Welcome to DC's first "New Sounds" post - a fresh model we're trying out in 2022.
If you're new to the site, I (Nathan) voraciously consume new music, but have little time to actually compose longer-form previews/reviews. I used to, but job and life stuff has piled up recently, making it difficult for me to carve out time to write. So I came up with this plan last month, which should be both personally sustainable and also serve as a helpful resource for any DC followers out there.
To give you a bit of context: across the work week I sift through scores of promo emails, bookmark IG posts, skim a bunch of media sites, dog-ear printed publications, and note music suggestions from trusted industry folks, many of whom are now good friends. I take what I like and plug it into a bloated Doc - a running list reminding me of the releases I am excited to listen to fully once they're officially out. By the year's end, this list will include hundreds and hundreds of albums and EPs. Maybe it's the research nerd in me, but this process brings be a ton of joy. I love receiving and processing music as much as I love to share it.
Then, every Thursday night and Friday morning I spend a few hours compiling a personal playlist for the weekend. On light release weeks, these playlists only run 3-4 hours, but on heavy fall and spring weekends, they often go 20-plus. For these "New Sounds" posts, I don't plan to share everything I listen to across a single week or weekend. That would be too much. Instead, I'll highlight a handful of releases that I am excited to hear and maybe write a sentence or two about each, time permitting. These are not "recommendation" posts per se, because I will not have heard each featured piece at the point of publication, but rather a peek into some of what I'll be appreciating in the near future. If you choose to listen to these "New Sounds" releases, I suppose it'll be a sort of book-club-style shared listening experience.
And as an added bonus (mostly to drive readers to the website instead of just following on IG), I'll include a some bonus music at the bottom of each post. Maybe it'll be an older album or two, a single or video, or perhaps a couple more new releases not shown on IG. Who knows. Definitely still figuring it out. Oh, and DC will publish these "New Sounds" posts every Friday or Saturday, depending on a few factors like how much music I'm processing in a given week, and how much energy I have after a week spent teaching middle school.
Thanks for hanging tight! Here are DC's first "New Sounds" highlights, listed in alphabetical order, Bandcamp hyperlinks included:
Burial - Antidawn EP (Hyperdub) - This was likely already on your radar, especially if you are around my age and appreciate dark electronic music. Burial's been with us for many years now, and though my interest has waned a bit, when the enigmatic producer drops new music I can't help but listen in. Antidawn features Burial's signature hauntologic aesthetic, minus the beats. Curious for sure, but absolutely worth hearing.
Joyul - Earwitness (Psychic Liberation) - Did this album come out two months ago, or was it this week? I can't quite figure it out. In any case, I heard it for the first time on Wednesday and loved it. It's hard-to-describe music for sure. Ambient? Electronic? Pop? A bit of all three and more, really, with some beautiful/harsh blends across the album's eight tracks.
Julia Gjertsen & Nico Rosenberg - Paisajes Imaginarios (Constellation Tatsu) - I've long been a fan of Constellation Tatsu, and was excited when the Oakland-based label's winter bundle dropped earlier this week. All three releases are solid, but this album featuring soft piano melodies + electronics (and maybe some flute?) was my favorite of the bunch.
Seamus O'Muineachain - Different Time Zones - I actually listened to the three above releases before Friday, but I've only read about and heard a single advance track from this piece and the one below. I know that Different Time Zones is a piano-based album meant to be heard before bed, so I'm pretty excited to dig in this evening.
Sontag Shogun - Flutter & Scrape (Flag Day Recordings) - If you're looking for something more experimental, check out these two extended pieces by Sontag Shogun. Using prepared piano, electronics, oscillators, tapes, and various objects, the trio explores their physical space with sound. I've only heard the Bandcamp excerpt at the time of this writeup, but look forward to a start-to-end listen this weekend.
Bonus music: It was a fairly light release week, so if you're looking for a couple of extra albums, I'd like to point you in the direction of the band just featured above. Head to Sontag Shogun's Bandcamp page to listen to 2017's Patterns For Resonant Space, which was my point of entry to their catalogue. Then be sure to hit 2019's Floreal EP, one of my favorite tapes on Beacon Sound.
Enjoy your weekend, and be sure to come back next week for more.