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Hoshina Anniversary

Sagano B/w Haru Wa Akebono

Hoshina Anniversary is conquerer of the mind, creating the most beautiful sound, other than silence. This is his first offering for the ESP Institute. Side A’s 'Sagano' is fairly representative of the Hoshina sound — raw organic samples and instrumentation, of traditional Japanese origin, mercilessly bent and tweaked to suit the needs of his obsessively precise arrangement. Midway through the track, we’re bewildered by his demonic breakdown on the Rhodes, which daringly tags the bassline and strings into a synchronized trio of jazz-funk noodles, and he even throws in a key change before dropping us back into the main hook for the duration of the dance. It's a major flex, and indeed makes an impression. On side B’s 'Haru Wa Akebono', Hoshina displays an alternate and equally significant side to his songwriting, merging optimistic twinkles and arpeggios with slightly detuned dry percussion for an overall uneasy vibe, not dissimilar to early video game aesthetics or circuit-bent toys. Across both sides, there lies an unhinged overtone, such that we feel one small step from spiraling deep into a demented quicksand, a freak-out where hallucinations get the better of us. Initiating a breadth of releases planned with the ESP Institute, this single summarizes a few of Hoshina’s most compelling modes, and though there is a whole circus yet to unfold, we hold his cards close, no spoilers before the main act. These two songs will have you drinking moon juice and dancing naked at the Mardi Gras.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Fans of boundary pushing house and oddball dance music might recognise Hoshina Anniversary from his breakout 12" on Safe Trip earlier this year. Here the Tokyo based producer cooks up a bouncy banger for the A-side and a proper cosmic cruiser on the flip, instantly attaining five mushrooms out of five in our new Piccadilly scoring system.

After detonating a highly volitile batch of weirdshit with his debut LP "Changing Hands" earlier in the year, Juan Ramos returns to ESP Institute with the 'Oxford House' EP. Though his relationship with the label has already spawned four releases, the A-side here holds the track where it all started, "Fahrt Im Himmel", a hyperactive electro-house thumper caked in neon optimism. The folks at ESP first heard this jam in the midst of a packed dancefloor when Juan was at the decks, and have been patiently waiting to let this one loose ever since. On the flip "Oxford House" splinters freestyle, 91 house music and a pinging bassline into a sample-heavy dose of retro-raving primed for peace time detonation. If you ain't feeling the uptempo thump, wrap your ears around the "New York Metropolitan Area Mix", a bass heavy neck-snapper which could be a Black Moon instrumental. Mega!

Benedikt Frey makes an anticipated return to the ESP Institute. After leisurely toying with themes around this fourth release with the label, which follows his 2017 debut album 'Artificial', a dense nihilistic fog seems to have enveloped his creative process and undoubtedly informed his frame of mind. The approach here is perhaps more minimal than the artist’s previous endeavors — reducing music to skeletal loops, allowing their character to develop and fluctuate over the course of each piece — a confidence that exemplifies an artist hitting their stride, but in no way does he rely on the trope of “less is more”. Whereas a minimalist embellishes the importance of elements through their isolation and negative space, Benedikt fills every facet with granular measures of sound and sifts them, in a cyclical motion, through his spectral arrangements. The title 'Cells' speaks to the unadulterated path from which Frey cultivates complex gestures utilizing limited means — stretching singular organisms to their furthest limits, breaching their brink of stability and inciting cancerous mutations — proving time and again his mastery of tonal nuance and fearless embrace of distortion. Each of these four songs deliver a despondent poetry, predominantly abstract, but occasionally complimented by verbal commands from dystopian futures, such as the blanketing repetitive chants in 'Interlinked' that conjure images of labor, assembly lines and infrastructural erosion, or the intercom punctuations throughout 'Substance B' that refer to the “world’s future” which, when juxtaposed over such dark melodies and gritty drums, allude to science fiction, Film Noir and a post-apocalyptic existence. As the winter approaches, the melancholy grows very real, and we swoon.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Benedikt Frey has been smashing it of late, producing one of my favourite 12"s of the year in typically low key fashion. Here he brings his dark, EBM tinged synth slap to ESP across four detailed club tracks. On the A-side, 'Interlinked' is abrasive and break-led, while 'Pilot' is slow, low and subby, keeping the tension high throughout. Flip it for the steely motorik groove of 'Substance B' and my personal favourite the 85BPM grind of 'Pedal To The Metal'.

