Ben Lukas Boysen – Clarion (Kiasmos Remix) (Erased Tapes)
The first single from Boysen’s upcoming Clarion EP, this reworking of a track from 2020’s Mirage condenses the sprawling original, adding a propulsive kick while preserving the elliptical melody. That pulse becomes the gravity holding the intellectual and emotional halves of Boysen’s composition together, keeping the body rooted to the dancefloor while the spirit soars into the cosmos.
Ben McElroy – How I Learnt to Disengage from the Pack (Slow Music Movement)
The Slow Music Movement’s first release of 2022 is a collection of spacious folk music from Nottingham’s Ben McElroy. Droning bass provides the soil from which McElroy’s songs grow and flower, fragments of melodies from flute, strings, and voice coalescing like breath in winter air. It’s ideal January music, sounds that would evaporate in the summer sun, but that linger and shimmer in the cold.
Jenny Hval – Year of Love (4AD)
The second single from Hval’s upcoming Classic Objects, and her first for 4AD, is a much more straightforward tune than her last few offerings. But even Hval’s most straightforward songs tend to feel more like questions than statements, and “Year of Love” is no exception. Her vocals here are as inquisitive as ever, tracing outlines of ambiguity even in a conventional structure.
Ray Barbee – Always Dreamin’ (Plant Bass Records)
ELECTRONIC KUMOKO cloudchild is an eclectic compilation that’ll take a few more listens to digest in full, but the chance to hear new music from Barbee is already enough to justify a spin. The skateboarder and musician is in full-on kosmiche mode here, gently drifting along with twinkling electronics and melodic bass. My only complaint is that three minutes isn’t nearly enough; Barbee wakes us up before the dream’s even really begun.