Olympias – Black Bird EP – Elevator Program

Much like a jigsaw each piece of this carefully crafted arrangement plays its own distinct part adding maximum intensity. The emotive keys that feature prominently are drenched in heavy soul, while the accompanying drums feel tough yet thoughtful in execution on Black Bird, capturing free flight as strings soar. Next is, Tykhe complimenting via rugged beats and percussion this time with liquid bass playing in funky abundance as voices highlight and pads swirl around the ether in evocative fashion.

Buy https://www.beatport.com/release/black-bird/4027180 https://www.junodownload.com/artists/Olympias/


Even Drones – Ethics – Freund der Familie

I like excellent music. Music that commands your attention while colouring the moments of its duration, leaving a trace of itself behind, altering consciousness and potential for possibility. Even Drones fuel the excitement via a cascade of sights and sounds each recalling the point of why you engaged with the magic of sound in the first place. Try, the intimate beauty of Abandon Ship! as arpeggios shimmer with fascination and the accompanying bass and guitars strum out introspective perfection. Or the jazz infused and likewise brilliant musicality of Monkey Knight and so the story continues supplying a consistent, constant steam of evolutionary, revolutionary pieces of music to tune into. A riot of rhythms are employed alongside a far reaching taste of influences which in turn get rechannelled as individual expression. The use of vocal is sparse but feels all the more impactful when it does occur, sometimes as a challenging addition. As you travel alongside the album, tracks vary in duration, mood and atmospheric intensity such as the incendiary reggae of Atoris, which is followed in turn by the sinister realisation of OrakelMaschine. A futuristic reimagining of soulful exploits cruises throughout resulting in an exhilarating listen ending on the more playful, twisted cinema of Bad Memory Overwrite touching upon a revitalised 1960’s escapade which once again they make their own.

Release: April 1
Buy https://freundderfamilie.bandcamp.com/album/ethics-lp


Camiflage – Snaretrade 004 – Snaretrade

Number 4 begins via a funky shuffle forwards as Night Shop Gold surrenders to an after dark scenario that sees rhythms get disconnected, voices hazy amid a general feeling of unpredictability. Camiel Hermans aka Camiflage’s journey continues next with the commanding Doomstrolling laying down heavy, four-four signatures alongside a series of twisted sounds getting progressively more feverish as each moment passes. Completing the adventure is the self-explanatory, The Sleepless which lifts the tempo and sense of uncertainty together with fiery keys punctuating insistent drums plus speedup words describing the aftermath in hot-wired detail.

Release: April 1


Boycalledcrow – Nightmare Folk Art – Subexotic Records

If music means anything it means something. I wonder what Pete Seeger or for that matter Phil Orchs would have made of this version of Folk storytelling. While the acoustic strains from the genre are woven throughout moments inhabiting this album they are not strictly tied down by them, setting the sounds and imagination free. The thing here is that this collection of pieces from Boycalledcrow feels like an evolution of the art form, talking up inspiration, rather than seeking to copy, regurgitating what went before like the re-editing of disco tirelessly does, or 90’s House, like either was never about radical transformation in the first place.

Let’s use the word incredible to describe what has been produced like a wave of motion hitting you rolling via a rush of memories, thought process, wild sonic treatments and most importantly the emotional substance found in all great, lasting music. But whatever you do please don’t link the word pastoral to the semantics of folk music or its consequent art. The edges undercutting are surreal at times, nightmarish even, illuminating an anxious rapid eye movement, always determinedly evocative, thought-provoking in the truest form of the meaning.

Release: March 31


Afterlife – Being There/ Quiet Music EP’s – Subatomic UK

“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the Universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good and just and beautiful.” This quote from Plato echoes across thousands of years of the evolution of human existence and applies liberally to this latest set of creations from Afterlife. I love these journeys into ambience as they provide a thoughtful space to absorb what is going on around you, both figuratively and emotionally. Each number on the Being There EP represents a time and place, each with its own unique personality observing a contemplative, thrilling world outside of dancefloor formulas or the interference of cliqued words. Try, Fireflies as a welcome starting point, providing a deep reaching sincerity realised via each hit of its sublime keys amid the accompanying layers of sound swirling around the great blue yonder, that recall the touch of blissful memory and the natural order of things.

