The sheer volume of new music released on a daily basis means that for even the most dedicated enthusiasts some gems will invariably go unnoticed. Crate Digging is a monthly roundup of top-tier tracks you might have missed from across the electronic music spectrum.
From obscurities uncovered during trips down Bandcamp rabbit holes to the latest releases from legendary artists, Crate Digging is here to keep your collection up to date.
1. Issu – Bleep [Science Cult]
Hard-edged, quirky electro from talented, up-and-coming artist Issu, who is becoming a regular fixture on the Dallas-based label. This is a dark, heady trip through tight beats, gritty, acid-tinged bass, and sci-fi aesthetics.
2. Mattr – Shutter [Renaissance]
Absolutely perfect for the dance floor in the early morning or for the stereo at the afterparty, this leftfield breakbeat cut channels the spirit of classic progressive breaks while giving a nod to contemporary electronica. Its beautiful, uplifting vocals and chords are perfectly complemented by the shuffling, dusty drums and warm bass line.
3. J-SHADOW – Mist Over Sequoia [Beat Machine Records]
Influenced by the works of Carl Sagan, London’s J-SHADOW uses “Mist Over Sequoia” to explore the idea of multiple dimensions that we can’t fully perceive interacting with one another. By seamlessly combining elements of IDM, breakcore, braindance, and jungle, he creates a collage of controlled chaos that is equal parts melancholic and abrasive.
4. Souldynamic – Turbulence [Excedo]
Written during lockdown as part of an EP that is presented as a soundtrack to an adventurous space journey, “Turbulence” is darker and tougher than Italian duo Souldynamic‘s usual output. With its driving bass line, tense percussion, eerie chords, and crackly effects that weave around one another, it conjures images of a ship hurtling through an asteroid field at high speeds.
5. D.Vices – Concrete Criminal [Particle Music]
Portland-based DJ, live act, and promoter Jack Coleman dons his electro alias, D.Vices, for a chunky slice of machine funk. Propelled by a rolling bass line and snappy beats, and topped with a gnarly acid line and robotic effects, there’s plenty to latch onto without the track ever feeling overcrowded.
6. Ian Pooley – 101202 [Rekids]
Lush, melodic house grooves from German hardware aficionado Ian Pooley, which showcase his knack for getting the most out of classic machines. Floaty, filtered pads drift above chunky kicks and shuffled, skittering percussion, coming together to create a timeless groove.
7. ALOKA – Digeridoo [Nehza Records]
Offering up a more psychedelic take on breakbeat hardcore, Welshman ALOKA combines crunchy, frenetic breaks with squelchy acid sequences, echoed vocals, sub-rattling bass stabs, and an ever-evolving background layer that gives the track its namesake.
8. Warehousz – Love Message [Urban Kickz Recordings]
Fierce, funky, and full of attitude, this jacking techno cut will get even the most hardened veterans of the genre dancing. Built around a classic disco sample, catchy bass line, and punchy drums, “Love Message” by Warehousz is an inescapable boogie monster.
9. PANG – ULTRA 1 (Naco Remix) [Failed Units]
This is for anyone who likes their bass music on the challenging, experimental tip. Massive, grinding bass wobbles keep things dance floor friendly on the whole, but the chopped-up drum breaks, warped effects, and gnarly vocal samples demand closer listening and attentive appreciation.
10. Glo Phase – Sun Ghosts [Whiskey Pickle]
Produced primarily with a Prophet 6 synthesizer and some old analogue drum machines, Glo Phase‘s latest midtempo, shimmering house journey will work equally as well in headphones as it will on dance floors that appreciate deeper sounds.