No Death latest release Angel Tech continues a commitment to chill. The long and warm pads that fill the back of the title track are so dreamy, while the constantly moving bassline adds energy. Then we are taken all the way into a meditative state with the thirteen minutes long What Do You See. A swelling drone that remains constant, with small quiet inputs that you can barely hear and question whether you are imagining. Their previous outing – collaboration with artist Rhucle – is just as relaxed, jammed with quiet hums and soft fluctuating tones. No Death’s expanding catalogue of calm demands that you stop whatever you are doing, free your mind and recline.
I Am Robot and Proud
Blending the sounds of digital and analogue electronics then folding in a hearty handful of organic sounds, this is the way this Toronto-based musician likes to create. Flooding every layer with twinkles and chimes that scatter across the syncopated rhythms, their origin becomes almost impossible to discern. This makes for a very natural sounding record, despite that obviously not being the case. The environment crafted here is filled with delicate percussion and blissful textures, every now and then the thriving forest of sound will be infiltrated by a whistle or a voice, which feels almost alien after a few minutes in a very vivid, human-less Eden.
A Swedish chiptune composer who has a great musical range, composing tracks that sound like classic 80’s vapour, Atari level bits, and then just some all round electronica. With a hearty collection of synth sounds both old and new, it can be surprising to hear the jump from 8-bit to EDM here sometimes as each is done so well. Some very dated infomercial samples help create that alternate cyberpunk reality vibe, while many tracks remain upbeat and nowhere near as gloomy as neighbouring artists of the genre.
This multi-instrumentalist from Bristol has created a handful of wonderfully odd tracks. Their 2005 album Maritime is a great example of how they can emulate an emotion and setting throughout an entire record. Muesli has a supremely nautical feel carried through its windy jingles and (She’s In) Drydock Now continues to sound like a breeze while the drum seems to beat to the rhythm of the waves. Though the most smile-inducing track here is by far – Six Foolish Fisherman. With a fun pop bounce that encourages nodding, the beautifully sunny main theme instantly whisks you away beachside. It’ll have you hearing seagulls that don’t exist and aching for an ice cream cone in no time.
Stepping over the line into avant-garde territory, the emotion and pace of these tracks vary considerably. Opening with soft electro keys or with a gentle pad, eventually the inevitable takeover of counter rhythms and chopping drums begins. With acid sounding snares that are reined in just enough to stay this side of sane, Gimmik harbours many tracks that walk the line of lunacy, just shy of stepping over. This results in an exciting uncertainty as each track yo-yos from nice to not-so over and over.