This week sees the release of a new ep on Svetlana Industries, something I am always excited and pleased to report and once again they do not disappoint.
Long before the current wave of Russian and Eastern European beats and glitch producers, Bulgarian duo 1000names were in at the foundation of the sound, debuting with the now classic Melonball Bounce alongside Rustie on Beatnick’s Vol 1 in 2007. Based in Sofia, Bulgaria, their geographic isolation and relatively long musical development has helped Margg and Nikko (their real names) develop a truly individualistic sound: quirky, bubbly, and human. They are identifiably part of the global beats scene without ever being generic.
They released their debut album with French label Eklektik Records, before moving over to Black Acre, dropping the first ever long player on that label. In January 2010 Mary Anne Hobbs invited them to contribute a mix for her legendary BBC Radio 1 show, and since then they’ve been featured and recommended in Pitchfork, XLR8R and every publication of note.
Svetlana Industries’ connection with Bulgarian duo 1000names goes back to maybe 2006, and they are one of the reasons we set the label up in the first place. So we’re delighted to finally drop their first full official release with us, and we can say that it’s been worth the wait. Following on from their acclaimed Illuminated Man album on Black Acre, Machine City is in our opinion easily their best work to date.
The five track EP is Svetlana’s format of choice: a concise but unified statement of where the artist is at a moment in time. 1000names have used to Machine City to showcase a new direction, retaining their signature touches - blissful synth melodies, abstract vocal samples - but moving away from the LA style beats sound towards a sound that Sonic Router described as a “slowed up house sound that’s firmly rooted in hip hop production”.
To us there’s a strong hint of Moroder and late 70s/early 80s new wave in there as well. This is the territory between disco, house, electropop, and hip hop, also being explored by artists like Dam Funk, Funkineven, and Om Unit - danceable but different.
Conceptually the record is a vision of the future. Equal parts Fritz Lang, Steve Jobs and Philip K Dick, it’s neither utopian or dystopian, it is simply machine - but a machine absolutely saturated with emotion. Propulsive, unstoppable, the humanity hidden in snatches of masked speech, occasional glitches in the sound. La Boheme is a miniature disco anthem. Zelda a cloud of Technicolor fog. Planet Video the delirious joy of the mechanised workplace. Machine City is the threat, surveillance, control. The very Teebs like First Postcard from Tokyo is a euphoric ascent through the clouds to a holiday destination in the sky.
Pick up a copy now direct from the Svetlana shop here: