Fall Music Preview ~ Electronic

This fall the electronic music scene is hot enough to fry circuits and burst sub-woofers.  We suspect this may happen in clubs as they dust off long-shelved equipment.  But the same may be true of vehicles; as the popular sample states, “This should be played at high volume, preferably in a residential area.”

The world has been looking backward for too long, and is ready to start looking forward again.  No one knows where music will head next, only that it’s no longer taking place in isolation.  We’re predicting an outpouring of emotion, from sadness to anger to joy, leading to musical catharsis.  Many of this season’s releases fall into these categories, their common thread a vibrancy of heart.

Cushions with Buttons

New duo Yhdessa delves into synth textures on Along the Simple Line, available on purple vinyl.  The warm tone is an expression of their friendship (Concentric, September 23).  rand is another new duo, combining the piano of Jan Gerdes with the techno stylings of Dr.Nojoke.  Peripherie is simultaneously calm and head-nodding, the release around the corner (September 9).  Another of autumn’s inspired collaborations comes from Frank Bretschneider and Georgio Li Calzi Zero Mambo places experimental trumpet in an electronic setting: forces that don’t as much collide as coalesce (Umor Rex, September 8).


We love the cover aesthetic of the Marionette label, now on their 20th release; the Buchla abstractions of Max Loderbauer find matching visual coverage on Petrichor (September 28, pictured left).  Billed as a “sundown record for sunup,” Roman Flügel‘s Balmy Evening fills the club with incense, preserving the beats while taking the anxiety down a notch (Mule Musiq, October 14).  Ambient house meets hauntology on Circuits, a diverse set from Moiré that invites listeners in for the long haul (Avenue 66, September 30).  Hans Berg is both artist and musician.  In the spirit of the polymorph, Waypoints, which collects pieces composed for installations, can be purchased alongside a series of signed prints (2MR, September 16).

Cub\cub alternates between ambient bliss and chilled electronics on Radiant Crush, building to surprising bouts of breakbeat and ethereal vocals (Subexotic, September 2).  On the same day, the label releases Forest Robots‘ Supermoon Moonlight Part Two, an expression of the trials and triumphs of parenthood and a further development of the artist’s sound.  More Subexotic albums will be listed in our Ambient and Drone section on Friday.  With 67 musicians playing 32 songs in 40 minutes, Daniel Patrick Cohen makes good on his promise, We Deliver.  The music is all over the map, from ambient to chill-out to funk, but the project is engaging and the timbres change so quickly the listener never wants to change the channel (Backlash Music, September 16).


Like rhythm and percussion?  Don’t mind half-hour tracks?  Oren Ambarchi‘s ever-morphing Shebang may be for you.  But we call dibs on the cake (Drag City, September 30).  The Evening Chants label has been quiet for a while, but returns with the moody, elegant Spell of Remembrance from Nicolas Snyder.  The album begins calmly before folding in elements of drone and modern composition, especially on “Beekeeper, Lover” (September 30).  Eusebaia may not yet be a household name, but Cosmos seeks to change that.  From ambience to jungle, the album surprises at every turn (Livity Sound, September 30).  Bob Meanza‘s Quandary splits equal time between electronics and drone, but uses organic sources.  The title matches a tone that resists easy categorization (Oxmose, September 16).

Automat musik may have been “barely recorded,” relying on buttons and knobs, but still sounds enveloping.  We first thought the title referred to cafeterias with vending machines, and we hold fast to that association, even if that’s not what Stiletti-Ana intended (September 19).  The twin releases Continuous | Movement include original tracks and remixes, interacting in seamless fashion.  The project is the culmination of a 20-year dream by Radboud Mens (September 10).  Once again Oh No Noh has released a stunning video: “Relying On Words Alone” has quickly become one of our favorites, a fine taste of the upcoming Kanzi (Teleskop, October 7).


After his walks in the forest, Concretism is convinced that The Thetford Beast is real.  The 10″ splatter vinyl investigates the legend through enigmatic titles and cinematic synth (Castles in Space, September 2).  The Burning Witches label is known for horror scores, but is also home to original artists such as Hunter Complex.  Airports and Ports is their latest release, more peaceful than expected given the monikers of the artist and label (September 2).  The Advisory Circle returns from the pandemic with Full Circle, another sprightly collection that indicates they weathered the crisis intact (Ghost Box, September 30).  Analog synth is the musical palette of Cosmic Ground, whose follows a 10-year retrospective with the brand new Isolate (Tonzonen, September 23).

