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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Finding hope in a Dystopian future with the Nowhere EP

Russian producer Evgenii Popov paints a bleak, grayscale world of the not-too-distant future with his new release- Nowhere EP. An uncluttered sonic approach, utilizing mostly his modular synth to drive the album, creates a cohesive and convincing landscape of deserted dissonance, rich arpeggiations, and even some glimmers of hope.

The EP opens with the track ‘hiding from the storm’ which gradually introduces the listener to this kind of post- apocalyptic reality. With subdued pads and and filter sweeps gradually giving way to rich stabs of electricity, the track feels warm but with an underlying air of instability.

’White Sun’ builds on this false sense of security with an almost inviting first couple minutes of slowly morphing synths and deep reverberations. But this is not the world we once knew, and just as quickly a maelstrom of electronic modulations are unleashed upon the unsuspecting listener. All the while Popov maintains a solid balance of rich melodies amongst the arpeggiated chaos.

Lastly ‘bridges’ leads us through an epic 9 minute journey of peaks and troughs complete with otherworldly voicings and delayed serpentine synthesis. At moments it feels as though this is just a dead end, and humanity is destined for disaster. But the contemplative and melancholic last few minutes hint at a sense of resolve and even hope for the future. A future that perhaps we are heading aimlessly towards, but we are certainly heading somewhere.

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Deep, Dubby atmosphere from Russia's Inchange

It’s not an easy task to make music that sounds good on a system, in headphones and is suitable for chilling or going out, but the versatile Russian producer- Michael Soldatkin aka ‘Inchange’ does just that.

Beginning his musical journey in 2013, slowly tinkering with sounds in FL studio and eventually teaching himself music theory and the guitar, Michael wasted no time in developing his own signature style of deep, atmospheric electronic grooves.

Upon closer inspection of his back catalog, it quickly becomes apparent that Inchange is a flexible producer creating everything from hip-hop to house. His output includes a broad range of sounds, from mainstream remixes to more niche underground tracks.

Utilizing a variety of studio gear such as the Elektron Digitakt, Analog Heat, and Native Instruments Maschine alongside live instrumentation ensures a dynamic production process creating tracks with a wide sonic palette and deep, texture-rich atmosphere.

’Night Shift’ is a track that ticks all definitely ticks all of these boxes. Dubby guitar plucks dance around a lofi 2 step beat, while a gently resonating hand pan floats up high and a billowing sub ties in all together down low.

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