Below System Records

Below System Records: Hip Hop, Almelo, The Netherlands

Bedroom Bossa Nova from a hip hop label based in The Netherlands? It’s not what you think, at first. All in cool ways. “‘Love, Beaches & Planes’ will take you on a trip with the vibes and sounds of the 60’s and 70’s. Swimming through a range of genres such as House, Lo-Fi, Lounge, Bossa Nova and of course Hip Hop. Following up from his collaborative project ‘The Tip Of A Tab’ with Chuuwee under their group name iMAGiNARY FRiENDS, this will be OTHER’s first instrumental album with additions from a few Sacramento emcees.” Bandcamp. –HN


Kad’Hébbé: Club, Lille, France

Desert club grooves via Garage 83-C. “Kad’Hébbé is back et c’est sur Garage 83-C que ça se passe. Symbiose de samples orientaux et de rythmes erratiques : 3 bombes pour dancefloor straight from Lille. Un EP tribal, plein d’effets et de samples chelous, prêt à faire bouger la fesse gauche, la fesse droite, la jambe droite, le mollet gauche et les cheveux.” Bandcamp. –HN

Elefant Records

Elefant Records: Pop, Madrid, Spain

Elefant Records from Madrid is becoming one of my go-to’s for new releases. This PAPA TOPO album cover tho. “The end of the year is coming, and it has become a tradition to anxiously await the musical bits that are being prepared for us to the New Year’s Eve special “Cachitos De Hierro Y Cromo”. And we can give you a little hint of what to expect. Among the special guests, we are going to hear PAPA TOPO with a very special cover of SONIA Y SELENA. It is an ultra-danceable song that also includes a small tribute: the music base is a sample of the B-side of the first Single from the forgotten group GOMA DE MASCAR, “Soñando En El Cielo”, which is turning exactly 40 years old. We are taking advantage of this occasion to release this Digital Single that is a celebration of parties, of New Year’s, of the anniversary of GOMA DE MASCAR, and that we will be hoping to be with you while you listen to music, one more year.” Bandcamp. –HN

Hastings of Malawi

Hastings of Malawi: “They recorded the album in one night in 1981 with no plan and no idea of what they were doing.”

Hastings of Malawi


Hastings of Malawi‘s Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth, released on Brussels experimental Sub Rose Label, is, uh, something. Best to let the music speak for itself.

From Bandcamp:

“A classic masterpiece from 1981, never re-released before. Originally 1000 copies pressed on orange/red vinyl. 120 copies were sold through Rough Trade and Virgin Records. 800 copies were bought and later destroyed by the United Dairies label, making this record even more rare.

Hastings of Malawi were Heman Pathak, David Hodes and John Grieve.

They recorded the album in one night in 1981 with no plan and no idea of what they were doing.

They played drums, clarinet, synthesizer and piano but also made use of things that they found lying around the studio – old records, cookery books, telephone directories and a telephone.

The recordings were played down the phone to randomly dialed numbers and the reactions added to the recording.

All three had been involved in the recording of the first Nurse with Wound album Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table Of A Sewing Machine And An Umbrella and had contributed metal scrapings, piano, effects, clarinet and guitar during the session.

The album was released in 1981 as Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth by Hastings of Malawi on the Papal Products label.

The star of the record is Pat Simmons who was the voice of the UK speaking clock between 1963 and 1984.

In his book Lipstick Traces writer Greil Marcus seeks to draw a line from Dada through the Situationist International to punk rock. If this line exists then this record sits on the end of it.

The only review that the album received was from Steve Stapelton who suggested that “nobody should miss this vinyl disaster”

Good or bad are not concepts that can be applied to this recording.

The record stands firmly in opposition to the now all pervading concepts of commercialisation, celebrity culture and the commodification of creative activity.”

Sweatshop Soundsystem

Sweatshop Soundsystem: “We throw Sweat Skanks”

Sweatshop Soundsystem


Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, I hear Sweatshop Soundsystem doing their thing and doing it well. I hear Ocen’s Eleven, Cowboy Bebop, Ash Walker, and Yazz Ahmed‘s excellent horn playing, all coming together to create a smokey jazz mood that can either be played late at night in a London club or late at night during a London chase scene.

From Bandcamp:

“Sweatshop Soundsystem’s debut 12″…We’ve been in love with Ash’s music since day one whilst he’s been quietly killing it in the underground. Coming in with heavy dub pedigree Ash’s sound taps the veins of Soul, Jazz and Funk, fusing them into a suspicious Trip Hop tapestry. Both tracks feature the killer horn work of Yazz Ahmed, one of the freshest artists to rupture the Jazz world with her psychedelic Arabic rhythms. And RUDEBWOY visuals come courtesy of Sophie Bass, the dopest illustrator in the UK right now.”

Alpine Those Myriads

Alpine Those Myriads: Norwegian One-Man “Kaleidoscopic Music”

Alpine Those Myriads


I feel like any Alpine Those Myriads song could explode at any moment. “Nocturnal Hysteria pt. 1,” my favorite track from the Norwegian one-man project, often does. Sometimes it’s a screeching saxophone. Other times it’s a droning electronic orchestra that could take down a church. Similar to Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch’s score in the latest Blade Runner, eerie underlayers of noise crescendo into bombastic moments of bliss.

From Bandcamp:

“Avant-garde expeditions, nervy electro, psychedelic blizzards, tragedy & surreal humor and the odd dash of singable melodies are combined into what one may experience as kaleidoscopic music.”

From Website:

“[This] Norwegian band…is all about operating in odd and exotic realms, freeing their creativities from both external and internal expectations and dogmas, thus finding new avenues of artistic expression along the way. Gypus Chelofan (the band´s composer & leader) has since 2001 been pushing the boundaries of the band within many different line-ups. From 2017 he´s chosen to set sail completely alone to explore and develop the rich musical world that the band are known for in a more compact monster.”

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?: Uplifting and ambitious Finnish garage synth-pop

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?


Have you ever heard this great Finnish garage synth-pop band with the great band title? The Kouvola trio’s music does sound like a Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS: chipper, colorful, and best listened to while dancing in your house while wearing legwarmers. Sounding at first like an enduring tribute to ’80s daytime cheer, about halfway through, “Sheep” turns into loud and distorted sing-a-long as grand as Titus Andronicus. It’s exciting stuff, and it’s a reason to be on the lookout for this band more throughout 2018.

From SoundCloud:

“Sheep is the second single release from the upcoming album Jazzbelle 1984 / 1988 due to be released on January 19ht 2018 on VILD Recordings.”


Someone: Tessa Rose Jackson’s latest musical project is minimal and beautiful



Tessa Rose Jackson is someone, a Dutch visual artist and the musical mind behind Someone. “Art Pop Art” she calls it. All she needs is a bass and her voice, which, like the song, blossoms from isolated diary-like reading to grand confession. It’s lovely. And she knows how to get loud and make a killer music video.

From GoldFlakePaint:

“Recorded in just one night – from 11pm to 4am – at her home studio in Amsterdam, it seems fitting that ‘Forget Forgive’ reaches a reprieve in its conclusion, akin to the sunrise after a darkened isolation. ‘It’s the most personal track I’ve written so far,’ she explains. ‘Playing the song to other people actually always feels a bit icky, like reading an excerpt from my diary out in public. It’s super naked. It’s a really intimate lyric about battling some pretty nasty demons and, in overcoming them, figuring out the kind of person you want to be.’”