Colleen: A flame my love, a frequency
, it’s an album which offers both catharsis and overwhelming beauty.   Words: Georgia Tobin    
Women of Shuf
antiquated, intangible, spell-binding." Georgia Tobin "Sprawling and transcendent at times
Equiknoxx: Bird Sound Power
, Bird Sound Power is an essential listen.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Avalon Emerson: Whities 013
the limits of today's global club sound.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Jlin: Black Origami
Returning after the success of her explosive debut Dark Energy, Jlin, aka Jerrilynn Patton, hit new heights in 2017 with her release of the highly-anticipated follow-up Black Origami. Like the Japanese art of paper folding referenced in its title, Patton’s sophomore project is crafted with fine precision, its splintered and stuttering soundscapes cutting sharp metallic outlines. A powerhouse of rhythmic interplay, Patton’s origins in footwork lay the ideal groundwork for Black Origami’s exploration of texture and cadence. Fast-paced and razor-sharp, Patton intricately slices clipped vocal samples and steely drum breaks into profoundly complex sonic structures. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Patton cites movement as integral to the record’s creation, largely inspired by her collaborative work with dancer and performance artist Avril Stormy Unger. With such a visceral magnetism ever present in her sound, the flow and fluctuation of Patton’s shiver-inducing polyrhythms can not only be heard but felt, taking hold of listeners’ bodies as well as ears in a totally immersive experience. With such a bold approach it is not difficult to understand Jlin when she states that the album is a product of ‘letting go creatively, creating with no boundaries.’ Fierce, relentless and distinctly unique, Black Origami is a definitive release from one of the most visionary producers in the game.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Silvia Kastel: Air Lows
limitless examination of sonic space.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Dominowe: SiyaThakatha
another defining moment in gqom's fast-evolving trajectory.   Words: Georgia Tobin
rRoxymore: Organ Smith
Smith is out 4th November on Don't Be Afraid. Words: Georgia Tobin
Kelly Lee Owens: Oleic
Whilst Kelly Lee Owens’ name may not be too familiar within the electronic music sphere, her voice certainly should be, previously lending itself to Daniel Avery’s acid-infused debut LP Drone Logic. On Oleic, Owens continues her relationship with acid sounds, once again utilising her stylishly muted vocals as the perfect accompaniment to pounding electronic beats. In CBM, the atmospheric EP opener, Owens hypnotically repeats “the colours, the beauty, the motion.” This abstract mantra, set amongst a pulsating bassline, clapping snares and a melodic acid breakdown, instantly displays the mesmeric quality of Owens’ solo style. The title track offers a more uplifting trajectory, with ringing chimes and soaring synth chords laying the perfect foundation for Owens’ intricate acid inflections. The second half of Oleic offers a darker, heavier feel in the form of Kingsize and Elliptic. On the former, a rework of the Jenny Hval track, Owens fuses Hval’s hushed sultry vocals with a driving bassline and repeated handclaps to create an expansive club sound. Injecting scattered synth triplets, Owens adds a playful touch to her skillfully crafted remix. Elliptic sees the return of Owens’ own vocals, emerging amidst simmering synths and subtle acid shades. It’s ominous, yet equally as seductive, with Owen’s hushed whispers beautifully splintering into obscured echoes. Whilst Owens’ slick productions and clever use of vocal samples reflect elements of Drone Logic, and perhaps in moments, Paranoid London’s self-titled debut from 2014, it is undeniable that Owens’ sound is distinctly her own. Weaving subtle pop details into lo-fi acidic techno tones, Oleic is original in its textures and style. A name now assigned to the voice, Owens has cemented herself as an exciting emerging talent for all to take notice.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Shuf's Top 10 Roundhouse Selections
