Thursday, 14 July 2011
Looming, murky, misanthropic new material from Jasper TX aka Dag Rosenqvist. After a prolific run of releases over the last half decade, it would seem Dag has chosen to take a little longer over 'The Black Sun Transmissions' for Fang Bomb (home to music from Wolf Eyes and Machinefabriek, among others) making for one of his most immersive and viscerally affective albums among an already rated catalogue. His uncanny melding of acousmatic field recordings, electro-acoustic processing and layered instrumentation inhabits barely detectable shapes and shadowy forms in five parts, thread… Read more
*Edition of 250* 'The MMs Bar Recordings' is a continuous collage capturing announcements from the buffet carriage, Coach F, on the Midland Mainline trains between London and Leicester. It's also one of the funniest records we've heard in ages (yes, we don't get out very often). Sandra Cross made this journey weekly between 2006 and 2007 and endeavoured to record these helpful announcements whenever she got on to the train. "However, there was no consistency as to when an announcement would start; sometimes at the beginning of a journey, sometimes they'd pipe up several minu… Read more
This one just fluttered through an open office window...a reissue of Hans-Joachim Roedelius' six solo piano improvisations from 1986. Touchingly dedicated to his mother, 'Like The Whispering Of The Wind' is a luxurious suite of performances produced at his home and a friend's house in Vienna between 1983-85, and includes 'Beneath Blooming Trees', a cut from a live performance at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London in 1985. Lush.
Thursday, 07 July 2011
It's not like it's his first full-length offering, but nonetheless there's a weight and a composure to this release, right down to its sequencing, presentation and home on 4AD, which screams "debut LP proper". Fair play to the geez, he's done himself proud here: the eldritch, tranced-out double-punch of opening tracks 'Witch Hunt' and 'Natalia's Song' sets the tone for an album that delivers unabashed emotion, narcotic drift and rudeboy grit in equal and complementary measure. The absolutely boss 'Riding With Death' is like grime from outer space, smacked-up and dubbed-out but iterated with an almost … Read more
Minimal mistress, Kate Simko presents her sophomore album through Hello Repeat. 'Lights Out' notably features three warmer vocal collaborations with Kevin Knapp, Brenda D and Franco Di Lorenzo, adding a necessary romance to her sometimes austere brand of mnmlsm. Besides the clinically produced instrumental highlights of 'Last Breath' and the hypnotic 'Cairo', there's also a fine beatless passage of electro-acoustic ambience on 'Machine's Mantra'.
Some ten years into a respected production career spanning over 40 singles and remixes, Hamburg's Ada drops her second album. Neatly suited to Koze's unquantified Pampa imprint, 'Meine Zarten Pfoten' is a breezy mix of pastoral and Balearic-tinged pop, House and electronica. Like the mnml sound which birthed her, Ada has evidently matured since her debut album, the definitive 'Blondie', embracing more tender vocal melodies and song structures, whilst drifting slightly away from the centre of the dancefloor. Highlights range from a breathy opening cover of Luscious Jackson's 'Faith' to the breez… Read more
"Pikacyu*Makoto is an alliance between two figureheads of underground Japanese psych/pop, the musically promiscuous Kawabata Makoto (most famous for his leadership of the legendary Acid Mothers Temple), and Afrirampo's Pikacyu. No strangers to one another, the pair have not only gigged together with their respective bands but also recorded together, when these two outfits temporarily fused in 2005 to become Acid Mothers Afrirampo (releasing an album of the same name). Now they have distilled their collaboration, all other players being stripped away to leave the core of Pikacyu's manic drums and vocals, and Makoto's schizoid guitar conjurings."
