Pin It
Edge Slayer
Edge Slayer’s Coochi3

10 under-the-radar releases you may have missed from the last three months

With new releases by Edge Slayer, Beatrice Dillon, Bullion, and more

We’re already three months into 2020, but it feels closer to three years. We’re in a global coronavirus pandemic, and for the immediate future, social distancing, self-isolation and national lockdowns are becoming a crucial part of everyday life. Charli XCX has been sharing her quarantine diary on Dazed. Lizzo and James Blake have made Instagram Live performances. Rihanna’s charity has pledged $5 million to the fight against coronavirus, and Britney Spears is calling for strikes and wealth redistribution

Amid the pandemic, new and under-discussed talents in the world of underground music are still finding a way. As the $4.3 million worth of music and merch purchases made during Bandcamp’s March 20 initiative show, the audience support is still there. For the first edition of our quarterly roundup for 2020, we’re continuing to acknowledge the lower-profile musicians, artists, and producers with strong communities, real visions and important statements to make. Here are ten essential Q1 releases, all available on Bandcamp.


WHO: A Berlin-based, Canadian sound sculptor who navigates the slipstreams between jungle, dubstep and techno with cinematic flair. 

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: Originally from Toronto, Aquarian started in music drumming in a punk band called El Pollo Diablo, before relocating to New York, where he began releasing electronic music through UNO NYC, the label that helped introduce us to Fatima Al Qadiri and Arca. Since 2018, Aquarian has been operating from Berlin, where he completed his debut album, The Snake That Eats Itself, a record seven years in the making. In the 2000s, Toronto was a hotspot for jungle/drum & bass, and across Aquarian’s album, the beat science and bassline pressure of that scene rubs against rich, film score-style cinematics and programmed rhythms drawn from various mutations of modern club music from both sides of the Atlantic.

FOR FANS OF: Loraine James, Oneohtrix Point Never, Aphex Twin


WHO: The London club music imagineer who sees potential connections everywhere, and has the skills to make them real.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: Beatrice Dillon is one of those artists who, in the very best way possible, walks between worlds, and brings them together. On one hand, Workaround is a dance record constructed by a skilled club music DJ and producer. On the other, it’s an exploration of how the form might fit together with different folkloric musical traditions from around the globe, as realised by a fine arts graduate who has spent years working in record stores. Fittingly, Workaround isn’t the work of Dillon alone – featured guests include UK Bhangra pioneer Kuljit Bhamra, Pharoah Sanders Band’s Jonny Lam, Laurel Halo, Batu, Senegalese Griot Kadialy Kouyaté, Hemlock’s Untold, and Lucy Railton.

FOR FANS OF: Objekt, Laurel Halo, Basic Channel


WHO: A Lisbon-based, west London oddball synth-pop songwriter and producer with unforgettable melodies.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: With We Had a Good Time, Bullion AKA Nathan Jenkins continues to locate himself within the same sophisticated, but slanted Balearic pop location as that explored by the likes of Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout, and Robert Wyatt. Across its five songs, Jenkins tries out slow-motion disco, cybernetic chamber music, spare drum machine minimalism and electro with a motorik backbeat. Apart from some subtle assistance from Diego Herrera (aka Suzanne Kraft and SK U Kno) and a couple of session players, We Had a Good Time is pretty much all Jenkins: his music, his stories, his heartaches, his joys, vividly rendered for the times we live in.

FOR FANS OF: Arthur Russell, Durutti Column, Darkstar


WHO: The Tunisian beat sculptor and sonic experimentalist retooling traditional Arabic music for the 2020s.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: If you’re a fan of The Knife and Fever Ray, you might remember Deena Abdelwahed from her production work on Fever Ray’s 2017 album Plunge. Since then, she’s cultivated a strong musical voice for herself by way of recordings like her 2018 album Khonnar, and live appearances at prestigious events like Berlin’s CTM Festival. Throughout her second album, Dhakar, Abdelwahed effortlessly integrates traditional Arabic music references with contemporary global club music. In the process, she summons up an ancient futurist mode of expression where Egyptian Tarab singing groups, swirling violins, and breakneck percussion mingles with sci-fi bleeps, squelchy bass, and moody synths.

