Lists this year are all over the place, a lot of main stream rap, a ton of half baked selections, really good techno and a happy surprise to see a lot less of the soft boy beat stuff that clogged up the festivals, which makes me overwhelmingly happy. Here’s a few musicians that most of you know but made my year very enjoyable because of a DJ set, live set or a very well done short documentary about them, enjoy!
Beautifully dusty and complex, this mix from Broken Deck has all sorts gems on it from Patten’s rework of Caribou to Voxer which is another single from Broken Deck’s EP. We premiered his single Outmodeled earlier this month if you missed it.
1. The Cyclist – Makeshift
2. Jam City – Gee
3. Caribou – Sun (Patten remix)
4. Rezzett – Yayla
5. Huerco S – Press On
6. Lee Gamble – Mimas Skank
7. Broken Deck – Voxer
This one is short but as rewarding as it gets, a bounty of special tracks mixed by Astro Nautico’sTime Wharp. There’s a wide range of cuts that show off how unique a Time Wharp set is, his natural way of flowing in and out different moods and genres is one of a kind.
So my 2nd album is out, if you remember Loyal then this is his less lo-fi less moody cousin. Body Complex has a pulse to it, I needed to also make sense of my DJ sets which have always been Detroit Techno heavy so I set off to create that with a few honest thoughts, passions and a collection loops i’ve been working on over a 6 or so month span. I talk way more in depth about the album in its bio, a lot care has gone into not only the music but the piece of art I made for the cover. Hope you enjoy!
For Jakub Alexander, the languages of music and visual art are permanently intertwined. And he’s always been this way—from his birthplace in communist Poland, to growing up outside of Detroit, to his current home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “When music like Gas, early Dial Records, and Mille Plateaux releases in the 2000s popped up in my headphones,” Alexander begins, “it was completely visual for me. Something clicked from collecting pages out of old Architectural Digest magazines and being completely overwhelmed with inspiration for my own visions of interior architecture.” The concept carries on still, now as an integral part of Body Complex, his second album as Heathered Pearls. Body Complex represents a new form of Alexander’s visually inspired sound creation, but just as it points to changes in direction for the ambient-inclined producer, it also revisits the past experiences that make his music possible.
Perhaps the most important era referenced in Body Complex is Alexander’s mid-teens, when he was a 15-year-old DJ going to raves with the older kids. Sure, the parties themselves were influential, but it’s the afterhours that resonate the strongest on Body Complex. “I remember those mornings better than the holidays during those years, the drives home from Detroit at 7AM were always stimulating. Everyone was so content, we’d usually listen to something deep and easy on the ears. This was a perfect time to let your mind wander.” It was also an opportunity for him to discover the likes of Terrence Dixon and Lawrence, artists who would eventually offer encouragement to Heathered Pearls as he moved into a new beat-centric sound. “I respect [Terrence Dixon and Lawrence] because they can ride the same thin lines of what I love: electronic music that is heavily repetitive, melodic, and deep. They both can find this elegance in techno beyond the dark warehouse.”
Body Complex doesn’t necessarily aspire to recreate the music of Alexander’s youth. But while taking inspiration from !K7’s classic audio-visual mix series, X-Mix, and early-aughts techno compilations, Heathered Pearls has moved himself closer to the dancefloor. “Loyal was these indirect, huge, heavy, slow ocean waves off in the distance at night,” he says of his beatless debut album, “and Body Complex is a stunningly bleak, uncharted landscape of man-made cement and artificial foliage.” Take a track like the desaturated “Sunken Living Area”, where flickering synths and chrome-plated drum patterns sketch out Alexander’s conceptual backdrop. You can almost envision the sounds as columns and plateaus protruding from a dusk-lit valley. “Personal Kiosk”, an exuberant ambient-techno highlight with The Sight Below (who also mixed and mastered Body Complex), might best represent everything Heathered Pearls brings to his second album: whorls of deep texture, abstract melodic drifts, elegiac beauty, and illusory dance music.
Of course, the artwork is another integral aspect of Body Complex, especially as it was conceived around an object designed by Alexander. “The shape came from wanting to create an imperfect sculpture that, from a distance, looks like a display piece,” he shares, “but when you get closer and you have more time with it, you see its flaws.” And that sort of ever-changing perspective reflects how the album itself can be heard differently in various contexts. Put on the Shigeto-featuring “Abandoned Mall Utopia” at home, and it’s a softly pulsing current of astral dust; put it on in a DJ set, and the music becomes a heady balm for the dancefloor. “You’re given this body and mind to build on, and everyone has their imperfections they don’t love,” Heathered Pearls explains in regards to the double meaning of his album title. Indeed, Body Complex is an elaborate expression of personal memories and visual metaphors as nuanced electronic music, and just like any fully realized body of work, it’s best understood from more than one vantage point.
A great interview of an ISO50 alumni Beamer went up on Urban Outfitters. The piece goes deep into his travels in his vintage Westfalia Van and includes a playlist that is near perfection.
You have a lot of personal affects on the dash…what always stays in the van?
Everything in the van got there on a trip…and never left. Some favorite items a Kachina doll from a roadside stop, some instant photos, and a little leather pouch full of my “spirit stones” that I got in Joshua Tree. The woman who was selling them picked out this assortment for me, one to help with sleep, one for stress.
Our 2nd installment of the ISO50 Colorcast Mix Series has been carefully put together by the lovely Berlin duo Evvol. Tons of gems in this one, just look at the tracklist below:
1. Harmony In Blue III – Tim Hecker
2. Holifernes – Grouper
3. B:/ Start Up – Blank Banshee
4. Do It Again (prod. NA) – Kelela
5. This Is What It Feels Like – BANKS
6. p u l l – Ricky Eat Acid
7. No Love – Evvol
8. Bunsen Burner – CUTS
9. Hiffle – Throwing Snow
10. The Way I Feel (Ana Caprix Mix) – Doss
11. Now And Forever – Massimilllano Pagliara
12. A Brain In A Bottle – Thom Yorke
13. Still Sleeping – Chrome Sparks
14. Gem Landing – Ellie Herring
15. Abrazo – Anthony Naples
16. Still Here – Claro Intelecto
I put some love into this one, as deep and Detroit feeling as I could, has a lot of new favorites as well, enjoy!
Jakub Alexander (aka Heathered Pearls) injects a heavy dose of distilled and audible imagery in his new THUMP mix, one he calls the soundtrack to an “Inner City Morning.”
The Polish-born is proving his experience with the ambient, yet desolate nature of a concrete jungle. “As someone who was largely raised in the Detroit area, this mix reflects my love for the world of deep and its roots in Detroit’s sound,” he tells THUMP. “From spacey to tribal and techno to house, everything is originally sourced in Detroit.”