Thursday, 12 March
"Baba Commandant and the Mandingo Band are a contemporary group from Burkina Faso. Coming from Bobo-Dioulasso, the group is steeped in the Mandingue musical traditions of their ancestral legacy. The enigmatic lead singer Baba Commandant (Mamadou Sanou) is an original and eccentric character who is well respected in the Burkinabé musical community. A sort of punk Faso Dan Fani activist for traditional Mandingo music, Baba continues to redefine the boundaries between traditional and modern. In 1981, he joined the Koule Dafourou troupe as a dancer. Later, he embarked on his c… Read more
**Ten CD box set - an 11 hour collection** Created in celebration of Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday, "Le Domaine Musical" documents the decade of concerts which revolutionised and dominated Parisian musical life from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, under his direction. Previously presented across 2 volumes, this 10CD set is a mixture of live and studio recordings, many conducted by Boulez himself. Composers include Boulez himself plus the dominant modernists of the 20th and 21st centuries including Messiaen, Berio, Stockhausen, Henze and Nono. A bonus includes an interview with Pierre Boulez.
"From the dawn of doo-wop to the death of disco, the Notations saw—and sang—it all. Persisting through changing trends and technologies, on major labels and minor ones, produced by both Syl Johnson and Curtis Mayfield, nothing could stop the Notations from representing Chicago’s Southside for decades. The first overview of their indie label golden age, Still Here 1967–1973 finds the Notations at a musical crossroads, turning from simmering R&B ballads to socially-conscious soul. Offering up a platter of golden-dipped harmonies, inventive arrangements, and super-powered soul, the Notations survived as unheralded legends in their own time."
**Deutsche Grammophon CD reissue of Max Richter's classic album from 2004 - With CD-only bonus track "On The Nature Of Daylight"** Heres our original review from 2004: "After albums by Set Fire To Flames and Sylvain Chauveau, Max Richter's 'The Blue Notebooks' is the 4th release on FatCat's 130701 imprint, an outlet for more orchestrated, instrumental material. 'The Blue Notebooks' is Max Richter's second solo album, a distinctive and adventurous work that is beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope. Opening with a text from Franz Kafka over a sparse piano melody, the … Read more
Björk comes to terms with the breakdown of a longterm relationship with some help from Arca, The Haxan Cloak, Antony and Spaces. It's arguably her most coherent and focused album since 'Vespertine' (2001), her vocals incredibly raw and emotional - understandably in the light of tragic, personal events - yet controlled with near operatic poise and matched by the waking-dream-like qualities of the production's skewed meter and tendencies toward keening, lushly expressive discord. It must be said that Arca really comes into his own here, expanding upon certain rhythmic ideas found in 'Xen… Read more
Thursday, 05 March
Mike Paradinas combines 2013's vinyl-only 'XTEP' and 'Rediffusion' EPs plus a new bonus track, 'Forger' in the 'XTLP' for 2015. 'XTEP' is flush with the sort of nostalgic melody, rave romance and charm that endeared him to so many in the first place. It's an unashamed return to his roots, from the bubbling pastoral melody and proggy chimes of 'XT' to the happy-as-larry piano house of 'Ritm' and 'Pulsar''s nEuro-electro futurism, while the footwork-style drum flux and swooning, emotional melody of 'Monj2' and the bluer swing of 'New Bimple' concede to current trends but not at the expense of his integrity.… Read more
Remarkable, trasncendent new recordings by dextrous multi-instrumentalist Roland P. Young, his 4th LP for Japan's EM Records. Created in 2014 after a move to Tel Aviv, 'Confluences' marks a new phase in Young's oeuvre, with a title both signifying the cultural blend of his new home region, and his ability to naturally comprovise disparate musical influence and textures - clarinet, bass clarinet, kalimba, NAF flute, keyboard, voice and electronic accoutrements. Blending properly rugged but smartly reduced rhythms with pensile synthlines and minimal acoustic phrasing, it's possible to draw a … Read more
*This CD edition combines both of Suicideyear’s Software EPs, Remembrance and Japan on a single CD* "James Prudhomme wrote Remembrance while reflecting on themes of love and loss against the backdrop of the deep American south he calls home. "Remembrance deals with letting go," he explains. Alive with an idiosyncratic sense of melodic space, his repertoire eschews a topical palette for a personal aesthetic that offers a visceral love letter to abstraction. Suicidyear’s proper label debut deviates from the darker hues of Japan while exploring a blossoming, water colored … Read more
"Ikue Mori is one of the most respected composers working in the growing field of laptop electronics. A dedicated and passionate perfectionist, she has created a completely unique and original sound world unlike any other electronic composer around. Her newest album adds a beautiful melodic twist to her moody, detailed and unique soundscapes and is her most stunning creation to date..."
Remix package from Daniel Avery, all previously B-Sides or rarities, including remixes from Powell, Factory Floor, Silent Servant, Roman Flugel, Audion, Rodhad, Conforce, Special Request, Perc, Volte-Faceand more.
