With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. To help prevent this, we’ve picked five releases you may have missed along the way but really need to hear — crucial releases from Pedro Kastelijns, Psee / Mårble / Koyil, Melanie Velarde, Julianna Barwick and Deena Abdelwahed. If you like what you hear, hit the links and support the artists.
Pedro Kastelijns – Som das Luzis
I first heard this album by Pedro Kastelijns early last month and although it had some truly magical moments it didn’t completely connect with me. Fast forward to the present day and after multiple listens I’m hooked! Although he’s been making music for many years this is Kastelijins first international distributed offering and it is a truly wonderful worldwide introduction. From the psychedelic pop of ‘Som das Luzis’ to the off-kilter guitar grooves of ‘Pop Gem 2’ it’s an eclectic and eccentric adventure. Recorded over 5 years it’s one of those albums where an artist has taken time to find their true sound, craft ear-catching songs, and perfectly capture it all in the studio. Fans of Sessa, Zann, and Meitei will find much to savour here.
Psee / Mårble / Koyil – Trainspotti
This is an absolute real gem. Mårble teams up with Psee & Koyil for an album full of mystical grooves, spiritual jazz energy and meditative ambience. A lovely blend of influences from Jon Hassal to Alice Coltrane is married across these eight tracks that are rich in dreamy melodies and trippy transportative passages. Seamlessly bringing their creative forces together Trainspotti has been on constant rotation for the past few months – press play now!
Melanie Velarde – Bez
Following her 2016 album Parcel, Berlin-based artist Melanie Velarde shares the third instalment in the Commend See series. Bez first appeared as a continuous mix of all new and original material from Velarde for RVNG’s Rinse FM takeover in 2018. Across ten tracks, Velarde moves from Bossa Nova percussion, goofy toylike rhythm-melodies, colourful jazz grooves, field recordings and more. Press play and go explore it for yourselves. A must-listen for fans of Unknown Mobile and the like.
Julianna Barwick – Circumstance Synthesis
The latest release on RVNG Intl. ’s new Commend There series dropped late last year featuring music from New York-based artist Julianna Barwick. Commissioned by Sister City, a new hotel in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighbourhood, the digital and cassette release titled Circumstance Synthesis traces a day using generative music technology triggered by activity in the NYC sky. Five floating suites trace morning through night, decorating space with a spectrum of layered vocals and synths that pool together and drift apart like clouds in the clearest blue. Highly recommended.
Deena Abdelwahed – Dhakar
Tunisian producer Deena Abdelwahed needs little introduction; her unique blend of moody techno, industrial noise and Arabic music references occupies a space all to its own. Following her 2018 debut album Khonnar, the rising artist recently dropped a new EP called Dhakar, via InFiné. The four-track project takes her message back to the dancefloor, with each song moving away from personal identification and focusing on the sonic influences of her home region, be it in terms of rhythmic structure, sampling or other local sources. Listen up!