Recommended: Aos – 90 East

Seattle DJ Aos came to our attention recently when the New York/Oregon label Blankstairs shared a two-hour chunk of a recent all-night set she played on SoundCloud. Taking in dreamy cuts like of Kassem Mosse’s remix of Machine Woman and Chaos In The CBD’s ‘Background Explorer’ as well as countless unfamiliar techno and electro tracks, it’s a wonderful introduction to the artist named Kayla Waldorf. She is a member of TUF, an intersectional female/non­binary/trans collective based in Seattle, and is also a part of Secondnature, an artist collective focused on bringing expansive electronic music to the Pacific Northwest.

Her first release is coming out on Blankstairs, a selection of expansive techno explorations called 90 East. It opens with the unsettling synth work of ‘Revival’, with its steady wash of cool ambience offset by syncopated kicks and a whoosh that builds like a flight away from your problems. After nearly five minutes a steady 4/4 kick hits in, mournful resolve replacing tense anxiety. ‘Limerence’, the title of which is the specific term for infatuated love, is a slow roller with a glowering bass and cloudy chords overhead. It’s dreamy and elegiac, but its title lends a knowing layer of disquiet. ’11 24′ is the headiest track, a grinding, driving techno number laden with almost trance-like squelches and relentless percussion throughout. Her last track, ‘Echoic’, is well titled, its themes bouncing around in cavernous space. It’s the brightest track of the four, not unlike the others in its construction with its layering and casual crescendo, but its themes are more open, seemingly uncomplicated by nothing other than its unresolved intervals. It’s not the end, however, as Blankstairs have drafted in Cyspe aka Robin Koek, one half of Artefakt, to remix ’11 24′. Pulling back from the breakneck speed of the original, it’s a steady groove with rolling percussion and a gurgling mechanical theme, at once hypnotic and enlivening. All told, a super set of tracks from a bold talent.

Aos – 90 East is out on Blankstairs on August 30, Pre-order here.

Picture credit: Ceci Corsano-Leopizzi

Aidan Hanratty

Dublin ...