Tuesday, 08 February 2011
Chunky bruk-house rollers from Danny Native! Mr Natives is owning this corner of the modern house movement right now with his killer 'Tenement Yard' album and a ruck of celebrated DJ sets. Recently featuring heavily in the sets of Martyn and himself, 'The Bitch' bounces a cheeky square bassline into play with old-skool ruff-house vibes pivoting about shoulder dropping syncopations. On the flip 'Crop Duster' takes it down low with crouching subs and skittering percussion showing the lineage of Afrobeat through house and broken beats to end up in Natives territory. Fans of Martyn, Cooly G, Deep Teknologi or Kode 9 should check!
Bottin presents his new project, Tinpong, with a cover of Duran Duran's 'New Religion', backed with remixes from Pete Herbert and Marcus Marr. The group features Italian disco dude Gugliemo Bottin on keys, guitar, trumpet and production, assisted by Joy Frempong on vocals, Nelide Bandello on drums and Piero Bittolo Bon playing electric bass, flute, bass clarinet, alto and baritone sax. They spin the eternal new pop classic with a smokier, but still uptempo disco vibe, while Pete Herbert gives a brasher dub version and Marcus Marr spaces out on a psychedelic lounge mix.
Back in stock. At last, the wait is over. Christian Fennesz's follow up to 2004's Venice is upon us, and it's truly one of the most breathtaking albums you'll hear this year. The ten-minute title track gets the album underway, opening tentatively with flickers of noise and digital debris crackling like fireworks in the distance. Soon a flood of symphonic guitar and electronics overwhelms the mix and we're reintroduced to the signature sound world that's unique to this man's music - he's one of the most imitated electronic artists out there, and yet you can always pick out the real thing from a line… Read more
For those yet to discover Francisco Lopez's vast discography, Amarok represents a brilliant way in. While not necessarily any more or any less accessible than material you'll hear elsewhere in his catalogue, there are ties between this mammoth hour-long piece and the language of dark-ambient music. You'll have to crank the volume a little bit to appreciate the scale and dynamic range employed here, but once you've acclimatised the Spanish composer soon immerses you in an icy drone-grotto, booming with low end presence and ground-melting rumbles while a biting arctic wind circulates. The piece… Read more
As anyone who has visited Tate Modern will testify (and that's just about everyman and his dog); the cavernous expanse of the Turbine Hall is akin to a secular Cathedral, with the object of adoration the intangible entity of 'art'. It therefore seems entirely fitting that Arvo Pärt was approached by artist Anish Kapoor to provide aural accompaniment for his immense 'Marsyas' sculpture which was commissioned as part of a series of instillations to fill this potentially all-consuming space. Pärt has a keen understanding of the vastness of multi-layered music and saw in Kapoor's breathtaking piece a si… Read more
Monday, 07 February 2011
Spherix goes deep under with the inaugural release for Lower Case Recordings. 'In A Hole' is a choice pick for those into the darker, more esoteric side of Skull Disco or the recent Raime release, shaking out shadowy dub gremlins inside a scuttling rhythmic framework weighted with oppressively ominous bass. On the flip 'In The Dark' he elicits a more spacious sense of dread with murky subs laying the foundation for a maze of tricky post-garage syncopations and lurking dub strikes, concluding with a technoid locked groove for the DJs.
