Record of the week

RECORD OF THE WEEK 8- PRISCILLA ERMEL - ORIGENS DA LUZ (MUSIC FROM MEMORY)⁣

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Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Priscilla Ermel has been long-loved by Music From Memory, and this LP, “Origens Da Luz”, is utterly Brazilian, with influences from all around the world, resulting in an ethereal and relentlessly beautiful concoction of fifteen tracks that each encapsulate the nomadic question: where is the line that separates and defines global sounds? Priscilla blurs it entirely.⁣

⁣ Luar is the first track, opening with an eerily stunning classical melody that sets the scene of a romantic summer evening, bird sounds to boot. Martim Pescador is both calming and chaotic, with clunky offbeat percussion, it is both unique and borderless. Campo Des Sonhos encapsulates an almost Studio Ghibliesque tone and immediately makes everything feel slightly more exciting in a melancholic animated way. Origens Da Luz is hypnotic, the instruments combined with haunting voices create an unusual atmosphere and appear to draw on Priscilla’s anthropological roots. Meditaçâo is calm, melodic and classically Brazilian in its tone and delivery. Americua is upbeat and really shows how Priscilla’s music opens up a mystical space. Cine Mato Gráfico integrates a slow pace, merging and connecting a multitude of cultures simultaneously. The intense echoing slowness of Cristal De Fogo is simple yet effective, it underlines the point where ancient and modern music evolves into a new language. ⁣⁣

⁣ Sete Quedas highlight’s Priscilla’s flawless vocals once again, the track is layered and tells a story of its own. Following on from this, the dramatic and heavy hollow tones of Corpo Do Vento have an almost warlike drum beat, with whining melodies and a wobbling mouth harp that creates an incredibly beautiful tribal feel. It is 15 minutes long and in that time, we are taken to... (read more via link below or in bio) (KAT)⁣ ⁣


Record of the week 7- THANASIS ZLATANOS - A RETROSPECTIVE ( OSÀRE! EDITIONS)

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Elena Colombi created the label Osàre! Editions in 2019 to shine a light on daring and future-facing artists “rooted in free-spirited musical abandon”. Her releases are deeply thought through and represent a unique and refreshing approach to music, therefore it isn’t surprising that “A Retrospective” by Thanasis Zlatanos has caught our eye for Record Of The Week. This compilation album has been prepared by Elena and Zlatanos, pulling tracks from his previous work to shine a light on an inventive and imaginative artist who has previously been overlooked. ⁣

⁣ “A Retrospective” links genres while simultaneously obliterating the need for them altogether. Wave, pop, ambient, proto electronic and Macedonian folk music are all heard, but the overall tone is something that certainly cannot be put in a box. The album’s opening track, “Master Chameleon”, has a plinky melody that takes you into a dreamy daze alongside a grounding, darker sounding synth. “Nor The Reflection” is rough around the edges, with effortless wave-style vocals and a Lo-Fi sound. The third track of the album, “Without us” is dramatic and theatrical. The folky voice, over heavy percussion, is suddenly interrupted by a grounding vocal. “Psychedelic Clown” is slightly offbeat, giving a feeling of confusion and slight creepiness, something the title already adheres to. This is one of my personal favourites from the album, it’s weirdness is on a different level and it sounds like nothing I’ve heard before. Time to chill out a bit, with “The Crystal Sight (Excerpt II)”, the ambience is ghostly but calming and beautiful. The next track is titled (and sounds) “Distorted”. It maintains a sereness but in an intrusive way that conjures the image of a weird hymn. ⁣

⁣ The slow-paced, undulating eerieness of "Surreal Moment", blends perfectly into the warping continuum and beautifully quirky lyrics of "No Explanation", which sounds like a trippy pop song for the early hours and is another personal favourite. "The Crystal Sight (Excerpt I)" isn't at all similar to its sibling track. It has more of a new-age electronica feel, with a futuristic, space-like vibe, clinking and plinking into a satisfying abyss. "The Dead Don't Remember" is wonderfully robotic, again with a hymn feel and lyrics that sound like a mantra. "The New Barbarians" is Vocoder-laden, operatic, performative and marvellous. "Macedonian" is heartbreaking. The melody feels hopeful and agonising simultaneously. The album concludes with "The Light", a guitar solo piece that is completed with electronic-effects that make it, like most of the tracks on this album, unlike anything else. Listen to "A Retrospective" in one sitting and you will be taken on a journey into part of your brain that is rarely visited. It is truly a masterpiece, Thanasis Zlatanos and Elena Colombi both deserve praise and left no question in our mind when choosing Record of the week (KAT). ⁣


Record of the week 6- Trenton Chase - Planar Array (Artificial Dance)

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Artificial Dance has released yet another banger of an album, this time from Trenton Chase. As half of Manie Sans Desire and the co-owner of June records, he’s known for his uncompromising sound that touches a wide range of genres. His latest LP, titled “Planar Array” is no different. The release is heavy-hitting with distorted vocals, industrial textures and dagger-like synths. It’s a satisfying array of wave, EBM and experimental music. ⁣