**Featuring music by Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Pharoah Sanders…** "The power of the human voice, especially when held in song, has long been known to be immensely influential, potent and emotive across all of humankind. When conveying a message, the spoken word - whether in speech, poetry or song - is infinitely more evocative than that of written. And when that message is voiced in the realm of jazz, amidst the open and dramatic freedom that only jazz can provide, the message can be all the more poignant. Having examined spiritual jazz as it was expressed in the US, and then foll… Read more
Thursday, 26 February
Ata Kak's debut album of dibby Ghanaian hiplife, 'Obaa Sima' is the stuff diggers' dreams are made of. It's the cassette that sparked Awesome Tapes From Africa to life as a blog back in 2006, before it morphed into a record label of world-renown from 2011. Written and self-released by Ata in edition of 50 circa 1994 and subsequently re-discovered by ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz at a roadside stall in Cape Coast, Ghana, in 2004, it would take nearly a whole decade for the Fulbright University graduate to track down and request official reissue permission from Yaw Atta-Owusu a.k.a. Ata. It turns… Read more
'Expressions' is the lush 2nd album from Edinburgh's Linkwood on Firecracker. It's the sort of album you can spend a whole evening, or equally a whole lifetime with, perfectly crafted and sequenced for immersed listening and also to be broken down into DJ components - of which there are some super strong moments in the hypnotic Detroit disco-tech of 'Object', the sophisticate house stride of 'Expressions', and a sublime dub chord lather in 'Love Lost' to close. From Firecracker's own malty sales notes: "Ah, yes! Finally some real flavours to sink our teeth into. The nose is truly a work of art. F… Read more
Dasha Rush fully explores her latent ambient side with 'Sleepstep', her debut suite of tech-nocturnes for Raster Noton. It's quite a departure from her sleek, signature club sound, largely leaving the big kicks at home and heading towards dark, brooding scapes and skeletal rhythms perfused with her own vocals and icy-fingered melodies. The ambient/sound design aspect is a constant throughout Dasha's oeuvre, whether in the drone elements or expansive club track intros like LADA's 'Indust' or in her work for Fullpanda sub-label, Hunger To Create. But 'Sleepstep' is clearly her most expansive ambien… Read more
"Canadian duo Megan James and Corin Roddick, aka Purity Ring, return with a second album, entitled ‘another eternity’. Their 2012 debut ‘Shrines’ was in many ways a prescient suggestion of indie and popular music to come. While Shrines was composed remotely between Halifax and Montreal, ‘another eternity’ marks the first time Megan and Corin were able to create a record in the same room. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what would become the album. Megan and Corin recorded and produced their follow-up them… Read more
Parisian Afro-futurist Bambounou projects a mystic, dystopian premonition of things to come with 2nd album, 'Centrum' for Modeselektor's label. Inspired by the sci-fi predictions of Akira and Dune, and operating in aesthetic orbit of Jeff Mills, Jamal Moss and Untold, we find ten tracks unfolding a cracked narrative of night vision synths and scuffed, semi-organic rhythms that seem to have a micro-life of their own. It works very neatly as a play-through listen, twysting between frayed, Afro-centric shuffle and Detroit-style electronics in 'Composer' and the polychromatic Mills arrangement of 'Fire … Read more
Kompakt's Pop Ambient series comes of age with the first full length offering in its new album series (as opposed to compilations). Hand-picked for the job by series curator, Wolfgang Voigt, Argentina's Leandro Fresco returns to the Kompakt fold more than ten years since his 'Amor Internacional' 12", which hailed as one of the label's best ever releases by Michael Mayer.
"This historical recording is something of a milestone, and it´s a mystery why it has been kept away from the public for over thirty years. More about that later. If anybody deserves to be called a living legend in Norwegian free jazz it must surely be saxophone, flute and clarinet player Frode Gjerstad. Born in 1948 in Stavanger, he has since the late 70s been central on more than fifty records and played with a number of free jazz players such as Evan Parker, Johnny Dyani, John Stevens, Derek Bailey, Barry Guy, Bobby Bradford, Paul Rutherford, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Peter Brötzmann, John E… Read more
"Sydney's Au.Ra, a duo composed of Tim Jenkins and Tom Crandles, release their new full length Jane's Lament, a work which carefully envelops the listener in dreamy hues of sound. Made over the course of two years, the LP was birthed from improvised jams the pair play over droning guitars and looped drum beats. Tracks like “Sun,” and “Pyramid” emerge slowly out of interplays between simple melodies and layered, reverbed instrumentation. Au.Ra's “emotive soundscapes” perfectly encase their nontraditional pop songwriting, like on highlight “Morning,” where shimmering guitar riffs transport you to a … Read more
*4 panel digifile CD Edition* "Jarboe is a famed vocalist, musician and performer, who came to prominence as co-front and co-writer in Swans. In addition to her X solo albums, she has notably worked with Neurosis as well as many other legends such as Blixa Bargeld. Helen Money is the nomme de guerre of cellist Alison Chesley. In addition to working with Mono, Anthrax and Russian Circles, she has toured with Joe Lally and Shellac among others, and released her third album 'Arriving Angels' on respected metal label Profound Lore in 2013. While still a "heavy" record in many ways, C… Read more
**Limited CD Edition - Includes digital download code redeemable from the label for unmixed track versions in both WAV and MP3 formats** CD Mix (includes unmixed tracks via download as mp3/wav) featuring tracks from Darkstar, Holy Other, Teebs, Nils Frahm, Letherette, David Holmes, Alela Diane, School of Seven Bells, Peter Broderick, Four Tet, Bibio, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Helios, Jonsi & Alex Daniell, Health, Rick Holland and Jon Hopkins himself.
'Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments' is a beautiful synth music obscurity by a largely unsung hero of the genre, David Borden. Originally released in 1981 on the little-known Red label outta Holland, it has been reclaimed from the safety masters and reissued for your delectation by John Elliott's Spectrum Spools nearly 33 years later. Quite understandably, many heads are suffering synth ennui with the sheer tide of forgettable reissues in circulation right now, but this one is like a sad beacon in swelling seas, radiating the sweetest melodies and harmonic f… Read more
Kai Hugo aka Palmbomen II drops one of the most distinctive entries to the proto and lop-sided slo-house discourse with this suite of sidelong, sidereal chuggers. RIYL High Wolf, Danielle Baldelli, Beautiful Swimmers… "Guided by voices hardwired into machines of dance productions past, Kai Hugo redirects the collaborative context of his Palmbomen project and escapes within to create the self-titled debut of Palmbomen II. Possesses the qualities of an artist slipping from one reality to the next, yet welcomes listeners to experience this transcendence in tandem."
NHK probes the outer limits of techno with the structural tests and stressed tones of 'Program' for Line. Located farther out than his recent dancefloor assault for Diagonal, this album gives room for the Japanese artist to really home in and dissect biting frequencies and minimalist patterns for the more insatiable, exploratory listeners. The result is nine scratchy and buckled techno misshapes hingeing on cracked syncopations and processed with canny electro-acoustic techniques recalling the spacious dynamics of his former collaborator, Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio, and the meter-wrecking spatter of Russell … Read more
**A fascinating insight to Vietnamese radio - crammed with electroid jingles, news excerpts and haunting folk songs - recorded, compiled, sequenced and assembled by Mark Gergis on location between 2013-2014. Housed in gatefold sleeve with 8-page booklet** "This disc continues the Sublime Frequencies locale-specific radio collage series with Vietnamese radio recordings culled and assembled from signals received in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City between December 2013 and November 2014. Inside the program are moments of outstanding folkloric, traditional and pop music – including performances on th… Read more
*CD Includes bonus tracks not included on the vinyl Edition* **Limited edition red wax includes bonus 7" and digital download** "The highest apex of psychedelia, be it art, music, drugs or literature, is to induce a prolonged consciousness shift that affects the consumer far beyond the time that they were privy to the act. Moon Duo‘s third full-length LP, Shadow of the Sun, was written entirely during one of these evolving phases. Working in a rare and uneasy rest period for the band, devoid of the constant adrenaline of performing live and the stimulation of traveling through endless movin… Read more
*Shadowy electro-acoustic dimensions for those who appreciate the darkness of Mika Vainio, Valerio Tricoli, or Main* "On Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus Belgian sound artist Koenraad Ecker creates a biotope of musical characters that is sober, delicate, complex and vivid, with a restrained intensity, a “cold fire.” The characters discuss, hesitate, fight, pull closer, push back. Through the use of microtonality and recordings of acoustic instruments it is the elusive sound of a somnambulistic travelogue. “I’m searching for ways to create an intricate narrative, switching per… Read more
"In the 1960s Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd’s legendary Studio One Records laid down the template for all reggae music, the equivalent of Jamaica’s Motown Records. Artists who launched their careers there comprise an A-Z of the Jamaican music scene - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Burning Spear, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths, Horace Andy and many, many more. In the early releases featured here you will find the roots of Studio One’s unique sound - from the first jump-up, boogie-woogie and shuffle recordings made … Read more
*For fans of electronic soul with a public access aesthetic - die-cut cathode-ray jacket with one of six cover configurations, all of which are interchangeable via printed inner sleeves and enclosed booklet. Also includes a DVD mix tape, isolating the most absurd and outrageous moments from the original broadcasts* "For 23 straight Saturday nights of 1982, The Chicago Party dance show assaulted Chicagoland UHF eyeballs with Spandex, Southside fly guys, tender tenderonies, magicians, contortionists, prismatic video gimmickry, and lip-synched singles by a rising regime o… Read more
Thursday, 19 February
Outstanding, otherworldly debut album proper by the Hype Williams collaborator known as Henny Moan and John T. Gast. An ambient enigma steeped in post-hypnagogic tristesse, 'Excerpts' is a cryptic hash of mutant dance music, lo-fi pop, and screwed lounge styles every bit as skewed and enigmatic as you might hope from someone who's worked so closely with Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland (he contributed to 'Black Is Beautiful' and 'The Redeemer' a.o.). Written and recorded early 2014 in South West England, it treats nostalgia and electronic romance with equal amounta shadowy ambiguity and screwball abs… Read more