Thursday, 04 June
Pinch us; it's real! Audika finally unleash a vintage-fresh stash of tunes from Arthur Russell's archive, marking one of the most substantial, posthumous dispatches of his unreleased material to date. At this point, Arthur should need little introduction - he's arguably among thee most important, yet neglected, American composer/song-writers of the 20th century - so we'll skip the skooling and run to the music. There are nine songs, of which five are actually alternate and previously unheard versions of much-loved classics, while the other four are completely unheard, and also plucked from his not… Read more
Moritz Von Oswald conducts a cabinet reshuffle, exchanging Vladislav Delay for legendary Afrobeat percussionist Tony Allen on his superb fourth Trio album and follow-up to 'Borderland' with Juan Atkins. Alongside original member Max Loderbauer, the trio embark on a new and deeply charming chapter of elemental rhythm and sound exploration, positioning them ever closer to some modern day version of the Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. Dub is still the foundation, and jazz the teacher, but the languid roll of Allen's drums and Loderbauer's lissom bleeps now hint at a sort… Read more
Editions Mego present an immersive live recording of Donato Dozzy and Neel's Voices From The Lake, captured in Rome's breathtaking MAXXI museum. As chance would have it, this reviewer was lucky enough to walk in halfway thru the performance (word, LSWHR!), already dazed by the contours of Zaha Hadid's incredible architecture, to be pleasantly consumed by VFTL's free-floating topography of ambient techno. It was a perfect sound for such a grand container, both reflecting each others' seemingly impossible structures - precariously balanced staircases giving way to huge, sweeping passa… Read more
**Includes download code** Norway's most precious, provocative pop export presents the barbed strokes of 'Apocalypse, Girl' - her 3rd album - with Brooklyn's Sacred Bones. In possession of an effortlessly natural, evocative voice, coupled with probing lyrics, Jenny surrounds herself with musicians of a similarly rarified calibre, including Thor Harris (Swans), Okkyung Lee, and Rhodri Davis, who all play within her "intimate sound" parameters; empathising with her open-minded, transgressive pop rhetoric and disquietingly reserved aesthetic in a winding, hallucinatory narrative. Produced by a… Read more
'Imagine The Future' is ASC's magnum opus, no doubt about it. Emboldened with iMAX-sized production values and framed with cinematic vision, it arrives after a relatively fallow couple of years for ASC, galvanising his strongest aspects - emotive melodic arrangements, hyper-crisp sound design, massive bass sculptures - into a stunning album-come-soundtrack for an as yet unwritten sci-fi. We've seen his own productions and those of his Auxilliary inner circle, such as Synth Sense, Central Industrial, and Sam KDC, keening towards this direction for half a decade now, with varying levels of succes… Read more
Thursday, 28 May
**Includes download code for album plus 4 bonus remixes** The virtuosic sampler fiend and pioneering dancefloor composer presents his 1st new album of dance music in nine years with 'The Shakes' - effectively the follow-up to 'Scale' (2006). With an emotional range as fine and varied as his sample banks, the venerable UK composer spins out twelve tracks spanning signature hurky-jerky house patterns thru to sanguine soul drifts and jazzy big band antics, always with an idiosyncratic timbre and grain and blessed with the sort of chicanery that could only come from a composer confident in his techniqu… Read more
Jaw-dropping debut solo album from Nozinja, the brains behind South Africa's maddest export - Shangaan Electro. Arriving five years since he set floors alight from Limpopo to Salford with an acclaimed compilation for Honest Jon's, he presents the most diverse Shangaan expo to date with 'Nozinja Lodge' cycling between free-wheeling 180bpm signatures to highly idiosyncratic takes on militant Hi-NRG disco via string-heavy epics and pinging digi-dub pop mutations, all sprinkled with his patented, super-bright and melodic arrangements. For energy and soul he's practically unrivalled on the world stag… Read more
