One day this world seemed like a safe, quiet place, but it really wasn’t. Now, someone has tripped an alarm or something.
This is a fire escape.
Fire Escape is a selection of the latest monthly releases by Acre.
We tripped the alarm, now you can get out of here.
Burial – Chemz/Dolphinz (HyperDub)
After a long wait that lasted a few months, Burial has finally released (suddenly) the B-Side of the ‘’12 Chemz/ Dolphinz. Thus completing the other side of the first part of the album released in January, whose release date has been postponed several times in a continuous update of the album-Bandcamp page. Certainly if Chemz was a long-track in classic Burial style (pitched vocals, rhythmic 2-step, and a lot of breaks), Dolphinz is instead the ambient side of the release. Its title refers to the well-known animal, of which we can hear the gentle verses throughout the track, accompanied by an evocative soundscape.
Not Waving – How to Leave your Body (ECSTATIC)
Alessio Natalizia, aka Not Waving, returns with this album that brings out its most optimistic side. Not Casually, How to Leave your Body is an album that exudes hope for the future. Now on his tenth album, Natalizia proves as always a skilled weaver of the album format, creating a clear narrative that is explicit both in the music and in the titles of the tracks: “You are always younger than the future“, “My best is good enough“.
But, above all, the charge of passion and hope comes with the single that is also the main track of the record, flanked by a longtime collaborator: “Hold On” with Marie Davidson is an ode to friendship told by an omniscient narrator who has the voice of the Canadian producer. An album that takes the production of Not Waving to new paths, which we hope will be traveled again in the future.
Fatima Al Qadiri – Medieval Femme (Hyperdub)
Fatima Al-Qadiri returns to Hyperdub with an album quite different from the previous ones. If in the releases of recent years she had crossed the main electronic trends of the 2010s, here there is an output characterized by an almost total absence of beats. Musically, the Kuwaiti producer moved within the soundtrack genre, explicitly declaring to have taken inspiration from the soundtrack she made for the film Atlantics. We move within digital folklore-scenario, in which the contemporary representation of a remote past is the protagonist.
For this album, she has been inspired by classical Arabic female poetry, which turns Medieval Femme into a conceptually dense album (as is all the production of Al-Qadiri). So, the narrative and imagery maybe overtake the musical side, but the album still adds another piece in the work of one of the most interesting artists and producers of recent years.
Oneohtrix Point Never & ROSALIA – Nothing’s Special (Warp)
Daniel Lopatin returns to stimulate our ears with this excellent collaboration, re-work of the last track of his latest album Magic. Accompanying OPN this time is the voice of ROSALIA, the Catalan singer and actress who had already announced this collaboration in 2018. The result is simply a Spanish-language interpretation of the original track, whose music remains almost identical. However, the value added by ROSALìA’s voice is touching, and fits into the use of voice and autotune that we have already talked about which composes one of the distinctive features of contemporary electronic music.
Pure digital cream covered with a glossy patina, all accompanied by a very trippy visual which we strongly recommend the vision alongside the listening.
Giant Claw – Mirror Guide (Orange Milk)
Keith Rankin aka Gian Claw is one of the two diabolical minds behind the Orange Milk label, as well as the Graphic Designer of most of the covers in the catalog. Try to take a look at it, and maybe you’ll get an idea of the world you’re about to enter in. So, this latest album builds a direct connection with the 2017’s visionary work that was Soft Channel, which helped define the main features of HD electronics to which now we are used to.
As in Soft Channel, we find a digital/glitch interpretation of the cello, along with the firm intention to create a sound experience that is characterized by immersivity. Mirror Guide invites the listener to enter the world created by Rankin, whose creative background influences the musical intention (or vice versa?).
Skee Mask – Pool (Ilian Tape)
Bryan Müller aka Skee Mask, born in 1993 in Munich, is a versatile artist. In this album, as well as in his DJ sets and previous productions, he manages to move skillfully between a variety of shades of electronics. He alternates IDM, Dub Techno, Breakbeat, and Ambient, which are the main components of the bricks of this building built with such precision. 18 tracks for a total duration of about 100 minutes, even too much for an album like that, but surely show great attention to detail by the artist. He surely prefers to get straight to the point: the album was released as a surprise, without a big promotion. All in all an excellent work that touches equally the mind and body of the listener.
Nia Archives – Headz Gone West
Nia Archives, producer and singer-songwriter from Leeds pack this fantastic EP full of energy. In her bio she presents herself as an absolute promoter of a DIY spirit. Therefore this spirit feels everything inside this release, in which R’n’B and drum’n’bass create a really formidable mix of pop and underground. Her soft voice contrasts with the energetic beats, in which we can fully feel the influence of the jungle and drum’n’bass tradition made in the UK. Very recommended.
Croatian Amor & Scandinavian Star – Magnolia (ft. Alto Aria) (Posh Isolation)
The last surprise of this month of May comes from the dear Posh Isolation, precisely from the founder of the label Croatian Amor, who had already returned to our playlists with last month’s album. This time is not accompanied by the abrasive sound of Varg2tm, but by Scandinavian Star, another name definitely known to the fans of the label.
He represents one of the softest sides of the group of artists, here together with Alto Aria. A beautiful single that reminds us of some more emotional aspects of the founder (remind: Love Means Taking Action, also some albums by Lust for Youth), accompanied by a video that contains mostly of the aesthetics that characterize PI. (Post-Scriptum: the track is in free download/name-your-price-format on band camp).