Zenevloed picks: The best of 2018

….Picks gives the chance to an artist/collective to showcase sounds which have inspired a certain moment.

 

Zenevloed picks: The best of 2018

This end of the year list rounds up a period significant for Zenevloed, as we have had the chance to host, review, and interview a large amount of DJ’s, producers, and collectives, and receive continued support from both artists and our followers, for which we are most thankful. 2018 also marks yet another year where we were pleasantly surprised by that which is stirring in the deep. Therefor we would like to dedicate this unnumbered, alphabetical list to those who know and those who yet must discover.

 

|RG| – Ceramic Tigers [Summer Isle]

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|RG| is one of the best examples of the ambient/noise/drone revolution happening in Belgium. Ceramic Tiger is an interplay between hash and soft, a caress and a lick, aural extravagance.

Buy via: https://summerisle.bandcamp.com/album/ceramic-tigers

 

3KZ – Volvere [FIDES]

Surprising blend between 90s ambient and 00s triphop, 3KZ served up something that remains on rotation here at HQ.

Buy via: https://fidesrecords.bandcamp.com/album/volvere-fides009

 

Agnarkea – Black Helicopters [Natural Sciences]

(Featured in our Picks of November)

Black Helicopters breathes old-school south-side rap compiled in an amazing +2hr undertaking by Agnarkea. Natural Sciences is (among contemporaries like Berlin-based 777 Recordings) known for their grimey, hip hop, jungle influenced output, but Black Helicopters takes it to another, more spiritual level. Definitely a record that should get more love.

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Vinyl + additional merch via https://agnarkea-ns.bandcamp.com/album/black-helicopters

 

Anasisana – Caught Between Worlds Colliding [Vaknar]

(Featured in our Picks of August)

The young producer Anasisana has in the mean time become a master of transmitting emotions into his musical output. A compelling last witness of an important chapter in his life.

Buy via: https://vaagner.bandcamp.com/album/caught-between-worlds-colliding

 

Angelo Harmsworth – For Argand [Vaknar]

Read full review here.

For Argand, released mid 2018 on Vaagner’s sublabel Vaknar, is an arresting double-act founded on the fringes of noise and ambient. The USA-based musician Harmsworth has perfected his style of fragile storytelling through his compositions for acclaimed labels like Summer Isle, Strange Rules, and his own Lime Lodge. For Argand is best comprehended as a diptych, in the tradition of his earlier works Parades & Changes and Overture Untitled.

Release is sold out.

 

Antechamber – Antechamber [Instruments of Discipline]

Where the Codex Empire alias (especially in his live performances) is all devouring in blinding anger, Antechamber relies more on dub-influenced rhythm and therefor tends to pace itself while remaining as dark as ever.

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Buy via: https://instrumentsofdiscipline.bandcamp.com/album/antechamber

 

Anthéne – Divisions [ROHS!]

Read full review here.

Divisions is the newest release by Toronto-based Bradley Sean Alexander Deschamps, also known as AnthéneDivisions carries the same cinematic quality as his earlier output, yet distinguishes itself from releases like Repose and Aurora in terms of textures and more dynamic usage of melody. Aside from his personal releases, Deschamps has brought out familiar faces like Celer, Endurance, and Forest Management on his own label Polar Seas Recordings. Divisions is part of the Lontano series on ROHS!, a new ambient division of the Berlin based label.

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Buy via: https://lontanoseries.bandcamp.com/album/divisions

 

Autumns and The Sixteen Steps – Six Sequences [Label In Disarray] (cover image)

Accompanied with a beautiful hand printed inlay, the Six Sequences split release puts some necessary grit into the post-techno/EBM endeavor.

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Buy via: https://labelindisarray.bandcamp.com/

 

Autumn Pool – A Shelter [Strange Rules]

“fragility fails us”. A whole mood summarized by this brief quote from the release description. Beautiful!
While you are at it, Strange Rules brought out many other gems this year. Highly recommended.

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Buy via: https://strangerules.bandcamp.com/album/a-shelter

 

Barks – Mortifying, Imaginary and Symbolic Theatre Remixes [Rodz-Konez]

Read full review here.

