Friday, 27 May 2011

Trap Magazine 004

Not only did we dance around on stage getting a little too intoxicated at the Indoor Festival this month, we also made a good few friends, including none other than TRAP MAGAZINE who co-hosted/joined in with the antics in Rescue Rooms. Their publication is one of the freshest we have seen in a long time, and rolls in with a lot of the style & finesse that Mixmag abandoned ages ago in their pursuit of glorifying drugs & trance. And what's more, its free!

This months issue includes a great little interview with upcoming dbe 'Summer Party' guest Emalkay, a piece on the demigod David Rodigan, alongside some great regular features including 'boss selections'. We will hopefully have some paper copies to distribute at our next event, but for now, have a feast on this months issue online...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Hypnotic Syncopations - Three Eroded Tracks

Whilst clubs across Britain pulsate with records either permeating a heavy, bass-drenched atmosphere and dance sensibility, or more than often a commercial edge, the underground caverns consistently home the difficult and more unidentifiable music that struggles to gain recognition above ground or more than often is praised but never quite fits in with the ‘bass continuum’ that Britain is experiencing at the moment. A number of clubs across the rest of Europe though are housing and experimenting with this kind of music. Whether it be in Berlin or across other urban dystopias that the music so often relates to, the sound is musically affecting and oozes more emotion than a lot of the structurally rigid dance music heard in clubs across our country. Dbe looks at three acts and tracks in particular that we think sum up this statement. Listeners of a nervous disposition turn away now.

Lurching once again from a pressurized plain, Downliners Sekt continue to confound and confuse lax listeners with their final edition into broken electronic soul music. Having revealed shattered emotion within warped and crunchy beats on their last EP, the new record ‘Meet The Decline’ strips back the arrangements even more and delights in a technological apocalypse. Last featured here on dbe 3’s the vibe remains hypnotic and ghostly, and whilst there are often shades of menace lurking beneath the subbass, in equal measure there are uplifting moments carried on a sweeping movement of percussion. An aural comparison would be being trapped in a vacuum in slow motion and often the music does sweep you away.

"Rising Saudade" in particular remains indefinable and the particular musical intricacies that swell through its length unidentifiable. There is a sense of heartbreak, but in particular the feeling of loss as sounds, like moments, fall away. As the drum patterns climax near the end, it is not an unwelcome raucous, instead it feels like the track was going to break down all along. Even whilst wallowing in depression, underlying it all is a sense of beauty. The EP title ‘Meet The Decline’ seems appropriate, it’s the sound of someone falling right to the bottom, and once they are at the bottom, the only way to look is up.

Whilst his last release came under his Andrea moniker, Andy Stott’s new release sees him dropping the tempo down from 160bpm juke to 110bpm slow house. ‘Passed Me By’ sounds just as unnerving and lonely as the Downliners Sekt.’s work, but often emotion is cast aside in favour of much more cavernous and spacious sounds. The slowly plodding tracks which make up the EP are slightly removed from the dub-techno he is traditionally known for and results sound like Actress sparring with Instra:Mental at the bottom of a cavern.

‘Intermittent’ however is the wildcard on the EP. Snares cut up the track yet remain parallel to the bass kicks. Along with the disco samples bombarding and reverberating against the main structure, the record maintains a strange fascination. Some people have termed it ‘death disco’ and whilst that seems abit too far, it does sort of encapsulate what is happening. Towards the end of the track however is where the magic happens. The sample is allowed to come to the fore and the real influence behind the track is revealed. A brief snippet of a 90bpm R’N’B or funk track rolls out and concludes the slow journey just taken. It’s a surprising moment on an EP full of dark twists and turns.

A while back now, Flying Lotus crafted two minimalist soundscapes for his series of LA EPs. Totally modern and ambient, the two tracks perfectly encapsulate the dreamlike states of euphoria. Although beatless, there is a sense of being carried by invisible rhythm within ‘Endless White’. While only a relatively short track, when fully immersed in it, the listener can often feel it is truly ‘endless’. The soft chords that flow throughout the track seemingly do not change, but there are in fact subtle changes and light flourishes which unknowingly changes the dynamics of different parts of it.

Known for his beatscapes and hip hop experiments, Flying Lotus is now often experimenting with ambient soundscapes. His latest being a collaboration at the end of Kode9’s latest album. His interest in dystopian landscapes and eerie sci-fi movie soundtracks as well as his jazz background is now taking over from his hip hop past and we’ll probably soon see a crossover point where all of these artists merge or collaborate in the future.