Aigner’s Inventory: September 2022

This is where the TikTok potential of albums is discovered and hauled through the warp smart-ass filter. This is where people remember the golden era of their own cringiness somewhere between music from Beyoncé, Danger Mouse and JJulius. Lots of material. So lets get to it.
Columbia • 2022 • from 66.99€

A new Beyoncé album tires me more discursively than almost any tax return, because you don't just review a Beyoncé album, you have to have a macro-sociological exegesis on the topics of identity, marketing and pop up your sleeve, and please provide at least three more objections of your own to all the theories that have been put forward thus far. It's a big ass truckload of work is what it is. That's why I won't even attempt to write a discourse here, but rather make the simple observation that the main reason why I won't listen to »Renaissance« very often again, despite some really absurdly good production, is simply because of Beyoncé's extreme vocal dominance, which doesn't put itself at the service of the music, but instead constantly remains the epicentre of every song.

Florian Aigner
Epic • 2022 • from 29.99€

In many ways, compared to Beyoncé, Rosalía is the more exciting pop star today, although the discourse around the phenomenon is not half as masturbatory. »Motomami«, now also available in physical form, is an instant 100% physical album even beyond the competitive journo-bubbling, with a peak Neptunes axe of a lead single, the type of shit for which N.O.R.E. and Timberlake would have sounded equally untouchable in 2002.

Florian Aigner
Hudson Mohawke
Cry Sugar
Warp • 2022 • from 31.99€

Hudson Mohawke seemed like an avatar of himself in his Yeezy crossover years, culminating in the creative dead end that was TNGHT.  So it's hardly surprising with »Cry Sugar« that he only manages to come close to his exuberantly creative Sturm and Drang days of almost fifteen years ago following an extended hiatus. »Cry Sugar« is a remarkable album above all because Hud Mo Pop raps 2022 and yet draws different conclusions from it than, for example, the PC Music camp, which is comparable in terms of sound palette. Saccharine it is, overwrought, garish, as if a grumpy cynic had realised the potential of TikTok pop, albeit once dragged through the warp smart-ass filter.

Florian Aigner
Denzel Curry
Melt My Eyez See Your Future
Loma Vista • 2022 • from 27.99€

Denzel Curry, on the other hand, disappoints with »Melt My Eyez See Your Future« compared to »Zuu«, that Miami rap encyclopedia on which Curry found the perfect balance between his often manic delivery and extremely lowered basslines in 2019. In 2022, Denzel Curry now sounds, as announced, more vulnerable and introspective, but exhausts himself in part in arguably striking comparisons and platitudes, which are particularly unpleasant due to the much more restrained production.

Florian Aigner
Danger Mouse & Black Thought (The Roots)
Cheat Codes
BMG • 2022 • from 27.99€

The fact that »Cheat Codes« seems completely out of time could be due to the fact that Danger Mouse hasn't had to do rap for a living for more than 15 years and Black Thought has been comfortably making appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel Show for almost as long. But that's not a problem, rather an ode to the zeitgeist of the message board era, when as a rapper you simply weren't taken seriously without quadruple rhymes and a producer who used samples without a layer of dust. That was nonsense then, as it still is now anyway, but somehow it' s also nice to be reminded in this way of one's own time as a Cringe Lord.

Florian Aigner
DJ Swagger
Minor Major Grand Schemes
Goddess Music • 2022 • from 24.99€

Next up, as a contrast piece, »Minor Major Grand Schemes«. DJ Swagger approaches modern rap conventions here mainly as a fan, with the expertise and basis of this album being electronic music in all its fractured varieties. Auto-tuned ballads are lined up with footwork and D&B bangers, Bmore and juke runs and wonderfully pitched Hinge Finger 2010'isms as a matter of course. Not necessarily new, but admirably free-spirited.

Florian Aigner
Infinite Window
Brainfeeder • 2022 • from 27.99€

Kuedo's almost gothic interpretation of footwork, dubstep and rap previously spawned two still pretty incredible albums, after which the Brit has mainly worked as a film producer. »Infinite Window« is now unexpectedly garish, almost Winding Refn'esque in its synthetic placativeness. »Infinite Window« thereby also puts an end to the eternal vintage Vangelis references (LG, Deutsch-LK) and emphasises the conclusions that can still be drawn from »Blade Runner«.

Sebastian Hinz
Fizzy Veins
Dances With The Cosmic Twin
South Of North • 2022 • from 20.39€

Cologne once again, maximum bias once again. Fizzy Veins is either a former work colleague or flatmate of some very good friends, a part of Montel Palmer and simply a dude nobody can have anything against. He has now made a solo album with »Dances With The Cosmic Twin«, which doesn't hide the reverence cherished for James Pants in the Cologne micro-bubble, and doesn't want to fail at it either. Instead we truly get some surprisingly nudisco-y space in these expertly dubbed, yes really, SONGS. My personal highlight: »Moonlight Tascam«.

Florian Aigner
Om Unit
Acid Dub Studies II
Om Unit • 2022 • from 25.99€

More Tool-like is the use of dub on »Acid Dub Studies II«, a compilation of all the more classic dub interpretations by Om Unit, again dancing at an impressive production level. He has obviously made it his aim to replace tapes as the most constant echo processor, after a full blown decline of all over 150 bpm genres. Wonderful, flawless and I can't wait for part three.

