Yesterday we presented the preferences of our readers from last year, now this is a list of 20 albums from 2019 that made an impression on us.
We have three pure electro albums from E.R.P., Jeremiah R. and Plant43 and the new electro-synthy album of veteran David Carretta, his first solo album for ten years. On the darker side of the synth palette we have two EBM/synth-pop albums from Boy Harsher and Years Of Denial, the debut album of Kris Baha, the third album of Greek producer June, a new one from Jason Letkiewicz aka Steve Summers under his new moniker Opposing Currents and two more industrial albums from Autumns and Colombian Filmmaker.
On the other had we have two acid gems from DimDJ and Paranoid London, the first ever Gladio album, the second album from Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani and an experimental/ambient album from veteran Function on Tresor.
So, here it is compiled in chronological order.
Photonz is the alias of Marco Rodrigues a DJ, producer and driving force of Lisbon’s underground scene. For little over a decade now, he’s been crafting his own deeply personal style of Portuguese house and techno. As a DJ, Photonz grew a reputation for deep crates and intensely euphoric sets and in 2017, together with Violet (co-founder at his Radio Quantica) and Lisbon’s own Rabbit Hole collective, he started the now infamous Mina parties – a monthly, sex-positive, queer and intersectional-feminist techno party aimed at using the dissociative potential of intense raving to create a temporary space of suspension away from patriarchal expectations. ‘Nuit’ is Photonz’s debut album and a simultaneous reference the Egyptian Goddess of the Stars or Night. Marco was really swept away by the concept of ‘freedom of form under the night sky’, the accepting embrace of Nuit. Ancestral, but also socially advanced and utopian; a deification of the night time. These ideas manifest themselves as eleven songs spread across two LPs that wax and wane like the moon. Photonz channels early techno, Drexciyan rhythms, balearic & atmospheric house; layering sounds, creating moments.
Photonz is the alias of Marco Rodrigues a DJ, producer and driving force of Lisbon’s underground scene. Etheric Body Music is Photonz’s debut 6-track EP for Dark Entries and a simultaneous reference to hermeticism and EBM (Electronic Body Music). Marco loves that ‘aesthetic when 80s industrial and EBM bands split up and start to make trance in the early 90s and all the ritual magick pushes them to zen stuff and they do ecstasy.’ There’s this concept in theosophy and hermetic philosophy of the Etheric Body, which is an energy body superimposed and connected to the physical body, similar to the acupuncture idea of an energetic body. That idea manifests itself as six primal club cuts, which also channel early techno, Drexciyan rhythms, balearic & old school jack. Raw arpeggiated synth lines and bass blast jut against metallic stabs and highly percussive shakedowns to create mournful atmospheric warped house.
Photonz returns to UTTU with an EP of 4 cosmik house cuts.
Mexico was hit by a severe earthquake on September 19. The capital Mexico City, and many neighboring towns suffered massive damage as hundreds of buildings collapsed, thus trapping many people alive inside. The Mexican Red Cross is currently taking care of many of the victims and is need of any type of aid. In support of the crisis that our Mexican brothers and sisters are experiencing right now, some of the music producers in our community have put together a compilation with the purpose of donating all proceeds to the Mexican Red Cross. Internationally renowned producers, such as Legowelt, Silent Servant, Tevo Howard, Alessandro Adriani and Black Merlin have contributed with amazing music, as well as solid tracks from local talent like AAAA, Gsr.brg, Bad Name Roy and many others. With a price of 9.99 Euros, you can buy this compilation at the official bandcamp page; however, you can contribute with any higher amount by naming your own price. Help is always needed, especially in countries like Mexico. Show some love and enjoy 26 mind-melting tracks from Mexico and around the world.
Ursa’s Reef is a late 80’s traveller and surfer wandering endlessly in the secluded raves of Goa, searching for his own soul while dancing in abandon to the proto-Trance journeys of Goa Gil. Brought up in Sintra, Portugal, by a family of uptight catholic hypocrites, UR goes rogue in his early 20’s, seduced by the esoteric teachings of Levi, Pessoa, Crowley and Israel Regardie while keeping an unhealthy obsession with Roxy Music. He is also a fictional, made up persona – a musical heteronym – of Lisbon-based DJ and producer Marco Rodrigues, mostly known for his work under the name Photonz. Together with his friend Jose Acid – a musical heteronym of Joao Ervedosa AKA Shcuro – he makes one last trip to Goa that could prove fatal.
As one of the frontrunners of the new Portuguese house sound Photonz has been flexing a balance between the UK and the Continent way before it became a question of ZIP codes for him, and the EP’s true to this intricate signature. On the flipside, Silverback staple The Phantom reinterprets Parque da Liberdade as an old school flavoured, meditation-tinged piano jam, while London heavyweight Ikonika injects the same track with a dose of her trademark retrofuturistic funky.