Thursday, 13 October 2011
A typically elegant and challenging offering from Line, courtesy of veteran electronic music pioneer Asmus Tietchens. The 68-year-old German first took to the field in the mid-1960s, when he developed his own brand of concréte using tape recorders, sine wave generators and the like. Since the release of his first album in 1980, produced by Tangerine Dream's Peter Baumann, Tietchens has kept pace with technology and sought out new compositional strategies, clocking up releases on such respected labels as Mille Plateaux, Staalplat and Nurse With Wound's United Dairies along the way. Soiree is appa… Read more
*Includes 16-page booklet with rare pictures and extensive sleevnotes* Following their warmly received coverage of 'The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983', Bristol Archive Records set their sights on the influential '80s era for their 2nd set of rarities and classic cuts. There's strong rootical nourishment from the likes of Black Roots on 'Pin In The Ocean' and 'The Father' or Bunny Marrett's 'Times Are Getting Harder', and an emphasis on the strength of the the city's dub sound with Alfred McIntosh's 'Wicked Dub' and 'Ah It Dis', while the we … Read more
Impressive wintry song cycle from Reigns, painted for the most part in reserved yet vivid hues of piano, acoustic guitar and reverb. At its best, The Widow Blades really is chamber-pop of the finest vintage, skirting the border of romance and gloom, occasionally threatening to fall headlong into the latter (no bad thing). Subtle electronic interventions help create some of the most memorable tracks: we're particularly fond of 'Green Butter', which captures the mood of Bowie and Eno's 'Art Decade'. The cover art alone tells you what to expect: music to transport you right into the heart of an isolated, snow-capped woodland, with all the pleasure and unease that entails.
Damu has been hotly tipped in various quarters of late, and with good reason: his swinging house sound has one foot in soundsystem culture but is most strongly informed by the technicolour romanticism of post-Neptunes R&B and even all the synthed-out techno-psychedelia coming out of the US right now (Laurel Halo, De'eon, etc). Though he's already had releases on labels like Local Action, the young Manc-based producer is relatively new to the game; still, Martin Clark's Keysound isn't a label to beat around the bush and now, having issued Damu's debut Ridin EP earlier this year, they present his first full-l… Read more
San Diego's Cuckoo Chaos find a sweet spot in the tropical pop niche with their debut album 'Woman'. Features seven songs with heavy hints of Paul Simon at its core, but also a danceable Pop freshness indebted to the likes of Arthur Russell and even a mariachi influence no doubt inherited from their SoCal locale (sorry!). Fans of Vampire Weekend would do very well to check this out.
Thursday, 06 October 2011
Carsten Nicolai is hardly a slouch in terms of his release frequency, but it feels like a rare treat to hear the Raster Noton boss exploring the jerky rhythmic variations he does so well. 'Univrs' is a followup to 2008's 'Unitxt', and has an equally lofty and academic sidestory, but we don't really need to go into that. The fact is that this might be Carsten's best full-length since the genre-numbing 'Transform' back in 2001. Yep, ten years ago - and while he's had some cracking releases since, few seem as perfectly crafted and dangerous as this. The gorgeous humming melodies of 'Xerrox' and the seren… Read more
Amazing archival release from Light In The Attic, presenting the multi-faceted work of cult South Korean guitarist, singer, songwriter. producer and arranger Shin Joong Hyun. Shin really is a one-off, and it's uncertain to what extent his colorful biography is the result of canny myth-making. Still, it's an irresistible story: beginning his career entertaining at a U.S. army base, he discovered LSD, introduced his home nation to psychedelic rock before being censored by the state. His music is all over the place,… Read more
'Biophilia' must be one of this year's most anticipated, and lavish album projects. A number of delays have pushed the release date back, but that was to allow extra input from Leila and Current Value, who join an illustrious production cast including Mark Bell, Matthew Herbert, 16 Bit and El Guincho, plus a full 24-piece Icelandic choir. The results are suitably spectacular, articulating the leading lady's obsessions with virtual reality, physics and nature in ultra-modern and cutting edge fashion. She still sounds like nobody else in the world, and with the multi-dimensional scope of 'Biophilia' Björ… Read more
**Deluxe edition: includes 3 extra tracks, housed in a deluxe digipak** 'Biophilia' must be one of this year's most anticipated, and lavish album projects. A number of delays have pushed the release date back, but that was to allow extra input from Leila Arab and Current Value, who join an illustrious production cast including Mark Bell, Matthew Herbert, 16 Bit and El Guincho, plus a full 24-piece Icelandic choir. The results are suitably spectacular, articulating the leading lady's obsessions with virtual reality, physics and nature in ultra-modern and cutting edge fa… Read more
*Finally available again - 12 extraordinary tracks from the timeless genius of the New York underground...* Following up Soul Jazz's excellent retrospective on Arthur's disco material - now things really start getting serious. Mostly the material here is derived from two unreleased albums worth, a 1985 test pressing entitled 'Corn' and a long planned album for Rough Trade, worked on between 1986 - 90 and eventually shelved when Russell became too ill to complete, or let go of his material. Arthur's curious, optimistic vocal - lifting us away from the corporeal into true mantric ter… Read more
