The Digest - 15 April 2013

14 Apr 2013

Read our round-up of the week's best releases.

Welcome back to our regular round-up of the week's best releases. Check out our tips below and, if you missed last week's instalment of The Digest, you can read it here.

Mr Beatnick

Mr Beatnick - Savannah EP

Mr Beatnick’s ‘Sun Goddess’ remains one of my most-played tracks of the last couple of years. It’s a song that can in some sense be referred to as a ‘hit’; the sort of track to which I know I will be returning indefinitely. On this, the final part of his Synthetes trilogy, the London producer has reached that peak again. ‘Parallax Scroll’ is an infuriatingly habit-forming track that represents the perfect distillation of everything that makes his work so satisfying: analogue drum machines in rolling patterns, vaporous synth chords, and subtly treated vocal samples sparingly applied. It’s a superlative track from a record that represents a high-water mark for this increasingly vital producer.

The Haxan Cloak

The Haxan Cloak - Excavation

Two weeks ago I wrote about the excellent new album from Greek trio Mohammad. Som Sakrifis is as desaturated as they come; a tonal record of a world without light. The Haxan Cloak’s Excavation proves an excellent complement. The album is concerned with the very foundations of human experience: fear and nothingness, and fear of nothingness. It is an extraordinarily evocative study of our very darkest elements, but it is also startlingly beautiful, lushly produced, skirting around the edges of avant techno with a sense of doom-laden purpose. Beautifully bleak, and bleakly beautiful.

Jai Paul

Jai Paul - Jai Paul

Few records have been quite as sweatily anticipated as Jai Paul’s debut full-length. In the event the record appeared not with a bang but with a whisper, gently nudged out onto his Bandcamp in the early hours of Sunday morning. The general aesthetic of Jai Paul is pretty close to that which preceded it: disorienting, sick-making sidechaining, bass lines played at the end of a wind tunnel, and vocals that teeter on the edge of irony and just at the periphery of your hearing. The effect is that of a VHS left to warp in the sun; constantly undulating, and rendered in what was once technicolour but which is now fading.

Sepalcure

Sepalcure - Make You

Sepalcure have long seemed the black sheep of the Hotflush family. Although the label’s early catalogue includes landmark releases from the likes of Shackleton, it has since slipped into a bountiful groove of big-room bass in the ‘Hyph Mngo’ mould. Make You is an anomaly, then. In it the tenets of ‘future garage’ and neo-house are inverted. The structure of the work is laid bare, with its constituent parts facing outwards. It is as if Sepalcure have been told to show their workings, and Make You seems therefore as much about the process of constructing a record as it is about the record itself - and it is all the more gripping for it.

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