It’s been a good year for grime and experimental club music, many words have been written by better writers (check The Astral Plane and Truants) regarding this continuum, so I’ll spare you the philosophizing and Night Slugs name-checking and do what US blogs do best: make a list. Here are five recent releases that are taking electronic music in new directions, evoking complex emotions while embracing synthetic textures.
Murlo – Into Mist EP
Armed with the cutest riddims in the game, Murlo has been progressing towards a synthesis of rounded sounds and glossy textures that finally feels realized on his newest EP. “Into Mist” finds Murlo less confined by genres and focusing on the Platonic perfection of his synthesized forms. This release needs to be accompanied by the “Into Mist” video above (which he also crafted) to comprehend the full, multimedia majesty of Murlo’s mindscapes.
Mr. Mitch – Don’t Leave EP
A big moment for the Boxed-led grime resurgence, Mr Mitch is the first of this new wave of grime producers to be picked up by a larger, “trendy” electronic label. Just as with footwork, Planet Mu know a burgeoning scene when they see one, and are releasing the Don’t Leave EP as a prelude to a full Mr Mitch album. It’s interesting then that this momentous release for grime doesn’t actually sound that much like grime at all. Taking the foundational sounds of grime and abstracting them until they’re something wholly new, Mr Mitch has created a beautiful stew of melancholy. The highlight for me is “Oh”, a hip hop beat formed by the audible plinking of your heart strings.
Loom – Grade EP
Choosing Mr Mitch’s own Gobstopper Records for his debut release, Loom’s Grade EP is a space-y journey; more suited for the dark of outdoors than dance floors. The standout track here is “Rain Falls Hard Here”, a torrent of arpeggiated emotion easily among my favorite tracks of 2014.
CYPHR – Ekleipsis EP
One of Her Records’ founding members, CYPHR’s recent sounds lack any genre giveaways, but drift between haunting synthetic flotation and aggressive low end exploration. His isn’t music for space travel, but rather space habitation; songs for the corridors of asteroid colonies and weightless clubs of orbital stations. “Sirena” and “Ekleipsis” are the highlights, but this is best consumed as a whole. Be sure to check out CYPHR’s excellent remix from this summer’s Her Vol 3 as well.
Drippin – Silver Cloak EP
Drippin has been spreading his mutant club and dancehall beats on Soundcloud for some time now, but the Silver Cloak EP on Lit City Trax is his first legitimate release. For a freshman effort, this is a remarkably focused seven tracks, melodic yet club-ready, each synth icier than his Norwegian home. My favorites are the frozen grime of “Memory Foam” and the mournful dirge for dance floors, “Silver Cloak”.