A variety of percussive instrumentals, synth, and voice samples come together to create the album ‘Black Origami’. However, these elements alone do not adequately describe the sinister and mischievous ambiance given to us by Jlin. This Indiana-native shows us the darker side of the footwork genre. Tracks on this album feature feelings of anger, irritation, and frustration, but are guaranteed to leave the listener feeling energized.
‘Black Origami’ introduces a fun, mysterious vibe that flows seamlessly into the next song, ‘Enigma’; the atmosphere of these songs made me think of a very intense boss battle in one of the desert regions from Legend of Zelda. ‘Calcination’ & ‘Holy Child’ seem to employ more ethereal voice samples compared to other songs on the album. If you’re not yet familiar or comfortable with the frenetic vibes of the footwork/breakbeat genre, I suggest listening to these two songs before delving further into the album.
Immerse yourself with snaps & claps, bass, and the sultry voice of Moire as you move through ‘No Future’. This album belongs to a darker side of contemporary techno. The muffled texture of the drums and bass leave a seedy feeling; couple this with the playful, yet sensual melodies of the synthesizer and you get very unique songs. ‘Opium’ has a thick, hazy atmosphere; the synthesizer melody leave you with a longing, especially since it doesn’t hang around too long. ‘Jupiter’ has a bit of a funky feel to it, while ‘Lost You’ leans towards hip-hop. No two songs on this album is the same, so I encourage you to listen to everything if you ever get the chance!
In case you’re curious “nacht dämonen” is german for night demon (google translate told me so), which is why a lot of the songs on this album are dark and ominous. Very haunting harmonies and lots of ambient noise, with different genres of music interspersed throughout. ‘20thcenturyforyouandme’ is reminiscent of indie pop songs (think Vampire Weekend), while ‘Days & Nights’ has a focus on ambient distorted voices and noise, laid atop an amalgam of delicate melodies wavering back and forth (like wind chimes…really muffled, dented and distorted wind chimes, but still really beautiful). The first three songs of the album are definitely very grungy in comparison to some of the others in here, so if you’re into that these tracks are just for you. ‘Friday Night’ definitely refreshingly, and surprisingly, funky.
This album was ABSOLUTELY refreshing. Modern post-punk and electronic genres mix with heavy West African funk & disco influences to create a dance genre unique to Southern Nigeria (shout out to my fellow Naija peeps).
The Chant (Iquo Isang) features a talking drum, an instrument used in West African cultures to mimic the tones of human language; in a way the drum is mimicked by the synths to create a really funky noise. Joy (Idaresit) has very clear post punk influences, which contrasts with the 80s vibe the rest of the album gives out. Definitely worth listening to all the songs. No two songs sound alike in this album.
Based in London, Sampha brings a familiar feel from the electronic dance and soul genre. The album features a very diverse group of songs. Plastic 100° and Blood On Me have more of a pop feel to their melodies, kind of reminiscient of Mobley and The Weeknd (never mind the fact that this guy totally has the same hair style going on as The Weeknd…very questionable high top dreadlock combination that makes me feel kind of uncomfortable BUT TO EACH THEIR OWN). Once you get down to the second half of the album, you start to get more of a feel of who the artist is. He creates soft, beautiful electronic landscapes, layered with very mellow synths and melodic vocals.
One of the last good things remaining of 2016. This style of music is Phleng Luk Thung (translated as “Child of the Field song”), a genre that became very popular in central Thailand after World War II. Interestingly enough, this album was released in Japan! All songs have a very groovy feel, a little bit faster than an ambling walking pace. Easy listening, I really wish I knew what was being said; there seems to be a different story told with each song. If you go through the titles, it seems like they go to the city, have some funnn, meet some girrrls, get some money, and decide to call it a day and reconvene when their time on Earth has ended.
2nd release by Akasha System, August 8th, 2016. Downtempo, hazy, electronic deep house. Very synth heavy with that deeeeeep bass that you have to love. The first three tracks are dreamier, mischievous, and impish; more upbeat floaty house music. The fourth track is a bit “vague” (huehue), with the melody becoming more blurred and hazy, probably the slowest song in the album. Comparatively, the moods of the last two tracks have a bit more tenacity and have a higher beat to synth ratio, whereas the first two songs very, very synthy.
Third release by ergo, born February 5th, 2016. Traditional jazz instruments, such as piano, bass, drums, sax; combined with synths and other electronic media gives a beautiful ethereal, celestial, and otherworldly atmosphere. If you were in space, this would be the perfect type of jazz: SPACE JAZZ!!!
Tracks 1-3, 7 are more ethereal and sublime, tracks 4-6 feature more enigmatic melodies and phrasing, very mysterious/abstruse intentions with where they take the songs. If you didn’t notice, the song title make up the poem written by Emily Dickinson.