Connecting the best in URL and IRL club music, this month with the Night Slugs and AP Life mastermind
Welcome back to Siteclubbing, our monthly round-up of the most exciting new music from the electronic underground. This month our guest selections are from noted producer and DJ Bok Bok, who rose to prominence as co-founder of the seminal Night Slugs label, helping usher in a new era of experimental club music in London by drawing equal influence from the city’s homegrown dance subcultures and looking outward to thriving international scenes. More recently he has launched the AP Life imprint, continuing to champion young talent as well as recently releasing his own project under the One Bok moniker.
Diessa continues her flawless run of releases with this latest for London tastemaker label All Centre. The title track is the highlight, with its propulsive, lurching rhythm and richly developed sound design, equally suited to headphone listening and dancefloor destruction.
Brilliant vocal cut from yet another accelerating release from Nyege Nyege Tapes. A relentlessly-paced beat with assertive vocal juggling atop, it feels as if the whole track is going to run away from itself – a real edge-of-your-seat affair. Vocalist Rey Sapienz, co-founder of the Hakuna Kulala label, is a compelling and visceral focal point.
YOUTH are arguably the most exciting label in UK experimental music at the moment, and the latest release from FUMU goes a long way to explaining why. Highlight ‘4 Mika’ features a churning beat that falls somewhere between bruising and foreboding, laying the groundwork for a gloom-ridden synth. In many ways simplistic, but ultimately harrowing in its claustrophobia, the track cuts short and we are thrown headlong into another, a rough-and-ready approach that further adds to the appeal of the project.
Slinky, weaving jungle from Ciel and Dan Only that excels in its lighthearted neglect of genre conventions, utilising a tasteful see-what-sticks approach that ramps up its infectious breakbeat with increasingly off-beat percussive hits. Though by no means wildly radical, there’s certainly an eccentricity to the production that is often missing from modern jungle. The release is apparently the result of impromptu jam sessions, and that sense of playfulness comes across in the best possible light.
This moody, dub excursion from Weird Weather pulls together hypnotic drones, looming subs, chugging rhythms and scorched earth industrial flourishes to an evolving and rewarding whole. A track destined to find its rightful home playing on soundsystems at ear-piercing volume. The full release is yet another warning sign that Weird Weather are one to watch.
A glistening and wide-eyed breaks excursion from XMTR, part of a new label venture alongside fellow producer Fiesta Soundsystem. The release finds both working with a decidedly more pensive palette, one foot still surely in the club, but busy daydreaming of more ethereal climes.
A hypercharged remix from Atrice that remains contagiously groovy as it lurches forward with harsh assertiveness. Big kicks, hard snares, rattling percussive fills and elements that hint at the harder ends of drum and bass or dubstep without ever succumbing to either’s generic pitfalls. The MSJY remix is also great, a bit more nimble in its execution, but equally satisfying.
TSVI and Seven Orbits convene for this wonderful collaborative effort on SVBCVLT. Opener ‘Unisono’ is a great introduction, mangled mecha sound design colliding with fleetingly heavenly ambience, it finally culminates in a gorgeous choir motif towards the end that is genuinely breathtaking. The whole project is a balancing act of these elements, and is some of the most exciting and layered work from TSVI to date. His recent Dekmantel mix is certainly worth checking out too.
Rising Bristol-based label Pressure Dome present their first international compilation, a showcase that effectively highlights the ever-developing synergy across the globe club communities. One of the the highlights is ‘Overtime’ from Dublin’s Sputnik One, finding the right balance between spacial patience and bouncy momentum, with stunted vocal cuts adding a slight sense of jeopardy to the proceedings.
Bok Bok’s selections
Bok Bok: This speaks to me loud and clear. A brilliant update on the work of producer Waifer from iconic grime crew Slew Dem, Justin takes the familiar Korg Triton sound palette: grinding square bass, ‘that’ machine gun fill, the bombs and SFX, all key signifiers of Slew Dem beats 04-05, and updates it for 2021 with 808 hats, filter sweeps, trappy snare syncopation and modern day stutters and edits. Aptly vocalled by Pit from Slew Dem! Absolute fire.
BB: Some OGs at work! Manny and Phil from Teklife create a breaky beat – another reminder about the parallels between footwork and jungle – that switches to stripped-down sections driven by a siren-like sine wave lead that is very unmistakably Chicago, echoing the tradition of Lil Louis’ ‘Nice & Slow’. With Manny finally getting his shine with his forthcoming LP, I know Rashad must be proud of these guys right now.
BB: Definitely one of my favourite recent drill releases. The cold and creepy cello beat is perfection to me while the lyrics are sharp with a memorable hook and verses. While it’s undoubtedly hyper-violent, the flawless execution really transports me to these guys’ world and I can definitely get behind the message of the hook from an abolitionist standpoint.
Mix of the month
Jlin once again reminds us why she is one of the most exciting and audacious producers working in modern electronic music with this recent live set from The Met in New York. Colliding polyrhythms, truncated samples and aesthetic left-turns make up a set that is in a constant state of building and demolition. I hope this set is a sign of a new studio project on the horizon.
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