MP3 REVIEWS: May’s New Albums & EPs – Bedouin, Ganja White Night, LP Giobbi, & More
As the digital age continues to flourish, an estimated 60,000 new tracks are released daily. Yet, it’s the extended projects that truly let artists showcase their talent and versatility. Welcome to MP3 REVIEWS, our monthly rundown of notable EPs and Albums that captured our attention. Let’s dive into this month’s lineup:
GANJA WHITE NIGHT – UNITY LP (APRIL 28)
Ganja White Night gives wub-lovers what they want with their latest wobble-filled album, Unity. The much-anticipated release includes singles already popular among bass enthusiasts including “Badman” with LSDREAM and “Womp Portal” with Subtronics.
In total, the album has a whopping 15 songs that feature big-name artists like CloZee, Infected Mushroom, and PEEKABOO. The tracklist takes listeners on a journey of melodic sounds and rumbling bass, equipped with slower and fast-paced drops. The album even includes a drum and bass hit called, “Raskal.” The debut of Unity comes two years after Ganja White Night’s 2021 album, Dark Wobble.
Ganja White Night’s ability to create their signature sound of wubs that make you want to dance, plus an entire universe of characters and visual art, is what solidifies them as star-studded staples in the bass community. —Julia Kauffman
SKYSIA – HERE LP (APRIL 28)
SHARLITZ WEB – PLEXURED MINDS EP (MAY 2)
In a world where bass music reigns supreme, Sharlitz Web has taken the scene by storm since her debut in 2021. In May, she released her four-track EP, Plexured Minds, on WAKAAN. The EP is a testament to Sharlitz Web’s unique sound, combining intricate elements of downtempo beats with complex basslines.
The closing track “Far Away” is a perfect summary of the EP’s overall vibe, promising a light at the end of the sonic tunnel. Sharlitz Web has brought her bass-heavy sound to the stage this summer at Lightning in a Bottle Festival, Sunset Music Festival, and more. —F.H.
FLUME — ARRIVED ANXIOUS, LEFT BORED LP (MAY 3)
Flume is back with his second album in this year. Much like Things Don’t Always Go As Planned, which was released in February, Arrived Anxious, Left Bored isn’t exactly new material. More accurately, the album is a compilation of previously lost tunes, which have been collecting dust on a forgotten hard drive for the past few years. Despite their demo-ish nature, many of these songs, including “Road to Japan [2019 Export Wav]” and “Jerry 1.6 [2017 Export Wave]” make their grimy mastering work in Flume’s favor, adding an extra layer of creative authenticity to his industrial sound aesthetic.
Similar to Things Don’t Always Go As Planned, Arrived Anxious, Left Bored is a mixed bag of ambient downtempo, hip-hop adjacent sound design, and relentless future bass experimentation. But, aside from some less-than-climactic tracks like “N1cevib 1.3 [2015 Export Wav],” which essentially functions as psychedelic, astral elevator music, the album represents Flume’s strange melodic tendencies that capture his late 2010s era. —Logan Sasser
PRETTY PINK – BORN DIGITAL LP (MAY 5)
Ushering in a new generation of electrifying dance music, artist Pretty Pink has concocted a fusion of melodic techno and progressive house that radiates a spellbinding aura. This superstar has blessed massive crowds, from playing at iconic festivals like Tomorrowland, EDC Vegas, ULTRA, Creamfields, and Lollapalooza, to name a few. The founder of two unique rising labels, DEEP WOODS and WANDERLUST, Pretty Pink also frequently drops anthems on Armada, Anjuna, and more. It is no surprise that she garnered support from Cosmic Gate, Above & Beyond, and other notable electronic-based acts.
Fast-forward to today and Pretty Pink is giving EDM fans a historic project to dive head first into, her long-awaited 12-track LP, Born Digital. Signifying Pretty Pink’s inaugural album, this project encapsulates a plethora of dramatic buildups, intense drops, heavenly vocals, and lush melodies. Bangers like “Happening” and “Dark Woods” highlight Pretty Pink’s proficiency in sound manipulation and producing hypnotic sequences of melodic techno. Meanwhile, songs like “Drifting” with Jyll and “Breathe” featuring The Element are more delicate and emotional, allowing for deep introspection. In its entirety, Born Digital guides listeners on a cinematic voyage through sound, opening doors for future experimentation. —Connor Phillips
QRTR & OLAN – CONTROL EP (MAY 9)
KUMARION & SMOAKLAND – HIGH ROLLERS EP (MAY 12)
LP GIOBBI – LIGHT PLACES LP (MAY 12)
BEDOUIN – TEMPLE OF DREAMS (MAY 19)
When it comes to the realms of ethnic and organic house, Bedouin reigns supreme. This innovative duo, made up of Tamer Malki and Rami Abousabe, has cultivated an intricate blend of their Middle Eastern heritage, multi-instrumentalism, singing, and more into their signature sound. Their mind-bending productions have been featured on prominent labels such as Crosstown Rebels, Get Physical, and their own imprint Human By Default. Additionally, the pair’s seamless mixing abilities have led to sets across the globe, from Coachella to Art Basel to Tomorrowland.
