©©'s New Album Is a Dog-Eared Postcard From Off the Grid

Where in the world is ©©? According to his label, Jungle Gym Records, the elusive producer (pronounced “Coco”) is supposedly living off the grid somewhere in Germany, but the truth is nobody really knows for sure.

From wherever he is, ©© has sent a postcard in the form of his new album, People, Places, Patterns. The double-cassette—his debut on the Seattle-based label—comes after years of hitchhiking across the globe, making stops in Mexico, Rome, Amsterdam, and Berlin. With no home or studio to call his own, the producer’s crafted his tracks via simple means, including using an iPhone.

Like entries out of a diary, each of the record’s ten lo-fi songs captures a moment or emotion during ©©’s travels. “Fallin’ Up” is lackadaisical boom-bap for “rolling up marble steps,” elsewhere, “U Try” features field recordings of a bustling crowd, and the sprawling “GJGJ Cake” is filled with glass clinks and bird chirps. Overall, People, Places, Patterns flows with a slow, ponderous pace that echoes the simultaneous wonder and loneliness of nomadism.

Speaking to THUMP over email, Jungle Gym head Caleb Dravier recalls meeting the artist while the label was still in its conceptual phase.

“He had a little groovebox and a Kaoss pad running into a tape player, and introduced us to what would eventually become the Jungle Gym sound and approach: easy-going, one-take, improvising on cheap gear. It wasn’t until after this that I felt we were ready to launch Jungle Gym, and that we had something to offer, which is why finally putting Nate’s material out means so much to us… it might never have been heard otherwise.”

Stream the album below and pre-order it before its release June 27.

Bookworms Wants Listeners to Dig for Music’s Roots with His New Album

Ahead of its release next week on Break World Records, Brooklyn-based producer Bookworms (aka Nicholas Dawson) has shared his new album, Appropriation Loops.

The LP follows his 2016 full-length debut, Xenophobe, but deviates from its predecessor’s psychedelic, dancefloor-friendly techno. Though still trippy, its six tracks (including the titular, 20-minute-long opener) lean more towards experimental mood pieces, each an intricate tapestry of shadowy sounds and layers, looped and woven tightly into one another.

A press release defines the album’s title as “recurrent, fluctuant feedback loops in popular and unpopular culture.” In other words, it’s about appropriation being flipped back on itself. One example given is Detroit’s Motown sound in the 60s and 70s being filtered through the mechanistic lens of German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, whose own music influenced 80s Detroit techno.

“Detroit techno,” the statement adds, “could never have been without the device of appropriation…but the device is often misused. People want to know where their chicken comes from (free range, grass-fed, no antibiotics), but they don’t want to know where their music comes from.”

Stream Appropriation Loops below before its release on June 16, and pre-order the album here.

Appropriation Loops Tracklist:

1. Appropriation Loops
2. Walled Garden
3. Graffiti Pits
4. Oakland06
5. What Are Your Mixed With?
6. Skin Of My Teeth

Dive Into The Calming Vortex Of Tornado Wallace's Debut Album 'Lonely Planet'

Photo courtesy of the artist.

The name Tornado Wallace might seem like an ironic handle for the Berlin-based, Melbourne-bred DJ and producer born Lewie Day. Upon sifting through the bulk of his discography, a collection of EPs for labels like ESP Institute and Music From Memory, you’re treated to a smooth spread of subdued, levitating numbers that ebb and flow through momentary dashes of harder electronics. Earlier in his career, his productions regularly dipped into disco house. So wouldn’t a name centered around the gentler weather systems of nature be more fitting? Like waterfalls, or clouds? If you dig deeper into his work, though, you’ll see that the moniker refers to his torrential output of records on a wide selection of underground labels, year after year. With a packed schedule of party-ready DJ sets at clubs and festivals, Lewie Day has been tearing it up like the phenomena he’s named for. Now, after numerous intriguing touchdowns worldwide, he’s finally releasing his debut album, Lonely Planet, on Gerd Janson’s acclaimed Running Back label.

