Thursday, 02 May
Review to follow shortly…
**Contemplative electro-acoustic recording made at the titular holy site in Kyoto** “Live At Honen-In Temple” is a document of a one-off site-specific performance in one of the most impressive settings a live electronic concert could possibly ever have. Featuring a wealth of new and unreleased material, Stefan Goldmann has custom-tailored a sound world as clearly detailed as the hidden gardens of Honen-In. Microtonal drifts, metallic grids and delicate turns merge into a gleaming monolithic pull. Embedded in the slopes of the Eastern hills of Kyoto, Japan, the Honen-In Temple ma… Read more
Deerhunter return with their seventh (or thereabouts) studio album; it’s obviously manna from heaven for their many devotees, but will it win them any new converts? It actually might, you know: to their credit, they’ve moved away from the washed-out, colour-bled shoegaze sound that's defined them for most of their career; Bradford Cox’s songs are now more robust, and the performances - bolstered by a second guitarist and new bassist - feel full of fight, harder to ignore or forget. The marvellous ‘Neon Junkyard’ and ‘Blue Agent’ sound like White Album-era Beatles dragged through the bushes by a Fl… Read more
Seahawks remixed by Laurel Halo, Quiet Village, Advisory Circle, Cos/Mes and more.
**Housed in spot-gloss printed digifile case** Over ten years since its original release, Deadbeat hauls up his debut album for re-appraisal on his still young Blkrtz label. Originally appearing in 2001 it was evidently indebted to the (then) recently established legacy of Basic Channel/Maurizio, yet as with the likes of his future collaborator Robert Henke aka Monolake, or Detroit's Echospace, he stamped his own subtle watermark on the stripped down and purist dub techno style thanks to a taste for gloaming drones and a serious fascination with rugged bass weight. And it's exactly that fact… Read more
"In 1970s Tehran, the classically-trained Ramesh played the serious, quiet marquess against Googoosh's langorous pop princess. Both singers made the
papers every time they changed their haircuts & appeared on tv frequently. However, while Googoosh now runs a cosmetics company in Los Angeles,
they say Ramesh was killed in the political turmoil of the late 70s because she was a lesbian. Nobody knows for sure. What we do know is that she was
a funky queen whose rich voice sits like a fat mink coat, twirling it's melancholy way around long-necked lutes, backed by flurries of frame & goblet drums.
And… Read more
**Disquieting textural abstraction, ghostly avant-pop, repressed industrialism and blown-out folk from Alter's uncategorised, unheimlich duo. A perfectly uncomfortable experience housed in gatefold slipcase** "Sane Men Surround is the second album to emerge from Southend-on-Sea's Liberez. Following on from their 2011 debut, The Letter, the 9 tracks here continue the groups penchant for savagely EQ percussion, guitar, violin and electronics into abstraction. Tracks like A Warning and My Madness Offends still bear the industrial, almost ritualistic, atmospherics of its predecessor, whilst Nema … Read more
A welcome return for Akron/Family, proffering a potent and expanded vision of open-structured cosmic rock. According to the band, the album’s canyon-straddling, star-gazing scale is inspired by the landscape-obsessed, deeply American sci-fi imaginings of Frank Herbert,“the plots within plots of Dune mirrored in many layers of sound.” This is a proper epic, make no mistake, and the band sound more fucked-up, grizzled and committed than before; at the same time they’ve evidently matured as songwriters, performers and arrangers, delivering an album light-years-ahead of their early releases on Mich… Read more
**CD and Vinyl contains different track listing** LA mainstay Eddie Ruscha makes blissful disco psychedelia with his esteemed pals for RVNG Intl on 'Tactile Galactics'. As a former shoegazer and core member of Medicine - the first American band signed to Creation - he's certainly got a way with melody, but his focus has long since shifted from moody rock to intergalactic dance music, bringing him into contact with the likes of Rub n' Tug's Thomas Bullock as Laughing Light Of Plenty and again with Ariel Pink's Huanted Graffiti bandmate Tim Koh, Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto, and DJ Harvey … Read more
**Mario Bertoncini performs John Cage renowned masterworks: Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48) for prepared piano** "In this composition, Cage expresses his interpretation of the permanent emotions of Indian tradition: the Heroic, the Erotic, the Wondrous, the Comic (the four light moods), Sorrow, Fear, Anger, the Odious (the four dark moods), and their common tendency toward (central) Tranquility. This was Cage's first composition using Hindu philosophy as a basis, and he composed the Sonatas and Interludes in a period of time during which he was reading extensively the wo… Read more
Thursday, 25 April
*Featuring 23 tracks, including 4 new exclusives and vinyl only tracks* In the space of three years and some 25 releases, Eglo Records has established one of the UK's finest future funk-and-soul-based catalogues. 'Vol.1' collects highlights from their tight-knit roster, starring the best bits by bossman, Floating Points alongside straight aces from Funkineven, Arp101, Fatima, GB: The Abstract Eye, Mizz Beats, and Shuanise. You could hardly ask for a better introduction than CD1s heavy-hitters such as Floating Points' still-anthemic 'Vacuum Boogie' or the rugged bounce of Funkineven's 'She's… Read more
