TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

Tips #12
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Phalanx Pt​.​3

You may remember I was raving about the second compilation that Welsh label Typeless put together in the post Compilations for Lockdowns a few weeks back? Well they've issued a third since and it's actually even better! Phalanx Pt​.​3 begins with the finest funky Detroit Techno track from Raw Takes which perfectly sets the vibe for an upbeat mood. A variety of Techno and Electro Acid tracks follow, all of which are pure quality through-and-through. The False Persona track smacks of a heavy rock guitar track in Electro guise while the Ottonian contribution politely nods to Moodyman. This is an essential release, so get on it ASAP. Oh, and it's name your price too, so you've got no excuses.

Intensive Care, Vol. 1

Intensive Care, Vol. 1 is not as good as Phalanx Pt.3 but a fine compilation nonetheless which I've had on repeat for weeks, this time a first release from Canadian label Auguri Records, who selected a bunch of tracks from Oracle Agency. Well worth checking out.

Michael Mayer - Higher EP

Higher, the first solo release from the Kompakt boss in eight years is a resounding return to form! All four tracks are simply killers, with flavours of Italo Disco and Trance supporting great melodies.

Cio D'Or - Fluidum III

With a background in art, theatre and film, it’s no surprise that French DJ and producer Cio Dorbandt understands how to make atmospheric and engaging music, the type that encourages your imagination to roam. Whether it takes a minimal form of Techno or stripped-back Ambient textures, it oozes quality. Fluidum III (yes, I admit, I checked for the first two in the series only to discover it’s not a series!) falls somewhere in the middle. What really works on this album are the sub-bass wobbling noises that produce a delightful aquatic visual.

Hodge - Shadows In Blue

Since 2011 he's been releasing music on a range of outposts including Berceuse Heroique, Livity Sound and Peder Mannerfelt, his sound constantly developing and maturing as he jumped between labels, comfortably switching between various strains of Dubstep and tribal Techno. By 2016's Body Drive EP his experimental endeavours clearly signalled his intended direction. Shadows in Blue, like any debut album from an artist armed only with EPs of bangers, is an artist truly finding his inner purpose, comfortably not involving any kick drums in his repertoire. It's a pleasantly captivating listen.

As rich and textured as anything that has gone before it, the album is a ten-track journey inspired by nature and process, as listeners are led through new growth and back into the dark, night-time spaces where passion serves purpose.


Wave Temples - Tales From The Cymatic Abyss

Like Andrew Pekler's work, the music from Wave Temples transports the listener to a tropical destination, flooding the senses with natural field recordings, downtempo rhythms and pleasant drones. Melodies are melancholy but in a good way.

Alex Banks - Beneath The Surface Remix EP 2

The second EP of remixes for the Alex Banks album Beneath The Surface sees Mesh label boss Max Cooper join Nicolas Bougaíeff, Robot Koch, Ryan Davis and Thomas Ragsdale in presenting their own versions of key tracks. The Robot Koch contribution is bold and beautiful and actually improves on the original while the Thomas Ragsdale rework retains the Trance essense but pares things down, tempering the incessant edge of tension.

Auscultation - III

Auscultation is the term given for listening to sounds within the body as a form of diagnosis, which is fitting as III the new album from Joel Shanahan works its way inside you, into your mind, under your skin, its dreamy, cosmic vibes at once ethereal yet grounded. Layers of sound, tape hiss, rattling li-fo rhythms, vocal snippets, it's Austultation to a tee. My highlight could be Flottant with its plaintive melody, provoking childhood memories.

René Najera - Contours

From the man who runs LA-based label Jungle Gym Records (along with Caleb Draves) Jared Carrigan is an extremely prolific artist with approximately a hundred releases under various guises. Contours is the ninth release as René Najera and takes the form of lovely lo-fi noodling, long drones and an optimistic vibe, making it a very pleasant way to spend an hour.

Molding to one another like stones around sand these 11 precious ambient-dub artefacts ride ebb and flow, a wilderness shoreline far from the optimistic coastal bustle of earlier offerings. An expansive yet microscopic experience

Jungle Gym Records

Golden Diskó Ship - Araceae

Araceae has been a slow-burner but its charms have gradually gripped me. Cross The Knife with Arcade Fire and you're in the right ballpark. Catchy melodies and a pretty Pop face.

Tips #12