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PLANET MU

Jlin

Akoma

    Jlin’s detailed and meticulous exploration of rhythm’s inner and outer reaches has made her one of the most distinctive and recognisable voices within both the electronic and classical music worlds. Her compositions are consistently appealing and have an accessibility to them, yet often defy expectations. She exists within her own locus solus - no matter the collaborator, no matter where sounds ultimately lead her. Whatever the situation – from composing the Pulitzer Prize shortlisted ‘Perspective’ for Third Coast Percussion, to ‘Godmother’ her AI-powered collaboration with Holly Herndon, Jlin always expresses her outlook to the fullest. Her new album ‘Akoma’ sets a new benchmark in her personal road map, not only since the album features guest appearances from Björk, Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet but for her continued sonic persistence and resistance. Jlin does what Jlin does and it’s beloved across genres, across scenes and across generations. ‘Akoma’ is a new entry point into her sound and a new approach for both those who have been following diligently and those who are just now entering her world.So how did she get here? Here’s a rundown for those looking for the facts. She was both a math nerd and a steel factory worker. She got inspired by Footwork and started making tracks with mentorship assistance from RP Boo and DJ Rashad, but her music was far from typical for footwork from the get-go. In 2011, she released her first track ‘Erotic Heat’ on the Planet Mu anthology ‘Bangs & Works Vol.2.’ Fashion designer Rick Owens heard it and invited her to soundtrack his Paris Fashion Week show. Already before an EP or an album Jlin was in new cutting-edge territory. And it hasn’t stopped since. Everyday Jlin wakes up early and clocks into her home studio working hard on new music. Her discipline and craft-like approach means that those who would try to copy her sound simply can’t get to the level she is at.

    Since ‘Erotic Heat’ she has released two bold albums, 2015’s ‘Dark Energy’ and 2017’s ‘Black Origami.’ She has also released her soundtrack to Company Wayne McGregor’s dance piece ‘Autobiography’ (2018) and most recently (2023) the mini-album ‘Perspective.’ She’s remixed µ-Ziq, Factory Floor, Ben Frost, Max Richter, Björk, Martin Gore and others. She’s collaborated with Holly Herndon and the late SOPHIE. She’s worked with visual artists Kevin Beasley and Nick Cave. She composed a string quartet for Kronos Quartet and performed with them live in a tribute to Philip Glass. She also recently completed a tribute to Sun Ra with Kronos. ‘Perspective’, her very well received percussion work for Third Coast Percussion has further opened doors for her in classical music. She’s even thinking of one day writing an opera. She had a residency at MassMoca Museum earlier this year (2023). She’s performed live at Pitchfork Festival, Unsound Festival and too many others to mention. She’s also worked with Indian dancers, Company Wayne McGregor and renowned choreographer/MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham. There’s more but you get the picture - she’s working in contexts and in ways that few of her peers are able to. ‘Akoma’ is the next step - all these paths have led to this. We encourage you to tune in.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A:
    1. Borealis (ft. Björk)
    2. Speed Of Darkness
    Side B:
    1. Summon
    2. Iris
    3. Open Canvas
    Side C:
    1. Challenge (To Be Continued II)
    2. Eye Am
    3. Auset
    Side D:
    1. Sodalite (ft. Kronos Quartet)
    2. Grannie's Cherry Pie
    3. The Precision Of Infinity (ft. Philip Glass)

    Jlin

    Perspective

      It’s clear, when looking at Jlin’s body of work, and her recent activities, that she's the definition of what a creative composer looks and sounds like in 2023. She’s able to work across borders in many different environments and situations. Her work, and sound, is fluid and not locked into genre. The only apt tag for her now is ‘composer.’ Let’s be clear - she’s not EDM, IDM, electronic, footwork or post-footwork. She’s simply Jlin.

      In thinking about this new release we have to draw attention to her collaboration with Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion - ‘Perspective’ - since it’s also the title of this six-track mini-album. And of course, we’d be remit if we didn’t point out that Third Coast Percussion’s acoustic version of ‘Perspective’ saw Jlin shortlisted as a finalist for The 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Music! Jlin notes how “Working with T.C.P. was a rewarding experience. I love their constant driving ambition. When I would go to their studio we would experiment as much as we could, and that to me is the beauty of composing.” Note that the CD version of ‘Perspective’ adds the four tracks from her ‘Embryo’ EP, apt since ‘Embryo’ itself was the 7th Perspective piece.

      To shift perspective slightly, Jlin notes that collaborating with dance companies, especially those of Wayne McGregor and Kyle Abraham “has seen a significant evolution in my work.” She adds, “Working with Kyle and AIM, I felt the need to incorporate more organic percussion and drums. The raw, visceral nature of Kyle's choreography demanded a more tactile, grounded sound. I believe that music and dance are deeply interconnected, and the rhythm and physicality of organic percussion needs to mirror the dancers' movements whether it is conceptually or abstract.”

      The organic aspect of her composition ‘Dissonance,’ a key cut on her new mini-album sounds like it might have been written for Kyle and AIM but, like the entire release, it was in fact written for Third Coast Percussion. With the organic drums in the track being a part of what Jlin calls her “from scratch” foundation. For many ‘Dissonance’ will be a first glimpse at Jlin’s mastery of organic sounds. It’s a stunning work that showcases her distinct approach to organic percussion. Further audible evidence can also be heard all over her new mini-album. She continues to evolve her sound and her approaches to composition on a steady and constant basis.

      Jlin’s new mini-album “Perspective” works as a catch-up for those wanting new music from her, and wanting to hear how her sound is evolving. Tune in. There’s much more ahead.

      TRACK LISTING

      A:
      1. Paradigm
      2. Obscure
      3. Fourth Perspective
      B:
      4. Derivative
      5. Dissonance
      6. Duality

      CD:
      1. Paradigm
      2. Obscure
      3. Fourth Perspective
      4. Derivative
      5. Dissonance
      6. Duality
      7. Embryo
      8. Auto Pilot
      9. Connect The Dots
      10. Rabbit Hole

      Mun Sing

      Inflatable Gravestone

        ‘Inflatable Gravestone’ is the debut album by Mun Sing (aka Giant Swan’s Harry Wright). The motivating force of the album is the sudden loss of Harry’s father in 2020. Their father struggled with substance addiction and the album explores ideas of 'spirituality' and the ‘higher self’ in relation to addiction and its parallels with the coping mechanisms of grief. It also aims to highlight the importance of humour and distraction when coping with loss.

        Serving as a narrative for their own experiences, the album is largely built around club-centred tracks (such as ‘Spider’ and ’Squabble’) broken up by moments of yearning and reflection in tracks like ’The Poison Garden’ and ‘Helhest (Azrael Smirks)’ and moments of dark anguish like 'Inheritor' with its heavy slab-like chords and pensive piano. Flirting with awkward and suggestive rhythms, Wright deliberately suspends moments of resolution and groove in favour of drama and jerky, unexpected cartoonish humour, taking as much influence from the likes of the Art Of Noise as Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

        Wright rewards the listener with moments of clarity and introspection like flags on the journey, recruiting vocalist MX World to deliver lyrics and melodic ideas created by them and their father. Their father’s journals in rehab helped inform most of the lyrics. Some take whole sentences as a way to physically ‘give life’ to his words for the first time. The lyrics describe feelings, revelations and apocalyptic hallucinations. MX World's clear, direct tone suggests folk music and the timelessness of the human condition.The album concludes with the title track ‘Inflatable Gravestone’ which features a chorus of giddy manipulated laughter from Wright’s friends and family to a truly maddening effect. This is then resolved by bright and clear piano chords and the sound of Wright’s father breathing in his sleep. A deeply affecting and personal record with corkscrew twists and turns and a healthy dose of absurdism.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Waiting In The Car
        2. Squabble
        3. Spirit And Legacy And Muckiness (ft. MX World)
        4. Trebuchet
        5. Inheritor
        6. Gliding
        7. The Poison Garden (ft. MX World)
        8. Spider
        9. Mercy To Your Cadence
        10. Helhest (Azrael Smirks) (ft. MX World)
        11. Inflatable Gravestone

        RP Boo

        Legacy Volume 2

          RP Boo's essential first album, 2013's ‘Legacy’ caused a storm of acclaim worldwide as people finally started to piece together his true place in Footwork and the powerful legacy of his work as an innovator. In parallel with productions, his always on-point DJ sets have lit up festivals and clubs worldwide and continue to do so to this day, notably leading to him being named one of the ‘100 World’s Best DJs’ in a recent book by DJ Mag. Now on its 10th anniversary ‘Legacy Vol.2’ continues his story. Featuring tracks created between 2002 and 2007, this is a wonderous selection of material, some known, some unknown.

          The album kicks off with the dark and epic ‘Eraser’ created in September 2007, during a time RP was going to underground Footwork club War Zone on the west side of Chicago. The track was inspired by, and created to fuel, the “taunting words of intimidation” between dancers.” And now it makes for one intense album opener. Some cuts are inspired by everyday life – take for example 2005's ‘Pop Machine’, which was inspired by the time he was working at Speedway Oil Change who had a temperamental soda/pop machine. One day, a customer put money in the machine and nothing came out, so he continued to press the button, and for some reason RP found this funny so he went over to the machine and started pressing the buttons himself and everyone he touched started saying “Work!.” Inspired once he was back home in his studio he made ‘Pop Machine’ in tribute to the defunct machinery. When he came back to work the next day and played the track for all this co-workers it blew their minds and they also laughed with at how creative RP could get using things from his everyday life as inspiration. ‘Pop Machine’ also illustrates how RP’s Footwork uses repetition and minimalism as fuel.

          Years later RP Boo is still inspired by Foot Work – the art of dancing and working for dancers. He continues to shake up clubs and isn’t afraid to get out from behind the decks and drop some Foot himself. We’ll let the man himself have the final word - “What inspires me to keep going is seeing the people having an awesome time moving on the dance floor, as well as playing music that is a recognizable part of my life. I’m one with it.”