Barks’ Mortifying, Imaginary and Symbolic Theatre original release saw the light in early 2018. The original album is an intense offering in line with the other produces on the Rodz-Konez label. Where Shameful is a percussion driven, airy composition juggling with tempo, tracks like Stop People lean on the industrial dub side with powerful stabs. Throughout the album the paranoid switches between light and dark play a key role. Now, the remixers have had a huge amount of particular elements to play around with, added to the diversity among each other. Quite a nice detail: the title of both the original album and remixes EP is derived from Gilles Deleuze’s Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (“Shit on your whole mortifying, imaginary, and symbolic theatre”).

Buy via: https://poison.rodz-konez.co.uk/album/mortifying-imaginary-and-symbolic-theatre-remixes-mak059

 

Boris Barksdale – Don’t Bark, Won’t Bite [Veleno Viola]

2018 was a superb year for both Boris Barksdale and Veleno Viola alike. From all EBM influenced releases this year, Barksdale’s offering proves to measure up with the greatest names out there.

 

Burning Pyre – The Look of Love [Perfect Aesthetics]

(Featured in our Picks of October)

“Music for the heartfelt, for the sincere, for the lovers and those who have loved and lost.” This really says it all, stunning work.

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Tape sold out, digi via https://perfectaesthetics.bandcamp.com/album/the-look-of-love

 

Burke Jam – Within the Violence of Fractured Light [KESH] 

Intricate compositions, departing from bubbly, watery field recordings arriving to new places and new moments through the addition of field recordings. Mastered by Lawrence English. Part of the HQ “rainy day in bed” rotation.

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Buy via: https://kesh.bandcamp.com/album/within-the-violence-of-fractured-light

 

Cremation Lily – In England Now, Underwater [Alter]

(Featured in our Picks of August)

Difficult to choose between all the output of Cremation Lily this year, but we stuck with the long-awaited In England Now, Underwater.

Physical is sold out, but buy download via: https://cremationlily-alter.bandcamp.com/album/in-england-now-underwater

 

Crosspolar – 51.2763° N, 30.2219° [Vaknar]

“In the end the album forms the basis for a cultural sound exchange, an experiment
that prompts the question; in what ways can we can re-­approach history through a
sonic lens?”

Captivating work of art. The story behind the production of this album is as amazing as the outcome.

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Tape via https://vaagner.bandcamp.com/album/512763-n-302219-e

 

Color Plus – VXO EP [Vanity Press]

As with all Vanity Press output, the US based Color Plus flips around the European take on modern jungle-infused club music, making it something a bit more unsettling yet endearing.

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Buy via: https://vanitypressrecords.bandcamp.com/album/color-plus-ep

 

Darse – Blasphemy [Obseqvivm Records]

Great originals, but got hooked on the Kerridge remix, which proves to be quite a tease.

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Buy via: https://obseqvivmrecords.bandcamp.com/album/obqv04-darse-blasphemy-ep

 

Dax J – Offending Public Morality [Monnom Black]

Delivering techno weapons to the festival DJ’s of spring/summer 2018, Offending Public Morality is very frankly a great album beyond the hype.

 

Demdike Stare – Passion [Modern Love Records]

Intimate in all its abrasiveness, Passion gives new meaning to deconstructed club music by throwing in an overload of white noise.

 

DiNT – Hooker EP [HORO]

BIG release. Everything we like comes together here. Originals as powerful as the remixes.

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Buy via: https://dint.bandcamp.com/album/hooker-ep

 

Divorce Ring – Pillars [III Arms]

We have had the luck to have Divorce Ring perform for us in Amsterdam, just after this tape got released. Slow-paced anguish, featuring Kelby’s intense immersive vocals.

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Buy via: https://threearms.bandcamp.com/album/iiia019-pillars-cs

 

Djrum – Portrait With Firewood [R&S]

Few can blend sounds together like Djrum. It’s a matter of taste whether you like the newer stuff, but whenever the piano tones and the vocal drips into one, it cannot be helped to shed a tear.