**Classic album re-packaged in a Jewel Case** Possibly the most coveted and anticipated installment in the seemingly relentless R&S reissue programme, this killer collection was originally released back in 1995 and brings together R.D.James' most sought after material for the label and some insane obscurities - making this an utterly essential package. Have a look at the tracklisting :Digeridoo, Flaphead, Phloam, Isopropanol, Polynomial-C, Tamphex (Hedphuq Mix), Phlange Phace, Dodeccaheedron, Analogue Bubblebath 1, Metapharstic, Mescalinum United, We Have Arrived (Aphex Twin QQT Mix), Mescalinum U… Read more
**Classic album re-packaged in a cardboard digipak, with a silver foil R&S logo block printed on the front, and contains the original booklet artwork inside with new liner notes.** The very lovely people at R+S have finally seen fit to reissue this seminal collection Detroit techno/electro auteur Juan Atkins, and in fully buffed and polished remastered form too! 'Classics' was originally released in 1993 via the legendary R+S imprint and was the first record to compile the early solo work of Juan Atkins post Cybotron, including the legendary cuts from 'No UFO's', 'Off to Battle', 'Nigh… Read more
DJ Rupture's Nettle ensemble return from extended hiatus with a vivid soundtrack to an imagined remake of Stephen King's 'The Shining' set in Dubai. Together with the cover artwork by Emirati photographer Lamya Gargash, and liner notes by Architecture writer and Studio X co-director Geoff Manaugh, the whole project drips with imagery, and certainly warrants the regrouping of Jace Clayton's ambitious group, which now includes The Ex's Andy Moor, among others added to the core original line-up. They're not the first to use The Shining for inspiration, but they've real… Read more
**Finders Keepers mark their 50th release with a return to the vaults of Serge Gainsbourg accomplice, Jean-Claude Vannier, whose imaginary soundtrack 'L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches' was the label's first release back in 2005** "'Electro Rapide' is a collection of rare and unreleased archive material from the studio archives of legendary French orchestral pop composer Jean-Claude Vannier. Taken from the period before and during his revered creative relationship with Serge Gainsbourg (reaching their halcyon with 1971's 'Histoire De melody Nelson') these tracks reveal a rare glimpse of … Read more
Brand new six-track EP, an addendum of sorts to James Blake's widely-acclaimed debut album. Most notably 'Enough Thunder' contains his sought-after 'Fall Boys Creek' collaboration with Bon Iver, and his cover of Joni Mitchell's 'A Case Of You' recorded for Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show, but for us the best moment is found in the Footwork-inspired fusioneering of 'We Might Feel Unsound'. It also includes three other new songs 'Once We All Agree', 'Not Long Now' and 'Enough Thunder'.
There's a very literal reason for the title of Nils Frahm's new album, Felt. He wanted to play the piano during the dead of night, without disturbing his neighbours, so he layed thick felt in front of its strings to muffle the sound. Rather than being frustrated, he unexpectedly found himself enchanted by this dampened sound, and it opened up new compositional as well as playing possibilities for his inquisitive mind. The resulting work is varied in style but it all has a close, confessional, nocturnal quality that's beautifully wrought and expertly recorded: from the Reich-a-like layered arpeggios of … Read more
Two years since his debut LP, Martyn drops one of 2011's most anticipated dancefloor albums. With 'Ghost People' he cements well-nurtured ties to Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder camp, pooling his blend of UK Bass, US House & European Techno with the label's kaleidoscopic vision of electronic beat music, one which already spans the sounds of Lorn, The Gaslamp Killer, Teebs and Samiyam among others. Guided by a steady, experienced hand, Martyn refracts ideas borrowed and assimilated from every corner of the modern 'floor into a spectrum of helplessly futurist funk. Most notably, he's nudged the tempos down… Read more
We've been banging on about Rustie since 'Jagz The Smack' had our jaws dragging on the lino back in '07, and it's hard to believe it's taken him this long to get an album together. Sure there have been a handful of EPs, singles and splits, but few captured the chemically enhanced hedonism of that first plate, well, until now. It seems Rustie has somehow managed to fend off the weight of expectation by ignoring the devil on his shoulder and furrowing a path all his own through bass music. This is a pure Rustie album from beginning to end, and it succeeds by being just as uncompromising as those key … Read more
Wolfgang Voigt has never been afraid to explore the outer reaches of techno, and 'Kafkatrax' (a collection of the three recent EPs also on Profan) is maybe his most peculiar record to date. Like 'Freiland Klaviermusik', you get the feeling that techno is simply Voigt's framework, his canvas on which to express himself, and 'Kafkatrax' is the perfect example of his expression. The starting point was a series of recitations of the writings of Kafka, but after being chopped, treated and re-pitched they simply become gibberish chatter, unrecognizable from their source material. This background thr… Read more
Master of blissed-out repetition, Axel Willner aka The Field arrives at 'Looping State Of Mind', his third album following a pair of universally acclaimed LPs. So, by now he should need scant introduction to lovers of lush-minded Techno and electronic-pop as he's practically defined the sound in recent years, so we'll crack on. There's no huge surprises in his latest effort, but subtle vocal samples and a richer palette of processed acoustic instrumentation add a discernibly evolving depth. At the top 'Is This Power' slips into disco-hypnosis with a supple B-line and mouth-watering laye… Read more
It might strike you as strange that Olde English Spelling Bee alums Big Troubles have been snapped up by US indie label Slumberland, but trust me - give the album a listen and all will become clear. The tapey fug that laced the band's debut album had been replaced by a fitting 90s sheen (thanks to Pavement/REM producer Mitch Easter) but before you switch off, read what I just said; it really works. Big Troubles already had the songs, you just couldn't hear them that well, and 'Romantic Comedy' is an album that does something that seems to be missing from so much contemporary indie music; h… Read more
My oh my...this doesn't really need any introduction at all now does it? Well, what we have here is a new remastered edition of one of the most influential electronic albums of all time, and surely STILL the most instantly recognisable and affecting album from Richard D James. Truly marvelous, put a smile on your face and give this album another whirl...
