Oliver Keefe aka The Psilosimian is an adventurous producer, and is also label owner and manager of Retort Records, an Australian label that releases vinyls of rare and exquisite music styles. He lives at Coffs Harbour, on the north coast of NSW, Australia.
1. Kashiwa Daisuke- Jazz pavane pour une infante defunte (Retort Records)
This brilliant reinterpretation of a Ravel piano piece forms one half of the next 7” release from Retort. Hyper-edited acoustic drums team with the whimsical piano line and prominent double bass in this track from one of Japan’s finest proponents of acoustitronica (if you’ll pardon the absurd label!).
2. Koby Israelite – Solitude (Retort Records)
The second half of the upcoming 7” from Retort comes from the inimitable multi instrumentalist Koby Israelite. This track sounds like three bottles of fine red wine drunk in an enthusiastic session – equal parts nostalgic and extroverted, the piece features a fine melody, with traditional instruments arranged in a beautifully restrained manner.
3. Mondkopf – Deadwood (Fool House)
I find it hard to choose a track from Rising Doom (2011), as full to the brim as it is with memorable and well structured sounds. This, the album’s real opener, is as good as any though – with the testosterone swagger and simple melody acting as devices the French producer utilises to create the most important thing – a memorable piece of music. In this it’s atypical for modern dance music, for although it utilises the tropes, it does not rely upon them. Proper noisy techno.
4. Rrose – Pointilism (Variation 1) (Sandwell District)
Another stunning release on Sandwell District, this track comes from the other end of the techno spectrum to Mondkopf – minimal, spacious, hypnotic. All filter sweeps and ambience, it is no less engaging for it – the palette is sublime and the points of difference time perfectly.
5. Infidel? Castro! – The Onset of Life (Crucial Blast)
My god. This track is from one of my all-time favourite albums, and I’m yet to hear anything quite like it. (It’s) like Dillinger Escape Plan meets Ben Frost, in a blender operated by Cornelius. Essential listening for any fan of sonically challenging music.
6. Comus- Drip Drip.(Dawn Records)
Incredible track from one of the defining albums from my childhood. Twisted psych folk like nothing else. Whenever I hear this, I thank providence I was gifted with parents with impeccable taste.
7. Joel Aime – EXIT
To me, its a tie between Lodsb and this Canadian producer for my vote as the most underrated producers in electronica today. Stunning audio manipulation forms the centrepiece of this track of his available on his sound cloud. Get it in your earballs, quick!
8. Poppy Ackroyd – Seven (Denovali)
Beautiful post-neo-modern classical from a wonderful album. This manages to be emotional without being overwrought, delivering hope and quiet reflection via a subdued arrangement of keys and strings. Wonderfully evocative.
9. Brandt Brauer Frick – Bop (Studio!K7)
As you may tell from the label releases and the previous tops, I love the emergence of music that mixes the all too often disparate fields of acoustic, amplified and electronic musics, and this German ensemble does it as well as anyone. Great dance music that is entirely welcome on my home stereo. Part funky jazz, part syncopated techno, this works equally well on both fronts.
10. Surachai – Sentinel (self released)
Surachai delivers an album that is simultaneously visceral and cerebral. There is much to engage the brain here with atypical drumming accompanying the impeccably arranged contrapuntal movement of the guitar and bass layers. Added to this is the dynamic and textural input of the production that seamlessly weaves the modular synth with the more traditional black metal instrumentation. This is experimental without the onanism, a finely crafted and excursive exercise in introspection.