Premiere: Texture X Hypnokid – MXXNLIGHT

Exclusive premiere of the new track by Texture and Hypnokid. Leafy!

Something a little bit special for our readers this week – a track premiere from science fiction-influenced wordsmith Texture (who, we should reveal, also helps out behind the scenes from time to time at Revel HQ).

テクスチャ · TEXTURE X HYPNOKID – MXXNLIGHT

Taken from the forthcoming EP Forest Gods, MXXNLIGHT is produced by Hypnokid, an up-and-coming Glasgow producer who already has a huge, diverse batch of EPs and albums available through his Bandcamp and on streaming sites. We featured Hypnokid a while back, and we’re excited to hear how his delicately-crafted, bass-laden trap sounds with Texture’s words. The full EP, dropping in August, also features a guest verse from multi-talented producer, rapper and breakdancer Ashtronomik on the track BURNT TRAIL.

“Being in the forest feels holy to me, as an atheist…”

“This EP was inspired by a couple of things,” says Texture. “First up, I had wanted to hear Ashtronomik on one of these Hypnokid beats – Hypno and I had planned a collab a while ago, and Ash was the first rapper I thought of when I heard his crazy beat for BURNT TRAIL. I was also a huge fan of Ashtronomik’s Abruptly – which was one of my tunes of 2020, for sure.”

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Photo:  Miff Morris

What connection does he have to the forest, as a writer who usually deals in science fiction imagery? “MXXNLIGHT, and especially FOREST GODS, are both inspired by the long walks I’ve been taking under lockdown, up into the hills and along the rivers where I live,” he says.

“Being in the forest feels holy to me, as an atheist, and I wanted to write about that. Finally, I wanted to give people another taste of the music I am making now, before I drop ILLVMINATE with Asthmatic Astronaut on This Is Not Pop later in 2020. That album is such a massive project, two years and lots of planning went into it, so it was refreshing to take a break and make FOREST GODS in just three weeks, start to finish.” It will be a free EP, intended as a thank you to his followers on Bandcamp. 

In anticipation of his big collaboration with AA, it seems like Texture swapped his cyberpunk strides for something a little more pagan and wild… Check out our exclusive preview of MXXNLIGHT, and have a look at these even more exclusive edits of the artwork by our very own Miff Morris.

FOREST GODS (GobophotographyMiff Morris edit)
FOREST GODS
BURNT TRAIL (GobophotographyMiff Morris edit)
BURNT TRAIL
MXXNLIGHT (GobophotographyMiff Morris edit)
MXXNLIGHT

Coming Up : Deckert –  1-1 EP (Connected)

The new EP by Deckert on Connected – a dramatic slice of house music

Bold and stirring vibrations emanate from the new release by rising German electronic producer Deckert. A raw, percussive debut solo EP with some seriously deep grooves, enigmatically named 1-1, is soon to be released on Revel’s best-loved premium dance label, Connected. 

Deckart has a unique take on contemporary house music, influenced by an extensive assortment of genre blends, and years of partying in the concrete heart of techno utopia, Berlin. A relative newcomer to the electronic world stage, he joined forces with producer/DJ, Aaaron back in 2017, and a dynamite collaborative tour-de-force was created. The delectable, booty-shaking single L.D.O.E was the result, a gorgeous, vocal-oriented sonic vibration that made a tremendous impact on dancefloors across the globe. 

Righteously manifesting a place for both artists to unite under the Connected label umbrella, the 1-1 Ep is an exceptional slice of Deckert’s concise production skills. He delivers a compact and resolute structure to both his 1-1 Original Mix and Sakura Dust tracks. Boldly stated, with propulsive, infectious beat patterns, the EP is a rich tapestry of delightful synth textures, which weave into elevated, climatic twists. This is house music with real drama.

Sakura Dust is another fresh offering that continues Deckert’s deep obsession with Japanese pop culture, heavily on a Koto string sample. The traditional Japanese string instrument provides a thread through the track, a harmonic arc which ties together this ambitious and emotional sonic storytelling.

