TYFTH has been in cryostasis for a year or so, and truth be told I haven’t been listening to much freeform either. The chronic lack of new releases was part of the reason, but Exemia’s Retribution almost made up for this all by itself. Freeform album of 2021 without a doubt, and his strongest so far, which is saying something.
The balance is spot on here, with some real weight to the kick/bass alongside some complex melodies. They’ve always been an Exemia strong suit, but this time I can also hear an occasional Qygen influence (maybe something from the Blue Revolver days?) that works excellently. The creativity on show here’s pretty incredible, from nastier work like Cultist Killer to the beautiful almost-finale When the sun sets.
Make sure to show some support if you haven’t already – even with signs of the scene waking up a little, it really needs more artists of Exemeia’s level to keep it going.
There’ll be no leaving freeform behind of course, but FINRG’s also branching out into techno and psytrance. No bad thing to be widening the appeal of the label, and they could have something special on their hands if they bring some Kalevala to those genres too. Hybridize is coming back as a home for psy and hard trance, while the original FINRG sound will appear under the name FINRG Legacy.
All very good news, and what’s more there’s an attempt underway to rebuild the pretty special community that gathered around the original FINRG site. Among all the expected links on the front page you’ll also find the FINRG Discord – the hope is for it to build into an equivalent of the much-missed FINRG forum. It’s slowly picking up some momentum at the moment (I drop by pretty regularly too) and it could be a good time to show some support.
If for whatever reason you’ve visited TYFTH in the past few days, you might not have noticed the change of address – the site has finally moved to a new host and cleared up the issues that stopped the posting last year.
To celebrate, here’s a set of older NRG that I’ve been working on occasionally for the past few months. It’s been in the planning stages for a lot longer than that, but after hearing Alek’s Lab 4 mashup I was able to work that in and finally get the whole thing done. I even did a couple of set tests on twitch recently – although the issues with that last year were a lot more complex than one faulty cable, sound seems to be back again, from what I can tell.
The TYFTH site is back, then, but it’s a busy time for me and things won’t be too lively around here or on twitch for the forseeable. Saying that, there are some interesting happenings on the horizon that I’ll definitely mention here, as and when.
Big thanks as always for those who stopped by to listen on Friday, especially at such short notice.
I wasn’t on peak form this time, but it’s a nice reminder of how useful the streams can be to keep me sharp – in my defence I haven’t had much chance to play goa recently and had less time for planning during the week than expected. The plans are still afoot for another set this month, as there’s been something in the works for a while that won’t need too much extra organising.
Still, I’m happy with this short set and it’s now up on YouTube. A couple of the transitions were supposed to go a little differently (choosing when to switch up the bass makes all the difference, of course) and so I think I’ll try a rerecording for SoundCloud. Rest in the Light brought in quite a few goa fans over there and I’d like to upload something a bit cleaner than I managed the other evening.
Both YouTube and the rerecording will include seven rather than eight tracks, as Psy-H Project’s Active Meditation was really an encore of sorts, and I doubt Global Sect would be too happy about me distributing a totally unmixed track at the end of this set. Astrancer’s Neighbor is a lovely finisher anyway – it fits in very nicely with what I was going for this time.
The first of two sets this month will be tonight at 10pm JST. A little later to give me some wiggle room with other stuff going on today, this is (as you might have seen on Mastodon) a goa session on the melodic side. I do have enough planned out for a darker set too, but that’ll go on the back burner for now.
Although this won’t be an incredibly long set, it will be heavy on the deeper atmospheres with a bit of acid here and there. Something a little different for me to try this time then, and there’ll be some very recent releases in there too.
The Horsers have been out in force to congratulate Sherkel on this already, but there should be no hiding in a roundup post for a track of this quality. Both a sign of how far Sherkel has come with his production and an absolutely superb example of how to do a remix, I’m in love with this one and feel pretty sure that both Hase and Betwixt would approve.
Although Sherkel perfected the Einhander style of filtering a long while ago, here he’s also found a lovely balance between his experimental side and NRG convention. The breakdowns make for an unusual structure that still works, thanks to a unique atmosphere and some incredible filtering that has a new trick in store every minute or so. Rounded out by some at-least-as-good-as-Einhander work on the fills and percussion and a very clean mastering job, this is fabulous stuff.
I’ve been quite busy lately with a few TYFTH-related projects that probably won’t appear here for quite some time, which is the main reason for the post count dropping again. Rather than draw it out even longer, here’s a rapid fire version of some of the SoundCloud recommendations I was meaning to get around to.
Top of the list for good reason is a new upload from Nomic – this time a recording of his 2017 Kosmos set. With the scene having quietened down since then we haven’t heard Nomic’s tracks too often, which might explain why this sounds so fresh. Featuring a wonderful as-yet unreleased WIP, this is a truly beautiful set that still manages to finish with some high grade aggression. Many of us have more time than usual to check out sets these days, but if you can only manage one for the forseeable, this is it.