          TRACK LISTING

          A:
          1. Eraser (explicit)
          2. Heavy Heat
          3. Total Darkness
          B:
          1. Flo-Control
          2. Under'D-Stat
          3. Say Grace
          4. Knock Out
          C:
          1. Azzoutof Control
          2. B.O.T.O.
          3. Pop Machine
          D:
          1. Porno (explicit)
          2. Off Da Hook
          3. Last Night

          Ital Tek

          Timeproof

            The title of Ital Tek's seventh album "Timeproof" reflects what Alan Myson has observed and learned whilst making the album. Firstly, how distorted the perception of time is in the creative headspace - being in the studio creates a timeless environment, one's mind starts wandering and the perception of time is altered. Secondly, the bizarre effect of the last few years of lockdown have somehow infected the title, temporarily contracting our collective notion of time. And thirdly, Alan has learnt how spending time away from the studio can be as effective as being there, giving one space to process. Appreciating the power of being out in nature, putting other things into perspective, refreshing one's ability to approach work with both patience and creativity. Overall "Timeproof" feels more introspective than Alan's last album "Outland". Perhaps because of the time in which it was created or this new relationship to the creative process. The sounds and textures of the record hint at brutality and menace whilst also pulsing and evolving softly with a more refined interior life. It's expansive and elegant, neatly balanced between light and dark, more mossy and dreamy than the extremes of "Outland".

            When making the album, Alan spent about a year or so working quickly and intuitively, churning out ideas, sketches and sound experiments without any attempt to finish or perfect anything. "I let it settle until I was ready to return to this body of raw material with fresh ears some months later, sometimes barely remembering what or how I’d done much of it." Over the course of another year he dived into the details, rendering all of this rough material and sound into something with form. Alan also visited older material and ideas, trying out, reworking and sampling, building it into this new body. The finished album feels open, with a gentle intuition that feels as if it's guiding you through.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side A:
            1. Phantom Pain
            2. Staggered
            3. The Mirror
            4. One Eye Open
            5. Cold Motion
            Side B:
            1. Heart String
            2. Darking
            3. Zero Point
            4. The Next Time You Die
            5. Timeproof

            DJ Girl

            Hellworld

              DJ Girl is a DJ and producer who was raised in Detroit, but since the pandemic has been based in Austin, Texas. She's the co-founder of the up and coming Eat Dis Records and her recent releases have been generating excitement in all the right places. In some ways, 'Hellworld' feels like a direct relation to a lot of early 2000s Planet Mu releases. It could sit neatly alongside Hellfish or Neil Landstrumm, with a similar anything-goes, gleeful attitude, but instead DJ Girl mashes together a driving sound that is founded upon Detroit techno and electro, Chicago juke and Miami bass, with an old school/new school production style that's finessed with distortion and sparse IDM production. It's a midwest USA style that takes a leaf from DJs and producers such as the wild-style hard techno of Lenny Dee, the tough midwest acid of Woody McBride and the system wrecking electro of Dynamix II, with a joyful, take-no-prisoners bounce.

              'Hellworld' kicks off with the industrial juke of 'Get Down', followed by the powerful electro of 'Opp Pack Hittin' (the first of two tracks to feature MC Malik McFly). 'Technician' is a chirpy old school electro track that gets crazier as it progresses, while 'Lucky' mashes together samples and rough beats like an electro version of breakcore. 'Gallery' again features Malick McFly and switches between footwork beats, pumping techno and electro. 'So Hot' is hard 8-bar electro while 'When U Touch Me featuring Irish producer Lighght feels like a very manic take on hyperpop. The album ends with the tough, spiralling acid of 'Groover' which wouldn't be out of place on a late nineties Jeff Mills mix. The fun is infectious on this one.

              TRACK LISTING

              Side A:
              Get Down
              Opp Pack Hittin (ft. Malick McFly)
              Technician
              Lucky
              Side B:
              Gallery (ft. Malick McFly)
              So Hot
              When U Touch Me (ft. Lighght)
              Groover

              µ-Ziq

              Hello

                Planet Mu owner Mike Paradinas (a.k.a. µ-Ziq) wraps up 2022 with his 3rd release of new material this year. ‘Hello’ is the mirror image of the ‘Goodbye EP’. The intensity is heightened, the breaks more manic and melodies inhabit every corner. The material is the final chapter of the ‘Magic Pony Ride’ material and even includes another version of that track. 'Iggy’s Song’ has a slowed down sample of Mike’s son screaming, ‘Ávila’ is an ode to his father’s hometown in Spain and ‘Green Chaos’ even includes a nod to RP Boo. On Side B things get more interesting. ‘Pyramidal Mind Dispersion’ slows things down while amping up the tension, Modulating Angel is at drum & bass tempo but with a choir of angels from hell in the background, while the final two tracks recall the experimentation and melodies of Lunatic Harness.

                TRACK LISTING

                LP:
                A:
                1. Hello
                2. Iggy's Song
                3. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.3)
                4. Green Chaos
                5. Ávila
                B:
                1. Pyramidal Mind Dispersion
                2. Modulating Angel
                3. Pentagonal Antiprism
                4. Metabidiminished Icosahedron

                CD:
                01. Hello
                02. Iggy's Song
                03. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.3)
                04. Green Chaos
                05. Ávila
                06. Pyramidal Mind Dispersion
                07. Modulating Angel 08 Pentagonal Antiprism
                09. Metabidiminished Icosahedron
                10. Goodbye VIP
                11. Giddy All Over
                12. Moise
                13. Rave Whistle
                14. Rave Whistle (Darkside Mix)
                15. Rave Whistle (Jungle Tekno Mix)

                Vladislav Delay

                Isoviha

                  Isoviha was recorded four years ago, inspired by ideas that Sasu Ripatti (aka Vladislav Delay) had been reflecting on for a long time. This album is a counterpart to his two Rakka albums which were a personal reflection on the nature and sound-world of the northern Arctic wilderness, 1000 kilometres north of where he lives on the Finnish island of Hailuoto. It's an area he loves to explore, trekking out alone to enjoy its rugged power. However the sound world of Isoviha is a return to man-made civilization. Musically Isoviha presents a more complicated world than Rakka; overloaded and unpredictable, audio archaeology that layers and juxtaposes everyday sounds into intense sculptures of noise and drone. As a musical observation internally and externally, it's influenced by the heightened anxious intensity Sasu feels when returning from the empty wilderness. The ratcheting up of urban noise on Isoviha is built with insistent loops that seem to malfunction the faster they spiral and the dangerous overwhelming potential of ordinary objects and events: shimmering, hammering, crowds, radio distortion, ancient backfiring engines. It's hypermodern musique concrète, married to a jazz drummer's intuitive sense of rhythm. Going back even further in time but still tethered to the local, Isoviha also means 'the great wrath' and refers to a time in Finland under Russian occupation in the 1700s. A time when all the Islanders of Hailuoto were killed, apart from a single couple who were left to bury the dead. As if time is non-linear, the response to toxicity and madness that drives the album feels even more appropriate now than when it was written four years ago and confirmation that the horrors of the past still darken the present.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  Side A:
                  1. Isovitutus
                  2. Isosusi
                  3. Isonuha
                  4. Isotv
                  5. IS
                  6. Isoteko
                  Side B:
                  1. Isoviha
                  2. Isorakas
                  3. Isopaska
                  4. Isooo
                  5. Isovihane
                  6. Isomulkku
                  7. Isopieni

                  µ-Ziq

                  Lunatic Harness - 25th Anniversary Edition

                    Lunatic Harness, µ-Ziq's rare and sought-after fourth album, was originally released in July 1997 on Virgin's Hut Recordings label. It is generally considered to be Mike Paradinas's best work of the nineties. An Apple Music review describes Lunatic Harness as "the prettiest album to come out of the mid-'90s "drill'n'bass movement", noting that Paradinas eschewed the abrasiveness of similar works by Squarepusher and Aphex Twin in favour of "atmospheres of ethereal color and shimmering melody", bringing the album "closer to pop music than anything Paradinas had previously attempted". Planet Mu has compiled a special 256th anniversary edition 4xLP boxset bringing together the My Little Beautiful EP, the Lunatic Harness album and May 1998's Brace Yourself EP (released by USA's Astralwerks label) with the addition of four rare tracks. Discs one and two of the vinyl are the original Lunatic Harness album, disc three compiles the My Little Beautiful b-sides with three unreleased cuts from the period and a remix of Mr.Angry from 1997's Mealtime compilation, while disc four is the 8-track Brace Yourself EP which hasn't been re-issued since 1998. This all comes in individual printed sleeves housed in a rigid box with an insert collage of some of the press Mike received at the time. There is also a 2xCD edition with the same tracklisting.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    A:
                    1/Brace Yourself Jason
                    2/Hasty Boom Alert
                    3/Mushroom Compost
                    B:
                    1/Blainville
                    2/Lunatic Harness
                    3/Approaching Menace
                    C:
                    1/ My Little Beautiful
                    2/ Secret Stair Pt.1
                    3/ Secret Stair Pt.2
                    4/ Wannabe
                    D:
                    1/ Catkin And Teasel
                    2/ London
                    3/ Midwinter Log
                    E:
                    1/ Hanky Pokery
                    2/ Jiggery Panky
                    3/ Worcester
                    4/ The Cut Of My Jib
                    F:
                    1/ Lunatic Harness (Original Demo)
                    2/ Lunatic Harness (Remix)
                    3/ Mr. Angry (Remix)
                    G:
                    1/ Brace Yourself (Remix)
                    2/ Kubba
                    3/ Vaken Bolt
                    4/ Losers' March
                    H:
                    1/ Summer Living 2
                    2/ Intellitag
                    3/ Abmoit
                    4/ Brace Yourself (Reprise)

                    µ-Ziq

                    Magic Pony Ride

                      Planet Mu welcomes back owner Mike Paradinas (a.k.a. µ-Ziq) for ‘Magic Pony Ride’, an album of joyful, melodic, jungle-inspired music, and his first LP of new material on the label since 2013. The title reflects the childlike wonder of the album, happy melodies are foregrounded, wordless vocals bounce and echo while sounds bubble and sparkle. Paradinas had been releasing archival albums but got a taste for making new music after a trip to Wales (inspiring ‘Scurlage’, his 2021 album on Analogical Force). This influence of using trips away as a muse is carried on in ’Magic Pony Ride’ after a weekend getaway to found Paradinas riding Icelandic horses across a snowy landscape at dawn. You can almost feel the relaxed wide open spaces in the lush synth chords of the title track and ‘Uncle Daddy’.

