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Tuesday, 05 February 2013
"Cistern was made in a two million gallon underground reservoir at Fort Worden, a de-commissioned military base overlooking the entrance to the Puget Sound. The space's resonance extended the instruments in a way similar to electronic processing. The acoustic properties of the cistern created new sonic relationships to which the group applied their musical concept. Cistern captures Doublends Vert's first experiences in the sound-world of the cistern. Doublends Vert formed in 2003 through a common interest in creating restrained, acoustic music exploring the timbre blending possibilities of the violin, accordion, and clarinet."
**Upfront exclusive** Stockport's Alan "Breadwinner" Redfern and The Breadwinners dub up an authentic niceness on King Spinna's 2nd issue - ranking highly in Steve Barker's end-of-year chart for The Wire magazine. 'Dubs Unlimited' is a dub album done in reel-skool style at Breadwinner's all-analog Bakery Studio. Composer, producer, and recording/mixing engineer Al Redfern also mans the majority of instruments - drums, bass, keys, guitar, percussions, and harp (!) - in a cast of some dozen players including Stally (sax, flute), KT Lowry (trumpet), Robin Sunflower (harmonica), and even … Read more
Monday, 04 February 2013
**Edition of 500 housed in hand-assembled, individually numbered and foil-embossed jacket** When they were passing through London on tour in summer 2011, Guy Blakeslee's Entrance Band laid down a session of exclusive arrangements and psyched Blues cover versions at the famed Southern Studios. With Derek W James on drums, Paz Lenchantin on bass, and Guy singing and playing guitar, they churn up the magnificent 12-minute psych-Blues of 'New Orleans' and the burned-out visions of 'Requiem For Juicy', beside the highlight - an impassioned cover of Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas' 1930 Blues standard 'Last Kind Words'.
Pixelord follows Leisure System's opening gambit with four sheer-crafted digital beat/IDM rhythms for Hit And Hope. You'll find swaying future folk melodies and tricky triplets on 'Imaginary Friends', and twinkling bio-mechanic melodies with insectoid rhythms on the title track. The staggered scales and boozed-up swagger of 'Drinky' provide the biggest highlight, while Groundislava chips in with a crisp, chiming slowfast remix of 'Imaginary Friends'.
Friday, 01 February 2013
Totally inspired signing to Hyperdub, this. Having caned his tracks in his DJ sets for some time now, Kode9 has got round to putting out an EP from Fhloston Paradigm, the all-analogue beatdown project of Philly house vet King Britt. 'Chasing Rainbows' - shades of Shed 7 there, eh - is a commanding opener, it's stately strings and dystopian burnish summoning first-wave Detroit techno while somehow sounding totally next-level - Britt has talked about his Fhloston gear as being what he would have made if he'd been asked to score a Blade Runner or a Logan's Run,… Read more
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Drew Lustman weighs in his loved-up and lush third LP, arriving via Ninja Tune. The emphasis is firmly on house and romantic soul music here, as opposed to the fragmented kaleidoscope of jungle, R&B, and garage that made up its predecessors. That's largely attributable to the fact he fell in love during the creation of 'Hardcourage', which would definitely explain its aerated giddiness and almost pop-wise swerve. It's even got vocals, thanks to a very tidy cameo from Friendly Fires Ed Macfarlane on the bumping sophistication of 'She Sleeps', while the hook-heavy single 'Straight & Arrow' is… Read more
This unbelievable album from Chicago's Zelienople evokes the spirit of some of the most treasured music we've come to know over the years, fusing in elements of Talk Talk at their most washed-out, early Bark Psychosis and the narcotic sweeps of Slowdive fused in with the smoky menace of Bohren and Der Club of Gore, Angelo Badalamenti and the darkest nightscapes of David Lynch. Album opener "Aging" shrouds a veil of mystery over dusted instrumentation that's somehow both evocative of vast abandoned landscapes and the most intangible and detailed abstractions brought on by incurable insomnia. It's … Read more
Type records break new ground with a blood red side of free-rock from Jed Bindeman's Heavy Winged trio. Contemporary avant and heavy instrumental rock fiends will probably be familiar with the group's sprawling, cacophonous mass of CDRs, cassettes and wax for NNF, Digitalis and Aurora Borealis, but unless you're in the band yourself, you've never heard them playing quite like this before. The underground safety net of lo-fi recording techniques has been torn down in order to reveal electrifying sheets of distorted guitar noise and a heavy welt of blast drums with unsettling proximity the listen… Read more
