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Under the Radar - September

Peering into tomorrow’s Bandcamp Friday, we take a look at some of the standout releases from the month gone by that you may have missed out on.

Thank God We Have Metavers by Malaise Vagal

The Parisian artist releases a ‘Name Your Price’ EP of experimentation sounds and unkind world building. RATP is a track with distinct sections starting off at a reserved dub pace with trap hi hats, before heading into a Reggaeton beat with more upbeat bass stabs. Malaise Vagal provides vocals on ‘Abolir Les Frontières’ which begins with wide pads and headroom for acid sounds before narrowing into a pacey techno finish. ‘Thank God We Have Metavers’ closes out the EP off with a push in tempo, priming itself as a percussive club weapon. An interesting project that’s well worth a listen.

Nasty Tales Vol​.​3 [NE010] by Nasty Enterprises

Twenty big attitude tracks to play at the clurrbb, this is a compilation with no weaknesses, with a plethora of remixes & edits coming from all over the globe including Dublin hell-raiser Roo Honeychild. There are no set genres with the producers being relied on to bring the heat in their desired format. ‘huehueBR’ by 808bhz opens up the playing field with a baile banger, while LuBeat’s ‘Free Biz’ and Aleroj’s ‘Floral Shoppe Uwuaracha’ supply optimistic bangs in the 160 range.

Standout Track: 808bhz - huehueBR

Timeless Class​​​-​​​X Vol​​​.​​​2 by KETA CAVIAR (Resonance Moscow)

A trio of vicious wild-running dunts from KETA CAVIAR on Timeless Class-X Vol.2, these tracks wouldn't be out of place in a Locked Club release of yesteryears. The EP initiates with luscious thumpy kicks and textured percussion in ‘Dollar, Pound, Peso, Yen, Rupee’ before being hit with a melee of sirens and white noise. There’s an interesting use of flanger on the percussion which changes its dynamics over time, adding an extra layer of panic to the track. The same goes for ‘Cemetery of ideas’ which aggravates with a gross metallic kick and an arpeggiator that works its way into your brain. ‘Dummy sex’ cements this theme with its tight over-configured loops and roaring kicks.

Standout Track: Dollar, Pound, Peso, Yen, Rupee

Nechung by Siu Mata & Amor Satyr (WAJANG)

Dark tribal action as WAJANG returns with the deadly, sickening duo of Siu Mata & previous Plant Bass’d guest Amor Satyr. Three tracks of subby sounds rolling at the magic bpm of 140. ‘Oracle’ may be the strongest track on the EP making use of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming/ droning noise. Nordic folklore, ‘The Hum’, comes to mind when hearing this. They're getting silly with this release.

Standout Track: Oracle

Jabbaphlex EP by Fiesta Soundsystem

Another ‘Name Your Price’ EP and this one is chaotic. The first track, “Jabbaphlex”, opens up with a demented voice saying “Beware the jub jub bird, The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!”, a line from the dark and creepy poem Jabberwocky. A sort of forewarning of the impending dark and monstrous sounds come. ‘Trifling Triffid’ is brazen in its breaks and subby 808s, whilst ‘Fata Morgana’ delves more into auditory illusion with thunder noises that rise from technical automations, before the glitchbreak finale of ‘Frumweorc Vortex’ induces with its series of unpredictable deconstructing sounds.

Standout Track: Trifling Triffid

Cop All The Drops by DJ Botermelk & Kover (Ovelha Trax)

Electro badness from DJ Botermelk & Kover in this 7 track EP. Taking influence from the Rave Generator plugin, the duo have produced some busy cosmic bangers with ghetto & acid elements throughout.

Standout Track: DJ Botermelk - Treat Me

Bridge Street by HU-SANE (self-released)

Few debut releases come as solid as this Bhangra inspired garage whacker from Glasgow’s HU-SANE. Aggravated bass lines, thick kicks and delightfully fluid bhangra percussion turn this one into a true basement delight.

