Chris Daly is exhausted by the clone wars.
Each December, most music writers such as myself (read: poorly organized, but damn good looking) peruse through their inboxes and playlists and come to the startling realization, “I’ve got a kilt-load of stuff I really need to cover before the calendar flips.” Here’s my attempt to make good with the various Greek Muses that keep the world afloat, whether or not they inhabit Xanadu. Apologies in advance for anyone else I’ve forgotten. As the Bard sayeth:
1. Yves Tumor, “The Feeling When You Walk Away”
When no less than Warren Ellis, the author of such classics as “Transmetropolitan” and “Crooked Little Vein,” gives you a shout out in his weekly e-newsletter, you’re going to catch my attention. On his latest, Serpent Music, Turin-based Yves Tumor paints a hypnotic sound collage that trends almost towards ambient dissonance, but it’s one track in particular that caught my ear, “The Feeling When You Walk Away.” The three minute jam is backboned by a looping guitar riff and Tumor’s ghostly vocals. This is R&B for the beat set.
2. Monster Rally, Mystery Cove
I’ve been a fan of Monster Rally (aka Ted Feighan) since his Coral debut. For those not as familiar, MR is a crate digger of the highest order, with an ear clearly trained on the tropics. Think Madlib by way of Moana. On Mystery Cove, Feighan both refines and occasionally expands his sound. Tracks like “Banana Bread” find a more Asian-influenced touch, a nice change-up pitch after throwing so many beachfront heaters. As winter approaches, consider this your daily dose of sunny audio vitamin D.
3. Project: Mooncircle
Seemingly not a year goes by that this Berlin-based label doesn’t put out some of the finest and most criminally underrated down tempo beat music on the planet, and 2016 was no exception. While I’m sure I’m probably inadvertently forgetting somebody, label mates Rain Dog, Barnaby Carter, Pavel Dovgal, Long Arm and submerse put out some of their best efforts to date. While each has its own distinct sound, for fans of after-afterhours jams, this is the label and these are the jawns for you.
Listen to more work here.
4. Sm^th, fall/loops
Sometimes, the album description pretty much says it all. For fall/loops, producer Sm^th succinctly notes that his latest is a “collection of beats for fall walking.” The Wisconsonite expertly drops cool, crisp beats perfect for traipsing through leaves.
5. Mecca: 83, “From Summer to Autmn (Transition)”
Granted, it may only be a couple of tracks on some seasonal Chillhop comp albums, but when your absolute favorite late night producer drops some more low key gems, you want the world to know.