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The Greatest Digital Music on Bandcamp: Could 2020


Joe Muggs

June 08, 2020

The concept digital music is one-dimensional is laughable within the greatest of occasions. However now, as we lengthy for connection to different individuals in different elements of the world, the huge range of sounds, kinds, and factors of origin of digital stands out greater than ever. From audio representations of fungal networks to fiercely politicized turntablism; movie noir funk to Brazilian bass; sleazy Serbian techno to joyously cascading Norwegian braindance—it’s all right here. There are reminiscences of the previous, too: whether or not its within the reconstructed rave of a veteran Midwest producer or the unearthed teenage experiments of British bass innovators. So whether or not you wish to be soothed, startled, or simply get a groove on, there’s a complete world ready for you.


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For electronica lovers, the truth that Stian Gjevik—aka EOD—has had data launched by Aphex Twin and the Icelandic Nina Kraviz protégé Bjarki, is in itself sufficient of an endorsement. As you will have guessed from these connections, Gjevik’s model includes sophisticated skittering rhythms and melodies, nevertheless it all retains the beating coronary heart of funk. It’s lifted even additional by an emotional intelligence that provides these tunes the eerie bittersweetness of very early Aphex tracks. All 4 tracks are heartbreakingly pretty, with the beat-less opener, particularly, transporting you to a misty, pre-dawn panorama you’ll wish to return to time and again.


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Sabina Plamenova—the Bulgarian-Italian Londoner previously often called Subeena, and now Alis—by no means appears to get caught in a inventive rut. These three tracks span Huge Assault-like, stretched out breakbeats, surging acid home, and claustrophobic underwater atmosphere. Not certainly one of them is generic, all of those parts are used within the service of high-drama music buildings, with Alis’s voice weaving by grandiose reverb, unshowy however vastly assured.

Shy One
2006 – 2009 half of2006 – 2009 2/2

Over the course of a number of EPs, Shy One has confirmed herself one of the crucial modern producers in UK bass music, continuously becoming a member of the dots between many kinds. However earlier than she ever launched something, she was a teenage grime beatmaker—and this assortment reveals her earliest experiments. There are 23 instrumentals unfold throughout two volumes, and although a number of the mixdowns are pretty rudimentary, there’s hundreds right here which might be vastly playable, and there are many little moments—just like the mind-bending surge of synths on “Untitled Nov 08” or the interlocking melodies of “Matthew”—that present Shy was hungry for the brand new from the very starting.

Varied Artists
place : ecuador

The New York label Air Texture constantly delivers unbelievable compilations of deep listening digital music, curated by smartly-chosen names. Equally fascinating is their place collection, which has launched listeners to native scenes in numerous corners of the world, every time with an area curator as information. This month, they launched a sterling version from Vancouver assembled by Kuma, and, even higher, is that this assortment from Quito, Ecuador. Prolific “retro-futurist” producer Quixosis has compiled 19 tracks from his compatriots that have a tendency towards slow-motion dance grooves, situating conventional instrumentation in unusual digital areas, and making a startlingly constant aesthetic. All earnings from each volumes go to supporting indigenous rights and environmental safety within the respective international locations.

Cosmic Backyard EP

New Yorker, Angel Deradoorian, has launched two excellent data this yr. Discover the Solar channels nice psych-pop and krautrock sounds from throughout the many years to soundtrack a journey of non-public exploration, whereas this file is altogether extra digital and extra blissed out. It touches, at numerous factors, on Italian cosmic disco, new age non-public press tapes, and significantly dreamy Japanese deep home. And as with all these issues, whereas it sounds quite simple at any given level, you’ll end up getting swept away to some very unusual locations by it.

Ilana Bryne
Unusual Journey EP

Ilana Bryne is a veteran of the Midwest rave scene, and she or he actually isn’t shy about utilizing old-school sounds. The nice and cozy pads and breakbeats on “Unique Shit Holds No Weight” and the cheerily singing acid tones that flip up all through, evoke starlit vistas and woozy sunrises at some endless rave below an enormous sky. It’s all pretty sufficient to really feel fairly utopian—though there’s additionally a sooner, moodier booty-electro remix of “Theoretical Medical Genitals” by Russell E.L. Butler to cease you from floating away in a cloud of PLUR.

Inconceivable EP

It stays astounding that, practically three many years into his profession, 31 Information boss Doc Scott’s ears for expertise are simply as sharp as they had been when he began out. The rhythms on this EP by Lupo from Bournemouth on the English south coast are your customary tightly wound, inflexible drum’n’bass patterns. The snarling bass sounds and MC vocal snippets are acquainted too. But someway, the younger producer opens up area between all the weather in such a singular means that, even when there’s barely something taking place, the momentum is livid—like the ground’s fallen out from below you, and also you’re being propelled by area by an invisible machine.

Jay & Bash
Conch 004

J. Bevin’s releases over time have been few and much between—however after they do arrive, they’re at all times value testing. The newest is a collaboration with Bristol home/bass linchpin Julio Bashmore aka Bash, launched on the label run by each Bashmore and Bevin’s previous pal and colleague T.Williams. It’s structured across the Afro/bashment-influenced percussion syncopation of UK funky—the scene the place Bevin began out—however all the pieces is slowed all the way down to a creepy-crawly home plod, and stripped all the way down to fearsome ranges of minimalism. Thus the purity of 808 kickdrums, the crispness of percussion sounds, the smoothness of soppy synth tones are all given the prospect to worm their means into your consciousness because the hypnotic grooves progress.