The EP also offers two phenomenal remixes by Italian-Swiss composer Parsifal, a well-kent face who runs his own Kinesen label. Parsifal’s interpretation of 1-1 offers a rich dynamic in melody and breadth, a contrast with the more minimalist approach of the original. With these fuller, rich tones comes a new take on the narrative of the track. Finally, Everything Counts aka Teodora “Toshka” from Bulgaria, and Chris Leon take Sakura Dust on a melancholic ride by intensifying the Asian foundation of its core.  

1-1 Cover digital

Sixfingerz: Oceanbound in the eye of a Silent Storm

Belgian beatsmith Sixfingerz delivers an exclusive mix for Revel Rousers ahead of his new LP

Belgian producer Tim De Groof, aka Sixfingerz, continues to explore his creative vision and artistic sensibilities, evoking powerful emotional and physical responses  within the sonic landscapes he creates. 

Hit play below on the EXCLUSIVE one hour DJ mix Sixfingerz put together for Revel, which highlights his best early works. Sample-spliced and blended to technical perfection, his mastery of turntablism shines through, along with impressive musical intelligence.

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Sixfingerz’ knack for executing song structures with a timeless quality owes much to his own vast knowledge and love of traditional, roots and world instruments and musical styles, from past to present. His sound carries a lantern perpetually forward, illuminating bygone eras and musical forms through a modern, stylistic beat-making approach.

Now back with a new album, Silent Storm, Sixfingerz’ innate musical sensitivity is used to evoke the contours of distinct visual landscapes. His sonic explorations tend to naturally lean into cinematic realms, suggesting soul-stirring narratives, glimpsed in brief glances. 

His most recent album, Silent Storm is a perfect snapshot of the creative headspace in which he dwells, as well as the emotional landscapes he roams. He invites the listener into a soothing world of atmospheric textures and warm vintage sounds which  evoke a feeling of comfortability and familiarity, leaning on the gently rousing rhythmic nuances of hip-hop for tempo shifts amongst the blissful, chilled out sonics.   

Revel had the immense honour of catching up with Sixfingerz to chat about his new album. He describes the creative headspace he occupies, gives some insight into the creative process, and tells us where his new music takes him emotionally.

Specifically for this album, what direction has your music taken? How has your sound changed over time?

This album is really chill, the next album will probably be more uptempo, but in what or which form is still a mystery, even to me.

For this album specifically, I wanted to go back to the essence of music on this album. Less chaos, more order. On this record I tried to make the core melodies of these songs interesting enough to carry the song and try to hypnotize the listener musically in that way. 

“I can see birds flocking and flying away. It’s crazy what that song does to me.”

Currently I’m thinking it ten times more over then before, just to make it simpler, as I have a tendency to complicate things first and then uncomplicate them… But it’s not really my choice.

As a model for inspiration I used Yann Tiersen’s album Amélie Poulian and I listened a lot to Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Brad Friedel, and Clint Mansell.

What else fuelled your creative vision for the album? 

These last couple of years have been very difficult for me, and this album is basically a way for me to cope with the whole thing. I hope people will get the same respite as me when listening to it. I really hope the vibe shines through and fills people with a nice warm authentic feeling, that these sounds can relieve people of some pressures or just use it to drift away in their thoughts.

I always write what I would like to listen to next and usually I gravitate towards samples that express those feelings even when I’m not paying attention. It’s like the right chops and chords get chosen unconsciously and I just go along with it.

I think the next release will probably be self-released due to huge overhead costs and time before the album comes out. It’s really hard for an independent artist like myself to make a dime. 

How easy or difficult was the album to make? How long did it take?

The album took more or less a year to create and then an extra year before it gets released by the label. I still use the same old program Madtracker 2 (that was made over twenty years ago by a Belgian guy named Yannick Delwiche). I played or programmed most of the instruments on it myself, apart from the occasional sample. I even used the old strumstick and the Roliseaboard to give it some extra personality. Lots of back and forth for feedback of course. 

