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Kuboraum Sound Residency


For its second release, following SALÒ's feverish self-titled debut album, Berlin-based platform Kuboraum substantiates its musical perspective, bringing together an eccentric set of tracks from friends and family. Each artist was invited personally by the platform to write a piece of music inspired by Kuboraum's philosophical and aesthetic principles. On this first compilation, Kuboraum asks like-minded mavericks to enter into a dialog with both the brand and each other, harnessing their personal expression to paint an open-ended portrait that emphasizes the lysergic spectrum of Kuboraum's vision. Veteran producer and Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas, operating under his μ-Ziq moniker, crafts a hypnotic, dubbed-out roller with "Never," careening from willowy dancefloor rhythms into melancholy ambience, and on the other end of the scale, Space Afrika obscure an angelic voice with evocative glitches, melancholy pads and a dissociated kick drum on "<3less." Meanwhile Moin -- the post-punk influenced project of Raime's Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead, alongside virtuoso percussionist Valentina Magaletti -- travel earthwards on "Lapsed," bending distorted, angular riffs around thuds, flutters and stifled vocal chops. Kuboraum also welcomes V/Z, with Susumu Mukai, aka Zongamin, and on "All the Rest of It," they disrupt cinematic, hauntological echoes with syrupy rhythms and spine-tingling, tape saturated sonics. Paris-based cloud rap futurist Emma DJ takes a sharp left turn, marrying flickering, neon-hued synths, tight Atlanta-inspired beats with ghostly bars, and notorious Nyege Nyege duo MC Yallah and Debmaster pull that thread even further, juxtaposing brittle, 8-bit blips with dexterous rhymes and an infectious chorus. Each track shines a laser through a different fragment of Kuboraum's vast artistic prism. The unifying force throughout is experimentation, something that's easy to hear on Ziúr's "Vacuum," two minutes of sticky, foley percussion and piercing bass, and on Quelza's undulating "Boiling Ice in Frozen Cup," that's like being trapped in an airlock as reality shifts outside. And the compilation closes with two tracks that couldn't be more different, or more fitting. Techno innovator Regis provides a dimly lit, eroticized banger with "Let Love Decide," and composer Lucy Railton plays the compilation out into the end credits, looping ornate strings, fictile electronics and breathy vocals on the fittingly baroque "Medieval Sui." Listened to as a whole, Kuboraum's debut compilation is unusually coherent, an accurate representation of the label's musical interests that paces confidently around the fringes of Berlin and beyond.