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Drvg Cvltvre – Techno Capitalism II [New York Haunted]

NYH is more a family than a label. Shunning all pursuits to fame, Techno Capitalism II is one of the bolder statements head honcho Drvg Cvltvre made this year on NYH. Groovy, gritty, acidy techno for a burning world.

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Buy via: https://newyorkhaunted.bandcamp.com/album/nyh65-drvg-cvltvre-techno-capitalism-ii

 

Endurance – Cloud, Castle, Lake [Cosmic Winnetou]

(Featured in our Picks of August)

We at Zenevloed HQ have already written a full-length review on this beauty. A tape-long venture into a crystalline world.

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Physical is sold out, but buy download via: https://endurance010010.bandcamp.com/album/cloud-castle-lake

 

Eomac – Reconnect [Eotrax]

Read full review here.

Unorthodox poly-rhythmic patterns are prevalent throughout, creating a sense of foreboding tension that initiates a tribalistic physical response from deep within. Structurally and emotionally, we feel locked into the album format in which each track seems to build upon the other logically.

Buy link: https://eotrax.bandcamp.com/album/reconnect

 

Fixmer – The God [Aufnahme + Wiedergabe]

Happy to have had the A+W label over this year, we also have been listening to their label output repeatedly. Fixmer’s The God is made to make us peasants move.

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Buy via: https://aufnahmeundwiedergabe.bandcamp.com/album/the-god

 

Giuseppe Falivene – The value of intimacy in modern society [Purlieu Recordings]

Delicate, almost fragile protest against contemporary, brash consumerism.

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Buy via: https://purlieurecordings.bandcamp.com/album/the-value-of-intimacy-in-modern-society

Goran Geto – Atmosfera Jedan [Tehnofonika Records] 

Reminiscing Serbia, beautiful balance between ambient and techno.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3278309901 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 tracklist=false artwork=small track=197796608]

Buy via: https://tehnofonika.bandcamp.com/track/goran-geto-atmosfera-jedan-part-1-tara-original-mix

 

Grøn – Forms & Constellations [Audio.Visuals.Atmosphere]

As always, Grøn does not disappoint. Affiliated with the Copenhagen label Infinite Waves, Grøn continues to deliver that special Nordic ambient sound. Full of emotion, an ode to the gestures of the sea, Forms & Constellations is a favorite to dream away to.

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Buy via: https://audiovisualsatmosphere.bandcamp.com/album/forms-constellations

 

Information Flash – Information Flash [KUDATAH]

Read full review here.

The style of Information Flash characterizes itself by this insane creativity, combining a plethora of styles demeaned by many as ‘guilty pleasures’ (jungle, donk, trance to give a few examples) with a freshness only provided by a producer who knows what he is doing, but doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Buy: https://www.kudatah.club/euphoria-2k

 

Isorinne – Stumhetens toner [Northern Electronics]

It must be a few years ago when we first got acquainted with the impressive tonalities Isorinne had to offer. From there on, he had released quite some extraordinary works (also as Bandhagens Musikförenung) on several labels. Every time the question was, can the previous sound be matched? And as always, the answer is a definitive yes.

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Buy via: https://northernelectronics.bandcamp.com/album/stumhetens-toner

 

Jan Jelinek – Zwischen [Faitiche]

Žižek never sounded so coherent. All the breaths, spaces, and words almost coming out. A collage masterpiece.

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Buy via: https://janjelinek.bandcamp.com/album/zwischen

 

J. De Sosa – Familiar Crossing [Strange Rules]

A marriage of dark ambient, heavy industrial techno, and classical atmospheres. Undoubtedly a tape that should be played out loud in the darkest warehouses.

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Buy via: https://strangerules.bandcamp.com/album/familiar-crossing

 

jjjacob – Nondestructive Examination [ANBA]

Read jjjacob’s Picks for Nondestructive Examination here.

ANBA label on point again by signing jjjacob to their label. Stunning deconstructed landscapes.

Buy via: https://2anba2.bandcamp.com/album/nondestructive-examination

 

Kareem – Hinrich [Zhark Recordings]

Elegant, structural yet relentless cuts from longtime producer Kareem.

