Current Listens: Noctural Tokyo, Philly Beats

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

This is my weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. In the interest of conversation, let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below. Just please don’t promote your own work (or that of your label/client). This isn’t the right venue. (Just use email.)

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

Deborah Walker’s Starflux, on the Elli Records label, ends with a spectral reworking of the prior tracks, committed by Emanuele Battisti, who also mastered the record and, thus, knew Walker’s work intimately. The metronomic rhythms of the source audio are re-rendered with a halo effect, the earthy original material turned into something intergalactic.

This isn’t music, per se. It’s an hour-long video someone took while walking around a neighborhood in Yokohama, Japan, at night. There is sound, however, the associated field recording of overheard chatter, and footsteps, and crosswalk signals. I usually have something like this running at half speed on a second screen when I work. Even better in black and white.

An added treat: the recorder of these videos, who goes by Rambalac, posts a map of the route. Here’s the one for this footage:

A couple months ago I highlighted a set of Small Professor’s instrumental hip-hop, and then missed the arrival of a subsequent downtempo hip-hop collection, A Jawn Supreme (Vol. 1). As the title might suggest, Small Pro, who traffics in expertly reworked samples, is based in Philadelphia. One highlight is the fractured piano lead on “Reflection,” in which the producer’s hand is just as light yet present as that of the original pianist.

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