As we reach the end of June it means it’s time for the 41st installment of Focus Five. As always we’re rounding up our five favourite finds of the past month. For this edition we’ve got a French DnB talent, a producer creating audio journeys with each track, a German trap mastermind, a mysterious new prospect, and an experimental production wizard. Get familiar with all five below.
Alright, we know we featured Audeon yesterday, but this recent discovery of a highly talented artist should not go unnoticed. Fresh off the release of the insatiably addicting ‘Cold Mind‘ via Denali Records, we have a strong feeling that Audeon is about to pop off in the drum and bass sphere due to his unique approach to production. Few can brag about getting recognition from a legend and coming runner up in a remix contest for MUST DIE!, but Audeon can. While the French artist’s general sound palette edges on drum and bass, Audeon is able to infuse elements of trap, future bass and more into his releases, giving them an original touch that stands out in a sea of conformity. With a side project that further pushes the envelope of electronic music, there is no denying that Audeon works tireless at his craft to continuously evolve as an artist, and we strongly suggest you keep a close eye on this budding Frenchman.
There are a few things more magical than a piece of music that can completely take you away. Vibrations that resonate at a level that are purely transportational. Artists like thook and capshun are masters of these immersive soundscapes but the latest producer to catch my ear with this knack is hypernova? Maybe it’s the moving keys in the intro, or the airy yet bumping bounce. But there’s something about ‘tempus.’ that’ll make you feel like you’re floating amongst the clouds. ‘Stella’ posseses a similar aesthetic but it’s more interplanetary. A lush journey through the galaxy. Proving to be 3 for 3 on recent releases ‘128.’ packs hypernova’s signature mystique in a more hard-hitting package. If you need to drift away for a few minutes throw on your best headphones and take a trip through hypernova?’s SoundCloud.
The German trap and bass scene is heating up. With rising stars like Lenny & MCTR making waves, it seems they may only be the tip of the iceberg of what the country has to offer. Berlin’s skypierr is bringing the grittiness back to trap with no-nonsense heaters that pack an underlying drill influence. ‘SAKAI 酒井氏’ alongside MCTR is the perfect introduction. The melodies are ice cold, stealthy and murderous. It’s the theme song to an ancient samurai assassination spree. If you’re in the mood for something a little more uplifting then ‘FREEDOM’ is your ticket. The vocal bends provide a sense of divine elation while the percussion pounds with pristine low end. It sounds like winning, plain and simple. The back catalog of bangers runs deep but ‘VIOLENCE’ is a must as you delve deeper into skypierr’s sound. skypierr is truly something special.
There’s little known online about XAM. There’s no location listed, a two-sentence bio on SoundCloud, and a limited social media presence. What is known is XAM makes bangers. Blurring the lines between trap and future beats while sampling familiar vocals makes for a sound that’s primed for FUXWITHIT fans. ‘Vesper’ combines gritty trap horns and bass with vocals from The Weekend’s ‘Earned It.’ Billie Eilish bounces over steel drums and future bounce for an infectious and upbeat bop with a haunting undertone on ‘Dimension.’ If you’re looking to drift away then you need to vibe out to ‘Tide.’ The track feels like an underwater adventure that’s refreshing and intoxicating. XAM’s bio reads, “Producing for fun. I make what I want to make, you are welcome to listen.” We will most definitely be listening.
Thanks to the good weather and the newfound post-covid normality, I do not hide the fact that in recent months I have enjoyed music that is less heavy and “lighter” than the sounds that characterized my lockdown’s soundtrack. Despite this, my darker side didn’t hesitate to wake up as soon as my ears intercepted the music of XNSΣΣN. Few artists have managed to mindfuck me at this level. Last in order of time was LEViT∆TE, before that probably only Alon Mor, G Jones and sakuraburst. ‘Materialize’, his reality-blender latest single, just came out a couple of days ago featured in the new OUTSIDERS PARIS compilation, but for a full immersion I highly suggest you a journey through XNSΣΣN’s debut album. 2064 is a conceptual trip through the occult genius of this “artificial intelligence capable of synthesizing sounds and creating music of the EDM genre,” that will nuke your brain with its incredible soundscapes.
Word by Alessio, Colin & Steph