c2019 is up and running and there have already been some great electronic music releases that any aficionado should be looking out for. Mike Stanton has picked out half a dozen in his January electronic music report for Louder Than War.
Xeno & Oaklander are back, teasing their new album, Hypnos, due out in March and the first single is some sweet, atmospheric, French-tinged electro-pop. Having debuted way back in 2006, Xeno & Oaklander, a Brooklyn-based duo consisting of Sean McBride and Liz Wendelbo, have been concocting chilly electro-pop ever since that seemingly defies time. Sounding as if forged from the early years of experimental electronics, they have unlocked a sound so nostalgic it aches with familiarity.
Angélique is pop/disco in widescreen. The arrangements are spare, the vocals weirdly sweet and the tone is underrated and melancholic.
“Musically, Hypnos is a return to polyphony after several years of using strictly monophonic synthesizers,” McBride says about the album’s ethos. “This has brought dense harmonies and a more complex counterpoint to the composition. Staying with the same equipment and processes without the inveterate compulsion to update and refashion allows for a clearly perceivable genealogy with our previous work.”
Hypnos will be one of the most anticipated electronic releases of 2019 and is out March 8th on the Dais imprint.
Catch up with Xeno & Oaklander:
Sparse and minimal, Talk Talk Talk, the opening track from London’s The Golden Filter’s latest EP Dislocation, glowers with shadowy intent. Chilly and reverbed robotic beats skulk beneath rigid synths, while Penelope Trappes’ voice is distinct and sultry lending an organic hue to the hard-edged arrangements.
Dislocation is a collection of cold-model meditations, each subsequent track moving portentous arpeggios into stark and claustrophobic corners. All The Way In is dark, arpeggiated and ambient techno that conjures up hypnotic spirals of uneasy electronics, the title track is downright spooky, Cut My Hair pulses with wavy analogue synths and Temple could be captured deep-space transmissions from an alien satellite.
Dislocation is the essence of disquiet, the paranoid electro-punk of half-caught images.
Dislocation is out now on 4gn3s.
Catch up with The Golden Filter:
Face The Fire is the first taster for Boy Harsher’s new album Careful, out February 1st. Unmistakably darkwave with an indie-electronic cowl, Face The Fire is warm-lit synths with a dead-of-night eeriness. Jae Matthews’ ethereal whispers create a fluidic covering for Augustus Muller’s minimal beats, thrumming bass and spectral synths.
Often exploring that nether-space between industrial, drone and darkwave, Massachusetts-based Boy Harsher utilise their background in film to produce cinematic soundscapes, elevating their minimal sound beyond the small confines of the recording studio.
Careful is available from Nude Club Records
Catch up with Boy Harsher:
Eden Grey is a London sound experimentalist and collagist, channelling electro, dub, dnb, techno, drone, ambient and hip-hop. Vacant State, her newest addition, is a collection (well, 2 tracks) of sonic manipulation and electronic textures. VS-1 is a sawtooth, modular, clocking generator of harsh pulses and angular buzzing tones. There is no melody here, it is pure sound.
Second track Madame is lo-dub techno, oscillating with a growling menace. Spacey blips and gaseous drift electronics echo and swirl around the central column of a minimal beat. It’s hypnotic and slightly trippy. While previous releases have featured more traditional structures and wider instrumentation, Vacant State is a cold plunge into minimal sound aesthetics, concentrating on tone, texture and resonance.
Vacant State is available via her Bandcamp page.
Catch up with Eden Grey:
Finally, a couple of forthcoming releases from Sheffield label Central Processing Unit who consistently produce some of the finest techno and IDM around.
Firstly, Aldergrove from Mikron which gives us an enticing glimpse into their album Severance (out beginning of February). Aldergrove is a lush and dreamily textured tech-wave track of tripping beats and gleaming synths. Michael & Ciaran Corcoran have conjured something special here and the album will be one of the highlights of February’s releases.
Severance is available via Central Processing Unit
Celsius Loss by 96 Black (electronic producer Evan Majumdar-Swift), in contrast, is a much more upfront and perky beat-driven idm tune of elastic synths and pinging textures. Also released on Central Processing Unit and from his forthcoming album Excitable Girl, Celsius Loss recalls early Aphex Twin or Autechre with its clean lines and accessible melodies.
Excitable Girl is out March 1st via Central Processing Unit
Catch up with Central Processing Unit: