Thursday, 17 March 2011
'Forget'fulness' is another disarming slab of slithering electronic pop from Max Ernst alumnus Natalie Beridze (aka TBA), this time however she allows the pop to slightly outweigh the electronics. Her work has for a long time skated (and blurred) the line between experimental and pop, but 'Forget'fulness' is maybe her most successful to date. There are nods towards the classic disco of Georgio Moroder but the record never 'goes disco', there are allusions to the stuttering electronics of Autechre but the album never 'goes electronica'. Rather this album is a careful collection of son… Read more
From the exotic mind of Tandy Love the Turk Jerk comes a super limited followup to his Fat City LP, 13 de-pipped and delectable edits of obscure and unknown Anatolian psyche. From the Bosphorus to the Irwell, nobody does it quite like this fella, selecting only the ripest, most exotic fruits from his collection and serving only the juiciest bits. On the A-side psych heads will be in their element with the ruck of fuzzy guitar driven bombs like 'Indian Zone Drum Killer Inc' and its majestic folksy flourishes, or the hard head-nodders groove of 'Vachina-Vabham' while cuts like 'Mi… Read more
This prolific Canadian classically trained multi-instrumentalist has contributed much to the doom/drone/ambient genre. Nadja, Arc and Whisper Room are just a few of his manifestations. Known for his extensive ambient soundscapes, Baker chose a different approach on Lost in the Rat Maze by almost embracing a "postrockish" method of composing.
"Moss, is a live recording from a unique collaboration by sound artists/musicians Molly Berg, Olivia Block, Steve Roden and Stephen Vitiello. This was a midnight concert at the beautiful Trinity Cathedral in San Jose, CA which was part of the 01SJ Biennial. Olivia and Steve had performed solo sets on the previous nights. The final night was meant to be a duo with Molly and Stephen but the opportunity to play with musicians/friends who we admire so much called out for an invitation to play together. As the set was entirely improvised, the billing really changed in our minds from being a duo with guests… Read more
Nights Slugs' foreign correspondent, Toronto resident Egyptrixx, comes very correct with his second album 'Bible Eyes'. It's also the first solo artist album to be released on the label, and represents the more synth-based side of their oeuvre in fine style. He's been a member of the crew since his early 2010 12" 'The Only Way Is Up', but has been orbiting the mutant electro/Bass scene for a few years already. Ten tracks deep, the cryptically titled 'Bible Eyes' cycles through a neon spectrum of club killers interspersed with poppier and slightly more esoteric grooves. The undoubted highlight for … Read more
Far from the twin epicenters of New York and Miami, Carlos Ruiz and his Ebirac label were both feeling and generating the aftershocks of the mid-70s salsa boom. Holed up in their own bustling Puerto Rican community center on Chicagos west side, these third coast salseros plied their trade outside the hot lights, cutting their teeth in city parks, VFW halls, and Holiday Inn rec rooms. Nearly 50 records survive in the wake of orquestas La Justicia, La Solucion, and Tipica Leal 79, the most impassioned, singular moments of which are compiled here. Presented in deluxe Numero Style with a 60 page booklet accompanying the CD.