In the end I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out. Really love the artwork of Sebastian Fraye on this one.

Do you have a personal favourite song off the album?

Oceanbound. I can really feel this song in my core. This track just takes me to the pier, I can see birds flocking and flying away. It’s crazy what that song does to me. Most of the people who listened to the album point out breeze,sol or Heart of the City (which I must admit, I especially added for the fans of the boombap aspect my tracks often have and also I because felt like the album needed some uptempo).

What and who inspires you these days?

The films which continue to inspire me: Parasite, Memento (2001), Metropolis (1927), Grizzly Man (2005), My Dinner With André (1981), Double Indemnity (1944).

People you must check up on: Alex Hirsch (the cipher hunt), Jordan Peterson, Alan Watts, Elon Musk, Richard Feynman, Hans Teeuwen, Michio Kaku.

Music you need to hear: Alt-J, Low Hum, Daughter, Emancipator, Kiasmos, Bon Iver, Nils Frahm, Ross From Friends, Spooky Black, Jon Hopkins, Bonobo, Tash Sultana, Jon Gomm, John Butler, Ólafur Arnalds, Sleep Party People, but also old school music like Bootsy Collins, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, Billy Joel, and Del Shannon.

Anything you’d like to tell your listeners?

I would like to thank everyone for listening and the continued support these last 10 years. And thanks a lot for this interview.

Silent Storm

Coming Up: Re.You – Maison – The Remixes (Connected)

A strong collection of remixes from Connected’s extended family.

Connected are getting set to jump-start the summer with an outstanding collection of remixes of Marius Maier, aka Re.You’s excellent ‘Maison’ album, released in May. 

Top contemporary artists who are all close personal DJ friends of Marius each add their own interpretive slant and production style, including his brother Santé, plus Rodriguez Jr., Anja Schneider, Floyd Lavine, Kadosh, David Mayer,  Andhim,  Topango and many more, in what amounts to a comprehensive reconstruction and reimagining of the original tracks.

The first stand out remix is by Cologne natives and underground mainstays AndHim,  propelling Re.You’s ‘Inyani’ ft. Oluhle & Aaaron into a vigorous beat-driven, tribal funk affair. AndHim delivers vast swathes of delightful synth progressions built on energetic, bubbling undercurrents of murky modulation. He commands the listener to get their wiggle on. A playful, groov- laden rendition, his re-rub accentuates through subtle textures, shading around the soul-stirring vocals.

Chief Mobilee artist Rodriguez Jr. Opts for an otherworldly rework of Relocate, featuring Connected bosses Stereo MCs. He transforms the original stripped back, vocally pure version into a propulsive, methodically entrancing dance cut that instrumentally envelops Rob Birch’s evocative vocals. The bona-fide poetic vocal that Rob delivers emanates wisdom and carries a spiritually moving message, as Rodriguez Jr. grips the dance floor with epic breakdowns and frazzled bass building the mood.

Topango then takes ‘Inyani’ and sensitively rebuilds it as a spine-tingling vocal cut with a spiritual atmosphere that is truly unique. This emotive rendition provides gorgeous vocal reverb, creating space in the track as it builds and evolves into a euphoric soul-stirring celebration. A breathtaking remix that massages mind, body and spirit.

Innervisions and Watergate’s deep and melodic house maestro Kadosh shows off his superb skills on a steamy and mysterious remix of Soft. Softening the original track from its original, more industrial arrangement, they add a more earthy, natural soundscape to the forefront, delivering fully rounded chiming synth that soothes and elevates.

David Mayer lays down some of his fancily heavy but funky drum grooves on a remix of ‘If You’ ft. Elli that will have your body flexing in no time. This ssexy remix is vocally tantalizing and instrumentally thrilling. Berlin’s tireless creative force Anja Schneider then stands out with her emotive take on ‘Strings Of Joy’ ft. Florian Busse & Ahmad, which has a meandering lead synth and chunky drums all overlaid with a big-hearted vocal.

