'Aye Spoake Te Sumwuhn & They Listenhd'
After a quiet year in terms of releasing his own productions, Glaswegian stalwart Denis Sulta returns with irrepressible energy on his new extended EP for Ninja Tune, 'Aye Spoake Te Sumwuhn & They Listenhd', joining a list of 2019 releases from the label that includes Floating Points, Jayda G, Ross From Friends, and Octo Octa. Sounding eccentric and emboldened, Sulta projects powerful emotions as much as sweaty, peak-time club energy throughout the eight-tracker — weaving through breaks, techno, and everything in between. Like his vivacious DJ sets, the release, for the most part, is bright, glossy and synth-heavy; opener ‘In~Narito’ is reminiscent of some of his earlier productions, as is the first single to be released, ‘Matthew Keeps Me Pirrie’. The darker side of Sulta’s style comes through in the more experimental tracks on the EP, with ‘Gas Whillis (While I Paint My Nails)’ and ‘ForTee’ delving into murky distortion and erratic tempos. A welcome return from one of the UK’s leading lights.
Returning with his first solo release since 2017, Scottish artist Lanark Artefax grapples the looming darkness and cold of early winter, turning its sharp, crepuscular atmosphere into something enticing and irresistable. Enchanting choral melodies illuminate the stark jungle breaks on the opening title track. The high-definition sound design on ‘Moo Orphaned Drift’ makes for a transportive experience, its intoxicating breakdown launching into a broken, dream-like rhythmic peak. ‘Ferthenheap’ closes the EP with delicate, mournful piano and altered vocal chops. An autumnal EP to melt right into.
‘Every Body Is Welcome’
Forward-thinking label and collective Femme Culture co-founder Elkka has put together an EP “inspired by experiences of positivity and inclusivity on the dancefloor.” The outcome is five feel-good tracks that tell plenty of stories. The lead track ‘Every Body Is Welcome’ is an acid-tinged number reminiscent of ‘90s house, made complete with its piano melody lines. ‘LVURSLF Interlude’ is a journey through vocal samples and wavering pads, dreamy xylophones and atmospheric moments. ‘Breathe’ rounds of the EP beautifully, with a sub-heavy bassline and soulful vocals.
‘Hard Rave Aesthetic’
It’s usually a good sign when the title track from an EP isn’t actually the best tune on it. That’s not to say ‘Hard Rave Aesthetic’ is bad; it’s the kind of hypnotic junglist workout that has made Western Lore such a buy-on-site outlet. But when you have a pair of tracks as cosmically scatty as ‘A Cluster Of Repeating Angry Thoughts’ and ‘Blunt End Of The Heel’, everything else just pales in comparison. Reminiscent of tracks like T.Power’s ‘Octogon’, they’re prime examples of what this exciting up-and-comer can do.
Slices Of Life
For the latest release on Barbara Preisinger’s ever-reliable Slices Of Life vinyl imprint, Dana Ruh returns with a solo EP, after appearing on the label’s ‘10.1’ VA last year. The A-side ‘My Friendly Fire’ is a full-bodied, eloquent house record with dubbed-out stabs and rolling 909 hats. ‘Takes Time’ displays hard-hitting percussion melded by tense sustained strings, while ‘To Convince’ emanates live-sounding drums that effortlessly complement the intermittent Detroit-style pads. Here are three classy selections that are sure to become record bag essentials.
‘The Alchemy Of Circumstance’
It’s a warm welcome back for Harry Agius, aka Midland, who returns to his own imprint Graded for his first release in three years. The title track ‘The Alchemy of Circumstance’ harnesses flanging breakbeats across juttering basslines, while robots chatter to each other in a bizarre, indecipherable language. ‘Frequency FM’ provides subtle memoirs of 90’s jungle and IDM, while ‘Play It As It Lays’ further speeds the tempo gradually building with its melodic progressions. ‘Tortuga’ is all about the bassline, forever undulating for nearly six minutes of bliss.
The new project from Nervous Horizon co-founder TSVI wastes no time whatsoever, opener ‘Temples’ launching from the roll of thunder straight into an even more rolling break-and-bass combo — soon backed by a menacing brassy buzz. ‘Bronze Age’ is a bouncy, clanking spiral of madness, while ‘Forgotten Tales’ matches syncopated beats with a riff that wouldn’t go amiss in a chillout album. As with material from his primary moniker, the key to all the above is impeccably arranged and tuned percussion that guarantees feet moving on the dancefloor.