Thursday, 09 May
Wonderful 24-track suite of sound FX and cues used in the 4-part Doctor Who series, 'The Krotons' (1968). Notable as the first Who story written by longtime Dr. Who writer and script editor, Robert Holmes, 'The Krotons' storyline topically mirrored the students riots of '68 and was suitably soundtracked by a genuinely dark and unsettling collection of early electronic tape music by Brian Hodgson and the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop. It spans a total of 24 pieces in just over 25 minutes, including the new 1967 opening theme (a rework of Delia Derbyshire's iconic 1963 original). For dark early tape music it doesn't get much better...
Justly hyped debut album proper from New York scream-queen Margaret Chardier, RIYL Prurient, Wolf Eyes, TG, Swans, Gravetemple. At just 22 years old, Chardier is already a hugely respected presence on her native noise scene, bringing a confrontational yet deeply personal, diaristic intensity to her performances that’s as exhilarating as it is discomfiting. Abandon captures this volatile energy, but it’s not a live document, it’s a nuanced, atmospheric and ravishingly well-recorded showcase of Pharmakon’s infernal weaponry, traversing toxic power electronics, guttural doom chords, eldritch ambience an… Read more
"The third installment in Numero's series of otherworldly gospel, robed funk, and spiritual soul, Apocryphal Hymns is a slim new gospel songbook, penned powerfully by the genre's lesser-known disciples. Here, heavenly harmonies, psychedelic guitars, damaged sacred steel, a bleeding french horn, off-kilter choirs, and consumer-side electronic percussion decorate the Word, with performance modes that stray far from the flock, but hew always to the message. In homage to the the stock jacket record industry of the 1970s, select one of these four alternate covers: Woodland Twilight, Seashore Morning, Mountain Waterfall, and Sunbeam Canyon."
**Includes download code for 24bit version** Human Ear Music present a necessary reissue of Ekkehard Ehlers's debut album, the glitch classic, 'Betrieb' (2000), originally released on Mille Plateaux. "Before lo-fi tape hiss and filter murk became the preferred ways of fucking up your music, all we had to rely on was the glitch. The early 2000's were the swingin' glitch years, when clicking, skipping, beat-repeat and buffer-delay seeped into every ontological stratum of music-making. But it wasn't just flashy winks teased into indie pop-dance, facile quasiclassical crossover, and bookish sound a… Read more
**Terry Riley's 1987 composition for the Rova Saxophone Quartet. Full of complex, unusual tunings and time signatures** "The Tain Bo Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) is a central part of the eighth-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales and is Ireland's nearest approach to a great epic. It tells the story of a giant cattle-raid, the invasion of Ulster by the armies of Medb and Ailill, queen and king of Connacht, and their allies, seeking to carry off the great Brown Bull of Cuailnge. Following an abandoned collaboration with the playwright Lee Brewer that was centered on t… Read more
**Otherworldly location recordings made in the remotest regions of China. Includes 16-page booklet of detailed notes and photographs** "The 5th Sublime Frequencies volume in Laurent Jeanneau’s amazing documentation of vanishing indigenous music of the rural Asian frontiers, this CD focuses on ethnic minority groups of Southern China. Presented here are 17 tracks of supremely infectious vocals and folkloric instrumentals played on a wide variety of local traditional instruments. The centerpiece of this collection is the 13 minute Do Djui Atsei (track 5), an ab… Read more
**8-panel digicase containing 3 discs, 35 tracks ranging from Edgar Varèse to Milton Babbitt and Sun Ra, with in-depth booklet of notes** Absolutely sterling, amazingly priced primer on the history of 20th century avant-garde and electronics, compiled and presented by notorious rock 'n roll, punk and electronic music scribe, Kris Needs. While there have been notable collections of early electronic and experimental music doing the rounds - Sub Rosa's crucial Anthologies spring to mind - we can think of few as comprehensive, and particularly curated as 'Giant Steps & Flashpoints In 20th-Century Expe… Read more
The highly influential composer and improviser recorded live in Lisbon at the Festival Dos Capuchos, 16th July 1995. "This gorgeous set of piano improvisations reflects minimalist composer Terry Riley's lifelong study of Indian music. It is an outstanding recording which captures Terry Riley at an inspired peak. Performances of such spontaneous and beautiful music are scarce and even less-frequently performed by the composer himself at such a late stage in an extraordinary career. To sound so inspired and inventive some 40 years after defining minimalist music is quite a feat. Coming from such a consistently brilliant composer, who would expect less?' (Skip Jansen)."