Jacek Sienkewicz sneaks a little space age IDM into the otherwise ambient Pristine, knocking it from that category to this one (Recognition, October 7).  On Dekatron‘s IV, synthesizers travel far beyond our solar system to investigate hidden galaxies (Verlag System, September 16).  Analogue synth, live drums and a sense of spiritual transcendence inhabit Bajascillators, an immersive double album from Bitchin Bajas (Drag City, September 2).


The Days Are Growing Shorter, the Nights Are Getting Darker

Geniuses meet on Cosey Fanni Tutti‘s OST to Caroline Catz’ Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes.  Concurrently, one may purchase Cosey Fanni Tutti’s book RE:SISTERS: The Lives and Recordings of Delia Derbyshire, Margary Kempe and Cosey Fanni Tutti. Together, these releases create a multi-media experience (Conspiracy International, September 16).  Ilpo Väisänen uses the musical platform of Keskipäivän Hetken Sumea Vaillinaisuus to remind listeners that the war is still taking place in Ukraine.  The side-long tracks vibrate with resistance, reflecting the label name I Will Sing Until My Land Is Free (September 1).

Pipo may be a tribute to a friend, but it’s a shadowy tribute, with stated inspirations including the work of John Carpenter.  Yair Etziony‘s album flirts with dark ambience on its way to the midnight club (Lamour, September 30). Mia Zabelka | Henrik Meierkord | IcosTech make a powerful team, presenting a set that lurks in the start before pouncing midway.  One look at the cover, and one knows this will be a dark treat (Subcontinental, October 7).  Tape loops and beats form the basis for Lomond Campbell‘s Under This Hunger Moon We Fell, which grows darker as it moves along, like the transition from fall to winter.  By the release date of November 4, it should sound just right (One Little Independent).  Pas Musique translates a live set to the digital on Silbar, a guitar and electronics celebration of being able to perform again (Pas Musique, September 2).


Samples, beats and abstractions draw the listener’s ear to Elision, a confident sophomore installment from Halina Rice.  Three tracks were highlighted at the WITCH digital festival and should be rocking Halloween parties later on this season (Injazero, September 30, pictured left).  Fables, superstitions, ghosts and magical creatures inhabit Privacy Angels, which ironically (or for the artist’s protection) was recorded in a church.  VISIO‘s album is rife with texture, and finds an appropriate home on Haunter Records (September 9).  The following month, Haunter label boss Heith jumps to PAN for X, wheel, shifting genres in nearly every piece while keeping a tight hold on the album’s cohesion (October 7).


French label La République des Granges just dropped two new cassettes.  The self-titled release from Tapetum Lucidum is fuzzy and percussive, while Takahiro Mukai‘s Dysgraphia delves into distortion and heavy beats (September 1). We’ve grown used to booming music from Subsist & Faith Disciplines, and Puerta Sagrada is no exception.  This pounding set comes from Mr. Tron, but also includes one ambient mix (October 7).  VIERNULVIER’s opening salvo is a strong one.  The music comes from Use Knife, and is aptly described as “dreamy Arab songs with punky Dadaist touches.”  The Shedding of Skin is released on September 30.  Similarly rough is Bear Spray‘s amusingly titled Enemies Are Just Friends Who Don’t Want To Bear Hug You, a cheekily distorted project from Daniel Menche + Veronica Avola (September 1).


Das Ende der Liebe (The End of Love) creates long, loping tracks with a hint of rock and drone. Schne*e will be released on September 23, but for now, one can watch the band’s studio session for Moped (Anunaki Tabla). Twin Raven injects dialogue samples into shaded synth, creating a nearly industrial tone.  Powerful and Helpless is the latest single from Ego Death, coming September 23.  Precenphix also draws on industrial music, including elements of dark ambience and IDM.  Off Axis refers not only to the off-kilter beats, but to the dislodging of the soul under stress (Not Yet Remembered, September 23).


The Beat Goes On

We really like those horns on Box Seat, the latest single from Liminal Drifter‘s Cortisol 22.  The ebullient music hides the knowledge that the artist suffered a heart attack prior to the recording, and wrote these songs as part of his journey back (Hidden Shoal, September 19).  How much do you like brass?  If the answer is “a lot!” then the news of a new album from The Comet Is Coming will produce a large smile.  Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam is set to drop, preceded by first single CODE (Impulse! Records, September 23).  A connection can be made to KALAK, the anti-colonialist album from Sawathy Korwar, as the band includes members of both The Comet Is Coming and Melt Yourself Down.  Utopia Is A Colonial Project is the first single (Leaf, November 11).

