London's Sleepless finds his Flow state

Enigmatic Jazzy beat producer ‘Sleepless’ swings through the blog once again following up last years release of his album Serene.

And it’s no wonder he keeps popping up on countless blogs, channels and playlists; his sound, aesthetic and consistency in crafting infectious jazzy hip-hop is second to none.

His recent single ‘Flow State’ showcases his own unique take on the genre- forgoing sampling and chopping techniques for a dynamic take of entirely live instrumentation. ‘Flow State’ succinctly expresses that creative headspace that all artists aim to achieve, where logic and rationality give way to instinct and spontaneity. It’s one of those tracks that sounds almost as if it could have written itself, bringing with it an organic groove and natural connectedness of each musical element. But somewhere in between those smooth horns and cascading keys we know there’s a music producer steadily carving out his own air of effortlessness.

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Concussive Electronica from Moneõ and LudoWic

If you like your electronic music cinematic, dark, and visceral then Moneõ and LudoWic should definitely be on your radar. Moneõ, based in the UK, has bee honing his signature sound for years, harnessing a unique combination of grit, noise and idm-centric sound design. LudoWic is a Dutch artist who works mostly with vintage synths and analog gear to create rich, brooding, monochrome soundscapes.

The two join forces for ‘Memory Loss’ a bone-shaking single released earlier this month on Dutch label Wic Recordings. Clocking in at 5 and a half minutes, the track slinks between moments of suspenseful introspection to points of all out noise-drenched obliteration. With a mid track breakdown that even pulls in some slightly-abused strings, the track is an auditory attack cleverly utilizing a wide range of off-kilter ammunition.

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Escape to Another World with Escape The Loops

Of all the modern day electronic music genres, perhaps none are surrounded by as much ambiguity and individuality as IDM. In fact, ‘Intelligent Dance Music’ is a name which many of the scene’s biggest stalwarts, like Aphex Twin, actively reject. Regardless of the labelling though, the genre itself is a dynamic melting pot of techno, breaks, brain-bubbling sound design and finely tuned production. Coincidentally this sentence also perfectly describes St. Petersburg-based producer Escape the Loops’ recent release ‘Archive pt.3’.

The album features an impressive sound design palette that is truly a feast for the ears. Breaking outside the confines of genre-defined electronic music, Loops is able to conjure up a collection of tracks that really play by their own rules. From the breakneck percussion of the opening track ‘Sleeping Eggplant’ to the soothing melodies of ‘Bob’s Green Mazda’ and the dubby feel of ‘Microtuning16 final 2’ the spectrum of expression and auditory acumen throughout the album warrants multiple listens.

Although technical sound design and production runs deep throughout the album, it never feels high brow or elitist but rather remains fun, playful and accessible throughout. Not only does Escape the Loops turn these original sketches into a fully realized 9 track album but he does so in a way that is uniquely his own.

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Idm infused techno from Toronto's Fermi Lekunde

Fermi Lekunde offers warm techno atmospheres in his first release “Comess”, a two-track EP of textured rhythmic beats, glitches, and hyper melodies. Combining ambient textures and cinematic pads with IDM influences at a speed of 130bpm, he is able to create dance-pounding experiences tuned to headphone listeners as well as the dancefloor. 

The EP opens with ‘Fist 20’ which features a blizzard of noises, textures and finely crafted points of percussion. The track feels quirky and jittery but never veers too far off track as the solid arrangement keeps things chugging ahead. Things get a bit more moody with the B side as Lekunde shifts to a more melancholic part of his psyche. Still characterized by rich percussion and sound design ‘Usery’ also brings with it euphoric pads and nested notes of melodic madness.

Fermi Lekunde is a musical project of Toronto-based artist Marlin Tusha. Classically trained in piano, he began to experiment with electronic sounds early on, including FM synthesis, deconstructed analogue beats, and space FX. Being inspired by the emerging techno scene in Toronto, with venues like 500 Keele and an array of artists like Jeremy Greenspan, Ciel, and Daphni, Fermi Lekunde embarks on a new challenge of establishing his own sound for dance floors across the City.

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Modulations from the future with Romania's 'Electrons in Slow Motion'

Electrons in Slow Motion (EISM) is a cross-genre electronic project developed by Bucharest-born artist/producer Marius Copel. Combining analog synths with sparse soundscapes, Copel weaves immersive audio environments rich in dissonant drones, field recordings, and far-off arpeggiations. One part sci-fi dream world and one part distant dystopian universe, EISM dabs from his monochrome palette to create a sound that is uniquely his own.

His recently released debut album ‘Ecstatic Technologies’ boils down these central themes and concepts into a cohesive 8 track journey into the abyss. The album opens with ‘Breaking Eleusis’ which Marius describes as a “virtual pilgrimage to an ancient site”. Electronic chatter contrasts with reverb-soaked keys to slowly draw the listener into this mysterious and enigmatic world. The journey continues through a number of environments ranging from the subdued sounds of ‘Nyonoksa’ to the more tumultuous, beat-driven ‘Satomi’.

I would even go so far as to call the release a kind of ‘concept album’ as the tracks flow so well together and feature a steady narrative throughout. Marius describes the tracks as some sort of “sonic vehicle” or “machine” each with a unique initiation stage, environment and context. Regardless of the descriptor, ‘Ecstatic Technologies’ by Electrons in Slow Motion shows us that perhaps the future is closer than we think.

