Ever the optimists, we at Schmutz are attempting to squeeze what lemonade we can from this situation. This surplus of extra time at home has allowed us to turn back to the content streams and sift out promising new artists to share with the rest of the world. This particular edition of New Moon focuses on our latest ambient, drone, and downtempo discoveries, which we feel appropriately capture the current zeitgeist. As always, you can find all of these artists and others in our regularly updated New Moon playlist on Spotify
Leedian has a lot of tools in their toolbox, so a proper characterization depends on the track in question. “Waiting” lands somewhere between downtempo electronic and free jazz, which we found reminiscent of Teebs, Floating Points, and Flying Lotus. The best part is that they’re absurdly prolific, having released three LPs since the start of this year.
“Beware of the Wildlife” is the promising first release of German composition artist, Hans Arnold. Arpeggiated synth provides the pulse behind serene pads and nearly tribal drums, creating a captivating long build that’s worth the wait.
The Calgary-based artist creates heavily textured noise-scapes, distinguished by drum lines that teeter on the drum and bass edge of mania. Percussive-electronic nerds like Greg Fox (Ex Eye) and Zach Hill (Death Grips) come to mind.
Michael Spivack (aka Prospect Lux) effortlessly creates slow-build, hypnotic compositions that blur the lines between drone and downtempo techno. “Kelmpt Lon” comes to us Vol. 2 of his single release, Gray Instrument.
While listening to the aptly-named Spectral Gates, we hear post-rock influence from bands like Russian Circles with the clipping distortion of Nadja, creating high-drama walls of sound to brood to. Perfect, considering how much we have to brood about.
Spices Peculiar is an improvisational, looping project lead by Dante Villagomez out of Pittsburgh, that has been crafting lulling, multi-textured compositions since 2015. The real spice of Spices Peculiar is his choice of whimsical timbres, like the melodica and (what sounds like) a toca shell shaker heard on this track.
This track comes off of Erik Hall’s rendition of Steve Reich’s seminal masterpiece, Music for 18 Musicians, in which Hall impressively plays every instrument himself. “I’m aware of the inherent audacity of the project,” Hall admits, “but I couldn’t resist the simple joy of getting to participate in this music I’ve loved so much for so long. Subsequently, as the layers piled up and the piece started to really take shape, that feeling was joined by utter humility towards the composition.”