Roundup, January #3

From the new guard of sonic disruptors to South Asian experimental R&B, these are our favourite releases of the week. In no particular order:

Iceboy Violet – Vanity 

The latest single from Manchester based rapper, DJ, and producer Iceboy Violet is the first taste of the artist’s upcoming debut mixtape, The Vanity Project which is set to feature production credits from Slikback, Space Afrika and fellow rising disruptor, aya. Vanity slithers along with deep, growling bass and sticky, sweaty trap. But the real standout is Violet, whose breathless delivery of the track’s title on the chorus is equal parts seductive and seizure inducing. The beat recedes for Vanity’s final Kanye West-esque moment, where Violet’s voice, veiled in layers of auto tune and distortion, sings us out on the reminder that “beauty is pain.” 

TAAHLIAH, LVRA – In Your Blood (Remix)

Last year saw the arrival of Glasgow’s TAAHLIAH as one of the most promising new voices in the post-club and hyperpop cosmos. The release of her debut EP, Angelica, singled her out as one to watch with her slick, future forward production style and inventive pop writing. Her latest, a remix of LVRA’s track In Your Blood, is a full display of TAAHLIAH’s undeniable production prowess. Pulling from Hi-NRG, rave, and the serpentine metallic synths of the PC Music golden age, TAAHLIAH lifts the layers of delay and echo from LVRA’s original and polishes the beats like chrome. Relentless, shiny, and explosive, TAAHLIAH’s remix is a bonafide club banger which wears her influences, both classic and current, with the shimmery pride of a perfect cut crease and winged liner. 

Monolink & Zigan Aldi – Fidale (I Feel)

For his first release of 2022, Germany’s Monolink links up with Turkish-born, Berlin-based artist Zigan Aldi for a slow burning and lushly textured tech-house collaboration. This one has actually been around for a while, trading hands between both artists as remixed and reimagined versions from as early as 2018. In its final and officially released form, Fidale (I Feel) weaves motifs and sounds from Aldi’s Turkish heritage together with Monolink’s signature contemporary electronica. These accents, like the subtle roll of a doumbek or the beguiling drama of sliding kamancheh strings, make for a haunting and alluring sonic diorama. Aldi’s deep house and melodic techno background plays into Fidale (I Feel)’s aura of mystique, crafting something as much gorgeously cinematic as it is groovy. 

Purple Disco Machine & Sophie And The Giants – In The Dark

Producer Purple Disco Machine has found magic time and again with Sophie Scott, with her group Sophie And The Giants becoming key collaborators in the scheme of PDM’s retro revival. Hypnotized was practically inescapable last year, quickly rising to become one of Purple Disco Machine’s most essential tracks. On his latest single In The Dark, the producer and Scott dive into late night New Wave, with chiming keys and squiggly modular synths carving out a neon soaked space for Scott’s massive and anthemic performance. The PDM signature funk is intact, felt in slick guitar riffs and his buoyant three-chord bass modulations. 

Raveena – Rush 

Raveena’s latest single is told from the perspective of Asha, a “Punjabi space princess” with a sense of “highly advanced spiritual intelligence.” This sort of cosmic, meditative quality is translated for Raveena by way of waves of acid synths and a simmering landscape of tablas and dholaks and accents of shimmering ghungroos. It speaks toward the very distinct space Raveena is busy carving for herself in the alternative R&B scene; her honey smooth vocals gliding over a sound that melds her American identity with her South Asian heritage. As the first single from her upcoming album, which follows 2019’s lush and languid Lucid, it signals a more ardent embrace of her South Asian influences, and we can’t wait to see what she might serve next. 

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