2020 Giveaways

2020 was a tough year for almost everyone and definitely a year to forget for our scene. Events and gigs canceled, venues closed, artists lacking a way to earn a decent living and club culture facing a threat like never before.
In the midst of these events were several people / organizations who tried to ease the pain, offering out some comfort by releasing music to people for free or by pay as you want download. This was always done, but this year I noticed that more and more artists are doing this.
Here is a selection of albums and compilations I came across this year and that I think is worth mentioning again.

Continue reading “2020 Giveaways”

2020 Giveaways

Ekman – Kronkel [SHIP066]

Ekman is no stranger to Shipwrec. With three EPs and an album, the dutchman’s brand of fire and brimstone has seared a serious impression on the Nijmegen imprint. The fourth 12″ comes with a marked difference. That burning smouldering intensity that has characterised the acid soaked electro and stained techno of past records is present, however it is now sheathed. Beats are still sharp edged, as in “Verdraaide Logica”, yet keys have softened and taken on an introspection. “Kronkel” is cast in a similar mould. From a fearsome kick blooms an incredibly layered and thoughtful track where melodies bob and weave while rhythms rail. Even amidst the sinister sidling synthlines of “Anker Punten”, with its piercing and punishing percussion, there are understated pads to mellow. The glass and steel of “Vast/Los” ends the EP. Angular lines permeate the piece, reflection and refractions arc and bend in this science fiction finale. Depth mixed devilment from start to finish.

listen

Ekman – Kronkel [SHIP066]

VA – 20 Years Crème Organization [FREE DOWNLOAD]

“Here’s a free compilation to celebrate our 20th birthday, which fittingly falls right in the middle of the biggest crises the world has faced this century. This is not a retrospective, in times like these it important to look to the future. It features exclusive tracks by label mainstays and some up and coming artists from the West Coast and beyond. Up to you to figure out which is which.”

VA – 20 Years Crème Organization [FREE DOWNLOAD]

VA – The Best Of NYH [NYH191/NYH192]

New York Haunted is now 5 years old. Ignored by many, loved by as many more. NYH aims to be a home for the true underground in electronic music and releases diverse and stubborn producers that live for their music. Compiled by the NYH artists, this is part 1 of a 2 part collection that shows of the diversity and width of the label and, dare we say, the current underground in electronic music today.

VA – The Best Of NYH [NYH191/NYH192]

Ekman – A Pastime for Semi Gods [BR-APFS-LEB2]

‘A Pastime For Semi-Gods’ is an evidence to a new mythology, is the genesis of a collisions. Of waves to a statement on the static, extending in perpetual change. With this album, Ekman is describing the chaos of erotic imagery that is unbroken. On the border of mythology and science fiction. ‘A Pastime For Semi-Gods’ is Ekman’s fourth release on Bedouin Records and his album debut on the label.

listen

Ekman – A Pastime for Semi Gods [BR-APFS-LEB2]

Overlope – Aposynthesis [PATER005]

Pater Noster presents their fifth release, Aposynthesis by Overloper, a side project of Ekman.The A-Side brims with tension both contemplative and active. ‘Hope You’re Close’ is a deep burner, with heavy, pounding bass and an entrancing hook ascending to space. This then escalates into the urgency of ‘Aposynthesis (Need More Sisa)’, in which a driving, rolling rhythm is juxtaposed with an old school, dutch-style rave synth.The B-Side encircles around acid. On one hand, it is coyly playful with ‘Carpe Noctem’ turning cavernous in Innsyter’s dark interpolation of the other.

listen

Overlope – Aposynthesis [PATER005]

Ekman – Primus Motor [SHIPLP08]

“Primus Motor” sees Ekman return to many of the sounds that gained him a reputation as an artist on labels like Bunker and Berceuse Heroique. Although harsh bucking acid lines, pockmarked notes, brutal beats and eerie echo are all present, a new tone has been added to the caustic palette. A psychological nuance, an undercurrent of the inchoate has been investigated and exploited to chilling effect. Crippling psychoses. Debilitating neuroses. Physical pain. Suffering stalks this first full vinyl album. Sinister sounds encircle the eight offerings, hovering like vultures over inhospitable plains of ashen grey, jagged peaks and dark sweeping swamps. Hope is all but drawn away in this bleached audio landscape, drained by sheer synthlines and reduced renderings. Amidst the sorrow and strain there are pin pricks of joy, albeit bleak and pallid ones. An album that unnerves as it engages, a collection of icy radiance and industrial indifference from a dutch master.

listen

Ekman – Primus Motor [SHIPLP08]

Ekman – Doomsday Argument EP [CR1295]