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Buy via: https://kareem-zhark.bandcamp.com/album/hinrich

 

Kareem Lotfy – QTT10 [Quiet Time]

Summer spaces. Lush, vivacious green. Running and frolicking and sitting in the bus watching life pass by.

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Release is sold out.

 

Lack – Ferula + Veneficaes [Moon Villain] 

Read full review here.

Ferula + Veneficaes is the latest work by Lack (enmossed), containing Ferula one astounding 35 minute original on the A-side and minimal/live interpretations of formerly released tracks on the B-side. The tape is an homage to the ever persistent experimental underground on the East Coast, of which the releasing label Moon Villain is one of it’s latest produces.

Buy via: https://moonvillain.com/album/ferula-veneficaes

 

Lag / Rebekah [Elements]

Lag’s signature chopped vocal, broken beat techno get a well-deserved podium on Rebekah’s label Elements. Favorite track Rutra is designed to smash dancefloors at peak hour.

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Buy via: https://elements18.bandcamp.com/album/elements-rbk03-digital

 

LDS – Dub Tapes From Outer Space [Transatlantic]

LDS takes the nostalgia up a notch, still on enjoyable levels.

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Buy via: https://transatlanticrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dub-tapes-from-outer-space

 

LMajor – Dig The New Breed pt. 2 [WNCL Recordings]

2018, the year of the amen break? If so, then LMajor’s take is a big throwback to the days where the sound was fresh and playful. Massive release.

 

 

Lukas Grundmann – timestretched ACID [oqko]

The Berlin-based oqko crew is making waves and still staying true to an impeccable curation. This release is a lust for eye and ear, truly innovative sounds. If you haven’t tried acid yet, this is what it could sound/taste/look/feel like.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=557031844 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Buy via: https://lukasgrundmann.bandcamp.com/album/timestretched-acid

 

Lyra Valenza – Scan, Deliver [Opal Tapes / Petrola 80]

Read full review here.

The Copenhagen duo Lyra Valenza presents an intricate debut EP with Scan, Deliver. The record is not simply an encounter with broken beats and post-rave, but dives deep into the sonic possibilities of (deconstructed) club music, as we are used to from both Petrola80 and Opal Tapes. Those who have had their eyes on Scandinavian labels like Posh Isolation and Euromantic should by now have informed themselves of Petrola80 and their great releases.

Buy via: https://petrola80.bandcamp.com/album/scan-deliver

 

Manni Dee – The Residue [Tresor Records]

Manni presented the release of his album at the renown clubbing institute Tresor halfway this year. As his discography continues to grow, Manni Dee has become an household name yet stays true to releasing boundary pushing music.

 

Marc Ash – Litanies for the Self [Blacksilk]

Hard as nails.

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Buy via: https://blacksilkrecs.bandcamp.com/album/marc-ash-litanies-for-the-self-bslk005

 

Michel Banabila & Willem Cramer – Texture Syndicate [Tapu Records]

Since we saw Michel Banabila perform at OCCII a while ago, we were instant fans and had to dig into the massive catalog he produced over the years. Texture Syndicate is Banabila and Cramers first collaboration again in 22 years, filled with beautifully crafted electroacoustic landscapes.

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Buy via: https://banabila.bandcamp.com/album/texture-syndicate

 

Mytrip & Evitceles – Protective [Amek Collective]

Combined forces of two Bulgarian innovators. The tracks sound as good on a record player in a candle-lit room as in a club around 2am.

Buy via: https://amekcollective.bandcamp.com/album/protective

 

Nigh/T\mare – Hypnagogia [Thrènes]

Nigh/T\mare’s most recent EP, entitled “Hypnagogia” on Thrènes Records, is the perfect example of the artist’s uncompromising attitude. The integral work on this project is the perfect sublimation of experimental overtones, rugged beats, and techno punch, making for a candid, outstanding, and diverse approach with a lot of edge.

