Tag Archives: dark

James Sison – Napier Lake EP

Bade Records have been making waves since they launched at the start of 2014, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down with their latest release, an EP from founder James Sison. Having played Human Drizzle Presents in Peckham last year, and produced an excellent mix for us as well, we’re more than familiar with the man’s work, and you should be too.

The word ‘atmospheric’ was meant for it, with both the EP’s original tracks feeling taut and anxious despite clocking in at a hefty eight minutes apiece. With sonorous horns and jittery percussion, the title track is a moody introvert of a tune that demands repeat listening. Lead track ‘Stolen’ is similarly tense, while also playing host to the vocal talents of Clover (aka Jessica Belgrave), who comes to the fore during a pretty intense breakdown just shy of the four minute mark.

It’s compelling stuff, and the EP is rounded off by a remix from Italian duo Speaking Minds that is no less uncompromising than the rest of it. You can listen to previews on Soundcloud here or buy the bastard on Beatport here.


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Dense & Pika – Klank EP

Industrial techno fans, please stand up.  Dense & Pika blew the scene away with the barnstorming ‘Colt’ in October of last year and they’re back with more of the rough stuff. We’ve heard four of the six tracks on the monstrous ‘Klank’ EP and they show Dense & Pika at their abrasive best.

‘Lazy Wayne’ and ‘Klank’ are two of the most chaotic bangers we’ve heard in a while, combining basslines that will knock your socks off with twitchy drum rhythms. Next to be released was ‘Slowhand’, a less raucous cut which added euphoric sounds to the pulsating undertones. The real standout, though, is ‘Wandering Hands’. It shows off D&P’s incredible versatility, bringing together fidgety clicks and melodic build-ups alongside that ever-present thunderous bass. It’s raw and uncompromising stuff, and it’s sure to be filling warehouses throughout the winter months.

Out on Scuba’s Hotflush imprint NOW, cop it here.

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Ekranoplan – Coil

Fine dance music and Cold War history have rarely gone hand in hand but the crafty duo behind ‘Ekranoplan’ have attempted to do just that.  ‘Coil’ is a cold and menacing banger with relentless drum rhythms throughout.  It’s intense and pretty unfriendly, but the entrance of a hypnotic synth brings a strange euphoria towards the end.

A bit of further digging reveals that Ekranoplan is actually the latest project between Bristol stalwarts Julio Bashmore and Kowton.   It’s out on 9th October on Glaswegian label All Caps, pre-order here.

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Doc Daneeka – Treptow

Doc Daneeka’s ‘Walk On In’ was one of our favourites of last year, so you can imagine our excitement when ‘Treptow’ appeared on DD’s Soundcloud this afternoon. The single is out on Numbers on Monday 9th June, and it’s a little more challenging than its predecessor. The TenThousandYen plate-spinner shows real confidence in giving the listener essentially nothing but percussion for the first two minutes, before introducing some insistent keys and general atmospherics. Even then it’s sparse, moody stuff – but strangely compelling at the same time.

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Maya Jane Coles – Lost in the City

‘Lost in the City’ has been around in various forms for some time, but it is now available on the deluxe edition of Maya Jane Coles’s ‘Comfort’ album and it appeared on her Soundcloud page yesterday. It’s a typically atmospheric number, with an insistent low-fi guitar riff and all sorts of moody effects and echoey vocals. It’s good.

If you’re a discerning festival-goer, you might catch MJC at the niche end of the circuit this summer: she plays Roskilde, Opene’er and Balaton Sound Festivals, amongst others. Or if you’re feeling less adventurous (but just as rich), you can see her at Glastonbury next month.

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High Heels Breaker – Come Easy feat Sarah Palin (David August Remix)

As is his wont, today David August caught our attention by uploading a new track to his Soundcloud page. A remix of ‘Come Easy’ by Switzerland’s High Heels Breaker, it’s a sparse little number which evokes (to our ears) the great Nicolas Jaar. It’s an atmospheric listen, with nervy synths and twitchy percussion – and it’s an impressive change of pace from the original. It’s also apparently a snippet of the full remix, but David has never been one for concision: it’s 04:34. Finally, it features Sarah Palin on vocals. That is Sarah Palin, the Zurich-based vocalist and songwriter – not the other one (although we’d be intrigued to see that collaboration next).

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Kiwi – The Kudo Kato

In this age of instant gratification, it takes poise to make electronic music that is unpleasant to the listener approaching it for the first time. Two of the UK’s most exciting producers, Daniel Avery and Midland, both make tracks that exhibit this initial hostility, only to deliver real rewards for those willing to stick around and keep listening.

‘The Kudo Kato’, the latest effort from rising star Kiwi, shares the relentless drive of Avery’s superb ‘Drone Logic’ and the dark, tribal babble of Midland’s excellent ‘Trace’. It has a brooding menace that makes it a compelling listen, and we applaud its weirdness.

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Disclosure – Apollo

Just four months on from releasing their debut album, Disclosure are back with ‘Apollo’. It would be no surprise if that album, ‘Settle’, were to win the now-sponsored Barclaycard Mercury Prize on Wednesday night. ‘Apollo’ is more restrained and less pop than much of the album, instead foregrounding the deeper, darker sides of the duo’s arsenal.

Echoey vocals and uncompromising beats recall some of their (slightly) earlier work, and all in all it’s no singalong. It is effective dancefloor fodder though, and it will be interesting to see what direction the still-impossibly-young pair take next.


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Dean Blunt – Hennessy

Dean Blunt, one half of drone pioneers Hype Williams, has been putting out some heavy material on his partner-in-crime Inga Copeland’s Soundcloud for a while now, and this new one caught our ear:

‘Hennessy’ is a moody, dark, yet strangely melodic two and half minutes. The sax lifts the tune into HD territory and we’ll be keeping an eye on the ‘cplnd’ account for further outbursts. Catch Dean under the ‘Sean John’ moniker at XOYO this Friday, alongside other good music artists.

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Purity Ring – Belispeak II feat Danny Brown

Danny Brown, Hip Hop’s wandering troubadour, has thrown us another curveball with this latest collaboration, teaming up with dark-synth duo, Purity Ring. ‘Belispeak II’ is billed as the sequel to ‘Belispeak’, from Purity Ring’s recent album ‘Shrines’, but is essentially the same (intense, banging) tune jazzed up with a rough n ready, high energy Danny Brown verse.

Like DB’s contribution to a song you wouldn’t expect? Then I suggest you try this from purveyors of breakbeat, Evil Nine:

More? Mike Skinner’s new project The D.O.T, need a verse…

Found that a little light-hearted? Danny did, so he teamed up with South London’s grime oddball, Darq E Freaker:

As if that wasn’t enough, Danny says he features on the new Avalanches record. From UK to US to Oz, from grime to pop to breaks, Danny Brown’ll be there…

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