RAMjams is our streaming weekly roundup of remarkable underground electronic music you might have overlooked.
This week, the culturally critical first song from Fatima Al Qadiri's new album, a battering Holly Herndon remix, and a colourful compilation courtesy of Crash Symbols.
Fatima Al Qadiri, "Szechuan"
Like her excellent breakout EP Desert Strike, Fatima Al Qadiri's debut full-length Asiatisch hinges on a lofty concept: an exploration of Westernized perception, production and consumption of Chinese culture. "Szechuan" begins its scathing critique before you hit play, thanks to the conscious use of the colonized spelling of "Sichuan."
That shit is catnip for me, but so is Qadiri's well-established skill of maximizing the dead space between her patches: reeds and wooden taps weave seamlessly with oppressive bass and vocal patches that wordlessly work in a sense of accusation (I was eating General Tao/Tso's chicken at the time of writing) that isn't so deluded to not also point directly at itself.
Holly Herndon, "Chorus" (Happa Mix)
Holly Herndon's original "Chorus" handled our conceptions of our digital lives with a softness, as if aware that our attachment to them is burrowed within our Neanderthal DNA. Guillotined proto-humanity became pleasant choruses convening with the free-flow of techno pulses and junky hysteria. It implanted its urgency with a digital agitation not dissimilar to getting stoned and browsing Facebook right when The Fear is brewing in your chest. Happa's remix leaves the time for sublimation in the past, and attaches four-on-the-floor and industrial scouring to the post-human banger.
Crash Symbols presents Touched By an Angle
At 33 tracks, the new compilation from West Virginia label Crash Symbols will more than satisfy your desire for new electronic music. And strangely, it's anything but overstuffed. With tracks from artists from Ireland, Montreal, and all over the States, there's enough distinction here to really identify the specific sound or style to fit your mood: the Prince Nifty reminiscent global-psych of Pregnant, that Baal Astarté track we gave you last week, The Cyclist and more. Click around randomly, find a sequencing that works for you, and throw them some Paypal.