Mengzy Selects - 011 / April
Mixmag Asia's bass purveyor Mengzy shares her musical discoveries from around the region
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.
Hamza Rahimtula ‘Nuevo Groove’
Mid-2022 had Krunk Kulture on a bassy tip with releases by EZ Riser, FUNC ft. The NIGHT, and YNZN.P. Since December, however, the Mumbai-based label has leaned towards lighter vibes, such as electronica, house, and nu-disco.
With ‘Nuevo Groove’, dropped April 21, Krunk welcomes Wind Horse Records don Hamza Rahimtula for the first time with a two-track EP. A classic piano chord riff stars in the title track that is wrapped, as its name suggests, in a Latin-tinged funky house package.
Listen to ‘Nuevo Groove’ here.
Eiki Nonaka ‘Phlanged Vortex’ (Faze Action Remix)
Faze Action’s remix of ‘Phlanged Vortex’ by Eiki Nonaka is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve heard in a very long time.
‘Phlanged Vortex’ was first released in 1995 on Nonaka’s new age electronica album ‘A-Key’ (via the now-defunct Sun & Moon Records). Then, last July, Tokyo-based Mule Musiq rereleased ‘A-Key’ – Nonaka’s only solo album to date – and have followed up this month with a remix EP harnessing the talents of British duo Faze Action as well as Milan-based Simone De Kunovich.
The dream-like formlessness of the original gets anchored in Faze Action’s Balearic reimagining, which grooves forward with lush instrumentation (including bass, lead guitar, keys, synths) and effortless percussion. This is a masterful rework that is almost overwhelming in its bittersweet nostalgia.
Listen to ‘Phlanged Vortex’ (Faze Action Remix) here.
DOTT ‘Among the Lines’
Blending house and minimal, ‘Among the Lines’ is one of four tracks on the ‘Sense of Tension’ EP, which drops April 28. The EP, which also features a remix by Bristol-based producer Boulderhead, comes to us via Boiled Wonderland Records and marks Thai producer DOTT’s debut on the label.
Emblematic of the esoteric vibes across the EP, ‘Among the Lines’ vacillates between recognisable house tropes and stranger, more alien sounds. In all, ‘Sense of Tension’ yields more intriguing IDM from the More Rice co-head.
Listen to ‘Among the Lines’ here.
Capiuz ‘Jump On It’ (Leese Remix)
Taiwanese experimental club purveyors OverMyBody recently invited Italy-based Capiuz and Belgium-based Leese to collaborate on what resulted in a three-track EP, titled ‘SAAM’. In it, the producers crafted one collab in addition to remixing one track each from the other’s previous catalogue.
Our favourite is track 2, Leese’s remix of ‘Jump On It’ by Capiuz – a muscular and DJ tool-friendly percussive offering. As one Bandcamp reviewer put it, the music across ‘SAAM’ is “mesmerising tribal bass work”, with which we would agree. They also added that it was “regurgitated from the throat of hades”, which we’re not so sure about, but it definitely hints at the EP’s primal and apocalyptic mood.
Listen to ‘Jump On It’ (Leese Remix) here.
ONJUICY, なかむらみなみ, Masayoshi Iimori ‘Cho-chocolate Drip’
Drip it like it’s hot…with Masayoshi Iimori’s new single via TREKKIE TRAX.
‘Cho-chocolate Drip’ boasts a double vocalist feature comprising Japan’s premier grime MC, ONJUICY alongside なかむらみなみ (aka Minami Nakamura) in a catchy hip hop throwback to early-2000s aesthetics – quite literally.
Iimori, who forms part of the TREKKIE TRAX extended family built ‘Cho-chocolate Drip’ around the hook from Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ (2004), while the eclectic, broken beat style to the overall production nods heavily to The Neptunes, as well.
Listen to ‘Cho-chocolate Drip’ here.
Kray ‘Back Right Back’
Pushed forward by its snappy titular vocal sample, ‘Back Right Back’ by Kray sounds as bouncy as it feels bassy.
Known primarily as a drum ‘n’ bass producer, Kray has enjoyed well-received releases on a number of labels in recent years, including Eloisa and Unchained (not to mention his explosive 2020 bootleg of ‘Ghost in the Shell’). Here, he joins eight other producers on the ‘Worldwide Players 2’ VA from London-based label Das Booty.
‘Back Right Back’, which has also received support from The Footwork Jungle, sees Kray play with juke, jungle, and Baltimore club in a 160 BMP club banger – marking a return to the world of footwork since his 2020 outing on Shoot Recordings.
Listen to ‘Back Right Back’ here.
Hyroglifics & Deft ‘Two For Two’
Expansive and emotive, the latest release from London-based Deft is rave-ready while being firmly planted in the leftfield.
Produced in collaboration with British drum ‘n’ bass producer Hyroglifics, ‘Two For Two’ allows Deft (who is of partial Hong Kongese descent) to continue on the aesthetic line he established with 2020’s ‘Pressure’ EP and 2022’s ‘SKIN‘ EP. Grinding forward at half-time 140 – a favourite tempo for the producer – Deft’s influence on the track is also evident through its gritty textures and coarse bass.
‘Two For Two’ is the second single to emerge from Hyroglifics’ debut LP, due to be released in June on Critical Music. The LP, titled ‘I’ll Wait, I Guess’, promises to be a multigenre collection, including drum ‘n’ bass productions as well as “tracks leaning towards grime, half-time, hip hop, techno and ambient”, according to Critical.
Listen to ‘Two For Two’ here.
It’s been a while since we’ve had new material from Singaporean producer Intriguant, but it was well worth the wait.
‘Routines’ marks the producer’s first release since 2020’s ‘Spirits’ LP. In the meantime, the multi-talented artist has been busy on other projects, such as multimedia installations and live performances (some of which are documented on his IG).
‘Glimmer’ closes his five-track EP and it only felt right to do the same and close this month’s column with it, as well, due to its euphoric and transcendent quality. ‘Glimmer’ delivers main stage breakbeat and will undoubtedly work beautifully as the final track or encore for a festival set.
Listen to ‘Glimmer’ here.
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[3D cover art by Daniel Stiensmeier]
Mengzy is Mixmag Asia’s Music Culture Columnist, follow her on Instagram.