Thursday, 21 June 2012
*CD version includes bonus track not on the vinyl* A streamlined and revitalised SWZK (née Swayzak) present eight vigorous live Techno workouts on a handsome Tresor double pack. Those lusting for the former duo's (now just David Brown) House output will have to look elsewhere - this is a full frontal machine music exercise and it pulls few punches. The new sound is closer to Cristian Vogel or Sleeparchive than anything else, stripping back to an ascetic, purified take on Berlin Techno and Dub optimised with unswerving production values.
San Fernando Valley's oddest beatmaster strikes between the eyes with his most substantial trip to date. Thirteen hits heavy, 'SFV Acid #2' is his first album since 2009 and follows a glut of recent activity on 100% Silk and remixing the likes of Fur for UNO NYC, and Blondes for Rvng Intl. So, after the underground badges are spied on his lapel, what does the music sound like? Well, it's not quite as f**ked up as his mental 'New West Coast' EP for Post Present Medium', but it is more nuanced, groovesome, without ever succumbing to "normal". His recordings are tangibly analogue, from the malfunction… Read more
**Hand-stamped and individually numbered edition of 60** Subtly ambitious and charming debut of modern classical/electronica from a new, Manchester-based collective. With 'SLP001' the five piece ensemble, Points Of Light, have composed a serene and otherworldly suite where the David Tibet-like poetry and mannered vocals of Sam Quill are complemented by Eoin Roe's minimal keys and the mournful strings of Simmy Singh. But that fragile world likely owes most to the filigree electronic structures of label heads David Futer and Laurence Tompkins, whose deft, unobtrusive accompaniments of sta… Read more
Here's something we didn't see coming... a collaboration between Scandinavian jazz rock pranksters The Thing and Swedish pop singer Neneh Cherry? Well it's happened, and while there's some kind of Zen involved with drawing lines between Don Cherry's stepdaughter and a band named after a Don Cherry tune, it's still a confusing proposition. Thankfully within the first few moments of opener 'Cashback' any reservations are kicked under the rug as Cherry's inimitable tones lace Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love's electrifying free jazz. The … Read more
Cracking compilation weighing up the UK's early take on the 1st wave of Chicago House imports. The job of distilling this important period of dancefloor history is given to experienced, London-based DJ and clubber Richard Sen, who's perhaps best known for recording as Bronx Dogs or Padded Cell. DJing since 1989, he brings a choice selection spanning well known classics such as Ability II's 'Pressure Dub' and Baby Ford's 'Crashing', beside lesser known but no less killer tackle like Colm III's prototypical 'Take Me High' (which recently a… Read more
Thursday, 14 June 2012
**Limited edition 3CD set in a vinyl-sized 10"x10" box containing 30 unreleased tracks and 28-page booklet with exclusive notes by Irmin Schmidt and Ian Harrison housed in vintage reel-style box** "The Lost Tapes was curated by Irmin Schmidt and Daniel Miller, compiled by Irmin Schmidt and Jono Podmore, and edited by Jono Podmore. When the legendary Can studio in Weilerswist was sold to the German Rock N Pop Museum, they bought everything, including the army mattresses that covered the walls for sound protection, and relocated it to Gronau. Whilst dismantling the studio, master tap… Read more
'Blau' is the colour-coded 1974 follow-up to Konrad Schnitzler's solo debut album after working on the first albums from Tangerine Dream and Kluster. With it, he effectively continues the motorik trajectory of his momentous debut, instinctively mainlining his beguiling logic further into an inverted abyss where harmony and melody are rejected in favour of synthetic expression and the joy of revelling in pure electronic timbre. Inspired by the contemporary avant-garde - most specifically the Fluxus actions of his former tutor Joseph Beuys - and with a staunchly Berlin-like attitude towards rhythm… Read more
Timely reissue of the late Konrad Schnitzler's (1937-2011) seminal debut solo album. Nothing short of a milestone in the history of electronic music, 'Rot' marked a radical point where man and musical machine became far better acquainted. Up to this point in 1973 Schnitzler had already been integral to the genesis of both Tangerine Dream and Kluster, both bands born of the Zodiac Free Arts Lab in West Berlin during the pivotal year of 1968. And by '73, the convergence of subversive, counter-cultural philosophy and his studies under German Fluxus member and avant-garde artist Joseph Beuys converge… Read more