Once you crack open the record’s jungle-tinged cover, you’re treated to seven tracks that speak to the natural world’s many sonic reverberations. There’s playful balearic, sections of ambient interspersed with chanting a bird sounds, and some edgier analog noodling that could send curious ripples through an open-minded dancefloor. It’s an album eagerly awaiting the chance to settle your crowded headspace and the unnerving bustle of even more crowded cities. Along with a full stream of the LP, we had a brief chat with Tornado Wallace below about the new full-length, his frequent migration between Berlin and Melbourne, as well as the scene in greater Australia.

THUMP: Can you describe your frequent migration between your home of Melbourne and Berlin? What exactly sparked the move?
Tornado Wallace: I moved to Berlin to shake up my lifestyle and move a little out of my comfort zone. Things were too good in Melbourne so I thought I should make it a little more difficult for myself by moving to the European center. My annual retreats back to Melbourne for a few months over the summer here consist of playing shows, catching up with friends and family, getting a bit of sunshine, andsometimes desperatelytrying to keep busy.

There’s a lot amazing music coming out of Melbourne and Australian as a whole right now, paired with a lot of difficulties in the clubbing scene. How do you think the scene there can continue to flourish and grow in tandem with the various hardships?
Melbourne’s scene is really strong andfor what I’m intois one of the best in the world at the moment. So long as the younger generations keep looking to the underground, I think the future of parties are in safe hands. Perth has really been seeing some great things happen and Canberra is now stepping up to the plate too. Sydney’s well documented Government-imposed scene strangulation has certainly had an effect, but music and the underground are an ever-flowing stream, and a boulder being dropped in the current merely creates a rapid next to it.

With the album’s recording split between Melbourne and Berlin, how did both cities influence the of the LP?
I think the music I make in Melbourne is generally a result of jamming and experimenting with music gear, whereas in Berlin I usually go digging in record stores for weird samples/ideas to try build a track around. In that regard, the record stores in Berlin are quite influential, and my old synths/drum machines/FX in my studio in Melbourne have a big impact impact there. Otherwise location isn’t a big factor on the music. It’s my mind that does the traveling, not the passport.

From the album cover to album title and a few of the track names, the LP seems to theme a bit about the natural world. Is there any sort of underlying narrative you can expand on a bit for us?
I don’t want to predispose any listener too much to my personal narrative, but I do think it’s handy to contextualize the music with some vague imagery. So I’ll let the artwork and the music speak for themselves and each other, and hopefully people will drip for a similar trip.

What’s next for you?
I have a month left of “summer holidays” in Melbourne, playing some cool things here and there around town before heading back home to Berlin, and seeing how deep the 2017 rabbit hole goes.

Purchase Tornado Wallace’s Lonely Planet on Juno and Bandcamp.

Kornél Kovács Is Making House Music Fun Again

Kornl Kovcs (Photo by Hjalmar Rechlin)

“Respect to Avicii! He’s like the Omar-S of EDM,” says Kornl Kovcs over Skype from Stockholm. He explains that he once spent months trying to make a balls-to-the-walls, big-room track as a personal challengebut gave up after several failed attempts. ” were all starting to get proper careers, while I was still just DJing all the time in Stockholm. I felt like I was stuck in a rut. What if music wasn’t going to be my career? I actually was fantasizing about becoming a doctor.”

In 2008, just as his anxiety was reaching a zenith, Kovcs applied to the Barcelona edition of Red Bull Music Academy, and was accepted. “That was super-inspiring,” he says, “not so much in what I actually learned, but in terms of meeting young, like-minded people who felt the same aspirations and frustrations as I was.” When he returned to Stockholm from Barcelona, Kovcs decided to look for a studio and found a space that was big enough for three people. He decided to get in touch with a pair of Stockholm acquaintances, Axel Boman and Petter Nordkvis, whose music he admired. “I had been a big fan of the stuff that Petter had done with James Holden’s label Border Community a few years before, and I was also digging Axel’s new tracks that he was just starting to put out,” Kovcs says. “I asked them if they wanted to do itand we ended up becoming best friends really quickly.”

