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Ethnofusion Picks #June2017

Posted By: Outtallect On:


An interesting and wholesome month of findings in a wide variety of styles; from Far East Russian minimal industrial neuro techno and tribal drone bass to a healthy dose of trapchata and modern pan-American dance music.

The qualities include eccentricity (uniqueness/ instant artist recognition), lucidity (quality of production), intricacy (level of detail, especially instruments and foley), cadence (groove / flow of rhythm), sentiment (concept / emotional response), and an overall median, all ranked in base 10.

Uraan – Limb [Renraku]

In par with Renraku’s appeal, this is a rather unique release from the Russian duo, Uraan, with the help of vocalists, Kyunney & Kakitoka, and presumably the throat singing of Vladimir Kalachev. Overall, the EP has an incredibly cold and haunted feel, sounding like Jon Hopkins’ lost and frozen, yet preserved Siberian cousin; definitely a must-listen for anyone who digs the unlikely merging of an ethnic and industrial sound. Frankly, I don’t really have any idea what’s going on with these vocals so here’s a little insight from the artists

1. Seeing as this EP seems to be partially influenced by various ethnic groups of Russia, specifically the Far Eastern region, what languages / ethnicities are represented in these songs?

Only Sakha (Yakut) Language

2. What is the overall message of the lyrics?

“Expanding the limits of human capabilities, increase the requirements for the absorbed, thereby narrow the choice of acceptable.”

Overall message means that a human has a lot of different opportunities, but his capacity is limited. Don’t try to use every chance, focus on which you really need. It’s all about humans faith.

For fans of Jon Hopkins, North Asian / Far Eastern folk.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 10
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 9

Median = 9.2

Pact Infernal – Infernality LP [Horo]

For anyone who’s heard Ancestral Voices or similar artists, you probably already know what that means with regards to how this LP sounds. For everyone else, get ready for some of the darkest and heaviest yet most ambient electronic music you’ve ever heard. This Pact Infernal release is cursed with centuries-old memories of coercion, tort, and holy immolation and it sounds like the sobering yet unfathomable feeling experienced after a great tragedy. Infernality LP as an indication of this spectral tribal bass genre done well is incredibly primordial; in a sense, for the most part, this music could have been heard thousands of years ago in Mesopotamian ceremonies, or Ashoka’s Hell. Overall, an incredibly well-presented atmospheric release, with a great deal of character.

For fans of Ancestral Voices, OM Unit, Sunn 0))).

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 9

Median = 9

Benitsuki – Lost Paradise [Renraku]

Another flag-bearer of Renraku’s experimental sound, Benitsuki, comes out with this strange avant-garde composition, fusing some hellish distorted guitars with wails, off-beat lo-fi drums, neuro-esque bass heaviness and pitched-the-fuck-down hiphop vocal chops. Definitely one of the month’s most abstract ethnofusion discoveries, and for that, we majorly commend the artist.

For fans of Think Twice, DFNKT and general Renraku debauchery.

Eccentricity = 10
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8.8

What So Not – Divide & Conquer (Noisia Remix)

Mainly fitting the world vibes in its intro, breaks and risers, the masters of bastard bass give this What So Not score a revamplification with a heavy halftime (as much as I dislike this style name but unfortunately it gets the message across) hoppy vibe. Fans of neuro goodness and crispy production, this one’s for you.

For fans of Chee, Kursa & Audeka.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity =
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8

Styles In Black – Kapitan (ft. Strela) [All One Voice]

Styles In Black is back with a multicultural score, merging the vocals of Bulgarian singer Strela with a sitar-ridden 808 beat, with plenty of breaks and dynamic switch-ups. The song is released as a part of Styles In Black’s All One Voice project which aims to link cultures through global music collaborations, and sharing recordings. Musically, this is for anyone who likes a good ol’ twerk and conceptually, this could not be more in line with the sentiment of this blog.

For fans of SOOHAN, Zwirek & Alphant.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 10

Median = 9

Gangus & Paint (tsuruda x Huxley Anne) – Palo Santo

Strange flute-driven breaky ethnic trap, sounding like something you’d hear at a yoga class, ran by a gangsta rapper turned monk; blasphemous bass music indeed, and with good reason.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.4

AZTEK – Anwar [EP]

AZTEK’s approach to experimental oriental trap music is always one to watch out for. He’s the kind of artist you don’t mediocre material from because you know he is at least trying to keep things legit n different. Anwar EP however, delivers; a collection of 7 tracks and beats; all of the tracks are pretty weird skits of weird trap gangsta sounds; as one commenter describes perfectly: “This sounds like Timbaland on mescaline”. The most satisfying tune on the EP is the title-track, rewarding you with a less casual composition than how “just foolin around” the other tracks feel like.