Having proven his potential with 2010's Nothing Else album on Brainfeeder, Lorn graduates to Ninja Tune to deliver the follow-up, Ask The Dust. What's great about Lorn's crisp, acute productions is how refreshingly dark and troubled they sound - while most contemporary beatmakers seem content to wallow in some vaguely defined state of video game euphoria, Lorn channels far murkier, more malevolent forces. 'Ghosst' sounds like 808-powered R&B refracted through a grubby lens of dark core junglism, while you need only check the title of stand-out 'Everything Is Violence' to understand its paranoid vibe;… Read more
**Massive 5CD boxset and extensive booklet of notes by label-owner and Ramleh provocateur Gary Mundy. Edition limited to 500** "Special CD box-set edition of the Broken Flag Retrospective originally released in 2007 as VOD39. A compilation and retrospective of one of the most important and influential British-noise-and-power-electronics-labels led by Gary Mundy of Ramleh. This edition was made to coincide with the Never Say When event organised by Second Layer and Harbinger Sound. Includes classic material spanning 1982-85 from Sutcliffe Jugend, Consumer Electronics, Un-Ko… Read more
The follow-up to legendary American eccentric Van Dyke Parks' 'Discover America', 'Clang of the Yankee Reaper' further delves into his obsession with Caribbean calypso music. Again, the selection of songs (save for a couple), are re-imaginings of public domain calypso classics, but here Parks panders slightly more to contemporary pop 'sounds' than he did on the record's predecessor. Occasionally the sound is closer to Steely Dan and the blue eyed soul of the day than it is anything Parks put his name to prior, but while this is odd it's definitely not jarring, and the enduring… Read more
One thing about legendary eccentric Van Dyke Parks is that his catalogue has, for a long time, been so difficult to obtain. Well it looks like Bella Union are looking to change things up in that respect, and have managed to secure the rights to a couple of his finest albums. 'Discover America' was Parks' sophomore record and arrived in 1972, coming after the ill fated (but critically revered) 'Song Cycle'. Far from wishing to repeat himself, the psychedelic folk moves explored on his debut are totally wiped out on 'Discover America', replaced by (really) a new found love of calypso musi… Read more
"The early music of Silver Jews is back in print for the first time in a long while. ‘Early Times’ presents all the songs from the original 7” EP ‘Dime Map Of The Reef’ and the 12” EP ‘The Arizona Record’, newly remastered. Just a few guys in a room - baby versions of the David Berman, Stephen Malkmus and Bobby Nastanovich that we know today."
Amazing, utterly unique synth/prog/pop oddity from 1980, given a new lease of life by Finders Keepers (good luck trying to find the original LP on KM Records private press - you won't). A trio led by the mysterious Gary Sloan - whose harmonica, subjected to various electronic treatments and manipulations, is the lead instrument throughout - scaling giddy heights of new age majesty on 'Good Indian' and soloing gaily over the tautest, grooviest analogue pulsations on 'Harmonitalk'. Just when you think you've got a grasp on this album though, it confounds you: 'Together Again' is an unrec… Read more
We hardly need to tell you how much we fell for Peaking Lights' debut album '936', so there's a fair bit of excitement buzzing around the band's follow-up, not least as it sees them move from indie dance petri dish Not Not Fun to the Domino-affiliated Weird World imprint. Thankfully the kooky duo's lo-fidelity charm is left intact, and while there's a polish to 'Lucifer' that certainly wasn't present on its predecessor; their signature CRT flicker still makes each song fizz and shine. If it's at all possible, 'Lucifer' manages to take the duo's sound into even more horizontal places, bl… Read more
**Faithfully re-mastered and reproduced reissue with original photographs and Mr. Bongo's obi-strip** "An incredibly original album of 'Brazilian Nuggets' from the MocamboRozenblit catalogue. Os Canibais had a meteoric rise to fame starting in 1964 in Rio de Janeiro. The group was originally made up of Aramis (guitar/vocals), Serginho and Max (vocals) and later they brought in Denise Baker (vocals) and Horacio (piano). Originally the group was to be called 'The Drunks' but after careful consideration they chose the much catchier Os Canibais (The Cannibals). They decided on this non-English name… Read more
Van Dyke Parks' visionary 1968 debut, Song Cycle, rose phoenix-like from the ashes of his fabled Smile collaboration with Brian Wilson. Parks' breathtaking high-wire act fused the pop genius of Phil Spector, Stephen Sondheim's Broadway vertigo and the orchestral flare of American composer Charles Ives and made it wholly his own. By 1972, Discover America had turned its kaleidoscopic gaze to the 1940's martini-and-rhumba world of Hemingway's Caribbean sojourn, further validating Parks' idiosyncratic genius. Plus, I read somewhere that this is Jim O'Rourke's all time favourite album.
