Afterlife – Ambient Meditations – The Ambient Zone

I had been so busy with the assumption that Afterlife produced certain sounds that fitted into particular styles of music – notably Balearic etc etc – I hadn’t even realised that Ambient wasn’t one of the genres touched upon. Which in a way seems rather strange as you would imagine it to be a natural space to occupy given the immersive explorations of mood and atmosphere readily kindled across the years. Thankfully though, this must be some of the most engaging work to date from the producer behind the guise not least of all because of the rich intensity, almost too intense at times, which has been created.

Singularity is an epic opening, unfolding in warm waves of reassuring emotion that feels gently blissful throughout each aspect of its meditation on living life. So much so that the proceeding impact of The Lost Birds is like a small shock to the system, aside from the fact that it could be one of my favourite pieces of music in amongst all of the past twelve plus months of madness. I don’t know about you but if music is indeed a universal language then you will also sense a yearning, or loss, located somewhere in the hardwire of memory (hidden from view) as a vigorous whir of contemplation extends beyond conscious belief. There is something about the liquidity of water contained within the body of the sea which conjures up a captured stillness here, pictures from a black and white timeframe that are worn and lost. You may well evoke something completely different of course, unique to your own experience in the process of listening. Everest, follows by reverberating across the space of notes generated from piano to dawn, observing the blur between wind and snow as the energy of raw emotion drips effortlessly across the screen. Next, Secret Life completes the release likewise returning to the grain of torn keys, this time pitched alongside the contrast of eloquent pads seeking out future tomorrows amid the passage of time…and as the music leaves the stage it still echoes within.

Release: June 23.
www.subatomicuk.com
https://theambientzone.co.uk

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Council – One Hundred Nights EP – Polychrome Audio

In the process of hinting at history Council has produced an inventive take on the future to debut on the newly formed Polychrome Audio. Fusing words like funky and tempting together roll easily into one as yearning vocals combine with hard-hitting drums and bass on the opening Want To Go. Playing with sounds alongside dub sensibilities that are reminiscent of early eighties New York there is also a contemporary edge redefining it all for 2021. Get To It continues that theme as more playful rhythms exercise themselves amid swirls of heady keyboards, leaving the drum-machine driven Mood High to complete while demonstrating the innate power of electronics.

Release: July 2
https://polychromeaudio.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/Polychrome-Audio-113806870795511
https://www.instagram.com/polychrome_audio/
https://www.instagram.com/_council/

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Leron Thomas ft. Iggy Pop – In The City – Lewis Recordings

What’s not to love? Isn’t actually a question because when you watch the video and listen to the song (if that is quite the right word) you already know the answer. Visually this is the seedy underbelly of cartoon along with Iggy Pop sitting reading an assortment of literature (chiefly Punk Magazine), occassional air drumming and general goofiness. Musically it’s a searing collection of spikey Zappa styled guitars, shuffling drums and funk in abundance. So, what is not to love.

Release: June 25
http://www.lewisrecordings.com
https://www.facebook.com/LeronThomas

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3kilo – Searching For You – 90watts

The haunting spaces opened by this rather tasty production from 3Kilo is rewarding in its own right. Moods, voices and textures are made readily available through the expert use of electronics, generating much thought about the human soul as about connectivity through sound on the title track. KAMADEV & Paul Hazendonk provide a first rate remix adding a slinky, funkier slant to the instrumentation while lending the rhythms fresh impetus. Second original, By Your Side (feat Robodanz) then feels tougher in comparison supplying a nice alternative should you so desire.