Avidus is Marc Wolf and Fritz Wagner, a pair who have turned heads in just two short years thanks to tunes on Crosstown, each as compelling, sensitive and well-crafted as the synth dances that weave into their remix of ‘When I’m Lost’ ft. Elli.

Next up, new school Berlin tastemaker Santé remixes ‘Relocate’, once again featuring the Stereo MCs on a chunky, stripped-back house groove custom designed for cosy basement spaces. 

South African house hero Floyd Lavine returns to his home label with another vital remix that takes on an elegant and afro tinged trip into house territory, while German duo and MoBlack associates Cosmo & Kramer close out with a ragged, electro-tinged version of Strings Of Joy.

These are fantastic new reinterpretations of the excellent source material, and all add up to a high-class treasure trove for DJs and dancers alike.

Maison_TheRemixes

One SP – 12 Years in Scotland (This Is Not Pop)

Review of the new collection by French hip-hop emcee OneSP

French rapper extraordinaire MC OneSP recently released an impressively energetic collection of collaborative hip-hop tracks spanning his career in France and the UK over the past decade and beyond. 

Extracted from long-buried cassettes and mini discs, some thought lost, the album is a heady sonic trip through some incredible studio sessions, featuring some influential names for those familiar with the bustling late 90s Edinburgh hip-hop culture, and even the formative years of Big Dada. 

OneSP, with the help of boutique Glasgow label This Is Not Pop, compiles these hidden gems in the order he found them, minimally tampered with. The sure studio hand of Gareth Bury, aka Asthmatic Astronaut, is apparent in the presentation of the collection, which finds a home on his buzzing short-run imprint.

Through these productions, the listener can hear as OneSP discovers his particular creative zone, located in a sense of spontaneity and improvisation. This is hip-hop borne of street cyphers, freestyle sessions and late-night, smoked-out clashes. As the recordings progress, the stability of his identity as a rapper and poet emerges, revealing bags of charm, eccentricity and humour on each recording.

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His sharp intellect is contrasted with some very silly wordplay, which bursts energetically through in synchronization with his collaborators. A diverse MC, OneSP is a lyrical chameleon, adapting vocal styles to changing beat dynamics, swinging easily between hip-hop’s touchstones in jazz, funk and dub.  

This creative self-awareness reverberates throughout, and the whole album delivers slice after slice of unity, head-nodding beats and just sheer fun. Producers and vocalists who bring their own distinct styles to the table include collaborators such as ragga hip-hop legend Toastie Tailor of New Flesh, with whom OneSP collaborated before they became the first band to sign to Big Dada. 

Elsewhere, appearances from Edinburgh alt-hip-hop lumiaries like Mikel Krumins of Abdominal Showmen, and Lifeshows of Underling will cause gasps of recognition from those in the know. Sterling production from the likes of Ben Seal, Jatin Purin, DJ Red 6, Salam Anders and of course Asthmatic Astronaut keep things varied, and always enthralling. 

This impressive collection is a time travel adventure – a narrative snapshot of OneSP’s creative exploration, aesthetic and artistic interactions from a little-known but much-admired era of Edinburgh’s underground hip-hop culture to the present day. 

Within the gaps of these recordings, OneSP traces the steps of his journey from the south of France, where his peers often taunted him for being a mere poet, rather than a macho MC, to finding his creative identity here in Scotland, and building his very own family unit, both in his personal life, and in his creative circle of friends. 

Meant to be released in celebration of OneSP’s 12th anniversary as an adopted Scot, the fact we had to wait until 20 had passed only makes this compilation more of a delight. To the first-time listener, what difference does time make? These tracks still vibrate with the urgency of now, even when they call back to lost eras.    

Affiliated with music collective the Black Lantern Clan in the mid-2010s, OneSP threw down an in-depth interview earlier in the month with label founder Texture, on his newly-minted Scottish hip-hop radio show for Radio Kaos Caribou.