Mark Nelson's cherished Pan American quietly slip back into our consciousness as a band proper, now adding the estimable talents of Steven Hess (Cleared/Haptic) and Nelson's former Labradford bandmate, Robert Donne to the project. While Nelson assuredly handles all production, the live feel is definitely more prominent, folding in the patter of Hess's percussion and Bobby Donne's languid bass at the centre of seven beautifully diffuse soundscapes bordering on the frontier lands of post-rock, dub techno and ambient electronica, yet never clearly falling within any one sector. Every el… Read more
Yu Aseda aka Ena invites us into the Tokyo underground with debut album, 'Bilateral' for France's 7even Recordings. As with his RA mix and prior 12"s for 7even, he presents a well rounded and individual sound taking inspiration from dubstep, techno and electronica to shape detailed, etheric rhythmscapes bristling with finely rendered textures and probing tonal dynamics. The ghosts of Berlin, London and Jamaican dub are omnipresent, manifesting in the King Tubby or Burial-esque concrète-carving of 'Inutility', whilst 'Unplug' has a midnight electro-jazz effervescence redolent of Jan Jelinek of DJ Krush. T… Read more
Refined continental dread from Erik K. Skodvin, with his first offering as Svarte Greiner since 2011's Twin. With its distressed cello parts, plunging doom guitar chords and chasmic reverbs, the title track can't help but call to mind Raime's Quarter Turns LP, but of course Skodvin is no neophyte, he's been honing this sound over many years, and his execution of it here is exemplary - it's 20 minutes go by in a flash, testament to the consummate depth and character of a music that seems so sparse and forbidding at surface-level. 'White Noise' is a more electronic, drone-oriented piece, the hor… Read more
*'Four Piano Studies' is the first release on Ryan Teague's own 'King Tree' label* "Following the success of last years full length album Field Drawings, composer and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Teague offers up this contrasting EP of beautiful and poetic solo piano pieces. Combining Minimalist, Impressionist and Romantic influences, Four Piano Studies conveys a modern take on an age-old format whilst still conveying a sense of real originality. Short and concise, these compositions performed by Semra Kurutaç (Piano Circus) strike an immediately haunting tone in the listener and provide another insight into the range and breadth of Ryan's output."
Cosmin TRG further refines his house and techno tastes on 'Gordian' two years on from his debut album, 'Simulat'. Packaged in the sort of grown-up tip-on gatefold slipcase you'd more expect from Stephen O'Malley's Ideologic Organ imprint, both the titular, conceptual inference to ancient myth and the sleekly developed brand of techno within imply a carefully considered development of the Berlin-based Romanian producer's ideas. Proceeding to jettison any tangible connection with rave and dubstep in favour of a buttoned-up, earnestly focussed conservatism, Cosmin Nicolae offers, "The title references … Read more
The third volume of electronics-savvy saxophonist Colin Stetson's New History Warfare album series, and if you ask us, the most pungent and poignant of the lot - thanks in no small part to the dab hand of Ben Frost, who recorded its 11 tracks in single takes and has done a splendid job of capturing the molten intensity of a Stetson live performance. Pre-release chatter has focussed on the presence of Justin Vernon, who handles lead vocals on four of the tracks: particularly noteworthy are the pulsating, cyclical opener ‘And In Truth’, which sounds like Philip G… Read more
As this compilation on Brighton's Soundway label adeptly illustrates, Nigeria in the 1970s was a melting pot of different cultural influences, both from African sources and the wider influence of music from other corners of the world - most notably jazz and blues. This double-disc sized compilation draws together 26 tracks that have never before been reissued, offering a unique slant on how we think about Africa's contribution to what has previously been termed world music. As we'd hear on tropicalia recordings from Brazil in the '60s … Read more
On-trend and frequently exhilarating dancefloor machinations from Slava , RIYL Jam City, Rushmore, Machinedrum, L-Vis, MikeQ et al. At once more savvy and more stripped-down than last year's mellifluous post-footwork fever-dream, Soft Control, the tracks that make up Raw Solutions were all recorded in single takes on a Korg Electribe ESX, and it shows - tracks like 'On It' go right for the club's jugular and are shorn of all the fussy/flashy production tricks that plague most club music in 2013. The Russian-born, Brooklyn-based producer cites "pop, R&B, hip-hop, vogue house, British Bass and ambien… Read more
**Gatefold card slipcase** Crafty, melodic IDM taking in layered ambient composition ('Forum'), alongside complex techno abstraction ('Serialiser'), intricate drumfunk epics ('At sixes' and '…And Sevens'), and pirouetting electro ('Kirly's Dreamband').
