I remember buying this random disc in Palo Alto, California while at summer camp in high school. I had probably read a review about it in an issue of URB Magazine, which was one of my primary 90s go-to sources for discovering fresh underground music.
In the CD age, everything was a $14.99 crapshoot. You really never knew what type of sound you were going to hear, let alone if the music was worth the price tag. But I got lucky with Smith & MightyBass is Maternal, 15-tracks that introduced me to the sound of dub while also converging elements of techno, hip-hop, and jungle music. Their music planted the seeds for the Bristol trip-hop explosion from Massive Attack, Portishead, and Tricky.
I don’t think you’ll find the album on any of the streaming services (here’s the Amazon link for the CD) but if you’re going to start digging, start with the crispy breakbeats on the track ‘Evolve.’
With jungle nods to LTJ Bukem comes Mysterious of a Blunt, presumably an alias of Berlin-based techno producer Orson Wells.
Here’s how he describes his music making process in an interview with EdHid:
“It’s somehow a meditative process immersing yourself in a basic loop and trying to add selectively more elements based on your experiences you have collected. I didn’t have a mentor or did a programming study. Everything I do is the result of an autodidactic approach.”
Noga Erez is an electronic music producer from Tel Aviv. ‘Off the Radar’ is one of the lead singles from her debut album of the same name.
Noga’s electro-pop vibes will most certainly remind you of MIA’s adventurism. Says the artist, “have this idea of giving people moments of thought and inspiration, and at the same time offering escapism and fun.”
STUFF is a five piece instrumental band from Antwerp, Belgium. ‘Strata’ is the first track from the band’s second album old dreams new planets due out April 28th.
The song vacillates from broken jazz before weaving into a funky, electronic jungle. Says the quintet’s SoundCloud page, “it makes you doubt whether you’re at a rave or at a fusion jazz concert in some late 80’s basement.”
After teasing his new track ‘X22RME‘ two weeks ago, Actress is back with another dark, grinder of a single.
‘Dancing in the Smoke’ sounds as Actress sees music, as bits of data, and the hypnotic loop and accelerating orchestral keys allude to our electronic ‘future,’ a vocal that punctuates throughout the track.
Actress’s album seems to be pairing well with today’s gloomy times.
The album aptly titled AZD launches later this month. Snag both tracks on the Ninja Shop.
‘Wet Summer’ is his latest groove, set to appear on a mini-LP on the emoji-titled album :~^ (yes, that’s the name!) via Omena Records. Says Wildblood, “Hopefully there’s something for every occasion, the club, cooking dinner, walking the dog… that’s the hope anyway.”