**Brilliantly unpredictable and highly considered free music gem from the 1970s French avante-garde** Jacques Berrocal has been very active since the beginning of the 1970s. No one in France could mix jazz, improvisation, rock'n'roll, punk, no wave, spoken words and industrial music like him. He also had a central position in the creation of d'Avantage, a collective record label that issued some of the most particular sessions of the mid-late Seventies. At the same time he was working on never ending sessions for records that were never issued. Jac and his band were the Apostles of the non-… Read more
Lovely new album from Memory Tapes. Dayve Hawk's sepia-tinged early work presaged the hypnagogic pop and chillwave explosion, but for this, his second album proper, he claims to have drawn inspiration from insomnia, social awkwardness and a relationship meltdown. Not that you'd know it just from listening: for all its melancholy undertones, this is an album with a strong, bright pop sensibility; tracks like 'Wait In The Dark' 'Player Piano' are wonderfully hooky and direct, but still sufficiently strange and skew-whiff to reward listen after listen. 'Yes I Know' is just beautiful: with its m… Read more
*The first release in a definitive series collecting psychedelic '70s music from Pernambuco, Brazil. Includes 19 tracks of humid Psyche Rock grooves from the Brazilian underground* "Fabricas de Discos Rozenblit was founded by José Rozenblit in 1954 in Pernambuco (northeast Brazil). Im addition to a record label the operation boasted the first ever vinyl-pressing plant in the state, a super-modern factory and a studio capable of recording a full symphonic orchestra. Location away from the expense of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro gave them financial independence and the space to de… Read more
Like so many of their generation, Part Time wear their soft-focus '80s influences on their (rolled-up) sleeve with debut album 'What Would You Say'. Following in the footsteps of John Maus, Ariel Pink, or the Ducktails, their sound is drenched in all the memes of that era, from the haze of warm and woozy synths on 'Living In Pretend' to the neon backlit guitars of 'She's Got The Right' and the montage ambience of 'Riots In The Street'. The production is possibly less deliberately lo-fi than Maus and Pink, with a warmer edge and slightly-fuzzy depth ripe for humid evenings and psyched-out weekends.
Thursday, 30 June 2011
**Jeez, Includes Ron Hardy edit of Prince 'Traffic Jam' - honestly!** Ohhh... 'Flash Your Lights' is a vital collection of edits and original tracks deployed from the mothership of legendary Detroit radio jock, Electrifying Mojo. Quite simply, this guy was the biggest influence on Detroit's music scene of the '80s, bar none (well maybe the Roland corporation are a close 2nd). His Midnight Funk Association shows on WJLB broadcast the widest mix of up-to-date electronic music from YMO to Philip Glass and Depeche Mode, sandwiched between Funk… Read more
What's this - Brian Eno making dubstep and techno?!! OK, it's only a clutch of tracks that could possibly be described as such, but believe us when we say that Drums Between Bells, Eno's new album on Warp Records, is a significant departure from last year's Small Craft On A Milk Sea. The project has its origins back in the 90s, when Eno first collaborated with Rick Holland. Back then the collab came to nothing in terms of released material, but the duo resolved to work together again, and Drums Between Bells is the result of their renewed partnership. It's a tribute to the hustle and … Read more
Junior Boys make a very welcome return to our lives with their fourth album, three years since predecessor 'Begone Dull Care'. Now firmly established as one of the world's pre-eminent blue-eyed disco-soul groups, they present a set of laidback, streamlined and spacious productions, much more diverse than their previous two, and dare we say, recalling the immense gratification of their debut 'Last Exit' (one of the best pop albums of the last decade?). For us, like many others, the rhythms carry as much weight (if not, sometime, more) than the vocals, which was why we didn't care so much for t… Read more
After a two year wait, Silk Flowers' much anticipated new album finally touches down in the UK (though why its taken literally months to hit these shores we'll never know), and it's a far poppier treat than expected. That's by no means a bad thing. In fact it's a tremendous thing, much enhanced by production from Amanda 'MNDR' Warner of Oakland's Triangle, and neatly reserving Aviram Cohen's distinctive vocals to be interspersed between a body of brilliant instrumental cuts. It would also appear that the clouds have broken on the overcast sound of their eponymous debut and Captured Tracks 12", re… Read more