Creme Organization returns in July with four searing electro cuts from Dutchman Ekman. Mixing up West Coast electro with tougher, more textured techno styles in recent releases for Berceuse Heroique and Bedouin Record, this artist is as much about the past as the future and proves that across this new and impressive set of tracks. Doomsday Argument is not as dark as you would expect form the name: its a lithe and slippery electro affair with crisp snares and gurgling bass all topped off by a freaky top line. The Great Filter mixes up distorted bass with rippling glass synths and sounds both spooky and cosmic, then Post Singularity Day picks up the pace with a quick and urgent Drexcyian style that is restless, dynamic and busy. Last of all Antifragile is a wild acid workout with rocking beats and ripping 303s that twitch every nerve in your body.

listen

Ekman – Doomsday Argument EP [CR1295]

Ekman – Sturm Und Drang [SHIP051]

Roel Dijcks, better known as Ekman, is no stranger to Shipwrec. Following his Heimwee EP and Synaptic Feedback Loops comes a two tracker of serious proportions. “Sturm un Drang” gets the ball rolling. A rasping beat cuts into thick bass. A pool of liquified notes shimmers as an isolated world unfolds, a tactile world of arcing strings and clean complexity. If “Sturm un Drang” is a glimpse into an alien realm, “First Mover” is surely the beast that inhabits it. Bulbous bars trudge through a swamp of static, distortion drips from cymbals leaving melodies buried in the marshland.

listen

Ekman – Sturm Und Drang [SHIP051]

Umwelt – State Of Matter [SHPRMX1]

Shipwrec rolls out its new remix series with a serious slab of electro red meat. The main course is served by a machine music master, Umwelt. And what else would the serving be but the rawest of electro, coarsened by surging acid and slicing snares. Accompanying the original are a triumvirate of talent: Ekman, The Exaltics and Eomac.

listen

Umwelt – State Of Matter [SHPRMX1]

VA – Signs Of Decay [SOM038]

Signs of Decay: Acid Compilation with dirty and hard acid cuts by Ekman, The Exaltics, Helena Hauff, Perseus Traxx, Drvg Cvltvre and a artwork made by Godspill. A powerful collective statement on the desiccation some “hard and dirty acid tracks” can do to a dancefloor. Don’t come here looking for any lofty concepts, this is just five of the best banging their boxes in the name of all that is grotty and lysergic.

listen

VA – Signs Of Decay [SOM038]

Ekman – Synaptic Feedback Loops [SHIP031]

Nijmegen electro imprint Shipwrec shows us how its done yet again, with Roel Dijcks aka Ekman keeping the Dutch west coast spirit alive with 4 dramatic and haunting acid voodoo tracks certain to draw a new generation to the beauty of the dark side.. “Autapse” begins proceedings in haunting fashion; spooky church organs provide the backdrop for an epic, soaring acid lead while “Uncertainty Principle” is sub-aquatic, Drexciyan electro for freaks. On the flip is the title track; keeping on like before but with a four to the floor beat for added dancefloor dynamics. Finally “Antinomy” delves into deeper terrain; its razor sharp and morphing synth line leading you further into the darkness of the abyss.

listen

Ekman – Synaptic Feedback Loops [SHIP031]

Ekman – GMDDI [BH015]

Ekman returns to the Berceuse Heroique imprint with another formidable chunk of acid rave sorcery. “GMMDI” brilliantly blends relentless techno rhythms, recorded-in-a-cement-mixer synths and dancing rave melodies into the sort of throbbing techno banger that could have been recorded at any point over the last 30 years. Ekman’s old pals Breaker 1 2 (aka Greg Beato) provide the B-side remix, simmering things down whilst retaining the original’s foreboding chords and thumping beats.

listen

Ekman – GMDDI [BH015]

Jauzas The Shining & Victoria Lukas – Shadows [TRAJECTORY1018]

Collaboration project between Jauzas the Shining & Victoria Lukas featuring Ekman and Orgue Electronique. Lukas, drawing upon personal sensations, melds diary-like lyrics into dreamlike ambiance and textures, beautifully fusing with the infectious electro-pop grooves of Jauzas the Shining. Songs encapsulating lost love and longings for sensation, emotional stimulation and experiencing feelings through those of another are conveyed via vocal pieces, ‘Cold Sweat’ and ‘Coral Eyes’. Ekman contributes a driving, acidic groove version of ‘Cold Sweat’ more apt for the dancefloor, while Orgue Electronique pushes the electronic pop vibes into house territory.

listen

Jauzas The Shining & Victoria Lukas – Shadows [TRAJECTORY1018]

Ekman – Entropy [TTT030]

Ekman makes his TTT label debut with some crushing electronics. The Entropy EP finds Roel Dijcks expanding his palette further. There’s a sense of abstraction throughout all four tracks here, with notions of rhythm only loosely adhered too, with the overwhelming sonic pressure of “?0” and “Dissipation” offset by the lighter title track. Closer “?S” veers into the crawlspace between the insectile sound design of Mike Parker and the lysergic hardware manipulations of Hieroglyphic Being.

listen

Ekman – Entropy [TTT030]