Kiki Hitomi – “Karma No Kusari”

One third of the British noise/dub syndicate King Midas Sound, Kiki Hitomi has struck out on her own before over the past decade, as well as working with some fairly illustrious collaborators in the world of left-field electronic music, including Ricardo Villalobos and Shackleton.

But Karma No Kusari, released at the end of the summer on the weirdly awesome web label JahTari Records (which I only discovered upon writing this post!), is her first proper full-length offering as a solo artist. Over the course of its fewer than 30 minutes run time, we are lead on a disorienting a jaunt through a funhouse of post-millennial dub, lo-fi melodies, NES bleeps and flea market bargain bin samples. Hitomi sings and rap over the hodgepodge of sounds in a combination of Japanese and heavily accented English, creating something that feels immediate as it is unique. Oh, and she designed the artwork as well.

Youtube was the only place I could find the stream, but it’ all here:

KAYTRANADA’s “0.001% ???” Mixtape

Canadian producer KAYTRANADA released one of our favorite records this year in the form of 99.99% (XL Recordings), a sleek hybrid of incandescent club music with razor-sharp production, featuring a formidable roster of rappers and vocalists.

And now he’s flexing his DJ skills with this gem of a mixtape he dropped on us earlier this week. It’s a sublime ride through a slew of exclusive material, remixes, edits, features, etc., that really demonstrates just how good modern dance music can be.

Stream and/or download below, and don’t forget to check out 99.99%.

DecibelCast 24 “Dat ’96 Sh*t”


1996 was when we reached peak hip-hop—the year when the genre’s creative vitality was finally eclipsed by its significance in the mainstream culture of America, the year when it came crashing down.  In 1996 hip-hop was pop music and vice versa. The West Coast sound, which had basically dominated the decade was finally being legitimately challenged by what had begun as a small insurgency with Wu-Tang‘s debut and gained steam with insta-classic debuts from Nas and Notorious B.I.G.

1996 saw the first and only Fugees record, the debut solo outings of Ghostface,  Busta Rhymes and Eminem. There were classic records released by Nas, Lost Boyz, Mobb DeepTribe Called Quest, De La Soul, The Roots, Redman and Too $hort.  And there was 2Pac. More than any other rapper, 1996 belonged to Tupac Shakur.  Pac managed to release three(!!!) albums worth of material (counting the double album All Eyez on Me and the posthumous Don Killuminati) and sell more records than any other rapper probably ever will, before the inevitable end to his tragic whirlwind of a life arrived in September of that year. 96 was the very height of the East Coast/West Coast war. It was beginning of the end for Death Row Records (and  Biggie Smalls who was murdered in early ’97). And it was the  beginning of the South’s ascension, as heralded by Outkast‘s objectively game-changing ATLiens.

DJ Shadow, who correctly interpreted the glitzy cul de sac that mainstream rap was entering even while releasing an album that has yet to be equalled said hip-hop sucked in ’96, but from here it sounds pretty damn good. Fuck! 20 years, I can’t believe it’s been that long. It was a trip listening to all this stuff again. I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this mix as much as we enjoyed making it.


DJ Shadow “Why Hip-Hop Sucks in ’96”
Busta Rhymes feat. Biggie Smalls “Modern Day Gangsta Shit”
The Fugees – “Ready or Not”
2Pac – I Got My Mind Made Up”
Lost Boyz “Music Makes Me High (Album Version)
De La Soul  “Itzsoweezee (Hot)”
Do or Die “Po Pimp”
Dru Down “Breezy”
Nas  “Affirmative Action”
MC Eiht “You Can’t See Me (Compton’s Most Wanted)” Instrumental
Heltah Skeltah “Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka”
Mobb Deep “Hell on Earth”
The East Flatbush Project “Tried by 12” feat Des
Redman feat Method Man  “Do What Ya Feel”
Nonchalant  5 O’Clock (Album Version)
Cypress Hill “Illusions Instrumental (Jay Dee Remix)”