*First new solo album in six years from founding member of pioneering chamber-rock ensemble, Rachel’s. Features members of Loscil, Rachel’s, Shipping News, Amsterdam Sinfonietta* "Rachel Grimes is a pianist, composer, and arranger based in Kentucky – most renowned for her work in Rachel's, the groundbreaking chamber-rock ensemble that introduced an entire generation of underground rock fans to the unexpected similarities and appeal of neoclassical music. Grimes has toured the world as a solo pianist, and as a collaborator with chamber ensembles such as Portland Cello Project, astrïd, Cicada… Read more
The esteemed Norwegian troupe forge a tougher, dizzying sound galvanised by electronic experimentation in their 6th studio album. Since their last LP, 'Live With Britten Sinfonia' (2013), the band's principle song-writer Lars Hortveth took off to L.A. where, inspired by the scale of space and its flashing neon lights, he started composing the material which would become 'Starfire'. Recorded back in Oslo at his band's own studio, the album neatly transposes the rolling, glittering landscapes of California to Jaga Jazzist's rockier topographies and smart jazz chops, manifesting a wide-scoped… Read more
"Sometimes miracles happen. In the case of 'Contraband' (1980) it took 35 years! One of the most-wanted scores of Lucio Fulci’s filmography, it’s not a horror but a crime/action movie, produced during one of the most prolific and creative phases of the director’s career. It’s a story of two gangs, one devoted to cigarette smuggling (the “good” guys) and the other to drug dealing. With Fabio Testi in the starring role, Fulci created one of his most violent movies, adding Maesto Frizzi to the pentagram and inspiring him to create one of the most iconic scores of his career. On the trail of t… Read more
**Unreal electro-acoustic magick from Italian composer Osvaldo Coluccino for Milan's ever-trustworthy Die Schachtel label. Highly recommended for those who cherish peering into the abyss and holding its gaze** "Another welcomed return in our Zeit Series - his 2010 Neuma Q being one of the best received titles in the series - Osvaldo Coluccino presents a collection of his early (1997-2007) electroacoustic pieces. From the dark drones of Dimensioni (interspersed with the treated voice of Jacques Lacan) to the treated percussions of Nell'attimo, to the acousmatic brilliance of Dal margine, t… Read more
Dawn of Midi emulate the grid-like tensions of electronic/FX-driven music with only acoustic instruments - drums, bass and piano - in 'Dysnomia' (2013). originally issued by Thirsty Ear and now reissued by Erased Tapes, it's an impressive feat in the same way that Elektro Guzzi's albums are for their unnatural sense of timing and precision, attempting to synch ever closer to internal clocks of Midi linked music-making machines.
After leaving us hanging in 2013 with a delectable 7", Sally Dige commits her debut album of neon noir synth-pop to Night School Records. With the exception of that single's ice cold, 'Losing You', it's all new material, nocturnally skooled in classic 4AD and '80s FM pop, a perfectly manicured balance of cracking drum machine punctuation and swooning synth/vocals expressing a dark, luxuriant sensuality painted in a brooding, new romantic relief. With 'Hard To Please' she nods to the latin freestyle inflections of Madonna, whereas 'Immaculate Deception' is more like Kate Bush gone EBM and 'So… Read more
"André Bratten grew up in Oslo on the border between a bustling city and a dense forest. That juxtaposition has informed his sound: Bratten skillfully imbues cosmic disco with intense cerebral techno. Bratten's cinematic tendency stems from his experience as a theater score composer, while his dancier side is influenced by the Norwegian disco scene that raised him. He released his debut album Be A Man You Ant (2013) on Prins Thomas' Full Pupp label, and shares a studio with Thomas, Todd Terje, and Lindstrøm. However, rather than simply emulate these figureheads, Bratten blazed his own tra… Read more
