Kastle announces new album

Kastle - Reflections (SMBLP006)

Pre-Order Reflections | Billboard Announce | Nest HQ Feature

Kastle will release his second studio album Reflections on October 14. Clocking in at 12 tracks, the LP is a personal narrative of his journey toward self-discovery and finding inner balance.
The producer and DJ, Kastle, born Barrett Richards has been a consistent force since his debut seven years ago. Based in Southern California but inspired by overseas genres such as garage, dubstep, grime, and jungle, Kastle filters hip-hop and R&B through a unique lens, emitting an uneasily definable sound that is simultaneously familiar and foreign, accessible yet underground, finely crafted yet gritty. As the curator of his Symbols record label, he is constantly striving to push musical boundaries and break new artists, with releases like Los Angeles duo Vindata for their dynamic 2014 EP …For One To Follow and Sweater Beats' debut EP That Feel.
It’s this dichotomy between musical advancement and artistic expression that lies at the heart of Reflections. Kastle freely admits that his role as a label head and his relentless focus on discovering what’s next led to a 12 month period of radcial self-experimentation; as an artist, the rat race for new sounds overtook the purity of expression. It was a recognition of the need to re-balance that led to him swapping the concrete chaos of Downtown Los Angeles for more suburban scenery. What followed was a prolonged period of introspection and reflection, along with some Carl Jung. Gradually he was able to cast off the shackles of “newness”, indeed the album that poured forth is centered around the more classic strains of two-step and UK garage. Ironically, it took him removing his A&R hat to release his purest work to date.
At his own musical core, Kastle is a culmination of worldly influences coming together, each with its own rich history and culture, co-existing in a colorful, diverse display. Its a breadth on full display on this album, from the dancehall-inspired experimental pop of lead single “The Future” to the wintry, Burial-esque garage tropes of “How 2 Love.” Brain-scrambling atmospherics on “Masks” feed into “Surreal’s’ frenetic drum and bass. Like the colliding of objects at the bazaars and swap meets he visits on the road, Reflections, is an arrangement of quirky collectibles spanning many genres, each possessing its own past, personality, and sense of place.

Video Premiere: Molo - Conditions ft. Ayelle

Molo - Shapes EP is out now!

iTunes | Spotify | Bandcamp

Combining dance-forward rhythms with carefully crafted melodies and texture-heavy sound design, Molo walk the line between club fare and headphone music effortlessly and Shapes is the type of release that is best played loud, but doesn’t necessitate a dancefloor. Songs like the aforementioned “Conditions” and “Wolves” work classic instrumentation into a forward-thinking production aesthetic, allowing rich, soothing synths to play adjacent homemade percussion sounds, the resultant synthesis oozing an inherent humanity that’s all too rare in most electronic compositions. Born out of a background in sound design and an innate sense of atmosphere, Shapes has the ability to fill whatever room or headspace it’s played in, making it a perfect fit for the Symbols roster and a dramatic step forward for this talented London duo.

Premiere: Schism - Venom Aura

Forthcoming on:

Schism - Rift EP (SMBL045)
Release Date: May 13, 2016

The synthesis of two existing projects, Schism is the work of German producers hnrk and DJ Heroin, the former of teamSESH fame and the latter a rising star in the world of post-apocolyptic club productions. As Schism, the two arrive on Symbols with the Rift EP, a release that sees the pair take their respective aesthetics to the extreme and is full of the sort of blow back rhythms and twisted sound design we’ve come to expect from the label. Comprised of three towering efforts, fans of WWWINGS and y y y will find solace in the chaos strewn worlds constructed by hnrk and DJ Heroin and while the outsized tracks are full of the rich textures and sneaky pop sensibility they’re also fully outfited for maximum club potential.

Follow: Schism | hnrk | DJ Heroin

Artwork by AMEN

Symbols Mix Series 010: Astral Plane DJ Team

We are very excited to share this mix from The Astral Plane DJ Team. Someone who is always on the cutting edge of electronic music as evident with their blog, under-the-radar coverage for FACT Mag, and more recently with their newly launched label division. Oh, and did we mention they also have an expertly curated Mix Series?

Helm - Often  Destroyed
Kuedo - Cellular Perimeter
Monokle - Blow
Lussuria - Under
Pan Daijing - ENCOUNTER 逢
Ausschus - Mantle
Roly Porter - High Places
Kid Smpl - Barrier (SHALT Remix)
Grovestreet - Untitled
Loft - Undecide
Nunu - Punani
Shalt- Quick Decline
Ausschuss - Ravoir
Kareem Lofty - Power Bass Bubbling
Shalt - Acheron (LCM Edit)
Chants - Crushed Lollipop
Coil - The First Five Minutes After Death
DJ Baba - Elequa RMX
Chants - Silencer Magpie (Floor Edit)
Rushmore - Struck Down
Shalt - Unconfined (Kid Smpl Remix)

Kid Smpl x Adidas Video

Kid Smpl soundtracks a new video collaboration between Adidas and film director Jonas Hegi featuring dancer Gianna Gi. The track, "Input Vein", is available now on his Response/Ascend EP.

