Sound Bytes : Sendai, Velapene Screen, Xtrngr and Valance Drakes

Time To Express

What happens when Yves De Mey and Peter Van Hoesen collaborate on a project? You get a combination of De Mey’s skill in dynamic range and modular synthesis with Van Hoesen’s attention to composition and sound design. For their first full-length album, titled Geotope, the duo returns to the studio under the Sendai moniker, to deliver a textured sonic environment, finally satisfying our cravings since the fore-shadowing of the project with the two 12″ EPs: System Policy (2009) and Sustaining The Chain (2009). Opening up with deep pulsing drones and micro glitched high-frequency specks, the music spirals and coils into a darker, almost industrial, digital heartbeat. Things become even more interesting further down the road, where the duo flexes their DSP skills to lay down some of the best dark IDM, sinister electro, and tinkling remnants of abstract Autechresque rhythms. Released on Van Hoesen’s own label, Time To Express, this double vinyl is a culmination of the two musicians’ experiences while three years away from the project. Really enjoyed this one!

Velapene Screen
What If They Can’t Trust You?
The Centrifuge

Getting tired of those old Venetian curtains and want modern window drapes? I think you need a Velapene Screen upgrade to breathe some fresh air into that stale office of yours. Yes, there are moments on the record that would make even VSnares proud, but the album is much more than that! Over 18 tracks, Las Vegas based Chris Ghiraldi takes you on a trip across a handful genres, making even my head spin. There’s the head-nodding downtempo, glitchy IDM, and even breakcore, making this release a fascinating listen with plenty food for thought. Ghiraldi appears to tend to a very deep well of inspiration, attacking glitch hop with an acid infused drill’n’bass fever, then lapsing into an abstract electro rhythm, all while retaining quality control over production values. The album also boasts four remixes by Meat Beat Manifesto, Duran Duran Duran, Sense and Kero. With this release on UK-based collective The Centrifuge, Ghiraldi adds a fourth album to his catalog, with previous appearances on Co.Ad.Audio, Frozen Empire Media, and good ol’ Percussion Lab. Intensely delicious!


Barcelona based Kenny Perez dropped on the scene only in 2010 with EPs on a variety of net labels, such as Fwonk, SUBWISE and KOSMO. In 2011, he released a 13 track debut, Dreams, on Luthuanian Cold Tear Records under his Xtrngr moniker. His second full length, titled Together, appears on Discontinu Records. Opening with smooth bass, syncopated beats, and jittery electronica, the music on the album is very melodic, with many passages immediately getting stuck in my mind. Smoky vocals from Macedonian Genoveva appear half way through the album, reminding me of earlier clicks’n’cuts from Telefon Tel Aviv, West Coast instrumental hip-hop, and organic downtempo. A few 8-bit bleeps later, and the album falls into an arcade style lounge, where the head-nodding group of synth geeks exchange the latest underground VST plugins. Check out more tunes from Barcelona based Discontinu Records, including a compilation titled 101: Odyssey In the Musical Planet (2011) and a Remixed collection from Pauk.

Valance Drakes
Sky Open To Those Who Have Wings
Bedroom Research

Bedroom Research continues to satisfy my cerebral cravings. Since being introduced to this French collective of artists, run and operated by Matt Subjex, I’ve become a big fan of Mormo and hosmOz. Today I’m happy to add another artist into my playlist. This time I’m excited to share with you the latest EP from Valance Drakes, titled Sky Open To Those Who Have Wings. Also recording under an alias MusSck, this UK based producer is fascinated with “ethereal and sub-aquatic ambiances overlapping a detailed and soulfoul glitch knitting work topped by proto-hiphop beats and broken glass grooves from space…” Indeed the nine short tracks on the EP retain the crunkiness and instrumental hip-hop sound from the likes of Prefuse73, Actress and Flying Lotus, but with a crunchy, clicky, glitchy IDM flava. Although the EP is only about 22 minutes in length, there are enough ideas in here that could [and maybe should] be stretched to over an hour. I know that must be the case, because I keep pressing PLAY every time the music stops.