Don’t panic folks, but after a hefty hiatus the Tracks of the Month feature is officially back on! So stop wanking over your discogs collection for a minute and check out Dr. Blowfin blustering on about the music he (apparently) didn’t find on Beatport…
Amorphous Androgynous – Mountain Goat
Betcha never think you’d ever see those ^ four words together in a sentence? I’m not sure how this song relates to a Mountain Goat, but Amorphous Androgynous is an alias of Future Sound of London, the same duo that made the immortal, Goa/breaks classic Papua New Guinea. It is really interesting to think that this was made by the same guys, as it literally could not sound anymore different. Where Papua New Guinea is triumphant, progressive and euphoric, this is muted, unsettling and disjointed. The introduction is gorgeous, as dystopian synths collide against the warm trickle of water and the soft call of unknown birds. A really quite beautiful guitar sample emerges and takes control of the song. For a while the song meanders around the focal point of the guitar, but the accompanying effects grow increasingly sinister and out of place. Deep horns begin to grow more and more prominent, when before you know it, the guitar has slinked away. Booming horns that ooze moodiness and prestige arise, and a distant kick drum echoes amongst the atmospherics. However, within one minute the guitar sample returns and the song drifts away into a crescendo of twinkles and the soothing sound of water. It doesn’t make much sense, and as you can tell it’s pretty damn hard to describe, but it is an absolute journey of a song. In short it sort of sounds like a weird love child of Music From Memory and Offen Music. It is unusual, but essential.
Innershades – Inside Your Mind
This is probably the best song I heard at Houghton. The festival was nearly two months ago, but this song is still stuck in my head. I can still picture the precise moment it was played. It was just past midnight on the Friday and the festival was yet to really kick off. Sporadic spurts of breaks and electro were overshadowed by the nearly constant 4×4 that every stage seemed to be pumping out. Whether it was because the soundsystems catered better to house and techno or the DJs assumed that was all the punters wanted to hear, I don’t know. But all I do know is that I was a bit disillusioned at this point and I was clamouring for something fresh to reinvigorate me. We wandered over to the Clearing to check out Binh. I didn’t know much about him if I’m honest. Myself and DJ Paramedic had played at a party that he was headlining, but our sets clashed so I never got to see any of him. I thought he was part of the Romanian micro-house scene (he isn’t, turns out he is German and a resident at Club De Visionaire) so I was (quite cynically admittedly) expecting a homogenous minimal set full of clicks and rolling basslines. Upon arrival at the stage however, we were greeted by a raucous cheer as a pretty wedge electro cut engulfed the crowd. Cheering during a minimal set, how uncouth! It became clear pretty quickly that this wasn’t some Perlon circlejerk, but was a full on party set. Then out of nowhere, this song drops. It was fast, it was bouncy, it was hypnotic. The melody was just crazily good; almost absent of emotion, but full of mystery and so urgent it seemed like it singlehandedly dragged the atmosphere of the festival by its heels and into a new dimension. The crowd reacted by reaching hysteria and the mood didn’t dip below that for the rest of the night. Thinking about it now, there is no doubt that Binh knew that he was gaining some serious momentum and understood that the right song played at that time would kick the crowd into another gear. Mission accomplished.
Jaffa Kid – Do The Job
Is it just me that does their dirty bass face as soon as you hear those wubby pads? They sound like they’ve been hijacked from a dubplate that lives out its days in the sewers of Peckham. I’ve only recently started to properly invest some time into jungle, and this is the embodiment of the kinda shit that really tickles my pickle. Somehow, it doesn’t really seem like club music. The drums are frenetic and all, but they don’t have enough weight behind them to destroy the rave. Instead the focus is on the haunting synths and complementing Detroit-esque strings. These completely steal the show for me. They effortlessly work together, layering on top of the drums to deliver a really evocative and lingering musical statement. The climax is also very satisfying, with razor sharp synths accompanying drifting harmonies towards an ambiguous end. A really intelligent and well executed interpretation of jungle, that sounds both otherworldly and warmly familiar.
Cignol – Sys486
Cignol is a great example of a producer that has found his niche and has stuck with it. To some this can seem limiting, but I see it as the ability to become the best in the business at your specific style of music. Sitting somewhere between Plant43 and ERP, his brand of euphoric acid electro is the absolute fire. I first discovered him when Jane Fitz played a new song of his called The Observable Universe on her Rinse show a couple months ago, and it proceeded to become my designated ‘last song tune’ for the next few shows I played. Gorgeous atmospherics, warm melodies and super squeaky acid lines made me fall head over heels for his productions. I was actually planning to use a song from his new EP on Lunar Disko Records for my Tracks of the Month (a record that will set you back a cool £160 on discogs, despite coming out just last month), but I ended up down a discogs rabbithole of his discography and found this absolute gem. The cloudy synths seemed a little more trancey, and more penetrative. Then the bassline punches you in the mouth and drags you on a chaotic adventure through the crazy world of Cignol’s mind. The breakdown in the middle of the song is excellent, and the patient build up back to the main hook is really satisfying. There is a trance overload at the end, with shrieking synths that almost borderline on the neo-italo vibes of someone like Kid Machine. It is a little more overbearing that some of his other productions, which fit more into the mould of the We’re Going Deep constituency of dance music. But what this definitely is, is a totally unique, totally modern electro tune that is destined for the dancefloor.
Derek Carr – Scisor
I think Derek Carr gets a lot of unjustified criticism. I kinda get why he does. His music lacks edge, it’s too safe, it’s basically Coldplay but house music. For those unaware of his music, Carr has a very distinct sound, which is simply defined as futurism (basically futuristic deep techno). I can admit that some of his productions are a bit monotonous and samey, but I also think that if you dig deep enough there are a few seriously good tracks that are massively underrated. Consider the tracks of his that I’ve been reaching for recently: Mystique is a sleazy, hypnotic house cut. Sidewinder is a progressive house masterpiece that is almost the perfect encapsulation of Laurent Garnier’s sound. Terrahawk is an impossibly beautiful ambient lullaby that is so effective in lowering the tempo in the club. But this song might be the best one of all. This song is very simple, but the few components that are in play are all devastatingly effective. For me, it is all about that melody. The synths are ever so slightly blurred, making them sound retro. But they contain so much hope and optimism inside of them. It is amazing how such a simple little melody can be so heartwarming. It is the sort of melody that makes you believe that things can be better, that can inspire you and can poke at the deepest emotions hiding inside of you. These intimate songs are always the ones that touch me the most, and I hope that you feel the same way I do listening to this, cause I feel fucking fantastic right now.