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PAN Downbeat | Electronica | Leftfield 3 Items

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Arca - &&&&&
Arca
&&&&&
LP | 2020 | UK | Original (PAN)
22,99 €*
Release:2020 / UK – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
For anyone who can remember, Arca's &&&&& was a moment. Its 25-minute stretch of coiling, contorted grime and glitch; dub and hip hop dropped with the buzz of an impending co-production credit on Kanye West's Yeezus in 2013. It included cuts of sound and beats that were too weird for that pop project, while becoming a piece of experimental art that what would come to define what is by now broadly known as a `post-club' sound. It's music that is as visceral as it is experimental; made as much for the mind, as it is for the body. Released with no warning seven years ago, &&&&& became a bridge between Alejandra Ghersi's time partying and collaborating with her queer peers, while still living in New York to the next stage of her career releasing on Mute in London. She'd go from making beats for rapper Mykki Blanco and fashion label Hood By Air, posting lurching bass reworkings of pop hits on YouTube, and producing her first fluid mixtapes with DIS Magazine, to finishing off this seminal mixtape on the synths in Daniel Miller's studio. After dropping three impressive EPs the year before, &&&&& marked a transition. Continuations and extrapolations of material from Stretch 1 and Stretch 2 appeared in the mangled RnB sampling of "Century" and Arca's signature vocal layering in the pitched flow of "Waste". Along with the fluttering, muted heartbeat of "Obelisk", and the lumbering piano chords of "Mother", fourteen sonic sketches were elegantly woven together into a single, downloadable whole. As Alejandra's course turned toward moving to Europe from the United States, &&&&& became a remarkable challenge to the form of the mixtape, which was a relatively new trend taking hold of the online-oriented underground at the turn of the 2010s. But where many, if not most mixtapes where treated simply as a showcase of individual tracks presaging a more `official' release to come, &&&&& was a complete piece in its own right. "I wanted to make something that was my best work," Alejandra says about a record that has stood the test of time, "I listen to it very fondly today." This reissue of Arca's 2013 debut mixtape &&&&& features an etching on side B of the vinyl.
Eartheater - Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin Red Vinyl Edition
Eartheater
Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin Red Vinyl Edition
LP | 2020 | UK | Original (PAN)
23,99 €*
Release:2020 / UK – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Preorder available from 16.10.2020
Composed, produced, and arranged by Eartheater alone, Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin draws a path back to the primordial lava lake from which she first emerged, as it also testifies to the reincarnating resurrections the project has undergone over its first full decade of existence. While the album renews her focus on guitar performance and legible structure, Eartheater balances the unabashed prettiness of acoustic harmonic songs with the dissonant gestural embroidery of oblique instrumentals. Having fallen back in love with the idioms that first captivated her, she worked to crack open the techniques that had fossilized inside of her, while still seeking to apply the electro-alchemical knowledge she picked up along her journey. The result of a laborious revival in fire, Phoenix recontextualizes Eartheater's combinatorial approach to production within her most confident abstractions, adjacent to some of her most direct songs to date. Eartheater composed and workshopped most of Phoenix over a ten-week artist residency (fuga) in Zaragoza, Spain, housed in a sprawling, cubic glass facility that looked out over wildflower-flecked mountains. Following an intensive period of recording and touring, the residency provided her with an unprecedented period of solitude in the small Spanish town. Her newfound sense of isolation ultimately became liberating, leading her to sidestep the crutches and steady grids inherent to electronic music, and to conceive pieces rooted in her guitar and her desire to perform with other players live. Eartheater's voice glows brighter than ever at the center of Phoenix's arrangements _ her familiar operatic highs are grounded by newly expanded velvety lows, leaping lucidly up and down octaves. Her intricate guitar work flits across baroque fingerpicked passages and latches into cyclical figures that meet her voice in lush harmonic progressions. From her own guitar parts, to the orchestral string arrangements she wrote for the Spanish conservatory group Ensemble de Camara, to the harp and violin lines performed by her close friends and collaborators Marilu Donovan and Adam Markiewicz of Leya, Eartheater's applications of acoustic instruments bring an extraordinary emotional emphasis to her compositions. Phoenix prepares for a future where electronic sound _ or even electricity itself _ isn't guaranteed, but where her music could still come to life with a group of hands dexterously winding across instruments against the light of the fire. Eartheater drew inspiration for Phoenix from geological imagery, whose turbulence and potential for genesis mirror the trajectory of her own life and relationships. The album's instrumental pieces directly reference these moments of upheaval, colliding audio of volcano and lightning storms with resplendent string and vocal arrangements. "Volcano" looks out over the album from its peak at the center, its tectonic plates colliding in towering melodies and layers of vocal harmonies, as piano accents crest and cascade down the mountainside. When Eartheater sings, "I'm still building mountains underground," she is trying to reconcile the pinnacles of her ambition with the comforts of a simple existence buried beneath the surface. "Diamond in the Bedrock" finds her admiring the gemstone forming under intense pressure inside her, but rejecting the romantic promise that the diamond signifies, choosing instead to escape a relationship that has come to stifle her. With the album's subtitle, Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin, Eartheater imagines being tempered to a state of perfect equilibrium, suspended between melting and freezing, where fire could streak across her body and appear as a crystalline blush. This image captures the tension at the heart of the Eartheater project, as she decides how best to distill her passion and render it cool to the touch; to find beauty in simple pleasure, while keeping one eye fixed on the peaks that loom in the horizon. The album is mixed by Kiri Stensby and mastered by Heba Kadry, featuring photography by Daniel Sannwald.
