5 new(ish) records that you need to hear: Random relaxation (issue #8)

No news segment this week – pick a newspaper out of the bins on the street, look over the shoulder of the person sitting in front of you on the bus, and read the the status of your favourite comedian.

Issue number 8 is the best of random relaxation. Nobody asked for it, and here it is. There’s quite a mix of years and genres here, and I very nearly turned this into a list of cyber-punk soundtrack classics. Some other time. From the earliest known Four Tet music, to experimental lo-fi mixed with gurgles of spaceships. Super love ❤

#1 Double Density/Like Siamese Fighting Fish – 4T Recordings (1997)

Four Tet began as Kieran Hebden deciding to try his hand at a solo project, in conjunction with the band he was in. These two singles are the product of that decision. A mix of static noise and strange reverb, I think this is some of his best. His later work is quite a departure from this, and is critically acclaimed to the highest degree in the world of music journalism and sound ranting. With unrefined who-knows-what-the-concept-is-to-this-music-but-I-like-it gusto that would disturb the sensibilities of Pitchfork, have a listen.

#2 Autumn Joints – Mujo (October 2017)

With musical connections in Japan and Hungary, Mujo is smooth instrumental beatz. Part of the underground low key music that you still hear about because we need a new word for underground, he takes what he needs from hip-hop, trip-hop, scratch, and jazz. In the case of Autumn Joints, he gave it the absolute chill the fuck out treatment after selecting his sound. These tracks take you all the way down as therapy for all the crazy things going on in life. But they don’t bring you back up again, so line up Prodigy’s Music for the Jilted Generation after.

#3 200% Electronica – Esprit (November 2017)

Album covers take time, but not always. Esprit is releasing this album under the 100% Electronica label, and it’s dance music sampled with other soothing rhythmic bells and whistles. George Clanton (owner of 100% Electronica) spent a number of years under a vaporwave persona – a genre that I have some reservations about. Nevertheless, some good came of it. Such as parts of this record. You can find the full album on his Bandcamp.

#4 The Deluge – William Basinski (August 2015)

Basinski is an avant-garde composer and musician based in New York City. He’s been releasing his experiments with classical and electronic fused melodies, mixing and looping to his hearts content, until a feature length piece of music is born. His Disintegration Loops records were met with very positive criticism from the music community, and the journo-world. The Deluge is more gentle than those records.

#5 orchids&flowers by Orchids & Flowers (November 2012)

From Eau Claire, Wisconsin, comes orchids&flowers. There’s a bit of sadness in this music, and it sounds like a dystopian haze of memory. You can hear a mix of sampled confessions from a female voice, with the rhythmic taps behind distorted melodies. It’s honestly disturbing, without being Silent Hill disturbing. It’s doing the things that music isn’t supposed to do, and it’s relaxing in its unvarnished, very real sound. I like it, and you’ll be happy that you made it through to the very last track.

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