It is obvious that a person free to use his time for the whole of his life, free to go where he wants, when he wants, cannot make the greatest use of his freedom in a world ruled by the clock and the imperative of a fixed abode. As a way of life Homo Ludens will demand, firstly, that he responds to his need for playing, for adventure, for mobility, as well as all the conditions that facilitate the free creation of his own life. […]
— Constant Nieuwenhuys



Premiere: Utah? remixes Kid Smpl

First Listen: Kid Smpl - Blade (Utah? Remix)

We have a remix EP for Kid Smpl forthcoming featuring a strong lineup of Utah?, y y y, Eaves, and SHALT where Purple Tape Pedigree and Astral Plane artists meet Symbols. Hyponik has delivered the first listen of the Utah? remix of "Blade".

Sheffield producer Utah? is no stranger to Symbols, having released the Oxygen EP with them last year. His music injects melodic grime with a dash of rave – specifically the bassline/garage that he grew up on. He’s also got a new EP for Symbols coming later this year, so you should probably watch out for that.

While the original ‘Blade’ is a twisted club take on widescreen R&B, barely a minute and a half long, Utah?’s remix turns this fragment into a full track, somewhere between Mssingno and the glossier end of the Boxed sound. Vocal clips hang in the air like frozen echoes, while the whole thing is underpinned by a spiky bed of sub bass stalagmites. Listen to it below, and also check out Kid Smpl’s YouTube Sessions from last year.
— Hyponik

Kastle: Live In Shanghai

Coming off a three month long tour of North America and Asia, Kastle has a live recording of his set in Shanghai for Yeti Out. There should be something for everyone here: bass, club, grime, rap, footwork, jungle, house and even a bit of kuduro.

01. Kastle - Stay Forever 2016 Intro
02. Mike Q & Sinjin Hawke - Thunderscan VIP
03. Copout - Contortion (Kid Antoine Remix)
04. Color Plus & Kanyon - Whip N Flip
05. FKA Twigs - Glass & Patron
06. Modulaw - Nago
07. Toddla T - Worst Enemy (Deadboy Remix)
08. Kastle - Retina Restraint
09. Utah? - Vox
10. Cliques - AUT
11. Kid Antoine - Nightvision (Mike G Remix)
12. N'Bome - Pirate / Hooligan
13. Kelela - Rewind (MC Bin Laden Remix)
14. 6MAKA6 - Helium
15. LOL Boys - Changes (Star Slinger Remix)
16. Miguel - …All (Kastle Remix)
17. Giant Claw - Dark Web 008
18. Young Thug - Bands ft. Yung Ralph
19. Grovestreet - Soliloquy
20. Utah? - Oxygen
21. Drippin - Air Jordans
22. Drake - Legend (Joey LaBeija's Tropical Trade Remix)
23. Lokane - See Me
24. 2 Chainz - El Chapo Jr
25. Letta - The Recluse
26. Low Deep - Straight Flush (Instrumental)
27. Loom - Fractured Light (Kastle's Skepta Edit)
28. Kastle - Bright Me Back
29. Pearl - I Know (Kastle Remix)
30. Plug - Drum N Bass
31. Higher Sense - Cold Fresh Air ('94 VIP)
32. Moresounds - Reality Tune
33. DJ Rashad - Drop Juke Out
34. DJ Rashad - Don't Drop It
35. Traxman - They Act Like They Don't No
36. Fracture - Loving Touch
37. Kastle - Polytopia
38. Kingdom - No Type Edit 2015
39. OG Maco - Want More
40. Plata & Glot - Ghosted
41. Justin Timberlake - My Love
42. Leon Vynehall - It's Just (House of Dupree)
43. Kastle & Amtrac - Hyperspace
44. Lone - Airglow Fires

Symbols 2015 Mix by Kastle

Label boss, Kastle, has compiled a mix consisting of 100% Symbols releases from 2015. Have you slept? Nearly all are available at our Bandcamp or our free DL series.

