Covering Tracks is a regular series in which we ask our favorite producers and DJs to recommend ten new (and not so new) releases. Today we have some compelling selections from emotive UK producer Airhead, who followed up his latest LP from 2013 with an EP for 1-800 Dinosaur that hit shelves a few months ago.
Arca – “2 Blunted” [UNO NYC]
It’s not often that a producer comes along and completely warps your perspective of electronic music. I’m inspired by everything about this—the gloopy snare sample, the vocal manipulation, the melodies, the tantalizingly short arrangement. It’s the closest musical equivalent to Serafini’s Codex that I have heard in a long time; it’s a witty, mind-bending, and enticing twist on reality.
Bluntman Deejay – “Astat” [All Caps]
All Caps is in top form at the moment, so it’s hard to pick a favorite—but the hypnotizing melody and little claps/coughs make this tune a standout for me.
Mr. Assister – “Bala” [1-800 Dinosaur]
Absolutely massive tune from one of my closest friends that’s coming out soon on our 1-800-Dinosaur label. TIP!
Wolf Müller – “Zauber” [Themes for Great Cities]
I remember hearing this for the first time in an Andrew Weatherall mix a few months ago. Great production, amazing swaggering rhythm—plus, it’s the first time I’ve heard a mouth harp used successfully in a sub-110bpm 4×4 banger.
Omar S – “Just Ask the Lonely” [FXHE]
This is a track I really love. Not much happens, but the arrangement is perfect, and there’s a real subtlety to the production: Quiet sub bass, faint snares, a slowly filtered piano loop. I get lost in this every time I hear it.
Wiley – “The Morgue”
The hardest beat I think I’ve ever heard.
Trim – “#KanyeWest”
Trim delivering a raw, honest performance over a beautiful instrumental. I love being able to hear him turn the paper he’s reading the lyrics from, as it creates a real sense of intimacy. Word of warning, though: Watch out when you’re listening on SoundXloud, coz “German Whip (Remix)” comes on really loud after and kinda kills the vibe.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps ” (Acoustic)
For me, this recording really encapsulates the appeal of an honest performance. If we assume that music is the manipulation of sound to evoke emotion, then as listeners we need to really believe in the integrity of the performer in order to empathize with their music. Something about the way Nick Zimmer is hunched over his guitar concentrating as Karen O opens her eyes at 00:34 to deliver the first “They don’t love you like I love you” really does it for me. I’ve watched this video hundreds of times and it still affects me in the same way. While the original recording sounds like a heartfelt plea from someone desperately trying to save their relationship, this version feels like a final acceptance of the loss. It’s heartbreaking.
Sea Oleena – “Untitled ”
I’ve always had a soft spot for female vocals, wine glasses, acoustic guitars, and found-sound drums, so this track really ticks all the boxes. Only heard about her the other day, but I’ve been obsessively seeking out everything she’s released since then.