APHEX TWIN — IMAGE BY MICK HUTSON/REDFERNS | LOGO BY ZOE HANNAY
APHEX TWIN — 'BLACKBOX LIFE RECORDER 21F' [UK]
After a 5 year-long hiatus from releasing new music, Aphex Twin has shared news of a brand new EP Blackbox Life Recorder 21F / In A Room7 F760 coming relatively soon — July 28 — via Warp Records. Since his come-up in the early 90's, Richard David James has always been a revolutionary in sound and sound design, dipping his toes into (and in some cases, pioneering) many slices of electronic music, in particular, the IDM movement of the 90's, popularised by himself and many others on the Warp Records roster at the time (check out the compilation Artificial Intelligence if you haven't already).
Despite his success over the years, Aphex Twin has managed to retain somewhat of a low profile, but his elusiveness seems to only draw people closer, and his undeniable genius spanning all kinds of electronic timbres allows listeners to form personal connections with tracks across the board, especially those that require every inch of your attention. If you've seen any footage from his recent performances at Barcelona's Sónar Festival or Coachella, you may expect this new music to embody the sensory overload that was present, visually and aurally — but if we know one thing, it's that James is not one to deliver what you expect. The first track to emerge from the upcoming LP is titled 'Blackbox Life Recorder 21F', and here, Aphex Twin taps into a gentle, granular ambience driven by its somewhat frantic garage-fused beatscapes, pattering atop warm synths that keep everything within arm's length.
You can preorder the new EP Blackbox Life Recorder 21F / In A Room7 F760 by Aphex Twin via our store HERE.
SILVA SPIRAL — 'CHARM THE WIND' [NZ]
Aotearoa artist Silva Spiral has released their debut single 'Charm The Wind' — a porous, enchanting piece that weaves synths and unusual melodies to bestow a mesmerising, swampy synthesis of sound. According to the artist (AKA Shohana Saeed Swortzel), the self-produced and recorded track is the first song they wrote back in 2020. It's a poignant debut, and I can't wait to hear more.
You can listen to Silva Spiral's debut single 'Charm the Wind' on Spotify HERE.
MOKOMOKAI, MELODOWNZ — 'KUPE' [NZ]
MOKOMOKAI is the project of producers Dusty and Ghos, and Dirty of Grey Lynn hip-hop duo Eno x Dirty. Their self-titled debut album in early 2022 rose to quick success, and whilst that was somewhat unplanned as a result of organic collaboration, their second album, WHAKAREHU, followed suit in a more organised fashion. Featuring the likes of Brandn Shiraz, The Hongi Slicker and Melodownz, the new album examines a dense thematic climate, exploring urban decolonisation, sexism and Māori mythology, expertly slung by Dirty and his impactful, eloquent lyricism amongst Dusty and Ghos' vintage, soul-infused production backdrops.
Listen to MOKOMAKAI's new album WHAKAREHU HERE.
FOLK BITCH TRIO — 'ANALOGUE' [AUS]
Folk Bitch Trio, from Melbourne, recently released a new song, 'Analogue'. Pinned to perform at the Auckland Folk Festival this past January, (which was unfortunately cancelled due to the weather events in Aotearoa), the group — made up of Heide Peverelle, Jeanie Pilkington and Gracie Sinclair — cast a spell of sweet hums with their voices that glow with a warm hue. 'Analogue' bathes in harmonies — but it's clear that it's a case of balance and pure vocal synergy, and they have something pretty special going on. Hopefully they'll get to visit Aotearoa in the future.
Listen to this track via Folk Bitch Trio's Bandcamp HERE.
SOFIA MACHRAY — 'FOUNDATIONS' [NZ]
Indie pop musician Sofia Machray has unveiled her luminescent new song 'Foundations' as well as revealing the title of her upcoming EP Language of Flowers, due to arrive on July 21st. 'Foundations' which follows last month's 'Petals In The Rain', embraces an uplifting groove, Machray's voice covering a vast range of colours to explore themes of uncertainty and growth. Alongside the announcement, Sofia has announced an EP release tour, covering all major towns and cities in Aotearoa with her full band this August. Peek the dates via UTR at the link below.
OFFICE DOG — HEADLINE AUCKLAND SHOW ANNOUNCED [NZ]
Tāmaki Makaurau—based alt rock outfit Office Dog made quite the impact with their debut double-sided singles 'In The Red / Tightropes' and 'Big Air / Warmer'. The trio, featuring Kane Strang, Mitchell Innes and Rassani Tolovaa have seemingly been cooking up an album over the last few years (we wait with bated breath for more news on that.....), but if you're in Tāmaki Makaurau on the 8th of July, you may be able to sneak a peak of their unreleased material at their just-announced headline show (as they put it, "word has it there may be some new music to celebrate"...) at Whammy Bar, with support from Violet Hirst and K M T P. Check the details and grab your tickets at the link below...
SLOWDIVE — 'KISSES' [UK]
UK shoegaze pioneers Slowdive have announced a brand new album, everything is alive, due for release on September 1st via Dead Oceans, six years on from their last album which placed them back on the map and let us know they're still well and truly going. The lead single 'kisses' is a warm, upbeat introduction to the band's new chapter, known previously for their washes of moody, swirling drones.
“It wouldn’t feel right to make a really dark record right now." Guitarist and vocalist Neil Halstead says. "The album is quite eclectic emotionally, but it does feel hopeful.”.
The band is performing at The Powerstation in Tāmaki Makaurau this July, where I'm sure you will hear a lot of your favourites, as well as a glimpse into their new material.
I.E CRAZY — COUNTRY JUSTICE [NZ]
Tāmaki Makaurau soundmaker i.e. crazy (AKA Frances Libeau) has just shared the music video for their 2022 track 'Wetlands' — a self-directed piece, shot by Libeau and Selina Ershadi, that depicts them traversing Tāmaki Makaurau's boggy, flooded landscape that residents became all too familiar with earlier this year. Paired with the song's down-beat, swampy sonics and Libeau's stark vocal experiments, the piece as a whole makes quite the impact. Alongside the release, i.e crazy has announced their debut solo album Country Justice, set for release on July 20th, as well as limited set of fine art prints made in collaboration with PICTVRE and Crystal Lim and long sleeve tees featuring artwork by Abigail Aroha Jensen. Libeau has also announced a rare seated performance at The Wine Cellar with special guests and an opening set by Hasji. The artist would like to note...
"Certain elements of the i.e. crazy set explore the representation of gender-based violence in NZ's media & social imagination. There will be a couple of brief references to historic media narratives covering stories of gender-based violence & suicide that are, in some cases, specific to Aotearoa. They are not prolonged or (by our read) gratuitous & we hope serve to highlight issues that pervade this country's culture of violence, rather than exploit them." — read the full content warning via the ticket link below.
You can pre-order i.e crazy's upcoming album Country Justice via Bandcamp HERE. Tickets for their show are available via UTR HERE.
EO — 'TELL ME' [NZ]
Following their breakout double single by Summer Vee in 2022, Mānuka Recordings have unveiled a brand new track by former Grow Room affiliate Eo with his track 'Tell Me'. Grooving amongst a musical backdrop produced by label heads Kenny Sterling and Dylan Biscuit, as well as virtuoso JY Lee, Eo riff with endearingly smooth flair.
Listen to their new track (and look out for the upcoming B-side out June 30th) via Bandcamp HERE.