In addition to being one of America's most persistently interesting avant-garde percussionists, Jon Mueller has in recent years carved a niche for himself among more mainstream company, working with Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, and perhaps most notably of all, Volcano Choir, the acclaimed Bon Iver-related side-project that features Justin Vernon. One way or another, Type Records seems to have made a habit of capturing established experimental artists at a career-defining moment or a point of creative breakthrough (something that could be argued for the label's releases of Grouper, Yellow Swa… Read more
Regrouping for a third album under their 'On' moniker, Steven Hess and Sylvain Chaveau have created another body of chilling improvised recordings at their Chicago studio. As with previous records the results were passed to a guest musician for rearrangement of perspective and mixing techniques. Following Deathprod's work on 'Your Naked Ghost...', the material for this album was handed to experimental virtuoso Christian Fennesz, who transforms the source sounds into a display of stripped, yet richly textured drone ambience. However, un… Read more
*Ltd 2CD+DVD set* Swans may have only reformed in 2009, but according to Michael Gira 'The Seer' is the album that has truly been thirty tortured years in the making. Its predecessor 'My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky' (excluding the limited live album 'We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head') was a measured, low-key affair, more of a reminder of how the band had changed in the lost years between their death and rebirth than knocking their prior recordings out of the water entirely. 'The Seer' however is another beast altogether, simultaneously managing to cram… Read more
Monday, 28 January 2013
"As Interpol's front man, Paul Banks has largely been a cipher; while certainly not lacking in charisma, his sardonic manner and dry sense of humour often polarised and confounded listeners and critics alike. Banks' first solo album found him assuming the alter ego of Julian Plenti, but he's now jettisoned this for 'Banks', credited to Paul Banks (as was its preceding EP). Whereas 2009's Julian Plenti 'Is...Skyscraper' album was culled largely from songs pre-dating Interpol, 'Banks' is a vivid documentation of Banks in the here and now, and may be his most personal work to date. "Yeah, I suppose I wan… Read more
Thursday, 24 January 2013
*Back In Stock - Includes The Much Sought-After 32 Minute Version Of Minimoonstar* The first part of Villalobos' 'Vasco EP' released on vinyl earlier this year is a personal favourite that has managed to recieve an average of one play-a-day round ours. 'Minimoonstar' is another of his 30min techno odyssees that simply cannot or has not been imitated, bringing together the trickiest yet most dancefloor gratifying rhythms, with brain warming chord progressions and organic subbass for one of his finest moments to date (we say this a lot, but he has a lot of moments innit?!). Another vinyl cut 'El… Read more
High class hook-up between Oren Ambarchi and Robin Fox, new on Kranky. Ambarchi in particular has been on fire this year, having already released two top-notch albums on Touch and eMego and a whole host of other underground sides, and his rich vein of form continues with this awesome co-composition. Connected was created for a production of the same name by the Australian contemporary dance company Chunky Move. Artistic director Gideon Obarzanek is a huge fan of both Ambarchi and Fox's work, and invited them to develop their score - derived from both digital and analogue sources - i… Read more
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** ‘Anything in Return’ is a more grown up record for Bundick, and he seems to have used this as an outlet for all the genres he’s managed to absorb since his last full-length. Opener ‘Harm in Change’ takes a liberal pinch of classic house, ‘So Many Details’ has the James Pants-indebted West Coast neon shuffle everyone got so fixated on last year, and ‘Touch’ sounds like Bundick’s been sipping a bit of James Blake in his off-time. This is hardly a bad thing either, rather than imitate each style to the letter, Bundick only na… Read more
