Ethnofusion Picks #Feb2017

Posted By: Outtallect On:

Clap! Clap! – A Thousand Skies [Black Acre]

Clap! Clap!’s A Thousand Skies is one of those albums that does not sound like anything else. The foley-ridden bubbly and tribal sounds on this album are topped with complex polyrhythms and a beautiful sense of production. In the traditional senses, this falls somewhere between footwork, juke, trap, house, dub, jazz, funk, tribal, Americana, Latin, … and that should give you a sense of the calibre. There’s a real sense of musicianship in this album, not just ‘electronic producership’ and I won’t really go into too much detail of why you should hear it, just press that play button.

CloZee – Harmony EP [Gravitas Recordings]

The Queen of world bass music is back this month with a stellar EP that is arguably her best original work yet. Harmony is a five track EP that blends every favorable element of CloZee’s music into a positive and uplifting experience. The opener Secret Place sets the tone of the release with lush koto and flute sections and a heap of organic clacks, seemlessly mixing into the title track and its bionic tribal feel. The third track, Lonely Island is an ode to that French world trip-hop vibe with stunning string sections, and Black Panther dabbles on the heavier synthesized realm. The final track Drip is arguably the most experimental one on the EP with a superb aquatic trap execution.

Overall, this EP takes CloZee back towards her predominantly organic sound which we’ve always considered her strongest point. With this release and a 45-day US tour along with her Gravitas homie Psymbionic out the way, it’s time for the world to realise CloZee’s huge potential to hit the bigger leagues and make room for her to conquer the globe as one of the organic world bass music world’s top producers, be it female or not.

Mr. Moo – Krunk Temple

Mr. Moo of Synchromystica put out this organic jam, aptly titled Krunk Temple which is a cheeky blend of his violin takes, Hindi vocals, deep 808s and a rather fantastic groove. Overall, this is a minimally executed song, yet it packs a heavy yet peaceful punch, causing ripples within your soul and your existence to twerk on fundamental terraformed frequencies. Definitely a banger worth smashing out on a dancefloor.

Culprate – Nightmares VIP [feat. Maksim]

The bonefide don of bass music and crafter of arguably one of the best electronic albums of all time (Deliverance) is here with a new EP with a thumping and groovy neuro sound with a few added twists. On Nightmares, Culprate utilises a folk overtone to balance out all the gritty basslines and compliment Maksim’s predominantly dark lyrics. The result? A perfect dancefloor tune with a ton of unexpected switch-ups, glitch-outs and twitch-ins.

CHEE – Haze [Saturate Recordings]

Neuro music’s fastest rising star CHEE came out with a terrifyingly sublime LP that’s making noises everywhere on the net, from Noisia Radio and Terminal to The Untz and Dub Rebellion. Taken from this album, ‘Haze’ is along the same vein as Walking Dread from CHEE’s side-project, It Hz, and it encapsulates a ridiculously heavy and sorrowful soundscape. The song basically sounds like a nightmare riddled with dervish dinosaurs, and every snare hit lashes like a magma whip as slain by ghoulish monsters. Definitely the tuffest ethnic neuro track in 2017 so far, and already a contender for top heavy ethnofusion track of 2017. Big tings a gwan for CHEE this year, absolutely no doubt about it.

Mudra – Ekajata [Muti Music]

The Italian bass stallion is back this month with an EP for Muti Music, exploring heavy ghoulish neuro-esque ancient trap vibes. The whole EP is perfect for anyone into the dark side of trap, and the track Ekajata hits it home with us with its minimal yet detailed soundscape. There’s a good amount of cinematic atmosphere-building built over a haunting banger style. This is the kinda music that’ll make you see twerking ghosts, only to realize that it’s the smoke from your bong as it twists and twirls in lieu of the assumed paranormal entities.

Estray – Follow The Sun LP

Following up Samsara LP, his joint release last year with Stanisha, Estray’s newest creation comes in the form of this 56 minute journey which was recorded in Cusco, Peru. The album is a sublime tale of deep techno / house with psychedelic overtones, abundant melodies and a devout soul-seeking attitude. The album plays through very well as a continous mix and is the sort of thing you wanna hear while traversing roads and railways, reminiscing an ancient Silk Road aesthetic. Definite must-hear for anyone into the 115-130bpm 4-to-the-floor vibes.

Gravitas Recordings – Reconnaissance [VA] {Compiled by Govinda}

The good people at Gravitas Recordings teamed up with world bass mogul Govinda to curate a compilation featuring some of our favourite producers and other big names in the psy bass scene. Overall, the compilation has a balanced amount of all things ethereal, organic and squelchy, coming in experimental to pop-sensible formats.

The instrumentation on some of the tracks made them stand out for this blog; Filastine’s Halcyon with its beautiful flute and piano-laden anthemic style, Morillo & PAWZ squeezing the uzi arpeggios on some ancient battle cry trap vibes; Bassline Drift going all in on some unexpected electro swing hype which works extremely well with their overall style; Halfred and Zebbler Encanti Experience teaming up again for a gnarly ethno-squelch score, and Dysphemic hits home with the help of his brother Yiani Treweeke to bring their signature ethnic glitch-hop vibes to the table.

