I don't know if you'd agree, but we at Rx Dose have been noticing that the world seems like an increasingly bizarre place, full of instability and chaos but bearing also an endless supply of leftfield wonders. Has this always been the case, and we simply have more access to the information that spotlights our current state? (Because Internet.) Or is it just the sign of the modern times? (#WATTBA, etc.)
It is thus inevitable that the Dose's musical attention would be affected by our environment — one reason we'd be hard-pressed to call this edition of the monthly mix "linear." Instead, the tempos of our rhythm scatter, the sonic traditions to which we hew progress unexpectedly, the places we look for new sounds keep changing, as does the very purpose of the music we champion. Quality is the only constant. (We hope you agree.)
We'll have bonus rhythmic goodies for you before the next Dose comes into view; and in the meantime, you can follow our day-by-day listening evolution on Twitter at @Sami_Yenigun (Sami) @raspberryjones (Piotr) and @spotieotis (Otis).
Forum is a new trio of German producers (Tim Schumacher, Kevin Lukacz and Volkan Simonic) from Mulheim, a small city on the Rhine, just north of Dusseldorf. So when listening to "Papillon," the 106-bpm stand-out off the group's self-titled debut EP, you'd be forgiven if the sweet swirl of synthesizer melodies and simple, elegant cross-rhythms did not evoke the musical ghosts of Dusseldorf past, of Kreidler and the unfussy side of Mouse on Mars and, yes, of even the grand local pubahs, Kraftwerk. "Papillon" is really all about how the metronomic loops wrap themselves around each other to create an uncomplicated bed of rhythm, before a kalimba-like instrument brings in a distinct counterpoint, and a snaky keyboard offers up a hanging melodic aside. It's the kind of a fully-formed, not-just-for-club curio that, if the EP's other tracks did not offer absolute allegiance to the dance-floor, might make you think another fusion-happy, post-rock electronica moment was upon us.
Timecode: 00:00 — 04:25
Forum is out now on Aiwo Records.
Leon Vynehall, "Kiburu's"
Producer/DJ Leon Vynehall may not (yet) have the crossover hits of Four Tet or Joy Orbison, but the Dose would argue that he's part of the same pantheon of contemporary British electronic dance artists. (NPR Music said as much in 2014 when we included Music For The Uninvited in our favorite 50 albums of that year.) Most everything the Portsmouth artist has released since his debut in 2012 is solid gold, and "Kiburu's" — the lead single to his upcoming album Rojus (Designed To Dance) — is no exception. Fueled by the timeless funk triumvirate of kickdrum, snare and hi-hat, the track is a panoply of organic grooves that tumble forward in perfect formation, and irresistible for it.
Timecode: 04:26 — 11:56
Rojus (Designed To Dance) is out April 1 on Running Back.
02Paradise (Gavin Russom Dub)
Siren, "Paradise (Gavin Russom Dub)"
This one's a gathering of New York City heavy-hitters. Siren is the collaboration between two of the city's preeminent disco-house DJ/producers, Dennis "Citizen" Kane and Darshan Jesrani (who is probably best-known to the global dance-floor as half of Metro Area); while Russom is the synth wizard who's left his mark all over dance music the last decade, whether with any one of his groups (Delia & Gavin, Black Meteoric Star and The Crystal Ark being the famous ones) or with his contributions to LCD Soundsystem. All three men are fully familiar with the Big Apple's soulful club vibes, and these are the very notions that Gavin's remix locks up in a techno basement for 10 minutes, only allowing the hedonist voices to momentarily escape through the rhythm grid before pushing them back into the darkness.
Timecode: 11:57 — 19:12
Paradise is out now on Compost Black Label.
Jordan Gcz, "Fission Transmission"
- from Fission Transmission
Having featured Jordan Czamanski's "Swingonoguitaro" back in 2014 and his 2015 live duo album with Move D as a First Listen album preview, it's fair to say that the Amsterdam-based producer is one of the Dose's favorite left-of-center dance cats. The raison d'affectueux is simple: you can never be quite sure what you're going to get from a Czamanski project. His creative spirit runs wild across several groups and aliases, including Juju & Jordash, Magic Mountain High, Zsa Gang, and most notably of late, Jordan Gcz. His latest surprise is "Fission Transmission," a 16-minute ambient acid track that unfolds across three distinct movements. At its most tweaked moments, it drifts precariously close to peak-time techno and is all the better for it.
Timecode: 19:13 — 26:57
Fission Transmission is out now on Off Minor.
Vancouver's ascension as a global dance hub gathered more steam in late 2015 when local DJ Laura Sparrow, a.k.a. LNS, released one of the year's most celebrated underground mixes for the website Trushmix. The 90 minutes of choice ambient techno demonstrated Sparrow's digging prowess and ramped up anticipation for original LNS material. In late January, she made good on the hype with the cassette, Maligne Range, a vibed-out half-hour of svelte electro. "Minas," the album's lead single, could be mistaken for a classic Detroit electro tune in the right setting, but its West Coast pedigree shines through via its feathered edges and an effortless demeanor.
Timecode: 26:58 — 31:21
Maligne Range is out now on 1080p.
Mikael Seifu, "ዘላለም (Vector of Light)"
First, full disclosure: this Ethiopian-born producer came to prominence via a single on 1432 R, the DC-based label co-founded by Rx Dose co-conspirator Sami Yenigun. Yet the inclusion of "Vector of Light," the closing track off Seifu's new EP on RVNG Int'l, in this month's mix is based not on insider trading, but on its absolute ghostly beauty, the way that it combines the tools and ideas of modern techno with a sense of melody, texture and narrative purpose that accesses information unavailable in your average club track. It's a wonderful, poly-rhythmic mess of rolling time-signatures, a handful of dark and flanged synths, and two voices dubbed into their own compositional lines — an epic cultural summit, the kind of thing a fearless DJ might bust out to clear the peak-time floor. It is also an acknowledgement of a bigger world outside the beat — but conversely, how the beat is inherently a part of the bigger world.
Timecode: 31:22 — 38:33
Zelalem is out now on RVNG Int'l.