Wrapping late-night R&B melodies around hazy, shoegazing atmospherics and pitch-shifted vocals, the Brooklyn musician and former medical student perfectly captures the portent of a young producer with an ear open to everything – emo rap triplets, downcast melodies, shifting ambient textures – and endless dedication to craft.


Drawing from that same deep pool of shoegazey guitar architecture and soulful hooks of bands like ANMLPLNT or Lana Del Ray, The Dunes, reach towards soaring hooks on their single “Gone With The City”, a track that mixes breathless wonder and sepia-tinged nostalgia in equal measure.


Nashville’s Eve Maret continues to share tracks from her stunning record “No More Running”. “My Own Pace” finds the electronic artist riding an ever expanding arpeggio that blooms into kraut-linear melodicism and perpetual motion intensity over the tracks run time. Truly inspiring music.


On their latest contribution to their catalog of sprawling, digital soundscapes of sculpted contact mic feedback, faintly pulsating bass lines, lustful pulls of synth and arcing drones, the Portugal-based duo execute an intriguing and flawless pursuit of detachment and closeness. There is an inherent sentimentality to their work. A beating heart in the cavity of the machine. Artificial Intelligence learning empathy. 


Combining field recordings, electroacoustic instrumentation and heavy, noise-teetering drones, the Polish artist is able to create sound worlds that  are held in positive tension with one another. Ambient passages that veer a bit into the red, natural sound sources that are digitally manipulated beyond their ability to be perceived as such, create a rich listening atmosphere that is anything but boring.


Threshold of Faith is a Russian ambient artist who focuses on totally submerged drones and tonal shifts that sound impossibly spacious and buried under a sheer tonnage of brutalist cement. The result is pure drift and bottomless depths of muted sound. 

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Comprised of two married couples, Austin’s Blushing create that perfect combination of crushing shoegaze heaviness and lithe, ethereal softness of Cocteau Twins’ breathy vocals and spacious listening room. “Dream Merchants” pulls a  massive riff out the humid air of feedback-heavy static and multi-layered vocals, creating a ghostly doubling effect like tracers across a perma-fucked visual field.


By incorporating the droning, buzzing qawwali harmonium into their plodding, heavy slowcore riffs, the Pakistani band introduce an entire tonal field that allows “Burden” to stand apart from a broad range of slow-and-low bands. When paired with washes of rumbling guitar feedback Sail Into Night create truly compelling music that rivals bands like Cloakroom or Pelican in execution and complexity.


Richard Bailey’s Proem project made its debut on the American IDM glitchscape 20 years ago. Since then Proem has racked up an impressive catalog of stuttering, stop-starting, strangely-industrial beatscapes across a variety of formats. His latest for n5md finds the artist mining his back catalog and finding ideas like shiny stones on a garden path, cobbles together a teetering outsider-art installation to seizure-inducing dance music.


“If he hurts you again / I’m going to fucking punch his teeth in” is a line that jumps out of a late-nite, slow-burning underwater pop track that, while running the risk of stopping another song dead in its tracks, gives another dimension to this wholly human song by Instupendo. “Cinderalla” is a fully realized world of glistening arpeggios and beats that trip over themselves with the most beautiful grace. Highly recommended.


Anything released on Chihei Hatakayama’s White Paddy Mountain will give me pause for consideration. I am glad I did with Marty Hicks. The Tokyo based pianist creates fluttering piano lines like waves of tone that peak and crest, recede and gather. Static surrounds these subtle movements that define themselves in their absence, suspended in air as if held up by gossamer thread.


Jett Kwong possesses a voice that can erupt from layered, looped and fragmented vessel of an experimental electronic artist to create a pulling yet heavily edited set-piece to a roaring pop hook without skipping a beat. This transcendence of form is handled deftly in “Away” where these two modes meet and circle around one another in the smoky updraft of rafter-ascending vowels.


Did I just get pulled into an advertising campaign for the state of Michigan by listening to and reviewing ambient/new age legend John Beltran’s latest release? Damn straight. “Childhood Memories” builds upon a noise floor of field samples taken an idyllic lake setting and folds those into shimmering tonal shifts, drones and piano lines that hang in air like the residue of an afternoon shower.

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