Live album capturing Jaga Jazzist on stage at The Barbican with the Britten Sinfonia. The goateed attack of opener ‘One-Armed Bandit’ is such that you could be listening to Nucleus or Centipede or one of those woolly 70s British fusion groups, with due prominence given to proggy electric guitar, fuzz bass, flutes and vibes. ‘Kitty Wu’ is rather nice, the heavy sway of the strings and a punchy, four-to-the-floor rhythm framing bright, bolshy brass and dreamy, Neil Ardley-in-space synth lines. Effortlessly shifting and shimmying from modal jazz introspection to thunderous spyflick… Read more
Dan Lopatin and Joel Ford's Software Recording Co. present a full-length album from Matt Papich, the follow up to his noted 2011 NNA Tapes side Daydream Repeater. Made in the kitchen of his Baltimore home, with assistance from Joe Williams on programming and synths, it builds on the bubblegum psychedelia of its predecessor to arrive at a dense, sample-happy and expressionistic electronic sound that is 2013 to a tee, yet resists easy pigeonholing. It's also largely beat-driven, whether it's plasmic dancehall ('Melter's Delight'), colliding the bamboo ambience of Ryuichi Sakamoto with clucking footwork … Read more
For the past couple of years, Copenhagen’s Posh Isolation label has become the focal point for a new wave of Northern European kids equally smitten with P.E./noise, hardcore, minimal synth and black drainpipes. Now label co-founder Loke Rahbek, who’s one half of the excellent Damien Dubrovnik and also plays in Lust For Youth, has teamed up with his old mucker and Iceage singer/guitarist Elias Bender Ronnenfeld as Var, delivering a debut album for Sacred Bones that is by some distance the most accessible and accomplished artifact to emerge from this scene yet. Recorded in New Yo… Read more
Panorama Bar's resident Dutch DJ lays down a sensuous and emotional deep house selection for their fifth annual mix CD. Installed as a regular fixture at the notorious Berlin hotspot since 2007, Steffi has honed her DJ skills in tandem with an increasingly smart production portfolio including Ostgut label classic 'Yours' whilst lending her refined balance to The Analogue Cops' as member of the all-hardware Third Side unit, and still finding a moment to run the esteemed Klakson and Dolly imprints. All that, coupled with over ten years of party-organising experience, informs her pristine 'Pa… Read more
Review to follow shortly…
Raster-Noton/Mego veteran Ivan Pavlov returns to the latter with "a work of profound playfulness", one that explores the interzone between terse electronic minimalism and whimsical electronic pop with aplomb. Putting most modern-day synth records to shame, COH's arpeggiated constructions are three-dimensional, pinsharp and thoroughly progressive - think early Human League or Yellow Magic Orchestra dubbed-out and processed by Mark Fell using technology that hasn't yet been invented. Other references that come to mind are Dopplereffekt's Calabai Yau Space or Squarepusher's wildest Tron-ic imaginings, but … Read more
*10th Anniversary Edition now with a bonus CD featuring a full live performance from 2004*
Warp's quietest operator grows his sound with organic effortlessness on his seventh album in nearly as many years. From humble beginnings as purveyor of washed-out, BoC-style folk-tronics, Steven James Wilkinson has pruned and tended to the Bibio sound with increasing aptitude, arriving at a fully fledged sort of pastoral pop referencing Canterbury classics as much as the elusive Scots, and presenting the sweetest, semi-real analogue to others such as Four Tet or Gold Panda who've also circled around this sound. Taking concrète location recordings from his back garden and weaving them with tendr… Read more
Classy dream-pop from London’s Greg Hughes, Tessa Murray and friends, the follow-up to their widely acclaimed 2011 set Creatures Of An Hour. The album kicks off with ‘The Trip’, in which Murray invites you to “pack your bags / hit the open road”, and she could be describing the band’s own creative trajectory: this a far airier, more widescreen LP than its predecessor, with a clarity to the production and songwriting that surely will surely lead to daytime radio play and festival ubiquity (if it hasn’t already...we’re not the people to ask). We don’t say all this to denigrate Still Corne… Read more
"The Book of Abbeyozzud ("ah-BYE-ah-ZOOD", a word invented by Riley, without meaning) is a planned series of 26 pieces for guitar, multiple guitars and guitar in ensemble. So far, thirteen pieces are completed. Riley writes "All of the pieces have Spanish titles and take a different letter of the alphabet to begin their names. They are also indebted to great Spanish music traditions and to those traditions upon which Spanish music owes its heritage." David Tanenbaum had been asking Terry Riley for a guitar piece for some time, and found success finally after Terry's young son, Gyan, … Read more
Each of the French artist's precious LP offerings have represented a further deepening and refining of her craft, getting closer to some kind of spiritual essence. On a so-so day, she makes music that you feel privileged to hear, and on a good day she makes music that cleaves your heart in two. It's been a long wait for new material - her last album, Les Ondes Silencieuses, is now six years old - but 'The Weighing Of The Heart' doesn't disappoint, despite a considerable burden of expectation. The oneiric shimmer of her music has its contemporary analogs in the likes of Grouper and Jul… Read more