Overall, definitely something unique for the fans of the evil babychild of Flying Lotus’s MELT!, tsuruda, and Clap!Clap!

Eccentricity = 10
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.6

Chuck Upbeat x Jason Hou – Water [DoHits]

Beatmen from these commanders of the Do Hits regiment pose in premium stance as they show off their BARtial arts to the Ethnofusion army. The Far Eastern flank of this genre, led by the activities of this label has been packing and signature heavy arsenal and it carries on to do so with Chuck Upbeat & Jason Hou’s collective effort, fluently flowing like water between subgenres like trap, dubstep & 2-step.

For fans of DoHits label and only their pioneer sound.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 7
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 9

Median = 8.5

Hugo Kant – Out of Time [Bellring]

A full-length album from the French producer, Hugo Kant, with a trip-hop sound, made up by blending jazz, world, psychedelic & funk elements. This is one of those releases that has the quintessential European aesthetic of production, in terms of the orchestral value. Even the only trappy score, Low Gravity has an amazingly suave feel. This is the suit-and-tie tier of this genre with an instantly recognisable musical understanding and capability. Magnifique!

For fans of Cinematic Orchestra, Bonobo & Bombay Dub Orchestra with a modern twist.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 10
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 8

Median = 9

Zen Selekta – Shaantih

Deep devotional trappy dubstep from the US producer with repetitive chants, and a healthy dose of wubs. Really good vibes overall, but an improved mix on the drums and cleaner wubs could make it stand out a lot more.

For fans of Truth, old NextRo & Subbass Ethnostep compilations.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 6
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 7

Median = 7.4

Mettakin – Ülgen EP {ft. Lo.Renzo} [Outtallectuals]

We released Mettakin’s new EP on Outtallectuals which is a two-track natural and sarangi-laden piece, aided by the mastermind, Lo.Renzo’s instrumentations, as well as other guest musicians. Quite unlike any of his previous, yet taking elements from the more dubby and glitchy stuff to fulfil a meditational aesthetic. Here’s my own unbiased judgement on the release:

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8.2

For fans of Lo.Renzo, Martins Garden & Liquid Bloom.

Chamberlain – Desert Horizon [Gravitas Recordings]

Very exciting to hear Chamberlain deliver the groovy ethnic glitch-hop again to the wobbly shaman types of this world. Few characteristics of Chamberlain music are very present here; the slap bass guitar licks, thumping groove, captivating female vocals & sitar riffs. Overall, there is a bit more technical side to this tune compares to its Chamberlain predecessors, taking influence from the neurohop and squelchy psybass sounds.

For fans of Gramatik, Dysphemic & mostly, Chamberlain’s own signature sound.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 10
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.4

E.Reflexion – Les Rites Occultes

A highly charged merging of jungle breaks, chopped tribal vocals and percussions, and heavy favela / footwork / 808 influences. E.Reflexion’s EP could be more crisp in production but the idea and overall vibe is very fun. If you have stamina to get yourself moving, these two tracks are gonna be a damn fine 7-minute exercise.

For fans of Generation Bass releases & Machine Drum’s UN ambassador alter-ego.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 6
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 10
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.2

esta. – catalina dea

There’s something about Summer and Latin Trap that go so well together; like pina to colada, shade to palm trees, coconuts to straws, and esta.’s new joint to my ears and someone’s daughter’s hips. Definitely a mega-fun quick composition by this dude and this is seen in the rapid play count increase over a month.

For fans of Vlien Boy, Sanga & Worldwide Records.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8.4

Yanck Yanck – Traicionera [Worldwide Records]

The trapchata hype continues with this new one from the Worldwide crew, channelling some of the moods Vlien Boy’s set in the past few months. Sweaty twerks, dress twirls, mojitos and sound systems are in order once again, and if you ain’t having the hot beachside fever on this one, you need to bathe in a volcano.

