damon eliza palermo returns to lovers rock with cathedral, an ep of inky, shadowy atmospheres. opening with the stunning title track, palermo summons a hi-def miasma of gongs and synths, searching and incantatory. congquin rumbles through a tar pit of groaning static and radio interference, while karangahape road floats through 5+ minutes of undulating sighs. finally cathedral gets reworked for the dance floor with an extended, exuberant techno meltdown.
late last year, the world was introduced to dj wey via “nosebleed,” a singularly jacking piece of house destruction on the lovers rock no. 6 compilation. now the enigmatic producer returns to the lr fold with his debut ep “introduccion”.
tokyo’s yoshinori hayashi makes his debut on lovers rock with “asylum,” an ep of deliciously bent avant-house and free jazz-esque voyages. hayashi has been making a name for himself as a formidable studio talent, and on “asylum” he offers some of his finest work to date. “agent dissolving device” welds louche narration, kaleidoscopic atmospheres and an energized girl-group hook to an earworm groove. an invaluable tool for adventurous djs, “so wrong it’s right” doesn’t begin to describe it. meanwhile, the b-side is given over to hayashi’s more sombre, quasi-chamber music leanings. “burrow” and “the old man” both use wheezing, wandering piano figures to articulate a mournful, bleary-eyed beauty that seems to flicker in the shadows of the a-side’s extroversion.
ital & halal return to lovers rock with * tower b*, an ep of enigmatic techno explorations. * shenzhen river* opens: an ominous, questing acid line stretches its tendrils around nocturnal atmospheres. * from the brink* counters with glints of warm melody. on side b, the title track unfurls with slithering percussion and a menacing drone. ambient closer * where exactly i am* picks up the pieces, lost voices traveling across the stereo field, searching for answers through an endless pale haze.
lovers rock recordings celebrates its tenth release with another lush compilation featuring tracks by three core members of the lr family and newcomer gunnar haslam. opener “vacation” by ital sees the label boss crafting a supple dj weapon out of a lysergic sonic ecosystem. the rapidly-maturing dj wey returns to the fold under his dj python alias with “amazonia,” an ambient bomb that allows a deceptively simple hook to lilt across a thumping reggaeton rhythm. gunnar haslam makes his lr debut with “vector no campo,” blending modular acid and perfectly crunched electro drums. finally sleeper cell close out with the shimmering, haunting “v.” the first lr release of 2016, lr no.10 exemplifies the label’s ethos and sound while pointing to the future, with eps by ital & halal, yoshinori hayashi and others slated for later in the year.
following last years meditative mirage ep and the stunning * beat 13* on lovers rock no. 6, earthen sea returns to lr with his debut lp ink. his heaviest and most ambitious work to date, ink is a work of hypnotic, monastic beauty. over the last ten years, earthen sea, aka jacob long, has been developing a sound world all his own, built on a foundation of vaporous grey-black drones and pulsing kick drums. an impressionistic dream-scape of american life, ink journeys between the eerily vacant “entrance” to the feverish “stateless” and the shimmering perfection of “all men know the truth.” swaths of violent, glacial noise collide with lost voices transmitted through the ether, framed between moments of transcendent clarity. following an extended three song suite, closing track * blues in black ink* rides a gently falling piano melody into a finale that is as infused with political rage as it is with private melancholy. with ink, earthen sea arrives fully formed, an artist in utter command of his craft.
sleeper cell is the new collaboration between earthen sea and lovers rock label head ital. recorded over three days and nights in a dark ny winter, * quality of life* reflects a declining america in a winter of its own. corroded dub atmospheres, haunting melodies, subdued flashes of tenderness and occasional searing noise swim together like murky oil in a puddle of grimy water on the side of the road. opening with the entrancing * initiate* , * sleeper cell* welcome the listener into their world, where menacing whispers dance and echo around synth swells and a poignant lead melody. from there, the duo journey through a crumbling and eerily spacious sound world.
ital & halal is the psychedelic new collaboration between shadowy producer aurora halal and planet mus iconoclastic ital. recorded over six months, each track is a spiraling world unto itself, coursing between strobing club anthems and ephemeral headtrips.