Murr - Foreign Nationals (Harmonious Discord)

As the complexities in the world enumerate, we must evolve to include our fellow humans in new and thoughtful ways. Diversity is a key pillar of what makes underground music so dynamic and worldly efforts to dissuade the diversification of music ultimately erode the very foundations that love and music depend on. As our trip through this galaxy becomes infinitely more complex it is ever more important to celebrate the beauty that is created when people of different cultures and viewpoints come together to create music that unifies across all boundaries.

This EP celebrates the colorful palate of influence created when we work together as humans. For the project, Toronto-based techno subvert and LAL front man Murr returns to the label with two brilliantly designed selections: “Foreign Nationals” and “Blood River.” On remix duties for “Foreign Nationals” the label is excited to announce the return of a well-known entity with a name sure to touch some emotional portions of memory. Rithma (Om Records) joins the project to balance a world of melody with the psychedelic soundscapes of Southern California. Also on remix duties is Station Point, a new moniker for HD frequent J.D. Northrup (JDN/Chakaharta). The label first featured these two artists together on a release in 2004 and is happy to have them paired again.

“Foreign Nationals” displays the subversive tones that Murr is known for. Stripped down and fleshed out, Murr’s recordings stick to careful design and minimally maneuvered parts creating catchy tunes with seemingly simple constructions. The original is the perfect selection to help build anticipation leading into heavier material. Rithma’s remix draws upon the original building blocks but is delivered in a dance-floor friendly and quite unfamiliar revisit. Defining square-wave bass and perfectly tempered drum construction quickly allow feet to move, while later sections bring in melodic washing reprises. Station Point is the more techno-focused moniker of HD artist JDN and Chakaharta. Known for fluid bass construction and poly-rhythmic percussion, JD really turns up the fun on the bass line, providing a satisfying remix for the middle of a DJ set. “Blood River” offers something slightly different with crunched, rattling drum placement around staccato effects with intermittent dub washes creating a dream-state experience.

Be on the lookout for new material from Murr and Rithma in the coming months as they are deep in the lab working on new full-length projects.

Nick Warren (The Soundgarden) – “The original mix of Foreign Nationals is ace!”
Spettro (Get Physical Music) – “Love the raw and moody vibe on Blood River.”
Jamie Kidd (Box of Kittens) – “The original mix of Foreign Nationals is beautiful. Really lovely work from Murr.”
Lars Behrenroth (Deeper Shades of House) – “Perfect to build around in a set.”
Liquid Todd (Sirius XM Radio) – “Dreamy.”
Tyler Stadius (Deepsite) – “Good chill, atmospheric tracks.”
juSt b (Melodic Deep) – “Nice warm vibes.”
Salvatore Logicfusion (Deepinradio) – “Lovely and deep.”
HighTower (JELEWA music blog) “Full support for all of this.”
Simon Kirk (Stag Beetle Radio Show) – “Brilliant EP. The Station Point remix is amazing!”

Available Now From: Beatport, Juno Download, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Onium & Ivan Torres - Dub Excursions (Harmonious Discord)

As winter lingers longer than expected, waves of indecisive weather permeate the planet. The Harmonious Discord camp is picking up on deep connotations distilled in dreary afternoons. It’s a perfect time to revisit some of the label’s dub-minded artists with a special collaboration called Dub Excursions. Dub Excursions features label familiar Onium as well as two rising stars in the expansive dub techno arena, Ivan Torres and James Kelley.

Onium’s “Intentions” is a breathing invitation to rise. Artifacts of ambient works and eco-botanal shades temper organic dub influences with expressive synthesizer design. Cascading momentum drives this pensive powerhouse to a floaty array of melodic bliss. Next, “Perceptions” compliments “Intentions” as that selection set the path and “Perceptions” moves things deeper. The soundscape is filled with vinyl remnants and complex pads, but the other elements bring a more aggressive techno flavor to the later sections.

Dub 7,” the EP’s first cut from Ivan Torres, cracks a smile in this rather serious project. It begins with evolving pads and a muted, dusty drum machine. The cut starts to open up in the middle with brushes of melodic leads that dance in-between the lush soundscapes. Its successor “Dub 8” is a good order sharper. Driving interstellar melodies and tense bass deliver on the dance-floor presence of Ivan’s contribution. Expect more from Ivan to come on Harmonious Discord.

On the remix tip, longtime Dallas-based sleeper sensation James Kelley (Subspec/Momentum League) drives the subtle but tense properties of “Intentions” into a skin-crawling warehouse techno piece. The once calming breaths now breed uncertainty as James layers on heady atmospheres. James gives us a crippling bass-bin workout for the after hours.

Nice Warren (The Soundgarden) – “A great EP!”
Anthony Pappa (Red Light District) – “Cool EP. I love ‘Intentions’. Some nice tracks that will be used.”
Greg Gow (Transmat) – “Love this EP. Nice and moody and deep.”
Craig Steward (DCSTrax) – “Stunning deepness here. Absolutely superb, great work!”
Haris Custovic (Laus Music) – “This is super!”
Jean Jérome (Kut ‘N’ Paste) – “Lovely deep vibes, will play.”
Taigo Onez (Bang Le’ Dex) – “James Kelley comes correct with the righteousness. Great tracks by Ivan Torres.”
Simon Kirk (Stag Beetle Radio Show) – “Breathtaking stuff here. Love it.”
Sharlese (KEXP) – “Nice chill vibe sounds.”
juSt b (Melodic Deep) – “Great collection! I love ‘Intentions’ – such warm, inviting & dreamy vibes with such a fierce remix!”

