Various Artists – Assortment 001 – Bulletdodge Records

The further I drift away from the more conventional melodies formulating I love You (yeah, yeah, yeah) the allure of structures of sound, dissipating or otherwise, becomes all the more exciting in and of themselves. Which has more to do with the evolution of ideas and music as a self-defining exploration of mind, body and soul rather than replaying the same old song into infinity year after year, decade after decade. More John Peel, less Tony Blackburn. This collection of brilliant pieces of music from Scotland’s Bulletdodge compile what the label seeks to say and in doing so ticks all of the above in quick succession. The tracks come from Suna Path, Mash, The Revenge, Stewart Cunningham & Tom Saw Ya and more exploring breadth and depth in confounding ways. From the eerie prophecy conjured by The Prophet to the sensuous melodic chimes of Seisdum – Parklife, to the incendiary punk fuzz of Renwartherger – Yas Yas this scratches below the surface opening up an electrifying new world of maybe, could be, who knows.

Release: February 15

https://www.bulletdodgerecords.com/

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Alex Cicada – Syèl – Manual Music

This reflective production from Alex Cicada sets the future standard high as his debut release brushes the senses with the air of emotional resonance. The yearning vocal is at the heart of Syèl from which the splash of tastefully crafted instruments all breathe soul into the arrangement that is more about the depth of quality than simple dancefloor repetition. Two excellent remixes pay compliment with Ebrahimi reworking the elements notably heightening expectation via haunting keys, and from Hannes Wiehager who gets tougher with smouldering synths and drums all enhancing the atmosphere.

Release: February 8

buy https://www.beatport.com/release/syel/3255771

https://www.facebook.com/alexcicadamusic/

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Jozef K – Ichika – True Romance

Music of this exception only occurs on occasion. Jozef K’s sublimely spacious production Ichika opens out all possibilities via the shimmer of spine-tingling electronics that chime in unison with melody and the introspection of soul. It’s not that often a piece of music stands out on its own but this combination of cascading keys alongside tight beats and punctuating percussion does so perfectly. Play, also contrasts notably via tougher drums, plus a heady whir of bass, amid suggestive voices all rolled into one.

Release: February 5

buy www.beatport.com/release/ichika/3245614

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-ence – Dissensual Grooves – Resist-AV

Artwork by Ciaran Bermingham & Aga Goch

I listened to this in headphones because I thought it required it. Although I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. Not that the free flow of sounds emanating from the minds of Paul Stapleton and Ricki O’Rawe are incomprehensible or that they don’t add up to a fraction of something else in any way. Maybe this experience of rattling, rolling suspension of time is precisely the detail we need in moments like these, given the light of challenging circumstances the cast of shadows are found etched across the resolution of being plugged-in…who knows? Delightfully abstracted and as far removed from melody as is uncomfortable, yet this soundtracks the space in-between the speakers in an unearthly, feverishly organic fashion. Matters alter (slightly) around the 8.30 minute mark (on A) as a pulse of drums introduce themselves, even though they almost aren’t there. A voice struggles for recognition amid the excitable electronic warp with the percussion forming a suggestively slinky rhythm in turn.  But whatever happened I have to say both: A + B surpassed the thrill. Second to that are the remixes with Son Zept sequencing Drum & Bass into the chiming soundscapes, and from This Ship Argo who condense and compact everything via a heavier bass tone guiding the direction of travel.

Buy https://resistbelfast.bandcamp.com/album/dissensual-grooves

https://www.resist-av.net/

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Stefan Z & Gabriel I – Digital Lobster – TENAMPA

An excellent production positively brimming with the idea that music should provoke the listener into reacting. The wonderfully titled Digital Lobster does so with such compelling force as the temptation of heavy-duty bass pounds the walls alongside the swirling stimulation of magnetic musicality serving to only increase that anticipation. Surprisingly at seven minutes you still desire even more, which is undoubtedly also a sign. The wildly impressive remix from Sei A whose dirty, grainy kick drum feeds the fever of an alternative interpretation most powerfully again compounds the experience in a blaze of feverish thoughts as sounds shoot off in all directions, leaving The Dub of the original to excite you all over again.