Next up is my favourite of Proteus’ recent releases, his goa-influenced rework of Gute Nacht. For one reason or another I got some strong UX feelings from this one, so it was interesting to see Proteus shout out Kris Kylven in his track notes. Sadly it doesn’t really have the old school filteriness of UX, but there’s a nice mix of classic Proteus along with the other influences.
Erkenfresh’s Pleading to a Silver Moon wins points for sidestepping a variation on Lockdown/Quarantine/Contagion as a track title, while also excelling as an emotional, energetic freeform track. Absolutely something I would have put forward for Hybridize back in the day, this is very solid work that steps up plenty of gears in the breakdown. While I wish the drop had crashed in earlier, the filters and quality melodies make it well worth the wait.
Finally for now is Malice, a collab track between Alchemiist and Risa, releasing at some point on Drop Bear Digital. From the clip it sounds like the breakdown is the standout here, and while the drop doesn’t seem to do anything too out of the ordinary it looks to be a classic-styled NRG track that would slot into plenty of sets. This won’t be the first release on Drop Bear for either Alchemiist or Risa, so check out Beatport for others in the meantime.
Current circumstances seem to have been the trigger for a few DJs to return to mixing, happily including Asahi who was way ahead of the general Japanese curve a couple of weeks ago. This is much more of an industrial set than NRG, but not something you’re going to hear anywhere else and comes very recommended.
Asahi has nailed the Dark Dimension atmosphere, with some industrial anthems combined with Grimsoul (!), Lab4, and even Configsys PROJECT. I know from experience how hard industrial can be to mix, what with those unconventional structures and short intro/outros, making the construction here all the more impressive. Extra respect for the use of Resurrection, perfectly placed as an energetic centrepiece to the set.
Although there are a couple of wobbly moments in the second half that I’d put down to a combination of indutrial weirdness and Asahi’s rustiness, the selection’s still superb and they’re certainly nothing to worry about.
Give this a try, then, as even if you’d prefer more NRG it will very likely inspire a few new mixing or listening ideas.
01. god destruction – Across the light 02. Phyton VS Grimsoul – Phantom 03. Seileen – Lanmento della sirena 04. X SICKFREAK – Open Your Eyes 05. Cyferdyne – Cables and Codes 06. Lab4 – Resurrection 07. Alien Vampires – All The Fakes Mast Die(Benjamins Plaue Remix) 08. Hocico – Born to be Hated 09. Alien Vampires – Hell Descent 10. Reaxion Guerrilla – Sacrifice(Asinaptico Remix) 11. Aim＆Execute – Phantom Energy 12. T3rror 3rror – Domination 13. Configsys PROJECT – Ode To Charli
It’s looking likely that my next ‘studio’ set will include a U-F SEQUENCER track, so this caught my eye right away. As a free release you’ve got nothing to lose either way, making Thunderbolt a strong choice if you’re experimenting with Japanese sounds in your melodic freeform sets.
I’ve often thought that U-F SEQUENCER has quite a lot in common with Betwixt in his more conventional freeform moments, as there’s a peculiar style to their melodies that you don’t very often hear anywhere else (ikaruga_nex might be another?). SEQUENCER’s tracks don’t tend to go to that next (Betwixt) level, but there’s a lot to like here and I’m going to try working with Thunderbolt when I find some other contenders in this style.
Make sure to look through SEQUENCER’s bandcamp if you haven’t before, there’s so much good work there that deserves to get some play, both on the freeform and hardcore sides.
Bad news first – there’s no freeform here, or the high bpm psy/goa influenced stormers we’ve heard before from Synesthesics’ alias, Mellow Sonic. Instead Transcending Consciousness is a phenomenal album of atmospherics that draws on some similar elements, and should have at least something of interest for many Horsers.
Starting with the clearest Psychokinesis influences, then, Celestial is my favourite of the goa/psy-styled tracks. Somewhere around 150bpm, it’s a lovely, deep acid track that inevitably had me wishing for more of the freeform that I fell in love with last time around. These are great tracks though, living up to their sci-fi styling to such a degree that they’d probably be tough to mix with the majority of goa. Adding some depth to a psytrance set could be where they’d shine, but what would I know about that?
The album’s title track could well be my favourite, some superb breaks that easily match Alek Szahala’s experiments along these lines. One of those genres I’d like to get more into, but it would have to be up to this quality for me to take interest. Proper melancholy cyberpunk atmospheres here, I think it’s fantastic.
The second half of the album is the highest standard of drum and bass production I’ve yet heard from Synesthesics, and even if it’s not my preferred genre some similar atmospheres are continued here. I’m no expert on more sci-fi styled drum and bass, but this is excellent stuff that gave me older Black Sun Empire feelings in places.
The wait continues for more Mellow Sonic freeform, but this is an inspiring mix of styles to enjoy in the meantime, and comes highly recommended.