Wednesday, 02 February 2011
Celebrated German trio, Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Fricke have achieved notoriety for their unique fusion of classical and jazz instrumentation with House music. So much so that Kanye West has blogged about their 'Bop' video and Groove magazine hailed them as "a common denominator between Steve Reich and Theo Parrish", high praise indeed. Inspired by techniques from John Cage and Helmut Lachenmann, the trio have only released a small handful of records to date, but their debut album 'You Make Me Real' is a very substantial offering, charged with nine tracks of truly infecti… Read more
Tuesday, 01 February 2011
One of electronic music's most unpredictable artists turns to the eternal dark forces of metal for inspiration on 'IIron'. Occurring 10 years after the original 'Iron' on his own Wavetrap label, Ivan Pavlov has returned to his illicitly made Soviet-era metal recordings, alloying them with recent guitar tracks made at York University's Music Research centre and a dash of his cold, black humour to bend the genre into fascinatingly malleable and reactive shapes. Riffs are looped and sliced into jabbing slabs of force whose impact is somewhat twisted out of context when arranged with skanking folk dance pulse … Read more
Recently picked by Martin Scorsese as one of the ten scariest films of all time, 'The Innocents' also features sound design and incidental music composed by Daphne Oram - making this a must-have purchase for any followers of the Radiophonic Workshop. Jack Clayton's celebrated screen adaptation of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw (1898) is a brilliant exercise in psychological horror. Impressionable and repressed governess Miss Giddens (Deborah Kerr) agrees to tutor two orphaned children, Miles and Flora. On arrival at Bly House, she becomes convinced that the children are possessed by th… Read more
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Second full length from The Beets of Jackson Heights, New York. As evidenced on their debut LP, 'Spit On The Face Of People who Don't Want To Be Cool' and a couple of 7"s, they play raw garage rock with an unfettered insouciance that many groups would pay for. Whether they're playing melodic and hooky on 'Floating' or jamming on a three chord scuzzy indiepop thing with 'Just A Whim' they're always endearingly half-arsed and cool as you like. Look no further for the real deal garage vibe.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Jonsi Thor Birgisson of Sigur Ros has taken some time out to record a side-project with his partner Alex Somers, serving as an extension of sorts to the artwork the two have previously collaborated on, which saw them staging exhibitions around the globe over the past few years (also under the moniker Riceboy Sleeps). You may recall the earliest fruits of the duo's labours for having been showcased on the 4AD Dark Was The Night compilation, and the track that made it onto that playlist ('Happiness') surfaces here too in a slightly different, longer version at the beginning of the album. Th… Read more
Friday, 21 January 2011
Recorded in 1995, this disc collects world premiere recordings of ‘Litany’, ‘Psalom’ and ‘Trisagion’. Litany derives its text from the 24 prayers of St. John Chrysostum (the man responsible for writing the liturgy upon which Russian Orthodoxy is based) and there’s an appropriately devotional tone to the piece regardless of its manifold dynamic twists and turns. Apparently, Part had been familiar with the prayers for over twenty years, always intending to find his own musical resolution to them. It’s evident that the composer has pored over this endeavour at length; the piece carries the full weight of … Read more
Orient Occident is a more recent recording of the great Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's work, released in 2002, and might surprise those familiar with his better known, sparser works. Performed by the mighty Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Choir the three pieces contained here are markedly busier, but no less spiritual than you would expect with two of the pieces set to Psalms. The opening piece 'Wallfahrtslied / Pilgrim's Song' was written in 1984 as a tribute to a composer friend, and is fittingly melancholic, taken from Psalm 121. The rest of the record is markedly ligh… Read more
The theme of this compilation was suggested by Static Caravan's own Stefan Panczak (aka Inch-Time), and yes, it really is a selection of music based on "the art and culture of tea". A diverse range of artists from a wide variety of genres and disciplines takes part in the compilation, and the standard is unnervingly high throughout. The likes of Tunng, , Dollboy, Serafina Steer and Pimmon all do themselves justice, and there's a classy showing from Max De Wardener who introduces the album with the self-explanatory 'Kettle Song'. Inch-Time himself p… Read more
Thursday, 20 January 2011
This outstanding new Touch release is an album comprised of documents made by sound recordist Jana Winderen over a number of field trips to the Barents Sea, Greenland and Norway. Winderen's focus takes in above-ground sounds of extreme Northern weather systems and the wildlife that inhabits such surroundings, but perhaps more significantly and insightfully, the Oslo-based artist makes probing recordings of sub-aqua environments/habitats using hydrophones. Winderen delves deeply into glaciers, fjords and the open ocean with her equipment, capturing incredible unseen worlds populated by baff… Read more
Friday, 14 January 2011
Martyn's 3024 imprint starts the year with two reconfigured rollers from fellow Dutchman Dave Huismans operating under his 2562 moniker. Huismans' remix of Martyn's 'Vancouver' was an absolute killer, so he's been drafted in to provide two more devastating ideas for the dubstepXtechno field, combining strains of mutant garage and dub techno finished with a glistening lacquer of hi-end production skills. 'Embrace' takes the bare bones rhythms of his 'Aeriel' long player and builds a fleshy groove entwined with rosy synth washes and crackle textured dub vibes moving closer to the richly soulful vib… Read more
Finally available again after a good couple of years since its release, "Get Down" was Martyn's first release for the Revolver imprint and gave us a first taste of his unique production style. "Get Down" on the a side is a rolling drum & bass variation supported by those signature padded basslines and clipped keys, while "Black Lies" on the flip scatters some wild samples and fx into the mix...
