Some new music by friends and fam' that I'd like to draw to your attention...
GRIEVOUS ANGEL - BELIEF IS THE ENEMY
Gah, don't you just hate it when some mouthy blogger turns out to be, like, a really talented producer? No? Oh, well...must just be professional jealousy on my part, then. But the fact is that Mr.Meme has outdone himself with this debut album - an epic 2-disc collection, beautifully packaged in fold-out digipac, that thoroughly explores the points between dubstep, dancehall and techno, with a meaty dollop of oldskool dubwise technique thrown in, especially on disc 2, which is a masterful mash-up of dreadwise vibes and killer riddims, seamlessly mixed to the high standards we've come to expect from Paul. I personally lean towards the hard, techy bouncers like "Immigrant" and "Soundman Tribute", but fans of Loefah, The Bug and Kode 9 will all find plenty to get excited about here. This ain't no vanity project, it's a serious, passionate piece of work. To get some idea of the depth of thought that went into all this, check the full interview he did with Blackdown. Then buy it from Boomkat, or your emporium of choice.
HEADHUNTER - NOMAD
Headhunter's debut album for Tempa should be on sale in the next week or so and, as expected, it's a very impressive piece of work. The title refers to the fact that he is currently homeless, with no studio in the conventional sense - drifting across the globe from one dj gig to the next, writing tunes on his laptop wherever he happens to be staying. Surprising then that he's come up with such an homogenized, sonically consistent selection which, like the 2562 album, straddles the boundaries of dubstep and dub techno with ease. You can also occasionally detect a lingering aura of classic '90s drum & bass in some of his choices of pad sounds, chord patterns and samples, as well as teasing echoes Carl Craig and the nascent dubstep of early Horsepower, especially on tracks like the percussion-heavy "Technopolis". It's a very sophisticated sound, with in-the-pocket beats, detailed arrangements and textures that just slide down your ear-holes like melted butter - easily on a par with anyone else on the Tempa roster. There's a nice interview with Headhunter here, that traces his career to date. Pre-order the CD, or vinyl edition (which has extra tracks), at Boomkat.
FORENSICS - ZERO BILLION
Well I always said he was prolific, but even I wasn't expecting another album from Forensics so soon after the first one. The dry, sluggish beats continue, but I'm definitely hearing big advances in the melodic department, specifically on "Afterglow" with a pad sound quite similar to a Mellotron choir and "Atlantis" with it's beautifully forlorn warbly tones that add a delicate tint of fragile emotion to offset the bad-tempered bass throb and caustic percussion. These are some of the best things I've heard by Krys, and believe me, I've heard quite a lot. Final track "Ground State"is a surprising (for him!) excursion into 4/4 territory, but still too skeletal and awkward to be really considered danceable. Krys is still marking out his own style of urban dread muzik, and if you understood the first album, you'll find plenty to keep you entertained here. Check Forensics blog for ordering details.
GIEDO PRIMO - INFINITY MACHINES OF THE SECOND MOON
A private 12" album pressing from Denmark. I featured Giedo Primo on the blog three years ago, and since then he's taken the brave move of financing his own record. Nine tracks of clunky, clanky mutant electro beats entwined with layer upon layer of endlessly revolving synthetic melodies, entirely constructed with hardware gear and a predilection for live mixdowns. The nearest comparison might be with the 'Skweee' sound of his Scandinavian neighbours, though Mr. Primo has been forging ahead with his own sound for many years now, so any similarity is entirely inadvertent. My favourite track is the last one, "Yen-Tinh Sam-Set", which tones down the resonant synth textures and delves into a more understated, meditative zone of stealthy 909 percussion, warm, hypnotic bassline and cryptic dialogue samples (possibly of Japanese origin..?). Not an easy record to get hold of outside Denmark, as it has no proper distribution, but there are copies available from Praxis if you're feeling adventurous.
DATA 70 - SPACE LOOPS VOLUME THREE
Advance warning!! I've been cherishing this cd-r promo for some time now, and I can't keep my mouth shut any longer. This is the third installment in Data 70's 'Space Loops' series, which should hopefully be released before the year is out. As before, all tracks are only about one minute long, with 24 in total, and it's likely that they'll be spreading them over another yummy double 7" vinyl package (artwork being prepared at the moment). Getting to know Data 70 and their retro-evocative sonic sketches has undoubtedly been a musical highlight for me this year, and I reckon this is the best batch they've concocted yet. Future sounds from a past life, awakened in an alternative present. Make sure you buy it when it comes out or I won't be friends with you anymore.