Byzantine Time Machine – Adventure in Istanbul (Drumspyder Remix) [Outtallectuals]

We just can’t get enough of this Byzantine Time Machine release. It has become one of our label’s fan favourites and accordingly, it’s always appropriate to give the listeners other versions of it. This second remix of Adventure In Istanbul comes from the percussive master Drumspyder who has stripped the original of its percussions, and laid his own fresh takes to make a mega-groovy and sacred 808 banger.

Fanfare Electronica – Dogs Howl At The Moon [Global Hybrid Records]

Hear the blissful sound of South America-inspired slow tribal rave music as crafted by Fanfare Electronica. The song is a part of Global Hybrid Records’ praise-worthy new series of collaborative EPs, covering certain sound themes through each ‘Hybrid Ritual’. For anyone who wants to remember or imagine how it feels to be in a tropical forest splashing water on your friends under a waterfall and absolutely living the dream in your life’s peak, this is what you need.

Icaro – Mindful Illusion [Merkaba Music] {with Interview}

The duo known as Icaro grace us this month with their brand of psydub as released through the holy gates of Merkaba Music. Accordingly, you can expect some of the squelchiest of em all from this release, often sounding like a the sonification of a sadhu octopus as it moonwalks on all limbs simultaneously. Uncovering the multiple layers to this music, it’s noticeable that Icaro have put a lot of time and effort into this EP and the project files for these tracks probably look like the Ebers Papyrus scroll, but the music doesn’t sound like a challenge of most megabytes or tracks per project file; the whole release is glued together rather well, often reminiscent of high calibre psydub of Globular / Quanta music, with a few added ladlefuls of squelch sauce. We definitely recommend this EP to anyone who digs multi-layered bio-synthesized thought-detonating brain-bending baba shanti bass, however many of you there are out there.

We got a chance to talk a bit more deeper with Icaro about this release, have a read to see what they had to say about it and where things are with them:

1- What’s the concept behind Mindful Illusion, especially that EP title? It’s an interesting paradox.

This concept was formed during the production of the title track. It’s an idea we’ve been applying to our lives lately and it all seemed to fit the direction and vibe of the EP. The two words obviously have their own respective meanings, but when put together they blend into this concept. 

Mindfulness is a quality in life that every individual, as well as the planet, can benefit from. When we take time from our day to reflect, breathe and be present in the moment, it releases stress and allows energy to flow through us, raising our vibration. The illusion is the choice of each individual. We all have the power to create discord and chaos in this world, but we also have the power to create harmony and positivity. The outcome lies in the manifestation of our unique perspectives. 

To live this truth, is to love every being unconditionally and to respect the planet we inhabit.

2- How much of the instrumentation do you guys play yourself?

It varies for each track and release. In MI we have some live guitar, vocals, flute, keys/synth, and heaps of field recordings sprinkled in there.  We hope to bring more live recorded elements into future projects and performances.

3- How does being a duo help your creative process?

The duo dynamic we share definitely helps in a number of ways. It often helps with clearing any creative blocks one of us might be having, as well as gaining new perspectives and insight on different ideas.  Over the years we have definitely helped each other learn and evolve to where we are today.

4- You’ve released this through Merkaba. What does that mean to you guys?

This release is a huge stepping-stone for us on our journey. We have always been deeply inspired by Merkaba and his music, as well as everyone else he releases through his label, so we couldn’t be happier to now be part of the team. 

5. Any more thoughts to add?

There will be some further news related to Mindful Illusion in the near future.  Keep an eye on our Facebook for updates and our website (coming soon).  Thanks, we appreciate the kind words and the questions!

Narcy – Fake News (prod. Sandhill) [Iraq-a-fella Records]

The Iraqi-Canadian don who’s a respected representative of Middle Eastern hip-hop, collaborating with the likes of Yasiin Bay, A Tribe Called Quest, and Shadia Mansour, came out with a new track this month which explore the plight of current day politics. “Fake News” is an interesting take on a super commercial autotuned trappy hip-hop that catches you off-guard with its mould as it starts to pack heavy political heat, with lines that even contextualise Salt Bae. It’s quite the clever song, embodying both the Middle Eastern sounds and an accessible format, in a serious black [read brown] humour parody style.

“If you Muslim, they bannin’, they bannin’,
Holla at Stephen K. Bannon, remember that name, K. Bannon,
How come the last president out in St. Vincent Copa Cabannin.
Whole brown world image on that cobra commander
All I hear is Aladdin Aladdin Aladdin bin Laden Aladdin
Rub the lamp, stir the pot, and the world is lost,
Then the magic will happen.
The enemy is here — that’s what they all say.
I take it with a grain of salt bae.”

Phrixus – Lucid [Babylon]

The folks at Babylon have a knack to attack global bass from their own signature n weird angle, always doing things different to genre norms. When they get the experiments right, it leada to tunea like Phrixus’s Lucid which channels something so ancient it’s not even ethnic, just pure primordial tribal goodneas. This is well-layered sacrifice music executed superbly and can be best enjoyed with a vat of blood *ehem* meaning wine.

Arure – Fighting off the Spiders

We have previpusly covered Arure and his brand of textural atmospheric tribal music and its thrilling to see his new material as intended for a video game. Fighting off the Spider is a brilliant cinematic piece with tribal grunts, half time dnv flavors, distorted guitar chops amd neuro basslines. Hats off for the effort on keepin things cinematic and full of legit ambiance.

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