DEARLY DEPARTURE “GENESIS” CS (SILK110) $7
Santa Clarita daydreamer Daniel Crook flipped his DX-7 to dent tuition at California Institute Of The Arts but while there fell in with a crew of fellow hardware heads and began making periodic pilgrimages downtown to soak the city’s thriving warehouse scene. His own productions soon followed, inspired by the moodier fringes of LA’s nocturnal underground as well as the “dark gothic energy” of certain fatalist new wave.
Genesis spans 40 minutes across eight tracks, crisscrossing stained glass house, lovesick jack, and varied states of rhythm delirium into a raw, reflective self-portrait of empty streets and midnight memories. Crook’s process is part planned and part exploratory, mapping melody in advance then ripping live takes at a table of synths in his bedroom. From cobwebbed dub-dance (“Serpent”) to cyber-mechanical disco (“Move”), the songs feel intuitive and imprecise, grainy screengrabs of systems in flux. Most are solo instrumentals but Crook’s classmate Bludwork guests on the sci-fi sequencer trance “Infrared” while local morbid beauty duo Morticia My Angel haunt the mic for “Words Unspoken.” Even his own voice makes an appearance on “Own Perceptions,” mixed into a glimmering grey haze: “I don’t know what to do with me / no more.” Mastered by Matt Tammariello.
OLSEN “DREAM OPERATOR” CS (SILK109) $8
Manchester miasma-house specialist Andrew Anderton aka Olsen sculpts swirling, stream-of-consciousness rhythms inspired by subliminal perception, hyperspace anime, and reflections on how the mind works. His latest is also his haziest, tracked at home on analog synths bathed in echo, tape-hiss, and found sounds, conjuring a liminal realm between sleep and reality ruled by a shadowy figure: the Dream Operator. Opaque acid, mumbling voices, and decayed keys whisper in the periphery, tethered by black hole bass, a narcoleptic kick, and dusty claps. This is music for “the space between,” where the dream operator takes control, and “shows you an image of a tree, soft fruit growing… night falls, and the black dog serenade continues.” Compelling contemporary warehouse noir by a producer poised for heady depths. Mastered by Matt Tammariello.
HUBERT CLARKE JR “AL DENTE” 12″ (SILK083) $10
Impressionistic dub-house devotee Hubert Clarke Jr. fluctuates through several deviations of Sydney afterhours circuit specialties on his debut, Al Dente. Alternately wired and unwound, classic and contempo, vibed soul and lean house, the EP threads soft-focus funk into longform live voyages, naturalist emotion, dance as relaxed delirium. The vocal samples (“I’m not into this to be traveling around the world / I’m not into this to impress anybody”) evoke a mood of reflective idealism, spirits undiminished, hope in spite of it all. Dusted with memories and reveries of Heavenly, Picnic, and Mad Racket parties, hallucinated Omar-S demos, newer Sex Tags sides, and various nations under a groove, HJC’s 4 originals (plus a remix by Adelaide vibe squad MBM) feel like a beginning, a submerged energy swelling to the surface. Black vinyl 12 inches in stickered sleeves designed by Peta Farago with smiley meatball illustrations by John-Henry Pajak and Geordie Cargill. Mastered by Eric Hanson. Edition of 175.