A fabulous session of swinging '60s Indo-Jazz from Japan's EM Records! This is some exquisitely rare and daring material, not only only in number but in style - we really can't think of many other examples fusing deeply rooted Carnatic music with jazz! While the Indian influence is quite pronounced in American jazz, namely the spiritual fusions of John and Alice Coltrane, it rarely works the other way around. However, both styles have an improvised approach which visionary composer, T.K. Ramamoorthy was clearly adept at consolidating. The music here … Read more
"Something small and quiet at first, Sister Crayon began with vocalist Terra Lopez playing classical guitar and pre-programmed beats on a loop pedal to attentive house crowds. With the addition of members Dani Fernandez (MPC 1000 and Microkorg), Genaro Ulloa (Keyboards and Synths) and Nicholas Suhr (Drums and Percussion), Sister Crayon has emerged as a four-piece whose emotional live performances along with their styles of ambience, hip-hop, and "hysterical" have created a stir with this album inspired by the late French writer Jean Genet, It is a sexual lament and sigh to the popular criminal. T… Read more
Thursday, 10 March 2011
London-based DJ/Photographer/AV artist Shelley Parker presents a compilation of 11 dark, minimal and experimental electronic tracks from Scanone, Kansas City Prophets, Cursor Miner, Filter Feeder and herself as the first release on her Structure imprint. The set opens to the sharp contrasts of oily black subbass and teeth-gritting noise on Structure's 'Zero Point Energy', before a Breaks-y charge from Kansas City Prophets 'Drome' and the sci-fi scape electro of Scanone's '1002' and his spiky remix of Shelley's 'Nintendo Love'. Sound design expert Cursor Miner provides two… Read more
Like a good cup of tea or a Crunchie, you always know what you're in for when you're lucky enough to get your hands on a brand new Wagon Christ album. This is Luke Vibert's umpteenth record under the moniker, and since the classic 'Throbbing Pouch' all those years ago he's had a certain section of the listening public literally weeing themselves for fresh material. It's no slouch either, within seconds the avalanche-like tumble of samples sets 'Toomorrow' up to be everything you want from a Vibert record and more. Vocal snippets and familiar boom-bap references form the album's rusty anchor, but… Read more
The latest in a long line of collaborations between lauded Scottish composer Craig Armstrong and Berlin-based electro-ist Antye Greie, 'Orlando' finds the duo tackling Virginia Woolfe's masterpiece 'Orlando'. Originally conceived as a play, the music still manages to stand on its own, echoing the haunting narrative with a steely resolve. Armstrong's mastery and restraint is evident throughout but most successfully in the album's more overtly orchestral moments. His compositional signatures give the tracks an endearing levity, and these touches are balanced well with Greie's buzzing electro-… Read more
As its mouthful of a title might suggest, this latest bumper full-length from cosmic explorers Akron/Family is yet another genre bending off-world exploration into the outer realms. And trust me, that is nowhere near as horrible as my description might make it sound. It's always been hard to characterize Akron/Family, and with 'STII' they haven't made my life any easier with their near-symphonic collision of rampaging guitars, soaring synthesizers and pummeling post-Krautrock rhythms. I want to say their closest comparison would be Flaming Lips, but that w… Read more
Austin Peralta (son of groundbreaking skater, Stacy) makes his recorded debut outside of Japan on a fiercely confident Brainfeeder release. It's a marked step away from anything Fly Lo's label have previously offered, entering the contemporary jazz arena with Peralta commanding an ensemble including The Cinematic Orchestra and Strangeloop on electronic manipulation, Zane Musa on alto saxophone, Ben Wendel on tenor and soprano saxophone, vocals from Heidi Vogel and percussion from Zach Harmon. Like we say, he's already released two albums for the Japanese label Eighty-Eight's (four years … Read more
I managed to catch Baby Dee playing live before the Swans on their recent tour, and while it might not sound like it, her unusual, almost absurd compositions were the perfect introduction to Michael Gira's sheet-noise blues. This latest addition to her canon offers more crazed compositions to the fold, taking in piano, glockenspiel, strings and Baby Dee's unmistakable vocals. Her harp (possibly the instrument she is most associated with) is nowhere to be seen but it doesn't matter, her almost vaudeville, strangely gothic songs are realized so well on 'Regifted Light' you'll almost forget she ev… Read more
Chicago outfit Disappears burst out of nowhere last year with debut LP 'Lux' and immediately attracted media attention with their smoggy, narcotic sound. A slew of shows followed, and as we all know with touring usually comes writing, so it's hardly surprising that the band's sophomore album has come so soon after their debut. Although now backed up by the star-presence of Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley on drums in a live setting, this sees the band in studio mode, and catches them yet again on a quest to recapture what was great about late 80s British rock music. Jesus and Mary Chain and Spacemen 3 se… Read more
I suppose people shouldn't be too surprised that J. Mascis's latest solo outing is a peaceful, near-acoustic affair. He did after all help out his chum Thurston Moore on the gorgeous 'Trees Outside the Academy' LP, and here we find the Dinosaur Jr. feller pushing the rock and roll out into the cold and embracing something truly beautiful. He's not alone either, Mascis has enlisted some enviable names; Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mount Zion), Kurt Vile, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) and Matt Valentine all pop up to lend their expertise. This level of skill transfers perfectly to the songs… Read more
BBE scan the catalogue of New York House imprint, Henry Street Records for a 2nd time, following their 1999 overview 'Henry Street Music: The Story So Far - 1993-1999'. There's a slight crossover as this one starts in '95 with Robbie Tranco's smoove jazz Houser, 'Drops' and cruises through Dirty Harry's 'Funk Daze', to DJ Duke's sublime take on 'E2-E4' as 'D2-D2' from 1996 onto Robbie Rivera's 'Saxmania #1' and up to 2004 with The Eltingville Project's 'Heaven's Piano'. Certified classics.