**Letter-pressed card jacket** "On Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains, Tokyo’s Chihei Hatakeyama evokes an instrumental poetic grace, that marks him out as one of the icons of his generation. Drawing broadly from aesthetic references, that traverse music of the past 30 years, he seamlessly melts glacial ambient drifts with richly harmonic guitar strata that echo the gliding motions of My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Cocteau Twins. Never resolving to clear melody, his interest in unrestrained harmonics creates a depth to his compositions and moreover a profound se… Read more
*This version includes parts 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the series and does not include parts 1 & 2, but comes with the box so that those of you who own the first two parts can slot them in* "Epic in scale, static, timbre and stillness, "Null" is a vast and profound music project that Luigi Archetti has been pursuing over a long period. His musical research is not about Null (the German word for zero) as a mathematical object, as a real number. Instead, the term Null (zero) is used here as a metaphor in order to describe a state of pausing and anticipatory waiting. The music in project NU… Read more
**Adroit electronic reconstructions of "original 1930s field recordings" made in the Then Belgian Congo** "Peder Mannerfelt’s release for Archives Intérieures takes us back to Belgian Congo in the 1930's. This adventurous album finds its roots in a very obscure 78 rpm record, put together by Belgian filmmaker Armand Denis, who was one of the first Europeans to capture the incredible sounds of Central Congo. These recordings were published in 1950 as The Belgian Congo Records. Mannerfelt is an avid collector of African tribal music. When he came across this record he was immed… Read more
“Different things are happening in my life now, so there is no doubt that it will be a very different album.” - Mark Kozelek ‘Universal Themes’ includes ‘The Possum’, a nine minute track featuring Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley about dead possums and hanging out with Godflesh. Guitars and vocals by Mark Kozelek. Percussion by Steve Shelley. Recorded in San Francisco, 2014 / 2015. Additional recording in Hoboken, 2015."
Thursday, 21 May
We find Wolfgang Voigt in his natural habitat amidst the sweeping, Gas-like ambient scenery of 'Rückverzauberung 10'. Written to commemorate the opening of German national park, Hunsrück-Hochwald, where the piece is played through loudspeakers to enchant the woodland and vice-versa, it gracefully unfurls just over an hour of deep forested strings and quietly intoxicating atonality in a reflection of the the wild, rolling landscape and its natural topography. From the elegiac appeal to the woodland cover art, it's arguably the closest you'll come to Voigt's template-set… Read more
Arch techno-conceptualist Thomas Brinkmann presents his most intriguing solo outing yet with the abstract sound structures of 'What You Hear (Is What You Hear)' for Editions Mego. In an attempt to detach himself and his art from any concrete descriptors and also camouflage the intent behind these tracks, Brinkmann offers a greyscale of electronic fundamentals largely devoid of his patented minimalist rhythm trickery or discernible melody, allowing the music to do the talking and make us poor sods work harder to describe what he's doing. Thing is, he just kinda gave it a… Read more
Honey Owens makes a rare and welcome outing as Valet with 'Nature' for Kranky. Her first album in seven years finds the American indie-child making broad gestures to '90s dream-pop and shoegaze with eight songs aided and abetted by regular spars Rafael Fauria (guitar) and Mark Burden (drums/bass/keys). It's an enveloping sound, layering up swirling guitars and stoned drums around her glossolalic vocals at the centre of its slow-shifting harmonic pressure systems.
Expertly selected compilation of blindspot gems from the 'Worldwide New-Wave, Post-Punk and Industrial Underground 1978-1984' picked up and spat out by London's venerated Cherrystones. A killer compilation for both the insatiable digger and curious psych-o-naut alike, it starts at the fringe and moves every farther outwards via the sort of selections that only come from decades of paper cut cuticles and breathing in decayed cardboard in mildewed basements and record shops. From an unfamiliar treat i… Read more
Swanky, diverse new Dial compilation featuring exclusive material from all your deep, techy and ambient house faves. This has to be the most far-flung suite we've heard fromt he Hamburg-based label, unravelling a fine spectrum of coherant styles between Christian Naujocks' poignant opener, 'For A While' and Dawn Mok's R&B abstraction, 'Like Thoughts Or Moments We'll Fall' via the simmering, airborne deep house of Lawrence's 'Chex Dupont', drifting shoegaze-pop from Pawel, Physical Therapy's skewed junglism, and the posh trancey luft of DJ Richard's 'Zero'.