One of the projects that Bedouin is widely acclaimed for is their immersive concept SAGA, which offers an unrivaled experience to its attendees. While gearing up for their award-winning SAGA Residency at PACHA Ibiza this summer, Bedouin has dropped their debut album, Temple Of Dreams. The compilation takes listeners on an ethereal adventure through natural sonic elements, dreamy effects, and hypnotic basslines.
Consisting of 15 tracks – 14 full songs and an interlude – Temple Of Dreams was forged during a seven-year journey for Bedouin. Each song brings something unique and intriguing to the table, with collabs from Nathan Daisy, Armenian singer Iveta Mukuchyan and Iranian opera singer Delaram, and Chico Castillo of the legendary Gypsy Kings. “Aliens”, a mesmerizing tune that can be traced back to Bedouin’s iconic Cercle performance, is definitely a standout on the LP. It is joined by “Love And Hate”, a trance-inducing anthem that boasts tantalizing vocals and a psychedelic beat. The rest of the songs are just as mystifying, making Temple Of Dreams a candidate for album of the year. —C.P.
KAYTRAMINÉ (KAYTRANADA + AMINÉ) – KAYTRAMINÉ (MAY 19)
It’s the collaboration you didn’t know you needed until now. Canadian producer KAYTRANADA and Portland, Oregon rapper Aminé recently teamed up to form KAYTRAMINÉ, and their eponymous album is a banger with a capital B. With more than 40 million streams on Spotify, KAYTRAMINÉ has already become the unofficial soundtrack of Summer 2023—and summer hasn’t even technically started yet!
Never has an album captured the essence of pure vibes as perfectly as this one does. It’s a sumptuous blend of smoothness and sensuality, intensity and euphoria. Kaytra creates sonic textures that are thick and sweet like honey, while Aminé spits bars that hit you in the gut like a shot of whiskey. Blast this one while you’re chillaxing in a giant flamingo float, sharing a joint with your squad, or going for a relaxing drive on the backroads as you marvel at a pink-and-orange sunset. No matter the vibe you’re going for, you’ll be rinsing KAYTRAMINÉ on repeat all summer long. —Ashley Eady
MEDICINE PLACE – MINDSTATE EP (MAY 22)
The underground bass scene continues to flourish more and more, and artists from across that community have started to shine. One that’s really been gaining traction, and very deserved attention, is Iowa-based producer, Medicine Place. His recent EP, Mindstate, released on Defy Culture, highlights everything the artist has to offer, as well as the unparalleled sounds that come from the underground.
Over the course of his career thus far, he has steadily pushed the culture of 140, while developing a sound that is unique to himself. As a result, his passion has landed him slots at the well-respected festival Infrasound, and sets at The Black Box. But, this is all just the beginning, the future is bright for this tastemaker, so make sure you have him on your radar. —Ali Mooney
ROYAL AND THE SERPENT – RAT TRAP 1: THE BLUEPRINT (MAY 26)
With a moniker shortened to RATS, Royal and the Serpent (Ryan Santiago) navigates her own musical style by dipping her toes into each subgenre, never settling on a single sound within any one song. That’s what makes the alt-electro-pop singer such a exemplar of modern music. Royal and the Serpent dropped a two-track EP on May 26, entitled RAT TRAP 1: the blueprint.
The first tune off the EP, “ASTROTURF” opens with a solemn guitar riff complemented by Ryan’s gruffy, yet soothing raw lyrics. “Nothing is quite as it seems, the truth always hurts, it’s all astroturf,” the musician confesses before switching up the production midway through the melody. Scratchy synth and heavy-hitting snare blaze through the background as Ryan unleashes the true grit of her vocals in a guttural harmony with the backup vocalists.
The second anthem “ONE NATION UNDERDOGS” broke into the music scene just in time for pride month. “I pledge allegiance to the drag and the United gays of America. To safety in public, from queer to trans. One nation underdogs,” she conveys through a steady sing-song voice backed by a solid drum roll and electric guitar scale walk up. This reclamation of the pledge of allegiance doubles as a punk-rock striker with prominent clapping synth, and electrifying guitar solos, once again solidifying the virtuoso’s ability to traverse each genre. —Gabrielle Reeder
TRIBONE – PRML (MAY 30)
Returning with an electrifying EP, PRML, Israeli bass maestro Tribone unearths a thrilling exploration of psychedelic bass music, melding tribal rhythms with bass-driven grooves. Released by Gravitas Recordings, the four-track EP is an immersive journey into exotic soundscapes, as highlighted in tracks such as “An Inch Of Slice” and “Roar.” Renowned for his work with industry titans like Desert Dwellers and Whitebear, Tribone’s potent combination of organic percussion, synthy melodies, and innovative sound design promises a riveting auditory experience. With each track telling a unique story, “PRML” is set to captivate listeners and further solidify Tribone’s place in the global electronic music scene. —F.H.