A Tribe Called Quest “1nce Again”
Westside Connection “Bow down”
Camp Lo “Luchini (AKA This is It)”
Delinquent Habits “Tres Delinquetes”
The Roots “What They Do”
O.G.C. “Hurricane Starang”
Makaveli (2Pac) “To Live and Die in LA”
Da Bush Babees “The Love Song” feat Mos Def
UGK “Diamonds and Wood”
Outkast “Mainstream”
Jay-Z “Dead Presidents”
Biz Markie “Studda Step”
Jeru the Damaja “Whatever”
Too $hort “Gettin’ It”
Ghostface Killah “All That I Got is You” feat Mary J Blige
DJ Shadow “Midnight in a Perfect World”

Starchild & the New Romantic

Starchild & the New Romantic is Bryndon Cook, a guitarist who has toured with acts like Blood Orange and Solange, and his recently released debut Crucial (on Ghostly International), bears the creative imprint of these artists. It also cannot be discussed without mentioning the obvious influence of Prince; Cook, like the recently departed purple one (RIP), plays all the parts on this album himself and sings. His sleazy electric guitar parts meld with classic slap bass lines, propelled forward by drum machine. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, just glitzy outer-space R&B at its finest, a collection of shimmering ballads bathed in swaths of warm synthetic ambience. Favorite tracks include “Slammin Manequin” and “Relax” and “New Romantic”.

Check it out below and grab the album over at Ghostly’s website.




ALL MY LOVERS from Starchild & The New Romantic on Vimeo.

Tim Hecker – “Love Streams”

Tim Hecker is a perennial favorite at DECIBELity. The Canadian artist and avant garde sound designer, who currently splits time between Montreal and Los Angeles, has always defied easy categorization— more abrasive than what generally passes for ambient music, and yet far too melodic and pretty to be classed with the noise or drone crowds. Over the course of the last decade and a half, he has consistently pushed into uncharted territories, with results that are usually equal parts beautiful and terrifying. His eighth LP Love Streams, released via 4AD finds him in peak form, marrying harmonic distortion with warped choral arrangements, heavily processed synthesizers and of course lots of noise. Stellar!
“Black Phase” (taken from Love Streams)

Get it here

King Midas Sound & Christian Fennesz – “Edition 1”

The UK-based trio of Kevin Martin (who also makes excellent records as The Bug) and vocalists Kiki Hitomi and Roger Robison have been recording as King Midas Sound since at least 2007, releasing sleek modern dub with a distinctive edge of dystopic urban dread via several channels—most notably the highly respected Hyperdub. And as for Christian Fennesz, there probably isn’t much left to say that hasn’t already said about the Austrian guitarist, whose sublime creations of ambient/noise/avant-garde/glitch, including the 2001 landmark Endless Summer, have been challenging listeners since 1997.

Given both acts approach to creating atmosphere and space, this collaboration almost seems obvious, at least in retrospect. Fennesz and KMS play expertly toward each other’s strengths, and in a lot of ways Edition 1 sounds exactly like one might expect: digital dread with a twist of trip-hop shrouded in a fog of soft static-y electric noise. Its exquisite background music to be sure, but listen closely and you’ll find yourself submersed in a richly textured ambient experience as multi-faceted as the modern London metropolitan area which it so beautifully evokes.  Stand out tracks: “On My Mind” and “Our Love”

Unkle Funkle – Supernatural

Unkle Funkle is back! well, he never really went away, his music is just so obscure it takes some serious digging to find. But now he’s back and in print and he may have just made all other music obsolete with his new single Magic Woman to be released on the forthcoming Supernatural set to hit sometime soon…ish or whenever Burger Records feels like it i guess, I pre-ordered mine. The sophomore record follows Picture of My Dick (and yes, it is exactly what you asked for, a genius genre destroying album with a picture of his dick as the album art). If you’re familiar with Gnar Tapes he’s one of the head honcho’s behind that label and you’ve probably heard his bass lines delivered on The Memories and White Fang records, and if you’re a true head then you know that he released a stripped down version of Magic Woman via his bandcamp like 3 years ago, but whatever, this shit will explode all over the dance floor, leave a sticky mess and your body will absolutely love him for it.


