Roundup, March #3
From cosmic minimal techno to spectral ambience from Thom Yorke, we roundup our favourite releases of the week. Listen below.
Follow our Roundup Selections playlist on Spotify to stay updated on what we have on repeat.
Thom Yorke – 5.17
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has always explored more wrought territory in his solo work, and 5.17 is no exception. Following 2019’s electronica and dance driven Anima, 5.17 returns Yorke to the sort of oozing, slow burning balladry that he does best. The haunting song treads carefully, with a nimble piano riff and drone synths that grow and bloom into eerily sliding strings. Holding this gentle cosmos together is Yorke’s voice, a spectral entity that dips in and out of focus amidst 5.17’s heartbreaking misc-en-scene.
Daddy Squad – We’re So Lovely
Over the past year, Daddy Squad has made it his personal mission to unleash a sort of queer disco revival that appeals to underground LGBTQ club culture and its associated scenes. From the tech kink fest of Whatever Violet Wants, to the louche electroclash of the Dita Von Teese led My Magic Number. On We’re So Lovely, Daddy Squad creates a modern queer anthem informed by the glitz and freedom of Studio 54 hedonism. A glossy and funk inflected disco-tech track, We’re So Lovely celebrates the queer herstory of dance music and presents another sparkling entry into the cannon of queer pride anthems that’s sure to be blasted at full volume this June.
Charli XCX, A.G. Cook – Every Rule
As the latest single to be released off her new album, Every Rule gives us a taste of a different side to Charli XCX’s Crash. With previous singles taking the shape of party starting synthpop and nu-disco, Every Rule is a wistful ballad that slows things down. XCX’s greatest skill has always been her songwriting, and Every Rule is another testament to her talent. A longing filled, teenage romance, Every Rule recalls the melancholic but devastatingly beautiful pop of tracks like Backseat, handled delicately by A.G. Cook who takes a minimal, soft approach to support XCX’s storytelling.
Batu – Atavism
Bristol’s Batu has arrived as one of the UK’s leaders in the new guard of dancefloor provocateurs, creating dexterous and shifting club music that pulls from the diverse history of UK dance styles and formulating these influences into his own unique shapes. His debut album Opal, however, looks to explore his more ambiguous and conceptual side. Inspired by coastlines and natural minerals, Opal is a departure in style for Batu but a vehement embrace into a side that’s always been inherent to his music. The album’s lead single Atavism points to this shift; an amorphous, buoyant track that bounces through phrases of percussion and indistinct vocal samples. There’s something ceremonious about it, as Atavism builds itself up to peaks and then descends back to its most essential elements. Still propulsive, it’s anything but a lofty ambient experiment. Rather, it’s an application of Batu’s signatures from a different, more conceptually loaded direction.
Terrence Dixon – The Meeting
Last year, Terrence Dixon’s Reporting From Detroit presented some of his most heady and spacious minimal techno to date, at once sparse but also incredibly full. Part of its richness came, paradoxically, from its minimalism, with Dixon using space to extend and explore his ideas to their full potential. The same can be said for The Meeting, his latest single off his upcoming record Other Dimensions. While Reporting From Detroit was focussed on interpreting the concrete of the city, The Meeting alludes to Other Dimensions being a record focussed outside of our cosmic boundaries. A sonar like beep loops over dampened beats and a modulating riff, while strange and alien drone sounds peak in and out from the ether.