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Listen: Diskotopia tracks

November 2013

Listen to a compilation of tracks by artists released on Diskotopia, with annotations by the label. Based in Tokyo, the label is run by Matt Lyne and Brian Durr, and is featured in an article by Chal Ravens in The Wire 358.

01
BD1982
"Bakkwaa"
from Casings EP

Diskotopia co-head Brian Durr's "Bakkwaa" is a throwback to the sound of mid-1980s digi-dancehall in the vein of Steely & Clevie as well as a stark calling card from a dystopian future. "Bakkwaa" is a good example of BD1982's sound as a whole: his exploration of angulated and shattered dancehall and jungle indebted rhythms punctuating dilapidated VHS recall futurist synthscapes.

02
A Taut Line
"No Prior Depth"
from Nitriding Portrait LP

The other Diskotopia head, Matt Lyne's A Taut Line takes the lush, lo-fi house sounds of his previous Diskotopia EPs and filters them through a hallucinatory production palette to create a sultry late-night fourth world exotica, inspired by the humid sub-tropical summers of his adopted homeland, Japan. African and Brazilian-influenced polyrhythmic percussion mix with Liberty Records-esque strings and melodic textures. "No Prior Depth" is the heaviest track on the album, infused with the percussion and organs of 1970s Afro-funk via early 90s British electronica. Mammoth knackered tribal funk.

03
Rabit
"Sun Showers"
from Sun Showers EP

Journalist Adam Harper summing up the Sun Showers EP: "Goodbye Gameboy grime. Goodbye painstaking arguments that Zomby and Ikonika were avant-garde, not nostalgic. Goodbye cynics being able to write off contemporary electronic music as lazy and backward-looking. Goodbye four-to-the-floor kicks. Goodbye analogue warmth. Goodbye to the contours of late 20th century emotion. Goodbye gravity. Hello future."

04
Serifu
"Stucco Swim"
from Stucco Swim EP

"Stucco Swim" was Diskotopia's first introduction to Serifu’s sonic stimulus and it sounds like a Rubix Cube’s descent down a flight of stairs rigged with synthetic booby traps. Gurgling drums and skewed percussion intertwine with shredded vocal chants, jungle bass hits, laser smudges, washed out pads and bits of otherworldly artefacts.

05
Mau'lin
"Quotient"
from Quotient EP

London based Tender Hooks co-founder, Mau'lin, continues his exploration of ruff and rugged techno abstractions in Quotient. This title track consists of a bent, portamento-twisted barrage of android percussion colliding like bursting atoms with jackin' drums, while an otherworldly wash of synth blankets the surrounding frenzy. A seriously gigantic and timeless club tune.

06
Greeen Linez
"Hibiscus Pacific"
from Things That Fade LP

Greeen Linez is a collaboration between Chris Greenberg (from the British electronic pop band Hong Kong In The 60s) and A Taut Line. The project combines the 90s dance music and R&B that soundtracked Chris and Matt’s childhoods with the 70s/80s jazz-funk and synthesizer soundtracks they've obsessed over in the years since. This is filtered through a mix of retro pop, fusion and supermarket muzak that Matt has been exposed to during his time in Japan. "Hibiscus Pacific" is a quintessential city-pop number, providing a vision of island paradise, yacht party cocktails under the stars and a tropical dream cruise into eternity.

07
Fujimoto Tetsuro
"Dramas"
from Sketches Of The Other Tokyo EO

Inspired by everything from nature, space and his life in Tokyo, Cosmopolyphonic member Fujimoto uses elements of hip hop, R&B, soul, jazz, house, UK garage to create his sound. The R&B vocal cuts and elastic guitar grazes of "Dramas" mix with its bouncy drum programming, as flanged and filtered chords swell and waver throughout. A striking celestial ebb and flow.

08
Myakkah
"Eyes Down"
from Warehouse Soul EP

Myakkah's Warehouse Soul was delivered with a scarce amount of personal backstory but a rich aesthetic of past, present and future sonics. "Eyes Down" has an acid-indebted lead, eskibeat percussion and catacomb-dwelling kicks. Dusty sci-fi house grooves coming across like vintage NYC house recordings which were then buried in a time capsule only to be dug up and completed in the year 2025.

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