Preorder Supernatural here..And while you wait here’s some older Funkle treats to enjoy









Balam Acab returns with new EP, gives away unreleased material

Alec Koone, who is better known as Balam Acab, lit up the Internetz back in 2011, with his debut LP Wander/Wonder released via what was the hottest record label at that time, Tri-Angle. And then he promptly vanished (without much explanation). Probably most of us forgot about him in those interim four years—such is the reality of music in the 21st Century.

But then a few weeks back he emerged out of nowhere with a self-released EP titled Child Death, which though distinct from his earlier material, can be seen as somewhat of a natural progression of his sound. Although Koone’s Balam Acab project was lumped in with the Witch Haus micro genre of the time, his music was always much brighter and florid than contemporaries like oOoOO, and Salem. Child Death continues this vein, a highly atmospheric offering with whispered vocals, gurgling aquatic synths and refracted textures.

Purchase it over at his Bandcamp page

He’s also released a bunch of goodies to the wild via his Facebook Page.

Check it out:


Sloped Wetted

Club Water


We’ve written about P Morris (real name Philesciono Canty) before. His glitzy hybrid of trap, chopped and screwed R&B and cavernous bass music (which he refers to as Goombawave) is characterized by lush melodic arrangements with long almost classical sounding interludes. He’s released several quality EPs (via Bandcamp) through his Bear Club Music Group over the last couple of years. He’s also a pretty active DJ, as his POP.Morris mixes attest.

Loaded with edits, bootlegs and re-fixes, these tapes encompass a wide range of pop music from various eras and sides of the Atlantic—from golden-age hip-hop to ’90s Euro-trance to the songs you’d find right now on the radio (if you still listened to the radio)—all twisted and processed through the Goomba-filter.

Vol. 3 kicks off with a Fetty Wap edit called “God Save the Trap Queen” and from there goes through obligatory stuff like Drake, D.R.A.M. and Nicki Minaj, but Annie Lenox is also there as is an extended portion about angry Frank Ocean fans (related through a broadcast news feature) reacting a hoax regarding new material from the singer.

Volume 1 & Volume 2 from earlier this year are also still available as pay-what-you-like downloads.

TY-Rannosaurus-RIE’s “No, no I didn’t fall off the edge of the earth; I’m still very much alive thank you and I’ve the mixtape to prove it” Mixtape

Well, it’s late November i.e. peak mope time for yours truly. But as it turns out I’m actually feeling pretty good at the moment, which is at least partially to do with this sweet little mixtape that was provided me by the homie TY-Rannosaurus-RIE. Yep, he’s is still around, and he still has the beat on some killer music. And while he  doesn’t really post mixes here anymore, he will apparently make one for you if you pester him long enough. (Perhaps he’ll return to dB someday if we keep badgering him about it.)

This particular mix, which was created just so I would shut up, evokes images of open road (well, at least to me it does). It opens with a Tourette’s-y little number sung by what sounds a little like a modern day cowboy crossed with Brak singing the blues, and it really just keeps getting better from there.

Go ahead and Check it out

Terry Jackness – “Track 01”

The Clean – “Anything Could Happen”

UV Race – “Life Park”

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – “Tuning Out”

Richard Swift – “The Bully”

Shintaro Sakamoto – “Birth of the Super Cult”

Jenny Hval – “The Battle is Over”

The Stoners – “Don’t Give a Fuck About You”

POW! – “Hi-Teck Boom”

Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds – “Killer Diller”

Whatever Brains – “NPTO”

Bichkraft – “Didn’t Know”

Naomi Punk – “Television Man”

Wolf Eyes – “Twister Nightfall”

Hamish Kilgour – “Crazy Radiance”

Matt Valentine – “The Beater”