For CTM's second Saturday, YAAM will act as a playground for a massive range of boogie-inspiring forces, from postinternet wave-riders to purist house devotees to fringe, mad-science experimenters. The list of Endo I artists in YAAM's largest room is a testament to the growing post-gendered, globalist, presence in dance music.
Yung Lean and his crew similarly have the internet to thank for their highly aestheticized and stylized approach to music, but don't share the same interest in the promise of anonymity (do any young hip-hop stars?). 18-year-old Jonatan Leandoer Håstad aka Yung Lean hails from Stockholm but the cult following he’s garnered has until now mostly been scattered through North America and other parts of Europe. Earmarked as “a pit bull in a fun-house mirror of hip-hop mannerisms” by The New York Times, he is the ringleader of a clan of beatmakers and producers that goes by the name, Sad Boys. Blasé rhymes portraying suburban ennui and isolation over trappy hihats and melancholic, aimless bass lines are backed by an aesthetic rigged with early 2000’s paraphernalia and consumer trash references, Japanese characters and bucket hats, a penchant for cough syrup highs and self-pity, and the explicit worship of the last decade’s rap heroes.
18+'s tunes rely on this same ability and were pumped up almost exclusively via the platform of the web, but differ from Soda Plains' music not only in the specifics of the stylistic approach but in the richness it offers in sexual and political connotation of the interplay between female [avatar] and male [avatar]. 18+ is hyper-real, plasticized, alienated hip-swinging; the duo's approach is as body-recalling in its slimy R&B leanings as it is sleek. In conjunction with their new album, Trust, on Houndstooth, they’ve begun to emerge from their shells as recognizable, live-performing artists, or at least to meld this blood-and-flesh identity with the anonymous and perplexing Internet presence that had come to be associated with 18+. Both members drizzle listless words over sparse but compressed, gem-like motley beats, resulting in music that dizzily walks the line between playful seduction and the apathetic sexual oversaturation that might also be seen as a potential byproduct of the internet in our lives.
Appearing in support of their album, Live At the Cairo High Cinema Institute, E.E.K. feat Islam Chipsy are perhaps the evening's strongest representatives of a localized sound. Their music is borne out of “electro chaabi," an Egyptian musical trend associated with wedding celebrations, which in the tightly controlled society constitute an opportunity for freer musical expression. In the collaboration, the hyper-activating sound of E.E.K. combines Islam Chipsy’s freewheeling Shaabi keyboard blazes with a percussive maelstrom produced by Islam Ta’ta’ and Khaled Mando frenetically bashing away on two drumkits. Connecting the Arab underground with a Western YouTube sound world, the trio creates something that sounds “like Aphex Twin taking over the decks at your boring nephew’s wedding.” (The Quietus)
Like 18+, Soda Plains' popularity as a musician has risen in spite or because of a void of information about his/her identity and parallel to the promotion, as a filler for this void, of a plasticized, flex-gendered avatar as a facade and symbol for the music. Soda Plains' tunes depend on the internet's ability to stretch, synthesize, and obliterate categories of race, gender, nationality, and musical genre.
CTM curator Michail Stangl aka Opium Hum will inaugurate the evening with a broad-paletted set.
18+ is the project of newly unmasked R&B/pop deconstructionists and digital artists Justin Swinburne (from California) and Hawaii native Samia Mirza. In operation since 2011, the NY/LA duo's often-explicit music and visual hybrids fetishize the appropriation of digital media, and inhabit a hypermodern interzone of art galleries, nightclubs, and the internet.
Shirking notions of identity, Born in Flamez subverts gender and genre with a panoply of influences somewhere in the nether regions between deconstructed pop, lofi, grime, and classical music.
19 year-old Jonatan Håstad is Swedish rapper Yung Lean, gone viral since his "Ginseng Strip 2002" video reached over 2 million views on YouTube in 2013. Earmarked as “a pit bull in a fun-house mirror of hip-hop mannerisms” by The NYTimes, he is the ringleader of a clan of beatmakers and producers that go by the name of Sad Boys.
Islam Chipsy and his E.E.K band, are part of the Egyptian music revolution happening in real time Cairo. Singling himself away from the related electro-chaabi and mahraganat (“festival”) music genres, Chipsy has created a category of his own with the classically-informed virtuosity of his cluster keyboard prancing frenzy. It’s the new wave of Chaabi and Nile Delta synth.
Soda Plains is Alexis Chan, a Berlin-based producer and DJ whose debut album, In Tongues, was released in 2017. His first proper release, Rushes, is billed by issuing label Black Ocean as "dance music stripped of any territorial markers: trans-everything garage, global funky, pan-club, decentralized grime".
Opium Hum, aka Michail Stangl, builds his DJ sets using sombre, hazy drones and fantastical soundscapes permeated by deep and shifting rhythms, creating what can only be called a waking dream.