Machinedrum – Psyconia

Broken beat, drum and bass, hiphop, IDM, the common denominator is smoothness and a light heart. Like if it’s drum and bass then it’s liquid, if it’s hiphop then it’s soulful. These 26 minutes contain a whole summer’s many flavors in six tracks. It’s not a consistent record at all, more like a promo sampler for a festival, but there’s fun in all those tracks.

VC-118A – Spiritual Machines

A blend of ambient and IDM with down-to-mid-tempo beats. First I registered this as some strange combination of psy chill atmosphere and glitchy sounds, then I figured there’s quite a bit of cyberpunk mood to it. I could imagine this to be a soundtrack of a neo-noir RPG game. Then I looked at the album title again… Riiiiight.

Flanger – Lollopy Dripper

I had a hard time decoding this record with its extremes ranging from experimental IDM to cool blue jazz. Just thinking about the aspect of this being some weirdly unique and altered jazz sound, gave me associations of The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble or even Brandt Brauer Frick. But this was something different still. And then I read this was a duo of Bernd Friedmann and Uwe Schmidt (Atom™) and it all clicked into place. It’s amazing how two artists can blend into one music in a way that you can see who brought what to the table so clearly.

In full honesty though, my favorite track here is Sweet Silence, which has no electrnics to it, but the film noir atmosphere is just irresistible.

Blackploid – Cosmic Traveler

During the first track I was considering skipping this EP altogether, lucky I didn’t. This is a collection of some oddball electro tracks, which are too boogie to be IDM but too silly to appear seriously on a dancefloor. But it would be FUN to hear a track like Night Drive in a club. Although the one titled Pleasure Activism could totally fit a chiptune set.

Hugo Massien – Metamorphosis

Bass-heavy slow to mid tempo electronic music. Genrewise it’s a mishmash: the highest percentage is probably house, but it’s changing every other track to dubstep, breakbeat, house, IDM, ambient. Good backdrop for work.

Alva Noto ‎– Unieqav

This became my go-to album lately, I listen to this literally every day. It is so calming and helps me focus like close to nothing. The interesting bit is that exactly that same recently I started to formulate this idea that I don’t like experimental music that much anymore. Whenever I listen to that noizy-glitchy IDM kind of experimental electronics from the more elitist kinds I feel only annoyance and impatiance. Although all the while I’ve been listening to more ambient than ever before, which often comes with drone and weird sounds. So I’m not sure what makes me stick or bounce. I think I appreciate harmonies now. Nice ambient soundscapes and well balanced patterns both give me that. Harsh noize and non-rhythmic sounds don’t. This record is one of the most sophisticated and masterfully crafted rhythmic noize sets out there. Also, this is one of the leading definitions of literal Intelligent Dance Music.

Ital Tek – Outland

Bass heavy, melodic, dreamy and moody, slow paced but not fully ambient electronics. It explores space, goes under the ocean, travels in the belly of the Earth—all the places where dark is the domain but textures can be observed by some shimmering traces of light.

Machinedrum – A View of U

I just finished the 2020 long player of Sub Focus and decided not to put it up here when this record followed and I thought, so this is the one that was meant to be. The same kind of accessible, easy to listen drum and bass electronic dance music but with just a little bit more sophistication and less sugarcoat. Although it’s still fluffy and light like a smokey Saturday afternoon. I feel so good that this is released by Ninja Tune: I could also say this is drum and bass through the Ninja’s lens, as in that being quality assurance.