey LaBeija's new EP Shattered Dreams, appropriately entitled Euphoria. German producer Christian Löffler takes thimgs deeper with a belter of a track called Lost from an EP of the same name; all throbbing bass and emotive chord progressions.
From Technicolor Daydream, an EP of jungle and breakbeats by British producer Etch, the highlight is Tinfoil Hardhat, bringing to mind Luke Vibert's more sinister-sounding music. Then we have Think About C from Argentinian musician Thomass Jackson, a laid back groove with a lazy refrain to match. From fifth album A Bit of Light, here's Swiss producer Marcel Gschwend, aka Bit-Tuner, giving us a taste of his synths and drum programming, think footwork.
Some down time from Tropic of Cancer, a band I want to love but I wasn't particularly taken by their recent album and haven't invested enough time in their back catalogue yet. In the meantime, we have Stop Suffering, which sounds a lot like the last HTRK album.
Out of the trough we go with Aucan. Errors is a poppy number taken from their new album Stelle Fisse - translates as "fixed stars" - and sounds like a cross between Röyksopp and Kölsch. Doc Daneeka returns with a new EP called Global Luv and opening track Where U At? is, simply put, party music. A tasteful loop builds and builds and builds and then fades out. Tuff City Kids work their magic on Fort Romeau's Cloche, turning the twinkling closer from his Insides album into a driving, disco monster.
Believing most modern electronic music to be too safe
in terms of ambition, sound design and intention, the British producer Howes delivers an album of challenging music. Not unlike Actress, his music is packed with layers of sound, both unsettling and rewarding with repeated listens. Alex Smoke ends proceedings with Fall Out, one of many highlights from his new album Love Over Will, which I will probably get round to buying eventually.
- Roly Porter - In System
- Joey LaBeija - Euphoria
- Christian Löffler - Lost
- Etch - Tinfoil Hardhat
- Thomass Jackson - Think About C
- Bit-Tuner - Reality Tunnel
- Tropic of Cancer - Stop Suffering
- Aucan - Errors
- Doc Daneeka - Where U At?
- Fort Romeau - Cloche (Tuff City Kids Disco Mix)
- Howes - DVR 16
- Alex Smoke - Fall Out