Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
Sinjin Hawke, Nick Murphy and ZHU lead this week's Electric Feels, covering the best of electronic music in the past week.
ALBUM / EP OF THE WEEK
Sinjin Hawke - First Opus
Although Sinjin Hawke may be a name unknown to many, the Canadian-American experimental producer is one in his own league. He's seen by many as a leader of the growing club music scene, consistently expanding the boundaries of electronic music with long-lasting productions since the release of his debut The Lights EP back in 2011, released through the esteemed Pelican Fly. Since, Hawke has gone on to follow it up with another impressive EP and rounds of incredible remixes and collaborations, reaching a high-point with the release of a song called Wolves last year. Wolves, released by Kanye West on his extensive The Life Of Pablo record, saw Sinjin Hawke take his production game to a new highest point, linking up with Cashmere Cat to produce the Vic Mensa and Sia-featuring single which was named as a stand-out by fans and tastemakers alike, taking Sinjin to a new level in his career.
First Opus builds on this, riding the post-Wolves hype with his debut album released through his own FRACTAL FANTASY platform - founded alongside his partner-in-crime Zora Jones. First Opus is Sinjin Hawke's thrilling, boundary-breaking sound and its best, squirming with synth-driven breakdowns and tribal drum patterns that are designed to perfection. The opening Monolith (Overture) is a nod to his earlier work, dazzling with airy vocal leads and percussion-led, minimalist breakdowns. Dawn Of Infinity, on the other hand, crashes with triumphant horns and smashing cymbals after a gospel, Pablo-esque opening harmony. Leading single Onset and Snow Blind take on a far darker, club-orientated sound in comparison to the rest of the record, which is continued in a slightly different tone in the roaring In Loving Memory - a celebratory take on the sounds of late friend and footwork pioneer DJ Rashad.
For an electronic album, First Opus is incredibly diverse in sounds and tone. It glides between genres, whether it be the aforementioned footwork closer or the trappier sounds earlier on in the record, that explode on a level metaphorically comparable to Hawke's incredible rise as a forward-thinking producer. In a time where the art of the electronic album is easily mismanaged and often sloppy, First Opus is perfectly executed, the biggest sign that Sinjin Hawke is set to be one of dance music's best - if he isn't already.
SINGLES / REMIXES OF THE WEEK
Nick Murphy - Your Time (prod. by Kaytranada)
Since birthing a new stage of his career under the Nick Murphy moniker (RIP Chet Faker), Australia's golden Hottest 100 winner has been relatively quiet, only releasing two new singles, Stop Me (Stop You) and Fearless, since the drastic brand change last year. Surprise-released towards the tail end of last week, the Missing Link EP is Murphy's most cohesive release to date under the alias, launched with the release of Your Time, a brand new single. Despite boasting an impressive production credit in legendary Canadian beatsmith Kaytranada, Your Time is a relatively down-tempo and restrained single, even for Murphy's standards. That said, the combination of Nick's crooning, soothing vocals and Kaytranada's intricate, clanging production is brilliantly executed, as expected, leaving us begging for further collaborations in the future.
Coucheron - High By The Riverside feat. ARY
Whilst we would be lying to say that we've been across Coucheron for a while, High By The Riverside sort of makes us wish we were. The Norwegian producer's new single a surprisingly elegant electronic anthem, with ARY's soaring vocals battling chanting samples and a commanding, synth-dominated production that oozes with an energetic bounce. High By The Riverside is one of those tracks that sees multiple elements (in this case ARY's vocals and the heavy, accompanying beat) battle for a dominating position, which often makes the track come across as a little mismatched and unorganised, however, Coucheron manages to perfectly execute this, complimenting the vocals with the rugged production when it needs, whilst also letting it shine on its own at other times.
Hounded - On My Side feat. Savoi
Sydney-based production maestro is quickly becoming one of Australia's biggest electronic exports, quickly rising across the past twelve months with a series of cheerful and energetic originals and remixes, which led to us tipping him as one to watch in the dance music world at the start of this year. On My Side is another example of an exciting original, teaming up with Majestic Casual to release a glimmering, tropical single featuring the instantly recognisable vocals of Savoi. Savoi's brilliant vocal work continues to shine on On My Side, with Hounded to deciding to stay clear of his previous collaborators with a marimba-saturated production that's light and refreshing.
Ribongia - Before The Winter feat. Jannah Beth & YoungstaCPT
Since his long-lasting break-outs in Save The Children and Slave Trade, Sydney-based Ribongia has become one of my personal favourite producers to emerge from the ever-talented Australian scene, with the forward-thinking beat-maker constantly keeping things exciting and unique with tribal-esque productions often layered above hip-hop-leaning guest features. Before The Winter/Sonder continues this spectacular run of singles, with the former in particular shining with its simplistic, summery production that bounces reggae influences back and forth off a deep, electronic beat. Jannah Beth's soothing vocals are also spectacular, giving the single that slight touch of refreshingness that people like Romy Madley Croft are able to give bands like The XX.
ZHU - Intoxicate
ZHU is a man that needs no introduction, so let's just kick this one off by saying hey, here's Intoxicate - his new single. It's the second track from his mysterious 'blacklizt' project, and it's pretty classic ZHU. As expected from his past singles, Intoxicate is another moody house track packed full of ZHU's signature flavours, whether it be his softly-sung, airy vocals or the riffs of guitar that blaze around in the background. It's classy yet dirty, filled with all things we've come to adore from ZHU since his early Faded days and everything that's come since.