In the immortal words of Staind, “it’s been a while”, but thankfully, Becoming Real is back with a spat of new music for LEX. His seven-track 'Mist Face EP' may draw from the same rain-sodden, neon signs reflected in the vast atmospheric puddles of some future dystopian Japanese hyper-city that’s inspired many, but his execution of the sound palette is actually kind of flawless (see ‘Shy Boi’). Yes, there’s Eastern melodies aplenty and vinyl crackle used to mimic the sound of rain, but in his hands, these Sino grime familiarities sound less like tropes and more like characteristic flourishes that serve only to embellish.
Owing to the lack of audio available at the time of review, this nugget was on the verge of morphing into a backhanded commentary on the diversity encapsulated in Mary Anne Hobb’s 6 Music show (from Dr Dre to Elbow in four tracks?) but then she premiered the new Burial cut, ‘Claustro’, and nothing else really mattered. One YouTube commenter said: “Oldschool af but not sure I like it”. They’re wrong, obvs.
Keysound artist Otik steps out on DEXT with a new triplet of spaced-out weirdness, and a delightfully techy Bruce remix of the title track. I’m very into the fact that Otik slices up a classic jungle drum break on ‘Tuskanary’ and ekes space into it, showing maximal restraint in structure rather than relying on the roll of the break itself to provide the propulsion.
'Need More Fashion Friends'
I read something, somewhere that mentioned how Mitch was veering away from the floaty, more floral aspect of his melodic arrangements on this latest double-tracker, and for sure, he does. But where he goes is an evolution in scope; pairing his ear for synthesiser stacking with four-four drum work. I read somewhere else that he wrote these cuts purposefully for Room Two at Corsica Studios so... I read a lot these days.
Did I write before about how ‘Livity Sound’ is now just a buzzword for go-to oddball bass-heavy techno? I feel like I did, but my Google Drive isn’t responding how it should. Regardless, Toma Kami’s latest four-tracker for the Bristolian label is the perfect combo of fractured groove, Shackleton style conga lines and hell-for-leather reverb. If A&R is about assimilating souls for a greater vibe, Livity Sound are kings.
U Know Me Records
"Pitch me a record. GO!" "Ummm… we get eight Polish drummers to do super weird things to their kits and…" "SOLD!"
Returning to his own imprint for the first time in a couple of years, Batu displays precisely why his sideways look at motivating a dancefloor is so widely praised across three succinct cuts. ‘Statin (Dub)’ is the highlight because it’s fucking weird, and people who manage to make bizarre ideas fit into expected constructs are heroes in my eyes. Also ‘False Reeds’ is basically the whole UK funky explosion re-wired to a techno stomp.
Arriving on LEX after releasing music on Benji B’s Deviation imprint, LuckyMe and XL, the Denver-based GILA’s production chops are very much up. The 'Trench Tones EP' opener ‘I Lose’ is a pretty perfect thing: a rather restrained exploration of the ways that one can decorate a descending five-note riff with scattered percussion and aerated pauses. Also, ‘Shoulder’ is sound collage that feels reminiscent of Odd Nosdam without the overdose of tape saturation.