The playlist: electronic – Deadboy, Prurient, Walls and Tony Allen

Today we have uplifting instrumental grime, Ricardo Villalobos’s remix of Tony Allen’s African Man, acid-house agitation, and Prurient’s guttural noise

Deadboy – Copwar

Here’s an exclusive first play of a track from Deadboy’s new EP, coming out on Local Action. The producer was one of the first to do the pitched-down-R&B-vocals-on-garage-y-house-tracks thing, but he’s thankfully left it to others to dilute the formula. Instead he’s still innovating, with the White Magick EP to be filed alongside the likes of Murlo and Visionist: it’s instrumental grime, but done with sounds seemingly grabbed from an uplifting 80s infomercial on how to quit smoking. Copwar is the most bewildering and hyped-up track, with its fiendishly pretty melody spinning you around.

Tony Allen – African Man (Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer remix)

To get a techno producer to remix Tony Allen seems, on the face of it, to be wrongheaded. Why pare down the Afrobeat master’s polyrhythms to mere 4/4? But in reality, his signature shuffle pairs perfectly with a steady pulse, and indeed even strengthens it. It’s a trick Allen pulled when playing with the Moritz Von Oswald Trio recently, where he watered their arid dub with fizzing seltzer; now trio member Max Loderbauer teams with old sparring partner Ricardo Villalobos for this remix. Villalobos’s sound – diligent beats with a hint of dubby decay – never gets old, and this is one of his less invasive treatments. It may not reach the heights of his recent masterpiece, the 16-minute remix of Insanlar’s Kime Ne, but it’s a worthy edition to the canon.

Walls – Moon Eye

Walls’ first two albums featured Scandi-Balearic disco, bleary psychedelia, and pulsing ambient techno in the vein of the Field. There was also the excellent re-editing experiment Sound Houses, which recomposed the work of electronic pioneer and goat-keeper Daphne Oram. They’re gearing up to release their new record in May, entitled Urals, and it’s to be their last – so consider Moon Eye the detonation charge to ensure they leave with a bang. A sinuous arpeggio writhes into acid-house agitation, reaching the kind of noisy climax you’d expect at the end of a Chemical Brothers set. It’s like dropping the mic and walking off stage, instead of lamely bowing and accepting the flower garlands.

Alva Noto – Xerrox Isola

Alva Noto, aka Carsten Nicolai, makes music ideal for staring at a koi pond and thinking about how insignificant yet beautiful every life on earth is – ie it teeters on the edge of insufferable. In the wrong mood, it’s coffee-table music for middling architects. But at the right moment – probably at dawn – Noto helps you connect with a soppily transcendent part of your id. On this track from new album Xerrox Vol 3, weakly gusting strings brush through soft tones with a cloud of static gradually forming and ebbing away.

Prurient – Dragonflies to Sew You Up

Despite being full of guttural noise, this latest howl from Dominick Fernow is actually just as stately as the Alva Noto track above. Fernow is the man behind a vast body of work under various names (including the wonderfully pervy moniker Window Cleaning By Ian). With Vatican Shadow the focus is military, while under the Exploring Jezebel guise – whose new album is just out too – it’s pornography and sexuality, including song titles such as, and I quote:

Tennis has always been my life since I was a small boy in Mexico City. my father was the head gardener at an estate owned by a very important man and he used to take me with him so I could hit the balls on the court.

End quote. Prurient, meanwhile, is where all these nightmares cohere at a single dystopian point; previously, this has meant noise and breakneck cyberpunk disco, but here it’s blast-beat paired with twinkles and haughty synths.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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