New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more

Plus new albums from Full of Hell & Nothing, Khruangbin, and more.

December 01, 2023
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more (L) DJ Haram. Photo by Ebru Yildiz. (M) BigXThaPlug. Photo by Jarrod Anderson. (R) Clark. Photo by Ben Sullivan  

Every Friday, The FADER's writers dive into the most exciting new projects released that week. Today, read our thoughts on DJ Haram's Handplay, Clark's Cave Dog, BigXThaPlug's The Biggest, and more.

New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more

Much has already been said about DJ Haram’s distinct blend of Middle Eastern instrumentation and East Coast club, but the most striking thing about Handplay is its ability to elicit a strong visceral reaction through rhythmic tension and near-tangible textures. A manifesto on feminine duality, the hardcore-inspired “No Funeral” is a gritty, assertive club cut about disrupting toxic relationship cycles through feminine camaraderie and resistance, expressed through the abrasive juxtaposition of constant guitar feedback and cutesy, high-pitched vocals reaffirming your beauty and worth. That said, the title track — written as “an ode to and celebration of sex workers” — stands out as a viscous ooze of warped moans, plump basslines, and the thump of industrial 909s. And combined with purposefully blown-out production edging toward sonic climax, it’s an exploration of sex and pleasure so immersive, you almost feel like a voyeur. — Sandra Song

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Clark, Cave Dog
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more

Sus Dog, Chris Clark's 14th full-length project as Clark released this year, was a creative revelation for the English electronic music producer. Foregrounding his voice like never before, Clark revealed dimensions of his spacious, avant-techno sound that felt natural and exciting, with his airy falsetto acting as conductor. It makes sense that he's feeling a surge of momentum, and has quickly followed up Sus Dog with Cave Dog, a companion piece. The new project is split cleanly in two between the wonky and euphoric Rephlex-indebted dancefloor jams of Sus Dog and cinematic, desolate ambiance. That may sound jarring, but Clark delivers a sensational journey that, once you listen all the way through, you'll see couldn't have gone any other way. — Jordan Darville

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

BigXThaPlug, The Biggest
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more

After introducing his distinctively deep voice with this year’s soulful AMAR, tough-talking Texan BigXThaPlug returns with a sauntering victory lap on his new EP, radiating in his newfound success while simultaneously proving why he’s earned it. BigXThaPlug’s breakout single “Texas” might sound country-fried as all hell, but with THE BIGGEST, the Dallas powerhouse shows that he’s still from the city, flowing over Cadillac-ready basslines and 808 cowbells. BigX’s bassy drawl lends itself to slick beats, and producers like Memphis workhorse Bandplay drape his voice in suitably luxurious textures. Chopped-up R&B samples are sprinkled throughout the EP, some more immediately familiar than others, like the Zapp flip on “Rock & Roll,” but BigXThaPlug never feels like he’s trying for a self-consciously throwback sound; he was born smooth. — Nadine Smith

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music

Thy Slaughter, Soft Rock
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more

Hyperpop archivists will recall the heady days of 2015 when PC Music boss A.G. Cook and fellow producer EASYFUN joined forces as Thy Slaughter and released "Bronze." Then, like many a PC Music project, things went quiet as both musicians focused on other things. Now, with the label currently celebrating its first decade, Thy Slaughter have returned with a new studio album. Soft Rock is a typically playful title, there are no Steely Dan-style smooth grooves at play on songs like "If I Knew" or "Lost Everything," the latter of which was co-written by the late SOPHIE. Guests on the album include Charli XCX and Caroline Polachek, while tracks like "Reign" find the duo pushing at a more maximalist sound. It all combines to make for a fitting goodbye to the current iteration of PC Music, which will focus on releasing catalog material from 2024. — David Renshaw

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Khruangbin, Khruangbin: Live at Sydney Opera House
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more

Khruangbin's latest work is proof that even in an age of touch-ups and obsessive production, truly good music is even better live. The band caps the year’s string of live releases with the series’ fifth and final installment, Live at the Sydney Opera House. The compilation follows live releases from Stubb’s, Radio City Music Hall, RBC Echo Beach, and the Fillmore Miami, each a stellar showing of audience investment and the real-time perfection of Kruangbin’s pocket groove.

