September is over – and with it a month with some good Leipzig releases. Here are our top 6.
George John – „Remote Island EP“ (Blaq Numbers)
George John is back! With his second EP on Blaq Numbers and it looks like it sounds and vice versa. Beautiful and smooth. The illustrator Nänni Pää has already designed some of the latest releases on Blaq Numbers and what can you say? You want to put the tape on immediately.
The musician gets everything out of his instrument fleet. Cheesy analog synths, (electric) piano chords and funky basslines fly and shimmer around. Five tracks come from the artist himself and are at the intersection of e-funk, downbeat, (hip) house and instrumental pop music. The package is rounded off with three remixes that focus a little more on the dance floor.
A well-rounded and funky thing, but I wasn’t expecting anything other than quality here. I have no idea where the label conjures up all these good artists, but I am and will remain a fan of the black label.
Nils‘ Hit: “I’ll be gone”. Why: Because everything happens so beautifully at the same time.
Malo Moray & His Inflatable Knee – „Atolls“ (self-released)
Do you remember what you did in 2020? And 2021? What did you feel? Years of isolation, withdrawal, perhaps also reflection. There are many written or musical testimonies from this period. And sometimes this time seems incredibly far away and unreal.
In these two years, the Leipzig musician and bassist Malo Moray recorded an epic album with fellow musicians, which has just been released on double vinyl/MC and digitally. Together and yet isolated. Based on Malo’s improvisations, the participants should only record a take based on their intuition.
It starts with an area. You can’t really identify the sound source. An organ perhaps or a synth? It’s layer by layer. A bass, strings, the great interplay. Chamber music that is orchestral, but does not close itself to any genre. Simply emotions transcribed into music. A record that might have appeared earlier on Constellation (Godspeed You Black Emperor! etc.). With pieces lasting up to half an hour, this definitely needs attention. If you give it to this album, you will be rewarded. It falls somewhere between ambient, post-rock, jazz and experimental. Large!
Nils’ hit: “Replying to Unaddressed Letters”. Why: I’m just in love with the drone synth at the beginning.
Mbius – „FREE005“ (Breakfree Records)
The “RAND Muzik” sub-label “Breakfree Records”, run by Salomo and Reece Walker, has now reached number 005. Where exactly the musical demarcation from “RAND” lies is not clear with this release, but it is clear that the release stands out positively for me.
Four pretty straight but definitely melodic tech house numbers with cosmic synths over heavy percussive work in the 130 bpm range. Doesn’t sound new, but still fresh. What gets it here for me, however, is the track “Mittelsachsen Sundowner” on the B1. Two chords are enough to be happy here. The 303-like sounds and the voice sample do the rest. Absolutely magical track!
Nils’ hit: “Mittelsachsen Sundowner”. Why: sh. above 🙂
M-pha – „Tollwut Synapses“ (GLYK)
And GLYK, DJ Balduin’s label, also has something new out. Under the experimental pseudonym M-Pha, Balduin releases a mixtape with third-party material and some of his own music. A mix that invites you to listen carefully and is therefore only available as a cassette and stream via Bandcamp. The mix was created as part of a project during the pandemic. Artists were asked to deal with a specific, randomly selected topic and translate it into music. The results were then shared in collaborative online listening sessions.
We’re definitely in the woods somewhere and something is biting. Anything but comfortable. Field recordings alongside ambient in the broadest sense and percussives. Sometimes atmospheric, sometimes noisy and over-the-top. It remains dark and somehow threatening. Perhaps not inappropriate for the time in which the mix was created. A mixtape of a slightly different kind and this is also reflected in the elaborate design of the cassette. Baldwin was definitely busy with the sandpaper.
Nils` Hit: Send track ID at 39.02 min!
Manasyt „The Genetic Lottery“ (Lunatic)
After a long break, there was another sign of life from the Leipzig electro label Lunatic in September – after all, in the tenth year of the label’s existence. And the catalog number is also a small anniversary, as it is the tenth release. Manasyt had the honor of celebrating with a mini album. Until now I hadn’t heard of the Bulgarian producer, who now lives in China. It’s a shame, because for me the seven tracks on the album manage to add a few new nuances to the fairly well-known electro genre. Rhythmically there is a different drive here. Maybe it’s the faster pace, maybe it’s the minimalism. But there are also some sci-fi soundtrack and rave elements as well as other musical epicness in the harmonies and sounds. This creates an exciting mix of dystopia and utopia. Great album, which is also available as a limited vinyl with a screen-printed cover.
Jens’ hit: “Treatment #8”. Why? Because especially in the second part, the delicate beat and the cinematic sounds create their own tension.
Finn Klein & Pal_unknown „Dorothea“ (110100100.global)
Finally, an interesting jazz-folk-electronica EP from the Leipzig label 110100100.global. With Finn Klein & Pal_unknown you can hear two Nuremberg musicians who travel in a gently roughened terrain with field recordings, guitar and electronic devices. On the one hand, the four pieces on the EP leave a lot of space for sweet melancholy and warm contemplation, but on the other hand, there are always frictions in the sounds. A good balance between diving and discovery, organic sounds and electronic experiments. The two remixes bring a bit of hecticness into the EP in the middle – musically quite delicate and good, but in the dramaturgy of this EP a bit too much.
Jens’ hit: “I”. Why: Because the playground sounds fit incredibly well with the elegiac distorted guitars.