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Over the last 2 years Rene Hell has emerged as one of the most distinctive characters from a wave of neo-Kosmische and synth noise operators. Since his debut album for Type, 'Porcelain Opera', his restless talent has been diverted into cassettes for Night People and Agents Of Chaos, a brilliant 7" track for Kraak and sterling collaborations with Daren Ho's Driphouse as Cuticle and Mandelbrot & Skyy, all displaying an artist confidently in his creative stride. 'The Terminal Symphony' is a bold evolution of his sound, reframing analogue synth and drum machine experiments with a more conci… Read more
The newest addition to the Type roster is one Rene Hell, a cult underground noisenik better known as Jeff Witscher. His numerous releases and pseudonyms for labels including Arbor, Not Not Fun and Chronditic Sound (among a tonne of others) have given space for his untamed imagination to roam various disparate styles and ideas. For Rene Hell Witscher sort of places himself alongside Emeralds or Oneohtrix Point Never with alter-dimensional synth trips referencing classic kosmiche, but with the lustre of nostalgia picked away to reveal a decidedly modern grasp of electronic psychedelia. Much lik… Read more
From Matthew Woodson's linocut cover art through to the macabre liner notes detailing a doomed nautical excursion, Xela's new album 'The Dead Sea' brings with it a pervading sense of unease before it even gets near your ears... Released on his own Type imprint, 'The Dead Sea' sees John Twells (aka Xela) eschewing the electronic overtones of his early work in favour of a thickly evolved palate of sound that references the likes of Goblin and Wolf Eyes, whilst retaining a mischievous heart that thrives on its skin-crawling rhythm. With a tacit nod to the soundtrack flavour of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulc… Read more
**Marvellous concept album commenting on and commemorating the Pendle Witch trials of 1612 in the midst of undue patriotism in the jubilee year. Features the unmistakably Lancastrian enunciation of actress Maxine Peak** "1612 Underture is a 12 chapter sound poem based of the mistreatment and memory of the Pendle Witches who were executed in Lancashire, England, on 20 August 1612; Elizabeth Device, James Device, Alizon Device, Anne Whittle (aka Chattox), Anne Redferne. Jane Bulcock, John Bulcock, Alice Nutter, Katherine Hewitt and Jennet Preston, as well as the accused Alice … Read more
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Flash-as-f**k debut from London duo, Kodiak, with added remix weight from Actress and Girl Unit! 'Spreo Superbus' is a startling entrance from these guys, surfing mercurial synth dissonance over body-buffeting funky drums with a deadly, teasing sense of delayed gratification guaranteed to get 'em dripping neon sweat in the club. In typically contrary style, Actress flips the the cut as a slow, burned-out electro-soul groove blushing romantic chords and stray FM noise with a final, dirty turn of phrase, leaving Girl Unit to ignite the dance with one of his fibrillating Bass specials. That Actress remix is so, soooo, good!!!
"Fire Records bring together some of Mission of Burma's best loved tracks in a 2CD deluxe comp Learn How: The Essential Mission of Burma, that will herald the label's reissue series of all of the band's output as well as serving as an introduction to the band for the uninitiated. Jumping out of the starting gate with their most explosive and beloved track "Academy Fight Song" and moving chronologically through their back catalogue, the 2 disc package focuses on their early career on disc 1 and moves on to their triumphant comeback after a twenty-two year hiatus… Read more
The man jointly responsible for the Buddha Machine steps forth with a debut solo album exploring the space between ambient and neo-classical musics. Christian was born in Hong Kong, schooled and classically trained in South China and resides in Beijing, where he founded one of China's pioneering noise acts, FM3. 'Fistful Of Buddha' draws upon this experience and a worldly knowledge of outré sonics to meld Eastern and Western instrumentation with a contemplative sophistication. Slow moving repetition and incremental evolution is key to his sound here, opening expansive spaces where w… Read more
**Limited edition white wax** Jimmy Edgar and Ian O'Donovan serve remixes of Triumph's saxtastic, Laurent Garnier-favoured 'Discover'. Jimmy Edgar gives up a slinkily effective and swinging house mix, shredding the sax bleats in a stereo-strafing whorl over tight and punchy drums. O'Donovan's mix is epic, rebuilding a soaring groove for Valldeneu's red-faced parps.