Ground is an Osaka native, but his soul is truly that of a nomad, traversing the planet, befriending kindred spirits found in humans, animals and plants. He is exceptionally receptive to the beauty in everything that surrounds him - the incidental music of a city street, the orchestral chaos of a scrambling radio, the syncopated grace of migrating birds, the simplicity of an isolated hand clap - and as his roadmap continuously unfolds, he accumulates a vast catalogue of visceral tools to musically recount his experiences. 'Sunizm' is a cross section of the artist’s process - an array of complex microcosms overlapping to comprise a thematic whole - gathering field recordings, found instruments, jagged electronics, synthesized chanting, and weaving all into a dense narrative that appears obsessively constructed yet divinely improvised. 'Follow Me', the second of two singles surrounding the album, is complimented with a pseudo drum’n’bass treatment by enigmatic Greek artist Jay Glass Dubs, as well as a massively triumphant b-side entitled 'Ozone House', which is exclusive to this single release. Attention all humans, animals and plants, Ground and the ESP Institute present, 'Sunizm'.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: If you've heard me play out lately then chances are you've heard a whole lot of Ground, whether in solo mode or alongside Mori or Bartellow. Here we get a killer cut from his LP, brand new cosmic excursion "Ozone House", and a brutalist breaks mix from Jay Glass.

Patrick Conway

Know The Future / Digital Warfare

Double header from ESP new signing, Patrick Conway who seems to hit a delightfully melancholic sweet spot somewhere between the aftermath of M25 free parties, Rochdale's late 90's electronica and the underground spirit of UK jungle.

Decidedly un-Balearic, both tracks celebrate beauty in the desolate; revel in grey skies and cold mornings. The warehouse has closed. It's time to pull the curtains closed and maybe, just maybe, quaff that half a gary you've got left from the club.

Someone order some pizza... Tuesday is gonna be grim.



Chilean-born Ricardo Tobar brings some more electronic dance music to the well established ESP Institute. This follow-up single surrounding the "Continuidad" album boasts the dirty little secret 'Bailemix' of album track "Recife" - a crystalline take on drawn-out, star-lit house. It possesses an endorphin-rushing chord sequence and heavy perc line hits, with various synth patches, pad swells and arpeggios slowly converging on the mix throughout its duration.

"Cuatro Meses De Verano" is even more grandiose, emitting a hymnal-like quality that almost transports it into a vast, Faberge-lined cathedral, it's heavenly sequence coursing over another well constructed, beefy rhythm unit. Engrossing stuff as always from ESP. 


Koehler

Melencolia V / Invidiosa

Koehler was hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky. This is his first offering for the ESP Institute. Side A recalls the hazy memory of an ear-worm chant heard over a decade ago on the streets of Thailand, a melody that since haunted the artist and has finally been exorcised by his own hand in the shape of 'Melencolia V'. Somewhere between an enchanted bashment and a sailor’s watering hole, Koehler found a gargantuan kick drum that lands solely on the 4, slammed it together with a wide pulsing bassline and brutalized dancehall snare, then laced it all up with his elusive synth melody. Add to this a generous sprinkle of finely-ground cosmic dust and we’re all tripping the light fantastic. On the flip side, the artist buckles up for a rough and rapid-paced journey with 'Invidiosa' — a relentless snare scrapes, gouges and corrodes over 7 minutes, coupling with a simplistic bass loop and swiftly marauding through a demented assembly line, accumulating various nuts and bolts of instrumentation along the way — an undeniable dancefloor exciter for those hours when the club becomes unhinged, dancing becomes raving, and slightly more audacious folk can channel their inner truth. These two songs will have you question your existence.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: BIG leftfield house heaters here on ESP, as new face Koehler cooks up a spangled and lysergic slice of dancehall tinged electronix on the A-side, then powers out a slamming hardware house mauler on the flip. If you dig on Ste Spandex, Legowelt or Jamal Moss you should wa

Greenvision is the collaborative brainchild of two ESP Institute artists, Juan Ramos and Luca Trentini AKA Trent, both longtime fixtures of Berlin’s infamous playground known as Cocktail d’Amore. Separately, these two explore their own very personal avenues of expression, putting their time in the trenches and endlessly polishing their works (this is Juan’s third release with the label), but when their efforts overlap we’re gifted a view into their uncanny synergy. Juan and Trent channel an exorbitant amount of smoke-fueled creativity, building layers upon layers into music so dense that the bulk of their studio time might then be spent navigating and formalizing their output into tangible tracks. Greenvison’s collective debut with the ESP Institute showcases three intense cerebral workouts, "Banana Paradiso", "Rambutan" and "The Color Of Maracuja", an array of experiments pulling from all the corners of the duo’s imagination - it is disorienting, cacophonous, introverted and psychedelic, but at the same time playful, melodic, euphoric and undoubtedly arresting - guaranteed to induce hallucinations under proper circumstances.


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