1) Pink Floyd - 151066 Playing on the venue's opening night, Pink Floyd's performance marked the beginning of what was to become the Roundhouse's diverse and progressive live music trajectory. 2) The Jimi Hendrix Experience - 220267 Just a few months after its opening event, Jimi Hendrix presented his distorted guitar sound to a Roundhouse audience. 3) Kraftwerk - 101076 Supported by National Health, Kraftwerk introduced their groundbreaking synth style to the UK music scene in the autumn of '76. 4) Blondie - 050378 Performing in 1978, Blondie would return in both 2013 and 2014, showing the American rock group's affinity to the Roundhouse stage. 5) Jay Z - 170909 Following the release of The Blueprint 3, Jay Z unleashed his live hip-hop show in the Roundhouse's intimate surroundings. 6) Tinariwen - 271011 October 2011 saw the arrival in North London of Tinariwen's beautiful Malian folk and blues compositions. 7) FKA Twigs - 200215 FKA Twigs took to the Roundhouse stage in early 2015, performing songs from her full-length debut summer release Two Weeks. 8) D'Angelo - 130715 After his return in the form of Black Messiah with his band The Vanguard in late 2014, the Roundhouse was treated to an intimate offering of the legendary D'Angelo's back catalogue. 9) Nils Frahm - 220515 Gracing the Roundhouse stage last year, Nils Frahm brought his compelling blend of classical and electronic sounds to the iconic space. 10) Matthew Herbert - 100816 Utilising Ron Arad's 360° Curtain Call installation, this summer saw the innovative DJ play tracks from his recent A Nude (The Perfect Body) in an immersive live performance.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Helena Hauff: Have You Been There, Have You Seen It
In her cover feature with Crack Magazine this spring, Helena Hauff discussed the "aesthetic" appeal of machines in her work as a producer. “People tend to think it’s more like robotics, they think it’s soulless because it doesn’t sound like it’s made by a human being. But I like that concept. It’s almost like the machine comes to life and becomes something with its own soul…They have a mind of their own, and I love that.” This blurred relationship between musician and machine seems essential to Hauff's identity as an artist. Rejecting the overly slick production of computerised dance music for an authentic and raw analogue tone, Hauff's free-flowing sonic excursions feel at no point restricted or reigned in. It’s a quality which translates into her blisteringly dynamic and hi-octane DJ sets, making her not only one of the most exciting selectors to behold, but also a crucial presence in the global electronic music community. Hauff's latest outing on Ninja Tune, Have You Been There, Have You Seen It, builds on this trademark style whilst also highlighting some softer shades in her palette. Nothing is What I Know is a piece of seductive electro, combining a stripped drum pattern with sultry synth pads and breathy vocals. Do You Really Like That? and Continuez Mon Enfant Vous Serez Traité En Conséquence are harder-edged, blending steely claps and shooting acid stabs into the EP's roughest textures. The latter track is particularly memorable, it's sunken brooding electro melody omitting a hypnotically darker pulse. Closer and lead single Gift is lighter in comparison, adding warmer hues through its rippling bassline and gently bubbling synth arpeggios. Albeit one of Helena's tamer moments, the gorgeously rich and unpolished tonality of her hardware remains present. It's the end of a sophisticated release from a producer on the very top of her game, and a perfect example of musician and machine working in total synthesis.   Words: Georgia Tobin  
Romans: Valere Aude
the past and dancefloors of the present. It’s electronic music at its most immersive, and its most thoughtful.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Steven Julien: Fallen
At the start of the summer, the oncoming arrival of Steven Julien’s debut album was both an alluring and intriguing prospect. Mastering a delightfully versatile sound under the moniker FunkinEven, Julien’s brushes with electro, funk, house and acid laid an excitingly open foundation for his first full-length release. The finished product Fallen is built on a narrative which encompasses two distinct sounds. It is an album of two chapters: one of dreamy jazz melodies, the other of deeper harsher cadences. This juxtaposition is what Julien has described as the record’s “whole concept”, reflecting the balance between sadness and joy, light and darkness, which is apparent in human nature and music alike. The LP’s title is therefore perfectly apt, portraying the descending linearity from soft to stark tones. Fallen’s opening tracks certainly encapsulate the brighter shades of Julien’s jazz-funk influences. In Chantel, sugary sweet synths drift over the subtle undertones of a jazz-infused bassline. The cruising house beat and fluid piano loops of XL are equally