Thursday, 03 March 2011
Sterling new release from Cologne's Magazine label, presenting the first substantial recordings from Jaki Liebezeit's Drums Off Chaos percussion ensemble. For their debut album they're also joined by Köln lynchpin Jens-Uwe Beyer, who's best known for his Popnoname productions on Kompakt's Pop Ambient series and as a member of future kosmiche group, Cologne Tape. Despite being in operation for nearly 30 years, the group have only committed their sound to tape on a handful of rare instances including a mail-order CD from 1985, preferring to keep their tribal … Read more
Following the almost unanimous praise for their previous studio masterpiece, Moritz Von Oswald (Maurizio/Rhythm & Sound), Max Loderbauer (Nsi./Sun Electric) and Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay) present 'Horizontal Structures', the jazz-suave and rolling x-axis to the kosmische y of 'Vertical Ascent'. The curve of their projections becomes more complex with the addition of Paul St. Hilaire (aka Tikiman) on guitar and ECM artist, Marc Muellbauer's double bass infusing deeply instinctive jazz moves into the cats-cradle of organ, percussion and electronics. There's a more leveled… Read more
'Rest' was Rajko Müller's seminal first album as Isolee, following on from the huge response he got for his 'Beau Mot Plage' track that is the centrepiece of the album. It has been long unavailable and has at long last been given a much needed reissue (and re-master) by the good folk at Pampa, with a nice price to boot.
"its hard to imagine a better electronic record coming out in the next six months; it will likely be one of 2005's best albums of any genre." The Wire, June 2005 issue. This massively anticipated album features the first new material in over 5 years from Playhouse lynchpin Isolée (also known as Raijko Muller), 'We Are Monster' sees him travelling even further down the synth lined path hinted at by 1999's 'Beau Mot Plage'. Assembled from a comprehensive spectrum of beats, strings, guitars and electronic detritus, Muller's skill is to overlay what is essentially a micro-house template th… Read more
Portland band Grails have long been reliable purveyors of a darker brand of psychedelic rock music. Their sound reached a grimy pinnacle on the Important-released 'Black Tar Prophecies', but 'Deep Politics', their latest contribution to the Temporary Residence canon, finds them treading new ground and doing it with an air of pure inspiration. It's no secret that the band are fans of classic horror cinema and the imagery that kicks up, but where their previous albums have alluded to that, 'Deep Politics' makes it the primary focus. From the Hammer-esque artwork down to the initial distorted notes a… Read more
One of HipHop's persistently distinctive voices drops his sixth album, this time for the Anticon label. Assisted by killer productions from the likes of Nobody, Four Tet, In Flagranti and Clark, Beans is as eloquent and bafflingly verbose as ever, breathlessly parading tongue-twisted verse after verse with the controlled gush of a man who knows he's pretty mental, and knows how to control it. 'End Of It All' has already drawn comparisons to the psychotic art(iculations) of P. Diddy and ya boy Kanye, but to be totally fair, Beans has been doing his thing a lot longer than both of them, and without the … Read more
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Tim Hecker had proven himself to be one of the great survivors of 90s electronic music. While he might have only surfaced at the tail-end of the ailing IDM scene, Hecker's distinctly original brand of rich, textured ambient music set him apart from his peers. Many have tried to emulate his sound, but few have come close, and while he peaked with the punishingly noisy and effortlessly beautiful 'Mirages' a few years back, his subsequent flirtations with a quieter, more meditative sound have been similarly arresting. Unusually, 'Ravedeath, 1972' sees Hecker moving away from his comfort zone and… Read more
