Various Artists – [2008] Breathe 02

Essential listen for downtempo enthusiasts. Different artists cover wide range of styles.

Breathe Compilations is a (former?) Mexican netlabel that – surprise – specialises in releasing compilations, active between 2008 and 2018 (as of 2020). Although the label’s back catalogue (92 releases) has not seen an addition for almost 2 years, its Soundcloud profile buzzes with activity. So I don’t fully call off any hope for a comeback. But in the meantime, I could as well review one of its earliest releases:

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Gridline – [2014] Videogame

Pure synths (no samples) and drums lead to an instrumental or melodic techno album. Made not for dancing, but for attentive walking.

Gridline is the music project by Serbian artist Predrag Grujic. Starting in 2012, he released several albums and EPs on the two-sided Japanese label Bump Foot (Bump for techno et al., Foot for ambient, IDM, …). This is his first Bump release, and quite quiet at that. Melody lines and only subtle beats make this more (artsy) pop than dance music. Its liberal use of cold sound textures and reverb occasionally remind me of a church organ.

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Aleckat And Hynamo – [2020] Apollo EP

Stratospheric sounds hit grounded beats. Solid progressive techno with psy trance influences. Headphones strongly recommended.

Imagine the fat production value of Monstercat, the astro-inspired sound of space backdrops, and the routine of a club music DJ, all at the same time. The result is an EP whose use of Armstrong’s iconic footprint is fully justified. Long, stretched-out bass lines are monotonous, but never boring. But judge for yourself whether this is your cup of trance:

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Sharema – [2019] Uranus Berlin

Quintessential drone music. Perfect for recreational relaxation, not for busy workouts.

Not much can be found online about netlabel 1834. It curates a collection of long form ambient drone recordings. Most probably stem from live performances. I bring you here catalogue no. ET-047. The vibrant and colourful cover art already prepares you correctly what you can expect sonically from this release:

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My Heart Your Thunder – [2019] My Heart Your Thunder

Timeless electro goodness with edgy synth sounds.

My Heart, Your Thunder (MHYT) has approached me to review one or some of his tracks; some e-mails later, and here we have a special mini-compilation; he even was so generous to offer the lossless sources. So more than ever: if you like what you hear, visit the artist’s original profile (here: Bandcamp) and get some more music there. To stick to my rule, here are the obligatory 2 (out of 6) hand-picked tracks:

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Niteffect [2019] – The Wage Of Forgetting

Relaxing trip hop flirting with IDM. Limited cassette version (still) available (?).

Kreislauf is boutique electronica netlabel specialising in cold and steely sounds, similar to its older cousin Kahvi Records. Check out release Kreislauf Extrea 020 to check whether you can still grab the physical tape edition, in case you like the sound, or crave a print of this gorgeous cover art, or want to listen to all 12 tracks with real tape wobble artefacts. But back to the music:

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Kenny Beltrey – [2000] Hydrate

Vintage electronica goodness. Early good stuff from Kahvi.

It’s just a single track, but one of Kahvi’s finest classic releases very back in time…

… see, this release is so old, it was released under version 1 of Creative Commons’ Attribution (CC BY 1.0), long before version 2 were to be launched in 2004.

Why am I not talking about this release? Because you will listen to it in full (only 4:25) now:

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Osiris4 – [2019] Black Diamonds EP

Simple and effective melodic trance. Digital Diamonds keeps up to its promise.

Long rides, dark evenings behind the keyboard long for meditative, long form music. Netlabel Digital Diamonds specialises in this type of electronic music. This is their 64th release (but not my first review). With only 3 tracks, but over 20 minutes playtime this gives you plenty of time (and me the joy of presenting you two thirds of it all below):

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Aevio – [2019] Bioluminescence

Soothing ambient glitch hop. Skilfully crafted sound textures that excite your ears and calm your mind.

Welcome back to the present (releases of 2019, that is)! This week’s review does not come from my well-fed queue, but instead has been freshly caught. Artist Aevio mixes organic field recordings and synthetic music. The result is not strictly ambient, but calm enough for casual listening.

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Various Artists – [2011] BACKUP11

Exceptional chiptune compilation for Platine Festival in Cologne. Great contributions from well-known artists.

If you want to saviour a varied selection of different classic 8-bit as well as modern interpretations of the genre, look no further. From classic pure console sounds to blends of chip and studio music you can feel served. I can fully recommend each of the 10 tracks, yet will only showcase you the habitual two here:

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