me:she – “In the Key of E”

Absolutely gorgeous, lush indie pop. A husky, slightly smoky woman’s voice, a shuffling beat and piano/electric piano do most of the work here, but a subtle and refined production surrounds those pieces and sets them up to succeed. And boy, do they – this is a song that will stick with you.

Reminiscent of a less guitar-driven Sharon Van Etten, or maybe a less histrionic Tori Amos (without sounding much like either at all) and the kind of track that you finish and then immediately go, “Right, that was great, I need to hear more!” You can do that at her bandcamp or website.

Arcomusical/Jeremy Muller – “Singularity”

A fascinating and hypnotic piece of music performed by a berimbau ensemble. The Brazilian instrument combines plucked string and percussion sounds in one versatile instrument, and the six of them that comprise this ensemble make impressive use of its possibilities. To listen to it without familiarity, it’d be easy to expect this was a couple of different stringed instruments along the lines of a banjo or mandolin, plus a variety of small handheld percussion (and some light processing/fx, especially flange). 

The video reveals, nope, it’s all berimbau! (UPDATE: Confirmed this is ALL berimbau, no FX added! Still not 100% sure about the FX, but I think that’s also just two players playing in near unison and the natural delay is causing it – but I could be wrong, there could be some light processing going on here). A lovely and engaging piece that’s also a great introduction to the instrument. If you like that, there’s a bunch more, from different composers, on the album this comes from.

Default Media Transmitter – Receiver EP

Default Media Transmitter invites a few pals to play in their sandbox and reminds us why it’s great to have friends. “They Suffer in the Skin” (remixed by Xylander) serves up wobbly Boards of Canada chords over intense DnB breakbeats and echoing snatches of froggy synth. It drops in quick, hits hard and then disappears before you’re sure what’s happened. “Pelagic Interference” (remixed by Fugue State) puts a tough breakbeat front and center, surrounds it with tension building synth lines and leads us to the promised land of action-movie trailer music – seriously, this sounds like it should be selling you on the next John Wick movie, in the best possible way. 

Without friends to assist DMT still delivers bangers like “You Call Them Emotions, Do You Not?”: a slick IDM track driven by terse drum programming capped off by snatches of speech pushing thru curtains of synthesized sound. About the time you’re used to that, the beats and voices drop away, leaving wispy melancholic arpeggios in their wake for a short ambient breakdown before the beats return and usher us out. “Void Maneuver” blurs sound design into rhythm programming, creating a track that’s essentially one long synthesized snarl of aggression; “Sensors Detect Rot” is a similar vibe, if a bit more restrained (but not all that restrained) and capped off with some epic IDM chords.

(Listened to entire EP)

gribbles – Hello EP

Three electronic pop instrumentals with a simple synth-forward vibe that puts me in mind of late ‘60s/early 70s synth novelties (a la Gershon Kingsley) fused to the poppiest/most anthemic side of ‘80s New Wave. Adorning these warm and friendly tracks are cut up samples from the ‘70s of Tennyson’s poetry (if I am understanding these liner notes correctly).

Add a little bit of distortion and sand off the sharp edges all around and you get a warm and fuzzy trip thru a different kind of lofi. Anachronistic, idiosyncratic and deeply charming throughout.

(Listened to the whole EP)

ølstrøm – Monster Mixed EP & Udrydde Takeover EP

Classic techno vibes with a modern approach on display on these two EPs. The Udrydde Takeover EP revolves around a pair of mixes of “Udrydde” with the “Takeover Mix” cueing up an early IDM take on the formula, supplementing the steady techno pulse with slow washes of icy chords, some intricate percussion programming and heavily processed voices; the “Remastered” version is slightly more straightforward, pushing a familiar acid vibe to the forefront and filling in the spaces between with a slow, evolving sweep of synth – my favorite of the bunch, FWIW. 

Meanwhile, the Monster Mixed EP cooks up such classic ingredients as squelchy acid lines, mesmerizingly simple drums and TV-preacher samples with a crisp, clean and airy production touch that really pops. The “Acid-19 (Club Mix)” version stands out here but check them all to see which flavor you prefer. 

(Listened to tracks 1 & 3 on both EPs)

Discover more from Ether Diver

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

One Reply to “OPM: New Singers, New Instruments”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.