GriffO takes the framework of math rock and propels it into the future with their kinetic and bubbly debut which finds the band taking their sound into a digital maze of endless imagination and high-strung rhythm patterns. Based loosely around the concept of an AI-enhanced girlfriend, and the computer-generated emotions swirling inside us all, the band feels right like a step in the direction of some of the genre’s more innovative architects such as LITE, Zazen Boys, Battles – and the while adding their own eccentricities, furiously blending together elements of suave jazz, sugar-coated indietronica, and kawaii punk swirl together into a satisfying and intoxicating cocktail. In a genre that’s often overpopulated with monotony, GriffO has wisely veered off course.
Shanghai electronic label SVBKVLT, whose roster of artists have been pushing the scene ahead of the curve for years, is back with their latest compilation showcasing the widely imaginative sounds and earworms that are lighting up the underground clubs across China. With thirteen tracks – ranging from dizzying chopped up footwork to bass-heavy aneurysm-inducing bangers that leave you gasping for air – there’s a forward-thinking sensibility to ideas on display – making for a rollercoaster ride of tunes that feel dangerous, woozy, and defiant in their audacity. An ear-opening kaleidoscope into a new generation of producers and the ever-evolving sounds that are shaping electronic music not only here, but around the world. Best be prepared to give those earbuds a workout.
Anton Bogdanov – the Shenyang-based zen-like master that goes by the name Pool of Light – is back with his latest live release – Altered States: Live in Manchuria – recorded during his recent tour of Northeast China alongside Dalian ambient artist Ruining. The one-man, multi-instrumentalist is operating in peak form here – using everything from guitars to synthesizers to create ambient music that speaks to a higher power. Like a mist that slowly blankets a mountainside village at dusk, there’s a tangible naturalism in the way the music swallows you whole, seeping into your pores and overwhelming your senses. Rich in its potency, transcendent in its power, Pool of Light is a calm force to be reckoned with.