                      The album also reflects on family with features from his daughter Elka on ‘Picksing’ and ‘Elka’s Song’ and ‘Galope’ in memory of his father who passed away a few years ago. The theme of family is also found in the meditative ‘Shulem’s Theme’, a title inspired by the Netflix series Shtisel. These reflective themes tie in with this year’s 25th anniversary reissue of µ-Ziq’s 1997 breakthrough album ‘Lunatic Harness’. In Mike’s own words “Magic Pony Ride was written as a kind of follow up to ‘Lunatic Harness’, at least in terms of genre and style. After mastering Lunatic for its reissue I went back to using breaks again on some newer tracks and this is the result!”

                      TRACK LISTING

                      2LP
                      A:
                      1. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.1)
                      2. Goodbye
                      3. Picksing
                      B:
                      1. Unless
                      2. Turquoise Hyperfizz
                      3. Galope
                      C:
                      1. Uncle Daddy
                      2. Brown Chaos
                      3. Shulem's Theme
                      D:
                      1. Elka's Song
                      2. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.2)
                      3. Don't Tell Me (It's Ending)

                      CD
                      1. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.1)
                      2. Goodbye
                      3. Picksing
                      4. Unless
                      5. Turquoise Hyperfizz
                      6. Galope
                      7. Uncle Daddy
                      8. Brown Chaos
                      9. Shulem's Theme
                      10. Elka's Song
                      11. Magic Pony Ride (Pt.2)
                      12. Don't Tell Me (It's Ending)

                      Basic Rhythm

                      Cool Down The Dance

                        Basic Rhythm returns to his Jungle roots for his final release with Planet Mu. Harking back to the golden era of the mid 90s, but with a contemporary slant, Basic Rhythm hands in three dance floor killers, with a remix from the grim reaper himself, Loxy. The titular track, Cool Down The Dance, opens with a jittery fragmented drum pattern and wooshing stereo effects, lending a slightly disorienting feel to the intro before the well known vocal refrain leads into a monster amen drop. Deep subs, amen breaks and steely stabs roll out this dance floor banger.

                        This is followed up with an absolute behemoth of a track. Horse Mout’ utilises an infamous vocal sample in a fresh way, building upon the intro with waves of dubwise effects before launching into a devastating onslaught. With support from scene stalwarts DJ Storm and Flight this one has been smashing up dance floors! The third track is a remix of Cool Down The Dance by Loxy, bringing his inimitable cool production style to the fore, stripping away the amen layers to reveal something for the darker corners of the dance. One for the head noders and the eyes down crew. The final track, Satta, is a nod to the dub of Augustus Pablo, King Tubby, and On U Sound. A slow boiling minimal intro that drops into the extreme minimalism of just a kick drum and sub bass line belies the swagger of the eventual drop. Swinging drums in an almost military pattern tumble and stagger around the core line of kick drum and sub bass, lending this an almost drunken air.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        A:

                        1/Cool Down The Dance
                        2/Horse Mout'

                        B:

                        1/Cool Down The Dance (Loxy Remix)
                        2/Satta 

                        Bogdan Raczynski

                        Addle

                          Planet Mu presents ‘ADDLE’ – Bogdan Raczynski’s first album of new music in 15 years. Marking a change from the high-octane jungle tekno braindance for which he is most commonly known, here we find the Polish American musician in a more melodic and zen-like place of peace, which is ergonomic and decluttered, whilst also bittersweet and tinged with melancholy. ‘ADDLE’ is closest in spirit to 2001’s tender ‘myloveilove’, or the light-hearted ditties of this year’s ‘BANANS’ EP, but is also a markedly new milestone. A robust and bottom-heavy rhythm section juxtaposes with sad electronic tear jerkers, at points laced with the soft cooing wail of his vocals, which are loaded with a haunting, heavy and almost wounded emotion. Bogdan comments “Calm is great. You need to take a breather in the eye of the storm now and then. But the real growth happens in turbulence, when your feelings oscillate in and out of sync. It’s not dry land you’re after. You’re trying to build a new island while on a piddly raft. Beleaguered and weary you lay the foundation with your bare hands while the rain lashes your back; a new place for you and yours to moor yourself to until the next storm hits. ‘ADDLE’ is about that storm, its adjacent periphery, and what you look like, in and out, when you set foot. As space and time push against you, that process of adapting becomes an anchor. Among that state of being addled, out of flow, seemingly untethered, there is beauty.”

                          Although less unhinged and riotous than some of his previous work, ‘ADDLE’ is no less impactful. Lean, punchy and purposeful, this seemingly simple combination of beats and melody belies a razor sharp skill, which bursts with verve and virtuosity. Across its eight unique and moving tracks the listener experiences tenderness, feelings somewhere between unease and comfort, and a sense of reflection, with Bogdan seemingly gazing at twinkling stars, but with his view distorted by welling-up. Sonically, spaces range from razor-sharp choppage, juddering heavyweight head-nodders, bit-crushed siren squall and something akin to Philip Glass’ ‘Candyman’ score played through a high-tech-fairy-tale music box. There’s also a warming, life-affirming moment as close to deep house as Bogdan will ever comfortably get, neck-snapping metallic percussion, Casiotone on steroids and reverberant warehouse throb. Booming drum machines are a prominent factor too – reminiscent of early hip hop instrumentals – but spirited off somewhere, lost in purgatory. Bogdan Raczynski (born 1977) is a Polish-American electronic musician. Raczynski’s work draws inspiration from the chaotic breakbeats of jungle and hardcore rave as well as traditional Polish music and other sources. He has collaborated with Bjork, remixed Autechre, CLPNG and Jonsi from Sigur Ross, and toured with Aphex Twin, who commented how “his records are so underrated.” Bogdan was also a roster mainstay of Richard James’s seminal Rephlex label, with additional releases on Warp, Ghostly, Disciples and Unknown to the Unknown. A keen proponent of tech, he created a sample pack using pollution and recently collaborated with Polyend on a custom made banana-themed tracker.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          2LP
                          A:
                          1/LADDE
                          2/DLEDA
                          3/DLAED

                          B:
                          1/ELDDA
                          2/EADLD

                          C:
                          1/LDDAE
                          2/ADLDE

                          D:
                          1/ALDDE

                          Jlin

                          Embryo

                            Jlin's new EP "Embryo" marks a key point in the multi-platform artistic growth of the Indiana-based producer. It features a bold and fiery sound palette recalling the futurism of nineties Detroit techno and British IDM without succumbing to their clichés. With faint echoes of classic Model 500, it sounds like music for automated cars, robot cop junctions and virtual freeways in the air. A fifth wave techno? "Connect The Dots" is one of the standouts from her recent lives sets, with the kind of rhythmic complexity only Jlin can bring, underpinned by a glitch reborn and transmuted into something utterly of the here and now. Jlin comments "I wrote all these pieces in between commissions and trying to stay afloat mentally." She singles out final track "Rabbit Hole" as a highlight "It made me feel nostalgia yet connected me to my own evolution." Jlin is currently working on a new full length album for Planet Mu

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1/Embryo
                            2/Auto Pilot 
                            3/Connect The Dots
                            4/Rabbit Hole

                            Gábor Lázár

                            Boundary Object

                              Gábor Lázár’s “Boundary Object” is a collection of eight real-time recorded, unedited tracks made in Budapest and Prague between 2020 and 2022 using a self-designed compositional interface. It's Gábor Lázár’s second album for Planet Mu following “Source” in 2020. The title comes from the idea of a Boundary object as a flexible concept of sociology and computation of how collaborations could happen between groups of people who have different kinds of backgrounds and different levels of knowledge. A Boundary object could be anything which translates between these groups to make a collaboration happen. Boundary objects are plastic, interpreted differently across communities but with enough common identity across social words and contexts to maintain integrity. This is a neat summary of how Gábor’s approach and working process led to his music on this album. Prismatic, flexible, and functioning on different levels of interpretation. On “Boundary Object”, the shiny surfaces and uniformity of “Source” have collapsed inward, leaving intact the recognisable pulse and frames of his music. While each individual track has a non-linear structure, the album as a whole has a strong narrative. Passages that start out Trance-like and familiar warp and weft into different shapes as if Gábor is examining the music like a 3d object, pulling at the edges, breaking and rebuilding what he examines, turning expectations inside-out. “Boundary Object” is intense, full-spectrum and a lot of fun.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              Side A:
                              1. Boundary Object I
                              2. Boundary Object II
                              3. Boundary Object III
                              4. Boundary Object IV
                              Side B:
                              1. Boundary Object V
                              2. Boundary Object VI
                              3. Boundary Object VII
                              4. Boundary Object VIII

                              µ-Ziq & Mrs Jynx

                              Secret Garden

                                In Spring 2021, Mike Paradinas (µ-Ziq and the owner of Planet Mu) spoke to long time friend and past label signing Hannah Davidson (Mrs Jynx) about the therapeutic power of writing music when times are tough. Both had recently been dealing with the loss of a parent due to cancer, and fresh from writing Scurlage, Paradinas suggested a collaboration. “I’ve always thought Hannah’s melodic sensibilities chime well with my own," says Paradinas, "and I've wanted to collaborate with her for a long time, since [her 2010 album] 'Shark Carousel' in fact, because she'd written some melodies that I wish I had.” In a matter of weeks the two collaborated online, sending stems back and forth, each encouraging the other and fitting perfectly together. “After about ten days we had ten tracks we were happy with." adds Davidson, "It was exciting to hear what Mike would do with the stems I sent, and equally exciting to see what he thought of my additions to his stems.”