Berlin's brilliant M=minimal label give credence to the largely unsung German "Grandmaster" composer, Ernstalbrecht Stiebler, with a collection of his works spanning 45 years. After studies in the late '50s at Musikhochschule Hamburg, Stiebler had more important lessons at Darmstadt between 1958 and 1961, including studies with Karlheinz Stockhausen which no doubt influenced his first reductionist work 'Extension 1', manifesting a clear departure from the Serialist trends of that era and towards a purer tonal minimalism. Two recent pieces included here, 'Ton in Ton' (2011), a 22 minut… Read more
Thursday, 02 May
Hype Williams instigator and now solo raconteur, Dean Blunt, sidesteps preconceptions with a quietly psychedelic, sparse and sensual third album. In 'The Redeemer' he tends to a wipe-clean soundworld of lite jazz fusion motifs, bluesy guitar wisps and new age synth gelled together with dreamy sound FX and distressed ansafone messages whilst nonchalant, confessional vocals dictate a drowsy internal narrative. It's a sort of surreal soul scape simulacra, an adult contemporary fantasy as seen and heard from a detached perspective, a fact accentuated by the intangible, voice-in-your-head mixing and… Read more
Dalhous deliver an engrossing debut for Blackest Ever Black. 'An Ambassador For Laing' is the Edinburgh-based duo, Marc Dall and Alex Ander's 2nd LP together - they've previously recorded one as Young Hunting - and continues to exchange their more melodramatic inclinations for richly filmic atmospheres and intricate, rhythm-driven and song-like arrangements hinting at a dreamy jazz noir and IDM-esque feel. Employing a rigorously refined palette of keys, harp, vibraphone, guitar, woodwind, strings and synthesizer, processed in layers of frictional harmony with heavily treated vocals, the… Read more
Rephlex's Dave Monolith compiles his two Dopplereffekt-esque EPs as Photodementia alongside "90s funk legends" Victor Beaudet and Ellen O'Maley, together with a grip of new tracks. Originally appearing circa Xmas 2011, the project has attracted a stack of fans to its aquatech intrigues, and if you're not familiar this is an excellent place to get acquainted. They're mostly precise, concise electro stingers, nutrified with the moodiest pads and techno-soulful melodies in tribute to the timeless lab work of Heinrich Mueller and associates, but also with strong traces of classic Rephlex analogs - AFX, Cylob, Ceephax, Urban Tribe. Top tip!
*Deluxe DVD+2CD set, includes the feature film and two CD's of Caribbean music 1920-1972 plus a 72 page booklet* "‘Mirror To The Soul’ is a new documentary film about the Caribbean, a collaboration between Soul Jazz and British Pathé, made up entirely of newsreel footage filmed during the period 1922-1970. British Pathé was established in London in 1910 to produce newsreels screened in cinemas throughout Britain before main feature films. In the 1950s, to compete with the new medium of television, Pathé began adding entertainment,… Read more
**Edition of 500 housed in DVD digipak** Ornithologist, fetishist and unparalleled noise demigod Masami Akita presents one of his finest works to date in 'Takahe Collage' - and we don't say that lightly. While undoubtedly, inimitably Merzbow music, this is about the closest we've heard him come to industrial techno, and, as you might imagine, that's pretty f**king exciting. Each of his three tracks contain some semblance of rhythm pronounced to varying degrees. The titular opener is a full frontal assault of blistering psychedelic hypercolour and churning rhythm patterns at times reminding of Al… Read more
Hamburg's raved-about Püdel Club present a live set of electronic soul music recorded by Benjamin Brunn in October 2012. In case you've not been paying attention, Benjamin's got a stream of lovely releases to his name on BineMusic and International Records Recordings, among others, all framing a delicately effervescent and richly melodic world of minimalism. This set neatly showcases the expanse of talents, from pink-hued, gaseous ambience to the patter of rolling silicone soul grooves and splashes of coaxing acid. It never busts a sweat and always leaves loads of ro… Read more
"Metro Detroit frisky/risky dreamer DJ Coyote Clean Up serves up a heart n’ hardbody emotional saga with 2 Hot 2 Wait, his deep-debut full-length on 100% Silk. Hot-under-the-collar horniness (a woman simply counts to three on “Zebra Go Seek” and you start to undress), headphone-house grain (the fuzzy gut-bump on “The Least U Could Feel” is like warm breath whispering in your ear), skrewed RnB Freestyle strip-hop (stuttery layers give hopeful, life-affirming energy to the lover-lost “Awesome Luv”) and out-of-time mash-ups (“Double Dip” is a memory overlapping, with a classic ’95 dial-tone … Read more
Review to follow shortly…
Deep house might be Dial’s stock in trade, but the Hamburg crew have always had a fetish for elegiac post-rock, slowcore and bedsit indie miserabilism - they once released a Momus track for chrissake! But by far their most convincing entry in that area to date (Momus excepted, of course) is this, the debut album from New Yorker Scott Mou, operating under the name Queens. You may remember Mou as one half of Jane, his shortlived duo with Panda Bear (their 2006 LP Berserker is a wee classic); if so, you’ll warm instantly to the elongated, crepuscular drone-folk he showcases on End Times. Opener ‘Yellow P… Read more
Pharaway's excellent series of Iranian psych-funk and pop returns with a brimming third volume spanning unimaginably exotic party sounds from the Persian '70s. The lead cut, Zia's 'Helelyos' may well be recognised by any Finders Keepers freaks - it was versioned by RD Burman as 'Heleh Maali' - but we'd daresay this original is way better - check that nutty bit of scat on the intro - while Farrokhzad delivers the fruity pomp of 'Avazekhan Na Avaz', and the legendary composer and "ladies man" Shamaizadeh gives two highlights with the glamoro… Read more