Welcome to Notes from the Underground, THUMP's weekly premiere feature dedicated to shining a light on underground sonics from around the world. Every week, we'll start at the surface and dig deeper into the underground with each track. In this week's super-mega-bumper edition, we've got everything from weird-house to New Orleans bounce to drum & bass to techno - and you can check them all out at this one-stop shop. Have a dig around:
In this week's edition, we've got deep and sultry Berlin house via Steve Bug's Poker Flat, Dense & Pika with a simmering tech remix of scene veterans X-Press 2, inimitable welshman Tom Demac doing his own damn thing, Champagne Drip splashing up a mess in the genre gene pool, and strong outings from upstarts Nuage and Planet On.
Champagne Drip - "Chicago Yacht Club" [Mad Decent]
Somewhere between the two-toned pastel dolphins, just past the mermaids sippin' on lean, you'll find Champagne Drip splashing up a mess in the genre gene pool. On "Chicago Yacht Club," to be released on Mad Decent, Young Drippy brings footwork to life with chiptine arpeggios and bright, bold synth tones that arrest and amuse with an aquatic delight.
Gallant - "Weight in Gold" (On Planets remix) [Mind of a Genius]
Velour-voiced Angeleno enjoys a spirited rework from newcomers On Planets, who fuse elements of pop, R&B, and a tendency towards slick future bass flourishes into a wholly unique proposition. By the reprise, the drums are somewhere between garage and motown and there's a trumpet solo swirling in the periphery. This may not be a club banger, but it is most definitely an impressive display of creativity and ambition.
X-Press 2 - "Smoke Machine" (Dense & Pika remix) [Skint Records]
Skint Records stalwarts X-Press 2 have been at the game for over twenty years, and although Dense & Pika only began officially collaborating in 2011, the duo of Alex Jones and Chris Spero bring a deeply cultured perspective that just oozes from their tracks.
Dense & Pika's remix of "Smoke Machine" is a techno number that coasts along with an ominous air to proceedings that often threatens to boil over into thick, Berlin tar, but opts to leave that moment of glory for whichever track gets mixed in next in a set.
Daniel Dexter ft. Kevin Knapp - "Heroine" (Poker Flat)
Berlin-based Daniel Dexter's latest release, "Heroine," made in collaboration with Kevin Knapp and released on Steve Bug's ever-influential Poker Flat label, has all the easily dressed swag of a silk tuxedo onesie in the club.
The tune, the B-side to his "Deeper Love," just goes to show that, even if you go down a familiar route, if you do it with a brazen attitude that says "I invented this shit," people will be caught up in the sheer groove of your confidence––In this instance it's the roll call of mostly dead film damsels that's have you in Dexter's dexterous grasp.
Last Magpie - "Seperation" [Hypercolour Records]
Deep, swirling and murky, like a pool you probably shouldn't go swimming in, Last Magpie's latest on Hypercolour, "Seperation," is a sunrise tune for pessimists. Fun fact: Alex Jones of Dense & Pika co-runs Hypercolour, the label of this release.
Nuage - "Best Mistake" [Project: Mooncircle]
Feels and soft textures abount in the latest release from Russian producer Nuage. Stepping out from the drum and bass-inspired thematics of his earlier releases, his 8-track release, "Neida," released today on Project:Mooncircle, exposes his deep palate and a subtle touch as the music tells the story of an ill-fated protagonist who answers an invisible, spiritual call that leads him to a watery demise at the hands of the sea.