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Quebec city's Gramofaune blends the electronic and acoustic in new album 'Fear Not'

Gramofaune is the project of Gabriel Gagné, a musician and producer based in Quebec City. Originally a classical guitarist, it wasn’t until Gabriel heard artists like Bonobo and Four Tet that he started experimenting with more electronic soundscapes. His compositions are characterized by their diverse sound design palette ; melding acoustic and electronic elements to form deeply moving emotive collages.

His new album ‘Fear Not’ is a smattering of finely tuned electronic environments to lose yourself in. 10 tracks of tastefully prepared landscapes rich in micro percussion, voltage charged melodies, and the occasional acoustic expression. The album is a definite start-to-finish listen that offers up a new sonic treasure around each twist and turn. Featuring a number of musical guests such as: Étienne Masson (drums on "Trails") Philippe Gagné (handpan on "Grande Faune") Pascal Ouellet (dulcimer on "For Pascal") and La Renarde (voice on "Entanglement") - these collaborations add another dimension to an already stellar album.

Support ‘Fear Not’ on Bandcamp or stream it on Spotify

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Audio of the Urban with Sweden's Victor Öberg

Victor Öberg is an urban planner and musician residing in the southern most part of Sweden. His music goes hand in hand with his research, and focuses heavily on interpreting urban issues mainly concerning urban alienation and identity creation of both people and place in urban society.

Utilizing an array of hardware effects and modular synths, Victor designs and configures sonic environments to reflect these urban issues. His Instagram features a variety of dawless jams and sketches pleasing to both the audio and visual palette. Today’s track ‘Insula’ serves as a progression from these shorter jams into what will be Victor’s first solo album set to release later this year.

Insula features a minimal landscape of plucked arpeggiation, undulating clouds of noise, and rich resonant harmonies. A kind of playful utilitarianism permeates throughout the track, which really shows Öberg’s concept coming into fruition. ”The song itself is a brief sketch of the insula as a building type; part home part business. A concept that has shaped the way we think of city centers throughout history."

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Primate's new EP 'Out of Time' is anything but Primitive

Human life is on the edge of being wiped out, while nature is taking back over” 

A simple dystopian description from Brighton-based producer Joe Vince, aka Primate, describing his latest EP ‘Out of Time'‘. The release imagines a future where our disaster-ridden civilizations approach extinction as the organic creep of the natural world begins to set in.

In many ways ‘organic’ might just be the key word here, as synth-rich soundscapes, textured atmospheres, and naturally swung percussion frame the release as a whole. But it’s really the balance between organic and electronic elements that makes this release shine.

Take the opening track ‘Exposed’ as the perfect example. Organic arpeggiated bells dance up high while slithering electronic synths lurk in and out of the soundscape. As Vince explains-
"Exposed is apocalyptic story telling music, heavily inspired by cinematic sound design."

’Out of Time’ achieves a rare balance of organic and electronic elements, musical and technical, all the while presenting the larger narrative of our temporal existence alongside the ever-present natural world.

Support the release on Bandcamp out now via Small Print Recordings

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Cuts addresses our Uncertain Future with 'A Gradual Decline'

Anthony Tombling Jr a.k.a. ‘Cuts’ is a British film maker and composer who approaches his productions with a sense of purpose, which is palpable in his upcoming release ‘A Gradual Decline’ out Nov 30th on Village Green Recordings.  Tombling says “We are living in the age of the Anthropocene and it feels like everything is in decline. We’re in a moment where extinction is regular. I wanted this record to reflect these frailties.” It is obvious from this statement that Anthony deeply feels the decline of these corroding landscapes plagued by global warming and industrial pollution. Although Tombling is commenting on dire facts most of us are already aware of, it is his unique, skillful and even hopeful interpretation of this tipping point that really sets this work apart.

Music can bring us to many different places. We can seek comfort in nostalgia, we can seek escape in hedonism, we can seek joy in stories that are told in which we can relate to and sometimes, when we can bare it, we seek truth in music like this. ‘ A Gradual Decline’ is an urgent call to action reflecting all the bleak sobering realities of a contemptuous zeitgeist. It is a record that gives a raw and unfiltered look into the harsh, hard to swallow truths of environmental decay. And in an auditory sense, this is exactly how the album feels. Crushed percussion, a dark driving bassline, harrowing melodies and somber sonic textures sustain a focused feeling of frailty. ‘A Gradual Decline’ is a project of political importance. It is a drop in the ocean of music, with the potential to be powerful, moving and poignant as we stand facing a most uncertain future.

Pre-order the album on Bandcamp

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Audio / Visual Overload from Richard Devine and Numbercult

In case you missed it, IDM guru and sound design genius Richard Devine just dropped what is arguably one of the deepest modular synth records of all time.

’Sort/Lave’ was composed almost entirely on his custom built Eurorack modular system and features 12 tracks of dizzying percussion, galaxy-deep atmospheres, and utter sound design opulence. It’s an album that really sets the bar for what is possible with modern-day modular systems while still retaining all the rich musicality we’ve come to expect from the Atlanta-born producer.

Adding a visual dimension to the already incredibly detailed track ‘Revsic’, digital artist Craig Ritchie Allan aka Numbercult focused on unpacking the tracks densely packed constituent parts.

”When I set about constructing the video, I wanted the visual elements to engage the dynamics of the music, it felt like there was something elemental about the acoustic elements, so I starting thinking about about travelling through inner space, sub atomic structures forming and splintering apart and electric flashes of colour. I finished off by dropping in some sci-fi inspired interface elements to give the feeling you’re in a craft traversing a microverse.”

Get the full audio/visual immersion by checking out the clip above in full 1080p or by supporting the release over on Bandcamp.

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