electronica album reviews

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Shanti Celeste: Tangerine review – club music with subtlety and depth

(Peach Discs) The Bristolian DJ and producer’s nuanced debut is an enveloping listen, folding softer textures into its 2am beats The transition from DJ to album artist is a tricky one. While one art is about reading the room, the other is a more isolated and intimate experience. For Bristolian Shanti Celeste, on her debut …

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Moor Mother: Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes review – raging protest poetry

(Don Giovanni Records)The activist and musician overlays stunning sound collages with furious verses laying bare the lie of post-racial America Philadelphian poet, activist and musician Moor Mother has gone from the corners of her city’s underground scene to presenting work at high-cultural institutions such as London’s ICA and Barbican, and collaborating with others to make …

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Underworld: Drift Series One: Sampler Edition review – a year’s worth of inspiration

(Caroline) In the last century, when buying music used to necessitate a physical product, John Peel favourites the Wedding Present once pulled off the seemingly incredible feat of releasing a single a month for a year. The advent of streaming and downloading has rather raised the ante: Underworld have been releasing a song a week …

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Sudan Archives: Athena review – Afro futurism goes mainstream

(Stones Throw) Although her name suggests a gem unearthed by the crate-digger label Awesome Tapes from Africa, Sudan Archives is an artist of now. Based in Los Angeles, the 24-year-old producer combines genre-defying sound with non-standard violin-playing and an Afro-futurist sensibility. Two previous EPs chart her journey from bedroom experiments with a loop station to …

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Floating Points: Crush review – beauty out of chaos

(Ninja Tune) The second album from Floating Points – Manchester-born producer Sam Shepherd – is immediately visceral. Shepherd is a neuroscientist, and his sound has often been more cerebral and delicate than that of his UK electronic music peers (he first emerged at the peak of dubstep and breakbeat). His 2015 debut Elaenia was met …

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Vagabon: Vagabon review

(Nonesuch) Swapping crunching guitars for softer electronics, Laetitia Tamko’s second album is both sharp and tender When Laetitia Tamko released her 2017 debut as Vagabon, the Cameroon-born artist was described as a saviour of indie rock, a genre largely dominated by white performers. The accolades were as limiting as they were well-intentioned, burdening Tamko as …

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Jóhann Jóhannsson: 12 Conversations with Thilo Heinzmann | John Lewis’s contemporary album of the month

(Deutsche Grammophon)Jóhannsson’s piece, inspired by artist Heinzmann, lacks the composer’s electronic trademarks, but it is full of poignant beauty in this reworking by Echo Collective Since his death in February 2018 aged 48, the Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson seems to have spawned a posthumous catalogue to rival Tupac Shakur’s. In the last 18 months, we’ve …

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Octo Octa: Resonant Body review – upbeat, free-spirited electronica

(T4t Luv Nrg)Octo Octa’s trans journey is mirrored in her electronic palette, using crunching beats, ambience and supple synths on celebratory tracks For Octo Octa, music has been a journey of self-discovery that’s mirrored the development of her own identity. The electronic music producer and DJ publicly came out as trans in 2016 and refers …

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Ami Dang: Parted Plains review | Ammar Kalia’s global album of the month

(Leaving Records)Dang’s self-assured album brings elements of unease to stillness, with keening melodies and multilayered sounds The line between ambient music and muzak can be a fine one. The former is “an atmosphere, a surrounding influence: a tint” to envelop the listener, music “intended to induce calm and a space to think,” according to Brian …

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