Active since 2014, the Houston trio is known for curating intricate psychedelic fusion, at once eclectic, erotic, and above all, supremely chill. Capitalizing on the simple joy of skilled melodic soloists over a laid-back beat, the band has over the years attracted collaborations with Leon Bridges, Maribou State, Vieux Farka Touré, and more. After sharing the stage with the likes of Nubya Garcia, Men I Trust, Toro y Moi, and others for the preceding four compilations, the band finishes off the series with a solo show, delivering fans undiluted funky-fusion bliss. Live at the Sydney Opera House also features a Shifting Sands remix of “People Everywhere (Still Alive)” off their 2015 album, The Universe Smiles Upon You. — Lila Dubois

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Full of Hell & Nothing, When No Birds Sang
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more

When No Birds Sang is a black hole of an album, born from the head-on collision of Full of Hell and Nothing — two long-running, unstoppable forces hailing from near-opposite ends of the hardcore universe. From its clobbering, eight-minute opener “Rose Tinted World” to its wounded closer, “Spend The Grace,” the record laughs mirthlessly at polite society from a perch miles beneath it. Still, there are celestial moments embedded in this dark night: “Like Stars In the Firmament,” for instance, sounds much more like a Low track than anything either band has released in the past, centering a lucent guitar line and Nothing vocalist Dominic Palermo’s lucid vocals. On “Forever Well,” though, the howling void reopens, with sludgy guitars and glacial drums luring the listener into a manhole where Full of Hell frontman Dylan Walker’s tortured screams await. — Raphael Helfand

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Gabby’s World, Gabby Sword
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more

Welcome to Gabby’s World, a musical realm of perfect lo-fi indie-pop gems crafted by Gabby Smith. Gabby’s World songs are unapologetically compassionate and sensitive, written and composed alongside collaborator and wife Barrie Lindsay (also known as the musician Barrie). There are no guards, or fronts: after a dark episode that included multiple losses and death in all its forms, Gabby Sword is Smith reclaiming their reawakening as they fall in love, affirm their queerness, processes connections new and old, and allows themselves to accept happiness. “In the tour van all I did was dream of being right up close to your body / Can you believe, believe we made it, honey?” Smith sings on “Fabby.” Looks like they made it. — Cady Siregar

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Other projects out today you should listen to

Antha Pantha, Feline Season
Arone Dyer & s t a r g a z e, ARONE x S T A R G A Z E
Atmosphere, Talk Talk EP
Bb Trickz, Sad Trickz EP
Bel Cobain, Radical Forgiveness EP
Big Scarr, Frozone
Bigxthaplug, Tha Biggest EP
code, Phonographies
Czarface, Czartificial Intelligence
Dani Offline, Mirror EP
Elzhi & Oh No, Heavy Vibrato
Dorothy Carter, Waillee Waillee
Ghost Marrow, earth + death
Harp, Albion
The Idiot kids, Chapels
Jonathan Rado, For Who the Bell Tolls For
Jumping Back Slash & BŪJIN, A Seat In Heaven
Katy Rea, Make Your World! Covers & Demos Pt. 1
Kee Avil, Crease Remixed
Masicka, Generation of Kings
Minor Threat, Out of Step Outtakes EP
OMB Peezy, Le’Paris
Oya Paya, Slumped Up
Panik Flower, Dark Blue EP
Panopticon, The Rime Of Memory
Peder Mannerfelt, The Benefits of Living in a Hole
Peter Gabriel, I/O
Pheelz, Pheelz Good (Triibe Tape) EP
Roy Rutto, Afro Johnny Bravo EP
Ryan Pollie, Ryan Pollie Quartet
Sexyy Red, Hood Hottest Princess (Deluxe)
ShitKid, Rejected Fish
Slayyyter, STARFUCKER (Deluxe)
South Hill Experiment, Sunstrikes
Sun Room, At Least I Tried EP
Supernaive, GUSH! EP
Trevor Horn, Echoes – Ancient & Modern
Victor Thompson, Blessed

New Music Friday: Stream new projects from DJ Haram, Clark, BigXThaPlug, and more