Palmistry returns with a new album, cktrl shares a soul-baring EP, and Fred Again releases another instalment in his diaristic solo record series
As cktrl, multi-instrumentalist, producer and DJ Bradley Miller makes music that combines contemporary classical and experimental music with soul-baring intimacy. The south London musician has come a long way from his NTS days, which led him to score his Boiler Room debut at 17. While his club-ready debut EP Forest was lauded as a success, Miller found himself estranged from the largely-white electronic circuit, choosing instead to carve out his own narrative around contemporary Black British music. He even landed a cameo in Beyoncé’s 2020 visual album Black Is King.
His latest EP Yield takes its cues from the pre-electric age of modal jazz, while simultaneously pulling into elements of classical and baroque music. “I want to be able to show that you can make things from scratch again that have that feeling and beauty without having to sample an old record,” said Miller in a statement. “Even though that’s an art form within itself, I want to show that raw orchestration and instrumentation can be the sole source.” Pulling on feelings of grief and heartbreak, the record is an introspective listen, instrumentally-led and with minimal, mostly wordless vocals. From the sombre saxophone opener on the title track “yield” to Ophie’s soft vocals and the delicate string arrangements on “lucidly”, there’s a painterly quality to cktrl’s compositions, where flourishes of instrumentals blend together like abstract sketches. Like a guided meditation, it leaves ample room for listeners to reflect on their own experiences through ethereal soundscapes and lush jazz interludes.
Elsewhere, Palmistry returns with a new album TINKERBELL, which features the likes of Bladee, Isabella Lovestory and Yung Lean. There’s also David Shawty, who drops an effervescent third album, and Fred Again, who releases another instalment of his diaristic solo album series.