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Perfectly Deep Weekly: Your primary source for the finest deep electronic music on the Internet

Perfectly Deep Weekly #47:
Anfisa Letyago, Moderat, Batu

 

Dear <<First Name>>
 

This newsletter edition is unique because, for the first time, we zoom in on the artist lineup of an event, the upcoming Sónar festival in Barcelona, Spain, which takes place next weekend from June 16-19, 2022.

 

I have been attending Sónar for a long series of years and find it to be one of the best events, if not the best, for electronic music (including the deep variants). After a long pandemic-related hiatus, the festival is back and I am looking much forward to attend again this year.

 

The event program is always an array of brilliant music delights. For this newsletter, I have carefully selected brand new releases from three of the artists I look the most forward to experiencing live at the event. The criteria for the selection is that their latest release fits the 'deep' criteria to a large degree.

 

If you are reading this and attending, too, give me a shout using the shoutbox below if you'd like to meet up.

 

In any case, I hope you enjoy this newsletter as much as I did putting it together.

 

Keep it deep,

 

Christian Villum


 


Sónar - electronic beats and creativity in the sunshine 

Sónar is an art, design, and electronic and experimental music festival founded in Barcelona in 1994 by a small group of people, including Ricard Robles, Enric Palau, and Sergi Caballero. The festival is divided into two parts: Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night. The former features more experimental electronic music, and the latter has a more upbeat and danceable profile. In addition, the event features a three-day congress dedicated to Creativity, Technology, and Business, running concurrently since 2013.

Alongside the flagship event in Barcelona, Sónar hosts events worldwide, with annual festivals currently taking place in Bogota, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Reykjavik, and Istanbul. Previously, there was also a Copenhagen edition, though it only ran once, unfortunately. 

Another benefit of attending Sónar is that the city's numerous other electronic music event promoters take the opportunity to organize different events in parallel with the festival. Hundreds of side events feature a similarly stellar lineup of talent, including established and upcoming acts. The biggest challenge of being a music enthusiast in Barcelona this weekend is to choose and accept that you can only be in one place at a time.

Read more and check out this year's line-up here.

Image: SonarVillage, Sonar by Day (Sonar.es)
 

Anfisa Letyago - The Lab LDN (2022)

FXA / Mixmag

Tags: #minimaltechno #bangingtechno


One of the most prominent rising stars in techno, Anfisa Letyago has bursted on to the scene, it seems, but not before spending a good ten years doing the proper legwork to establish herself on the circuit. Based in Naples, Italy, she has played all over the world, including pretty much all the major events that feature electronic music. She is known as a highly skilled DJ with dexterity that lead to wicked energy levels - in the speakers as well as on the floor.

As a producer she is also highly prolific. She put out a debut EP release in 2016 on the Dutch label Spinnin' Records, and an exceedingly acclaimed debut album in 2020 on the British label Hotflush Recordings. Alongside with that she has also released over ten EPs on various labels including some in the highest echelons, like Kompakt, Drumcode, Rekids and Nervous Records.

This mix, which came out just a few days
ago, was recorded for The Lab LDN, a London-based DJ-mix podcast with sets being performed live every week at the office of notable news outlet Mixmag. There isn't much metadata available, because unlike almost all other podcasts it does not have a Soundcloud or Mixcloud account. You'll have to experience the stream live to hear it. However, this recording somehow made it onto Soundcloud anyway through a private, reclusive Soundcloud account by the name of FXA.
So we'll have to settle with only those few details.

It starts out with approx. 18 mins of solid grooves before stepping up a gear with a series deep cuts, which is my favorite part. Around the half hour mark the momentum is upped even further, and, in all honesty, we step out of the 'deep' bracket, and into banging minimal techno territory (arguably Letyago's native country, musically). The remainder of the set is an enjoyable journey through pounding techno funk.

 

Soundcloud

 


Moderat - More D4ta (2022)
Monkeytown Records

Tags: #experimentalelectronica #melodictechno

Brand new album from one of the most revered names in electronic music, Moderat, which is the brainchild of two major acts: Sascha Ring, also known as Apparat, and Modeselektor's Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary. Hence, the Moderat name is a merge between the two other monikers. It doesn't stop here, though. 'More d4ta' is an anagram of 'Moderat 4': This is their fourth album, and the previous three have been named numbers, too. That's elegant wordplay.

