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. Arcane and Jon1st – Honey Dew [Defrostatica]
Bristol-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and breakbeat aficionado Arcane teams up with world champion turntablist and live act Jon1st for a high-octane, choppy footwork/jungle hybrid. Deadly breaks, big bass growls, and cheeky vocal stabs make “Honey Dew” a must-have for fans of 160bpm music.
2. Ruff Stuff – Growler [Ruff Stuff Music LTD]
Delightful deep house from Ruff Stuff on his homonymous label, which sees the producer flirting with higher tempos while retaining his trademark warmth and funk. “Growler” is propelled by a bouncy acid sequence and chunky drums, with lush, sparkling pads and strings adding a soulful edge to the proceedings.
3. Musta – Where Is Juanito [Fulltime Production]
Taken from his album Tamburi Parlanti, “Where Is Juanito” sees Musta leaning heavily on Afro-funk influences to create a rolling, hypnotic, and percussive house groove. Focused primarily around an ever-evolving live conga rhythm peppered with washes of reverb and subtle bass stabs, it evokes images of folkloric, primal rituals.
4. Jeff Mills – The Storyteller [Axis Records]
Detroit techno mainstay Jeff Mills has nothing left to prove at this point, but that doesn’t stop him from continuously pushing sonic boundaries. “The Storyteller” is a heady techno trip that ratchets up the tension with swirling, eerie pads, delayed sine sequences, and crisp drums.
5. Henzo – Survivorship Bias [Nervous Horizon]
Henzo wraps up a stellar 2022 with a chugging, sludge-drenched bang. “Survivorship Bias” is a crunchy half-time rhythm that takes influences from dancehall, techno, and drum and bass, mixing dusty vocal loops with wobbly bass and a dissociative break.
6. Umbo – Foolin’ Around [Timewarp Music]
“Foolin’ Around” is raw, hard-hitting contemporary funk from Croation duo Umbo. Rugged freestyle drum breaks, an infectious bass line, and a vibrant sax solo take center stage for the track’s peak, while feelgood keys and guitar plucks keep the vibes high during the bridge.
7. Dre – Eastwood [Music For Change]
Andreas. dons his alter ego Dre for some spacious and atmospheric, dub-infused electronica. Recorded on tape to add a little extra warmth, “Eastwood” is perfect for lazy afternoons with headphones on and eyes closed.
8. Simone de Kunovich – Primal Dream [Mule Musiq]
A highlight from the final installment of his Mondo Nuovo series, “Primal Dream” sees Simone de Kunovich crafting a percussive organic house jam out of warped drum grooves, distorted animal calls, and wobbly effects. Kunovich is heavily inspired by a love of exploitation and arthouse films, and it shows: This could easily be from the soundtrack of an experimental film set in a dangerous and unfamiliar rainforest.
9. Ranjit Nijjer – Mission Briefing [Machine Label]
Ranjit Nijjer explores the deeper, more stripped-down end of the techno continuum on “Mission Briefing.” The single blends precise percussive grooves with a subtle, funky bass line, echoed sci-fi vocals, and synthetic bleeps and bloops.
10. Franco Alesso – Blue Nebula [trau-ma]
Fast-paced, funky, and full of attitude, “Blue Nebula” is hardgroove techno at its finest. Franco Alesso combines tough, rolling drums with jazzy chords and sultry female vocal stabs for maximum dance floor effectiveness.