Joe Powers is from Edinburgh, far outside the network of the Grime capital of London. His caffeinated productions as Proc Fiskal are faster than usual, with many clocking in at 160bpm. ‘The Highland Mob’, his 2017 debut EP, opened up his music to open-eared footwork and drum’n’bass fans as well as the grime crowd. After following that up with a jungle-inflected EP on Cosmic Bridge, ‘Insula’ switches the feel and intention towards a personal, and melodic music with one foot in Grime, infused with often comic, often wistful recorded moments from his environment.
He says ‘I wanted to be aware of where the music is coming from, referencing things I’m presently experiencing, like making Grime, my Radar radio show, phone addiction, alcohol, my surroundings, girls, depression, positivity, being unemployed, being employed and hating it, my friends etc. Trying to be true to myself instead of relying on other peoples’ nostalgia, and focusing on now.’ The record is a huge leap in vision, with delicate, pointillist melodies and intricate edits reminiscent of Grime producers such as Terror Danjah.
It also resonates with Japanese video game music like that recently explored on the ‘Diggin' In The Carts’ compilation. ‘I think I probably make tunes to get out emotions I don’t express in day-to-day life. I used clips of my friends talking, drunk folk, and general Scottish life to preserve and represent what my experience is like right now, like a time capsule. Social media notification sounds are designed to release serotonin, which is what I’d like my music to do, to make me, and other people happy, and in using these manipulative noises in a positive way, I like to think I’m taking back the power of the manipulation.’
Proc Fiskal is adventurous and thoughtful as a producer, and at the young age of 21, his debut album is very advanced in its ideas and execution.
Tracklisting: Side A: 1. Restart 2. Apple Juice 3. Kontinuance 4. 2L
A generation younger than the founders of the Teklife crew, DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn, DJ Taye was originally a rapper and beat maker before hooking up with the collective and jumping into the world of footwork production and DJing. However, it was Rashad’s untimely passing in 2014 that was the unlikely catalyst for developing the sounds and ideas for this album. He says, "When Rashad passed away I felt inspired to continue evolving the music that I loved so much coming up in this world. So, I had to do something…make something brand new."
100% committed to pushing further the potential of the footwork template, Still Trippin’ is ambitious in its range and scope. Taking two years to formulate, the record broadens the possibilities of the sound, forcing it to adapt to songwriting, and also revives Taye’s talent for MCing and producing beats to which he can rap and sing. Furthermore Taye definitely ups the ante with his complex and precise drum programming, never losing sight of footwork’s ability to confound.
The album features a range of guests that span contemporary music; the eccentric, instructive rapping of Chuck Inglish of Detroit duo the Cool Kids is featured on ‘Get It Jukin’, Odile Myrtil, a young vocalist from Montreal, lends her smokey soul to ‘Same Sound’, Fabi Reyna, the editor of the celebrated women’s guitar magazine She Shreds, sings and plays bass and rhythm guitar on ‘I Don’t Know’ and Jersey club queen UNIIQU3 offers production and rapping on ‘Gimme Some Mo’.Also, Teklife members DJ PayPal and DJ Manny assist on production, and DJ Lucky is a guest MC on ‘Smokeout’.
Taye is ambitious in his hopes for the album; "I took this as an opportunity to not have boundaries with footwork. Different approaches to our ‘underground’ sound to make it broader. It’s only underground until it crosses that visible threshold.” This album brings all of this to the forefront.
Tracklisting: 1. 2094 2. Trippin’ 3. Need It (ft DJ Manny) 4. Smokeout (ft DJ Lucky) 5. Same Sound (ft Odile Myrtil) 6. 9090 7. Anotha4 (ft DJ Manny) 8. Bonfire (ft DJ Paypal) 9. The Matrixx (ft DJ Manny) 10. Get It Jukin’ (ft Chuck Inglish) 11. Pop Drop (ft DJ Paypal) 12. Gimme Some Mo (ft UNIIQU3) 13. Truu (ft DJ Paypal) 14. Closer 15. I’m Trippin’ 16. I Don’t Know (ft Fabi Reyna)
Mana is producer and composer Daniele Mana from Torino in Italy. His debut EP for Hyperdub, 'Creature’, is also the first under his own surname. It’s one of his most vivid, personal and confident releases to date.
Since 2010, he has been releasing under the moniker Vaghe Stelle, with EPs and two full length albums on labels such as Gang of Ducks, Aisha Devi's Danse Noire, Astro:Dynamics and most recently, Nicolas Jaar’s Other People records. He is also a member of One Circle with Lorenzo Senni and soundtracks composer Francesco Fantini.
On ‘Creature’, over eight tracks, he ingests Shostakovitch, Drexciya, Darkthrone, Frank Ocean and Paul Lansky, and refashions them into an almost operatic record - a rich, melodrama of dark tension and excitable in-your-face synth melodies. In using his own name for the first time, he says he is confronting the unfiltered, “brutal truth” of his self, compressing “tension and anxiety” into a “claustrophobic sense of emotional vacuum.”
From the skulking clockwork of 'Crystaline,' the rich drifting ambience of 'Sei Nove', to the panicky, rushy rave stabs meets horror theme of 'Running Man’, it’s lucid, dynamic synth music which uses drums sparingly, but occasionally swirls into little sublime vortices of arpeggiated hyperrhythm.
