This week: jazz dissonance, sinister narrations, art-pop and spontaneity

By in Features





Essential weekend listening.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Kelly Doherty and Becky Rogers, alongside contributors Emily Hill and James Hammond.

billy woods & Kenny Segal




billy woods and Kenny Segal team up once again on Maps. billy woods has had an inimitable streak over recent years, developing a consistently excellent voice in outsider rap and, like Hiding Places, his debut collaborative album with producer Kenny Segal, Maps is another career highlight. Segal’s productions alternate between jazzy experimentation and growling dissonance against woods’ anxious observations about life on the road and fragmented time at home. Maps is packed with nervous energy–teetering on the edge, demanding a close listen. One of the best hip-hop releases of the year so far.–KD

Delphine Dora

As Above, So Below

(Recital Program)


With piano and voice as guiding lights, Delphine Dora’s As Above, So Below drifts between sound worlds and gothic hues. As a multi-instrumentalist with a flair for spontaneity and experimentation, on these nine tracks Dora manages to work up subtle entanglements of harmony that move with a seamless ebb and flow alongside stray electrical signals and field recording. With an intriguing discography already to her name, this one lands as her debut for the always-on-point Recital Program.–JH

Takuya Matsumoto


(Clone Records)


Takuya Matsumoto delights the senses with a fine selection of music on his second instalment of sonics dedicated to the heyday of house productions. The Japanese producer leans into the deep house genre, working along the renowned sides of the American spectrums of Chicago and New York based tips. 90-93 showcases four tracks of refreshing dancefloor workouts spanning joyful moments among moodier sentiments. Ideal for any ‘90s enthusiast who desires those deeper sonic vibrations.–EH

LA Priest

Fase Luna



Taking its name from a modular drum machine LA Priest, aka Sam Eastgate, built himself, his third album Fase Luna was recorded in Mexico and Costa Rican rainforests. Set amongst picturesque views, Eastgate traverses wonky-pop and psych trips in this stripped-back collection. Armed with little more than his guitar, Fase Luna tests experimentation while keeping in the realms of blissful art-pop.–BR

Ben Vida, Yarn/Wire, Nina, Nina Dante

The Beat Hit My Head

(Shelter Press)


This collaborative effort places an intrepid approach to voice and text at the forefront and combines the voices of Ben Vida, Nina Dante and Yarn/ Wire’s Laura Barger and Russell Greenberg. With the four members developing what Vida refers to as a “meta-voice” over the course of four years, The Beat My Head Hit lets this voice expand and constrict among alluring patterns of synchronisation and speech as music.–JH


Ecstatic Editions Vol. 1

(Ecstatic Editions)


The esteemed Eris Drew begins a new imprint, Ecstatic Edition. The first edition comes from Toronto based, Xi’an born, producer and DJ, Ciel, whose affiliations extend to labels such as Planet Euphorique, Naive and Peach Discs, to name a few. Ecstatic Editions Vol. 1 is a vast body of work previously unavailable on vinyl brought together on a double LP. An ideal present for any avid physical collectors as it finally brings together a cohesive story of the producer’s curiously eclectic musical stylings.–EH


He Hymns



Bristol-born, London based producer LCY brings forward their protean sound on this first release via fabric. He Hymns is an “exploration of LCY’s search for self within songs of worship”, wielding cross-genre motifs for club-ready introspection. Through ambient synths, skittish percussion and foreboding bass, He Hymns resides in darkness, feeling like a shared secret between producer and listener. Immersive and immaculately sculpted, He Hymns is for dancing the pain away.–KD

The Lemon Twigs

Everything Harmony

(Captured Tracks)


The D’Addario brothers travel back to ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll for their fourth album, Everything Harmony. Simon & Garfunkel harmonies and acoustic sit alongside Pet Sounds melodica for these 13 tracks of pure despair, with the duo never unfurling their smiles throughout and blessing the sinister narration with sunkissed Americana. A timeless release that brings solace to the darker moments.–BR