Ohm Sweet Ohm [002] Ohm Sweet Ohm [002]

Written By Kaptain Carbon and Lemon

I remember a time when I wouldn’t listen to music that didn’t include guitar. It’s a story many people have probably heard me trot out over the years but on a month that has seen some exceptional electronic releases, it bears repeating. I used to hold the view (and indeed know some people who still do) that electronic instruments (keyboards, synths etc) weren’t somehow real; they weren’t capable of conveying emotion like a real person playing a real instrument (such as a guitar) was, someone who could improvise and make mistakes.

February has made me thankful that I moved on from this prehistoric view. One release in particular stood out from all others, and probably will do for the entire year. Burial’s Kindred EP is simply stunning in parts; a defining moment in his career and for the genre. It’s an amazing achievement that one artist can turn so many people on to a genre that they wouldn’t have been interested in before (the broad genre that is dubstep), and that his music seems to strike an emotional chord with so many.
Aside from that, there were plenty of other releases to digest. Check out some of our favourites below, and let us know what you think.

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Burial
Kindred
[EP]

With the ever increasing popularity of bass heavy dubstep, there has been a constant and steady interest in its opposite. Abstraction, subtly, and texture are hallmarks to this style which proposes a meditative evening as oppose to an all night coke and vodka binge. Burial’s two albums, released from 2006-2007, made a massive mark in dubstep culture. While not inventing the style, Burial has promoted a style of deep reflection which builds on original dubstep’s atmospheric beginnings. Since the mid 2000s, the once mysterious producer has been fanning the fires of interest with sporadic releases. If these EPs, singles, and remixes were not so enjoyable and thought provoking I would almost have concern. Burial returns with not another full length but a drop dead gorgeous EP which not only lives up to previous work but takes his original sound into new directions. Taking cues from his collaboration with Massive Attack, Burial elongates his tracks with ever increasing cooperation from neighboring EDM styles. House and progressive trance dot the Kindred EP leading me to wonder if Burial will be the music for the ghostly future. the Kindred EP is absolutely amazing and undeniably essential.

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John Talabot
ƒIN
[LP]

Barcelona -based producer John Talabot is usually celebrated for making the kind of music you associate with beach parties and euphoric summers, but on ƒIN he uses traditionally sunny and joyous instrumentation to weave an album that is emotionally resonant as it is head-bobbingly infectious. Opener ‘Depak Ine’ is the genre at its best; dark house music that builds and builds with urgent synths and, of course, a chorus of frogs. The point around halfway through when it changes key is perhaps one of the most stirring moments in an electronic album so far this year. There’s no lyrics, but it’s still able to speak volumes. ‘So Will Be Now’ is another highlight, with warped vocals and house beats continuing Talabot’s theme of dark disco music, seeing ƒIN off in style. Curiously though, an album highlight comes on ‘Destiny’, perhaps the sound that most associate with Talabot after his remixes and collaborations with acts like Delorean; sunny, Caribbean instrumentation in the vein of Caribou and Four Tet, it just goes to show Talabot’s skill and versatility in a genre full of copycats.

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Various Artists
Minimal Wave Tapes #2
[COMPILATION]

Something I love as much as electronic music and heavy metal is obscure musical genres which have been buried under the sands of times. Usually, my search for “vintage obscura” is concentrated in the years between 1940 and 1970. I have an amazing Thai surf comp which will change your life. The second Stones Throw compilation into Minimal Wave, however, is currently expanding my historic scope. Minimal Wave is a loose group of coldwave, synthpop and disaffected New Wave bands who created dark minimal electronic music during the early 1980s. Generally relegated to Europe, this genre received almost zero attention and even had their name applied in the mid 2000’s by archivists and the same record label which released this compilation. Regardless of intentions, this obfuscated genre is connected by their love of dystopian science fiction, pre-MIDI electronics and cold heartless darkness with an uptempo beat. This sounds like the unofficial soundtrack to Snow Crash. I love it already.


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Lapalux
When You’re Gone
[EP]

Any new act on the established Brainfeeder label is worth getting excited about, and Essex DJ Stuart Howard provides a worthy addition to the label roster with When You’re Gone. It’s an EP that is everything we’ve come to expect from the label, glitchy instrumentals with chopped vocals, shoegazing snippets here and there and a certain level of inconsistency throughout. Some tracks are better than others, sure – but Brainfeeder continues to do this sound better than most around at the moment. ‘Moments’ is the standout track, propelled by James Blake synths and tender vocals courtesy of mournful vocalist PY- it peaks with squelching bass and vocal lines being warped beyond all recognition. ‘Gone’ is a darker track, using almost hip-hop instrumentation and vocals so stretched they sound other-wordly, and it provides a stark contrast to the EP’s moments of relief (closer ‘Face Down, Eyes Shut’ is one such example). Wonderfully disparate.

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SBTRKT
Hold On
(SINGLE)

SBTRKT’s 2011 debut was nothing short of fantastic. With a delicate mixture of soul, garage and forward thinking dubstep, this masked frontman shattered expectations regarding full length electronic debuts. Any future work from SBTRKT would be gladly welcomed but this one has a bit of conjecture. Though the B-side “Rise To Freedom” is great in its own right, it is the “Hold On” remix which is causing all the commotion. Through various murmurings and conspiracy theories by electronic music nerds, the Sisi Bak Bak contributor has been linked to Radiohead frontman Thom York. This theory is not hard to believe seeing as SBTRKT offered a “Lotus Flower” remix for Radiohead’s TKOL RMX series and a reciprocating favor is not unlikely. Thom York’s involvement on the SBTRKT single is not necessary for its enjoyment but it of course welcomed to give people the chance to speculate and squeal with excitement. The two new songs which stowaway on the Hold On single are fantastic and bring the listener back to the day when they first heard the producer’s transformation on the electronic genre.



One Response about “Ohm Sweet Ohm [002]”

  • Bryce says:

    I’ve been digging the Burial and John Talabot releases. I’ll look into Lapalux. Great article guys.