Spirit Spine recently graduated from college, and to celebrate he’s released this new album pretty unexpectedly Atlantic Downs. If you’re familiar with his previous album Glossalia, you may be expecting a dense, shoe-gazey album with few hooks and pop-filled moments, however, Atlantic Downs completely takes Spirit Spine in a new direction with a new-wave and synth-pop heavy sound. The result is often stunning and surprising, I had no clue that Deney could write tradition pop-songs like this. Atlantic Downs isn’t your cookie cutter hipster 80s throwback music though, instead, Spirit Spine packs the album full of dense tracks that channel something between New Order and Clams Casino instrumentals. Deney’s bassy croon is also front in center on this album, and it all sounds great. Atlantic Downs is definitely one of my favorite surprise releases of the year. Stream two highlights below and check out the entire album here.
There are certain artists that just can’t help but expand upon their genre, Color Plus is one of these artists. Its been a while since the rolling hi-hats and pitched 808 bass drums of Southern trap music have infiltrated the electronic music scene, but I don’t think anyone has used them in their own specific context and style as well as Color Plus on Cerulean Dream yet. Like Clams Casino, the only thing that keeps Color Plus’ music rooted in the ground and prevents it from floating into the world of completely abstract ambient music are his trap percussion tracks, but Color Plus differs from Clams Casino in that where Clams Casino’s beats often come off as heavy and dense, in between dreamy Zelda samples, Cerulean Dream seems paper thin, as if everything but the percussion tracks could melt away at the touch. Its odd, but it seems the genre of Future Trap is already forming a spectrum; at one end the heavy, swagger filled beats of artists like M|O|D and at the other the airy music of Color Plus. Stream the LP below, and then link to bandcamp below that to download with a “name your own price” option. Favorite tracks include “Only.you”, “Ashore” and “Escape Rope”.
Much like his Californian contemporary Tree, Shelf Nunny is an artist who is extremely hard to pin down. One track he’s rapping with Kool A.D. and the next he’s creating experimental pieces like this new track ‘Hyper Zen’. It’s hard to tell exactly what is going on in the track so luckily Shelf Nunny himself has cleared things up for us, “i recorded all the samples myself on a condenser mic ,except an 808 drum kit, and some samples of tree playing the marimba that i chopped up and went crazy on.” The result is less crazy disorienting and more like the weird feeling after waking up from a dream.