Thursday, 27 October 2011
*One of the most beautiful and cinematic albums to have emerged from the late 90's Berlin scene - finally available again.* 'Silur' was the third 'proper' album from Tarwater, the duo of Berndt Jestram and Ronald Lippok (To Rococo Rot) and to our mind - the pinnacle of their lengthy recording career to date. Although in recent years the duo have angled towards more of a poppy sound, back in 1998 when 'Silur' appeared it almost instantly recruited an army of avid followers with its fusion of melancholy, deeply cinematic vignettes and a kind of smoky jazz variant which still sounds tremendou… Read more
Here's a collaboration that should prick everyone's ears up; Cluster maestro Hans-Joachim Roedelius and To Rococo Rot's Stefan Schneider. 'Stunden' is billed as a meeting of Kraut rock old and new, and I can hardly dispute that. While I've never really thought of To Rococo Rot as Kraut rock (they rock very quietly, after all) it makes sense - and this meeting of old and new is at the heart of 'Stunden'. Unsurprisingly Roedelius is on piano here, and his signature absorbing twinkles are fleshed out and underpinned by Schneider, who expertly blankets them in swathes of electronics. Schneider'… Read more
Cómeme's Mexican stalwart drops his debut album, including guest appearances from Matias Aguayo, Superpitcher and a number of vocalists. The style is set to darkly tinted and sexy, grinding House music with typical bumbum charm at 'Canivalón' and cycles thru inifitnitely arpeggiated disco chug on 'Steady Gear Rod Maschine' with Rodrigo Cano, to coldwave-infused jacks on 'Aire Caliente', and 'Positivísmo' featuring darkly androgynous vox by Raquel Wolff. For the slow fiends, the clenching grind of 'La Pena Guest' with Aguayo & Diegors is a big highlight, while the uptempo throbs of 'Corvette Ninja'… Read more
Former Rothko frontman Mark Beazley presents his new project Low Bias alongside post-punk percussionist and composer Graham Dowdall. Since the quiet departure of Rothko in 2010, both Mark and Graham have updated their respective, timeless yet forward-looking sound with rich electronica elements placing them only blocks away from the same patch of scorched ground recently raked over by the resuscitated Ike Yard. But Low Bias is an instrumental outfit, and one with a more blue, melancholy UK post-rock sensibility too. On 'The Ash And The Oak' they've coolly brought that latent, looming spiri… Read more
*With liner notes by Dave Katz* Honest Jon's reissue Lee Scratch Perry's 1980 masterpiece, the final record made at the Black Ark studio before its ultimate demise. Appearing after his equally seminal series of 'Super Ape', 'War In A Babylon', 'Police And Thieves' and 'Return Of The Super Ape' LPs, it finds Perry during a turbulent period - his Black Ark compound has been occupied by occult Rasta factions, his wife has left him and nobody comes to visit any more - but the music within is evidently some of the greatest he ever made. It opens with the eleven minute sexual… Read more
Bristol's purple prince drops his long, long-awaited debut album on 4AD. From the off, his aim is to put his trademark orgiastic synths and low-slung G-funk drums in the service of pure pop, aided and abetted vocals from the likes of Jessie Ware, Jay Wilcox and Silas. There's a welcome outing for past single and party wobbler par excellence 'Tron', but for the most part this is all-new material. Swaggering instrumentals like 'Milky Way' and 'My Trance Girl' hark back to the road-crushing heyday of 'Gully Brook Lane', while 'Back In The Days' and 'Lost' plot an even path through grime and spangly US ch… Read more
Sounding like an 80s teen movie soundtrack, Summer Camp clearly aren’t afraid of wearing their hearts on their sleeve. The duo might not be the Swedish 14 yr old love story they were initially hoped to be, but their retrograde power pop has more than enough jangling dry-ice laced charm to keep things interesting. It’s almost like the demonic offspring of Autre Ne Veut and Washed Out – there’s a weird radio-friendly pop spring in the Summer Camp sound but it’s obscured by a wavering synthesized robotic quality that’s impossible to ignore. Well worth a gander.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
**Immense collection of exquisite Bollywood horror-funk themes reclaimed by the FK crew - hugely recommended!** After what seems like a thousand years of blood, sweat, tears, and a lot more blood, your zombified disc disciples at Finders Keepers unveil one of their most essential collections yet. This musical mausoleum of malformed freak funk and dreadful discothèque pop has been resurrected from the maligned cinematic subculture of Bombay's bloodthirsty horror film industry and witnesses the cognoscenti of the Bollywood pop scene at their most creative, destructive an exper… Read more
Not a cover of R. Kelly, unfortunately, but a really dynamic and varied long-form synthesizer piece on Touch-affiliated Ash International from Joachim Nordwall, a member of noise heroes Skull Defekts. There's a real butchness and bite to this work that's just completely blowing us away: Nordwall's sticky, tactile analogue interventions range from monkishly reserved ambience to jutting techno pulsation, and all the while the sense of dread is unrelenting. It's rare to hear this much presence and authority in this kind of work; fans of Lustmord, John Carpenter, Senking's List, Eduard Artemiev, … Read more
