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.
Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Song Remixes
Remix series of the wonderful Inner Songs album by Kelly Lee Owens, that in 2020 delighted us with a gem that personally represented a very important path for her. What we have here is a series of reinterpretations of some of the best tracks present in the album: hard breaks in the Breaka’s remix of Re-wild, a Loraine James’s glitch reading of Wake-Up, the Elkka’s house remix of On, until the Coby Sey’s rhythmic rewriting of the amazing Corner of my Sky.
Very effective remixes in every case, in which the beautiful voice of the Welsh producer is always present, just as it does not miss the personal and original footprint of each producer of the various tracks, all that gives a nice added value to the pieces.
Dean Blunt – Black Metal 2 (Rough Trade Records)
Dean Blunt is one of those artists that with his production manages to incorporate some recurring dynamics within contemporary culture. He’s a master of a de-constructed-media fragments musical portrait, and with this sequel to the first Black Metal of 2014, we have here another work that confirms the discourse undertaken by the enigmatic British producer. The result of this operation is another neo-psychedelic/folk trip enclosed in short tracks, for a total duration of 23 minutes.
These few lines do not allow us to address some of the issues raised by this album as they deserve, but we just say that probably it is not his best work and is not up to the first Black Metal. But after all, does it make sense to make these comparisons for artists like Dean Blunt? The answer is probably no, so we just have to get lost inside this cigarette smoke whose filter is dipped into a strictly lo-fi sauce, aware of the value of its productions within the frame of black music today.
Populous – Stasi (La Tempesta)
Andrea Mangia aka Populous is the Apulian producer behind the cozy sound of this early summer gem. Known abroad, less at home, Populous is a skilled weaver of Balearic/tribal rhythms, which in this album are mixed with excellent ambient away from technical exercises. Evocative titles accompany us in a very pleasant listening, in which the presence and absence of rhythms are alternated with taste and genius. Soothing music evokes a dreamlike landscape, as suggested by the artwork on the cover. Ideal for the summer’s chillin’ moments.
Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
Tyler, The Creator is back pissed off more than ever. If with the 2019 album he introduced us to a new version of him, with a more pop and R&B sound, in this long-awaited album he seems to go back on his steps sending us straight to the sounds of the Odd Future times.
The record, 16 tracks for about an hour of sounds is composed of fragments, skits, and spoken as usual, but this time the listening is not as soft as before. So, the intent here could not be clearer: Tyler is an ambassador of the mixtape aesthetics, usually associated with the ’00s, and that recently does not exactly enjoy the excellent form. Certainly this mode allows its creative flow to move in total freedom, demonstrating once again his talent in terms of both text and construction of an original narrative. Handle it with care.
Loraine James – Reflection (Hyperdub)
For You and I, Loraine James’s previous album, released in September 2019, had a great response from the public and critics. Although, the London producer could not fully enjoy the success of that, due to the emergency that has arisen in 2020. As we read from the press release “2020 was tough for Loraine”. The result from that year is the album Reflection, characterized by a thoughtful tone. By listening back For You and I is impossible to not notice the extraordinary ability of the London producer to evolve her sound, pushing her glitch-music in a cross-genre direction.
That style is influenced here by Drill, IDM, and ambient textures, building a narrative background characterized by an anxiety for the times we are living, which brings us into her most intimate sphere. This narrative is helped by many metatextual elements present in the various tracks, in which Loraine takes the microphone and talks directly to us. These make Reflection an album with immense communicative potential. Let’s make a bet: when at the end of 2021 the various charts will be written with the best albums of the past year, Reflection will be present in almost all.
Nathan Melja, Flørist – Wonderland EP (PARODIA)
Nathan Meljia is a name that had already been noted among the insiders, due to the 2019 EP Karibuni Music. The Parisian producer now launches his own label PARODIA with this EP signed in four hands with his colleague Flọrist. Four tracks that make us listen very clearly to the intentions behind the newborn label: spatial vibes between techno and electro, excellent club tools (Back and Forth), and tension-builders (Wonderland Nathan Melja Version). The icing on the cake is the track Fade 2 Pink, which interrupts the 4/4 beats heard until then to put on the plate deep techno breaks that we hope to hear coming out from a massive sound-system very soon.
Pan Daijing – Jade (PAN)
Pan Daijing is a familiar name around the label PAN. Since her last album in 2017 Lack, has come a long way: closer to the world of performative and sound art than the electronic scene, she brought her works inside institutions such as Tate Modern, driving an artistic practice tied around the choirs and the use of voice as a medium.
Far from being easy to listen to, the latest album by the Berlin-based Asian artist traces the same path of the previous album. Jade is a dreamlike exploration in the darkest meanders of a noise/drone soundscape. The furthest thing we can imagine from a song-form normally intended. A disturbing listening, similar to a labyrinth whose walls are pulled up by blows of industrial and spoken-word sounds.