The festive break is a busy time and it’s easy to lose track of new music being released. Here are some of my favourites released in the last three weeks or so.
Four Tet – Parallel / 871 (LPs)
Four Tet released two new albums on Christmas Day. Parallel is a brand new collection of music that follows on from last year’s Sixteen Oceans in that it is a mix of ambient and dancefloor productions with his trademark bells and whistles. It starts with a 27 minute opening track but it’s not all as meandering as that suggests.
The other album, 871 is an older collection of music recorded between 1995 and 1997 and it feels like unfinished work that sat on a hard drive for a good while. Not without merit, but start with Parallel.
Madlib and Four Tet – ‘Hopprock’
And speaking of Four Tet, he has an album coming out with Madlib on January 29th called Sound Ancestors and there are two songs to hear from it – ‘Hopprock’ and ‘Road Of The Lonely Ones’.
Darkside – ‘Liberty Bell’
December 21st is when Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington decided to return to their Darkside project. A brilliant album in 2013 – Psychic, was followed by two tracks the following year before they announced a hiatus.
The pair reconvened in 2018 and spent over a year working on a full-length called Spiral, which was completed in December 2019. The pandemic put a halt to the release but they are going ahead with the album on Matador Records in the spring.
‘Liberty Bell’ is the teaser track from it:
R.A.P. Ferreira – Bob’s Son LP
The creator of one of my favourite rap albums from last year with Purple Moonlight Pages, the Chicago rapper R.A.P. Ferreira released a full-length record called bob’s son: R.A.P. Ferreira in the garden level cafe of the scallops hotel
SZA – ‘Good Days’
Oh, there is a SZA album coming in 2021 for sure.
Lord Apex, V Don, Westside Gunn – London Fog
Westside Gunn is everywhere right now including this new joint from London rapper Lord Apex. He’s also on this track ‘The Hurt Business’ with Smoke DZA and Wale which is on the Griselda & BSF: Conflicted (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).
Lord Of The Isles – Glisk Science EP
Crunchy ambient beats by Scottish producer Neil McDonald for Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space label. Phonica compared it to Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 so that was enough for me to check it out.
Fears – Tonnta
London-based Irish artist Constance Keane returned to her Fears project with this lilting acoustic and electronic track that “explores the experience of loving and caring for someone with dementia, while celebrating the deep connection that remains throughout”.
It’s accompanied by a video featuring friends of the artists wearing eight tulle dresses, and is inspired by her “her grandmother’s love for fashion, and celebrates the childhood memory of being taught how to sew in the box room of her grandmother’s house.”
“Bím buartha faoina dtonnta” means “I worry about the waves”.
Tulle is also the name of the new label founded by Keane and Emily Kendrick, run by women and non-binary people ” supporting predominately women and non-binary artists.”
Gareth Quinn Redmond and Yurn – Life’s Slow Build EP
Contemporary classical composer Gareth Quinn Redmond has hooked up with ex- Gypsies on The Autobahn James Smith, also in a production capacity for a four-track collection of electronic and contemporary music, with drums by Soda Blonde’s Dylan Lynch.
A video for ‘Tum’ dropped today, but my favourite is the title track:
FOZSA – Coral EP
A victim of the December end of the year rush, Irish producer Luke O’Brien packaged up five tracks from his FOZSA project on his Coral EP which draws on chillwave, psychedelic beat productions and rhythmic electronica. O’Brien is an under-rated producer.
Kelsey Lu, Yves Tumor with Kelly Moran & Moses Boyd – ‘let all the poisons that lurk in the mud seep out’
Another Christmas Day single, with four sonic innovators collaborating on one track.
Virgil Abloh, Serpentwithfeet – ‘Delicate Limbs’
Producer, fashion designer and polymath Virgil Abloh enlists the encompassing voice of Serpentwithfeet for this cinematic track.
Stephen James Smith & Kormac ft. Jess Kav – ‘May You’
A chance meeting between Stephen James Smith and the aircraft company Avolon CEO Dómhnal Slattery at a charity event lead to this unique commission with words by Smith, music by Kormac, vocals by Jess Kav and a video by Design for Life.
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.