Release: June 25
Buy https://www.beatport.com/release/searching-for-you/3410680
https://www.facebook.com/90wattsmusic
http://www.manual-music.com

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Alex Over & Andrew Shobeiri – 001 – Perpetual Collective

The simplicity in numbers does not undermine the intensity of purpose contained within 001. This is also the first release of Alex Over & Andrew Shobeiri’s brand new imprint boasting an array of sounds as radical as they are fizzy and emotional. Beginning with Tides with its twangy, aggressive basslines plus carefully crafted drums it’s the warm embrace of notes that cultivate around the breakdowns that similarly provide depth and resonance. Next is Compass which again seeks out a wealth of atmosphere as pads expand across the horizon, while rugged bass along with grainy drum machines hit hard with an incendiary nature. 001 provides stylish, provocative music that colours the spaces between rhythm and soul leading fast forwards to second and third…

Release: June 25
https://www.alexover.com
https://www.instagram.com/renewise/
https://www.perpetualcollective.com

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The Fantastics! – Take A Shot – BBE Music

Listening to Take A Shot feels like a lifetime of experience all rolled into one moment. As if the collection of musicians involved know each other’s language intimately transferring notes and conversations freely. While this follows traditional musical lines it is none the less very enjoyable, life enhancing music perfect for the summer sunshine that captures the essence of live sound. From slower, funkier songs such as the album’s title track to the up-tempo flavours of the delightfully jazzy Oblique all bases are covered, influences explored. Overall it’s also the sense of expertise that dazzles in the process and you get the impression that a wrong note could simply be out of the question.

Release: June 25
Buy https://www.bbemusic.com/downloads/take-a-shot/
https://www.facebook.com/thefantasticsuk

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Fuckpony AKA Jay Haze – Something Else – What Goes Around

The two pieces of music occupying this space are urgent and likewise rewarding. Something Else fuels a consistent splash of drums alongside bubbling bass and edits of vocal which all sing and dance like no tomorrow. Breezy and yet subsequently serious. Room To Breathe then escapes the world’s pressure via warm keys, unwinding guitar and a casual shuffle of drums which all gather pace and delight as they progress, while Jairus Macdonald’s smoky vocal delivery adds compassion and thought to this wonderful release. Beautiful cover Art too.

Release: June 25
https://www.facebook.com/luvjayhaze

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Dubphone & Igor Vicente – Gravity – Double Trouble

Feeling distinctive and contemporary in the wash of current nostalgia causes the explosive Gravity to pull you in various directions. Thankfully all of them are rewarding as smouldering vocals work their way over crunchy drums, rugged bass and slinky keys demonstrating a most soulful eloquence in abundance. The remix comes from August Artiér who injects the rhythm section with punctuating percussion and a smoother, deeper groove that cuts the ice with flair on another excellent production. Leaving second number, Out Of Time to roll out tougher drums and bass complimented by yearning voices and the energetic rush of crashing snares.

Release: June 17
https://linktr.ee/igorvicentemusic
https://www.facebook.com/dubphoneofficial
https://www.facebook.com/doubletroubleromania

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Riigs & Skenna – One More Love – Manual Music

The luscious One More Love which begins this new release from Riigs & Skenna fills the air with space and timely emotion. Temptingly open to interpretation as unfolding waves of synthesized arpeggios roll over unhurried drums plus occasional splashes of breathy vocals all of which strongly hints at sun and shine in evocative manner. Ambro, feels brisker by contrast with keys imposing melody amid a heady whir of assorted sounds and swirls.

Release: June 18
Buy https://manualmusic.bandcamp.com/album/one-more-love

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APOTEK – Unknown Territories – Apotek

Elisa Di Riccio is the keyboardist and producer operating under the guise of APOTEK and this fantastic new album plays testament to the abundance of talent and meaning to be found across the expanse of Unknown Territories. From the opening salvo of ethereal beauty espoused by the album’s title track through to the bluesy, melancholy of Dying Stars the moods and themes bent into shape via electronic maniltpuilation are as much about soul as anything else. The second single, Black Dolls still sounds stunning as does the shimmering pulse of the proceeding Runaways. And as the final strains of Fragile leaves you the combination of sight and sound, which all creates such an indelible impression, is something you will want to return too.

Release: June 17
https://apotekmusic.com

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