                                Overall the result is an opus of deeply personal moments of grief, depicted in a feeling of serene, misty tranquility that makes it easy to get lost in. Davidson and Paradinas settled on the title 'Secret Garden' due to the melodic vista which unexpectedly opened up before them on the final track. The album truly is a melodic exploration that is so often missed in this genre. There are twists and turns in mood, from the pastoral loveliness of 'Jynxiq' and 'Unheard Melodies' which fall away to the dubby beats of 'Hi Jynx'; the sadness of 'Loss' leading into the beatless forlorn 'The Ballad of Darth Vader. The album ups the pace with the muffled kicks and warm atmosphere of 'Afternoon Sunshine', which sets the tone for the happier mood of the second half. This all leads up to the album's denoeument in final track 'Secret Garden' whose naïve meandering synth melodies, orchestral accompaniment and glockenspiel end the album in happy resolution.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Side A:
                                1. Jynxiq
                                2. Unheard Melodies
                                3. Hi Jynx
                                4. Loss
                                Side B:
                                1. The Ballad Of Darth Vader
                                2. Afternoon Sunshine
                                3. Cocker Boo
                                4. Philip Steak
                                5. Hulo
                                6. The Secret Garden

                                Relaxer

                                Concealer

                                  Daniel Martin-McCormick, formerly Ital, now Relaxer, returns to Planet Mu with his new album ’Concealer'. The album drifts towards hyper digital sounds and marks Daniel’s return to using a computer with hardware. Combining the ultra-artifice of the digital and its glossy, pure surface qualities, Daniel comments that it “gives the sounds this sickly, shiny dimensionality which is un-human. This decoupling from the human-ness of sound means the sounds can speak in their own special way. Of course, all sounds can speak in their way, but a vivid, digital, melty synth speaks in a way that feels more autonomous, or less tied to historical/encultured musical gestures. It hovers in the air and melts and glides. It's a little gross.” His return to Planet Mu has been long overdue. the new record is an expansion and development of the ultra-artificial, hybrid digital contortions of his previous material.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  1/Let The Walls Drip (ft. Kahee Jeong)
                                  2/Mello
                                  3/Narcissus By The Pool 
                                  4/The Dusk Singers
                                  5/Traps And Lures 
                                  6/Excision In Androgyne
                                  7/Island Life (ft. Emilie Weibel)
                                  8/Helical Phase Secreting 
                                  9/Twins
                                  10/Concealer

                                  Ripatti

                                  Fun Is Not A Straight Line

                                  Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti has been torching the fringes of electronic music since the mid 1990s, a process that's found him melting a wide spectrum of musical innovation into his cult brand of experimental minimalism. From the skeletal jazz deconstructions of his 1997 Vladislav Delay debut "The Kind of Blue EP" to the blurred dub techno variations of 2000's "Multila" and 2012's "Kuopio", Ripatti has betrayed a restless, voracious passion for sound. "Fun is Not A Straight Line" builds on this impressive legacy, retaining his sonic signature and adding a playfulness that harks back to his beloved deep house smash, Luomo's "Vocalcity". After becoming frustrated by the inflexibility of the 4/4 house idiom, Ripatti found solace in rap and bass music's rhythmic complexity and anarchic structures. "I bought Nas's 'Illmatic' when it came out in '94 and have more or less been listening to rap since," he explains.

                                  "I'm not really sure why now, but that rap influence wanted to come through." Chopped rap vocals, booming subs and gritty, neck-snapping beats are the primary colors of "Fun is Not A Straight Line", painted into the foreground and blended into an immediately recognizable rhythmic palette. The tracks cross into the same continuum as Chicago footwork, with stuttering samples that build thick walls of bass and flurries of wordless rhymes amid a narcotic haze of beats. On 'monolith', Ripatti's love of New York rap is in full focus as he obscures chipmunked vocals with tight, crackling percussion that disintegrates into rolling kicks; 'speedmemories' is even more upfront, channeling the raw sunshine energy of So So Def electro into rhythms that are powerfully skeletal.

                                  Elsewhere, syrupy Southern-fried TR-808 bass womps are tangled with molasses-slow vocals on 'videophonekitty', fuzzed into textured, dissociated ambience. Since the beginning, Ripatti has tried to find a balance between his experimental urges and drive to create more universal music. As his more recent albums have traveled into darker, more extreme realms, he has craved something different for balance. By drawing a crooked line between DJ Premier, DJ Screw and DJ Rashad, Sasu Ripatti has emerged with the most accessible and unashamedly enjoyable album he's produced in years.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A. Filthyfresh
                                  2. Monolith
                                  3. Motherfuckyou
                                  4. Speedmemories
                                  5. Flowers

                                  B:
                                  1. Everyday
                                  2. 90 Dreams
                                  3. Wants Interlude
                                  4. Videophonekitty
                                  5. Movathat
                                  6. Girl Is Hip

                                  Anthoney Hart returns with his second Basic Rhythm album for Planet Mu. 'Electronic Labyrinth' is a maturing of his sound that draws a line under his work as Basic Rhythm thus far. The title itself conveys the overarching theme of the album, evoking the journey through a musical labyrinth that Hart has undertaken over the last 30 years or so, following a path through to the centre where these disparate strands have coalesced and solidified into a coherent whole.

                                  The underlying themes are of a more personal nature, intimated by the cover photo of St Fabian Tower where Hart first joined the now infamous Rude FM in the late 90s, the sometimes misleading directness of the track titles, as well as explicit references to books such as Wilson Harris’ Palace of the Peacocks, the ontological promiscuity of Harris’ writing mirrored here in Hart's own musical endeavours. What you end up with is an album that not only draws upon a wide range of influences from both the musical and literary worlds, intertwining them within a deeply personal context that imbues the music with a depth of meaning, but that is also somehow more coherent despite such a wide range of references and hidden meanings. It is at once both an album of subtexts open to interpretation, and a cohesive whole that fits together perfectly.


                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  A:

                                  1/Craft
                                  2/Hayward Road
                                  3/Acid Track
                                  4/Larkin Around

                                  B:

                                  1/Electronic Labyrinth
                                  2/Techno
                                  3/Palace Of The Peacock
                                  4/The Secret Ladder

                                  Eomac

                                  Cracks

                                    Ian McDonnell is an Irish producer living in Wicklow near Dublin. Alongside his solo releases as Eomac he's also one half of the duos Lakker, noeverything and Lena Andersson. 'Cracks' represents a change of scenery and a change of practice from his previous two albums which were both conceptualised from the outset and recorded while living in Berlin. In contrast 'Cracks' was made in a beautiful rural part of Ireland without any outside pressure. These circumstances allowed Ian to wipe the slate clean and make an album guided by his mood on any particular day, connecting into the subtle power of his new environment and reflecting it, rather than working to please the suffocating demands of clublife.

                                    The title 'Cracks' comes from the idea that, to quote Leonard Cohen, a crack is "how the light gets in", but also of course it's a title that bears witness to the cracks fomenting in the world right now. The music comes across with depth and passion, sounding deep and mossy with Eomac's penchant for punchy, shuffling drums underpinning the emotive tracks. From the off, the furious 'Mandate For Murder' flips and repeats Akala's protest about systemic racism, rushing deep into the panicked sirens of 'Portuguese Man O' War'. The album settles into a sense of mystery, wildness and dark otherworldliness with the foggy drone and timber kick of 'Ancient Self' reflecting the awe and spiritual connections to his new environment, much like the gorgeous strings and aqueous bleeps of 'Seashells' or the pitch-shifted shoegaze of 'Prophetess'. At other points it responds to the human condition, for instance the cathartic 'Falling Through the Cracks' where a broken scream is pitted against clattering drums. At other moments it simply reaches out; 'Reasons to Live's' whispered mantra of "I know you are loved by somebody" is gently insistent. It ends with a reference to a place he's left behind, seen through the lens of nature. 'All the Rabbits in the Tiergarten' could be a missing track from Aphex's Ambient Works, albeit with cut-up scissoring drums. The album is a fruitful move, inwards and forwards.

                                    On "Neon Genesis: Soul Into Matter²" Meemo Comma (a.k.a. Lara Rix-Martin) takes Kabbalistic text and Jewish prayer and guides them through twinkling ambient synths, breakbeats and cranking industrial noise, full of strange wonder and drama. You can hear soft synths transmuted into choirs of seraphim and moments of occulted dancefloor rapture, from Aramaic chanting and ravey breakbeats to readings from the Zohar. It is quite beautiful at times. Jewish mysticism is at the root of Western esoteric beliefs and therefore has formed the structure of many films and books that explore the question of humanity.

                                    Inspired by the visuals of Evangelion and nineties anime soundtracks such as Ghost In The Shell (and its later Stand Alone Complex series), the new Meemo Comma album is a soundtrack to an imaginary anime that, like its real counterparts (e.g. Full Metal Alchemist), takes the beautiful parts of Kabbalah and sets them to science fiction stories. When asked about the themes that inform her new album, Lara Rix-Martin says "Judaism is filled with many tales and teachings that prevail in science fiction to this day - whether consciously or not. Sci-Fi is the genre best equipped to explore the immensity and challenges of human experience. Something that Judaism has also been attempting for over three thousand years." "I watched Ghost in the Shell when I was 14 and it was so striking, visually and sonically. The soundtrack has acted as a backdrop to explore my Jewish identity. I have been reading the Talmud since last year, discovering a deeper love for Jewish stories and teachings.

                                    There are some beautiful, hopeful ideas in Kabbalah too, which were a central inspiration to this album such as the idea that the first human was non-gendered and just this form made up from the qualities of HaShem (God) who performed 'Tzimtzum', contracted their form using their Ein Sof (eternal light) to create 'Adam Kadmon' whose form split into all human souls." Lara playfully subheads her album: “In the year 5781 humanity is ever closer to becoming a singular consciousness. A team of humans are forming an android, Adam Kadmon (CODENAME: UNIT KADMON). First, humans have to gain higher consciousness guided by the Sefirot.“ While you don't have to know about these influences to enjoy the music, it stands true that the intention is an irreverent love letter to the way grand myths are birthed into the future through new forms, retaining their beauty and elegance

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    A:
                                    1/Upload To Unit Kadmon
                                    2/Neon Genesis: Title Sequence
                                    3/Tikkun Olam
                                    4/Ein Sof
                                    5/Tzimtzum
                                    6/Gevur
                                    7/Genesis 8:22 – Annihilation
                                    8/Tohu & Tikun

                                    B:
                                    1/Tif’eret
                                    2/Unit Chai
                                    3/Yetzirah
                                    4/Merkabah
                                    5/Nefesh
                                    6/End Credits

                                    Rian Treanor's "Obstacle Scattering EP" arrives in a flurry of disorienting rhythmic bursts and de-purposed rave hallmarks. The four-track EP follows the Yorkshire producer's acclaimed "File Under UK Metaplasm", an album that welded elements from the UK's sprawling dance music history with genre-breaking sounds from further afield. Here, Rian goes straight for the jugular with four tracks assembled specifically for the dancefloor. Playing with 'the idea of sound being an obstacle that you have to get your body around,' each track on the EP presents a suite of complications for adventurous ravers. "Obstacle 1" folds the influence of SND into a hi-nrg singeli framework, simmering lush FM synths in a broth of tangled kicks; "Obstacle 2" was written for Rian's set at 2019's Aphex Twin-curated Warehouse Project and distills his early obsession with Planet Mu in hyperactive squelches that deftly flit between brutalist glitches and ear-pummeling bass. Meanwhile irradiant chords continuously refract a bouncing 4x4 groove on "Obstacle 3", subtly shifting the focus as they alternate and interlock. Closer "Obstacle 4" switches things up once again, deploying the idea of pause and effect with staccato stabs that follow whirls of modulated synth. These four obstacles are DJ tools with spikes - selected grooves that don't fit anywhere except together, mapping out Rian's constantly-shifting relationship with both the club and the legacy of boundary-pushing dance music. They feverishly demonstrate the outer limits of a streamlined sonic palette, devastating speakers and dancefloors in equal measure.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Matt says: I feel like my head's been turned inside out, sandblasted, jet-washed and put through the tumble drier before being ironed back out. A cerebral-irrigation if you needed one. Fuckin' mega.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    A
                                    Obstacle 1
                                    Obstacle 2

                                    B:
                                    Obstacle 3
                                    Obstacle 4

                                    Various Artists

                                    Planet Mu 25

                                      “25th anniversary compilation. It’s a mid-price cd, a snapshot to show where we are at after 25 years of the label. A selection of our roster and what we’re releasing in 2020. There is one exclusive - Basic Rhythm’s remix of DJ Nate. And six tracks from forthcoming albums for 2021, the tracks by RP Boo, Ripatti (aka Vladislav Delay), Jana Rush, Bogdan Raczynski, Meemo Comma and Eomac.” Mike Pardinas

                                      Rian Treanor returns to Planet Mu for his raw and energetic second album "File Under UK Metaplasm". The enigmatic, sweaty energy of Tanzanian singeli and Chicago footwork are juxtaposed with slick, high-def bass weight which sits at the centre of the album. Opening track "Hypnic Jerks" is the perfect example of this, with crinkled percussive loops cut through by machine-gun kicks and acidic wobbles. Elsewhere, "Vacuum Angle" takes Sheffield's Warp-ed legacy and brings it crashing into the future, with rhythms collapsing into static and noise but never deconstructing or losing the flow. "Debouncing" meanwhile folds gliding square synths into rattling dancehall kicks, joining the dots between SND, Equiknoxx and Wiley with a neon Sharpie. 'It's using all those formulaic dance structures but just slightly mangled or messed up,' he says. 'I'm still focused on making dance music for clubs, but how far can you push that before it's just no.’'

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1/Hypnic Jerks
                                      2/Vacuum Angle
                                      3/Mirror Instant
                                      4/Metrogazer
                                      5/Closed Curve
                                      6/Opponent Process
                                      7/Debouncing
                                      8/Metaplasm
                                      9/Orders From The Pausing

                                      Gábor Lázár

                                      Source

                                        Gábor Lázár's colourful discography extends from sound art to his more recent dancefloor detonations. From his first release on Lorenzo Senni's Presto! label to his collaborations with Russell Haswell and his popular 'seizure inducing' team-up with Mark Fell entitled 'The Neurobiology of Moral Decision Making' to his last album 'Unfold' on The Death of Rave, where he balanced relentless, snappy rhythms and wonky melodic tones against more measured chords to create a deliciously fruity futurism.Gábor has now signed to Planet Mu for his new album 'Source' which moves forward with the dance music direction he started to formulate with 'Unfold'. Gábor first fell in love with electronic music simultaneously through dance music and it's IDM offspring, and also with harsher, noisier computer music on labels such as Editions Mego.

                                        This collection, which develops slowly over 8 tracks, works its way through his own take on these influences, moving across themes and loops as if each track is a different stage in a process. All these tracks sound incredible on a club sound system. The listener can hear nods to hoover bass and 2-step in 'Phase', or trance techno in ‘Excite', the dive-bombing bass of dubstep in 'Effort ' or the frantic techno influence of 'Route', emulated in the minimal forms Gábor has created with a sound artist's precision and a strict adherence to his vacuum-like grids. Gábor bends his sounds, abstracts them and re-contextualises them; basslines fire out of the grid at strange angles and squirm as if they've come alive, shards of melody shoot off at wild angles, attacking with drama and a thrilling sense of energy.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        A:
                                        1/Source
                                        2/Stream
                                        3/Phase
                                        4/Excite

                                        B:
                                        1/Focus
                                        2/Effort
                                        3/Route
                                        4/Return 

                                        Speaker Music

                                        Of Desire, Longing

                                        DeForrest Brown Jr. is an outspoken theorist, journalist, curator, visual artist and musician. Raised in the deep South, DeForrest moved to New York a few years ago and has been shaking things up IRL and online ever since. He asks difficult questions that make us relook at how we think about race, class, post-racial ideas, historical events and the social structures in America. His work defies narrow bags and he’s truly a unique cultural polygot comfortable booking an artist like Felicia Atkinson at Issue Project Room or shaking up people on the street with his 'Make Techno Black Again' hat line.

                                        His project Speaker Music was inspired by Rhythmanalysis, a book of essays by urbanist philosopher Henri Lefebvre as well as considerations of momentum and the 'chronopolitical' from British cultural theorist Kodwo Eshun. Mobilizing freely improvised electronic percussion and stereophonic audio recordings, Speaker Music yearns to caress, engineer and sculpt sentiment into a multi-textural rhythmic body, quivering moments into a collapsed nonpulsed time.

                                        His debut for Planet Mu centers around weary sonic portraiture of sonorous and cybernetic energy music - a music encoded with an encrypted heat but made with empathy and without excess. His touching of frequencies unveils a romantic abstraction of sonic narratives that recalls previous innovations by musicians such as Les McCann, Urban Tribe and James Stinson.


                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Matt says: If (un)found sounds and deeply atmospheric textures are your thing, then look no further than this incredible offering from DeForrest Brown Jr.'s Speaker Music project...

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        A: With Empathy
                                        B: Without Excess 

                                        “Sleepmoss is a romantic eulogy to autumn and winter. A time for peaceful inner reflection, amidst the backdrop of British woodlands, dramatic skies and turbulent storms. Finding peace with mental health and being mindful of the beauty in death and endings.”

                                        'Sleepmoss', the second album from Meemo Comma a.k.a. Brighton-based producer Lara Rix-Martin, is an adventurous, unusual and very contemporary sonic take on the impact of landscape. It’s a kind of storytelling, inspired by the shifting landscapes of her daily walks with her dog on the South Downs. Discussing her under-the-radar debut album 'Ghost on the Stairs' with Aimee Cliff at The Fader in 2017, she noted how she is “drawn to eerie sounds in my work.” This fascination remains on 'Sleepmoss' but the context has changed from the interior and inwards gaze to a much wider, wilder viewpoint. Lara describes her new record as being “about getting lost in the sumptuous divinity of the dark months in Britain. It is in many ways the opposite reflection of 'Ghost on the Stairs' which was about internal processing of sounds, specifically human speech. The last album was almost an exorcism of issues troubling me but this album is about the glory of solitude and the richness of romance that can be found in nature.”

                                        ‘Sleepmoss’ challenges us to rethink our perceptions of the “pastoral” and to look at nature afresh with new eyes. For not only are the landscapes around us an escape: much more lies there, it's this turbulence we need to find peace with, and Sleepmoss grapples with the physicality of the landscape in a fresh and intuitive way. Rix-Martin notes “Musically, we have never truly embraced rugged landscapes in their full glory and I felt this when I thought about the many different composers over the centuries, their work seemed uptight and far too human in scale. For instance Vaughan Williams had unquestionably beautiful moments in The Lark Ascending, but it's too clean, too controlled. I wanted to channel a take on classical music that was hyper-real, focusing on letting the elements speak to us, not the other way around.”

                                        A visual influence is J.M.W. Turner - “his work with changing light and storms that are raw and expressive.” and the abstract way in which Turner boldly revealed both horror and beauty (some would say “reality”) is reflected in the sonic approach throughout Sleepmoss. The album’s timeline starts out with summer's end, and the feeling of the air changing. Within this timeline, Rix-Martin describes the drama of her songs as visual stories. “The sounds around us are totally different depending on the season, I always assumed it was to do with the change in water vapour and heat in the air. Summer is much too high pitched and spiky.” To pull out a couple of our favourites, the songs 'Night Rain' and 'Murmur' are “the story of predator and prey, death and life, one fortifying the other while a storm rumbles. The next morning the woods are clear birds sing in the breeze from the night’s storm.”

                                        ‘Sleepmoss’ captures not only a unique perspective on nature but like nature itself, reflects the shifting times we live in. As Rix-Martin points out, Nature is often seen as “something to be controlled, neatened, conquered.” Sleepmoss interprets and admires nature in all its glory.


                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        A:
                                        1. Reaping
                                        2. Night Rain
                                        3. Murmur
                                        4. Tanglewood
                                        5. Winter Sun
                                        6. Amethyst Deceiver
                                        7. Windross

                                        B:
                                        1. Lichen
                                        2. Meadhead
                                        3. Firn
                                        4. Sleepmoss
                                        5. Psithur

                                        Felix Lee has created a world for his debut album "Inna Daze". A kind of post-human environment where the sun never really rises and everything is lit with a burnt out glow. These are survival ballads for the near future, whose vocals, mutated to fit into this setting, drift in a haze of dissociation. Musically, at first glance, it's sparse and minimal but with continued immersion, subtle iridescent-light shadows shimmer around grainy colour, sub bass rises through kicks and snares retooled from their surroundings, not so much refixed as decaying. Felix has been here before in his incarnation as Lexxi, making his debut appearance on Total Freedom’s 2012 “Blasting Voice“ compilation, and as a co-producer on Elysia Crampton's “Demon City“ album.

                                        He then went on to release his first instrumental EP “5TARB01” in 2016 on his own imprint Endless. He also runs an NTS show of the same name, along with previously holding raves, cross pollinating and interacting with the vanguard of the electronic underground. The punky crunch of those earlier releases is reflected in tracks like “Smoke” made with long time collaborator and southside resident Kamixlo. These club moments inevitably give way to the vocals, conveying a feeling of loss and renewal. Intended to exist both inside and outside the club, it's an electronic music that at times feels like a skeletal take on shoegaze, solidifying that feeling with the intense rising synths of the album closer “Slow Decay“. Inna Daze's features include Drain Gang members Ecco2k and Whitearmor, Yayoyanoh, Quantum Natives' Oxhy, and Gaika, as well as Felix making his debut as a vocalist, his voice filtered through effects to give it a slippery, steam-like texture, echoing around the songs, giving them a second skin of sensed abstraction. One of the most thoughtful and interesting debuts of 2019, “Inna Daze“ beckons the listener into its simultaneously toxic and beautiful sound-world. Keeping enough distance to provoke more questions than answers, the album unfolds in a different way on every listen.