as smooth, proving Julien’s mastery in creating an effortlessly cool sound. The ebb and flow of the title track’s distorted synths introduces the tonal shift, producing the album’s roughest texture. The sleek silky techno of Jedi follows, before Kingdom unleashes rising synth arpeggios over coarse acid scratches to create a moment of mesmerising dissonance. Yet, whilst this binary structure somewhat feeds into Fallen’s conceptual narrative, the nature of Julien’s compositions restricts its overall effect. The heavy use of synths throughout alongside the delicate and intricate layering of varied sounds bring such depth to Julien’s music that some of the most interesting distinctions are within single tracks themselves. The discordance between clanging organ synths and warm funk grooves in Carousel, and the jazz-breakbeat fusion of Disciple are just two examples of Fallen’s many beautiful nuances. The slightly clouded nature of Fallen’s trajectory is therefore only testament to Julien’s skill and musical flair. The inevitable complexity and intricacy of Julien’s work have led to the creation of an expansive, diverse and compelling record that extends significantly further than two halves of a single narrative.   Words: Georgia Tobin
H.E.R.: Volume 1
Clouded by darkness, H.E.R. stands on the cover of her debut EP Volume 1, as if waiting to emerge from the shadows. This cryptic, almost teasing image perfectly reflects the ongoing mystery surrounding this R&B newcomer, whose identity remains unknown. This is not to say that H.E.R.’s anonymity has in any way limited her appeal; instantly rising to the top of iTunes’ R&B chart and garnering acclaim from the likes of Alicia Keys, Bryson Tiller and Wyclef Jean, Volume 1 has quickly generated considerable hype. Combining stripped-back beats and soulfully smooth vocals, Volume 1 perfectly fits the classic R&B mould. Lyrically rich in emotion, H.E.R. weaves a strikingly honest narrative of youthful romance, unveiling her doubts and insecurities for all to hear. In Losing, the EP’s stirring opener, she perfectly captures both the flurrying excitement and unsettling confusion of a newfound relationship. Whilst revealing, “I promise with you/The butterflies in my stomach are active”, she concedes, “I don’t wanna keep playing them games/’Cause I feel like I’m losing.” Expressing the perplexing nature of a lover’s mind games, H.E.R.'s growing disillusion shines through. Similar themes flow throughout Volume 1, offering H.E.R.’s brief musings on love’s complexities. In U, she laments the self-interest of her romantic counterpart. “Boy, I wish that you would see/This could be us/I’m so tired of you taking advantage of love.” Equally as intimate is Focus. Over delicately cascading harp arpeggios, H.E.R. pleads, “Baby, can you focus on me?”, wistfully admitting, “I feel alone even when we’re alone.” Honest and to the point, H.E.R.’s lyricism is sincere, open and always poignant. With little distinction between each track’s tempo and tone, Volume 1’s structure and sound are undeniably simple. Yet, this is arguably its charm. Uncomplicated and unembellished, H.E.R.’s silky vocals and dreamily melodic instrumentals stand alone to create a seamlessly authentic R&B sound. And perhaps the artist's obscured identity adds to this sense of authenticity; whilst personal, her contemporary ballads contain a sense of the universal, depicting love and relationships in a way in which listeners can collectively relate. For those involved, there is fortunately the promise of much more to come. Titled Volume 1, H.E.R.’s debut appears to be just a chapter in a much wider sonic narrative. As she waits in the shadows, our intrigue and admiration only grows.   Words: Georgia Tobin
UMFANG: Symbolic Use Of Light
A key player in the changing shape of today’s global clubbing landscape, New York native UMFANG, aka Emma Olsen, is a DJ and producer on top of her game. Co-founder of all female identifying collective Discwoman and resident at Brooklyn’s Bossa Nova Civic club’s monthly Technofeminism party, Olsen has worked to offer a platform to those situated outside of the whitewashed and male-dominated dance music mainstream. Away from the DJ decks, UMFANG’s work is just as significant, creating a bold and authentic techno sound which she refuses to intellectualise. It’s a refreshing approach, and one which clearly translates into Symbolic Use Of Light, her debut outing on Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour. Recording mostly in live takes and drawing from only a few select pieces of hardware, the