For fans of Vlien Boy, Sanga & Worldwide Records.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 8

Median = 8

Frente Tunupa – Frente Tunupa [Regional Label]

A joyful and organic self-titled release from Frente Tunupa, coming through the gates of the Chilean Regional Label. As far as my understanding through Google Translate goes, the EP is a collaboration between Mc Order, Ukuku & Dj Nakeye, sending their regards to ancestral Andean traditions of Peru and Bolivia. Overall, musically Frente Tunupa hits a very delicate balance of organic and electronic elements, with considerable attention to detail and soundscaping. I spoke with the artists to understand a bit more about the Spanish lyrics, and they tell me that the three artists in the group raise from the  Tarapacá region of the Atacama Desert, characterized by its common ancestry of native culture, despite being seperated into Peru, Bolivia and Chile today. While talking about the natural elements of the region in Spanish and chosen words from the Aymara language, the songs have a tone  of activism, highlighting the major degradation of their environment through a brutal and highly capitalist mining industry, leading to the loss of natural and cultural identity. While it is not possible for me to fully grasp the Spanish lyrics, I appreciate the sentiment of using music to highlight more widespread environmental issues as the music reflects the local culture, and the local culture is closely interlinked with preserving the environment.

For fans of groovy indigenous music like Nicola Cruz, Biomigrant & El Buho.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 9

Median = 9

Populous – Azulejos [Wonderwheel Recordings]

A mature and well-produced full length from Wonderwheel Recordings’ Italian producer, Populous with a gorgeous artwork and brilliant concept. Originally intended as an ode to South American music, Populous travelled to Lisbon with a laptop, microphone and midi keyboard, and got to work, getting influence, primarily from South American influences, however mixing it with African and other elements present in the city. This background story certainly fits into the music’s aural narrative with its multicultural feel and diversity, despite the signature overall sound. Can’t beat that kind of enthusiasm about an album concept.

For fans of Clap! Clap!, Tropical Twista Records, and multicultural midtempo dance music.

Eccentricity = 8
Lucidity = 9
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 10

Median = 9

Cemince – Rahamana [Akumandra]

Back at the dark and twisted world of Akumandra, deep rave rituals and sorrowful candle-lit processions are still commonplace, rarely straying away from tradition but giving you the prayer you know and have become enchanted with. Multicultural slow house / techno crossover meditation for you to swallow your grief with.

For fans of Shkoon, Stanisha & Nicola Cruz.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 7
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 7.6

Ramiro Rossotti – Iriqui [Talavera Records]

A sluggishly evolving groove-orientated deep house score from Ramiro Rossotti, giving you exactly what you need if you are in a car and all you can see if the moving street lines, and the lights beaming through your dashboard, telling you that you have enough fuel to traverse this barren desert you have found yourself in.

For fans of Estray, Stanisha & Shkoon.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 8
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 6

Median = 7.6

Boris Castro – Rakin [VRUNO Remix]

Released as a part of a Boris Castro EP, this VRUNO remix caught my attention as it delivers the light at the end of a tunnel kind of music very well. If you’ve ever worked hard for anything, like feeling of being on a hike after 9 days and finally seeing the peak you have been waiting to summit, you will know this feeling of rightly anticipating success as it looms ever closer.

For fans of Hundred Waters, Steffen Kirchhoff & Frente Bolivarista label.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 8
Intricacy = 10
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 8.2

Sneo – Nomad [Adapted Records]

Oh wow, it is almost instantly recognizable that this artist has grown on a variety of metal music types, definitely including some power-metal. Sneo definitely deliver with this level of conceptualised release through Adapted Records. The melodic work is fantastic on this whole EP; definitely feeds you any Zelda, Narnia or Hobbit-friendly fantasies you may have as basslines walk over you with its big hairy feet. Overall, the EP sounds a bit too thin with production and drum mixing, and a little ‘Massive stock soundey’ with its sound synthesis, taking away from its re-listenability, however the progressive metal-inspired arrangements and folk-sounding melodies are something I fully endorse.

For fans of Audeka, Turisas & kshmr.

Eccentricity = 9
Lucidity = 6
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 8
Sentiment = 7

Median = 7.8

Ezgod – Talisman [Uprise Music]

On a more mainstream level of appeal, Ezgod shows the wider music community the anthemic side of ethnofusion future bass trap, using a wealth of tribal drums, orchestral feel and flutes to create some sort of hero movie trailer-esque tone. Overall, this track is a little too much on the EDM-side of things and I can’t help to think that the mix can be a lot better but the attention to detail and melodic work is rather nice, and a worthy discovery for anyone into this sound.

For fans of Kshmr, X&G & CloZee.

Eccentricity = 7
Lucidity = 6
Intricacy = 9
Cadence = 9
Sentiment = 7

Median = 7.6


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