RR caught up with Texture to ask about the interview: “Interviewing onesp for the radio show reminded me just what a tremendous rapper he is.” On the evidence of these two decades, even that would be an understatement. 

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Coming up: DJ Angelo – Babel EP (Connected)

Greek house don DJ Angelo is back with a new EP

Highly esteemed Greek producer DJ Angelo returns to display his prowess on Stereo MCs’ premium dance label Connected (a label we can’t get enough of here at Revel Rousers). This time his production finesse is poured into the luscious, varied Babel EP, which offers two entrancing afro-house cuts as emotionally rousing as they are exploratory, with deft use of synth, complex rhythms and delicate textures. 

Taking prominence on the Greek club scene, Angelo’s adoration for the art of DJing led him naturally into refining a stand-out production style. This translated into stature on the global stage, with high-profile gigs in Ibiza, New York and London, the go-to dance hot-spots of the world. Releases on respected house music imprints such as Tribe Records, Nulu and King Street cemented his reputation as a rising star.  

Inspired by luminaries like Black Coffee, Culoe De Song, Manoo and Atjazz, all champions of soul-stirring, Afro house, music runs through Angelo’s DNA. His innate flair for rendering the most impassioned dance floor fillers has become a staple in the record bags of the world’s elite house music DJs, providing a nourishing blend of groovy synth textures and propulsive tribal beats. This is house music that illuminates the human spirit, soulful and transcendent. Angelo’s mesmerizing and unforgettable releases are always highly anticipated, and the Babel EP proves no different. 

This spectacular release opens with title track Babel, a deep, cinematic masterpiece that offers squelchy acidic synths, rising percussion and a plaintive female vocal refrain that hangs in the air. Understated and mesmerising, this is another emotive winner from DJ Angelo. The second of the two cuts comes in faster, in the shape of the propulsive Radar, a more direct house music affair that journeys into darker musical territory with jagged synth rhythms and a brooding sense of tension.

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Babel EP out 17 July

Main image by Jos Kottman (Courtesy of DJ Angelo)

“Peak absurdity…” Lazarusman shows us his bass face

Lazarusman has been thriving lately, now he returns for his fourth release on the Stereo MCs  Connected label with the Iba Mubi EP. A collaboration with South African DJ/Producer DJ Qness, the EP is a beautifully hypnotic suite of dancefloor debauchery. 

Johannesburg-based Lazarusman has flourished over the past decade with his distinct slam poetry and spoken word performances, a discipline that eventually led him into the intoxicating world of electronic dance music. His core belief is that the vocals in dance music should transcend, reaching further than simply enhancing the music, or adding a human effect. 

Lazarusman believes there is no reason that electronic music vocals shouldn’t leave a lasting impression, impart knowledge, and transfer a global message that everybody can relate to. Often featured as a guest vocalist on releases with the likes of Booka Shade, Joris Voorn, Coyu, Stimming, Hyenah and many more, he has made the Connected label a regular home with a string of releases that continue to push boundaries, most recently with the single The Thing with (Da Mike). An artist who delivers some of his finest work in collaboration, he seems to find his peak when reflecting and showcasing the talents of a unique producer or musician. 

Now he’s back, this time pairing up with fellow South African talent DJ Qness, a veteran of South Africa’s house scene who has released on the likes of MoBlack, Offering Recordings and Exploited Rec

The original mix offers spellbinding vocals and melodic, hazy percussive elements alongside a penetrating, percussive club mix that will have you grooving to the break of dawn. Iba Mubi is about that moment a record takes hold and contorts the face of the listener, as Lazarusman says:

“There is a strange phenomenon that happens when you hear a good song. You cringe your face as if you are experiencing some form of discomfort. This strange occurrence is the greatest compliment you can give a song, a DJ or a performer. When your body and your facial expressions reach peak absurdity. This song is about that moment when the bass grips you and your face cringes and you become ugly, Iba Mubi.”

Release Date: July 3rd over on Connected

Dj Laz