Monday, 21 January 2013
A very fine double-disc reissue of Gonzales' much beloved 2004 album Solo Piano, bolstering the original audio disc with a healthy supply of video content. The DVD's main feature, Major To Minor is a piano lesson played out as a comedic variety show, including contributions from Feist and, allegedly, someone from Daft Punk in robot guise. If Solo Piano captures Gonzales at his finest as a musician, then perhaps this document finds him at his best as a performer. In this context, all the jokey, over-the-top energy that manifests itself on his non-Solo Piano recordings finds its nat… Read more
Friday, 18 January 2013
A couple of months back 12k gave us a preview of this album via the single release of 'Hikari No Hana'. The version of the song that appears on this album is a different mix, side-stepping the single release's skipping electronic beats in favour of more plainly articulated acoustic material. For the most part however, this Japanese duo thrive in an electrified soundworld, concocting such fluttering J-pop delights as 'Life', which combines filtered synths with worn-out drum machines for a muted, more organic feel than the kind of material Taylor Deupree released via his old Happy sub-label, or th… Read more
Having broken away from the droves of drone artists out there with 2009's excellent Aix album, Giuseppe Ielasi established a very different vocabulary that he put to good use in the earlier part of his career. Like so many of his contemporaries, Ielasi once specialised in microsound-style soundscapes and guitar processing, but with Aix he shifted into a more rhythmic mindset, making beats from location-recorded objects and materials. 'Tools' continues under the same impetus, this time creating a set of percussive tracks from a number of household items. 'Rubber Band' sounds like a tabla-driven… Read more
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** "Soundway present a slice of raw Trinidad carnival roots with a progressive twist, courtesy of one of the islands most original and forward thinking musical minds of the post war period. On the flip highlife-techno pioneer DrumTalk morphs it into a dark and twisted electro-tropical groove dripping with rolling distorted synth-lines and filtered vocals..."
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
**Now available on double vinyl housed in tip-on style gatefold jacket!** Latest in the Sun City Girls’ acclaimed, inspiring Sublime Frequencies series. Molam is a multi-faceted folk music native to laos and the predominantly rural northeastern region of thailand known as Isan - home to myriad ethnic groups and provinces, and once a part of present-day laos. ‘Mo’ meaning 'master' and ‘Lam’ meaning 'song', Molam literally translates into 'master singer', but it remains more of an umbrella term covering over a dozen types of Lam styles in which male… Read more
Monday, 14 January 2013
Matthew Dear is back and by the sounds of it on form yet again following the success of 2010's 'Black City'. To move forward, he's looked back and imbued his productions with the classic grit of early house and funk. It's almost like he's spent the last few years with his head in Theo Parrish's enviable record collection and then popped to the studio and recorded a pop album with the knowledge. It works for him too, and whether he's laying his slippery vocals over dusted 4/4s or doing something more sultry and instrumental there's a sense of knowledge and expertise in his craft.
Friday, 11 January 2013
What. The. F**k. Is. This?! Rwina really take it out there with the first 12" by yung Dutchman Jameszoo, purveyor of the strangest bass music we've heard in 2012. Combining dance-floor strength trap beats with flurries of exotic percussion, searing bubblers' synths and all manner of wrong-speed vocal inserts, his 'Faaveelaa' session is ludicrously colourful, unhinged and masses of fun. 'I You Cherrypearl' tango slaps us from the leftside with a dutty downslow swagger twisted with squawking synth rubs next to the 'MRM AID S' which sounds like Kraftwerk, Bruce Haack and Luke Vibert pissed on ferm… Read more