Métron Monthly – January 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 January.
Melanie Velarde – Parcels [RVNG Intl.]
The ever reliable RVNG are at it again, this time with Berlin based producer Melanie Velarde’s debut full length. An incredibly rich sonic adventure, compiled with the subtlety of a more established recording artist. Having spent most of her musical career delving deep into the world of experimental sound design and field recordings, ‘Parcels’ is instead built in the most part on drums and many layers of beautiful swirling synths. Yet it is the small touches, no doubt honed in her many years of exploring sound, that breathe life and personality into the music helping to make a record that seems to exist within its own space, and with it creating an incredibly peaceful and personal listening experience. You can purchase it here.
Doing It In Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco in 1980’s Nigeria [Soundway Records]
The title says it all, Boogie, Pop & Disco from 1980’s Nigeria. What more could you want. Reissued by the excellent London label Soundway Records it’s an impressive collection of irresistible tracks that show African musicians aren’t just doing it, their usually doing it best.
William Basinski – A Shadow In Time 
I’ve seen a lot of people refer to this as Basinski’s finest work since the now legendary Disintegration Loops, and to me A Shadow In Time stands besides them as some of the finest and most emotive tape looping compositions ever created. Whereas the Disintegration loops decay and fall apart with each cycle, opening up strange new sounds, both tracks here add and remove layers of texture to their meditative core to startling affect. ‘For David Robert Jones’, a tribute to the late David Bowie, Basinski channels The Caretaker with a sauntering ballroom loop that emerges from the ethereal opening only to slowly melt away. The title track is as beautiful and graceful piece of ambient music as you might ever wish to hear, perfectly tightroping between bliss and heartbreak as so much of Basinski’s work does. It’s yet another work that cements his place as one of the foremost experimental composers on the planet, a singular presence in the musical realm much like the man to whom this record was made in tribute to. Grab a copy here.
7FO – Water Falls Into A Blank [RVNG Intl.]
Another RVNG release from the Commend series, this time from 7FO. A beautifully obscure record available only in cassette form, Water Falls Into A Blank is one of my favourite electronic releases of 2016 due to the incredible sonic detail on offer throughout. I really have no idea why this record has been seemingly overlooked by the majority of major press outlets and would urge anybody with the means to get their hands on it. Based out of Osaka Japan, 7FO uses a plethora of strange otherworldly sounds to form the melodic and percussive elements of the seven excellent dub soundscapes on offer here. Bursting with quirk and invention this is a record which never feels static, constantly evolving and evaporating. It’s consistently fun, bold, playful and experimental but it retains such a strong melodic background that it rarely falters. You can attempt to purchase it here.
Dan Lissvik – 7 Trx + Intermission [Information] – reissue
Following his criminally overlooked 2016 LP, ‘Midnight‘ Swedish producer Dan Lissvik has reissued his 2008 solo debut. Whereas ‘Midnight’ is a fuller more comprehensive and eminently danceable record, ‘7 Trx’ follows a stripped back downtempo path, with meandering psych jams that mostly coast along but occasionally sprawl outwards in a similar vein to his collaborative project Studio. Yet whilst much of his work and Studio’s releases draw focus towards vocals and synths, ‘7 Trx’ utilises the guitar as it’s driving force. Listen to the awesome Track 3 below and grab one of the vinyl copies still available here.
Justin Walter – Lullabies & Nightmares [Kranky, 2013]
The eternally reliable Kranky records 2013 LP originally past me by but this is an LP well worth your time and best consumed in it’s entirety. Buy here.
Staff Benda Bilili – Tres Tres Fort [Crammed Discs, 2009]
The heartwarming story of Staff Benda Bilili was captured by a French documentary crew largely by chance and is a great introduction to the record. The band, formed mostly from disabled and wheelchair bound musicians as well as young street kids living in poverty in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, were able to produce and release an uplifting record that flies in the face of their personal struggles. The guitars and vocals are beautiful throughout but The young and incredibly talented mono-chord player Roger steals the show in the film, but the excellent guitar work and gorgeous vocals are what holds this excellent record together.
Antal – South African Jazz – an excellent collection of African Jazz records the eternally eclectic Brazilian DJ acquired across two trips to Africa’s southern tip. Full of gems.
Mori Ra – Japanese Breeze Mix Vol X – the latest installment of the wonderful Osaka based selectors brilliant Japanese Breeze series for Rotating Souls Records might be my favourite so far, packed full of cosmic electro and 80’s synth funk it’s a joyous ride.
Sphynx – Radio Cómeme – Marcio Vermelho’s incredible Métron Musik Mixtape is still a high water mark for our series and it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of his work. In this mix for Radio Comeme Vermelho partners up with fellow Sao Paulo DJ and producer Pedro Zopelar as Sphnyx for an invigorating trip through some dark, weird and wonderful electro, disco, funk and house.
Let us know what we’ve missed and what you’ve been listening to recently.