Buy via: https://threnes.bandcamp.com/album/hypnagogia-ep

 

RAUM – Wreck The Bloodline [Clan Destine Recordings]

(Featured in our Picks of September)

Half of Orphan Swords, Yannick Franck, returns to Clan Destine as RAUM after their 12″ in 2016. Wreck The Bloodline delivers unsettling landscapes from a wide variety of genres, of which the rhythmic noise component is very noticeable, compiled into an amalgam of fury. With this new release and accompanying live set, RAUM opts for a disorienting take on basement ready music.

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Buy via: https://clandestinerecords.bandcamp.com/album/wreck-the-bloodline

 

REALMZ – Mindfold [Sonic Groove]

Great return of one of Sonic Groove’s longest standing label artists. Smooth as silk, while telling a rough Industrial tale.

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Buy via: https://sonicgroove.bandcamp.com/album/mindfold-sg1884

 

REX KYED – REX KYED [Infinite Waves]

Read full review here.

The self-titled LP REX KYED from the newly formed experimental Danish duo harbors the emotion of the everlasting in-between of life. The back-and-forth movements, the limbo of misunderstood feelings, missed connections, comfort of reaching a destination, and the melancholic awareness of molecules never really touching one another.

Buy via: http://infinitewaves.net/product/rex-kyed

 

Saåad – Orbs and Channels (Re-release) [NAHAL Recordings]

Mondkopf has brought out Orbs and Channels on his NAHAL Recordings, marking its first vinyl pressing and giving us the chance to feature this classic in our list. Haunting, esoteric echoes from a past that remains unresolved.

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Buy via: https://nahalrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/orbs-and-channels-remastered-edition

 

Safa – The Subtleties of Elevated Things [Modular Mind]

(Featured in our Picks of September)

Modular Mind has a knack for pushing great underground artists with their well-curated releases. We can for example look at tracks from Mas and Hkkptr being brought out. Already thinking about the next step with an unannounced VA, Modular Mind has brought out The Subtleties Of Elevated Things by the Lebanese Safa. This 12″ contains enveloping, intricate sonic soundscapes, with a pace strongly linked to artists like Grebenstein and ANFS.

Buy via: https://modularmind.bandcamp.com/album/the-subtleties-of-elevated-things

 

Samuel Kerridge – The I is Nothing [Downwards]

On Regis’ notorious Downwards label we can say with confidence that anything on there is good. Kerridge’s EP is rolls in with the expected confidence and still continues to blow us away with the dosed violence in The I is Nothing.

 

Scandinavian Star – Solas [Posh Isolation]

Lust For Youth’s Malths Fischer returns as Scandinavian Star and it is not one second too late. Great Posh vibes.

 

Sean Curtis Patrick – The Earth’s Green Mantle [Muzan Editions]

(Featured in our Picks of October)

Beautiful, enigmatic, and lush. Sean Curtis Patrick curated this cassette as a companion to his last tour in Japan, transferring pure emotion on this medium.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=637634332 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Buy via: https://muzaneditions.bandcamp.com/album/the-earths-green-mantle

 

Severin – Safe Following Distance [Petrola 80]

Read full Exchange here.

The musical output hailing from the Scandinavian regions is generally marked by an intense intimacy, contrasted by colder winds of dissociating distance. A tonal overlap of landscapes where sound has the characteristic of photographic moments. Danish artist Jens Konrad Barrett captures the hyperactive emotions common to the intangible world of the Online with his first EP as Severin. Delving deeper into his fascination with the dualist character of the Internet -both present and not-, we touch upon his inspirations and positions.

Buy via: https://petrola80.bandcamp.com/album/safe-following-distance

 

Shell Fantasy – Abraxas [Janushoved]

(Featured in our Picks of September)

Shell Fantasy aka Yuri and Internazionale take the listener along to the memory-saturated parts of our consciousness. Part of a new tape batch (with Ziyek, Ballista, and Tevere) brought out late September, it was hard to choose any of them over the other to be featured here.