It’s Pulling My Strings by Async Figure (Sea Cucumber)

After teasing us all back in April with a mini-mix of unknown quantities on ‘Back To The Pit’, Async Figure unleashed their most telling work to date with ‘It’s Pulling My Strings’ in September on Shanghai’s Sea Cucumber. You’ll go some way to find an electronic release as epic as this in 2023. Striking bass music filled with anthemic synth proportions, hypnotic vocal samples, and the duo’s growingly signature percussive nuances.

Saor EP by Lúnasa (self-released)

Devilish drums from Dublin's Lúnasa who debuts with the two track whack of ‘Saor’. Sprinkling together elements of speed dembow, hard drum and bass, Lúnasa creates two primal club tracks soaked with mutating energies from sensual vocals, forward-thinking melodies and even repurposed sound bites from a jaw harp. What a way to announce yourself into the production world!

All profits from the release are donated to the Trans Harm Reduction charity to boot. Get this checked oot.

Menace by NKC (ETS)

Even the Strong founder NKC delivers yet again this calendar year with the riveting ‘Menace’ EP. As always, the Bristolian’s primitive drum energy shines through, this time manoeuvring through a blend of ama, ballroom, gqom and UK funky elements across 4 tracks.

Perfect Health VA by Magdalena's Apathy

Greek label Magdalena’s Apathy have treasured us with some of the more advanced dark hard dance releases in recent years, and so, their VA releases always heighten our attention. ‘Perfect Health’ marks the third VA to come from the imprint and features 13 tentative hi-speed dance trax embracing hard trance, techno, and psy from DJ Ibon, Huong Federkeil, Disto, and more.

Tuning Boa by Dites Safran (Dill Dodos Recife)

An otherworldly exploration through bass palettes from French producer Dites Safran on Dill Dodos Recife. ‘Tuning Boa’ takes inspiration from the relentless upheaval of city rush hours, transmitting through urban soundscapes and describing those energies in sound. It’s not a million miles away from the club sphere either with pummelling bass lines, glitching melodies and sonic synth works a plenty.

Gravity Always Wins [LY01] by TX4 (LAYE AUDIO)

Minimal UK Techno and wicked leftfield sounds coming out of Freiburg from TX4 on Laye Audio. Four wobbly tracks that rummage through liquid bass functions, sonic hand drums, and groaning synth progressions, modded elegantly towards darker club situations.

Standout Track: Upward M's

hatsune polkka by vyper (self-released)

Inexplicable speed from Brooklyn rave star vyper. A minimalist maximalist hard style drum chaser from the future zone, this one goes crazy with its acidic squeals and hyper bard melodies. Fast-paced fun for all!

When Elegance Becomes Violence by Machine Woman (Delsin)

Machine Woman transcends through unravelling glitched out techno across 5 transmissions on Delsin. Each track finds itself in a constant state of mutation yet never veering too far away from their premise, maintaining configured grooves throughout.

Darkside Disco VA by Optimo Music

Glasgow kingpins Optimo compile a sought after selection of ‘darker disco’ tracks from various artists released on their label over the years. Proggy, synth laden numbers from Phil Kieran, Vanessa Worm, Ana Helder & more, with all 12 tracks perfectly fitting the murky dark disco mantra.

BALKANIZER by PRAKTIKAL (Caballito Netlabel)

Another fiery club release from Granda imprint Caballito Netlabel, who this time bring Serbian producer Praktikal into the heat zone. High-octane trax with elements of dembow, reggaeton and cumbia, that shift between alluring thematic backgrounds combining dreamy pulses and grittier hard grooves.

Worthy Mentions

Dakar79 EP by UnoTurbo - https://samsarabeats.bandcamp.com/album/dakar79-ep

ACENV002 by Endless Mow & Simkin - https://allcentre.bandcamp.com/album/acenv002

Cuspide Des Sirènes (album) by Simo Cell - https://simocell.bandcamp.com/album/cuspide-des-sir-nes-album

AAR025 - Cuften / 14anger - Acid Avengers 025 by Cuften / 14anger - https://tripalium.bandcamp.com/album/aar025-cuften-14anger-acid-avengers-025