Topdown Dialectic

Topdown Dialectic’s Vol. 3 begins with five minutes of primordial soup: undulating rhythms that feel like bubbling swamp water, dubby textures that make everything gauzy, and fizzy synths constantly on the verge of forming something concrete. Compared to the previous… Read More

Mas Aya

Take it as an auspicious omen when you have to google the instruments used on a recording. Many listeners may find that the case with Máscaras, the fourth album by Canadian-Nicaraguan musician Brandon Valdivia, aka Toronto-based Mas Aya. A deft… Read More

Native Soul

Near the beginning of the documentary SHAYA!, the filmmakers note that amapiano “was born in the soil of the streets of South Africa, therefore it belongs to all of us.” The sentiment reflects the organic, bottom-up growth of the genre;… Read More

DJ Stingray 313

“This music started around futurism,” Sherard Ingram told DJ Mag back in 2018. He was talking about the type of Detroit electro that Gerald Donald and the late, much-missed James Stinson had synthesized as Drexciya. But Ingram could also have… Read More

Moritz Von Oswald Trio

Moritz von Oswald has never cared much for the spotlight. In the early 1990s, his duo Basic Channel, with Mark Ernestus—and their whack-a-mole-like series of aliases Maurizio, Quadrant, Cyrus, and Round One through Round Five—were notorious for their tight-lipped nature.… Read More

Jana Rush

Veteran Chicago footwork producer Jana Rush says that Painful Enlightenment, only her second album since she debuted in 1995, isn’t a footwork record. She might be right: Painful Enlightenment’s abstract passages, tortured rhythms, and sprawling webs of sound have little… Read More

Tim ReaperComfort Zone

Spend a minute listening to jungle and you’ll feel its torrential power right away: the immediacy of whiplashing breakbeats; the incessant drive of sinuous melodies; the triumphant integration of Black music, from jazz to ragga to techno to hip hop.… Read More

Skee Mask

This time last year, Skee Mask put out a pair of EPs that felt like dueling reactions to lockdown blues, then stretching into month five in much of Europe and North America. In the sudden and prolonged absence of nightlife,… Read More


When poker players are on tilt it’s generally not a good thing. Their decisions are clouded by emotion; they make reckless plays, misjudge their luck, and tend, eventually, to spiral out. But it can be thrilling, in the most visceral,… Read More

The Juan MacLean

Had the notion of acid house not been comprehensively explored at the tail end of the 1980s, we might have minted the term to describe the Juan Maclean’s I Can’t Explain, which is inspired by mind-expanding drugs and old-school house… Read More