I’m a firm believer that, for any musician, listening widely is as important as listening deeply). So I’ve been taking a break from synthwave and seeing what else gets me moving. Lately that’s been techno and house, and specifically, a mix of classics and some of new artists doing throwback stuff (also sometimes referred to as lo-fi). Here are a few releases I’ve got on heavy rotation right now.
1. Peggy Gou – Seek for Maktoop [Technicolor, 2017]
I first discovered Gou, who is originally from Korea but now based in Berlin, by accident. I was trawling YouTube for lo-fi stuff and hit on “Jen High,” a quirky, playful deep house cut. Her latest, Seek for Maktoop, jettisons the lo-fi house approach for a more romantic, Detroit-inflected style of techno. But what’s really great about Gou is that, even as she references the classics, her stuff sounds fresh and innovative. The best of both worlds! Top cut: “Maktoop”
2. DJ Windows XP – Sometimes I Feel Happy, Sometimes Sad [Who’s Susan, 2017]
I’ll admit, at first I was just in it for the name. But the truth is that, ridiculous as it sounds, DJ Windows XP may be the best house producer around right now. Every track is jam-packed with feeling. Top cut: “Maybe It Was Me.”
3. Palms Trax – Equation [Lobster Theremin, 2013]
Still my favorite release on the too-cool-for-school label Lobster Theremin. At first, Equation feels almost simplistic, but that belies a melodic complexity that emerges on repeat listen. Top cut: “Late Jam.”