electronic music radar

The ELECTRONIC MUSIC Radar (Episode #1/2019)

I’m starting with this article a periodical review of the most important releases for electronic music. Given the wide range of sub-genres that are included in this category, expect to find a selection of heterogeneous styles and approaches to music. All of the albums that are mentioned in this digest, however, are characterized by something unique and particularly interesting, which made the LP stand out from the mass.

This first episode features five albums that were selected among those released in the first two weeks of the year.

As far as geography is concerned, we have one band from Australia (Two People), one from South Africa (Yugen Blakrok), and three from England (Funky DL, Teeth of the Sea and Ladytron).

Enjoy the article and stay tuned for the future episodes of the Electronic Music radar!

“First Body”, by Two People

If someone asked me which was the most original and intriguing electronic release of the first months of 2019, I would have no doubts. And the fact that I’m talking of a debut LP is still more exciting. My answer, in fact, would be First Body, the debut full-length album from Phoebe Lou and Joey Clough, a duo of Australian musicians that work under the name of Two People.

First Body provides the listeners with a special kind of electronic music that gently moves towards dreamy pop, whilst still maintaining a sense of suspension and fragility. And despite it was conceived and recorded by following a strict DIY approach, from a sonic perspective the LP is impressive and extremely rewarding. Lou and Clough have found the perfect balance between intimacy, elegance, and obscurity.

This is maybe the softer electronic music that we will hear in while, but it’s absolutely enjoyable and, as I said, it’s really one of the best things I encountered so far. You can go here and read my review of the album.

“Dennison Point Instrumentals”, by Funky DL

Another interesting and fairly experimental record that we could enjoy in the first months of the year was released by the English artist Funky DL. The LP, called Dennison Point Instrumentals, was conceived over the simple but effective idea to manipulate Funky DL’s recent record Dennison Point by removing the vocals and retouching some of the original breaks and backing choruses.

The result is a style of electronic music that’s quite eclectic and original. Many call it trivially as “instrumental hip hop”, but the reality is that Dennison Point Instrumentals sits on the border between electronic and jazz music, and it contains really many elements of interest.

As a matter of fact, the changes operated onto the original material, together with the removal of the vocal lines, made this LP to acquire a value and a musical “sense” that are completely separated from the starting album. Magically, the apparently simple operation that was conducted by Funky DL allowed his music to overcome the static boundaries between genres and, at the same time, to give new life to his songs. Brilliant.

“Anima Mysterium”, by Yugen Blakrok

Being this one a blog that has never explored in depth the world of hip hop, it may seem curious enough to find in this article, one after another, two exponents of this genre of music. But when you come across an interesting and hypnotic record like Anima Mysterium by South African rapper Yugen Blakrok, you can not remain indifferent.

The beats and the lyrics that animate the 12 tracks of the album are mesmerizing, suggestive and deeply immersive. You’ll find yourself moving at the pulsating rhythm of the songs, while the mind is captured by the intriguing spoken rhymes, which typically accentuate the cadence of the drums creating a unique and homogeneous flow of impressive beauty.

I’ve published a dedicated review of the LP, you can read it from here.

“Wraith”, by Teeth Of The Sea

Wraith, which is the fifth LP from the London experimental trio named Teeth Of The Sea, is one of the most unclassifiable albums among those that were released so far in 2019. On the other hand, even the description that the three musicians give of their music doesn’t help us so much: “Taking on board influences like Morricone, Eno, Delia Derbyshire, Goblins, and the Butthole Surfers, we have arrived at an incendiary sound that marries the aural enlightenment of an avant-garde sensibility with the reckless abandon of trashy rock & roll“.

This description may sound a bit too convoluted, but certainly, the songs of Wraith present really many different components: there is a base of electronic music, but also psychedelic rock, jazz, noise and flashes of metal. What really matters, though, is that the band has developed a very beautiful, particular and extremely original style music.

I have published a dedicated review of the LP, you can find here some more details about this impressive record.

“Ladytron”, by Ladytron

I’m very happy to conclude this first digest about electronic music with one of my favourite bands of all time. Ladytron, from Liverpool, had really left a deep mark in the electronic scene of the early 2000s, but then they slowly came out of the radar. This year the band interrupts a hiatus of 8 years and they’re back with a new album, the sixth full-length record of their discography, which is named as the band.

Ladytron won’t become the most significant LP of the band’s career, but it’s, in any case, an appreciated comeback from a group of musicians who wrote one of the most important pages in the history of UK’s electronic music.

I’ve published a dedicated review of the LP, you can read it from here.

I’m collecting the best songs of the year in a dedicated playlist, called THE ELECTRONIC MUSIC RADAR. It features a compilation of songs taken from the albums that were mentioned above, and it’s going to grow with time as soon as new good tracks will be released and selected.

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