Heavyweight Dug Out edition, issuing the incredible mid-late '80s Dancehall rarity 'Tempo Explosion'; a run of one-off version excursions on Red Rose's 'Tempo Rhythm' including three head melting dubs. It's regarded as a masterpiece of reggae's digital revolution and the finest release on Sugar Minott's short-lived Black Victory label, utilising the "sainted" players from the Studio One and Music Mountain, Stony Hill studios in JA, and Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes crew at Wackies' White Plains Road studio in The Bronx, NYC. Towering above them all is Minott's opening statement 'Devil Is At… Read more
Since Dylan Carlson's Earth resurfaced back in 2005 with the peerless 'Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method', the band seem to have hit on a second phase of renewed creative energy. Their last 'proper' album, 'The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull' showed Carlson widening the dusty doom-country he had pioneered on 'Hex' to include elements of jazz, and on this latest full-length he even brings folk-rock into the mix. It's hardly surprising to me that Pentangle should be mentioned in the press release, their music (at least to me) has always retained a sense of folk music… Read more
Kompakt's new darlings are the hotly-tipped duo Rainbow Arabia, a couple of seriously canny pop charmers with a killer debut album up their sleeve. In todays sea of instantly available music there's only a few who can fuse the most disparate sounds with anything approaching cohesion and these two are on the money. Their sound apparently originated from the purchase of a Lebanese Casio that played microtonal scales and eastern beats and lead to their fusion of post punk tropes with authentic Middle Eastern vibes on debut, the 'Basta' EP in 2008. Since then they've been encouraged by LA … Read more
This should get the wig-out heads frothing: accomplished kraut/psyche improv session from GuruGuru bandleader and legendary drummer Mani Neumeier and Kawabata Makoto, the mastermind of Acid Mothers Temple. 'Samurai Blues' was recorded over two sessions in Tokyo in 2008, colliding Neumeier's innate rhythmic prowess with searching psyche guitars in myriad, morphing formations, from the fluid rhythms and textures of 'Mushi' to hyperactive skronk on 'Another Romance', mystical meanderings in 'Sinning Contrasts' and the freejazz-wizened blast of 'Tomorrow's Twist'.
This latest release from the on-form Experimedia imprint sees MAN man (ha!) Charles-Eric Charrier tackling the kind of doomed jazz-noire you might usually associate with Earth or Bohren Und Der Club of Gore. That's no bad thing, there can never be too much Lynchian doom-jazz in my life, and 'Silver' is a welcome addition to the pile. Charrier comes accompanied by collaborators Ronan Benoit and Cyril Secq and the trio creep through six smoky compositions with guitar, bass and drums taking centre stage. Of course those of you familiar with MAN will know the duo had a penchant for electronic … Read more
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Chaz Bundick's sophomore dream suite is, like, really, really sweet. Following one of 2010s most adored debut LPs 'Causers Of This' was always going to be an easy task for the man best known as Toro Y Moi. Could you ever imagine this guy getting stressed over anything?! He's taken it so easy that 'Underneath The Pines' has come out as a soft-focus boogie-pop set, smudging the lines between Antenna-like tropical Bossa Nova, Francophile soundtracks, late '70s yacht disco and even the sort of dinky electronics which Ghost Box reference so deftly. He's effectively removed any of the sharp an… Read more