Kornl Kovcs, Axel Boman and Petter Nordkvist at Beats in Space (Photo via Studio Barnhus/Facebook)

In 2009, Studio Barnhusnamed after its location on Barnhusgatan, or “Orphanage Street”sprang into being. Clubs began to book the trio under the same name, and in 2010, the crew took the next logical step: putting out a record of their own music, “just to see if it could be done,” Kovcs says. The fledgling Studio Barnhus label’s first release was Good Children Make Bad Grown Ups, a mini-compilation featuring one track each by Kovcs, Boman, and Nordkvist, as well as a fourth by a mysterious producer named Gino Bomino, who Kovcs claims is “a friend who hails from the old, traditional Italian edit-maker family, the Bominos.” Kovcs’s contribution “Baby Step,” with its syncopated rhythms and sampled pop-song vocal, is a relatively straightforward deep-houser in comparison to The Bellsbut it was quirky enough to hint at the ebullience of his later productions.

In the ensuing six years, Studio Barnhus’ steady output has cemented the imprint’s rep as a home for the kind of dance music that’s both fun and functional, with slightly wonky, fully wonderful releases in the past year from the likes of Your Planet Is Next, HHNY and Baba Stiltz. Label co-founder Boman says The Bells represents the reason he dreamed of starting a label in the first place, calling it “one of our best, most innovative, and creative releases to date.” “The fact that one of my best friends has managed to do this on the label we share together makes me so proud that I want to cry,” Boman says in the album’s press release. Apparently, crying is a thing among the Studio Barnhus crewKovcs makes light of his labelmate’s high praise, saying, “Whenever I play something for Axel and Petter and they say, ‘Yeah, this is super cool, man,’ I’m still kind of convinced that they’re just being nice and don’t want to see me cry.”

As for the near short-term future, Kovcs has a packed schedule, with gigs in Australia, Brazil and throughout Europe filling his calendar for the next few months; if all goes well, he’ll be hitting the States this autumn. Kovcs also says to expect “brilliant stuff” coming soon from a mix of newcomers and usual suspects on Studio Barnhus, speaking of Baba Stiltz in particular with an admiration that approaches awe: “He’s just getting started; he is going to blow people’s minds pretty soon.” But when asked if he feels like a mentor to Stiltzor any of the label’s artistsKovcs demurs. “I feel like I’m still starting out myself,” he admits. “I’ve always been ‘the young kid’ doing this, and I still kind of feel that way.”

Kornél Kovács Is Making House Music Fun Again

Kornl Kovcs (Photo by Hjalmar Rechlin)

“Respect to Avicii! He’s like the Omar-S of EDM,” says Kornl Kovcs over Skype from Stockholm. He explains that he once spent months trying to make a balls-to-the-walls, big-room track as a personal challengebut gave up after several failed attempts. ” were all starting to get proper careers, while I was still just DJing all the time in Stockholm. I felt like I was stuck in a rut. What if music wasn’t going to be my career? I actually was fantasizing about becoming a doctor.”

In 2008, just as his anxiety was reaching a zenith, Kovcs applied to the Barcelona edition of Red Bull Music Academy, and was accepted. “That was super-inspiring,” he says, “not so much in what I actually learned, but in terms of meeting young, like-minded people who felt the same aspirations and frustrations as I was.” When he returned to Stockholm from Barcelona, Kovcs decided to look for a studio and found a space that was big enough for three people. He decided to get in touch with a pair of Stockholm acquaintances, Axel Boman and Petter Nordkvis, whose music he admired. “I had been a big fan of the stuff that Petter had done with James Holden’s label Border Community a few years before, and I was also digging Axel’s new tracks that he was just starting to put out,” Kovcs says. “I asked them if they wanted to do itand we ended up becoming best friends really quickly.”

