Picks of the Week: 01/27/17

I’m playing catch-up here after putting all my time on that best-of list. Expect some 2016 releases to slip in so that you may also discover things that went unnoticed. Today’s picks will be a range between the netherworld of chillwave, beautifully composed beat instrumentals, and the best house/techno compilation this year has to offer!

TECHnically HUMAN by ONTHE88 (2016), courtesy of  Synthemesc Recordings.

ONTHE88 is back with another full-length that went under my radar last year (despite having anticipated it). An electronic-focused artist from Los Angeles, I discovered him through the free lo-fi release of Dingy Dreams in 2012. Listening through TECHnically HUMAN caught me with a surprise, because this is a big progression on a pop composition level compared to his earlier work. Take a peek at the groovy percussion and synths on “Deep-seated Fantasies” or the hazy, 80’s synth-jam of “Virtually Desirable” that provide a discernible improvement from lo-fi bedroom pop. If you’re still looking for some amazing and wavey material like Luxar or Walkie Talkie, give this new ONTHE88 a try.

“Deep-seated Fantasies” by ONTHE88, courtesy of Synthemesc Recordings.

5-29-16 mycosocial by river water analysis group (2017), courtesy of Question Records.

This is the side-project of West Virginian artist, Sylvan Idyllics, who has worked with Question Records in the past under the _MAIDEN alias. Soothing and therapeutic in nature, 5-29-16 mycosocial is a larger, attentive release from past works. You’ll get soft club cuts like “images of dogs formed in the trees,” short plunderphonic ballads like “lazy raindrop,” and intimate bedroom pop from “for just one moment, i could remember that feeling.” Sure, it may sounds like different sounds being described, by Sylvan Idyllics has a knack to make it a cohesive and singular experience you won’t find anywhere else.

“images of dogs formed in the trees” by river water analysis group, courtesy of Question Records.

Club Chai Vol. 1 by Club Chai (2017), courtesy of Club Chai.

Opening the promising gates of Club Chai is the much anticipated Club Chai Vol. 1 compilation, a series of local artists and DJ’s bringing non-western sounds to a western club environment. Co-run by 8ULENTINA and foozool, Club Chai manage to create a sharp and beautiful collection of introspective beats, clever remixes and sampling, and some of the most charming and banging club cuts your ears will hear all year. Whether it’s the menacing Latin inspirations of Turbo Sonidero’s “Portentous,” or the sleek Eastern trap of KALA’s “ART,” or even Kimchi Princi’s ravenous performance on V Kim’s “Pussy Not Polite,” Club Chai have got you covered in every department to give you the healing and confident ensemble you need.

“Pussy Not Polite (feat. Kimchi Princi)” by V Kim & Kimchi Princi, courtesy of Club Chai.

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