v e s a
“r e l a x”
New “r e l a x” mix from NYC producer v e s a is the exact direction get lost. Just beyond the eight-minute mark, “r e l a x” envelopes listeners in a time-lapse and cryogenically encapsulates listeners simply through tonal direction. And the intentional juxtaposition: this reminder of someone yelling to another about artistic and creative ambition; this invisible subject is being berated by another, but is totally cancelling out the noise for a moment to themselves. As if the statement is being flipped on the accuser and settled upon through personal creativity. Art is for the self.
Actually, I found out about “r e l a x” by v e s a through a Tweet of his. In relation to “Arts is for the self,” v e s a was more interested to see if people wanted to hear what he made. He was interested in sharing his personal experience to whoever felt mutually intrigued. It’s brilliant marketing. So find yourself lost in v e s a’s “r e l a x” streaming below:
• v e s a: https://soundcloud.com/vesabeats
Too little, too late, when trauma first hit hard in the 90s. Yes, the Great Pretender hung tall from hair tower. Morality is an internal boiler. Environs are on the sideline. The blame game is child’s play; the clown paint is permanent. Even the King can’t keep cool after an escape or two. “Too Late” starts from day one, even if you weren’t born yesterday. Problem with that? The complaint box has been removed, along with the Calvinist staples. Sorry.
• Perkin Warbek: http://perkinwarbek.tumblr.com
Double Helix (LHF) ft Low Density Matter & Ragga Twins
LHF — the semi-anonymous London collective composed of Amen Ra, Double Helix, Low Density Matter, Lumin Project, and No Fixed Abode — are synonymous with the Dusk and Blackdown Keysound imprint that has released all of their previous four releases. The last of these records, the seminal sinogrime-meets-meditative-yet-antsy-dubstep album Keepers of the Light — incidentally one of Blackdown’s favorite records, which has been banned from his family’s car due to the frequency it was played — was released way back in 2012, a hefty break for active musicians nowadays, which had me (and I’m sure many other ardent believers) pondering what had happened to them, given how well they were received.
Thankfully, they make a welcome return to the Keysound fold with their new EP4 release, a four-track slab of weighty goodness made in collaboration with the indomitable Ragga Twins, who blessed the production team with four previously unheard a capellas, culled from their vaults, fitting their partner’s vibe and ethos perfectly.
LHF have always managed to stay away from being branded with the dubstep tag. Their rhythms are more complex, rolling and bouncy, more indebted to London’s Hardcore Continuum past than most of their peers. This characteristics are brought into even sharper focus on their new release, with the EP’s fluid, syncopated rhythms taking center stage and driving the record forward, even reminding me at points of early-era Horsepower Productions tracks (always a good thing).
As with their previous work, the collective mesh their dark, garage-y tendencies with ethic percussion and undulating slabs of low-end pressure. The big difference between this and their other releases is the fantastic vocalization of their sound by the Ragga Twins, which really elevates the music. It adds a human, rave-ready, fire-starting touch to the proceedings, with their fast, double-time, post- apocalyptic, carnival-esque delivery perfectly complementing the end-of-world beats.
We have an exclusive premiere of the bleep- and bass-influenced track “2000 Dust,” a tune that unites dubwise sentimentalities with London’s ethnically diverse musical heritage and LHF’s trademark dread-infused sound palette.
Take a listen below! The EP is out on Keysound on June 1.
• Keysound: http://keysoundrecordings.co.uk
A. G. Cook
Boiler Room SXSW DJ Set
Yesterday, Ariel gloriously WENT IN on the most recent Boiler Room GFOTY video from SXSW this year, and I couldn’t help to further scope out the others. Then A. G. Cook entered my life — again. Time after time, he’s been managing to shift the way I think about music and daily living, and I can’t shake a bunch of shit now.
If live DJ sets could be AOTY-worthy, SOPHIE’s Ray Ban x Boiler Room performance would’ve been my #1 last year. And no doubt, I feel like my life is less like a box of turds, and more just a potentially dumb-dubbed mix of interactions that are neither necessary nor relevant. For example, why even write about A. G. Cook’s “Boiler Room SXSW DJ Set?” It’ll be just as fleeting two years later to me as it is important now. Same level of interest, but opposite spectrum.
Yet, there’s a completeness to A. G. Cook’s “Boiler Room SXSW DJ Set.” An entire whole. Memories wrapped within. Shells of others full of sound: absolutely nothing physical. Just thoughts of driving and whistling and dancing alone. Smoking irresponsible amounts of reefer. Finding out about speed and/or velocity. Moving friends in the city. Tango lessons at my dad’s elementary school. Folk music made with computers. Density. Clarity. Piles left along the side of the road. New found treasure. Hunts.
2015 isn’t ready. 2012 wasn’t ready. You’re never ready. Put A. G. Cook’s “Boiler Room SXSW DJ Set” on repeat below and watch life pass you by:
The first album from Fright House, a label “specialising in oddball, out of the box electronic music”, is DOKO’s SO FETCH, a bubbly, high pitched, saccharine, bassy amusement park ride about your favorite celebrities, going to the club, and princesses. SO FETCH may call to mind So So In Luv or Sophie’s infamous Boiler Room set, but the bass and lyrical content are pulled to even more of a sugar rush extreme. DOKO is interested in maximalism. “I’m a princess in High School Musical” is the main lyric in “DIAL UP PRINCESS”. “JUST NUTS” is a minute long read on every bass drop ever. But what keeps us listening is DOKO’s interest in minimalism to counteract these images and practices of excess. Maybe it’s the consistency of DOKO’s dialogue or the tiny length of every track that make the palette of SO FETCH so tight. Or the way a barrage of sounds create an atmosphere that feels, dare we say it, calming. Ariana Grande’s maximalist voice is so common these days that it’s possible to take a shrill sound as an anti-anxiety pill because the familiarity provides security. DOKO’s cradling us with what we already know, but it’s as much of a chokehold as it is a hug. And sadly, according to Twitter, this is DOKO’s last release ever. So sad!