Kornl Kovcs, Axel Boman and Petter Nordkvist (Photo via Studio Barnhus/Facebook)

In 2009, Studio Barnhusnamed after its location on Barnhusgatan, or “Orphanage Street”sprang into being. Clubs began to book the trio under the same name, and in 2010, the crew took the next logical step: putting out a record of their own music, “just to see if it could be done,” Kovcs says. The fledgling Studio Barnhus label’s first release was Good Children Make Bad Grown Ups, a mini-compilation featuring one track each by Kovcs, Boman, and Nordkvist, as well as a fourth by a mysterious producer named Gino Bomino, who Kovcs claims is “a friend who hails from the old, traditional Italian edit-maker family, the Bominos.” Kovcs’s contribution “Baby Step,” with its syncopated rhythms and sampled pop-song vocal, is a relatively straightforward deep-houser in comparison to The Bellsbut it was quirky enough to hint at the ebullience of his later productions.

In the ensuing six years, Studio Barnhus’ steady output has cemented the imprint’s rep as a home for the kind of dance music that’s both fun and functional, with slightly wonky, fully wonderful releases in the past year from the likes of Your Planet Is Next, HHNY and Baba Stiltz. Label co-founder Boman says The Bells represents the reason he dreamed of starting a label in the first place, calling it “one of our best, most innovative, and creative releases to date.” “The fact that one of my best friends has managed to do this on the label we share together makes me so proud that I want to cry,” Boman says in the album’s press release. Apparently, crying is a thing among the Studio Barnhus crewKovcs makes light of his labelmate’s high praise, saying, “Whenever I play something for Axel and Petter and they say, ‘Yeah, this is super cool, man,’ I’m still kind of convinced that they’re just being nice and don’t want to see me cry.”

As for the near short-term future, Kovcs has a packed schedule, with gigs in Australia, Brazil and throughout Europe filling his calendar for the next few months; if all goes well, he’ll be hitting the States this autumn. Kovcs also says to expect “brilliant stuff” coming soon from a mix of newcomers and usual suspects on Studio Barnhus, speaking of Baba Stiltz in particular with an admiration that approaches awe: “He’s just getting started; he is going to blow people’s minds pretty soon.” But when asked if he feels like a mentor to Stiltzor any of the label’s artistsKovcs demurs. “I feel like I’m still starting out myself,” he admits. “I’ve always been ‘the young kid’ doing this, and I still kind of feel that way.”

Scott Hardware’s 'Mutate Repeat Infinity' Is A Dance-Pop Meditation On Capitalism And Queerness

Album artwork courtesy of Banko Gotiti Records

Scott Hardware is the new synth-pop incarnation of Scott Harwood, who previously recorded as Ken Park. His new six-track EP, Mutate Repeat Infinity (out June 24 on Banko Gotiti Records), finds the artist connecting his love of both dance music and new wave pop, while subtly taking on queer political issues in his lyrics.

“This record is the summation of a years-long obsession with capitalism’s slow and frictional courtship of queerness: of the focus on marriage instead of healthcare, of erasure where remembrance is due, of an inflamed prejudice among the first let into the club,” Harwood told THUMP via email.

“Most of all I hope this album serves as a tribute to a generation of people who were left to die of a vicious plague and an indictment of their would-be heirs who choose to forget. Throughout, I imagine dance music as hallowed ground. The soundtrack and battle cry of a group of martyrs suffering for all the things I take for granted as an M4M in 2016.”

Stream the full EP below, preorder it on cassette or digitally here, and check out Harwood’s upcoming Canadian shows.

Scott Hardware Show Dates:

June 24 – The Velvet Underground – Toronto, ON (w/ Odonis Odonis & Prince Innocence)
July 7 – Incline/Decline Fest – Guelph, ON
July 28 – Bar Datcha – Montreal, QC
August 17 – Arboretum Fest – Ottawa, ON
August 20 – Camp Wavelength on Toronto Island – Toronto, ON
September 22 – Club Ballatou (POP Montreal) – Montreal, QC

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