Release: February 5

https://tenampa.mx/

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zlene & Mathias Hinds – Djup Trolling – Seaweed Rhythm

The connection to and from the imagination of liquid is clear while the sounds come fully charged with soulful depth. The results are consequently deep, organically connected and emotionally satisfying in abundance. As good music should also be interesting, stimulating five senses this succeeds at all while pointing to forward directions in contemporary fashion. Djup Trolling is very much about layers of sound and rhythm gathering intensity doing so eloquently across the arrangement, warm bass and shuffling percussion included. Rowlanz adds extra grit and a faster feeling tempo, Per Hammar then drops the flair of Acid drenched fire into its core resulting in the challenge of equally vigorous movement. (50% of all digital sales go to various water wildlife foundations and projects.)

Release: February 18

buy / listen https://www.junodownload.com/products/918-lene-mathias-hinds-djup-trolling/4951714-02/

https://www.facebook.com/SeaweedRhythm

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Joyce Muniz – Crystalline – Exploited

If only all discotheques were like this one. The fiery, breathless energy which courses throughout the veins of Crystalline are precisely that as this bomb of fierce rhythm combines with a fizzy attention to detail. Arpeggios race, vocals captivate and emotions fly. In Flagranti then ease the tempo down a touch revealing a slinkier groove that retains both the sassy syncopation of the original plus the heady vocal refrain.

Release: February 5

https://www.facebook.com/JoyceMunizOfficial/

https://twitter.com/Joycemunizmusic

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Spaniol – Suites do Amar EP – The Gardens of Babylon Records

Spaniol’s ever evolving, mesmerising sounds converse with the world outside of themselves in an array of consciousness-expanding brilliance. Reaching the global language of emotionally charged and forward-thinking music each of the six tracks comprising this excellent release do so while never forgetting their musical roots resonating throughout. From the carefully crafted percussion fuelled São Pedro, along with the chimes and smouldering voice igniting the senses on Amar:Perdão, you get the reoccurring feeling of commitment to the Art. The punchy Jazz of Lundu De Santa Maria Da Tempestade is certainly captivating as are the vigorous rhythms employed by Algernoia Brasiliensis. Nina provides a warm rush of inviting melody in amongst its more playful grooves, while the twisted brass and organ pulses of Papaya Azul all prove the point in more ways than one.

Release: January 29

Pre-order: http://lnk.to/SpaniolSuitesdoAmar

https://www.instagram.com/thegardensofbabylon/

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Myles Cochran – Unsung – 9Ball Records

The strains of Myles Cochran’s guitar ignite the opposite effect surfacing in the expectation of sunshine and bliss. The intriguing selection of titles also catches the eye such as A Crab Of Many Shells, or more tastefully Love Is As Beautiful As Pizza. Tongue in cheek aside the mind is cast far and wide upon the arrival of the opening September 7th care of the warm breeze of 6-strings, accompanying piano and occasional drums which all fuel the emotional punch perfectly. Hints of Jazz, Blues, alongside an Ambient echo and even the gentle slide of Country are all located within the swirl of rather sublime sketches highlighting plans and thoughts of future and past. Strings of the orchestral kind feature wonderfully too (Richard Curran: cello/ Lauren Conklin: fiddle) enhancing the expansive horizon contained within the imaginary worlds playfully Unsung.

Release: January 29

Buy https://mylescochran.bandcamp.com/album/unsung

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Sebastian Reynolds – Nihilism is Pointless – Faith & Industry

Good to return to the sounds created by Sebastian Reynolds once again and this new release for Faith & Industry is no exception. The challenge proposed by the title track is captured by a lone questioning voice amid the shuffle of gated synths and atmospheric effects all joining together to suggest an answer. The blistering Diving Board follows in a mix-up of charge and turmoil whose crazed rewards are plentiful. Next, the out there HAL’s Lament adds a more sinister/ lonely leaning to proceedings, while the powerful energy of The Silent Majority fuels thoughts of tension supplied by heavy drums and keys. The final number serves as an introspective ending in the form of Mothers Day combining traditional woodwind alongside futuristic impulses over a crisp two minutes of stimulating thought provocation.

Release: January 29
Buy https://sebastianreynolds.bandcamp.com/album/nihilism-is-pointless

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