OK so discount the name for one second, we know how it sounds - but think about it, would you be as surprised if it appeared on Not Not Fun? Exactly, and Taragana Pyjarama comes as an eccentric and welcome addition to the Kompakt roster with his lo-fidelity blend of Maria Minerva's Balkan pop and Emeralds' fuzzy synthetics. That might not sound like the easiest mix in the world, and it probably wasn't, but Dane Nick Eriksen has nailed it, bringing in the loose house tropes pioneered by Caribou in recent years to tie everything together. Chunky, unexpected and rather good.
Advanced laptop-pop, neo-trip-hop and beat constructions from RYAT, aka Philadelphia producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Cristina McGeehan, on an album for Brainfeeder that refuses to sit still. RYAT's strong, Bjork-esque vocals are what bring the album's disparate textures and techniques together, reaching a pop-viable zenith on the wonderful 'Hummingbird'. Its itchy, glitchy electronics, shimmering harp runs and hiccupping synths are in constant overdrive, but somehow never become too much - testament to the songwriting, arranging and production skill that's gone into the making of the record. We c… Read more
Lea Cho and Russ Waterhouse follow up last year's Laraaji collaboration for FRKWYS with a characteristically free-roaming and intriguing set of instrumental psyche jams. Charmingly dreamy, loose and lushly spirited, on 'Valley Tangents' they wash guitar, synth and honky tonk piano keys like coloured oils and sand over a tape canvas. Starting at the breezy heights of shuffling drums and expressive cascade of keys and fuzzy guitar counterpart on 'Love's A Rondo', the landscape begins to warp as the terrain become more uneven on the motorik 'Iron Pigs', and 'Opium Den/Fade To Blue' eases off… Read more
Thursday, 07 June 2012
Thoms Köner makes a very welcome return with the bone-chilling soundscapes of 'Novaya Zemlya' - his eleventh album and first for Touch. The master sound sculptor takes the eponymous arctic archipelago situated in the sea north of Russia as his inspiration, deploying discreet field recordings to plot a sort of sonic geography of this desolate and mountainous region used by the Russian military. He connotes a feeling of near-unimaginable vastness through breathtaking manipulation of elemental sub-sonic frequencies and isolated tones whose quietude and magnitude at once enforce the feeling of b… Read more
Delightful new album from Jimmy Tamborello aka Dntel, starring cameo assists from no less than Nite Jewel, Popol Vuh, Baths and Geotic. A typically lovely affair ranging from Shangaan Electro-like/lite electronica to sumptuous dream-pop and emotional, instrumental IDM ballads. "An inexhaustible love affair. The magical, unforgettable melodies and strange outlandish sounds of his music generate an intimate, unique world. Pop & electronica eye each with mutual curiosity."
