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.
VA – 10 Years of SEQ [SEQ016]
“Ten years have gone by since I began this project called Sequencias. When I started it, all I had in mind was that I wanted to put out the best music that was available to me and that I’ll follow wherever it’ll take me. I’m very grateful to all the people that have been part of this journey and have trusted me with their art, without them there was no way this could have happened. Also, to everyone behind the scenes that have made it all possible, thank you. With this selection of tracks, I intend to give the catalog a breath of fresh air. All of them were previously released on vinyl-only between 2011-2021 so now you can enjoy them digitally as well. All the tracks in the compilation got remastered and the ones that were not included will remain only on vinyl.” JM De Frias.
MaSpaventi – Le Cose Che Sentivo [SEQ015]
Sequencias introduces MaSpaventi to their catalog with this EP called ‘Le Cose Che Sentivo’, which is a mixture of tempos with a melancholic feeling spread throughout. The dexterity of MaSpaventi is shown on this one; from the funky drum programming and melodic lushness of “Una Piccola Amaca” on the A-side, to the more ethereal downtempo/ambient side of him with “Profondo Blu” and “Coralli Lia” on the B-side.
Area – Enough With [SEQ014]
Area provides the soundtrack for another long Winter. From late night meditative dancefloor bliss, to midtempo 4 to the floor sonic experimentation. So without getting too wordy, we’ll leave these flowers right here, please don’t let them dry.
Dexter St. Jacques – Ancient Way of Knowing [SEQ013]
Solo outings from Africans With Mainframes member Noleian Reusse are relatively rare. Here he dons a brand new alias, the Eddie Murphy-referencing Dexter St Jacques, and sets off on a techno trip into the ether. Opener “Laamb” [sic] is a curious but alluring beast, with undulating synthesizer and acid lines riding a fizzing, almost bubbly drum machine rhythm. It feels like electronic jazz with techno drums, yet it’s not overtly jazzy. There’s a similar feel about the more distorted “Temporal Understanding”, where rising and falling melodies lines and winding electronics compete for attention over a hissing drum machine groove.
Area – One Less Me [SEQ012]
Sequencias first release for 2015 comes from Chicagoan, Area. He has melded elements from bass music, industrial, electroacoustic, spoken-word and techno into 3 tracks that distill their influences into something greater than the sum of its parts. Opener “Circadian” is built on a two-chord refrain to a stepping rhythm amidst a dank warehouse atmosphere. Spoken-word interlude, “One Less Me,” is little more than a female voice processed and cleverly twisted over crisp electronic filigree. The EP closes with “XXeXX” (Crushkilled Version), which sounds like the remnants of the opening track after being drop-forged and scattered to the breeze—long peals of reverberating melodic feedback straining under a dense bank of static fog—breaking free every few measures to expand into the light, then crushed. “One Less Me” is the beginning of a new relationship that we look forward to see flourish in the future, and of course, to share it with you.
D’Marc Cantu – Some Kind Of Strange [SEQ011]
Cantu’s electro-heavy sound is fleshed out here and while still lean enough for dance floors, it makes bolder moves into atmospheric and melodic territory. The A side, “Some Kind Of Strange…,” begins with long synth strains before one of his signature overdriven drum workouts immediately punches through the lush spectral melody. Cantu runs through the patterns on his 808, weaving a sort of broken beat track that cruises through acidic space time. On the flipside you’re treated to the electro/freestyle jam, “A Space Age Function.” There aren’t many surprises here nor is there any need for them: just pure and grimy electro joy…right down to the pitched down vocal sample and octave-hopping bassline. “September,” the beatless coda, is an echo from a childhood spent in dark cinemas with the sounds of Carpenter and Howarth. Tinkling FM bells dot the layers of rich ethereal pads and you can practically hear the clattering of the projector somewhere behind you in the dark.
VA – Epheremal Nature [SEQ010]
For the 10th release Sequencias presents a various artists release with works by Metropolis , Shawn O’Sullivan, Echo 106.
Nepal – Drift [SEQ009]
And here we are, just as promised, exploring the dark corners of Nick Lapien; the man otherwise known as Metropolis. This time around, he comes back with a pair of extended cuts that veer off into heretofore unexplored terrain, relishing in detail with a sharp focus on momentum and lyricism. ‘Glow’, the A side, uses a basic 2-note sine wave bass line and a 136 BPM kick as the backdrop for a 13+ minute descent into a thicket of static and clattering modular craftiness—a pathway into the unknown through auditory hypnosis. On the flip side, ‘Rebuild’, a milder 4/4 beauty, uses a soft bass riff for its duration as shuffling synth experimentation stretches the stereo field. A long trumpet solo by Mark Nieuwenhuis casts a soothing, mournful light into the piece. Immerse yourself into the sounds and let yourself be guided, let yourself be found.
