Welcome to Notes from the Underground, THUMP's weekly premiere feature dedicated to shining a light on underground sonics from around the world. Every week, we'll start at the surface and dig deeper into the underground with each track and news story. In this week's super-mega-bumper worldwide edition, we've got techno from Crosstown Rebels, house from Diynamic, teenage Floridian tech-house, Norwegian beat music and weirdo house from Big Sur. You can check them all out at this one-stop shop. Have a dig around:
Baltic duo Kollektiv Turmstrasse are nearing the two-decade mark in the space between house and techno, Hamburg and Berlin. Their deft, studied touch is front-and-center on "Sorry I Am Late," the title track from their forthcoming EP, released May 18 on titanic underground house label Diynamic. The pulsing, static bassline mingles with those Diynamic-as-fuck synth lines and hip-hop MC samples chopped atop show effective restraint can be when the fundamentals are so well done.
Los Angeles beatsquad Team Supreme have become a household name in the underground, largely on the backs of their once-weekly-now-monthly beat cyphers, open submission mixtapes centered around samples and rules selected by curators. This time round, we picked the rules. You have until Friday to submit your beat and get heard by the world.
Venezuelan act Fur Coat's tunes are a sure thing. The duo make music that is always dark, restrained, moody and atmospherically enveloping. The now-Barcelona residents, are a longtime favorite of Damian Lazarus, whose Crosstown Rebels label has been their home base, albeit with some notable exceptions on Hot Creations and BPitch Control. "Banhof" is the lead track from their Berlin Chronicles EP, released May 18, and the duo say the vibe is influenced by their stint at BPM Festival in Mexico in January.
Damian Lazarus, The Martinez Brothers, and many more of the world's most respected names in left-of-center house and techno will mob THUMP's stage at Mysteryland USA next weekend. If techno shamans and a crowd full of the nation's most magical miscreants weren't enough to lure you, how about some free tickets?
Some tracks were built to rattle the glass in Berghain, the kind that makes you forget where your friends went or if they even exist at all. This new dish from 1/2 of the Analogue Cops and Restoration Records boss Marieu and Berlin newcomer Manella is that pneumatic techno at it's best. When not beating 909s, the duo apparently like to eat in the park (how quant). Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the first release from PicNic34 (although musically I don't get the vision of red checkered blankets in the sun).
There's a war going on in the sky and all of your favorite music is at stake. The drawn-out saga over dominance in music streaming continues to develop. Last week, London-based Mixcloud announced a feature that auto-imports mixes from SoundCloud into MIxcloud. DJs worldwide are taking note.
Newfound Norwegian label Balsa Wood snared prolific RBMA grad Boska for the upcoming Cascades EP, forthcoming on May 22, and the track "Face Value" presents a bricolage of aesthetics. A vaguely UK funky beat pairs with warbled mid-low synth scythes, while choral, harmonic pads add an ethereal atmosphere to the brooding and grooving number.
45-year old South African artist Nozinja is readying his debut album on Warp Records and the release will be a momentous win for the Shangaan sound, an aesthetic he developed while working at a cellphone repair shop in Soweto, a district of Johannesburg. Shangaan, described as "a dizzying, arrhythmia-inducing, and interestingly bass-less take on the music of the Shangaan people," is about to go worldwide.
With self-descriptions like "medicine hop" and "liquid sunrise," you might think that dusty San Franciscan producer Random Rab moonlights as a homeopathic doctor. The hippocratic oath can breathe easy, though, Rab's anti-anxiety prescriptions come in the form of laid-back electronica beats like the impossibly chill "Dilection." Rab, a burner favorite, sang in a metal band and played classical trumpet in past lives, so rinse this one thoroughly before he moves on to playing Gamelan disco or something equally esoteric in the near future.
Tokyo label Trekkie Trax dropped a fire compilation of homegrown Japanese talent working in the footwork space. In a pristine example of modern culture's fluidity, the label has partnered with Finnish imprint Top Billin on Trekkie Trax 2. Stream the whole thing here.
When characters from Adult Swim TV shows die, Rioux's dense and transportive tune "Phantasm" will be what they play in the shuttle to cartoon heaven. The multi-talented NYC-based musician, fresh from uncovering the mysteries of the universe through music with saxophonist and theoretical physicist Stephon Alexander, finds fertile ground in incorporating live elements and dense production with beat scene thematics on his just-released Evolver EP on Connect Records.
Music journalist Michelangos Matos took on the gargantuan task of telling the story of dance music, all of it, from its stateside origins in the 80s to the European rave explosion, electronica, EDM and beyond. His account has divided fans and critics alike, but let's be real: You can't please everyone, anf if we're talking techno, you can't please anyone. Check out our analysis.
From Jack Kerouac to the Beach Boys to Death Cab For Cutie, the idyllic and sparsely populated central Californian town of Big Sur has long served as a source of creative inspiration for artists on them move. Dirtybird and Perfect Driver-releasing Ghostea has made the place his home. Although we can't vouch for the clubbing scene there, the intrepid producer has benefitted from stepping out of the bustle of city-based dance scenes to hone his already classy house touch.
Ghostea is on Facebook // SoundCloud // Twitter
The techno-illuminati will be out in full force as Movement kicks off in Detroit on May 15 and THUMP is gonna have its very own stage. The lineup is one of the most stacked endeavors to ever grace a festival, and even though everyone who goes is probably too cool to admit it, there is a wealth of under-appreciated artists set to break out. Have a peep at our round-up. You can say you discovered them yourself, we don't mind.
Floridian newcomer Landis LaPace isn't even eighteen yet, and while most of his peers are still hammering trap remixes of OT Genasis, LaPace's subtle pairing of typically Floridian panhandle breaks with a rubbery tech-house bassline and wonkily descending synthlines proves he's well ahead of the game. The tune is released on fast-rising German house label This Ain't Bristol, who stake their claim on adding some levity to the often brooding Berlin house scene.
Hey lazybones, here's all the track featured in this week's edition in one convenient playlist. Share this around. Knowledge is power!