There are flashes of excellence on this record, the work of a former model Carmen Hilestad, which is styled very much after post-grunge alt.rock, from Beat Happening through to Murray Street-era Sonic Youth, but approaches it with a contemporary Scandi-pop sensibility, a bit of early MTV / AM radio swagger and crisp production befitting its home on Smalltown Supersound. If there's a criticism to be made, it's that it never quite settles down in to one thing or the other - Hilestad doesn't seem to know if she wants to be Kim Gordon or Chrissie Hynde, Carrie Brownstein or Lykke Li. This indecision… Read more
CLR collate the most recent five volumes from Adam-X's killer Traversable Wormhole project together with a 73-minute composite mix. Adored by everyone from Chris Liebing to Dominick Fernow, this collection is the place to go for proper darkside techno thrills, especially if you like your rhythms churned off-the-bone and synched with that shark-eyed New York swagger. Pushed to pick highlights, we'd direct you to the shuddering roil of 'Paradoxical Consequences', the tunnelling, minimalist funk of 'Negative Energy Density' or the droning 4/4 beast, 'Worldline', but it's probably best experienced as a whole package, mix included.
**CD and super thick booklet of liner notes, photos and lyrics** Analog Africa roll us back to Benin between 1969-1980 for a killer third volume of Orchestra Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou heat. 'The Skeletal Essence Of Afro-Funk' once again exposes the genetic roots of Vodou groove, a well trodden mash of rhythms - Jerk Fon, Afrobeat, Pop Fon, Jerk Sakpata, Cavacha Fon, Pachanga and Afrobeat - anchored by the deadly combo of drummer Leopold Yehouessi and bassist Gustave Bentho and funked up with dual vocals and the slinkiest electric guitar accent… Read more
Thursday, 18 April
The most keenly awaited entry in Fabric's mix series for a while is finally here. It's over a year since Karl 'Regis' O'Connor, Dave 'Function' Sumner, John 'Silent Servant' Mendez and Peter 'Female' Sutton called time on their Sandwell District collective and label, but Function and Regis continue to use the name for their DJ/live incarnation - and it's the sound of that battle-hardened tag-team which is captured on Fabric69, a 30-track rinse-out of high-torque techno broadcast from their bunker in Berlin. The first half of the disc feels like it belongs to Regis: his def… Read more
**Includes a bonus disc selection of ClekClekBoom singles from the archive** French Fries' Clek Clek Boom label shows how they do in Paris with tracks of his own bundled with bass-wise Chi-house hybrid exclusives from Jean Nippon, The Town, Manare, Ministre X, and Coni. CD1: The bossman tosses his stepping, holo'd-out 'Southside' and c*nty consideration, ''Yo Vogue VIP' to the 'floor beside The Town's deft, dust-scuffed 808 dip and roll on 'Dice'; Jean Nipon goes grimy with the brass stabs and slicing syncopation of 'Coming At You', Coni locks down to a… Read more
*Includes Two Bonus Tracks* One of our favourite albums from the Kompakt archive is now finally given the reissue treatment via Koze's own Pampa imprint. Here's what we said when it first came out: "Koze has done something rare with this album - carefully assembling a tracklisting that's perfectly tweaked for primetime warehouse abuse alongside music that's hand carved into the most delicate homespun niche you could possibly imagine. The immediate destroyer here is the almost unacceptably good "Don't Feed The Cat" - a classic jack-track full of the most spannered synth mutilations you… Read more
**Glossy digicase with label catalogue and fold-out liner-notes** Editions RZ collects historical recordings of Italy's forward looking and influential Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza 1967-75, a collective featuring Egisto Macchi (percussion + celesta), Ennio Morricone (trumpet), Walter Branchi (bass), Franco Evangelisti (piano), John Heineman (trombone + cello), Roland Kayn (hammond organ + vibes + marimbaphon), Giovanni Piazza (horn), Frederic Rzewski (piano), and Jesus Villa Rojo (clarinet). All skilled players and composers, the Gruppo di Improvvisazi… Read more
**Double CD with label catalogue and 24-page liner notes housed in trifold slipcase** 'Kompositionen 1950-1972' collects 16 compositions by Christian Wolff. "Most of the pieces collected for this portrait of Christian Wolff document the composer’s early activity and were mainly recorded around the time of their composition. Each recording exemplifies the sound gestures from their time. "Finally I realized that the kind of sound made in an indeterminate situation includes what could result in no other way; for example, the sound of a player making up his mind, or having to change… Read more
**Glossy digicase with label catalogue and fold-out liner-notes** Editions RZ collect ten early works by the late Morton Feldman (1926 - 87). They're largely his shorter pieces, spanning compositions made between 1952 and 1959 alongside esteemed peers including David Tudor, Cornelius Cardew, John Tilbury, and János Négyesy. ""In his compositions for piano, which make up a central part of his oeuvre and in which all of his experience is accumulated, it is the play of Feldman's hand whose touch is intended precisely for the 'untouchableness' of sound. The clear character of the 'attack' th… Read more
**Double disc with label catalogue and 12-page liner notes housed in glossy trifold slipcase** Expertly compiled selection of Tudor's essential performances of works by John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, Sylvano Bussoti spanning 1955-1963. "Includes "Music For Piano 21-36", "Variations 1", "Variations II", "Winter Music", "Piece For Four Pianos" (including performance by Feldman), etc. Essential document. "David Tudor, pianist -- a profession, a vocation, a life. From 1950 until around 1965, David Tudor was the epitome of the pianist who could simply play anything. In fact, David T… Read more