Rowan Harris explores the releases that stood out to him in November.
Robert Haigh – Creatures of the Deep
It was once assumed that the deep would be sparsely inhabited - a natural corollary of the absence of light. As products of visucentric societies, it is often difficult for us to conceptualise anything at all inhabiting a world so irreconcilable to our own. Yet inhabit it they do… Haigh’s audiation of the abyssal is a minimalist serenity, traversing darksome depths to explore the boundless biosphere. The plangent piano of ‘Koto Line’ occupies but a brief moment in this sprawling oeuvre, outstripped by the loftier ‘Birds of Cadence’ and ‘From the Mystery’.
Dictaphone – APR 70
For those that venture into this obscure intersection of Noir Jazz and electronic experimentation there awaits a ‘dark serpent-like creature, meandering through shapeless landscapes’ - an analogy that needn’t be out-thought. A particularly enigmatic album name; it’s sound is perhaps best described as the sum of two of its memorable tracks: a ‘Lo-fi Opium Séance’
Packed Rich – Kizuna EP
Alexis Boettcher’s Kizuna EP is a refreshingly left-field 5-track debut which channels influences of L.A. Beat artists such as Flying Lotus. His technical ability is evident in the crisp coalescence of lo-fi atmospheric sounds, multi-layered sampling and bouncing drum beats. At 18 minutes long it makes for a perfect aural escape on the commute home.
Layfullstop – ‘Bohemian Queen’
Brought up in Birmingham and now firmly established in Manchester, Layfullstop is also part of the Manchester collective Cul-de-Sac. Set against a blissfully minimalist beat, ‘Bohemian Queen’ addresses popular misconceptions of women while celebrating nonconformity. Her idiosyncratic mix of neo-soul and hip-hop is interlaced with a poetic lyricism that is at times fierce and unforgiving. If the track hasn’t convinced you already, the music video will doubtless leave you believing that this headstrong eccentric is going to be huge.