Roundup, January #2

From classic PC Music mutations to atmospheric tech-house programmed for rainy days, we roundup our favourite releases of the week. In no particular order: 

Angel-Ho – Silent Plateau 

Angel-Ho approaches music much in the same way as a performance artist; bursts of improvisation followed through with a bit of refinement. It’s how she’s gone from being reborn on A Time To Die (her debut on naafi), to ruling the dancefloor on Queen Of Clubs to reflective, nihilistic prophet on her latest self-released EP Silent Plateau. For Angel, the creative process is inextricably linked to lived experience and forms a sort of cyclical mode of creation and destruction. Inspired by the disparate, deconstructed club aesthetics of GHE20G0TH1K, Silent Plateau is at once darker and angstier in tone to the Angel-Ho of just three months ago. The EP, though short, features some of her sharpest and most aggressive production to date with lashings of gabber, demented drill and experimental amapiano. Beat It Up, featuring Brazil’s Andras_2020, is a standout. Download it here

Ö, Nömak & A.G Cook – AFK

There was a moment not very long ago when A.G Cook and his fluid, metallic rubber blips were the genesis of what we now know to be hyperpop. While the genre has sort of evolved closer toward the grotesque American clownery of 100 Gecs, the cyber horror that only Cook and the PC Music camp know how to cook continues to have a futurist edge that renders these mutations unerringly potent. AFK, by the label’s newest enfant terrible Ö, Nömak with label founder Cook, is a reminder of just how potent PC Music’s output can be when they’re left to their own devices. While the hyperpop of 100 Gecs is ‘hardcore’ in the same way that nu-metal might have been in the 2000’s, there’s something sinister about the entirely unhinged way in which PC Music aesthetic sort of just implodes, spewing toxic pools of mercury in its wake. AFK does just that, tempting you in with a wonky, auto-tuned siren song before it flips the script and becomes the sonic equivalent of a Lamborghini atomising in deep space. Listen below and download here

VTSS – For Your Safety

Last year, imminent Berlin techno superstar VTSS dropped the first single off her upcoming debut album Projections. Trust Me galloped along at just under two minutes, overflowing with VTSS’s signature log drum fills and warped vogue synths, serving as a mouthwatering amuse bounce for whatever was to come next. For Your Safety, the next single from Projections sort of defies expectations. It’s a stylishly formulated drill n’ bass track with distinct touches of UK garage, a departure from the dembow percussion of Trust Me or Going Nuts. Kicks and crashes race at breakneck speed in half time, while glowing house chords shimmer in the background behind beeping modular bass. It’s unfamiliar territory for what we know of VTSS, but also a welcome progression from the Hi-NRG tech of Identity Process. Projections is due for release on January 28 via Technicolor. Pre-order it here

Michelle Sparks – Yakuza 

2021 was a good year for American techno queen Michelle Sparks, whose atmospheric soundscapes and experimental edge saw a string of successful releases for her last year. She’s not slowing down it seems, at least if Yakuza is anything to go by. Her latest release for Octopus Recordings is straight up monstrous; a sledgehammering techno cut laced with touches of acid house and tech. The track progresses through ever evolving layers of sounds and synths, making it’s six and a half minute runtime feel like the blink of an eye. Somewhat dark, violently sticky and totally unrelenting, Yakuza is designed for peak time hedonism with it’s endless complexities and courageous melding of only the most chaotic rave aesthetics. Play this one in a basement at 3AM, trust us. 

All Day I Dream – A Winter Sampler IV 

Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream has become synonymous with all round good vibes, evolving from a Brooklyn rooftop party into a full on electronic music empire made up of events and of course, a label. The All Day I Dream imprint has honed in on supporting and promoting the sort of music one might encounter at their festivals and events; effervescent tech-house that would not be out of place under clear, sunny skies surrounded by revellers in kaftans holding parasols and tequila Red Bulls. One of the imprint’s strongest and most consistent outputs has been their compilations, particularly their seasonal ‘Samplers’ which have seen contributions from the likes of Sébastien Léger and Mass Digital. The Winter Sample is especially intriguing, as the colder weather pivots All Day I Dream’s typically breezy anthems toward darker, moody places. The latest A Winter Sampler, the fourth of its kind, is one of the most comprehensive to date. With standouts like LEGATO’s melodic dreamhouse track If I’ve Got You and Oona Dahl’s slick modular slow burner Reverie, ADID is here to make sure the party stays hot while the temperature outside drops. Download it here

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