Leftfield is also back with its first album in seven years.  Now a solo artist, Neil Barnes is nevertheless surrounded by a host of collaborators.  Pulse is the first single from This Is What We Do, out December 2 on Virgin Records.  Another of the season’s probable crossover hits comes from Daniel Avery, whose Ultra Truth completes the rare hat trick of being released on cassette, CD and vinyl.  Merging dance floor hits with occasional vocal pieces, Avery may even make the charts this fall (Mute, November 4, pictured right).  Caribou is now Daphni, turning more to the dance floor than ever, as apparent in the title track from the upcoming Cherry (Jiaolong, October 7).  Jean-Michel Jarre, famous for Oxygene, is now back with Oxymore, a tribute to Pierre Henry, preceded by the crunchy single Brutalism (Music Affair Entertainment, October 21).

Deepchord kept fans waiting for only five years, but that’s still a long time in artist years.  Functional Designs is the triumphant comeback, a techno score to long nights and neon lights (Soma, September 30).  The ever-reliable Rival Consoles returns with Now Is, another consistent set of trance-influenced club hits; the title track is an early highlight (Erased Tapes, October 14).  Pole resurfaces with Tempus, preceded by the single “Grauer Sand.”  Active since 1998, the veteran shows no dip in quality and no sign of slowing down (Mute, November 18).


Everything Old Is New Again

Kabuki Dream loves 80s synth, as one can guess from the title of single Giorgio MorOrwell.  The full album Abstract is set for release October 7 on Veidt Records.  Fast-forward a full decade, and FreqGen travels through the 90s year by year, track by track, imitating the dominant style of each.  Future 1990s is out November 11 on FXT Neon.  Oberst & Buchner‘s Marble Arch is synthy and percolating, building to peaks via the addition of layers, including some guest vocalists (Heimlich Musik, September 16).  While XINDL also claims the 90s as an influence, the sound of 11 is more futuristic, as heard on first single A.o.W.D. (subject to restrictions discs, September 22).


Sounding like a lo-fi, hand-held video game, The Gibraltarians offer Monitoring Station, its stated intention to reflect the space between radio stations (Eureka Beat, September 2).  Lake Haze offers a tribute to chiptune and videogame music on the bleepy Henosis, out September 2 on the fittingly named Shall Not Fade.  The breakbeats are back on Quelza‘s 47030 EP, a highly danceable excursion on Berlin imprint 47 (September 9).  On Op·Echo, S8jfou makes classic synth sound new, the product of experimenting with Operator & Echo in Ableton Live.  No sense of restriction can be found in the exuberant grooves, and we’re enjoying the lo-tech, color coded video below (Parapente, September 21).  World music, dance music and more find homes on Elsewhere VXIII, a compilation promoted with a trippy, kaleidoscopic video mix (Rocket Recordings, September 30).

Garage, breaks and hardcore make Shimmer a delirious dance experience.  O’Flynn x Frazer Ray recover the joy of music that has been dented over the past two years (Technicolour Records, October 21).  Deep bass meets dark beats on Steffi‘s The Red Hunter, an electro-IDM hybrid that should appeal to multiple generations (candy mountain, October 24).  Electro and acid share space on Passing Signals, a retro dance album from The Jaffa Kid (Suction Records, September 16).


Clubbed to Death

If RSS Disco‘s Mooncake sounds more like summer than fall, that’s okay; we’re happy to extend the season, and the release date technically lands within the lines (Mireia Records, September 9).  Boy Is Fiction returns with the warm, clubworthy Deeper Than Static, which injects a bit of shoegaze in its rhythms ~ no surprise considering its home on n5MD (September 9).  This will be followed by Jason van Wyk‘s Descendents, a percussive excursion with ambient detours (n5MD, October 21).  Blackford Hill is working on the release of the Echo in the Dark EP, a collaboration between Hanna Tuulikki and Tommy Perman.  The album is a literal Batdance, as sounds of echolocation meet Tuulikki’s voice and Perman’s beats.  An early taste can be enjoyed here.


Instrumental synth pop is offered on Perceptions, a warm album from Model Alpha that seeks to soothe as much as it does to move (Transversales Disques, October 7).  Ian Boddy breaks out his collection of modular synth equipment for Coil, which refers more to the setup than the band (DiN, October 14.  As long as the world keeps turning and records keep spinning, we anticipate Kompakt will continue to release compilations.  Total 22 is the latest, due September 16.  The same concept holds true for Fabric, as fabric presents Mind Against will begin rocking the clubs September 23, followed by fabric presents Nicola Cruz on November 18.  Hagop Tchaparian offers techno at a slower level, perfectly suited for jogging and running.  Bolts is released on September 9, preceded by the single Round (Text Records).  Willem Gator‘s The Encyclopedia of Failure may have a dour title, but the synth work is decidedly upbeat (Hidden Shoal, October 2).