                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        1/ KOH (ft. Ecco2k & Whitearmor)
                                        2/ Void (ft. Whitearmor)
                                        3/ Focused (ft. Yayoyanoh)
                                        4/ Iywata
                                        5/ Like A Stain
                                        6/ Crosses
                                        7/ Sangre (ft. Gaika)
                                        8/ Still Torn (ft. Oxhy)
                                        9/ Smoke (ft. Kamixlo)
                                        10/ Emeralds 1
                                        1/ Unified
                                        12/ Headless
                                        13/ Slow Decay (ft. Oxhy)

                                        Basic Rhythm follows up his album 'On The Threshold' with an EP that lays out the explicit connections between hardcore and footwork. A connection made even clearer by the inclusion of a rare remix by Chicago footwork originator RP Boo. "2 Da Core"'s punchy rolling drums are levelled up against rough samples and a vocal hook pitched up and down in classic hardcore style. "Get Up" runs a tubby bass under hazy vocal samples and weird sound effects. RP Boo's remix of "2 Da Core" disassembles the track into pieces, building a stalking helicopter-like rhythm which plays hide and seek with the samples, while the closing track "Nuh Ramp" rounds off the EP with tumbling micro-edited rhythms and a melody built from small colourful sounds that draw on the Caribbean roots of this music. 

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        A1. Da Core
                                        A2. Get Up
                                        B1. Da Core (RP Boo Remix)
                                        B2. Nuh Ramp

                                        Konx-Om-Pax

                                        Ways Of Seeing

                                          On "Ways Of Seeing" Konx-om-Pax has switched up the mood and hit gold. He has made an album that is filled with joy and sunshine, saturated with the classic feel of Berlin techno. Tom Scholefield has moved on from the dark ambient and brittle rave of the first two Konx-om-Pax albums, which were a reflection of his hometown Glasgow's electronic music scenes. After a recent move to Berlin, the textures of Glasgow's musical strains have fused into an accessible and friendly mix of poppy melodic electronica built from a stricter 'less is more' sound palette, closer in spirit to the music of his adopted city. It is also a record which was made in opposition to recent music he has been hearing, in particular the troubled, dark and noisy experimental music coming out of Berlin. Tom wanted to focus on more joyful qualities, making this a record imbued with warmth and happiness, a panacea to the darkness and disorientation all around in 2019. Having a social scene full of producers has also influenced the album.

                                          The opening track "LA Melody" came from staying with Ross Birchard (Hudson Mohawke) at his house in LA, hanging out in the glorious sunshine with him and Lunice working on tracks. 'Initially Ross asked me to write some melodies to use in a project he was producing, but I ended up liking it so much I decided to keep the riff. I generally write music alone, but being around other producers gave me a certain excited energy that reminded me of after-parties back in Glasgow where Ross and myself spent our youth together. Spending time in Clark's studio also helped me improve my workflow and sequencing the album by seeing the way he does things'. On "Säule Acid" he collaborates with Silvia Kastel and in "I’m For Real" the vocals of Glaswegian DJ / producer Nightwave filter around the track. Stripped away to just the good bits, "Ways Of Seeing" is a pleasure to listen to. 


                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          01/ LA Melody
                                          02/ Säule Acid (ft. Silvia Kastel)
                                          03/ Paris 5am
                                          04/ I'm For Real (ft. Nightwave)
                                          05/ Rez
                                          06/ Optimism Over Despair
                                          07/ Earthly Delights
                                          08/ Missing Something
                                          09/ Day Dreams
                                          10/ Magenta One
                                          11/ The Paleontologist

                                          In an unexpected turn of events Planet Mu welcomes back DJ Nate for a new album "Take Off Mode", a full nine years after his debut album "Da Trak Genious" was released on the label. A quick update: DJ Nate is from the West Side of Chicago and was the label's first ever footwork signing back in 2010, when Myspace was still a place to contact artists. His strange, maximalist, trippy and sample-heavy sound was the acid test to introduce footwork to a wider audience, outside Chicago and certain aficianados, and it created the opportunity for Planet Mu to release the two "Bangs & Works" compilations and numerous albums and singles from the genre, introducing the world to such artists as DJ Rashad, Jlin and Traxman. In the decade since "Da Trak Genious" was released, DJ Nate has been a popular R&B and Hip Hop producer and performer with a strong local following.

                                          The highlight of this part of his career was "Gucci Goggles" which was an underground hit outside Chicago. His rise was slowed after he was paralysed from the neck down two years ago, an accident which he's recently recovered from. As well as his R&B, Nate has still been making the occasional footwork track, often putting videos out on youtube, and it's these tracks, uploaded between 2010 to now, which caught our ear. This selection of tracks feels like they're in direct continuity with his debut, perhaps not quite as chaotic as certain moments of "Da Trak Genious", but still with his trademark yearning vocal samples, cutting them into strange new pitched up and down musical motifs, his shout outs and rough beats intact

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          1/ Bring Your Best Crack
                                          2/ You Ain't Ready To Battle
                                          3/ Come Back
                                          4/ Oh Woooaaah
                                          5/ Get Rid Of Em
                                          6/ Fuck Dat
                                          7/ Wat U Wont 2 Do
                                          8/ Go Krazy
                                          9/ Get Back
                                          10/ Get It Right Hoe
                                          11/ Just Be Truu
                                          12/ Pack Em
                                          13/ Aww Baby What U Waitn
                                          14/ Talk 2 Me
                                          15/ Planet Mu
                                          16/ Get Off Me (Betta Get Back)
                                          17/ La Happy Day 

                                          Rian Treanor

                                          Ataxia

                                          Rian Treanor releases his anticipated debut album ‘Ataxia’ on Planet Mu this week. The striking full-length follows singles for The Death Of Rave and Warp’s Arcola imprint as well as live sets at Boilerroom x Genelec, Nyege Nyege festival, tours in India and various high profile EU shows. The title ‘Ataxia’ means 'the loss of full control of bodily movements' and relates to Rian's music which is “intended to make people’s bodies move in unpredictable ways.”

                                          He adds “the angles in the letters, the phonetics seem to mirror the geometry and idiosyncratic patterns in the music.” Rian explains that components of the tracks were made by generating a series of irregular events and re-structuring them, or by destabilising a pattern that is constant. The roots of Rian's playful sound are directly linked to his love of the music he grew up with. Coming from Sheffield, you can hear elements of industrial, synth-pop, bleep, extreme computer music and speed garage at play. From Cabaret Voltaire to Warp and beyond; the sound of his city has been, and is, an integral part of his musical development and is still a direct influence. 

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          Ataxia_A1
                                          Ataxia_A2
                                          Ataxia_B1
                                          Ataxia_B2
                                          Ataxia_C1
                                          Ataxia_C2
                                          Ataxia_D1
                                          Ataxia_D2
                                          Ataxia_D3

                                          Silk Road Assassins

                                          State Of Ruin

                                            Silk Road Assassins, a trio consisting of Tom E Vercetti, Chemist and Lovedr0id, return to Planet Mu with their debut full-length "State Of Ruin" two years after their first EP "Reflection Spaces". The trio recorded over two years, working together to start with, then across different studios and via the internet when their lives became more separated. They also finessed the album at Abbey Road studios, making use of some short time to add in extra layers. The three producers day jobs are in production music, music designed and created specifically for film and games, and this album uses these skills to explore the musical forms that they love. The album explores how trap and grime's minimalist form can be built and curved into musical architecture: elegant, opaque and layered, turning the sound into lush, melodic world-building.

                                            The work gone into the album is revealed on repeated listens, every sound on this record feels built to sit within its delicate ecosystem. The fundamentals of the music are given their own sense of purpose: hand claps spray, bells tumble, guitars splinter and lush melodies waft over and fill the track's spaces like light, glinting across snapping, crisp rhythms and deep bass tones. The album also features two Planet Mu alumini, Kuedo who features on "Split Matter" brings some of his bitter-sweet shimmering melodies and on "Shadow Realm" Russian producers WWWINGS give the music a violent metallic edge, providing the record with an epic and unexpected twist towards the end. Silk Road Assassins music is built to last, and a pleasure to indulge in. 


                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1/Overgrown
                                            2/Split Matter (ft. Kuedo)
                                            3/Armament
                                            4/Vessel
                                            5/Familiars
                                            6/Bloom
                                            7/Pulling The String
                                            8/Bowman
                                            9/Shadow Realm (ft. WWWINGS)
                                            10/Taste Of Metal (Instrumental)
                                            11/Saint
                                            12/Feeling Blu
                                            13/Thorns
                                            14/Blink

                                            Jlin

                                            Autobiography (Music From Wayne McGregor's Autobiography)

                                            Jlin's "Black Origami" album dropped in May last year - firing the Gary, Indiana (same location as rapper Freddie Gibbs..) based producer into the limelight and being one of the most discussed and well lauded albums of the year. Since then she's toured extensively garnering a loyal fan base and high praise from the media.

                                            "Autobiography" is a score written in collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor and curated by Unsound. Serendipitously, "Company", one of Wayne's highlight performances, was the first show Jlin ever attended, and the producer has obsessed about making music for dance since then - making this release even more personally special.

                                            The sounds, as one might expect, are mind-blowing futuristic, yet tight, controlled and succinct throughout. Apart from being informed by a wide spectrum of modern dance music (in particularly, footwork, IDM, glitch and modern dub), you can tell straight away that every nuance, thud and frequency has been well plotted by (real name) Patton. She avoids lavish, self-indulgent arrangements or random synth patterns for a precise and impacting aesthetic that owes as much to its drum programming as it does its technical prowess in the lower frequency ranges.

                                            Jlin's whole focus is to create a rich new sonic life form, unlike anything that's previously existed; therefore, drawing comparisons with other producers is difficult. That said, tracks like "The Abyss Of Doubt" sound like a mix of Autechre, AFX, Tolouse Low Trax and Demdike Stare - and yes, it's really that good! Highly kinetic, unfathomably fresh and tailored with headphones and soundsystems in mind, this is a satisfyingly overwhelming and engrossing listen; and likely to cause as much furore as last year's "Black Origami". Totally, utterly recommended!