01. Kastle - Terraform 2029 (SMBL038)
02. y y y - 33 Degrees (SMBL042)
03. WWWINGS - Divine (SMBL040)
04. Kastle - Polytopia (SMBL038)
05. Kid Smpl - Loss Parameter (SMBL033)
06. Kadahn - Arc Eye Matter (SMBLP005)
07. ExT - Output (SMBDL006)
08. my.head - Reversed Wish (SMBL035)
09. DJAO - Lights Off (SMBL013)
10. Utah? - Graphite (SMBL036)
11. Modulaw - Nago (SMBDL012)
12. Spurz - Ornate Reflex (SMBDL005)
13. Kadahn - Cold Scanner (SMBLP005)
14. Kastle - Dreamers (my.head Remix) (Exclusive)
15. Kastle - Strange Days (SMBL034)
16. Moth - Elapsed (SMBL037)
17. Utah? - Vox (SMBL036)
18. WWWINGS - Genesis (SMBL040)
19. J(ay).A.D - Obeah (SMBL041)
20. Mike G - Hammerhead (SMBDL009)
21. y y y - Platform (SMBL042)
22. J(ay).A.D - Thinking About You (SMBL041)
23. Moth - Vendor (SMBL037)
24. Kid Smpl - Precinct (SMBL033)
25. Kadahn - I Love U 2 Damn Much (SMBLP005)
26. Moth - Metamorphosis (SMBL037)
27. Kid Smpl - Focus Ribbon (SMBL039)
28. y y y - TBH (SMBL042)
29. Kadahn & y y y - Breathe (SMBDL007)

J(ay).A.D & WWWINGS on Rinse.FM

We had a bit of a Symbols Takeover on Plastician's Rinse.FM show on Dec 22nd with two massive guest mixes from J(ay).A.D and WWWINGS. Listen back to the show here! You can also download it.

J(ay).A.D tracklist:

1. J(ay).A.D - You Are Dead to Me
2. Graphs - Why You Mad (Edit)
3. J(ay).A.D - Nostalgia
4. J(ay).A.D - Feel
5. J(ay).A.D - Obeah
6. J(ay).A.D - Get Out of my Head
7. J(ay).A.D - 2 Many Lies
8. Kid Drama - Azure Pt2
9. V.I.V.E.K - Over My Head (Om Unit Remix)
10. Danny Scrilla Riddim
11. Mark Kloud - Daggers
12. J(ay).A.D - Send Off
13. Moresounds & Dj Madd - Undastand
14. Kuedo - Eyeless Angel Intervention

Symbols Mix Series 009: Nmesh

We've been big fans of Nmesh ever since hearing his Dream Sequins album on AM Discs, and are thrilled to have him deliver a 2 hour epic journey for our mix series. Join us in exploring the further regions of experience.

Follow Nmesh:
Soundcloud | Bandcamp |  | Twitter | YouTube | Mixcloud

Psychic LCD – Ident Dream
The Future Sound Of London – Lifeforms (Path 5)
Holly Herndon – DAO
Darksleep – Spectre
Nico Niquo - Perta Ine
ECO VIRTUAL – Fiji Waterfalls
 - e n c o u n t e r
Future – Move That Dope (Suicideyear Remix)
Ralph Tresvant – Sensitivity
Lawnmowher – Yonder
Funk D’Void – Soundtrack
Magic Fades & Soul Ipsum – Spa Finder
Bataille Solaire - Sauropodes et acacias
CYBEREALITYライフ - E N C A R T A '98 野生動物
Blackhill Transmitter – Five Twenty Seven
2 8 1 4 - アルカディア
Shisa & Choongum – Hearts (Original Mix)
Blackedout - Dream Girl (I’m All Yours)
Kettel & Secede – Jahe
Chmara Winter – Powidlo
Manaboo – Unhuh
Luka (feat. Mz Jay) – Love & Light
Lasership Stereo – Overdrive
Hong Kong Express – Flirtations
18 Carat Affair – Cybernetic
Pezzner – Drones (Interlude)
Software – Island-Sunrise
Global Communication – Epsilon Phase
James Ferraro – Gargoyles
ECO VIRTUAL – Nimbostratus
ESPRIT 空想 - 9 [Going more deeply now.]
S U R F I N G – Hit The Spot
猫 シ Corp. & Donovan Hikaru – Payday
Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza – IBM Lotus Night
Internet Club - #SEO
t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 - 柔らかい唇
骨架的 – Water
coolmemoryz - s ス p プ i ラ r イ i ト t
mediafired – Spring Is Here
Clams Casino – Human
骨架的 - New Fountains
Young Muslim – After Dark
araabMUZIK – Lost In A Maze (OPN Edit)
Sandtimer – Key

Out Now: y y y - после (After) (SMBL042)

y y y - после (After) (SMBL042)
Release Date: December 18, 2015

Bandcamp | iTunes | Spotify

01. Platform
02. Razor
03. Mandem
04. 33 Degrees
05. TBH
06. Sacrifice

In the mold of the best beatmakers of yore, y y y is prolific without being ostentatious, providing listeners with a near constant stream of new tracks on Soundcloud without blaring about it on other social media channels. The после (After) EP marks the London-based producer's arrival on Symbols and the final release of 2015 for the Los Angeles-based label, six tracks of cinematic, R&B-infused grime and hip hop, full of pulsing, mechanic percussion wafting, disembodied vocals. Often solemn in nature, после (After) tracks like "Razor" and "Sacrifice" fit comfortably in a London setting, but these aren't outright rave tracks and with their bits of flitting voice and texture, almost seem to bring out the aesthetic of the urban environment in their quieter moments.

