YokoO’s excellent new release for the Crosstown Rebels offshoot sees the artist fire on all cylinders. There is an innately deep quality to each of these productions that doesn’t undersell either a sense of funk or emotional intensity beginning with the undulating stabs and subtle, teasing synth lines driving Higher State into distraction. The tempting Acid infused collaboration with Bobi Stevkovski then takes shape in the spiritually charged form of Spiritus Sexualem, watch out for the devilish voices, while the liquid grooves of Finis deliver an exercise in inescapabilty vigorous movement. Jivanmuktih completes the release of energy this time working fiery drums together with heavy-duty bass plus an assortment of heady treatments that are little short of magical, while hinting at ecstasy.
Release: January 29
There’s little doubt as to the strength of this production as heartfelt, soulful emotions resonate from every pour, and in days like these that’s precisely what we need. Inspired by a speech given by Lauryn Hill the touch paper is ignited via rolling currents of electrical impulses gently yet intently gathering pace. You kind of want this to go on forever as it reaches out towards an open-ended conclusion, but then that is the power of good music. The chunkier Kaleidoscope featuring MC Coppa concludes employing more robust bass and a darker tension which draws you into its expectation.
Release: August 28
listen / pre-order http://classic.beatport.com/release/unconditional/3080092
It requires music of some persuasion to spark the imagination of disco these days after the continual remodelling of a re-edited past. However, all three tracks from the mind and heart of Rogue D hit the button with the scintillating title track causing the most explosive damage. Burning, feels fierce in the extreme as an intense blur of basslines, voices, choppy organ and thumping drums all deliver on the promise of a brighter, more suggestive tomorrow. Coming Home, then does similar things with a deeper, slightly smoother feel, while the happier melodies of Nights end on a sweeter note of nostalgia.
Release: July 31
This startling release from the artist sees Joeski drive his signature sound forward with a philosophical determination as an abundance of percussion ignites Rachel’s smouldering vocal. Let The Drum Speak! touches on rhythm with a sense of eloquence as layers of sound excite and tease. Next the deeper, Expressions In Dub Love gets under the radar via hissing hi-hats and scintillating dub effects bouncing around the horizon. Finally, As We Dance visits the party once again with more playful keys and finely tuned drumming.
Release: July 19
Marking their Rebellion debut with three tracks of equal distinction Nico Stojan & Timujin define themselves with elegant, thought-provoking music that does more than most. Beginning with the twisted electricity generated by Oktoberfest you get the feeling that all is not quite all as it seems, with an array of strange otherworldly pulses and haunting melodies. Followed by the deeper, strummed guitar of the beautifully picturesque Satsang and the likewise scenic surroundings of Higher Altitude, both of which again place the mind and soul of the listener elsewhere. Journeys of discoveryâ€¦.
Release: May 24
Posing questions and seeking answers Cypherpunx reveal themselves with these two new richly rewarding productions for Rebellion. Hier+Jetzt is a standout number in any book referencing the electronic output of 1970’s Germany yet feeling defiantly here and now. Brooding synthesizers create darker edges which in turn are surrounded by fizzy, drum-machine encoded percussion, existing alongside warm envelopes of beautifully engaging sound tactfully teasing out lavish scenarios. The English translation of the title then forms Here+Now which reworks the elements lending the arrangement a more forceful, robust feel as energy levels are engaged and then tuned up a notch via choppy keyboard strikes, adding a deft intensity amid heady swirls of ambience.
Release: February 22
Thank you. La Dorada means “the golden one” in Spanish, it’s the name of a fish, the sea bream, and it’s also the name of the home where I spent most of my childhood, near Barcelona. The track was made in London, while I was living and studying there. It was quite a hectic period for me, the city made it feel even more frenetic. I was meeting a lot of new people, doing lots of new things, so once this track started to exist, I felt it would be nice to join both worlds, where I come from, and what was going on at the time. I had a similar approach with the name Tibi Dabo. There’s a hill in Barcelona, my hometown, called Tibidabo (notice the slight difference), keeping this name for wherever the journey took me felt like a nice idea.
photo by @merlegrain
Buy: Tibi Dabo – La Dorada – Rebellion https://lnk.to/RBL056
La Dorada has a particularly distinctive flavour. Can you talk us through how you produced it, including any favourite pieces of software/ hardware you like to use?
I’m a big fan of happy accidents when working on musical compositions or productions. La Dorada is a good example, it was one of those tracks that came very naturally, I almost feel like it was given to me in a way because the workflow was so natural and spontaneous. I think one of its key points is that it’s quite simple when it comes to layers, as I think it relies on all of its elements. I wanted it to feel quite clean at the start, so I could progressively make it feel more dirty and gritty. A key element of the track is the gliding bass line, which is a heavily processed sound from the Prophet 08 (actually I hadn’t used it for bass yet). One piece of software i really enjoy using is Echoboy, it helps a lot when it comes to adding analog touch to something that might lack warmth, it’s also great with saturation and general space distribution in the mix. It can even make you coffee if you ask nicely.
I love hardware because it’s hands on, it helps me so much creatively when I’m jamming out to a new idea. It also makes you not think about burning out your CPU as much, which was a great feeling for me as I used to fill my projects with very heavy soft synths and that hurt the processor too much, to the point where the creative flow slowed down or even stopped as I had to focus on the technical side.
I’m still figuring out my ideal setup, which I doubt will ever get to a “final form”, some of my favorite toys are of course the Prophet for its versatility and the Elektron Analog Rytm (although its workflow is quite a thing, one’s got to get used to it)
Buy link -Â https://lnk.to/RBL056
Do you think that it has become harder to hear originality in Dance Music? Or do you think the opposite is the case?
I think we’re definitely at a point in time where it’s harder to filter out the good stuff as it’s easier than ever toÂ put music out there. That doesn’t necessarily mean there is less interesting music.
I think it can get a bit overwhelming though.
Big tracks can’t develop the way they did in the past. The same thing happens with any kind of news, it’s just not “news” for long anymore.
There’s such an enormous variety nowadays. One can go in any direction, therefore you can become very specialized.
I remember having a chat with a friend, we were saying something like the scene feels like a huge and very refined tapestry, where its patterns are hard to distinguish, one has to examine it for a long time to recognize its structure and see the individual colours it has to offer.
Who are your main influences from inside and outside of electronic music: any favourite artists, writers, vocalists etc?
I try to avoid comparing myself to other musicians/producers as it almost always makes me feel bad about what I’m doing. But I’d be lying if I said there’s no inspiration in what I do (obviously). A big influence in my music I think is listening to records that might not have much to do with the styles I work in.
I still feel like I’m in a “baby mode” for plenty of aspects in my life. By that I mean that I’m still absorbing things like a sponge. I’m constantly listening to music and wondering how the artist behind that particular song might have achieved a sound, an arrangement or a particular chord progression. This makes me aware of a constant evolution going on in my “creative process”, I doubt I’ll get stuck in a particular style, there’s just too much to try out.
What does DJ’ing mean for you? What ideas and emotions do you like to translate to the people you play for?
There’s so many ways ofÂ approaching a DJ set. Something that i really enjoy when listening to someone DJ is spontaneity and a factor of surprise. I really like it when there’re risky moments that can switch the mood in sometimes a very positive way. But overall I’m very into playing long and slowly evolving sets, with an ideal outcome of making the listener forget where he/she is at that given moment. As clichÃ© as it might sound I don’t think that happens too often. I think carefully selecting each track so there’s a continuous energy is a crucial part of this style, merging tracks so there isn’t a clear notion of where the previous track ends and the next one begins is a big part of what i try to achieve on a DJ set. That’s why extended sets are my favourites, the ones where one can really get lost in.
The flip-side to the release is: No Mantra which feels more musical via its rich, piano chords and captivating vocals. Do you think that music is missing out not having as many great songs around, or is rhythm more important and potent in itself?
Rhythm and dance music have an unquestionable link. Some tracks can immediately be recognized because of its incredible groove. But the musical part is what can really make a track memorable. I like melodies that touch you emotionally, and this is quite a delicate subject, because it can be relatively easy to create something that has an obvious emotional impact if you follow certain rules, but I feel it’s really hard to touch an audience in a subtle and elegant way, where the melodic side of the track is suggested instead of imposed. That’s when a record can have a very powerful message and at the same time be very emotional but not in a cheesy way.
I’m definitely still learning how to achieve this.
And finally. Can you share with us your forthcoming plans for moving into the future?
Right now I just got back from working on a new live music project with some close friends. I’m really looking forward to locking myself in my new studio in Berlin, will try to finish some new ideas I have been collecting during the summer, some of them aren’t much more than voiceÂ notes and others are almost done. I want to experiment more and dig deeper, there’s so much one can do it can be overwhelming, so I’m trying as hard as I can to limit myself. There’ll be new music ready soon that’s for sure.
Seeking instant gratification? You’ve come to the right place. Tibi Dabo’s brilliant new release for Rebellion gets under your skin right from the very moment it begins. There’s something in the way those twisted, synthesized notes weave their way around the electronic pulses, which glue themselves together to the words kick and drum, that instantly reward the senses. And furthermore the way the arrangement dips and dives into different corners as disco hi-hats fight for recognition against the illuminating array of ideas plus diverse sounds on offer. Next, is the rather sublime No Mantra featuring amongst its many attributes a finely tuned piano sitting alongside a taught bass and words that feel like they’re telling you something good. Excellent.
Release: August 3
The artist continues his exploration into all things resolutely emotive plugging into the mainframe of electrical authenticity. The beautiful musicality of Dharmony unfolds over eight plus minutes of carefully curated ecstasy combing chiming keys along with brooding drums and low-end notation. Next, Momento provides a neat contrast with more insistent, caustic synths realizing unnerving atmospheres as KnowKontrol’s heavily effected voice adds a sublime, yearning quality to it all, augmenting the pulsations of the timely machine drums perfectly.
Release: December 8