Métron Monthly – February 2017
New monthly feature guides you through some of the best things we’ve listened to this month and where to purchase them. Here’s a round up of new(ish) releases, some older gems and our favourite mixes for February.
Bing & Ruth – No Home of the Mind [4AD]
David Moore’s third full length release under his Bing & Ruth moniker is his first for 4AD and quite possibly the strongest to date. Flicking between sparse, slow moving melancholy to flowing drone-like textures, this is a record with an uncanny ability to draw emotion from every note. Whilst the piano is always central ‘No Home of the Mind’ sounds like B&R’s fullest work, rich and warm, never overbearing. It’s another triumph for the American composer and it won’t be long before Moore is referenced in the same breath as his more revered peers, Richter, Glass, Frahm. There’s no soundcloud links for this one but the LP is available to stream at the usual places.
Earthen Sea – An Act of Love [Kranky]
Jacob Long’s Earthen Sea debut comes with the Kranky seal of approval and opens with waves of the Chicago label’s signature beautiful ambient noise, drones over drones over drones. Yet what surfaces from beneath is somewhat arresting. The pounding 4/4 of ‘About That Time’ is visceral, a striking counterpoint to the records overall sonic lushness. ‘An Act Of Love’ always feels wide open, panoramic and beautiful, but always tinged with an underlying sense of unease, a feeling only echoed across the records brooding artwork. A must for fans of ambient, dub techno and neo-classical music.
Tinariwen – Elwan [Anti]
Beginning in a refugee camp, the legendary Malian band have toured the world as flag bearers for African musicians and return with their excellent seventh full length record. Theirs is an uncommon story and one that has been paved with struggles, not least a recent run in with Islamic militants who have threatened the Tuareg groups members as part of their attempts to ban music in Mali. For a country with such an incredible musical heritage it would be a devastating loss. With the groups vocal work shining through with positivity and hope, sung over the soothing sound of their now signature ‘desert blues’ Elwan offers another compelling example of what makes Malian music so essential.
S.A.M – Dream State of a Bellmaker [Delaphine]
After the success of a number of EPs and his collaborative project with Mandar, Danish producer Samuel André Madsen, or S.A.M. as he’s more commonly known, returns with his debut full length. Though a little front heavy, the front end is tightly packed with sonic goodness. What is essentially a percussive house record is enhanced by excellent sound design and well executed nods towards Boards of Canada, early era Aphex and Apparat among the more obvious references. It’s cool atmosphere and lush sonic textures are consistent throughout, including on the dreamy ‘Alone in A Crowd’.
Visible Cloaks – Reassemblage [RVNG. International]
RVNG. International continues it’s phenomenal run of releases with Visible Cloaks superb debut Reassemblage. This seems to have appeared in every monthly roundup, and with good reason. This record is as excellent as they say it is, a modern and quirky take on the Japanese avant-garde synth scene that breaths abstract at every junction. The title couldn’t be more apt, often feeling like a record deconstructed into isolated parts, only to be reassembled in a way you might not have expected.
Swet Shop Boys – Cashmere [Customs]
You might know Riz Ahmed from his seemingly unstoppable rise towards Hollywood A-lister, but you might not know his alter ego Riz-MC quite so well. Forming one half of the Swet Shop Boys, whose debut LP is packed full of humour and socio-political commentary, Riz raps alongside American Heems on this solid debut that speaks to and pokes fun at their own experiences coming from Indian and Pakistani backgrounds. Whilst never taking themselves too seriously – with killer lines like “I’m so fly, bitch/But I’m on a no fly list”- this is a record that wastes no time casting a light on social hypocrisy and what it’s like for people of South Asian identity living in ‘the West’ – both beyond, and including, the usual cliches.
Christian Scott – Stretch Music [Ropeadope]
Typically late to the party, New Orleans native Christian Scott has a new album out, but we’ve only just discovered his 2015 offering – the brilliant Stretch Music. A jazz record that Scott intended to encompass as many musical languages into as possible. The idea being to stretch the compositional basis of Jazz music without replacing it’s core values. It’s a beautiful release where Scott’s trumpet playing stays true to his routes but is surrounded by more modern structures and notable performances from supporting musicians including flutist Elena Pinderhughes.
Bjørn Torkse – Crack Mix
One of our absolute favourite selectors and the man behind the glorious Métron Musik Mixtape 036 – Norway’s enigmatic Bjørn Torske is back with a new mix this time for Crack Magazine. It’s crafted with the producers usual charm, never afraid to take you somewhere unexpected it’s full of weird, wonky and wonderful disco, including a lovely (and timely) Wham edit.
Eric Cloutier – Driftwood Records Mix
A good friend of ours recently tipped us onto Driftwood, a record label that released a series of house records in the early 200o’s that have become a thing of legend. Most of the tracks can be found in not so great quality rips on youtube but four years ago Eric Cloutier, an American born DJ and producer now living in Berlin, compiled a mix of tracks from all ten releases and put it online. Fetching a pretty penny on Discogs copies are extremely hard to come by, those who have them hold on to them for the most part, which is what makes this mix so unusual, Cloutier has the full set. For those of us who can’t afford to drop €700 on a 12” this is a great place to enjoy the smooth, graceful, house music Driftwood put out a decade and a half ago.
El Búho – Gedankenklang
Robin Perkins, aka El Búho, has long been one of our favourite selectors. His brilliant rhythm and roots podcast series was one of the inspirations behind Métron so we’re always excited when he uploads a new mix. His latest offering for the excellent Gedankenklang podcast series is built around the idea of resistance and the musical content proves hard to resist. Packed full of latin and world goodness it’s the usual tropical adventure we’ve come to expect from the Shika Shika founder, and with a surprise ending – a brilliant edit of one of his favourite Aphex jams ‘Flim’.
Let us know what we’ve missed and what you’ve been listening to recently.