Soundlab: S01EP10: Season Finale

That’s all, folks! The first season of my music recommendations is now concluded. I hope you had fun along the way. The playlist containing  the albums mentioned in this series so far will stay up for you to enjoy. That’s north of 24 hours of tunes  as of now, so I believe even if you’ve listened to all of the entries so far, you can still find a surprise if you turn the shuffle on. 

For the last episode of this season I’m going to  recommend five albums that I’ve been playing a lot recently. We have the first serious releases of 2023, so read on if you are curious  about those. As for genres, we’ll listen to a surprisingly melodic attempt at non-linear IDM, a bacchanalian disco album,  moody alternative r&b, energetic abstract hip hop and, last but not least, some cold Swedish ambient. 

deep glens – Earn Grips 

Most of the alternative electronic music fans, should  they hear the term “non-linear”, they might  instantly think of the famed Manchester’s duo, Autechre. That’s a fair connotation, as AE is  without a  doubt the project that put this kind of approach on the map, at least in context of contemporary popular music. 

Deep glens’ technical approach is similar to that of Autechre,t however the final outcome is significantly different. The artist  characterises  his work as a “captured output of custom built non-linear software”, which I consider to be  an accurate description of the creation process, yet  the definite  effect  is  much more organic, warm and melodic than what you’d probably expect based on the author’s craft’s summary.

Decius – Decius Vol. I

Decius is a London-based project, combining musicians of rather diverse stylistic backgrounds. We have an indie vocalist, beatmakers and berlin-style techno heads. The result? A bacchanalian disco album! The choice of wording here is not a coincidence; the band used  an ancient roman statue as their album cover, and once you listen to the record, it begins to really make sense. 

Members of the collective  describe their enterprise  as “cathartic” and it definitely shows; the compositions are basic (in a good way), danceable and just groovy. Think LCD Soundsystem meets lofi disco – I promise the album will get you moving! 

Kelela – Raven

When I’d first listened to this album, I sent  it to a friend with the remark that  “this is something between the stuff Burial would sample, and Burial’s work itself” and I still stand by it. While it may come as  a surprise to some to find an album that’s so vocal-oriented on the Warp label, most known for putting out the groundbreaking works of Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin and the like, once you listen to the instrumental layer of those tracks, I believe  you might find it to be a logical continuation of the label’s past.

The sound of Raven  is smooth, warm and, at the same time, dark. If you enjoy the slight sense of dread connected to some of the modern-day classics of British  electronic music (as the already mentioned Burial, or f.e Space Afrika), this is definitely a work you’ll appreciate. 

Young Fathers – Heavy Heavy 

The Scottish band, known for their distinctive, lofi sound (that found the appreciation of Massive Attack, who collaborated with them on Ritual Spirit EP), returns with another LP. 

Young Fathers maintained their signature frantic vocals, robust production and fast-paced rhythms. There’s not much reinvention happening here in comparison to the previous albums , but I believe that this should not discourage you from checking this one out. The formula is tried and tested, the sounds are still authentic and full of passion. It might just scratch the itch of waiting for the new Massive Attack too, if you ask me! 

Civilistjävel – Järnnätter 

I have a soft spot for the electronic music producers that have the ability to create  sounds resembling a “field recording” of a factory, rather than a thought-out composition, and Civilistjävel is definitely  one to possess this skill. 

Järnnätter is extremely low-key and requires focused listening to be appreciated for what it is. The album’s name, taken from the Swedish folk expression “iron nights”, which signifies  extremely cold, long winter nights, captures the atmosphere of the music perfectly. 

The author claims to have been producing music of this kind since the early 2000’s and stated that some of the tracks found on this record date back to almost 20 years ago. Want to hear what Swedish IDM sounded like before most of your favourite IDM albums were even released ? This might be your chance! 

About The Author


Aspiring philosopher, musician and music aficionado, speciality coffee enthusiast. He holds bachelor degrees in Swedish Linguistics and Philosophy. Interested in all kinds of sonic arts both as a producer and listener. Currently working on the topic of social ontology.

This might interest you