Kid Smpl: Astral Plane Mix

Kid Smpl joins the expertly curated Astral Plane Mix Series for an inspiring mix taking you through several of his influences, originals and fellow Symbols artists like J(ay).A.D, y y y, and DJAO. Big up Astral Plane for the feature.

Alva Noto – xerrox radieuse -> Kid Smpl – Beyonce x VMAs Remix
DedekindCut – True Lover$ knot
Albyy – Hanging On -> WWWINGS – Death Wish
Tim Hecker – Stigmata I
Visionist – Safe
Eaves – GBHM
Drake & Future – Jersey
Letta – Where I Left You
Kid Smpl – Glyph Fell
Bruised Skies – Consequence -> Earz – Every Room
Chambers – _E_
Kid Smpl – Repeat Balance -> Angel-Ho – Revolter
DJAO – Lights Off
J(ay).A.D – I Need Her
Kelela – All the Way Down
SHUTTLE 358 – Burrowed vows
Kid Smpl – Focus Ribbon
Kid Smpl – Response Ascend
yyy – troyka pt.I
Celestial Trax – Reasons
DedekindCut – Further (with and open mouth)
Burial – Kindred
Alva Noto – xerrox isola
Kid Smpl – Blade



Out Now: J(ay).A.D - Asema EP (SMBL041)

J(ay).A.D - Asema EP (SMBL041)
Release Date: December 04, 2015

iTunes | Bandcamp | Spotify

01. Thinking About You
02. Nostalgia
03. Obeah
04. Spend The Night
05. Mind Sex

Over the past several years, J(ay).A.D has released several EPs touching on footwork, dubstep, grime and hip hop, approaching dance music with a wide open lens that tends to blur accepted genre lines. A Björk co-sign earlier this year jettisoned the Amsterdam-based artist into the popular consciousness and on December 4, he’ll release his most complete, idiosyncratic work to date; the Asema EP on Symbols. Raised in Suriname, J(ay).A.D is the consummate dance music outsider and despite living in Amsterdam, his music hardly ever fits in with the city’s house and techno hegemony. Asema sits almost entirely at club friendly tempos and despite hitting peak levels on tracks like “Spend The Night” and “Mind Sex”, is more comfortable hitting emotional highs and lows. 

With the rapid industrialization and subsequent cultural divide of his native Suriname in mind, the EP is very much a record of the present moment, simultaneously paranoid and hopeful, seeped in industrial dread and natural beauty. Elastic square-wave synths, bruising sub bass and meticulous percussion arrangements make up the majority of Asema, from near-weightless opener “Thinking About You” to punchy, in-your-face closer “Mind Sex”. And while many of J(ay).A.D’s contemporaries attempt to create more alien sounding music at the expense of a human element, Asema has a distinctly tactile feel to it, from the echoing, almost live-sounding percussion on “Spend The Night” to the lush synth work on “Nostalgia”. Despite J(ay).A.D coming from an outsider position, Asema is a record with the power to touch and evoke memories from any and all listeners, its essential themes transmissible to virtually any individual or culture.

SMBDL012: Modulaw - Nago

Modulaw - Nago (SMBDL012)

Built on the tenets of weirdo southern hip hop and east-leaning instrumentation, Swiss producers Modulaw have come correct over the past few months with a host of harmonically beatific, noisy rap refixes, taking on everyone from Migos to Lil Debbie and even producing an EP for Zurich-based MC Boeystraat. Their entry to the SMBDL series is a menacing instrumental build around a series of swirling string work and an overlay of yelps, screams and blasts of unadulterated noise. It's urban club music at its finest and by the time Modulaw finds their four-on-the-floor stride midway through the track, the effort already feels monumental.

Follow Modulaw on Soundcloud

Symbols Mix Series 008: my.head

French producer, my.head, delivers a gorgeous and cinematic mix for our ongoing series. Make sure to pick up his En Noir EP if you haven't already. Or stream it.

01. Disasterpiece - Title
02. Sinoia Caves - 1983 Main Theme
03. my.head - ????
04. 2 8 1 4 - 遠くの愛好家
05. Vangelis - Blade Runner Blues
06. my.head - Torture
07. Nils Frahm - Duktus
08. my.head + Last Japan - Valkyria
09. Prayer - Ghetto Kyote Bootleg
10. Martin Stig Andersen - Menu
11. Triple 6 Mafia - Pimpin & Robbin
12. Drake & Future - Jumpman (Chopped Not Stopped)
13. my.head - Bound [$CRWD]

Follow my.head:
Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook