happy Bandcamp Friday!... I hope you've been finding the recommendations as exciting as I have - today's come from Neil at Electronic Sound - I cannot recommend the magazine enough, and you should definitely subscribe if you have any cash left after supporting all the bands and labels he has recommended (there's a 50 track playlist FULL of stuff you'll probably want to get on Bandcamp!)
Name: Neil Mason, Commissioning Editor, Electronic Sound
and here’s a bonus playlist!
Electronic Sound Track Of The Day: A tune a day, for the first 50 days of lockdown, curated by Electronic Sound magazine. Support featured artists via Bandcamp, support independent publishing at electronicsound.co.uk
Black Devil Disco Club
Bernard Fevre, a French library music composer, released an album in 1978 called ‘Black Devil Disco Club’ which is an absolute corker. Could have been made this year. What he has made this year is an album called ‘Lucifer Is A Flower’, which is ridiculously good fun. Since his rediscovery by Aphex Twin’s Rephlex label, who reissued said ‘Black Devil Disco Club’ in 2004 after finding it at a car boot sale, Bernard has released a bunch of new stuff on Lo Recordings. It’s all good if mutant disco is your thing. He says this is going to be his last BDDC album. Let’s hope not. There’s also really great Creep Show/John Grant remix of ‘Synth Is Not Love’, which is well worth seeking out.
Ben “Benge” Edwards is the glue that holds so much independent electronic music together these days. He has a wild collection of vintage analogue synths in his studio, a Bond villain house on the edge of Dartmoor, and everyone from John Grant to Blancmange swears by his production skills, for good reason. This track is from the follow-up to his ‘20 Systems’ album where he made 20 tracks using a different vintage synth for each track. Here he tackles the rich history of modular systems in the same way. ‘1979 - Roland 100M’ features, wait for it, the Roland System 100M, as used by The Human League, Vince Clark, Orbital and The BBC Radiophonic Workshop among others. Synth geeks should look up Hans Zimmer’s 100m. It’s a total beast.
The Home Current
I’ve lost count of the number of albums Luxembourg-based producer/DJ Martin Jensen has released recently. Prolific doesn’t even begin to cut it. Martin does a delicious line in future-retro 90s floorfillers. There’s a bunch of artists making work like this, call it post-rave if you need a label, Lo-Five, Andrew Bunting spring to mind. This is a bit of a double whammy entry as ‘On The Subject Of Appropriate Band Names’ is taken from the brilliant Castles In Space compilation, ‘The Isolation Tapes’, which is a who’s who of the current independent electronic music scene, a C86 of synthy love if you like. The physical version sold out in a blink, but the digital version is very much worth snapping up.
Kelly Lee Owens
Delayed from May, and now due out at the end of August, Kelly Lee Owens’ second album, ‘Inner Song’, on the excellent Smalltown Supersound label, is a real step up in class from her 2017 self-titled debut. Good as her debut was, I’ve had this one on heavy rotation and it’s a real showstopper. Favourite track at the moment is ‘On’, where her gentle vocal gives way to a delicious techno wigout, a la Jon Hopkins (who she’s also worked with). It’s one of the best tracks I’ve heard all year. Oh, and the album opens with a cover of Radiohead’s ‘Arpeggi’. Totally nails how a Radiohead cover should be.
Hattie Cooke is really interesting. Discovered her last year when she released her ‘Sleepers’ album on the cassette label Spun Out Of Control. Dig around and you discover she’s a Brighton-based singer/songwriter who stumbled quite by accident on the tape soundtrack scene. ‘Sleepers’ is a real stunner, Electronic Sound called it a “an enjoyably dark and woozy musical journey”, which it is. There’s a new track, ‘I Get By’ (on the Castles In Space compilation, see The Home Current entry, above), where she mixes the synths with her singer/songwriter side and very much comes up smelling of roses. Really hope her work continues down this route as she seems to be building quite a head of steam in our world.