Following our recent consciousness-expanding single and music video premiere from Austin, Texas based LAST ICE (new project with members of future punk duo Bloody Knives and Portland/Atlanta darkwave trio We Are Parasols), we’re back with a selection of more music to keep you entertained this month.
The band shared their top 10 picks for 2020 releases that got them through the chaotic year, and are definitely worth a check in 2021.
Machinedrum “Star (feat. Mono/Poly & Tanerélle)”
This is my favorite Machinedrum record since Vapor City (which I loved). The whole record is solid but this particular song is so chill and Tanerélle’s singing voice is stunning. – Preston
Jessie Ware “What’s Your Pleasure?”
Suggested to me by our friend and label mate, Charlie Moses. I hadn’t listened to Jessie Ware’s music until Charlie recommended I check it out. Sure, I am a bit late-to-the-game on this one, but I’m fully on-board now. My body and upcoming ATRIST EP are both gaining a much needed release and some inspiration from this solid disco/funk/pop release. – D
Ghetts — “IC3 feat Skepta”
Skepta is one of the bigger names on grime, Ghetts one of the newer ones. I could have picked other Ghetts tracks (Mozambique comes to mind) and Skepta (Bullet from a Gun?) but Skepta just murders this track verse after verse. – Preston
Gazelle Twin “Welcome to the Blumhouse: Nocturne (Soundtrack)”
We never shut up about Gazelle Twin. Why start now? Every Gazelle Twin record is a unique and utterly absorbing experience and they’ve all inspired us.
This new soundtrack is a cool mix of new textures and choral pieces mashed-up with bits from from her “Unflesh” album. Gazelle Twin also has a new collaboration with NYX called “Deep England”, also coming the same day as our Last Ice record, Feb 19th. – D / Jeremy / Alec
SYM – “Kano”
There easier ways to be introduced to Kano than SYM, but this track from U.K. grimes most versatile and realized artist covers a lot of the ground and shows him effortlessly rapping over an impossible beat. – Preston
Tricky “Fall to Pieces”
Tricky is Tricky. He’s a goddamn legend really. This new record is an exquisite exercise in dark minimalism. We wish we could restrain ourselves as much as Tricky does and still fill up so much space. – D / Jeremy / Alec
Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist “Baby $hit”
The way Freddie Gibbs attacks this otherwise mellow beat is a beautiful thing. – Preston
Bernholz “The Innermost Surfaces of Eggs”
Bernholz makes fascinating abstract electronic pop music. If we were to guess we’d say he’s very influenced by Wire and that he probably started out as a painter or other visual artist before diving into music.
These aren’t facts, just the assumptions we’ve made. The facts are that he’s a really nice guy based on our email interactions and he’s married to Gazelle Twin. So, yeah. He’s cool. – Jeremy / D
Mogwai “2018” (Live album released in 2020) and ZEROZEROZERO (Soundtrack)
Maybe there is something wrong with me but I did not like the first two Mogwai records when they came out, even now they aren’t my favorites. But “Rock Action” changed my mind hard. Ever since I’ve been a loyal fan. “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will” is beyond! This past year they released the rare gem that is a great live album (I don’t usually like live albums – rant for another time) and a soundtrack. Both are highly recommended. They’ve also recently released two tracks from their upcoming 2021 album, “As The Love Continues”, which come out the same day as Last Ice, and I’m fully on board. – Jeremy
Belong – “Perfect Life”
Not 2020 but Belong is a perfect band. I miss the early 2010’s and this sounds like that time felt. – Preston
Finally, a very imporant recommendation to start the new year:
Martin Gore “The Third Chimpanzee EP”
The first single, “Mandrill” was actually released in late 2020 but the full EP came out last week.
With the exception of a couple brilliant singles this is by far the best thing anyone related to Depeche Mode has done since Alan Wilder released “Liquid” as Recoil in 2000. The mood is perfect for this uneasy-balance-beam of a new year. I really hope Martin does more like this soon. – Jeremy