As we always do at the end of a year, we take the chance to thank you, our readers, for your continuous support and we also have a look at what you enjoyed the most on hipodrome. This is a summary of the top 3 albums, compilations and recordings that you liked the most this year. I’m really happy and proud to see that we have very similar taste in music.
Esteemed proponent of outré dancefloor manoeuvres, Superconscious Records co-founder Fantastic Man makes his Kalahari debut proper. Having shown up for rework duties on a couple of occasions, we find the mutable oddball at his most trippy and esoteric. In fact, OYSTER42 is the handiwork of a producer who has his formula of balmy, lysergic dance music down to an exact science.
Exploring hybrid music styles and outernational, borderless musical influences, DJ soFa’s Elsewhere compilation series continues with a sixth instalment, and the second to appear on Kalahari Oyster Cult. Always ahead of the tide, the Kalahari Oyster is a fine specimen when it comes to the discipline of next-level sound-snooping. Meticulously curated by Belgian sonic globetrotter soFa, Elsewhere XX showcases a dozen outstanding tunes, each dwelling in their own personal space between the imaginary worlds of post-kraut, DIY synth-punk and odd-pop ballads. Melting these genres with contemporary club music is the mission here. Doused in a thick fog of arcane machine talk, tribal rhythms and cosmic synths, Elsewhere XX is an invitation to escape the hall of LED-backlit mirrors that we’ve so mistakenly come to call our “reality”. Gathering artists from all corners of the globe – including Radio Hito, Anatolian Weapons, Eylul Deniz, Dame Area and Electronic Body Girl – soFa’s curation lays the groundwork for a unique and thoroughly immersive listening and dancing experience.
First opus of the new series is La Batterie, by the UK’s Richard Podolor and Sandy Nelson in 1983 in the hypnotic shimmering disco of ‘Let There Be Drums.’ The music of Polodor and Nelson is being given new life by Kalahari Oyster Cult. Alongside the entrancing original are two remixes. First up is Australia via Amsterdam’s very own Max Abysmal with his ‘Spooky Remix.’ Adopting and adapting the raw energy of the ’83 version, Abysmal layers ghostly notes and spectral snares into his mechanical remake. The flip takes on a different slant with ‘Shotgun’ taken from the EP of twenty fives years ago. A super slick work of understated funk shot through with bold keys and powerful chants to show another side of the UK pair. The fiercely talented Benedikt Frey closes, turning his daringly able hand to ‘Let There Be Drums.’ He keeps the vocal line, the rest of his rework is dipped in a thick heart of darkness threat. Pulsing thumps, menacing notes and danger lurk in this jungle of Frey’s own making.
Compiled by soFa, the second installment in this recent series ties together eighteen artists, each venturing down their own musical path, to produce an audio atlas that transverses not only styles but also cultures and continents. Disparate musicians come from far and wide have been brought together across two slabs of beautifully mastered vinyl and, somehow, someway, found a jittering, skittering and juddering balance. Tracks from Puma & Dolphin and Khidja conjure up images of thick jungle scenes as tribal rhythm patterns hypnotise and mesmerise alongside shamanic samples. The heady exotic aromas and tactile textures of the East are on display with Zatua traipsing through baked dunes and deserts before arriving to the shamanic organized chaos that is Bear Bones, Lay Low. Darker moods loom and lurk, skulking in the alleys of Konsistent or in T-woc’s lurid tones. These duskier elements are countered by the brightness of Velvet C’s future disco sounds or the laser synthwork of Rony & Suzy. The buzzing Chicago inspired sounds of Weird Dust, the dawning pulses of Twoonky and the triumphal charges of Föhn blur the lines between mystical places and the cruel reality of the modern world.