Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Akouo - Mesa EP

Tasmanian beatsmith Akouo (real name: Ryan Farrington) is new to me, but the fractured, beat-heavy R&B (e.g., Flume, Wave Racer, et al.) he purveys on his recent Mesa EP is riiiiight up my alley.

It also happened to debut at #1 on Australia's iTunes chart for the Electronic genre, so it's got that going for it.

Check out the video for lead single "Last Time" here:

and then the EP itself:

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


The "Mad Blunted Jazz" of Japanese hip-hop beat tapes. Every day is 4/20!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Breakthrough - Breakthrough

Here's the second album I've been vibing with: Breakthrough's self-titled album...originally released in 2005 in Japan on Ki/oon Records, and then rereleased in the UK in 2007 via Pantone Music. Japanese hip-hop, mixed with trip-hop, dub, R&B, broken beat, funk, and jazz.

I first came across it via a Hudson Mohawke all-hip-hop Boiler Room set, in which he dropped this heater of a track:

Buried in their profile (shared, oddly enough, with a now-defunct straight-edge hardcore band), I found the only good biography for them I've seen thusfar:

Back in 2000, DJ Jin started Breakthrough as a party at the legendary Aoyama Mix club in Tokyo. Jin was already well known as DJ and Producer for the group Rhymester, widely considered as one of the best hip hop groups in Japan. Soon after, DSK Invisible and Masaya Fantasista joined, and the trio made it their mission to experiment with DJing in order to expand the sound of hip hop and take it to the next level.

The Breakthrough album was formed organically as an extension of their monthly DJ sessions.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano - Bishouné: Alma del Huila

Apologies in the delay between postings. I've been adjusting to a new place (still in Los Angeles, just...more central), new cell phone, new job, new internship (at Ninja Tune's LA branch office), new car....gah! So many new things.

I've been vibing with two albums all of this week and weekend, so I wanna share them with you.

First up: via NYC-based label Styles Upon Styles (who I previously mentioned in the context of Archie Pelago) comes an EP of sparse, earnest soul by singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Garzón-Montano. Recorded "[directly] to 2" tape through a Helios console in real time" (with the exception of opener "6 8"), Bishouné: Alma del Huila feels like the intersection point between Jamie Lidell and D'Angelo.

Styles Upon Styles also released two music videos for the EP, which I've embedded here.


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Cubenx - "First Wave Front"

Mexican-born, Berlin-residing producer Cubenx premiered the second track off his forthcoming EP Mercurial yesterday on XLR8R.

"First Wave Front" features densely-layered hand percussion and a moody bassline progression reminiscent of Aphex Twin's "Tha" and Four Tet's "Lion", respectively. But the sparse guitar licks, echo-drenched vocals buried low in the mix and overall airiness of the track scream early post-rock. Spirit of Eden-era Talk Talk on Ecstasy, perhaps?

Not an unfair comparison, considering that Cubenx's last full-length, On Your Own Again, sonically namechecked post-rock, esoteric Mexican psychedelia, and the 80s 4AD catalog.

Needless to say, I'm impressed and excited. Mercurial is set for a May 26 release on French label InFiné.