Axel Boman - Europa
Vinyl copies of this EP from 2011 can exchange hands for stupid money, so this digital version (available for the first time this year) will be welcome to many. Simply put: Europa is a quality EP with Boman on top form for Studio Barnhus. Four delightful tracks perfectly suited for summer, comprising swaying beats and sun-drenched melodies that work an uplifting vibe. It's been on repeat since I picked it up!
Dream Tiger - EP1
Dreamy Pop from Liz Wolf aka Dream Tiger. Three quarantine songs that distil Wolf’s dark Pop sensibilities in an alluring storytelling form. Think Nina Persson or Julia Holter and you're in the right ballpark. More EPs to come apparently.
Geotic - Oxperls
Normally known for his outgoing brand of Leftfield Pop both as Baths and Geotic, Will Wiesenfeld dropped Oxperls, a proper Ambient collection under the (admittedly more contemplative) Geotic moniker, on us last month, declaring all proceeds will go to Black-led LGBTQ organisations. Win win win! Four tracks and forty minutes of tasteful downtempo bliss, balancing subtle melody and chilled-out vibes. I love it.
Aqeel Aadam - Hollow Moon
New York-based producer Aqeel Aadam with Hollow Moon, an eight track mini-album that strides out on a Fourth World branch, mashing up oriental chimes with hip-hop beats and menacing, dubby synth lines. Released on LA Label Mystery Circles I predict a star of the future here.
Emika - Chaos Star
Chaos Star was originally only available for a day (on the May 1st Bandcamp Friday) so if you missed or overlooked it then, perhaps now's your chance to investigate this provocative set of experimental, synth-generated compositions from Emika. Turns out to be the perfect companion piece to her piano-focused Klavirni Temna album from earlier in the year, revealing how she uses technology to write music.
Arad - Radiance Haze
Dara Smith, aka Arad (it's Dara backwards innit) returns with Radiance Haze, a compelling six-track EP for Voitax, with Smith's resonant brogue gracing a few tracks. It's a perfect showcase for the artist, with attentive production throughout, chanelling breaks with unusual sounds to great effect. You can even sing along.
Skee Mask - ISS006
This is one of two EPs released by the German producer recently. ISS005 is the more upbeat affair, closer to his previous work, while ISS006 caters for the more reflective partisan. Siz tracks, dubby, glitchy, muffled, dark and entrancing.
C Diab - White Whale
With every listen of this extraordinary album, my view of it as contemporary Electronic Post Progressive Rock only strengthens. Caton Diab plays his guitar like a cello and the result is an Ambient-bothering sound verging on alien at times; a unique listening experience! Has the potential for album of the year, so don't sit on this one.
Shahin Souri - About This Time
In making this music Tehran-based composer Shahin Souri was inspired by the death of his best friend, so it follows that About This Time is an emotional journey. Over six tracks he covers the gamut of Ambient music, with heartrending melodies that reach the depths of sorrow.
Released on Swedish label Moloton (remember Orpan Ann?) who present a finely curated output, specialising in the various strains of Experimental and Downtempo music. Souri has also released elsewhere with his more rhythmically driven project Rhonchus.
Between Sleeps - Fantasia
This anonymous Parisian follows up his debut release Sky Appeal with Fantasia, a strong six-track EP of melodic electronic music. Built on a House/Techno framework, the driving rhythms are soothing and emotive, bringing to mind the work of Matt Karmil. It's been played a lot on the stereo here!
Wu Cloud - Pulse Rimba
Last year mysterious Australian producer Wu Cloud decamped to Indonesian island Sumatra with the simple goal of capturing the rich, exotic sounds around him. Pulse Rimba was the result of his experience. Tropical Ambient, for fans of Andrew Pekler and Wave Temples.
Upsammy - Zoom
Thessa Torsing is upsammy and her debut album Zoom reflects the ever-evolving facade of electronic music production in 2020, mashing together genres and influences with aplomb. The result on Zoom is a contemporary form of IDM, fluid and melodic.
I always try to make my music vibrant and dynamic with elements moving in and out, like a living organism
Liam Mour - Ode To Youth
BOC-inflected downtempo electronica with a flourish of Four Tet for good measure. Ode To Youth.
Invōker - Batumi
French producer Guillaume Le Marois with Batumi, a club-orientated EP of upbeat electronic jams. I found myself going back again and again, maybe you will too?