Buy via: order@janushoved.com

 

Small Joy – Abyssal Plains [Sacred Tapes]

Manchester based label Sacred Tapes have made it their mission to represent the Manchester area noise scene, as well as more geographically distant collaborations. Small Joy’s Abyssal Plains is an example of very enjoyable bombastic, skull-crushing noise, created using field recordings and other found sounds.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3148338308 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Digi via: https://sacredtapes.bandcamp.com/album/sac-039-abyssal-plains

 

Shrouds – Pagan Blood Rituals [Strange Therapy]

(Featured in our Picks of September)

Pagan Blood Rituals is a slow floor burner, integrating lustful acoustics and stretching vocals into a record equally reverent of an Industrial past as it is forward-facing. Remixes from Matriarchy Roots and Zosima respect the ambiance given by Shrouds, yet dare to turn the noise up a notch.

Buy via: https://strangetherapy.bandcamp.com/album/pagan-blood-rituals

 

Terekke – Improvisational Loops [Music From Memory]

Sounds like the colors you see when you close your eyes. Great new-New Age music.

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Buy via: https://music-from-memory.bandcamp.com/album/improvisational-loops

 

They Will Burn Us To Ashes – They Will Burn Us To Ashes [Saga House]

(Featured in our Picks of October)

The self-titled tape They Will Burn Us To Ashes offers up an ambient work almost entirely made of tape noise condensed to rhythm. Contemplative, introspective, and reduced to the bare essence.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=3923267499 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=333333 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Buy via: https://sagahouse.bandcamp.com/album/they-will-burn-us-to-ashes

 

Tullia Benedicta – Promoteo [Black Chrysalis Archives]

Powerful and immersive album by the multidisciplinary Tullia Benedicta.

Buy via: blackchrysalisarchives.bandcamp.com/music

 

Undveld – Vanity of the Broken Man [Holy Geometry]

Read full review here.

Undveld’s Vanity of the Broken Man serves up some well-deserved space to bask in our most intimate thoughts. Released as part of Holy Geometry’s summer batch, Vanity of the Broken Manwhisks the listener away into other realms, where time moves just an inch slower, and melancholy is the common language. A delightful piece of dark ambient.

Buy via: https://www.holygeometry.store/product/undveld-vanity-of-the-broken-man-cs

 

UVB – Testosterone [Body Theory]

This first UVB album is an absolute powerhouse, designed to go full force and leave nothing behind.

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Buy via: https://bodytheory.bandcamp.com/album/testosterone

 

V. Sinclair – Tender Truth [Mute Channel]

Four arresting compositions, played often, still haven’t got enough of these gems.

Buy via: https://mutechannel.com/order

 

Various – Still Water [Infinite Waves]

A special, three tape long endeavor, showcasing the best of Infinite Waves collaborators. Still Water is an epic journey: grand in its ambitions, solemn in its approach, giving each artists a full side to relay their thoughts.

Buy via: infinitewaves.net/product/various-artists-still-water

 

Various – Stonetapes001 [The Stone Tapes]

Karim Maas, Pessimist, Overlook, and Talker join forces and deliver an absolute killer. Broken beats and maze-like loops for the connoisseur.

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Release is sold out.

 

Venetian Roses – Erosion of Love II [Vienna Press]

Haunting loops and vocals, a touching release in all its simplicity.

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Release is sold out.

 

Wanderwelle – Gathering of the Ancient Spirits [Silent Season]

Read full review here.

To say Gathering of the Ancient Spirits has been long awaited is a grave understatement. The well-curated release sold out in mere 7 hours from the main distributor Juno and was featured as a soundtrack on the Dutch TV show Krabbé zoekt Gauguin. The talents of the Amsterdam-based duo became apparent for the larger public since their previous release on the Canadian Silent Season Lost In A Sea Of Trees, from where they made a large musical evolution.

Release is sold out. Repress available.

 

Years of Denial / Maenad Veyl [Death & Leisure]

Happy to have had Years of Denial perform at one of our events this year, their split with Maenad Veyl has been the release to put them in the biggest spotlight until now. Well deserved.

 

 

Yung Acid – Роза Паук [Tripalium Corp]

(Featured in our Picks of October)

An intense coming together of foreign components, this release chronicles the two distinct worlds of the members of Yung Acid. Light and dark, stress and harmony, hip hop and Russian raves.

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Release sold out.