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Sounding unreasonably mature for a 21-year old composer, Olafur Arnalds has already got one well-received album behind him (Eulogy For Evolution), and this follow-up EP can only add to his growing reputation. It'd be all too easy to compare Arnalds with fellow Icelanders Nico Muhly and Johann Johannssonn, so that's precisely what I'll do: in general there's a sense of very tangible, heartstring-tugging romance common to the work of all three (and for that matter Max Richter) but to be more specific, the weary, bereft-sounding intonation of a computer voice runs throughout the course … Read more
Monday, 10 January 2011
Skinnz aka Baobinga comes correct with two crafty swingers for Boka, pressed on transparent ear-waxy-yellow vinyl. 'Keep It Gutta' dips into the Night Slugs slipstream with a heat-sealed fusion of delirious synthline excesses and percussive syncopation. 'Euphorbia' comes on sweet and fresh on the flipside, serving sea-sick swing rhythms and swirling, slightly discordant synths to wicked effect. Tipped to fans of Girl Unit, Bok Bok, or Mosca.
Friday, 07 January 2011
Touch introduce a new artist to their roster, a 26 year old called Sohrab from Tehran. His startlingly beautiful first release 'A Hidden Place', is a six track album of elaborate ambient electronics and textured drones. Sohrab's music is understandably informed by a life isolated from outside cultures, and even displaced in his own country, which makes his instinctively blissful yet subtly menacing music all the more remarkable. In 'Susanna' we glean lulling rhythms reminiscent of Biosphere's 'Dropsonde' while in 'Pedagogicheskaya Poema' we're reminded of BJ Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa's 'Space F… Read more
Wednesday, 05 January 2011
Skream's Disfigured Dubz imprint makes it's presence felt again with two cuts from Late, coming attached with a big "For Burial Fans" sign. 'Saw, Sine, Square' on the A-side is a techno influenced floaty atmospheric stepper, but the real treat is to be found on 'Voices from The Night', building a smart stepper with surging Teebee styled bass and gorgeous midnight atmospherics heavily influenced by Mr Bevan. Currently recieving rotation from Skream, N-Type, Chef and Hijak amongst others.
Fluxion's reinstatement to the dub-techno forefront continues with his second album in as many years on 'Perfused'. There's no major leap forward for Konstantinos Soublis here, It's more just an affirmation of what all dub-techno heads already knew - Fluxion still makes killer ice-cool techno. For instance, most of the tracks here sound like they could have come out on Chain Reaction 10 years ago, perhaps bar a few Ableton sounds, there's little to distinguish the two. Fans of Substance & Vainqueur, Maurizio and Studio 1 should still get a kick out this. Recommended!