Jay Ahern (Cheap And Deep) and Stefan Schneider (To Rococo Rot) a.k.a Hauntologists deliver their debut full-length as The Hauntologists after five EP'. They form a microcosmos of massive, pulsing bass objects orbited by planetary percussions and filigree dust clouds, or, in other words, haughty minimal techno for the best Berlin darkrooms.
Thore Pfeiffer makes his maiden voyage on Kompakt's Pop Ambient artist album series. Hand-picked for the job by Wolfgang Voigt (a.k.a. Gas etc.), Pfeiffer's 'Im Blickfeld' follows Leandro Fresca's inaugural edition with a feather-light moire of panning pads and quiet ambient thought bubbles owing much to the original Pop Ambient aesthetic whilst also gently refreshing its now well-established memes. Rather than any grand, layered statements, Pfeiffer exhales wispy chords and airborne chimes in a smoky mesh of tones and phrases, forging intangible structures somewhere between the elusive po… Read more
Invada present a collection of unreleased instrumentals and analogue experiments by The KVB. Originally issued thru the band's own Flesh Tapes in a super limited edition of 100 cassettes, 'Mirror Bein' serves to reveal another side of the duo, mixing the apocalyptic synth appeal of T2 and John Carpenter with a throbbing cyberpunk techno attitude in eight iterations. Guitars and vocals are largely subservient to drum machines and synths, resulting a sound more akin to Beppu's recent blow outs on Other Ideas than their cadaverous death rock 'n roll sound. From cinematic intro, 'Atlas' the storm bui… Read more
"While legions of artists show fidelity to psychedelia's roots, Unknown Mortal Orchestra has always shared the rare quality that makes the genre's legends vital, a constant need for exploration. Last year, frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson descended into his home studio in a Portland basement to chart out where's he traveled since his last set of unhinged psych-soul ballads. He discovered that the best way for him to move forward would be to look back. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together."
*White Vinyl Edition* 2nd LP of ear-worming electronic-pop from Becoming Real - a strong tip for those missing Holy Other or Tri Angle's bewitched pop aesthetics. Between 2010 and 2012 Becoming Real was behind a string of smart releases for the likes of Ramp, Moshi Moshi and GETME!, and then… nothing until 2015. With 'Pure Apparition' he reminds us what we have (or might have) been missing with 12 tracks of eldritch-tinted pop deviation soused in dreamy melodies and stranger electronic tones given impetus by strong yet deft dancefloor impulses. Dunno if it's just us but it seems like thi… Read more
*Ships Friday* A brilliant expansion of the invaluable, cherry-picked expo of NYC's experimental Latin streak covering ground prior to the disco explosion. You should expect some incredible, definitive rhythm trips, with outstanding highlights in the likes of Ocho's far-out 'Tornado', replete with blustering intro; the hip-gripping battery of drums cycling thru tempo changes in Stone Alliance's 'Amigos'; the visionary fourteen minutes of modular synth and expansive electro-acoustic jazz scapes in Eddie Palmi… Read more
Thursday, 14 May
Nick Edwards a.k.a. Ekoplekz explicitly pays homage to his formative influences with 'Reflekzionz' - kosmisch electronics and '90s electronica - on his 3rd LP for Planet Mu. Radiophonics references are swapped for a reverie of early AFX, Autechre and Wolfgang Voigt, among others, filtered thru his grubby dub lense to slot grittily with his previous. And, rather than bleached out tones, 'Reflekzionz' is fringed with a faded colour scheme psychedelically reflected in Zeke Clough's dreamlike sleeve artwork, creating a sort of false-memory implant aesthetic that frames his sound like a polaroid recollection of the originals.