Welcome to another installment of Circuit Running, God Is In The TV’s bumper packed, all you can you eat buffet of great electronic music. There’s lots going on, as ever, in every last little corner of the rich and varied world of electronica, and what’s even more exciting to report is that there plenty of evidence of cooperation and cross fertilisation going on in the all too often sectioned off sub-genres of this fine music.
One of the most exciting events to report is that one of the releases associated with the fast approaching Record Store Day will be a version of Goldie’s undisputed classic ‘Inner City Life’ newly remixed by king of icy experimental dubstep Burial. It’s set for release on April 22 alongside a new remix by Goldie himself, the 2017 Rebuild. All that, of course, in addition to a full-length album of new material, his first since 2008, entitled ‘The Journey Man’ and expected on the shelves/playlists in the early summer.
Operating along similarly eclectic lines is Fabric’s new mix CD, somewhat unbelievably the 91st release in the series. After the superlative Nina Kraviz session at the start of 2017, they’ve chalked up another bravely experimental and genre-mashing collection courtesy of Special Request aka DJ Paul Woolford. Woolford has recorded for everyone from Carl Craig’s Planet E label to XL, and the tracklist mashes up underground techno heroes like Christian Vogel and Aphex Twin alter egos Polygon Window and Caustic Window with dubstep pioneer Plastician and vintage drum & bass godfather Dillinja, whose 1996 classic ‘Deadly Deep Subs’ (remix)’ is a highlight. This mix joins the dots between the sub-genres of electronic music while never losing sight of the all-important groove, and we love it to bits.
Elsewhere in the world of d&b, we were delighted to see widely esteemed sceneMC Harry Shotta making it onto the national news after rigging up a Bakerloo line train carriage with PA and lights and some heavy, heavy monster sounds.
What a shame the police had to stop it, but how’s that for – literally – underground sounds eh?!
An even bigger name from d&b circles is back this month too, no less than Roni Size, whose Reprazent crew clinched the Mercury Music Prize for their ‘New Forms’ debut LP towards the end of the 1990s. It’s a fairly low-key comeback, given that he’s going under the name Firefox, probably best known for the early jungle classic ‘Warning’.
The two new tracks, titled ‘Keep It Raw VIP’ and ‘Overproof’, form a third of the new six track EP ‘Extra Blunts’ alongside superb tracks from Serum it’s coming out on May 5 via Philly Blunt, an offshoot of Bryan Gee’s legendary V Recordings which issued ‘Warning’ back in the day. With more of a metallic, driving d&b rather than junglist vibe to them, both are surefire dancefloor hits, with our favourite being the piercing harmonics and wild b-line trouble of ‘Overproof’.
Continuing the theme of unlikely musical genres, Ninja Tune release The Bug vs Earth‘s cracking first full album together out this month. ‘Don’t Walk These Streets’ is a collection tracks put together by their master of heavy experimental dub The Bug aka Kevin Martin, the man behind Techno Animal and King Midas Sound, in collaboration with Dylan Carlson, guitarist of LA-based drone metallers Earth. The album was recorded in and inspired by Los Angeles – thus, perhaps, one of the tracks being called ‘City Of Fallen Angels’ – and its fusion of intense electronica and raw guitar sounds is addictive, to say the least.
Ninja are firing on all cylinders at the moment when it comes to electronic sounds. Alongside the mighty Actress dropping a new album, and label founders Coldcut handing over their latest offerings to Adrian Sherwood for remixing, they’re putting out Nathan Fake‘s superlative and much anticipated fourth album ‘Providence’. Fake, a producer from Kings Lynn who cut his teeth on James Holden’s Border Community label, recently previewed tracks from the LP on a comprehensive live jaunt across the UK.
With their genre-defying approach to beats and deftly employed, beguiling melodies, these new compositions are sure to make their way into the hearts of music lovers everywhere.
Also likely to appeal to fans of the purer end of electronic sounds is Cotton Wolf‘s debut album ‘Life In Analogue’, out on vinyl nnd download through Bubblewrap Collective on April 28.
Cotton Wolf are the union of Welsh ‘super producer’ Llion Robertson and classically-trained composer Seb Goldfinch, and follows the success of their three remarkable EPs, Moxa, Cloud City and Catapelt. The nine-track album is dubbed by the pair as “a symphony to the conflicted love of man and machine absorbed by digitisation and a soundtrack to modern living”. We’d add that you’ll hear echoes of great Stateside innovators like Carl Craig and Jeff Mills in there, alongside shades of classic 90s sounds by Uk pioneers 808 State, A Guy Called Gerald and Aphex Twin, and shouldn’t be missed.
Also bringing together disparate elements is v1984‘s ‘Pansori’ EP, issued through Jamie Keudo’s label Knives on May 5. A Cleveland-based artist of Korean heritage, the v1984 sound joins the dots between classical, grime, trap and leftfield electronica in original and very musical style, with more then a touch of wayward playfulness.
Another EP that plays and pushes the envelope of grime is Proc Fiskal‘s ‘The Highland Mob’ on Hyperdub, again on May 5. The Edinburgh born and bred producer – real name Joe Powers – specialises in those faster grime productions recently coined by Lewisham MC Novelist as the ‘Ruff Sound’. Upping the tempo a good 20bpm from traditional garage speed to the 160bpm mark, tracks like ‘£’, ‘Lamentation’ and our favourite ‘Acidic Hoes’, are an energetic mix of gangsta gunshots and street sassiness topped off with restless rulebook abuse and two fingered salutes to convention. Which, of course, is just how we like it.
Also heading from north of the border is out final tip for this edition, Sam Gellaitry, who has just unleashed the third and final part of his ‘Escapism’ trilogy of EPs on XL. With a style that’s cinematic, impressionistic and flies high above the usual hang ups of genre description, Gellaitry, now 20, started producing at the age of 12, while growing up in central Scotland. We can’t wait to check him out live at his forthcoming shows in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Listen to ‘Ceremony’ from the new EP and we think you’ll see what we mean.
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