Wave music – one of the first truly international electronic musical genres – is moving from strength to strength right now. And it’s not hard to see why when you factor in a wealth of talent dispersed around multiple corners of the world, a huge work ethic, a sense of growing relevance and above all an enormous wave (no pun intended) of energy and determination to produce mind-blowing music and a massive sense of community among its leading protagonists.
In this Focus article we look at some of the producers that have really caught our attention recently. This is by no means intended as a comprehensive guide to what’s hot in wave music (to do so within the confines of one article would be impossible), and we apologise to all the wonderful musicians who we couldn’t feature here. This piece simply dips into a few of our very favourite sounds from the world of wave. We invite you to delve deeper if you like what you hear…
Representing Poland, the phenomenal MYSTXRIVL (pronounced ‘Mysterial’) is producing some simply stunning sounds at present. His music tends to evoke enormous bursts of emotion and genuinely straddles the at-times elusive divide between wave and witch house music. Choosing favourites is an extremely difficult task, but for those new to MYSTXRIVL we would recommend ‘Stay Forever‘ (released late last year by the_accidental_poet) or the recent hit ‘Over You‘ (released by Wavemob as part of its recent compilation wave 003).
Equally as impressive, fellow Pole Sokos is also killing it at present with a series of hits that are bound to get the blood pumping. Particular favourites of ours are ‘By Night‘, the dark sounds of ‘c u r s e d‘ and ‘Heptan‘ with MYSTXRIVL.
The UK is home to some truly wonderful wave talent. Holding the torch for the emerging scene is Romford boy Kareful, who we interviewed a few weeks back (check out our interview here). Check out ‘Night Skies‘ with the phenomenal Deadcrow, last year’s ‘Darker Waters‘ or the astonishing ‘Fractals‘ with LTHL (released via Liquid Ritual, a wave label founded by Kareful, LTHL and others which is an excellent place to get into all things wave).
Another amazing artist we’ve been following for some time now is Skit, whose eclectic back catalogue spans many genres including wave (recent Wavemob release ‘Lifestream‘ and ‘Fractal Tears‘), r&b-tinged chillout (‘Sweat‘ with Tijani, released via Terrorhythm) and even straight-up ambient (last year’s ‘Moods‘).
We have focused on the Spanish wave scene elsewhere (read our Focus article ‘Spain’s Finest’ here). There is some truly exceptional music coming out of Spain – particularly from the members of withered collective (including Kyddiekafka, hideen jayeem and Hermei) and Barcelona-based ELHIXIR. Margari’s Kid (not necessarily wave music, but certainly worth a mention here) is another tremendous talent to go explore if you haven’t already done so.
And the talent doesn’t end with the Atlantic Ocean. Across the pond there are some truly awesome artists producing some stunning music. Representing Canada, the wonderful DYZPHORIA (who we recently interviewed – watch this space!) is making some exceptional sounds at present (check out recent stunner ‘EyezOpen‘ with 2Ravens and the recent Liquid Ritual release ‘Searching‘). Alberta-based Sorsari is another enormous talent – check out ‘glaciers‘ and the exceptionally soulful ‘our journey begins‘.
In terms of US talent – the wonderful brothel has been a favourite of ours for some time with his incredible array of musical talent and inspirational approach to making music. For examples of brothel’s sonic wizardry, check out ‘IMSXRRY‘, ‘SOMEONELIKEYOU‘ and last year’s ‘PAIRPLAY‘ with Divine. Essex is another producer to watch – if you don’t know his work, check out ‘falling in and out of numb‘, ‘CRIM5S‘ and the recent ‘Cathedral‘. Othos and defussion have made some wonderful tunes together (try ‘Lust‘, ‘Kalon‘ and ‘Kaiho‘). And then there’s the exceptional Virginia-based producer Resonata_, owner of Sekai Collective, who is doing some tremendous things for the wave scene (check out our recent Insight Interview here for Resonata’s story). Sekai is about to drop a compilation album which we are confident will prove a major milestone in the wave journey.
So there you have it – our whistle-stop tour of all things wave. As we say above, this is by no means a comprehensive guide to one of the most exciting new genres to emerge in some time. If you like what you have heard, you are in luck – there is a veritable cornucopia of music for you to explore further. Have fun…
Sekai’s new compilation album will be released in August. Watch this space for details.