album sees UMFANG adopting a distinctly stripped back style which feels intrinsic to her solo work as a producer. Easing listeners in slowly, opener Full 1 unleashes layers of rippling synth triplets in a blissfully hypnotic display. It sets the foundation for recurring ambient touches, with the softly pulsating synth phrases of Weight and Path offering further introspective moments. Deviating from the ferocious 90s techno sound of her DJ sets, Symbolic Use Of Light feels an understated aside, comprised of subtle mutations and polyrhythmic fusions. Pop is the perfect example of this skilful craftsmanship, combining a stark drum pattern with sugary sweet synths and acidic bleeps in an enthralling listen. Whilst maintaining these minimal structures throughout, Symbolic Use Of Light is by no means one-dimensional in its sonic scope. The title track’s rolling bassline and the harsh kicks of Where Is She are certainly more club ready, and provide the album's darkest shades. Concluding the record through an echo of its introduction, Full 2’s beautifully muted synth phrases create a cyclical feel to a collection of compositions which Olsen refers to as a “time capsule” rather than making up a narrative piece. Distancing her music from the realm of conceptual high art, UMFANG allows her music to speak purely for itself, and with her intricately refined techno sound on full show here, it is more than enough to satisfy those who want to listen.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Wilted Woman: Diary Of A Woman
Following an impressive turnover of cassette releases in the last three years, it feels almost surprising that Wilted Woman’s new 12” EP is only her first. A revered name on the underground dance music circuit, Wilted Woman, aka Eel Burn, is perhaps best known for her arresting live sets. A true expert in the machinations of analogue gear, Wilted Woman herself has admitted that ‘the flexibility of a piece living more in a live context’ is much more appealing ‘than in the static state of a recording.’ Diary of a Woman is a clear reflection of this attitude, mainly showcasing tracks which have evolved from previous live material. The result is a record with a continually forward-moving trajectory, capturing both the skill and dynamism of Wilted Woman’s live act. Opener Trudeau (Dither) suitably sets the tone, unleashing a cacophony of analogue glitches and staccato bleeps. What follows is a masterclass in modular experimentalism, with Wilted Woman interweaving sounds from across the electronic music spectrum. Elements of noise, industrial, acid, and techno all feature, reflecting an eclecticism in taste which can also be heard in the producer’s regular slot on Berlin Community Radio. Jaeger is a true product of this synthesis, combining the clangs and echoes of dissonant synths with sporadic inflections of skipping drum patterns. The track’s intermittent racing techno under-rhythms provide its most exciting moments, reminding listeners of Wilted Woman’s club suitability alongside her noise and 8-bit origins. A record of such complex craftsmanship, Diary of a Woman sees the perpetual construction and deconstruction of electronic sounds in what feels like a constantly mutating piece of work. The sharply scattered synth notes and percussive scratches of Somehow and Tick’s stuttering kicks are just a few examples of the intricate details which Wilted Woman entwines so expertly into her polyrhythmic compositions. Turning to slightly heavier acid-techno tones in the EP’s final stages, both the spacey synth stabs of Warmer and the splintered vocals set to Dorau’s steadier grinding beat make for hypnotic listens. It’s a fitting ending to record which exudes both creative and technical prowess, and feels a true representation of Wilted Woman’s masterful command of sonic hardware. In this sense, Diary of a Woman seems the perfect name, providing an authentic glimpse into the workings of Wilted Woman’s unique and personal live sound.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Mary Ocher: The West Against The People
demanding record, and one which is difficult to forget.   Words: Georgia Tobin
Farr 2016
.   Words: Georgia Tobin Photography: Jake Davis for Here & Now
The Hydra: 5 Years of Dimensions // 261116
ignited in a magical moment of summer nostalgia. A true masterclass in celebrating in style.   Words: Georgia Tobin Photography: Jake Davis / Hungry Visuals
Simple Things 2016
rich musical fabric.   Words: Tai Kolade, Josie Roberts & Georgia Tobin
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