With the title Acid Dub Studies II, one knows exactly what one is going to get.  A love for the 303 energizes Om Unit, who was encouraged by the reception of the previous entry and pleased to pen a sequel (September 2).  Also plunging into dub, F.S. Blumm offers Kiss Dance Kiss, a switch from prior styles.  A touch of reggae can be heard as well (September 16).  Dub also decorates Rasmus Hedlund‘s Far, which encourages listeners to kick back after a long day (Ljudverket, October 10).  Surfers will love the retro big wave video for Across the Ocean, taken from Julien Bracht‘s old-school rave tribute, Rave Flower.  Time to find those glowsticks! (System Records, September 16).  More ocean images are seen in Janus Rasmussen‘s Slóð, including unusual murmurations and disintegrating birds.  The EP will follow on September 23 (Ki Records).  African subrhythms and unusual field recordings are woven throughout Fischerle‘s Zamieć (px5), a swirling cassette on Patalax (September 1).  Surgeon’s Girl offers the brief yet uplifting Sever, with Lapsus’ happily claiming that she “radiates energy with healing powers” (October 14).

Loraine James pays tribute to Julius Eastman on Building Something Beautiful for Me, folding vocals and instrumentals into the same bowl.  The album brings new nuance to the work of an overlooked auteur (Phantom Limb, October 7).  Some vocals may be sprinkled about Waajeed‘s Memoirs of Hi-Tech Jazz, but we like the way the album was sequenced to accompany a Detroit ride.  It’s good to know that the art of the drive mix is alive and well!  This “celebration of Black leisure and play” is out November 25 on Tresor.  Also on Tresor: The Lion & the Ram, a pounding techno collaboration from Maedon and Adam X.  Welcome to the land of funk! (September 30).


Pulses and chops join sirens and street chants, cello and clarinet on Right to the City, creating a heady brew as Dominic Voz expresses his love for Chicago, while highlighting its dilemmas (Accidental Records / Beacon Sound, September 30).  Old skool 2-step is splayed across DJ Perception‘s Journey to the Star and beamed to Earth through a wormhole (Timehri, October 27).  Carl Stone offers sampledelic mutant pop on Gall Tones, a brief EP that packs the punch of a 45 (Unseen Worlds, September 9).

Members of Black Dice and Gang Gang Dance merge their talents on Riders On The Storm, which does not sound like The Doors.  Instead, it’s a happy and funky excursion from Eric Copeland & Josh Diamond on the Post Present Medium label (September 23).  Alien Alarms helpfully shares the opening and closing tracks of 0 to 1 to show their description is apt: slow jam to jungle, 90 BPM to 173.  The middle pieces will be revealed on September 30.  Ibrahim Alfa jnr goes right for the fast stuff on Messier97, breaking out the d’n’b and high BPMs.  If the album ends a bit slower than it began, it’s understandable; few people can keep up with such a pace! (Mille Plateaux, November 11).  Herva‘s Seez stays agitated throughout: this generative album sounds like computers on caffeine (Planet Mu, September 16).


Monster Drinks

Saint Abdullah & Eomac start their album with explosions and distortion before adding crowd chants and prayers.  Patience of a Traitor is inspired by bath houses in Iran, and confronts the stereotypes the West has of the East, especially when it comes to religion (Other People, September 30).  Uganda’s Authentically Plastic sounds a lot harder than its moniker, with a sound like metal and cement.  Raw Space offers ruff beats and no sense of compromise, a combination that has served the artist well while making the authorities nervous (Hakuna Kulala, September 16).


Terence Fixmer is a fixture of the scene, every release an event.  Shifting Signals sees the techno producer in top form, ready to set the club floors on fire (Mute, December 2).  Fans of pounding techno will enjoy Ed1999‘s Body Fluid EP, which hides its genre in the opening moments before letting loose (Porpax, 2 September).   Holldën‘s third EP of the year is called Would I Lie?  The set is filled with bangers and includes many fun titles, the best of which is “Club Gummy Positive” (Kuiper Noise, October 6).

We’re not keen on the moniker Flacid Mojo, as the beats are hard; but as Garbage People demonstrates, the guitar and motorcycles are viscerally appealing (Castle Face, October 28).  Lava Bangers II is slowly coming into focus with tracks released every month until the full release on November 11.  Showing a touch of mercy, Lazerbeak offers moments of relative tranquility, allowing the dancers to take a breather (Doomtree).  Fans of swift music will appreciate Ripatti Deluxe‘s Speed Demon, which is too quick to measure by ear alone, and is the latest alias of Vladislav Delay (Rajaton, October 27).

Richard Allen


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