We had such a good time with Group A that we’re back for more! Group B is sure to give us some thrills, so here’s various sorts of experimental music to give you accompanying chills.
China: Sabiwa – Xin de Shijian
It was all going so well with this one – but it turns out that Sabiwa is from Taiwan rather than PRC and…. it’s complicated. She’s signed to a label called ‘Chinabot’ and comes up tagged ‘china’ on Bandcamp and Spotify. I’m aware of the issue, but I think it’s worth posting the recommendation.
Starting off with a very nicely recorded set of unidentifiable wet sounds, Xin de Shijian develops into intense rattling bass and esoteric synthy noises. Sabiwa is an experimental audio-visual musician who is currently working in Berlin and at the time of writing was enjoying a lovely trip to Iceland, allowing me to dream of a worldwide hipster musician exchange program.
Germany: Panik Pop ft Nusja – Still
If you ever wondered what was exactly halfway between euphoric house and an ASMR guided meditation, then here we go. I don’t think you need to know very much about him, except that he started creating 140 bpm techno on a computer when he was 16. If you want to see him play the whole album on his keyboard, you can do that here.
South Africa: Toya Delazy – gQoma
She says that ‘gQoma’ means ‘it bangs’. Yes, this song bangs. We’ve heard from Toya before – her song Nu High represented South Africa back in 2016 – but here she is with something a bit more uncompromising and afropunk. I like Toya. YEAH.
Spain: Cora Novoa – State of Mind
Let’s all enjoy some pounding Galician techno from Cora Novoa. There’s some form of necromancy going on in the award-winning video and I think I like it. If you’re intrigued by Cora’s work, you might also enjoy this Chicks On Speed remix she did, oh and there’s this mind-bending odyssey on bandcamp too. DANCE.
Tüsn are providing bouncy pop thrills in Küsn, or as they put it ‘dramatische Popularmusik’. They’re incredibly (and deliberately) hard to google but what I gather is that they’ve been active as part of the Berlin scene since 2012 and they’re very heavily into that monochrome aesthetic.
Küsn isn’t massively typical for their output, but I thought you’d appreciate the happy love song with the lovely choreography.
Ooof, here we go. Are Germany going to win their 5th World Cup as defending champions or is someone else somehow going to manage to get past them?
Representing Germany, we’ve got Cold Leather, a group of excitingly noisy punks who absolutely get the job done and in a quite entertaining and aesthetic manner to boot. Their album Smart Moves is well under 30 minutes long but contains 100% of your RDA of grit, yelling and frantic guitars.
Representing Mexico, we take a long draught from the well of doom metal witchcraft with Spacegoat. They’ve got my favourite combination of heavy riffing, huge female vocals and esoteric lyrical themes. I recommend you start with Transmuta to experience a bit of doom metal en español.
Well. I bet you weren’t expecting this. While doing a spot of music research for the next Listen Outside radio shows over on Radio Six (Christmas specials!) I happened upon this and sat, listening, rapt for the whole hour.
This is the incidental music from a TV series called ‘Star Maidens’ or ‘Die Mädchen aus dem Weltraum’ which ran for 13 wild episodes in 1976. It is astonishingly groovy. The German language spoken word interludes and the lithe synths combine to illustrate the sexy, role-reversed retro-future that we used to look forward to.
Y’Akoto is a fantastic soul singer who I’m surprised isn’t HUGE all over the world. She splits her time between Hamburg, Paris, Stockholm, Los Angeles, Dakar, Accra and Lome – but I suspect that we’d like to hear from her in Glasgow, London and Manchester too.
She’s five years and three albums into her musical career, and her latest album Mermaid Blues weaves together mythological references, complicated emotions and allusions to the stories of refugees. She deserves to be massive. She’s currently on tour – catch her if you can.
Eurovision fans will have been listening to a lot of slightly melancholic modern pop not-ballads recently. Here’s another particularly fine example from Lxandra of Finland & Germany. I think there’s quite a lot here for fans of City Lights to enjoy. I particularly enjoy the huge echoing clock tick sound which has replaced the kickdrum, the vast mechanical breakdown and the refrain ‘Time, the killer’.
Notably, this song rhymes ‘Julia’ with ‘stuhl, ja’. Wait! Don’t give up on this post just yet. Christoph Drieschner performs uplifting songs under the name TEX and also presents a live music show which is supposed to evoke an atmosphere ‘from the living room of the songwriter’