Spanning Bjork to pianist Craig Taborn, the curated playlist of Million Square is just as expansive as you’d expect.
Earlier this month, we shared the boundary-pushing sonic fantasia that is Million Square’s latest EP, Fantasy Grounds. The five-track project revels in the darker reaches of electronica, from atmospheric, sci-fi tinged cuts like Space Odyssey to the glitchy off-kilter rhythms of lead single Tiniri.
Concocting a mesmerising palette that extends beyond electronica — with manic horns to mellow saxophones — it should come as no surprise that the duo behind Million Square draw from a range of musical influences.
Below, Million Square founders Duncan Eagles and Max Luthert share their expansive curated playlist, with shoutouts to Bjork, saxophonist Logan Richardson and more.
Listen to Million Square’s new EP Fantasy Grounds above, and scroll down to spin their go-to playlist in full.
os veix3 – Autechre
Autechre are my North Star when it comes to pushing boundaries in sound design and sequencing. This tune is a great blend of harsh, arhythmic percussion with really beautiful harmony and lead synth lines.
Oustrue – Richard Devine
A true giant of electronic music, each one of Richard Devine’s pieces sound like individual galaxies. There’s so much going on, your attention is being taken all over the place but there’s always a consistency and logic behind everything he does.
Hatshepsut – Jlin
I’ve been getting more interested in specific dance genres and Jlin is at the vanguard of Footwork. She creates music that comes close to Doudoue Ndiaye Rose’s ensemble but through at contemporary electronic lens.
Laser Beaming Hearts – Junk Magic
Craig Taborn is my absolute favourite musician and when it comes to blending acoustic and electronic instruments, nobody does it better for me. His group Junk Magic is exactly how it sounds and this tune has a vicious groove, amazing sound design and great rhythmic content.
Losss – Bjork
I could put any Bjork tune in the list and be completely content, she’s the greatest. Her work with Arca stands out to me specifically and this tune is a great example of what happens when they work together. Beautiful melody and harmony with a ferocious beat behind that destroys everything at the end.
Ke Star – Focalistic
UK gargantuan Moses Boyd put me on to this track and it blew my mind from the first listen. The bass is insane.
Pain Everyday – Clipping.
Clipping. are another group that I think are really pushing music forwards, combining hip-hop, noise and amazing approaches to developing their beats.
I love how this tune is in 7/4, the drum programming is absolutely insane and the string arrangement is really lovely. Another masterpiece of blending disparate musical elements!
80’s Child – Logan Richardson
Logan Richardson has to be one of the most original voices on the alto saxophone today. His tone and phrasing is unique to him and instantly recognizable.
He has a deep knowledge of the history of jazz music while employing the information in such a contemporary way. His sound and approach were a big influence on this current Million Square EP in particular.
Sissoko’s Voyage – Marcus Strickland
I tend to be drawn to saxophone players that have a personal sound. Marcus Strickland is another contemporary saxophonist who has a very distinctive way of articulating and expressing his tone.
His style is also rooted in the history of jazz music and he has a very melodic approach. He is able to maintain high intensity without necessarily having to play too much. His phrases are soulful and melodic and always carefully placed.
Untitled Original 11383 – John Coltrane
Here is the grand master of the saxophone. John Coltrane‘s vision and command of the saxophone is unparalleled and he is responsible for some of the most important recordings in the jazz genre.
His output is so vast you cant get an idea from just one track but here is one from a fairly new recording that was no known to exist until its release a few years ago.
Remain – Donny McCaslin
Donny McCaslin is a monstrous saxophonist and I love how he blends punk jazz with electronics. His music is so lyrical but also incredibly intense.
This track is great example of that. It’s as if the melody has been written for a singer. A simple repeating theme that is so anthemic, bought to life through his saxophone.
Over Shadow Hill Way – Wayne Shorter
Another legend here, someone who made such important contributions to the development of jazz music.
He is present around all of the milestones to do with this music and like John Coltrane his output covers everything from classic Blue Note recordings to groundbreaking fusion music with Weather Report to boundry pushing group improv with his final quartet.
He is able to say so much by playing so little, never wasting a note making sure all of his contributions have maximum impact. His sound is full of mystery, he’s a complete one off.
Segrated and Sequencial – Steve Lehman
Steve Lehman is someone who sounds ferocious to me. He has a fearless technique and harmonic approach, able to spit lines out like a machine gun.
When I was thinking about how best to improvise with the modular and its unrelenting timefeel I would always come back to Steve Lehman.
Movement 1 – Pharoah Sanders
A giant of the free jazz world and another pioneer of the saxophone. He is known for the huge fire that he played with, making countless recordings under his own name as well as with John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner and Alice Coltrane.
This track is from his collaboration with Floating Points and its just beautiful.