Available Now From: Beatport, Traxsource, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Steve Balance - Shade One (Harmonious Discord)

Harmonious Discord’s first selection of the year is from Austin-based tech-house producer Steve Balance (Headset, Bunchlox). Steve is a foundational pillar of the vibrant city’s underground. His humble nature and thoughtful approach have always been front and center in his music. Shade One is Steve Balance’s first project with Harmonious Discord and features remixes from Jeff Scroggin (Denied Music) and newcomer Ajay Kapoor.

The clever “Wander Ring” starts the release, a syncopated, tracky number with finely-enveloped synth washes. The disorienting nature of the musical components are well-tempered with the playful nature of the accompanying drums. Bearded Viking-prince Jeff Scroggin returns to the label to remix “Wander Ring” into a Detroit-style mindful tech masterpiece. Jeff uses vocal sampling and reverb tails to drift from section-to-section while sonic elements dance back and forth.

Shade One” shares the syncopated structure but adds a dash of jack. Pervasive, almost chanting, drum collisions roll into a muddled cascade of arpeggiated synthesizers. Ajay Kapoor joins the label as a fresh-faced talent with an evil disco sound. Ajay borrows the synthetic structure of “Shade One” on his rework but plays with the pitch to create a harmonic, moaning cadence. Coupled with the heavy disco drums, this remix occupies a unique hour in the night.

The release closes with “Resplendent,” an industrious, dark, and troubled love song. Steve Balance flexes multiple muscles in this handy dance floor expedition.

DJ P-REZ (Not So Fast Records) – “Some good stuff for those naughty late nights.”
Lee Jones / Country Gents (Buslife) – “Ajay Kapoors mix is really cool.”
Haris Custovic (Laus Music) – “Lovely deepess…”
Deepshizzol (Deepvibes Radio) – “The Jeff Scroggin remix is nice.”
Kosta (Vibe FM) – “Intense and flexed music on this one.”
DJ Hal (EQ Magazine) – “This is a solid release.”
Nico De Ceglia (Hyena Stomp) – “Nice one!”
Andrea Rraqi (Black Angel Promotion) – “Wonderful!”
Sharlese (KEXP, Seattle) – “Fun Tech house & synth grooves.”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Infectious & haunted folklore”

Available Now From: Beatport, Juno Download, Apple Music, And Spotify.

Josiah Fontenot - Unseen Forces (Harmonious Discord)

Harmonious Discord staple Josiah Fontenot (AKA El Natured, JB Fontenot) has a knack for creating wide reaching projects that display a precision for the foundational aspects of dance music with a propensity for boundary pushing. Recently Josiah has been busy with projects on imprints like Denied Music and Colour and Pitch. His productions have the city of Houston, TX, clamoring to find out more about this talented and mysterious artist. On remix duties are Signal Deluxe, who bring a seasoned tenure to the project, and multi-faceted Dallas, TX, artist Wanza Dover (Blixaboy, Black Dots, and Jack Dover). Wanz features his rough and rumble alias Jack Dover, giving listeners a comprehensive variety.

Unseen Forces” starts with dulcet chimes and disorienting effects. Growing steadily, synthesizer elements begin to collide with dusty drum machine patterns. The track progresses into abject calamity, with distorted acid lines and circuit bent squeals. Signal Deluxe muddies the waters keeping subtlety at the forefront. Their remix widens the sonic landscape and plays tricks in the ears of the listener, instilling a bit of confused delight amid a playful mixture of elements.

New Paranoia” rattles nerves with expertly executed musical framing. Wrought with tension and growing in complexity this tune introduces a fever to the dance floor that can only be followed with more well-tempered weirdness.

Picking up the pace, “Distant Ally” sits squarely between a techno banger and an electro spectacle. Synthesizer placement and construction are remnant of early electro recordings, but the drum progression is all techno. As with the rest of the project a hint of acid permeates, giving the desired fluidity that only a TB-303 can provide. For the remix, Jack Dover brings a Detroit discipline with big drums, looped-crescendos, and playful percussion.

This fall the Harmonious Discord camp is falling for the weirdness with upcoming features that continue to challenge ears and excite the senses.

Spettro (Get Physical Music) – “I get goose bumps listening to Unseen Forces. The chord progressions and groove are amazing!”
Nick Warren (The Soundgarden) – “Unseen Forces is dope!”
Salah Sadeq (The Crate Radioshow) – “I like the release, and nice work by Signal Deluxe.”
Steve ‘Griffo’ Griffiths (Freak Da Funk radio show) – “Brutal stuff! ‘New Paranoia’ is my fave so far … dirty acid workout! ‘Distant Ally’ brings to mind Dave Clarke’s Reese inspired Red series.”
Snooba (Radio Panik) – “Yeah Acid!”
Henderick AKA Thelonious Funk (Thelonious Funk Sessions) – “Liking the original productions and the Jack Dover mix.”
James Kidd (Thoughtless Music) – “Gorgeous synth tone on Unseen Forces. Both mixes are good.”
Lunacybot (FNOOB Techno Radio) – “New Paranoia is saucy as hell.”
Lcaise (Tanztone Records) – “Signal Deluxe mix for me. Nice minimal house trip.”
Taigo Onez (Bang Le’ Dex Radio Show) – “This is lovely. Signal Deluxe Remix is a sure fire cut for me. Great body of work on the whole EP.”

Available Now From: Beatport, Traxsource, iTunes, And Spotify.