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Leading up to the release of their feverishly anticipated debut album for Hyperdub, Darkstar underwent some major evolutionary changes. Perhaps most signifiicantly they expanded from a production/writing duo of James Young and Aiden Whalley into a trio, now including vocalist James Buttery. This personnel change has been reflected in the music too. While previously Darkstar's sound leaned towards the fringes of dubstep, the musical profile of North is considerably more difficult to define. The genre connections remain at least partially in-check on former single 'Aidy's Girl Is A Computer' - perhaps … Read more
Friday, 17 December 2010
Midlake's sophomore album, The Trials Of Van Occupanther was a surprise hit back in 2006, and the group's reputation only seems to have snowballed as the years have gone on. The '70s rock feel of that album seems to have been substituted in favour of British prog-folk as the central influence this time around however, and much like Espers, Midlake appear to revel in the sounds of Pentangle, Fairport Convention and King Crimson. Quite unlike an Espers record though, is the commercial and crossover potential in The Courage Of Others. While Greg Weeks, Meg Baird et al are likely to remain… Read more
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Super-cooled electro-pop and synth soul album from Finland's pretty excellent Villa Nah duo. If you clocked their Jori Hulkkogen co-produced 7" earlier this year you'll have some idea of the terrain we're in; distinguished male vocal lead pop tunes with strong hints of classic Skanfrom and a lot of emphasis on the "Pop" element. The Thomas Dolby-esque strains of baroque opener 'Time For Tea' makes a resplendent start, before the sublime chill of the housier 'Running On' comes over like Junior Boys produced by Johan Agebjorn. Deeper in, 'Kiss And Tell' offers a up-tempered thrust of NRG/EBM bassline an… Read more
Monday, 13 December 2010
Back in stock. This Yorkshire-based electroacoustic artist was last seen on 12k's recent Blueprints compilation, and already has an impressive background in the field of microsound composition. Cave studied his trade at the incredibly prestigious Parisian institute, IRCAM, which prompted him to explore the creative potential of homemade Max/MSP-based software. Using field recordings, guitar, clarinet and other subtle acousmatic phenomena as his starting point, Cave subtly processes and manipulates this sound matter into startlingly beautiful forms. The opening piece on this collection i… Read more
Dapper doublepack from D&B minimalist Data, including assistance from Dynamic and a remix from Utrecht/London production duo, June Miller. With 'Reconnaissance' and 'Bleak' feat. Dynamic, Data serves clinically arranged and mechanical syncopations with the deadly flair and precision. With 'One Night Stand' he adds lush dub chords to the formula and June Miller finish with a super-techy revision of 'Abstractions' for those still left on the 'floor. One for fans of DBridge, Rockwell, or Instra:mental!
Friday, 10 December 2010
SRC is one of the brightest young producers in the pool of modern grime. Fact Magazine hailed him as one of their top 10 for 2010 and his beats are a regular feature in the sets of Elijah & Skilliam, Jackmaster and Spyro. His Numbers debut 'Gold Coinz' fits neatly with their technoid funk aesthetic from the Newcleus-meets Terror Danjah style synth jam of the title track to the Dexplicit-meets-Jonzun Crew fun of 'Brakedance'. 'Fantasy Mix' hews up up sticky hypercoloured bleeps with all the E-numbers to fire up dances from Glasgow to Guatemala and 'Lemsip' runs out Mario-skanking bonus points for the Zomby heads. Joker, Gemmy or Swindle heads need this.
Thursday, 09 December 2010
*180g VINYL EDITION WITH 12" 16-PAGE BOOKLET, POSTER AND CD COPY OF THE ALBUM* Returning for a second chomp of the cherry, Nick Cave's Grinderman project is back with a new album that elevates the band's caddish dirty old man schtick to the next level. Cave and his fellow Bad Seeds really hit their stride on this sophomore airing of the grimy side-project, expanding the range and repertoire of its swamp-rock sleaze... but not too much. Musically, Grinderman 2 certainly features a broadened agenda and signs that the quartet might just be taking their work a little more seriously t… Read more
Wednesday, 08 December 2010
The hugely talented John Roberts arrives at his debut album in style, following a string of celebrated releases on Dial Records. Those releases showcased an individual, beautifully composed sound, combining feathery piano keys and deeply padded, classically-informed House music with elegance and a refined subtlety. His remix services have recently been requested by Darkstar and Creep feat. Romy from the XX, but right now 'Glass Eights' is bound to attract him a lot of attention. He gracefully sweeps and sashays through ten variations on the Piano House theme, from supple Berlin grooves such a… Read more