Underground, Dance and Electronica with Chris Honnery

Off the back of his Borderland collaboration with Juan Atkins – which is one of my favourite releases of the year – seminal German producer Moritz von Oswald has linked up with Norwegian future jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær to create an album entitled 1/1. It was recorded earlier this year in MVO’s Berlin studio, and features eight tracks of Molvær’s trumpet melding with moody synth manipulations. The release builds on MVO’s previous project with Atkins, as he delves deeper into jazz-inspired soundscapes. While this is definitely one to file under the ‘chin stroker’ category, that does not mean you shouldn’t seek it out – fans of Borderland have no excuse for ignoring this release.

Detroit luminary Kenny Larkin will return to Australia next month. A chap who remains as relevant today as he was 15 years ago, Larkin has released on labels like Submerge, Planet E, Peacefrog, and Rush Hour since his memorable debut. While Larkin’s 1994 debut album Azimuth is commonly regarded as one of the better dance albums of the modern era, he has consistently confirmed that he hasn’t lost any of his magic in more recent times, with such releases as his collaboration with Shlomi Aber, ‘Sketches’, and rollicking remixes of Inner City and Radioslave’s ‘I Don’t Need A Cure For This’. Larkin will spin at the Goldfish on Saturday September 21.

Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer will release a new EP, Turbo Semantic, on the canonical Perlon imprint next month. The pair has previously collaborated on remixes of tracks by Vladislav Delay, Tobias and Conrad Schnitzler’sesoteric piece ‘Zug’. This time around, they’ve added vocalists to the fray: Chile’s Tea Time and New York spoken word artist Azeem. Information on the release is scarce at present, with a press release suggesting the EP will find the producers getting “all independent and rappy.” Whether you take that as a chemical-inspired, too-clever-by-half (or maybe by many halves) reference to the title of Villalobos’ 2012 album – also released on Perlon – or as a harbinger of the EP’s apparent hip hop sensibility is entirely your decision.

The Ghostly International label – home to the likes of Matthew Dear and Fort Romeau – will release the second installment in its SMM series at the end of October, SMM:Opiate. The compilation follows 2011’s Context, the first SMM release under Ghostly’s wings after the brand was acquired from the Ann Arbor label. The compilation reportedly focuses on “classical minimalism, electronic and drone composition, film soundtracks and fragile imaginary landscapes” while following a narrative arc and “descending through a series of stages into near-complete stillness, and then slowly ascending back to where it began”. (You get why they called it ‘Opiate’ now, right?) Beginning with Simon Scott’s beatless track ‘Water Shadow’, the compilation collates material plucked from various corners of the world, including the likes of Pjusk, Celer, Black Swan and Fieldhead.

Keeping with the theme of this week’s column, the Germanic husband-and-wife duo Dapayk & Padberg have taken a “temporary step away from the dancefloor” for their upcoming fourth album, Smoke. Dapayk has been producing minimal cuts since the mid-’90s, and it was only a decade on that he began producing with his partner Eva Padberg. As a duo, they announced their arrival with the brooding cut ‘Black Beauty’, a melancholic ode to the gradual eradication of the traditional DJ modus operandi, vinyl. This time around, they’ve opted for what has been described as “glistening, singer-songwriter-esque electronica”. Taking in elements from dubstep and acoustic pop, Smoke is said to bathe in a much more gloomy, string-fuelled sound compared to their previous work. “When we had the structure for about two-thirds of the album set up, we realised [we were] heading into some dark waters,” Eva revealed to a journalist she was sipping mocktails with. “I learned a lot about myself and the both of us while making this album. Sometimes I was quite surprised about the dark thoughts going through my head, since I am generally not a sad person. I think those songs were a good and healthy way to face that side of myself.” Uh, way to sell us the album, Eva. But to hell with sunshine, lollypops and all that peaches-and-cream garbage – I’m a believer that the best art is born out of oppression, pain, suffering and despair. As Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tenant once declared, “That’s the thing about negative energy… It can be positive. It throws into relief all the things you know you like. It tells you, by elimination, what you’re about.” And surely getting to the bottom of what you’re about, and what you’re afflicted by, is a prerequisite to making great art – or just living a genuine life for that matter.

Looking Deeper

Friday August 30

Ancient Methods

Goodgod Small Club

Saturday August 31


The Spice Cellar

Sunday September 1


The Abercrombie

Saturday September 21

Kenny Larkin

The Goldfish

Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through deep.impressions@yahoo.com

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