                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            Side 1
                                            1. First Overture (Spiritual Atom)
                                            2.Annotation
                                            3.Carbonb 12
                                            Side 2
                                            1.Unorthodox Elements
                                            2.Anamenesis" (part 1)
                                            3.The Abyss Of Doubt
                                            4. Mutation
                                            Side 3
                                            1.Fist Interlude (Absence Of Measure)
                                            2.Permutation
                                            3.Kundalini
                                            Side 4
                                            1.Anamnesis (part 2)
                                            2.Blue I
                                            3.Second Interlude (The Choosing)

                                            Sami Baha is a Turkish producer based in South East London. His music was introduced to the world via his 2016 EP 'Mavericks'. Sami got into producing through being a rapper himself, working with local rappers in Turkey and producing beats for them, before setting his sights outside the country. 'Free For All' features MCs from all corners of the globe: UK drill squad 67's Dimzy, Stockholm's Yung Lean and Chicago rapper and singer DJ Nate (aka Flexxbabii). The record also features Egyptian MCs Dawsha and Abanob. Sami's production is refined and elegant, familiar tropes are reassembled in original ways, the instrumentation reflecting his background and influences simultaneously. Everything Sami brings to the album sounds relaxed and minimal, but tough, built from thoughtful arrangements and instruments, shot through with emotion and a dreamy night-time feel. 

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            LP A:

                                            1/Cash Rain
                                            2/Discreet (ft. Dimzy)
                                            3/Aliens
                                            4/Gambit
                                            5/Thugs (ft. DJ Nate)
                                            6/Free For All
                                            7/NAH

                                            B:

                                            1/When The Sun's Gone (ft. Yung Lean)
                                            2/Path Riot
                                            3/Glory (ft. Kufura)
                                            4/Ahl El M8na (ft. Dawsha & Abanob)
                                            5/Limbo
                                            6/Cold Pursuit


                                            Few artists have the ability to totally seduce over a few spins like Italy’s Herva. What may seem messy at first listen starts to fall into sharper definition and ‘Hyper Flux’ makes a very strong case for being his most seductive and mature record yet. The album has dismantled the broken beats of his early records and drifts, dives and shivers, its beats blended into the haze, everything approached from unusual angles with none of the music sounding entirely digital as it smudges between manipulated live instrumentation and field recordings coupled with synthesis and space - there's a warm heart at the centre of this music. 

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            01. Esotic Energy
                                            02. Jitter
                                            03. Nasty MF
                                            04. Rule The Sun
                                            05. Multicone
                                            06. Lly Spirals
                                            07. Solar Xub
                                            08. Meta Wave
                                            09. Cops Twerk
                                            10. Peach
                                            11. Dedicated (ft. Mar G)
                                            12. Zykmed 

                                            Mike & Rich

                                            Expert Knob Twiddlers - Planet Mu Edition

                                            A collaboration between Aphex Twin (Richard D. James) and µ–Ziq (Mike Paradinas), Mike & Rich - ’Expert Knob Twiddlers’ was made back in 1994. Richard edited the tracks into shape later in 1996 with his new Apple Mac computer and it was released later that year on Rephlex, the label he co-owned and which released the first two albums by µ-Ziq. This new reissued version has been carefully cleaned up, re-edited and remastered from the original DAT tapes, put into a more fitting order and, more excitingly, seven new bonus tracks and alternative versions have also been added. The album was recorded over a few days during the 1994 World Cup, back when Richard lived in a big shared flat in Stoke Newington. Richard had tried to collaborate with a few other likeminded artists but something clicked when Mike and Rich worked together and the sessions have a unique feel; playful and at times actually drunk. These are fun experiments in the spirit of lighthearted moog pop and ripe 70s British TV themes, standing out from the po-faced electronica of the time with a garish glee. The record was made on what is now seen as pretty primitive gear - an Atari, Roland MKS-80, Memorymoog, Roland R8 and a handful of samples on a Casio FZ-10M - but it’s to their credit that it resonates well with the hardware workouts coming out today. There's a broadminded but sloppy funk to the record, even whistling, singing and harpsichord in 'Reg' and wonky beat pile-ons in 'Jelly Fish'. There's latin piano and wheezy drunken techno in ‘Vodka’, or the sleepy spaced out ambience of ‘Bu Bu Bu Ba' with its barely contained laughter which seems to reflect the absurdity. The new versions and bonus tracks are an absolute delight - from a trancier version of ‘Vodka' to the wonky bounce of ‘Portamento Gosh', The 3/4 dub of 'Waltz,' the banging door bass of' Brivert and Muonds', the creepy seasick atmosphere of 'Clissold Bathroom' and finishing with the strangely graceful and serious 'Organ Plodder'. A generous and welcome return to the racks. 

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: What can we expect from two stone-cold stalwarts of the electronic music scene? Excellence, that's what. Analogue funk to the high heavens, acidic breaks and groovy sample mayhem. There really is something for everyone here, and it couldn't be any more of a perfect match between Paradinas' footwork/jazz/twee stylings and Mr. Twin's gritty machine worship. There are some proper tunes on here, and a lot of them. A historic catalogue, and a collaboration made to delight.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            3LP
                                            A:
                                            01/Mr. Frosty
                                            02/Reg
                                            B: 01/Jelly Fish
                                            02/Eggy Toast
                                            03/Vodka
                                            C:
                                            01/Winner Takes All
                                            02/Giant Deflating Football
                                            03/Upright Kangaroo
                                            D:
                                            01/The Sound Of The Beady Eyes
                                            02/Bu Bu Bu Ba
                                            E:
                                            01/Vodka (Mix 2)
                                            02/Portamento Gosh
                                            03/Waltz
                                            F:
                                            01/Brivert & Muonds
                                            02/Clissold Bathroom
                                            03/Jelly Fish (Mix 2)
                                            04/Organ Plodder

                                            2XCD DISC 1:
                                            01/ Mr. Frosty
                                            02/ Reg
                                            03/ Jelly Fish
                                            04/ Eggy Toast
                                            05/ Vodka
                                            06/ Winner Takes All
                                            07/ Upright Kangaroo
                                            08/ Giant Deflating Football
                                            09/ The Sound Of The Beady Eyes
                                            10/ Bu Bu Bu Ba
                                            DISC 2:
                                            01/ Vodka (Mix 2)
                                            02/ Portamento Gosh
                                            03/ Waltz
                                            04/ Brivert & Muonds
                                            05/ Clissold Bathroom
                                            06/ Jelly Fish (Mix 2)
                                            07/ Organ Plodder

                                            Asher Levitas

                                            Lit Harness

                                            Asher Levitas is perhaps best known as part of Old Apparatus, the acclaimed and enigmatic London experimental outfit. Over the last few years he has featured on releases for labels including Deep Medi, Houndstooth and Left Blank as ‘Saa’ with the singer Linn Carin Dirdal. ‘Lit Harness’, his first solo album, started forming as a project in 2015 alongside the artist and writer Michael Crowe who worked on the live A/V show while Asher created the music with vocalist Marina Elderton (from the ethereal psych band Kull) who features on the tracks.The record follows personal themes in a time of extreme emotion: anxiety and madness but also serenity and acceptance, hence the term ‘Lit Harness’, which holds you in a calm place while chaos happens all around. Asher also wanted to describe the experience of the sleep paralysis, which he has had most of his life, into a musical sound world. That’s not to say the album is totally dark, but there’s intensity and transcendence here as well as an otherworldly beauty.

                                            The music on ‘Lit Harness’ plays out in a shadowy hallucinogenic dream-like state where it’s not clear what’s meant to reflect reality or pure fantasy. Part of this process was the way the audio and visuals developed in tandem with each other, Michael passing Asher images and video, which Asher used to inject drama into the tracks and finish them. ‘Lit Harness’ could be described as ambient, but every track is filled with detail and a strange clanking drama, the hammering noises of ‘Withdrawn’ and the cold fever of ‘In The Eyes’ playing out like a dream. ‘Sheathe’ turns the record around with clouds of swirling choirs and ‘Waiting By An Open Door’ plays a hazy piano, with wind rushing through the soundfield. ‘Strongest Bonds’ has held descending chords with watery drum hits; ethereal vocals building in the background into a haze of noise. ‘Blessed Mother’s’ repeating vocals and rising chords ripple with a transcendent, gentle hopefulness, which gives way to the flatline drone and otherworldly voices of ‘Premature Exit’. ‘Anticipating Violence’ finishes the album with a sad, angry surrender, punctuated with rushes of cold hammering and reversed breaking glass.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            LP 
                                            A1. Withdrawn
                                            A2. In The Eyes
                                            A3. Sheathe
                                            A4. Waiting By An Open Doo
                                            B5. Strongest Bonds
                                            B6. Blessed Mother
                                            B7. Premature Exit
                                            B8. Anticipating Violence

                                            CD:
                                            01. Withdrawn
                                            02. In The Eyes
                                            03. Sheathe
                                            04. Waiting By An Open Door
                                            05. Strongest Bonds
                                            06. Blessed Mother
                                            07. Premature Exit
                                            08/ Anticipating Violence

                                            You might be familiar with Konx-om-Pax previous work without already being aware of it. His real name is Tom Scholefield, he’s from Glasgow, and as a 3D film director and graphic artist he’s made videos for locals Hudson Mohawke and Mogwai as well as Martyn, Jamie Lidell, Kuedo and Lone, created sleeve artwork for Oneohtrix Point Never, Rustie, King Midas Sound and others, plus he has toured with Mogwai as a DJ.