The melodies are bright and pitch bent, swollen by euphoric voltage surges and stuttering, soaring strings in ’Rabbia’, plucking wide-screen, heart strings on ’Uno e Solo' and lulling down into the delicate, shimmering prisms of ‘Wetlife’ and ’Consolations’. While in its own lane, ‘Creature’ feels totally at home on Hyperdub.
Tracklisting: Side A: 1. Fade 2. Crystalline 3. Sei Nove 4. Runningman
Side B: 5. Wetlife 6. Rabbia 7. Uno E Solo 8. Consolations
Hyperdub are proud to present Diggin In The Carts - A Collection Of Rare And Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music. This release builds on the critically acclaimed Red Bull Music Academy radio documentary series of the same name that chronicles the history and global influence of this exciting early strain of electronic music.
Researched and curated by Diggin In The Carts writer / co-director Nick Dwyer and Hyperdub label head Kode9, the collection plunges deep into the rare archives of the chip era of Japanese video game music.
Available on CD and digital, with a vinyl run to follow early in 2018, the collection features artwork by renowned Japanese anime artist Koji Morimoto, whose distinctive style has featured in films like Memories and The Animatrix. The music in this collection was made for globally renowned systems, from Famicom, Super Famicom and the PC-Engine through to popular Japanese home computer platforms like the MSX, MSXturboR and the PC-8801.
Diggin In The Carts showcases these works not just as ‘music for video games,’ but as incredible pieces of electronically produced Japanese music that stand on their own. Some of the greatest art is created within limitations, and often the most pioneering and influential periods in electronic music have resulted from artists pushing existing technology to its limits.
The 8-bit and 16-bit era of video game music in the 1980s and early 1990s saw composers squeezing the most technicolour array of sounds, tones and melodies from the limited chips and channels they had at their disposal. With every new system came a new sound chip, and every chip brought its own personality, with Japanese games companies adopting all kinds of methods to give their games the sonic edge, from customizing their chips to boost the console's capabilities to composers developing bespoke computer programs to generate their own unique sound palette.
From Soshi Hosoi’s Steve Reich inspired minimalist masterpiece ‘Mister Diviner’ from The Mahjong Touhaiden, to the dazzling high-tech chip soul of Toshiharu Yamanishi’s ‘Shooting Stars’ from legendary Mega Drive shooter Thunder Force IV, and not forgetting the saw tooth heavy darkness of the Konami Kukeiha Club on titles like ‘Mouryou Senki Madara’ and ‘Esper Dream II’, Diggin In The Carts aims to bring the pleasure and depth of this music to an audience inside and outside the gaming world.
The release of the compilation coincides with Red Bull Music Academy’s Diggin In The Carts event series, which brings Japan's leading composers of video game music together with a new generation of artists in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo and beyond, starting in October.
Tracklisting: 1. Konami Kukeiha Club - Opening (Cosmic Wars) 02. Konami Kukeiha Club - Mazed Music (Nemesis) 03. Norio Nakagata - Big Mode (Genpei Touma Den) 04. Michiharu Hasuya - Hidden Level (Solomon's Key) 05. Konami Kukeiha Club - A Planet Of Plants (Nemesis 2) 06. Manabu Saito - Telepathy (Chatty) 07. Konami Kukeiha Club - Equipment (Nemesis 3 The Eve Of Destruction) 08. Konami Kukeiha Club - Bgm 3 (Motocross Maniacs) 09. Toshiya Yamanaka - Visual Scene 1&2 (Wer Dragon) 10. Goblin Sound - Opening (Hisou Kihei X-Serd) 11. Tadahiro Nitta - An-Un 'Ominous Clouds' (Xak Ii) 12. Yuzo Koshiro - Temple (Actraiser) 13. Konami Kukeiha Club - Road To Agartha (Mouryou Senki Madara) 14. Hiroyuki Kawada - King Erekiman (The Legend Of Valkyrie) 15. Katsuro Tajima - Exercise (Mega Panel) 16. Goblin Sound - Game Over (Hisou Kihei X-Serd) 17. Konami Kukeiha Club - Beyond The Terminus (Block Hole) 18. Kazuko Umino (Zuntata) - Waltz Of Water And Bubbles (Liquid Kids) 19. Hiroto Saitou - Main Stage Bgm 1 (Time Cruise Ii) 20. Yasuhisa Watanabe (Zuntata) - Area 26-10 (Metal Black) 21. Hiroto Saitou - Site 3-1 Torrid City (Metal Stoker) 22. Tadahiro Nitta - Metal Area (Illusion City) 23. Hiroto Saitou - Site 6-2 (Metal Stoker) 24. Masumi Itou - Tactics 4 (Super Royal Blood) 25. Goblin Sound - My Phase 'State 12/14 (Vixen 357) 26. Hiroaki Yoshida - Kyoushin 'Lunatic Forest' (Dragon Gun) 27. Konami Kukeiha Club - Underwater Dungeon (Esper Dream 2) 28. Technosoft - Shooting Stars (Thunder Force Iv) 29. Soshi Hosoi - Mister Diviner (The Majhong Touhhaiden) 30. Jun Ishikawa - Main Theme (Alchahest) 31. Kazuhiko Nagai - Keel (Golden Axe Ii - The Duel) 32. Koichi Ishibashi - Bad Data (Dezaemon) 33. Yasuaki Fujita - What Is Your Birthday? (Tarot Mystery) 34. Kazuo Hanzawa - Oblivious Past (Alien Soldier)