FOR FANS OF: DJ Plead, Holly Herndon, object blue


WHO: A Louisianian vocalist, producer, and visual artist bringing the bounce of New Orleans.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: Across Coochi3’s six songs, Edge Slayer vocally shapeshifts through screwed-down, slomo raps and distant pitch-manipulated singing, while placing herself at the centre of an investigation of desire and worship. Set against trunk-thumping trap rap instrumentals, New Orleans bounce beats, and post-witch house experimentations (some of which were produced by fellow Louisianian, Suicideyear), it’s a concise and compelling work from an artist exploring Louisiana’s rich musical traditions through an avant-garde frame.

FOR FANS OF: MHYSA, Tayhana, Leonce


WHO: New York-based producer, DJ, visual artist, and skateboarder, MoMA Ready’s latest alias

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: New York’s underground club scene is an ever-mutating thing, and in recent years, it’s been exciting to see a new wave of producer-DJs like MoMA Ready, AceMo, Kush Jones, and Swisha make their mark. With his self-titled project under the Gallery S alias, Wyatt D. Stevens, AKA MoMA Ready, continues this wave while rolling out 12 gorgeous songs that effortlessly connect the dots between techno, jungle, and drum & bass. Traces of 90s Blue Note-era Metalheadz here, touches of vintage Detroit there, all presented with the sort of gripping confidence and style you only find in New York. The Big Apple meets Big Apple Records.

FOR FANS OF: Goldie, Shyboi, RP Boo


WHO: A ferociously talented American Bajan rapper and producer combining trap and dancehall while navigating loss.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: Haleek Maul has been worth listening to since he dropped his debut EP Oxyconteen at age 16 in 2012, but his first album Errol puts him into a whole new bracket. Maul is the type of internet generation artist who cites Aphex Twin, Crystal Castles, Vybz Kartel, and Tricky as equally crucial influences. Errol sees him effortlessly riding the line between dancehall ragga and trap rap over evocative electronic instrumentals produced by GILA, Sega Bodega, Pablo Melendez (and Maul himself). While the loss of his deceased grandfather Errol, and the introspection that came with that loss hangs heavy over the album, Maul and the guest features (Mick Jenkins, Jah Koda, etc) infuse it with celebratory life-affirming energy. 

FOR FANS OF: Gaika, Tricky, Moor Mother


WHO: The Los Angeles-based electronic pop experimentalist with angelic and industrial impulses.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: Over the last seven years, Katie Gately has gone from limited edition cassettes and split abstract techno 12”s to remixes for Björk and Zola Jesus, production experimental gospel singer serpentwithfeet, and melodramatic albums with Tri Angle and Houndstooth. Gately has a dreamy, theatrical flair as a vocalist. Across Loom, she pairs it with drone pop textures and all manner of field recordings, rendered in the early industrial music tradition. Dedicated to her deceased mother, who passed away in 2018, Loom sees Gately exploring loss on a grandiose scale, seismic earthquake rumbles and choral vocal arrangements sharing space with hyper-detailed sound design and swirling synths.

FOR FANS OF: Jenny Hval, Cabaret Voltaire, Klein


WHO: A Bronx, New York-raised club producer and DJ who puts footwork, juke, techno, and jungle on the same playing field. 

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: Much like MoMA Ready/Gallery S, Kush Jones is part of an emerging generation who have been remaking the New York underground in their image. Jones first came to prominence as part of LA’s Juke Bounce Work crew, a collective who have been crucial in promoting international footwork and hybridized footwork-jungle online. But coming from a family with a background in soul, disco, and Caribbean sound system culture, his production and DJ style traverses the contemporary club spectrum. Strictly 4 MY CDJZ 7 is the latest release in a planned 40-part(!) series, and it shows off his skill with stylish, future-forward flair.  

FOR FANS OF: Swisha, AceMo, Scratcha DVA


WHO: The Los Angeles-based dark synth-pop artist with a stunning sense of history. 

WHY YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING: Californian visual artist and musician Niff Nawor got her start in the Bay Area punk and gothic rock scenes as a member of Crimson Scarlet. In 2017, she launched her solo project, Riki, with the Hot City EP, before hitting the touring and festival circuits. Her self-titled debut album builds on that EP, revealing her as a talent with a rich understanding of new wave, classic dance-pop, and Italo disco. Packed full of bangers from another dimension, the album’s seven songs are riddled with sing-along choruses, majestic synthesiser melodies and the sort of uptempo drum machine rhythms that never miss. The optimism of the early 80s beautifully retooled for our digital era. 

FOR FANS OF: Madonna, Giorgio Moroder, Christine and the Queens