"Founded in 1952, the Flamingo in Wardour Street played host to both the cream of visiting US jazz musicians and also the emerging British talent. It is the latter on which Ember Jazz Originals will focus primarily. During the Fifties, Flamingo founder Jeffrey Kruger built up his interests in music publishing and also facilitated recordings of some of his favourite artists, initially placing them with established outlets including the Tempo label. Then in 1960, the first British jazz releases appeared on his own Ember label, both reissues of material previously placed elsewhere,… Read more
The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble's recent single 'Pretend' (with Ninja Tune starlet Emika) was a startling example of the trio's underrated musical landscape as they welded icy-cool jazz experiments with the atmosphere of a doomy cabaret and the pulsing 4/4 kick of Chicago's finest. 'Mr. Machine' is the band's second full-length and takes the pitch-perfect minimal shuffle of their groundbreaking debut and manages to sharpen it at the edges. The band have famously been described as Steve Reich crossed with Theo Parrish, and who are we to disagree, but the dance tropes have be… Read more
Monkeytown round up 12 tracks from the future-leaning B-Boy's three vinyl releases, and sling in an extra disc of remixes by Cosmin TRG, Anstam, Byetone, Lazer Sword and more for measure! The young talent from San Diego has eked out a niche on the label with his distinctively cute-but-rude Hip Hop productions. His sound is clearly comparable with other West Coast beatsmiths like Tokimonsta or Shlohmo (his pal from the WEDIDIT collective), largely down to a shared taste for Dilla's slackened bump and grine, but there's also a piquant flavour to eLan's beats entirely of his own volition. For the best li… Read more
"'No Thyself', the first new material in 30 years from the connoisseur's choice, Magazine. Magazine front man, Howard Devoto, co-formed Buzzcocks with Pete Shelley after the pair travelled down to London to see the Sex Pistols in early 1976 and promoted the now legendary Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall gigs. Devoto left in 1977, after releasing the seminal 'Spiral Scratch' EP and created Magazine. Magazine went on to release 4 groundbreaking LP's before parting company in 1981 and have been cited as influences on the likes of Radiohead. Leading the vanguard of post-punk new wave, Magazine's soun… Read more
"Hailing from Belgium, the highly acclaimed Names recorded a string of sublime releases for the Factory Benelux and Crepuscule labels between 79 and 82 all given the Martin Hannet production touch much associated with Factory. This CD combines `Swimming', their sole album which appeared in 82, with bonus tracks taken from singles and compilations. Full sleevenotes, memorabilia and original Benoit Hennebert artwork."
Bruising techno manoeuvres from Luke Slater in his Planetary Assault Systems guise, presenting his second full-length on Ostgut Ton. At this late stage in the game there's no doubt that Slater has become a master of his craft, and aside from a couple of nice ambient mood pieces (recalling his occasional 7th Plain project), The Messenger goes straight for the club jugular, and with style to spare. It's really rare to find a techno this sure of its own purpose, and while much of it explores the bleepy, acid-flecked terrain that folks like Hawtin and Slater himself stalked out in t… Read more
*Deluxe, hardback Jap-style gatefold card with bespoke original art reproduction* Adegoke Steve Colson & Unity Troupe released this rare and sought-after private pressing mainly in the Chicago area circa 1980. The central figures, pianist and composer Steve Colson and vocalist Iqua Colson were both members of The Association For Advancment Of Creative Musicians (AACM), which was associated with the radical Art Ensemble Of Chicago, whose members including Joseph Jarman and Doug Ewart feature here. Soul Jazz followers may well recognise the track 'Lateen' which featured on the 'New … Read more
Ahead of their Not Not Fun release, Prince Rama drop this lushly colourful EP for Paw Tracks. Somehow, 'Rest In Peace' imagines a fusion of electro-rock and Kate Bush suffused with psyched Indian Raga, while 'Summer Of Love' sounds like Sun-Ra soundtracking a modern Bollywood horror and the titular centrepiece conducts elemental traces of coldwave-synthpop, noise and theatrical drama as only they can. Again, you'll brilliantly struggle to hold onto the sides of 'Portaling' as they veer from Ford & Lopatin-like simulations to ritualist prog-pop swoon, whereas 'Incarnation' blossoms with more of th… Read more
Thursday, 13 October 2011
A companion to his acclaimed Ravedeath 1972 set, Dropped Pianos collects sketches for that album recorded by Tim Hecker last year. While on paper it might sound like something for completists only, trust us when we tell you that this LP is a beguiling listen in its own right: shorn of the disruptive electronic processing which defined Ravedeath, what you get instead is a series of exquisitely reverbed and layered piano instrumentals which showcase Hecker's gift for minimalist composition and mournful melody. Richly evocative of rainy, post-war cityscapes, of mortality and of thwarted romance, it's another masterful offering from an artist right at the top of his game.