Transit Decay has a consistent clunky bass line and depth at its core. Its tone is hostile, something you can definitely imagine spurring excitement in some smokey dark room at the dead of night. Wind Shear is like riding around in a convertible Chevrolet in the 80s. It’s uptempo and exciting, with drone sounding synths that are simultaneously melodic and chaotic. Narked is defined by its aggressive electronics. The kick is consistent and angry, with distorted vocals scattered here and there, giving it an unusually uncomfortable vibe. ⁣

The title track Planar Array deserves an extra bit of attention, it stands out. It merges the classic tones of wave, EBM and experimental all at the same time. It’s melodic high synths compliment the almost calming vocals in the intro; it will be a popular one out and about this spring. Anamnesis is probably the most cheerful track of the album. It maintains the heaviness that runs through the LP, but is full of melodic, positive synths. Rto again has a slightly lighter, more synthy sound, however its harmony is less bouncy and more minor. Doppler Shift is dreamy. It’s clunky and offbeat, with a weird metronome feel that has you bobbing your head very slowly. The result is an excellent album that gets progressively more destructive. It really deserves its title as this week's Record of The Week. (Kat)⁣


Record of the week 5 - V/A - America Invertida (Vampisoul)


Let’s face it. Especially this last decade so many new archival compilations were thrown at the record buying public (which is ultimately a good thing - don’t get us wrong - there’s always room for more music) that by now it’s virtually impossible to still come up with something new or cover new ground. The infamous Vampisoul imprint has done just that with ‘America Invertida’, an essential collection of rare Uruguayan music from the eighties.

While the music of larger neighbouring countries like Brazil and (to a lesser degree) Argentina has been documented extensively, there has always been a shortage of good Uruguayian music on the market, even though we knew it was out there somewhere. That’s what makes ‘America Invertida’ a true treasure chest with glistering diamonds and other precious gems that have been hiding under the surface for decades.

Opener ‘Desencanto’ sets the tone perfectly, starting out as an ethereal folky groover that slowly moves further into bossa territory. It’s followed by the stunning ‘Tras Tus Ojos’ by Estela Magnone and Jaime Roos - a beautifully intricate and wonderfully groovy slowstepper with breathtaking ethereal shoegaze-avant-la-lettre vocals (think Slowdive and Lush five years before they even existed). A song so beautiful it would be worth getting the album for alone, but there are no weak moments on this stellar comp. Things get a bit more psychedelic with ‘De Los Relojeros’ and ‘Kabumba’ before the unmistakingly eighties smoothness kicks in on the B-side with ‘Llamada Insolita’ and ‘Y el Tiempo Pasa’. Another undisputed highlight is the chilling ‘A Ustedes’ by Fernando Cabrera, a menacing minimalist statement that ends in a dark haze of haunting choir vocals. ‘America Invertida’ is an absolutely flawless and amazingly accomplished work of art opening the gate to a beautiful, largely unknown musical landscape that’s waiting to be rediscovered (RO).⁣


Record of the week - Vegyn - Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds (Plz Make It Ruinz)


Vegyn is by no means the new kid on the block. You probably know him as the producer of Frank Ocean’s legendary albums “Endless” and “Blonde”. ROTW is Vegyn’s debut album “Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds”, an incredible piece showing his stand-alone work is set to be as iconic as his collaborations. The album is hard to define to one genre, it has chasms of hip hop, jazz and electronic sounds with an esoteric dream-like edge. What stands out about this is the contrast within the tracks, making the personality of this album multiply the further you listen.

We start with a dreamy futuristic vibe, the track “Blue Verb” is wintery with echoing vocals. These continue into “Nauseous/Devilfish”, in the breaks between verses from JPEGMAFIA. “That Ain’t No Dang Cat!” is a crescendo of hecticness, mellowed out only slightly by the glitchy but slow and melodic “Aspenz”. “Cowboy ALLSTAR” is the track on this album for me, it’s complex, melodic and spicy all at the same time. “Thoughts Of Offing One” again feels more emotional, whereas “Debold” has a broken beat, with abstract breaks and an atmospheric tone. “Fake Life” is beautifully constructed, and really fits into the genre of modern classical music, this contrasts entirely with “I Don't Owe U NYthing”, a more off-kilter hip hop track from the London talent Jeshi. “Fire Like Tyndall” crackles and opens into a slow jam, with trap-like rhythms and distorted vocal recordings. “Unknown, Forever Unknown” again points to modern classical music, the delicate melody is just beautiful, “Retro OTW” is equally as calm and classical, enriched by the beautiful monotone voice singing. “When I Strike” is a mashup of everything mentioned previously; it’s broken beat, melancholic, futuristic and glitchy. “You Owe Me” is another favourite of mine, simultaneously hectic and dramatic and calm. “It’s Nice To Be Alive” lives up to its title, the positive chords shine through. The album finishes with “Blue Verb Reprise”, a fuller version of its opening counterpart with a calming outro. The intensity changes, the style is eclectic, yet within all this Vegyn maintains a consistency of the utmost skill.⁣