Florian Aigner
The Idealist
A Lion Is A Lion And Not A Lamb
Meakusma • 2022 • from 24.99€

Also ultra consistent and more prolific than ever under his The Idealist moniker: Joachim Nordwall. »A Lion Is A Lion And Not A Lamb« is the next rather sensationally stoic record under Nordwall's current favorite alias, this time for Meakusma and atmospherically again just as dense as last year's beatpoetry and esoteric infused LP on Höga Nord.

Florian Aigner
Mall Grab
What I Breathe
Virgin • 2022 • from 36.99€

While Joachim Nordwall reinvents himself credibly once again, Mall Grab stomps in every puddle of mud like an overtired two-year-old, even over the length of the album, and is then surprised when everything looks a bloody mess. Third-rate analogies aside: »What I Breathe« is quite an impertinence, because on it the Australian lets his attempts at pop song, previously released under his real name, die next to opportunistic main-stage bollocks and in between tries to repair his personal reputation with classically tawdry jungle breaks on the fly. One big cop-out, this album.

Florian Aigner
Oliver Sim of The xx
Hideous Bastard
XL Recordings • 2022 • from 24.99€

More interesting is Oliver Sim's attempt not to question his own role in The xx context, but simply keep accepting support for »Hideous Bastard« from the band. The preceding articles, in which Oliver Sim talks about his traumas, are certainly more pietätsvoll than a two-liner at this point, but at least I am still allowed to note that this is musically in places already arg dröge.

Sebastian Hinz Florian Aigner
Coby Sey
AD93 • 2022 • from 21.99€

The comparison is obvious because they both collaborated on the last Tirzah album but is anyone consistently making better pop than them right now? »Conduit« is the name of the first Coby Sey album. It's fantastic all the way through and no one has quite grasped the extent of the possibilities that the classic Bristol sound still offers people with ideas today, if the aim isn't blatant trip hop nostalgia, that is.

Florian Aigner
Yuta Matsumura
Red Ribbon
Low Company • 2022 • from 19.99€

More modest in scope than Coby Sey's »Conduit«, of course, and in terms of inspiration, Yuta Matsumura goes at least 15 years further back on »Red Ribbon«, one of those records that could only ever be released on Low Company, although there are now easily twenty other serious outlets for this kind of unshowered outsider pop.  The Champions League shit still comes out on Low Company and you can easily get yourself twelve tapes a month.

Florian Aigner
The DFA • 2022 •

The fact that Jjulius now is now on the books at DFA is somewhat curious, but also sweet that the two dedicated practitioners there have apparently taken James Murphy's mission to not disappear completely into insignificance seriously and naturally found what they were looking for in Gothenburg. »Vol.2« is somehow the most deliberately uncool Jjulius record in a long time, the husky cussedness of earlier albums has in places given way to coquettish indie adornment and hence meta af on three thousand levels at once.

Sebastian Hinz
Vladislav Delay
Planet µ • 2022 • from 22.99€

Stylistically hardly comparable, of course, Vladislav Delay has also made his third album for Planet Mu. »Isoviha« sounds like classic Vlad in some respects, but clips and chops any hint of pleasant dubbiness into a highly stressful notebook in which music is no longer assigned any sort of organising function. Music to make back payments to.

Sebastian Hinz
Kali Malone
Living Torch
Portraits GRM • 2022 • from 26.99€

The new Kali Malone record is awesome once again, but writing about why that is feels like taking part in headnote analyses on When researched thoroughly »Living Torch« can be seen to consist of countless components, but Kali Malone's ambient is so good because it has nothing to do with ambient and simply breathes and sweats differently.

Florian Aigner
Jake Muir & Evan Caminiti
Dust Editions • 2022 • from 24.99€

Kali Malone is also cool because she doesn't have to emphasise how unconventional her approach actually is for press releases. Something one can somewhat resent Jake Muir and Evan Caminiti for in the rather sniffy lead-up to »Talisman«. Yet »Talisman« is a completely normal, totally good ambient record that also draws its influences from doom and jazz, but admittedly isn't the radical statement that breaks away from all droning complaisance. Great opening and closing tracks, though, that needs to be noted.

Florian Aigner
Jon Collin
Bridge Variations
Discreet Music • 2022 • from 21.99€

Jon Collins' collaboration with Demdike Stare in 2020 was one of my most listened to records of the year, precisely because field recordings, guitar plucking and noisy ether stumbled so organically into this anxious pre-Vakzin mood and the structure of the two LP sides gave no support whatsoever. Jon Collin's completely un-esoteric vignettes are also a great personal asset this year, and »Bridge Variations« low key has become the soundtrack to my late summer superego.

Florian Aigner
Emeka Ogboh
6​°​30​’​33​.​372​”​N 3​°​22​’​0​.​66​”​E
Danfotronics • 2022 •

The soundtrack for the ego comes from Emeka Ogboh, who, after his first album released on A-Ton and at least reminiscent of Shackleton on 33 / -8, now presents a successor, »6​°​30​'​33​.​372​"​N 3​°​22​'​0​.​66​«​, which is influenced even more by the hubbub of Laos, that ranges from downtempo to dub techno and dissolves everything in a dissonant frenzy that makes you tolerate the fact that you can't actually open the windows in your living room for the entire summer period without having to process four hundred sounds at the same time.

Florian Aigner
Aigners Inventur September & Oktober 2022

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