Whether you decide to engage with the context or not, Steve Roden’s music has an effortless beauty to it. This latest disc, again on the Line imprint, finds Roden working with a series of tones from a battery powered Paia Oz. Each tone (from A-G) was played as found in a text from sculptor Donald Judd, and the sequence was recorded several times during sunrise in amongst Judd’s stainless steel sculptures. This makes for a great context certainly, but even without knowledge of its creation ‘Proximities’ is a disarmingly beautiful piece of work, with wavering, degrading electronic tones sizzling … Read more
Superior minimal synth-pop and art-disco from the unflappable Billie Ray Martin and new collaborator Robert Solheim. It's right in the zone of that recent Soft Metals album, not to mention Xeno & Oaklander's Sentinelle and Glass Candy's B/E/A/T/B/O/X, but of course Martin has been it a lot longer than those lot, and there's an authority and assurance to the singing, songwriting and production on this album that marks it out from the crowd. There's no shortage of darkness, or of concept either: each song is about a different social misfit or damaged soul, with accompanying images f… Read more
**Three disc set in six-panel gatefold digicase, including remix CD starring Eric Prydz, Trentemøller, Mylo, Team Ghost, and Sei A** Chest-bursting anthems galore, 22 of them in fact, plus 8 Radio 1-friendly remixes from all the hotshots.
Harold Budd is nothing if not consistent, how the man can keep up such an enviable catalogue is beyond me, and this latest full length is no exception to the rule. 'In The Mist' is a smudged collection of downplayed, melancholy solo piano pieces and in typical Budd fashion there is as much space as there is sound. Budd has never been afraid of letting the silence speak as much as the sound itself, and 'In The Mist' is maybe his greatest testament to that as he patiently extends phrases allowing their haunting beauty to sink in over the seconds, minutes and hours. There is a pensive, nostalgic q… Read more
Now expanded to a four piece, with Shaunn Watt and Peter Carruthers joining Great Lake Swimers fellers and founding members Colin Heubert and Erik Arnesen, Siskiyou expand on 2010's self-titled debut with 'Keep Away The Dead', a warming and effortlessly charming collection of homespun Americana. I'm reminded of Bright Eyes, Calexico or even the Great Lake Singers themselves, but there's something more indebted to Neil Young here, so much so that there's a cover of 'Revolution Blues' right in the middle to make sure you know. Produced with a keen ear for 'space' the album sort of sounds like… Read more
*Debut album from this new band featuring members of Tarentel, The Alps, The Drift, lazarus, Jonas Reinhardt and Mi Ami* "Moholy-Nagy is the moniker of San Francisco / Berlin-based musicians Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (The Alps), Danny Paul Grody (The Drift) and Trevor Montgomery (Lazarus, The Drift). The trio are the founding members of Tarentel – a group that helped inspired a decade’s worth of widescreen ambient rock – and 'Like Mirage' reunites them for the first time since that group's sophomore album, The Order of Things, was released almost a decade ago. Recorded and mixed by Phil Manley of Tra… Read more
"Precisely four decades since the original release of the 1971 LP Histoire De Melody Nelson, Serge Gainsbourg's most celebrated composer, arranger and composer Jean-Claude Vannier now returns to the same artistic territory that has since come to represent his most iconic period and continually inspire almost five generations of experimental rock luminaries. Respected throughout France as a long running singer-songwriter and experimental composer in his own right it has taken this inclusive forty year period for his music to travel beyond his central European fanbase thanks to a gro… Read more
The future arrives in the form of Kuedo's hugely anticipated debut album. Since quietly disbanding the Vex'd vehicle he formerly operated with Roly Porter (whose solo debut LP also landed recently), he's been moving towards a slower, ornately detailed sound with his Kuedo project. But he's now re-emerged with a stripped down and luxurious variant on 'Severant', clearly referencing Chicagoan Footwork and 808-driven Coke and Road Rap, with strong traces of Vangelis-style synth opulence. To be fair it's a simple enough formula, but executed to often stunning standards. Compared with his previous records, t… Read more
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