Eartheater - Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin Black Vinyl Edition
Eartheater
Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin Black Vinyl Edition
LP | 2020 | UK | Original (PAN)
22,99 €*
Release:2020 / UK – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Preorder available from 16.10.2020
Composed, produced, and arranged by Eartheater alone, Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin draws a path back to the primordial lava lake from which she first emerged, as it also testifies to the reincarnating resurrections the project has undergone over its first full decade of existence. While the album renews her focus on guitar performance and legible structure, Eartheater balances the unabashed prettiness of acoustic harmonic songs with the dissonant gestural embroidery of oblique instrumentals. Having fallen back in love with the idioms that first captivated her, she worked to crack open the techniques that had fossilized inside of her, while still seeking to apply the electro-alchemical knowledge she picked up along her journey. The result of a laborious revival in fire, Phoenix recontextualizes Eartheater's combinatorial approach to production within her most confident abstractions, adjacent to some of her most direct songs to date. Eartheater composed and workshopped most of Phoenix over a ten-week artist residency (fuga) in Zaragoza, Spain, housed in a sprawling, cubic glass facility that looked out over wildflower-flecked mountains. Following an intensive period of recording and touring, the residency provided her with an unprecedented period of solitude in the small Spanish town. Her newfound sense of isolation ultimately became liberating, leading her to sidestep the crutches and steady grids inherent to electronic music, and to conceive pieces rooted in her guitar and her desire to perform with other players live. Eartheater's voice glows brighter than ever at the center of Phoenix's arrangements _ her familiar operatic highs are grounded by newly expanded velvety lows, leaping lucidly up and down octaves. Her intricate guitar work flits across baroque fingerpicked passages and latches into cyclical figures that meet her voice in lush harmonic progressions. From her own guitar parts, to the orchestral string arrangements she wrote for the Spanish conservatory group Ensemble de Camara, to the harp and violin lines performed by her close friends and collaborators Marilu Donovan and Adam Markiewicz of Leya, Eartheater's applications of acoustic instruments bring an extraordinary emotional emphasis to her compositions. Phoenix prepares for a future where electronic sound _ or even electricity itself _ isn't guaranteed, but where her music could still come to life with a group of hands dexterously winding across instruments against the light of the fire. Eartheater drew inspiration for Phoenix from geological imagery, whose turbulence and potential for genesis mirror the trajectory of her own life and relationships. The album's instrumental pieces directly reference these moments of upheaval, colliding audio of volcano and lightning storms with resplendent string and vocal arrangements. "Volcano" looks out over the album from its peak at the center, its tectonic plates colliding in towering melodies and layers of vocal harmonies, as piano accents crest and cascade down the mountainside. When Eartheater sings, "I'm still building mountains underground," she is trying to reconcile the pinnacles of her ambition with the comforts of a simple existence buried beneath the surface. "Diamond in the Bedrock" finds her admiring the gemstone forming under intense pressure inside her, but rejecting the romantic promise that the diamond signifies, choosing instead to escape a relationship that has come to stifle her. With the album's subtitle, Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin, Eartheater imagines being tempered to a state of perfect equilibrium, suspended between melting and freezing, where fire could streak across her body and appear as a crystalline blush. This image captures the tension at the heart of the Eartheater project, as she decides how best to distill her passion and render it cool to the touch; to find beauty in simple pleasure, while keeping one eye fixed on the peaks that loom in the horizon. The album is mixed by Kiri Stensby and mastered by Heba Kadry, featuring photography by Daniel Sannwald.
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