All killer, no filler Studio One selection: 18 cuts from The Skatalites, Heptones, Lone Ranger, Horace Andy, Prince Jazzbo and more. 'Original Classic Recordings 1963-1980' is the first new Studio One/Soul Jazz release in over 3 years and coincides with the label's monster new deluxe hardback 12x12" 200 page full colour book featuring hundreds of super classic and rare Studio One sleeves. It's essentially the cream of the Studio One sound, from immaculate Ska courtesy of The Maytals on 'Treat Me Bad' and The Skatalites 'Fidel Castro… Read more
*Double CD package collecting all nineteen remixes of Radiohead's 'The King Of Limbs' album by Caribou, Mark Pritchard, Shed, Thriller, Blawan, MDSLKTR, Jamie xx, Objekt, Anstam and many more* Over the course of seven 12"s, Radiohead dispersed their latest album between some of the finest electronic music producers of the moment for diverse and sometimes brilliant remixes. In doing so, they commendably exposed a lot of very fresh talent to crowds who may not necessarily already be aware of them, while giving their timeless songcraft a healthy boost into modern dancefloors and maybe younger h… Read more
*115 tracks on 5 CDs with an 88 page Hardback Book including extensive Notes and Essays - housed in a 12" x 12" oversized deluxe box* "Oversized, hardback book with Gatefold Portfolio housing 5 CDs inside Slipcase. More than 10 years in the making, this box set features the earliest recordings and the first book ever written about one of the most influential guitarists from the 1960s and ‘70s, John Fahey. The five CDs feature 115 tracks, most of which are available on CD for the first time. The audio was remastered from Joe Bussard’s reel-to-re… Read more
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Co-owner of the mighty Hessle Audio label and one of the best DJs in the UK, Ben UFO heads up his first commercially available mix CD. You shouldn't need us to tell you this is a BIG look, but we just did, and we'll also state the obvious again - it's a total KILLER - taking in tracks across the board from Aaron Carl to Dro Carey, to Andrew Coltrane and How To Dress Well, including exclusives from Boddika & Joy O, Pearson Sound, Elgato, and Champion without once feeling forced or conceited. It's an honest testament both to his enviable skills as a selector and his dextrous technicalit… Read more
British rappers have never had it easy, and while the Brit rap scene has been in existence for decades, it was only really when grime took hold that the industry decided to take a closer look. Rodney Smith is one of the survivors, and rather than attempt to jump on whatever bandwagon he can (clue: you won't hear a Dappy collaboration here) he's stayed not only true to his roots, but the roots of the genre itself. Reviewers have been quick to jump on the dubstep influences - but Smith has always been happy to indulge a more electronic bent, and his love of dub is pretty much set in stone at … Read more
**CD includes 4 bonus tracks** Fine selection of vintage cut from the vaults of founding Skatalite, Tommy McCook. Includes 14 versions of classic rhythms lead by Tommy's Tenor Saxophone and featuring an allstar line-up of The Aggrovators, Soul Syndicate and Sly And Robbie, all dubbed-up by Bunny Lee.
The eagerly anticipated first album from Berlin-based, Bristol-hailing Emika, who's impressed over the past two years with singles and EPs that occupy the kohl-eyed space between electronic pop, dubstep, techno and minimal house, meaning she's equally at home with the Ostgut Ton crew (whose Funf comp she provided field recordings for) as with Ninja Tune, who are issuing this fine LP. There's a darkly sultry edge to all the tracks here, perfectly evocative of messed-up wee hours in some Kreuzberg basement, and the best tracks really ramp up and exploit that future-noir vibe. At times there are echoes of Emi… Read more
A Charalambides album is always an event in our book, and this new one on Kranky is superb stuff, arguably taking their fizzy, fuzzy psychedelic pop and drone-folk sound to a whole new level. It's mad to think that Tom and Christina Carter have been making music together for 20 years now, but it shows in the coherence of Exile, their first LP since 2007's Likeness. It begins cautiously, with the uber-minimal twanger 'Autumn Leaves', like Richard Chartier scoring a spaghetti western, but things open up on 'Desecrated', Christina's vocals taking charge as Tom fires molten guitar licks across her bows… Read more