Welcome to ‘Mengzy Selects’, a monthly column which features eight recently released tracks by producers and labels in Asia and across the Asian diaspora. Your host is Mengzy: a Hong Kong-based DJ and producer, academic, music journalist and co-founder of Feed the Dragon.
1 Fetus ‘Horizontal Loop’
After appearing on last June’s inaugural edition of Mengzy Selects, Fetus strikes again with ‘Horizontal Loop’, a self-release dropped by the Japanese producer on his Bandcamp on January 19.
With a growing number of label releases to his name across Asia (e.g., Vomitspit, Unchained Recordings, Absurd Trax) and Europe (e.g., The Dreamers Recordings, Influenza Media, //DarkMode), Fetus’ multi-genre talent seems to know no bounds.
‘Horizontal Loop’ has the producer explore the footwork jungle end of the bass spectrum, incorporating musique concrète-style samples, like phone rings and metallic clangs, into a hypnotic 4/4 roller.
Listen to ‘Horizontal Loop’ here.
2 Trekkie Trax Crew ‘Sunrise’
‘Sunrise’ is a slick commercial breakbeat offering from Tokyo’s TREKKIE TRAX that hits all the right notes for a festival main stage: huge builds and drops, euphoric piano riffs, and saccharine vocal chops amid supercharged dance energy.
Extremely well-produced, mixed, and mastered, ‘Sunrise’ is simultaneously crisp and weighty, and features an unexpected rave flip in the middle with a dirty break that balances out some of the track’s sweetness.
Listen to ‘Sunrise’ here.
3 OOBE ‘Ultraviolet’
Broken beats, dark textures and menacing synths ripple across ‘Ultraviolet’ by Macanese multidisciplinary artist OOBE.
‘Ultraviolet’ appears on ‘Frontier’, the enigmatic producer’s fourth release on Macau-based 4daz-le Records. It’s an aptly titled EP, given his track record of genre-bending studies across bass, IDM, and techno.
OOBE’s catalogue at 4daz-le ranges from the experimental to the dance-floor compatible, delivering challenging and deeply satisfying electronic music for the introspective among us.
Listen to ‘Ultraviolet’ here.
4 GoodMostlyBad ‘Shawty 3.0’
Percussive delights abound in ‘Shawty 3.0’ by Qatar-based GoodMostlyBad. This EP is exactly the kind of release that has been helping to establish London’s Scuffed Recordings at the heart of the forward-looking underground club game in the past few years.
In the title track, GoodMostlyBad (real name Gurmehar Bedi) weaves multiple rhythmic and timbral threads together that conjure otherworldly sounds. Underlying it all is a 2-step pattern that is almost obscured by the rich percussion ricocheting overhead.
Listen to ‘Shawty 3.0’ here.
5 CDX ‘CDX1’
CDX is the moniker for the collaborative project between Japanese breakcore producer CDR (whose track ‘Junglist Pe’ featured in my November picks) and Xoma18, an indie electronic beatmaker and illustrator.
The eponymous EP is their first release together and while CDR is responsible for all the drum work on the release, Xoma18’s contribution encompasses all of the melodic writing as well as the artwork, which is in his signature psychedelic body horror style.
Opener ‘CDX1’ features a dialogic exchange between Xoma18’s solemn, step-like piano melodies and almost militaristic breaks from CDR – breaks that create melodies of their own through constantly evolving edits and chops.
Listen to ‘CDX1’ here.
6 SYEYL ‘Radiate’
After a string of singles in 2022, newcomer SYEYL dropped his debut EP ‘Dawn Chorus’ last week via Export Quality Records.
The New Delhi-based producer showcases his ambient and downtempo aesthetic in ‘Dawn Chorus’, a release centred around the metal “Rav Vast” – a handpan drum created in 2013 that is favoured for its rich harmonics.
In ‘Radiate’, SYEYL lets the Rav Vast’s harmonics wash over an atmospheric three-and-a-half minute meditation. A gentle breakbeat drops in the heart of the track which opens and closes in relative stillness.
Listen to ‘Radiate’ here.
7 Dogwhine ‘Masquerade Ball’ (DOTT Broke My Shoes Mix)
It’s a distinct pleasure to listen to a remix that brings wildly separate sounds and scenes together. DOTT’s remix of ‘Masquerade Ball’ by Bangkok post-punk fusion outfit Dogwhine does precisely that.
Originally released in November 2021, the More Rice co-founder’s remix was finally made available to buy on Bandcamp on January 9, and is the perfect companion to dusky sundowners or hazy, smoke-filled afterparties.
Part-deranged trip hop jazz and part-downtempo funk, DOTT’s rework transforms Dogwhine’s quirky ‘Masquerade Ball’ into a dubby sonic stroll befitting a David Lynch film.
Listen to ‘Masquerade Ball’ (DOTT Broke My Shoes Mix) here.
8 tape_hiss ‘Glass Voice’
Tucked in the middle of tape_hiss’ ‘A Linear Progression’ EP is ‘Glass Voice’, a celestial acid vibe that caught our attention this January.
The EP, which saw the New York City-based producer use an Akai MPC 1000 sampler in the composition process, enjoyed a digital and vinyl release earlier this month via Singapore’s Darker Than Wax imprint.
On a whole, the EP delivers refreshing and utopian ambient electro – a mood captured perfectly by label co-founder Dean Chew’s graphic artwork.
Listen to ‘Glass Voice’ here.