The second EP to be released in March forms Quiet Music. Which partly feels more introspective, more melancholy in that celebratory way of missing things that used to bring you joy. Consequently, Being Still is a perfect piece of music which I can’t really do justice too by describing in words, its meaning is the personal communication found in the listening experience, pure and simple. However, by the time you reach the title track, Quiet Music contrasts appear, cracking the veneer, as intense percussion invigorates the flow of ambience so much so that it becomes something else in the process. Yet still beautiful, while achieving the objective of elevating the soul. Out Of The Office and Sahara then cement those differing aspects by further extending the story. The brilliant former suggesting liquid suspension alongside the wonder of discovery, underpinned by a haunting, darker flair of bass heavy synthesizer. The later sees a storm of arpeggios surround the horizon again wholeheartedly embracing positive alternatives.

buy Being There EP https://orcd.co/zebdpo7


Pheek – Fleksebleco – Archipel Musique

Exploring, Fleksebleco is like passing through a series of rooms each containing a new way of absorbing sounds as if they had been created uniquely in that very instant. The music proceeds to evolve very much on its own terms as rhythms unfold peppered by a future of ideas plugging into the electrical mainframe of creative thinking. There is a spirituality at play here too shifting your emotional responses around the edges of occasional convention, much like the machines have a mind of their own communicating directly to you. In ways it’s the drums that punctuate, holding all of this together, much like a framework of intention allowing the improvised, modular synthesis to transport you into unchartered territory. Consequentially this is both thrilling as it is exciting located far from the clique of melody, it also simulates a sense of curiosity and amazement at how notes can sound in succession.

Release: March 20
https://pheek.bandcamp.com/album/fleksebleco https://pheek.com


Dino Lenny – I’ve Learned That – Crosstown Rebels

Dino Lenny’s most recent releases have been statements of intent. I’ve Learned That, talks that same language with a refreshingly, direct breath. On this occasion fuelling the words are rugged bass and resilient, jazzy reflections landing in the shape of emotive piano chords. Soulfully loaded, filled with timely lessons for life enhanced by the innate power of the music, both punching points home. Remixes come with his own funkier version along with Fed Conti, a hugely energised Shadow Child, plus a stripped down Jonathan Kaspar take that explores as much as it penetrates.

Release: March 17
Buy https://lnk.to/CRM288


Francesca Guccione – Tales from the Deepest Lights Vol. I – Modularfield

(Artwork by Madeleine Stepponat)

A dreamy, drifting across forever skies quality inhabits Francesca Guccione’s wonderful musical creations like they were made for each other. A heavenly journey touched by a sensitive, introspective enquiry playing out towards a cosmic tomorrow. Searching arpeggios populate the narration forming the beginning Parallel Echoes contrasted next by the sheer intensity of Ganymede as it reverses over a cascade of heavy synthesizer. The breezy melodies of Moonquarium follows revealing another contrasting aspect of the artist’s thoughtful process, leaving you with the deep reaching How We Left Saturn to finalise questions about the expanse of being while sounding like a note celebration and then completion.

Release: March 17
Buy https://francescaguccione.bandcamp.com/album/tales-from-the-deepest-lights-vol-i


Even Drones Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Even Drones. Your debut album Ethics for Freund Der Familie is an explosive ride through the sights and sounds of everything you love about music exploring influences from across the spectrum. How important is it for you as artists to carve out your own individual path while not sounding like everyone else?

Chris: Hey there, thank you for showing interest in our work. We really believe that if you look hard enough, you will always discover parallels between what you accomplish and the earlier works of other artists.

Paul: Eclecticism is somehow the essence of art. In terms of music, we believe that everything is already present and just needs to be discovered.

Chris: We simply attempt to find a sound that completes each piece we are working on and improve our sets of skills and knowledge. The more from others we can learn, the more we can incorporate our own ideas into our art and are able to leave out stuff we don´t like.

Paul: As most children, we began by listening to music rather than by creating it. The simple preferences we developed in this period are the foundation we now use to create our own music.

The musicianship is exemplary. Can you tell us about who played what on the album?

Paul: Our band doesn’t have any set roles. We like to stray from the traditional method of fixed roles and teach and demonstrate to one other as we learn. Being ‘not so comfy’ with an instrument might be really interesting in order to produce something unique.

Chris: On one of the songs on this Album (Bad Memory Overwrite), Paul provided the bass.
He believes he is a terrible bass player, but for this track it was perfect.

Tell us about your introduction to music growing up and which artists still influence you today?

Chris: Together, we have been making, playing, and listening to music for a very long time.
We have been friends from the early childhood. Thus, this unavoidably leads to the development of similar tastes, although both of us as individuals are constantly looking for something new to discover.
We enjoy to impress the other band member with obscure or new kinds of tracks we discovered.

Paul: Maybe one of us started listening to Rap or Electronica when we were little, and the other to Jazz and Alternative a bit earlier. However, for us, this situation was cool because we could share what we learned in this specific styles within our band.

Paul: At the beginning we were teenagers and didn’t have a wide variety of instruments to choose from. So we were both constantly attracted by sampling from old, inexpensive vinyl. This forced us to learn about strange music, B+C movie themes, weird recordings, cheap cassette tapes from the trash bin and ridiculous spoken word recordings. The influence of many current and past musicians and producers, including Rick Rubin, Raymond Scott, early Warp Artists, Lalo Schifrin, Bernard Herrmann, Miles Davis, Bob James and Morton Subotnick still has an impact on us

Chris: I think we never really had any – Idols – in music, art or poetry. We always were more interested in the subjects, not so much in the personas. With so many new songs being released since the emergence of streaming services, it is more challenging to find new music we enjoy.