Kira Kira is the pseudonym of talented Icelandic audio/visual artist Kristin Bjork Kristjansdottir, and 'Feathermagnetic' is her third album. While she might spend most of her time working on films (her first feature is due any minute) and installations, her musical output is far from an afterthought. It is clear from even a cursory listen that her experience in dance, film and visual art informs the kind of music she produces, and these visceral, cinematic qualities haunt 'Feathermagnetik' from beginning to end. There are hints at the epic grandeur of fellow Icelandic musicians Johann Johann… Read more
For way too long SpaceGhostPurrp has been a secret that only those really in the know had the chance to indulge in. His 90s-obsessed sludgy take on rap music quickly carved him a mercilessly original niche in the bloated blog-mixtape scene, and his unpredictable style made him impossible to ignore, yet there was something peculiar that kept him at arm's length from the mainstream. Yeah he may have been part of the A$AP Mob for a minute, but Purrp's black metal stylings, seven minute long tracks and endless samples of Mortal Kombat and pitched-down trai… Read more
**Double CD issue of Experimental Products - housed in typically lavish 6-panel hardback gatefold with 12-page booklet. Edition limited to 500** Vinyl on Demand present a killer compendium of early synthwave output from Delaware/Philadelphia's Experimental Product. Comprising their 1st, self-released LP - 1982's 'Prototype' - plus bonus tracks, "garage tracks" produced in a spare bedroom, and live recordings from 1983, it's a definitive introduction to one of the synth wave's most cherished duos and has never appeared on CD before (original vinyl copies go for a hefty… Read more
Warp's electronic pop hopefuls The Hundred In The Hands return with their second album, recorded in their own New York studio in and it's a spirited outing, confidently written and produced, and full of unlikely juxtapositions. Opener 'Empty Stations' is an especially bravura effort, a towering wall of sound built of Broadcast-like vocals, galloping drums, orchestral flourishes and grottily distorted bass. Other songs like 'Recognise' and title track 'Red Night' are more spaced-out, delicate and self-consciously experimental, often with excellent results, but the anthemic 'Keep It Lo… Read more
**Double CD issue of Experimental Products - housed in typically lavish 6-panel hardback gatefold with 12-page booklet. Edition limited to 500 copies** The Vinyl On Demand reissue of Experimental Products' 'Tracks To Glow In The Dark' is one of the label's most popular releases to date. So much so, in fact, that they've succumbed to demand for a CD issue and pressed up a deluxe double disc set containing all twenty two tracks of Hi NRG synth disco. It's a beast!!! The über classic club weapon 'Glowing In The Dark' stars on the first disc along with 'Love Changes' and 'M… Read more
Thursday, 31 May 2012
*Now available on CD for the very first time.* 'Science Of The Sea' is a total find, presenting a precious reissue of Jürgen Müller's practically unheard 1982 ode to oceanography and the magic of synthesizer music. As his story goes, in 1979, Jürgen, a self-taught amateur musician studying oceanic science at the University of Kiel, travelled with a film crew to document a mission testing sea-water toxicity a few kilometres offshore in the North Sea. As ever, necessity was the mother of invention, and the experience proved so memorable that he was impelled to create a soundtr… Read more
*Ace new project signed to ATP featuring Cedric Bixler Zavala (Mars Volta, At The Drive-in), Mike Watt (The Stooges, Minutemen), Christian Eric Beaulieu (Triclops!) and Rachel Fannan (Sleepy Sun)* "Anywhere began as a collaborative project started by musicians Christian Eric Beaulieu and Cedric Bixler Zavala. Fresh off years of writing and touring as co-founder of Bay Area acid punk extremists Triclops!, Christian decided to immerse himself in the resonant universe of acoustic guitar and began performing solo under the moniker Liquid Indian. In early 2010 while in Los Angeles to perform at an art ope… Read more
Denmark's slickest disco duo back in action with slo-mo and blue grooves. On 'Cosyland' the vocals are pushed up close and intimate on a swaying waltz, whereas 'Get Laid Back' harnesses portside guitar strokes and breezy synths on a grinding bass arpeggio. Reminding of their provenance, 'Cocaine Cool (extended Vol2)' revamps their greatest hit, and '101 Part Two' slips back into dreamy disco molasses mode.