                                            So how on earth does he find the time to make music, or the energy? Tom explains that he makes music to chill out, a form of creative self medication. In contrast to his bright, synthetic and colourful artwork and videos, his music is more mossy and analogue. Often beatless, personal and located in a transporting surrealism, it's sometimes inspired by the idea of rescoring films and TV. 'Glacier Mountain Descent', for instance, is a re-imagining of the start of Werner Herzog’s 'Aguirre'. At other times tracks are inspired by nostalgia for childhood feelings, while watery immersion is a running theme, and a sense of Scottish surrealism is another. Tom started out making tracks in his teens, copying the synth lines he’d heard on prog house CDs, before graduating to a deep fascination with Jeff Mills and Drexciya’s hermetic imagery and alien funk after hearing them on John Peel’s show. This led him to creating lo-fi techno, then DJing and promoting events at art school, which developed his knowledge, driving him to formulate an aesthetic of unpolished, textured and emotive music. 'Regional Surrealism' works largely like a film. Vignettes like 'Isotonic Pool' transition into larger more dramatic pieces like the deep 'At Home With Mum and Dad' which takes an early Aphex sounding ambient track and fills it with odd drama. 'Sura-Tura-Gnosi-Cosi' featuring mysterious U.S. artist Steven Retchard is full of tape-hiss and unsettling spoken word, while 'Zang-Tumb' - with guitar played by Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite - works in bruised and twisted Ash-Ra Tempel territory. Elsewhere 'Slootering' finds a sweet spot between Drexciya and Oneohtrix Point Never, while 'Lagoon Leisure' lets you get lost in musique concrete space and drops. Later on 'Hurt Face' rubs static and raw electronic textures together and 'Chambers' follows it up with a sunny glow. The album finishes on the water-themed 'Let’s Go Swimming' which indulges in a slow-motion nostalgia, sending you away happy.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            01. Intro
                                            02. Isotonic Pool
                                            03. At Home With Mum And Dad
                                            04. Twin Portal Redux
                                            05. Sura-Tura-Gnosi-Cosi (Feat Steven Retchard)
                                            06. Zang-Tumb (ft Stuart Braithwaite)
                                            07. Glacier Mountain Descent
                                            08. Pillars Of Creation
                                            09. Slootering
                                            10. Lagoon Leisure
                                            11. Hurt Face
                                            12. Chambers
                                            13. Silent Reading
                                            14. Let's Go Swimming

                                            Various Artists

                                            Bangs & Works Vol. 2 (The Best Of Chicago Footwork)

                                            In 2010 Planet Mu released "Bangs & Works Vol. 1". The carefully curated compilation showcased Chicago footwork, one of the most forward-looking, innovative new styles of electronic music on the planet. Since its release, interest in the scene has grown with the sound beginning to spread outside of Chicago, influencing productions by not only Planet Mu artists such as Machinedrum and Kuedo, but many others as well. "Bangs & Works Vol. 2" brings the focus back onto Chicago’s own producers, showing where the real innovation still lies.

                                            While its predecessor sticks mainly to the more hallucinatory and left-field elements, this one has a wider remit, ranging from mad techno-style tracks such as DJ Metro’s “Tekno Bangz” or DJ T-Why’s immense “Juice” and ‘Finished” to those that sound like musique concrete gone footwork, like Young Smoke’s “Space Muzik Part 3.” Others like Traxman’s “Funky Block” and DJ Clent’s “DJ Clent #1” display the obvious influence of flipping samples, hip hop style to the rhythms of footwork, while DJ Rashad & Gant-Man’s amazing “Heaven Sent” shows the influence of P-Funk and Detroit’s hi-tech soul. On the whole, footwork’s synapse-snapping intensity is ever present, but this selection shows an even wider diversity to the genre’s independent and unique production focus.


                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            01. RP Boo - Heavy Heat
                                            02. Jlin - Erotic Heat
                                            03. DJ Earl - Hit Da Bootz
                                            04. DJ Rashad & Gant-Man - Heaven Sent
                                            05. DJ Metro - Burn Dat Boi
                                            06. DJ Clent - Ball'Em Up
                                            07. DJ MC - Y Fall
                                            08. DJ Spinn - Crazy 'N' Deranged
                                            09. Traxman - Funky Block
                                            10. DJ Rome - Showtime
                                            11. DJ T-Why - Finished
                                            12. Tha Pope - When You
                                            13. Boylan - Bullet Proof Soul
                                            14. Jlin - Asylum
                                            15. DJ T-Why - Orbits
                                            16. DJ Roc - Get Buck Juice
                                            17. Traxman - Brainwash
                                            18. DJ Clent - DJ Clent #1
                                            19. DJ Metro - Smak My Bitch Up
                                            20. Young Smoke - Space Muzik Pt.3
                                            21. DJ T-Why - Juice
                                            22. DJ Solo - What Have You Done
                                            23. Young Smoke - Psycho War
                                            24. Young Smoke - Wouldn't Get Far
                                            25. DJ Metro - Tekno Bangz
                                            26. RP Boo - Off Da Hook

                                            Tropics is Chris Ward, a British producer and multi-instrumentalist in his early 20s signed to Planet Mu. Since the release of his debut single ‘Soft Vision’, things have moved on. The synth-pop of his early tracks has evolved into a more substantial and personal sound on this, his debut album. ‘Parodia Flare’ features Chris as a multi-instrumental auteur, playing drums, guitar, and a range of synths and electronic boxes, as well as singing on these songs.

                                            Coming from a family where music was always played, it made sense as a musician for Chris to act almost as a conduit by wiring the sounds he enjoyed growing up with into his own creations. The music he makes weaves vintage sounds and Rhodes keyboards, alongside banks of old synths, software and guitars, live drums and electric bass. Tropics is a suitable name for Chris’s music as each song is like a warm analogue jungle of sounds, drawn into focus by Chris’ naive singing voice and his knack for a lush melody. Given that the album was recorded in a walk-in wardrobe at his house, the steamy heat that the album gives off is a testament to his imagination.

                                            The opening short 'Navajo' sets the scene with atmospheric clouds of reverbed chords and electric guitar, quickly followed by recent single ‘Mouves’ with its gently sung verses disappearing into clouds of echoey Rhodes chords and floating synths with low-slung New Order-esque bass and soft drums keeping the track in shape. Next up ‘Parodia Flare’ majestically stretches shimmering keyboard tones and a light guitar over a tight bass and drums, gently teasing out the serene atmosphere. ‘Going Back’ features a keyboard refrain borrowed from a 70s jazz fusion track, with a low bass and Chris snowy voice cutting through the middle of phased guitars.

                                            ‘Wear Out’ is the morning after, sounding like an exhausted take on late period Beatles, with a lolloping drum beat and horns that sound like they’re drunk, interrupted by shimmering marimbas while cold keys screech in the background. ‘Celebrate’, revised for the album, is a vortex of aerial dub, with echoes and reverbs layering and looping over a very minimal drum and sub-bass, the whole track moving in glorious slow motion. 'Figures', meanwhile, delicately projects Chris's whispered vocals onto a chord borrowed from late 80s Detroit techno, inside a chilly electronic atmosphere that gradually breaks into an 80’s electro funk bassline.

                                            ‘Telassar’ is a soft focus 80s synth epic, while 'Playgrounds' is more upbeat, with lyrics remembering the past. ‘After Visiting’ is made out of a strange airy atmosphere, full of tiny dropped-in details and smudged synths stretched over minimal drum pads borrowed from dubstep, while 'Sapphire' is based around a repeating piano refrain, guitar, sax and vocals. Final track 'On The Move' sounds like prime Chicago post rock but with the Mizell brothers on production, it’s musical mixture that tidily bookends the album.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            01. Navajo
                                            02. Mouves
                                            03. Parodia Flare
                                            04. Going Back
                                            05. Wear Out
                                            06. Celebrate
                                            07. Figures
                                            08 Telassar
                                            09. Playgrounds
                                            10. After Visiting
                                            11. Sapphire
                                            12. On The Move

                                            Terror Danjah’s back on Planet Mu after last year’s "Gremlinz" compilation reintroduced him to the world at large. Since then, as well as Planet Mu, he’s released a single on Hyperdub, one on Butterz with more to come. Well the Gremlinz are back again on Planet Mu with this punchy eight track mini-album of experimental grime that showcases a breadth of new music, that swallows r'n'b and dubstep into Terror's self made matrix. The tracks range from the spikey, minimal 'Space Traveller' to synthy beasts like "Twisted", to the vicious "Power Grid" that pits shuffling 2step drums against a fierce, dark bassline and the occasional firing ravey breakbeat. "Upton Lane" contrasts a twinkling synth melody with big kick drums and nervy chords, while 'Horror Story' goes cold and minimal again with a shivery bassline, slippy slidy drums and spooked out harp chords.


                                            The Internal Tulips

                                            Mislead Into A Field By A Deformed Deer

                                            The Internal Tulips is a new project from two guys who have a history in American Bands such as Medicine and Savage Republic and who have separately released more abstract electronic music on Planet Mu in the past; they are Brad Laner who was Electric Company and Personal Electronics and Alex Graham who is Lexaunculpt, and they continue continue these experiments in pop. The project has a Beach Boys / Brian Wilson/Beatles influenced sound, but it manages to avoid being another exercise in retro comfort music because Brad and Alex use laptop trickery learnt form their more experimental pasts to bring their sound firmly into the present.
                                            Aside from making beautiful songs, sung in Brad's delicate multi-tracked falsetto, The Internal Tulips give their whole project a very modern, psychedelic production, treating their slow burning but gently arranged Americana to unusual treatments that blur the layers between acoustic and electronic sounds, cutting and editing vocals and instruments and adding depth and clarity to the arrangements, giving them an extra sense of the dreamlike. It's an album that feels immediately familiar; we're used to Grizzly Bear and the Fleet Foxes, bands you could superficially compare to Internal Tulips, but after a few listens the modern abstraction and production at the heart of the album will pull you in and take you somewhere else.


                                            U-Ziq

                                            Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique

                                              "Duntisbourne Abbots..." is U-Ziq's first new album for four years and first new material released since 2005. It's a more reflective body of work compared to the whirlwind of chaos that was "Bilious Paths"; introspective and rather melancholic, U-Ziq revisits his roots in the early 90s ambient techno scene pioneered by, among others, The Black Dog, Aphex Twin and himself. Amongst these 17 tracks of off-key melodies, nauseous harmonies and woozy beats can be found gems such as the beautiful "Strawberry Fields Hotel" in which a lone bassline strikes out a refrain of unexpected simplicity while bees swarm overhead around a fig tree. And "Drum Light" where a five-part melody gives way to a startling noise assault. "Acid Steak Night", a collaboration with label-mate The Doubtful Guest, is a more straightforward techno number with 303 basslines warring it out with spooky melodic synth lines. A melodic tour de force.

                                              Guilty Connector

                                              Beats, Noise And Life

                                                Dr Kohei, aka The Filth, aka GxGx, aka Guilty Connector is a Japanese hybrid of human and noise machine that creates noise-scapes of unfathomed depths. Ouch!


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