Is too much contemporary music built around clique and nostalgia? What are your feelings on social media and how people engage with it?

Chris: We believe that a large portion of contemporary music is composed using “tried-and-true ideas”, old ideas are “interpolated”; sometimes only a tiny portion of freshness is incorporated into the majority of current contemporary music. Mostly modern production techniques are used to squeeze proven concepts into modern shapes.

Paul: Regarding social media, we hold very different perspectives.

Chris: In my opinion, social media is beneficial because it has made it incredibly simple to communicate and exchange information. The majority of platforms are very easy to use, but because of this, they are also very vulnerable to misuse and manipulation. Paul avoids social media, he uses his time more for more offline stuff.

What are your favourite pieces of hardware/ software? Do you have a valued instrument?

Chris: Every track is a new beginning because we use a variety of techniques and instruments. I have so many favorites instruments and software that making a complete list of them would take forever. If I would only be allowed to bring three instruments to a deserted island I would choose: my kitchen modular system, a bass, and the Symbolic Sound Kyma system!

The limitless potential of a modern DAW is incredibly appealing to both of us and allowes us to create complex arrangements that we later rebuilt, resample and mix. The hardware we still use since the early days: Korg MS20 and MonoPoly, Yamaha Recording Custom Drums, Fender Jazz Bass , Fender Rhodes, Sequential Prophets 2000 (Prophet 6 since it came out), Akai VX600, Ensoniq Synths and Samplers, various Akai and Emu samplers, Elektron Octatrack and Analog Rytm, Eurorack modules and many oddities. And more modern stuff like Waldorf Iridium.

Paul: We both love the Ensoniq ASR-10, it is the only instrument we have in each of our studios.

Are atmosphere and rhythm as important as words in music, particularly in today’s world? Do you feel music can change the world or more simply just connect with the individuals experiencing it?

Paul: I don`t think that any contemporary music has changed anything.

Chris: I fell that music is THE universal language. We place a lot more value on sound, rhythm, mood, and feeling than on words. The human voice is a beautiful instrument by itself, regardless of the language spoken. And to be honest, most lyrics can sound good, even if the words have no meaning or are totally nonsense. However, words can easily injure others and be highly detrimental.

Paul: Maybe in specific genres lyrics could persuade those who are closed to new ideas to listen. This might be cool if the lyrics empower a citizen’s movement or a noble cause. Like Blues, Soul or bands like Public Enemy for example did with their lyrics. Unfortunately, this is a very rare phenomenon in modern music culture.

(Album Artwork by Bureau Experimental / Eliot Orphen / Anscorm / Angry Button)

How would you describe the albums artwork and what it represents for you?

Chris: The artwork inspired us to consider the ethical and cultural transformations happening in our globalized, networked, business-dependent society which is currently dominated by just a few worldwide operating companies. How will “homo sapiens” evolve if artificial intelligence becomes considerably more prevalent in all facets of society? How will ethics change or kept alive when most AI platforms are controlled by a few commercial projects? Is it possible that AIs may eventually be able to evolve on their own initiative?

Paul: We have always aimed to a Moebius-inspired artwork that provokes while also allowing simple enjoyment and exploration.

How do you see the future for artists/ musicians in terms of survival and generating income from their work?

Paul: Very dark. Very, very dark.

Chris: In the long run, we think that live performance, human-made music that is distinct from AI-generated music, and perhaps combining those two things with an enjoyable live experience can be a survival strategy.

Outside of music which artists, writers, cinema etc. influence your day to day the most?

Paul and Chris: Isaac Asimov, Frank Miller, M.C. Escher, Jean Giraud, Hayao Miyazaki, Ted Chiang, Goef Darrow, Kurt Gödel, John Romero, Tim Sweeny (Epic), Shigeru Miyamoto and many more.



Blank Gloss – Cornered – Kompakt Records

This is a sublime album expanding the beauty of being with all of its inherent light and shade. Words speak in-between the tense, atmospheric piano and guitars as they gently, poignantly strum across the horizon of extensive imaginations by quoting past and present experiences. The meaning is found in the use of effects that reverberate around the room almost as much as it is in the playing itself, which is expressive yet subtle and exemplary. The track Crossing is particularly devastating via its direct narrative, as brutal and simple notes cut to the core. You could say this is mood music for day and night reflecting the world around. Cornered does that successfully in a unique, breathless way leaving its trace intimately lingering.

Release: March 17
Buy https://blankgloss.bandcamp.com/album/cornered