Andrea Taeggi

This album, recorded within the Willem-Twee synthesis studios in Holland, is extraordinarily conceptual: the music was created by feeding information from the hidden mycorrhizal networks of fungi into retro synth gear. However this isn’t some train in tutorial abstraction that will attraction solely to noise and code fanatics. There’s a regularity to the patterns on this music, and a transparent love for fizzing synth textures, gamelan-like rhythms, and hints of traditional ’90s electronica that makes it eminently listenable.

Mina & Champion

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British producer Mina thrives on becoming a member of the dots between a wide range of syncopated dance kinds. She’s labored with artists and labels from Ghana, Sierra Leone, Peru, Jamaica and Portugal, however right here, she’s working nearer to house, with fellow Londoner Champion. Champion is often all about high-energy four-to-the-floor bangers, however on these two tracks, his bass tones slither round Mina’s slower, tricksier, Brazilian-inspired rhythms. The outcomes are good. Cautious with this one: you might end up making an attempt extremely undignified dance strikes because it performs.

Myoptik & The Horn
Banana Splitz

“Techno gone incorrect in the absolute best methods” learn the album notes for Banana Splitz, and people phrases couldn’t sum it up higher. Myoptik and The Horn are each veterans of the sections of the UK underground that prioritize massive, noisy enjoyable, and have little interest in chin-stroking. On this album, which comprises each solo tracks and remixes, it’s all about delighting in crunches, burbles, gurgles, blurts, and parps. The rhythms span straight techno, free and loping electro, Aphex Twin model “braindance” and extra, by no means as soon as getting boring or drained, at all times radiating an limitless sense of mischievous pleasure.


Serbian artist 33.10.3402 has been making music for practically a decade now and, as you’ll be able to see from the cascade of close to plain-black paintings on the Bandcamp web page, nonetheless clearly enjoys traditional techno facelessness. That is the decide of a number of tracks they’ve launched this month. Like many of the catalogue, it’s sluggish, gloomy techno, however on this case, the gothic atmospheres have been ramped up even additional courtesy of its distorted, guitar-like drones, whip-crack snares, and post-punk bassline. It slithers alongside over 11 minutes, sounding like Ricardo Villalobos in a very sleazy temper. Which, clearly, is a superb factor.

Bamboozled (Darkside)

Gemmy was recognized within the late ‘00s and early ‘10s, together with fellow Bristol producers Joker and Guido, as being part of the “purple” sound—tracks that combined p-funk synths with dubstep/grime rhythms. He returned after a short hiatus in 2018 and it now appears to be like as if his productiveness is rising. Like final yr’s “TXNG,” “Bamboozled” closely reaffirms his roots in grime: it’s all abrupt stop-start rhythms, stinging claps and lethal laser zaps, precision tooled for high-adrenaline dancefloors. Right here’s hoping he’s again to remain.

Mariam Rezaei

Whether or not she’s operating an LGBT+ choir or creating sound artwork with turntables, Mariam Rezaei’s work in Gateshead, Northeast England revolves closely round reasserting who’s allowed a voice in fashionable discourse. You may hear that on this album, recorded in lockdown and made fully from turntable manipulations of her pals’s music. Human voices—in addition to voice-like digital sounds—get warped and twisted, to the purpose you’ll be able to virtually really feel them in your individual throat. The tracks really feel as in the event that they’re straining on the edges of expression and which means, talking in opposition to pressures and constraints. The outcomes are typically contemplative and typically aggressive. It’s by no means straightforward listening, nevertheless it’s difficult in the perfect sense.

Sweetz (2005 Flex)/Indignant World

It looks as if the UK’s bass pioneers are in a retrospective temper. Simply one month after Kode9’s big dump of unreleased dubplate tracks, Ollie “Skream” Jones has seen match to launch long-sought-after unreleased materials from his early days. Together with the two volumes of Unreleased Classics, this new brace of tracks completely seize dubstep in the mean time it was breaking out into the broader world. Stately rhythms that appear to tug you from one facet of the room to the opposite and again, sonar bleeps, swooping dub sirens and, after all, deep sub bass, are deployed with such finesse it’s virtually inconceivable to imagine that Jones was nonetheless in his teenagers when he made them.

Cycle of Ages

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“Cycle of Ages” couldn’t be any extra completely different from L.A. producer Prism’s March comeback observe “Mr. Lucifer.” The place that observe’s dubstep lurch was punky and apocalyptic in temper, this one—apparently composed slowly over greater than a decade—is 14 minutes of muted trumpet, fretless bass, lyrical sax soloing, and wide-open areas—with a pattern of a spiritually inclined narration from Wayne Shorter on the finish. Impressively, the 2 tracks really feel just like the work of the identical thoughts and the identical traditions—jazz and dub, as filtered by British bass and rave music—displaying the massive richness and sense of risk they include.

Mortgage Shark EP

Sheffield producer Commodo has at all times stood other than the dubstep/grime colleagues he performs alongside, with a low, sluggish funk sound that’s all his personal. It’s half West Coast G-Funk, half Bristol Journey-Hop, and on this EP, he has stepped up the sophistication and individuality one other notch or two. There’s much less apparent use of melody, however the musicality remains to be current in refined twangs and subliminal chords, which all convey the sensation of one thing hiding within the shadows. If anybody is engaged on a 22nd century movie noir in the mean time, this might make for the proper soundtrack.

Blanc Motif

Blanc Motif are a Portuguese duo, working between Porto and Rotterdam, Netherlands, who construct their tracks from discovered sounds. Not that you simply’d understand it: there’s nothing within the repeated arpeggios, drones, and kickdrums that’s recognizable. But it surely actually doesn’t sound like a lot different techno, both: the sheets of reverb and the buzzing, fizzing sounds are as very similar to shoegaze as something, and the endlessly affected person sense of pacing lifts you up, up and away, into radiant areas the place your mind can gently unwind.

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