Keepin’ Track #5

SBTRKT

Every fortnight, The Corner’s Luke Owen Smith will highlight the latest electronica releases with his new column Keepin’ Track. For the latest in the series, he focuses on tracks from SBTRKT, Hauschka, Clark, DJ Milktray and qqqqquays.

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SBTRKT – Gamalena

Everyone’s favourite producer Sbtrkt unveiled 6 new tracks last week, planned for release as three separate EPs. The opening track ‘Gamalena’ is so called because it samples the intricate Gamelan music of Indonesia – a sound first made familiar to me by Four Tet’s ‘Spirit Fingers’. These traditional sounds balance nicely with the solid UK bass backbone of the track, and as you would expect the whole thing is produced immaculately.

Full release May 5th, or stream here

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Hauschka – Pripyat

Born into a family of classical musicians, Hauschka creates unique and boundary pushing electronic compositions using acoustic instrumentation and digital manipulation. This is the second track from his new album Abandoned City, and it was created using just a piano and a range of digital effects and loop pedals. It is a truly haunting track that fits perfectly with the theme suggested by the album’s title; I’m filled with a terrifying dystopian vision. There is panic and loss, but also a fight for survival that leaves me eager to know what happens next.

Out this week on City Slang.

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Clark – Riff Through the Fog

Side 2 from the Warp veteran’s new 12” release Superscope. Clark has always had a very singular vision when creating his musical worlds, and this is no exception. There’s a great juxtaposition here between the friendly melody, which sounds a little like steel drums, and the dark, brooding beat that powers forward industriously. Both these new tracks have mesmerising videos that were made using an oscilloscope and no digital effects, and the visuals fit perfectly with the other-worldly feeling of the music.

Out now on Warp Records.

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DJ Milktray – Eastern Delight

London grime night Boxed released an excellent free compilation last week to celebrate their first birthday. I could have picked any number of tracks to review, but I’ve settled for this one. ‘But why?’ I hear you ask. Because it’s the cheekiest tune I’ve ever heard, that’s why. As soon as that bass line kicks in it’s nothing but mischief. It reminds me of the beginning of Aladdin, when he’s just a simple thief hanging out with a monkey and stealing fruit – before shit gets complicated. If only life was always this simple.

Download the whole compilation here

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qqqqquays – Cursiv

As much as I’m getting annoyed by artists names with an excessive amount of consonants, I have to admit to being rather enamoured with this new track from the elusive qqqqquays. The opening beat is extremely minimal and ominous, creating an opening atmosphere that is reminiscent of echoed footsteps in a disused warehouse. After half a minute we are greeted with a range of tightly looped synths, strings and vocal parts that combine to create something that is as mysterious as it is momentous. It sounds like what would happen if Steve Reich produced a beat for Drake.

No info on this yet but hopefully it will have a proper release at some point.

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