JM De Frias Interview
JM De Frias – Liberalia
D’Marc Cantu & JM De Frias – I Have No Eyes, And I Must See [SEQ008]
Nicolas Cantu makes a welcome return to Sequencias with The Lost Tribe—a brisk 808 workout with lush synthwork and psychedelic acid stylings. This is a more breezy approach compared to his work on other labels yet spares none of the imaginative or emotive qualities. On the flip side, label head JM De Frias offers up the dissonant groover The Light as a follow up to his debut track from Levon Vincent’s acclaimed Fabric mix CD. Brash percussion collides with staccato melodies awash in echo and organ, sustaining an intensity that never quite boils over. The two team up for the closer The Last Light, an atmospheric epic of growling strings, breathy ambience and melancholy stitched together with creaky, decrepit acid stabs and brittle percussion. This is the beginning of an on going collaboration between the two, keep your ears open in the near future.
Metropolis – A Machine Of Desire [SEQ007]
Nick Lapien’s debut release as Metropolis garnered little attention when it materialized last year. A skeptical yet dedicated network of underground heads built up a subterranean buzz that has yet to spread into the daylight. That initial transmission was thick with the raw analogue flavors that have become ever-present in dance floor fare recentlybut his is a sound that is dedicated to the emotive, narrative aspects of electronic music rather than simple fetishization or passing curiosity in the days of yore. This, his second release as Metropolis, shows a more focused and patient hand at work. The titular track on the A side is a deep, psychedelic groover. Melodies, textures and sequences undulate and intertwine within a lightless atmosphere guided by Lapien with optimum restraint. Equally pensive and gorgeous, The Flood serves as a Machine’s beat-less foil on the reverse. Made up of little more than feedback and two slow, echo laden arpeggiated sequences, this is reminiscent of Jean Michel Jarre’s more sinister moments: a brilliant paradox of economy and indulgence.
The Sun God – The Spirits Have Spoken [SEQ006]
Chicago legend Jamal Moss makes a return to Sequencias with two tracks of overdriven angularity in his most jacking incarnation, The Sun God. If you know Jamal, then you’re aware that no other artist has informed electronic rhythm-based music quite like he has. Spoken By The Spirit works a thicket of hi hats and snares around an incessant clav in one of Moss’s signature persuasive work outs. 4 This Is Your Salvation seems to run in the opposite direction of the A side—the tangle of stuttering, overheated circuits now being sucked into a vortex with an uneasy momentum.
Healing Force Project – Hybrid Furrows [SEQ005]
Presented in two parts, “Hybrid Furrows” marks the second transmission of the mysterious Healing Force Project from Treviso, Italy. The first part is a dense, introspective overture. A ceaseless minor key drone lays the path for deep thrumming gong-like pulse and shuddering percussive textures. A song without a coda, a dream without resolution, it simply dissipates like fog—never revealing it’s center. The second part is similarly monolithic in nature, but crafted more for movement than meditation. It is vicious arpeggiated psychedelia, sharp enough to cut into the deepest recesses of your psyche.
Willie Burns – Another Place [SEQ004]
Willie Burns and Aroy Dee on remix duty. Sequencias is slowly building their profile with their outsider house, acid and chicago rooted tracks. “Another Place, Another Time” is an epic track and Willie Burns stepped over his shadow. Trippy and full of tension, slow building without taking the paved path. Aroy Dee is delivering a remix, more in the Chicago direction and adding dramatic strings.
D’Marc Cantu – Sequencias Embrace Chapter 4
Recorded live using: Samples (808,505), ER-1, Poly 800, FX, MicroKorg, and several Horror movies playing through fx pedal running through a mixer to the ER-1 as additional samples.
ViLLan X feat Kold / DCantu – Disparate Implementation [SEQ003]
Killer release on New York’s Sequencias label. Powerful and hypnotic Chicago acid inspired cut on the A and a cool slow building chord driven track layered over raw drum rhythms on the b-side. A pair of artists from two different points along Interstate 94, who have a reputation for the very same. The main body laid down by VILLan X is tight metallic percussion underpinned by solid kicks and a stream of robotic filtered bass, containing unexpected shifts within the frequency register. Foreboding tones and feelings drift towards us across which the disembodied voice of Kold is able to find a platform from which to shudder into our consciousness and pose questions from across the galaxies about the nature of our very being. dcantu carries on the feelings of space, with protracted white noise shots and stabby modulated organ chords, but doesn’t leave it long before setting the pace with solid drums and shifting keyboard funk aimed squarely your body and the dance floor as octave changes force you up and then down again to a backdrop thick with texture. This provides for the body and the mind.
Orpheus – Path From Hades [SEQ002]
Second release on the New York imprint Sequencias. Expect three dark and introspective offerings, deeper-than-deep, dirty, and gritty house that jacks with the best the movement has to offer. We have to say that Orpheus firmly delivers here.
VA – Elusive Triumph EP [SEQS001]
This is the first release of this new American label, featuring some phat jacking tracks from Specter, Aroy Dee and Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being.