Crate Digging with Andrew Wowk – 10 Gems From May

by | Jun 7, 2022 | Essay, Stories | 0 comments

Whether you’re a casual listener, a hardcore music nerd, or somewhere in between, the sheer volume of new music released on a daily basis means some gems will invariably pass you by. Crate Digging is a monthly roundup of top-tier tunes 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. DJ Emerson – Patterns of Force [Micro.Fon]

Taken from DJ Emerson‘s follow-up album to 2016’s Repetitive Music, this sample-heavy techno track strikes the right balance between funk and crunch. A driving, groovy bass line propels it forward while catchy samples, warm synth stabs, and infectious percussion add a touch of subtlety.

2. Radio Zahn – Twilo (Extended) [Rekids]

Masters of the heads-down, eyes-closed groove Radio Slave and Dustin Zahn team up on this ode to the legendary New York house club of its namesake. “Twilo” is a ten-minute ride through chunky drums, rumbling bass, grainy dub chords, and soulful vocals that reward the patient listener with a huge payoff in its final third.

3. Sub Filla – All Sound Boys Dead [//Darkmode]

Tracks like “All Sound Boys Dead” are what dubstep fans mean when they say “proper dubstep.” Sub Filla concocts a heady blend of dusty, reverb-soaked drums, cone-rattling bass growls, and downtuned vocal samples for the heads.

4. Jeff Mills – Horizons

Detroit’s ambassador to outer space Jeff Mills explores his more experimental side on “Horizons,” a chuggy, meditative, and slightly sinister soundscape. Loose, swaying drums create a hypnotic, rhythmic pulse while layers of gnarly pads and washed-out effects build tension.

5. Orca – Intellect VIP [Deep Jungle]

Deep Jungle continue their mission to unearth forgotten gems from the golden era of jungle, this time giving Orca‘s previously unreleased VIP of “Intellect” a much-needed official release and remaster. This is quintessential ’90s jungle: rapid-fire amen breaks, swirling synths, and huge sub bass stabs.

6. Uun – Terrain Vague [Ego Death]

Broken beat techno at its finest. Built around an incessant groove comprised of squelchy sine waves, snappy TR-909 beats, and swirling effects, “Terrain Vague” showcases Uun‘s firm understanding of the balance between intensity and detail.

7. Konduku – Gelgit [Nous’klaer Audio]

Netherlands-born, Berlin-based Konduku has an uncanny ability to write music in multiple genres without losing the core essence of his sound: organic, tribal rhythms and subtle melodies. “Gelgit” takes these elements and places them within the framework of a deep, ever-evolving techno cut that works equally well on a dance floor or at home.

8. Not A Headliner – The Endless Hour [Hemisferio Records]

“The Endless Hour” is pure, unfiltered melodic techno. Use this track as your benchmark for the genre. Taking inspiration from the late ’90s and early 2000s, Not A Headliner combines driving percussion with lush strings, catchy chord loops, and mechanical blips and bloops to create a track that pays homage to the past while looking forward to the future.

9. Sam Link – Hesitate [YUKU]

Wonky, off-kilter footwork meets choppy, grimy jungle in this raucous dance floor burner. Chinstrokers will have hours of entertainment figuring out all the different breaks Sam Link used for the drums on “Hesitate,” while speaker-freakers will love how the huge, distorted bass stabs pack a serious punch.

10. Aroent – Say [Infinite Machine]

Aroent delivers a slice of absolutely deadly breakbeat with a touch of dark garage and IDM added for good measure. Watch out for the classic vocal sample during the breakdown and the absurd, glitchy edits that chew up and spit out the drums after the drop.

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