Downtempo producer Zane Tate has released the long-awaited follow-up to his first long player, and it’s called Down to Dusk: Rural Sounds Volume 2. The album mixes haunting mood-music with groove-driven beats while exploring the occasional excursion into chillout music.
Listen to a preview of the first single from the record, called “Getaway.”
While Zane Tate has released a number of singles since Rural Sounds Volume 1, including “The Last Resort,” which was featured on SomaFM’s Groove Salad Compilation, Down to Dusk is his first album in seven years. The record is decidedly darker than the first – consider it night-music – and much more focused in its approach to chilled downtempo music.
Zane Tate’s Down to Dusk: Rural Sounds Volume 2 is out now.
Bryan Ford is a multi-instrumentalist who has played and toured with groups such as My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult and Isabelle Haze. As a solo artist Ford is making downtempo music, and is set to release a new EP called Hands. The 3-song release features all live instrumentation – real drums, guitar solos, even a Moog Voyager. If you like RJD2 or Bonobo, you should checkout Bryan Ford’s Hands.
Shoe Tree is a three-song EP of downtempo music from Bryan Ford. I don’t know the significance of shoe trees to Ford, or why he named his album after them, but it’s a solid record. The lead-off track, “Lead Belly,” is the standout on the release, and particularly enjoyable for its bluesy guitar lines. Listen below.
“Little White Lies” is the current single from the new Robot Koch project entitled Robots Don’t Sleep. Eerily dark and alien, and yet entirely accessible, Robots Don’t Sleep focuses on vocals and melodies while also embracing otherworldly soundscapes and synthetic beats. The video is equally entrancing.
Mikko Roisko and Olli Jäderholm are Northbound, a downtempo duo from Finland. Landscapes of Nowhere is their new LP, and it’s filled with music in the tradition of early 2000s Ninja Tune and Tru Thoughts. But the album isn’t a throwback; in fact the musicianship and production surpass the records that inspired it.
Roisko and Jäderholm mix samples alongside instruments such as the melodica, glockenspiel, and banjo. Landscapes of Nowhere also features a number of guest musicians including vocals by Venla Saartamo, violin and cello from Tuikku and Sarianna, and sax by Antti Hynninen.
Northbound should appeal to fans of Bonobo, Skalpel, or Jaga Jazzist. With groove-driven drums that are at times dusty (in that hip hop texture kind of way), hints of jazz music, exotic instrumentation, and melancholic moods, Landscapes of Nowhere might be the record that downtempo fans have been waiting years for.
But Roisko and Jäderholm go deeper than their peers, and take the genre into new territory. At times serious and thoughtful (“Round 3”), at others fun and bouncy (“Cats with Hats”), and on occasion alluring (“The Trick”), Northbound’s Landscapes of Nowhere is a great record, and I can’t recommend it enough.