 

The album comes out after six years of silence from the group, almost a lifetime in electronic music. But it shows the prominence of the band, which over its four albums has shown significant cross-over quality and, as a result, appears as much as a mainstream music act as one that has kept its edge with the more underground electronic music community. An example of that is how their second album, II, yielded quite a hit, 'A New Error,' which not only brought Moderat onto major stages worldwide, including non-electronic ones but to this day remains a classic among electronic music connoisseurs worldwide, myself included.

 

'More d4ta' starts with a slow ambient electronica track, 'Fast Land,' that features the signature synth sound of the band (there's another reference to 'A New Error') and a compelling, drowsy beat. Next comes another laid-back track, with vocals by Sascha Ring. A beautiful, catchy, and almost poppy track, if not for the challenging drum programming.

 

Other highlights include 'Numb Bell,' a slow-burning track that builds over 5 minutes and features a long, elegant, and quiet break in the middle. 'Doom Hype' is another interesting track, which, from a couple of minutes into the groove, at times reminds me a bit of the style of Underworld and their vocalist Karl Hyde.

 

The album comes out on Modeselektor's label 'Monkeytown Records,' which, alongside all the Moderat and Modeselektor records, has over 350 releases under its belt. These include some by other heavyweights like Mouse on Mars, Otto von Shirach, Roman Flügel, Funkstörung, Rødhåd, Fjaak, and even Syrian world beats megastar Omar Souleyman. Another testament to the central prominence of the Moderat trio, Bronsert and Sebastian Szary in particular, and their impact on the electronic music world.


Spotify  Apple Music  Tidal  Bandcamp  Deezer  Youtube Music


Batu - Opal (2022)
Timedance

Tags: #experimentaltechno #experimentalelectronica

When you put on the opening track of 'Opal,' you quickly discover that this is an album exploring deep electronic music's boundaries. This is the signature sound of Batu, who has had quite the breakthrough this year because of this album, which is his debut.

 

He is no newbie at all, though. Not only has he released over 15 EPs since 2013 on notable labels like XL Recordings, Hessle Audio, and fellow UK-producer Pinch's label Cold Recordings. He is also the label boss of the bass music-label Timedance, home to artists like Ploy and Laksa. Going by the civil name of Omar McCutcheon, Batu has "carved out a unique sound for himself," as leading electronic music news site Resident Advisor so eloquently puts it.

 

The album starts deep and dark. 'Mineral Veins' is a beatless, instrumental track with a foreboding sound. It leads up to 'Convergence,' which is equally dark, but where the gloves come off, and Batu kicks into gear with aggressive drum programming that sits somewhere between experimental techno and breakcore.

 

'Atavism' is a bass-heavy belter featuring a hypnotic pace centered around an unconventional drum pattern. It is followed by a natural transition in the album, 'Emulsion of Light,' which is another insistent yet beatless track with light synth lines, looping pads, and a rumbling bassline.

 

Other highlights include 'Squall,' a slowish yet potent bass monster, which - if turned all the way up - will likely cause cracks in the foundation of your house by sheer low-frequency vibration. I also like 'Eolith,' the second to last track of the album.

 

Batu has created a highly unpredictable album that twists and turns whenever you skip forward. Moreover, it is tough to pin down using conventional genre labels. I've opted for 'experimental techno' and 'experimental electronica,' as you can see in the tags above, and also call it 'bass music' in the text. But even those three very wide brackets somehow fall short of genuinely describing what this deep album contains. A border-breaking release to expand our musical horizon.


Spotify  Apple Music  Bandcamp  Deezer  Youtube Music
 

PERFECTLY DEEP WEEKLY? REMIND ME AGAIN WHAT THIS IS?

 Perfectly Deep Weekly is a free newsletter that makes it easy to enjoy quality deep electronic music every week. It is curated by me, Christian Villum, an electronic music buff based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The idea is simple: I listen to the many releases that come out, pick the ones I like the best - and share them with you here.

Browse the archive of past newsletters here.

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