*Beguiling and beautiful cosmic noise transmissions from Finland. Proper tin foil hat-receiver business.* "Tuusanuuskat is a collaboration between Es and Tomutonttu. The name of the project Tuusanuuskat is a play on words derived from the phrase "tuusan nuuskana", (tr. total shambles). It is a Finnish saying that is used when something has broken to a million pieces. The phrase is generally used in a plyful context, and oftenreceived with laughter. If you google "tuusan nuuskana", some of the first hits you'll get are: "After birth; private parts tuusan nuuskana", Ferrari tuusan … Read more
Experimental folk hero David Thomas Broughton is back, and his distinct originality and weirdy charm hasn't dissipated in the slightest by the sound of 'Outbreeding'. Broughton has always been something of a 'cult' concern, despite glowing reviews from Pitchfork and the like, but this record seems like his best chance at reaching a wider audience. His curious vocals haunt each song, and are balanced against an ever changing backdrop of lo-fidelity production. This isn't an attempt to fit in with modern tropes, however - Broughton's been pedaling his very specific brand of Charity sho… Read more
'Pearls & Embarrassments: 2000 -2010 : Vol.01' clears Siriusmo's much-hyped cache of distinctly oddball electronic funk productions. Many have never seen the light of day before, while others have only previously appeared on vinyl releases. Highlights of this first volume would be the ebullient 'Simple', which sounds sorta like Thomas Bangaltar-meets-Modeselektor; the charmingly goofy disco dancer 'Gummiband'; the rubbery Bass strut of 'Let Me In!'; and the uplifting madness of 'Dunkelrot', but we're sure everyone will have their own favourite. It's maybe best compared to a massive bag of prototypical Haribo, and equally fun. Do check!
Wicked debut mixtape entrance from Kozzie following up his massive 'Destruction' vocal of Spooky's 'Spartan Riddim'. Quality control is high, no doubt helped by the NHNH involvement, and features production and riddims from S-X, Flava D, Faze Miyake, Royal-T, Darq-E-Freaker, and Spooky. For those with shorter attention spans, and/or higher listening standards he keeps the set varied and definitely up-to-the-moment, rolling between Eski-esque slides on 'Taking The Piss', riding S-X's 'Bricks' riddim on the anthemic 'Grime and Grind', flinging out the massive 'Spartan Remix' with Marger, Mer… Read more
**64 minutes of advanced electro-acoustic vibrations, new on Taylor Deupree's esteemed 12k imprint!** New Yorker Kenneth Kirscher's brand of minimalism is breathtakingly focussed and attuned to detail, but its ramifications are huge; we can think of few modern composer/producers whose delicate interventions seem to mess so absolutely with the fundamental physics of sound. This latest collection recording, released on his old sparring partner Taylor Deupree's 12k, provides almost four hours of music across three discs for you to immerse yourself in, beginning with the clustered bells and ch… Read more
Thursday, 23 June 2011
We were well impressed with Pursuit Grooves' 2010 EP Foxtrot Mannerisms, which at the time seemed like an unlikely offering to come from Bristol's dubstep stronghold Tectonic. For her debut album proper (following two self-released CDRs), Frantically Hopeful, the New Yorker seems to have absorbed more obviously UK influences into her grounded future-soul sound, but overall the vibe is firmly in keeping with that of her hometown's musical melting pot. 'Revolutionaries' is the kind of scuffed steppers' house you might expect to come from Pangaea, elevated by Grooves' oak-smoked croon,… Read more
Ever since he wheeled out his synthed-out, weed-sick styles on that Hyperdub EP back in 2008, we've been waiting for a proper full-length from Samiyam, and now it's finally here, on the Brainfeeder label operated by his old mucker Flying Lotus. There are a lot of cats in California repping this broken, zoned-out but reassuringly bottom-heavy hip-hop aesthetic right now - Matthewdavid, The Gaslamp Killer, and Gonjasufi, to name but a few - but for us Samiyam offers one of the most convincing and distinctive takes on the sound there is, all the while retaining a charmingly sketchy, skunk-infuse… Read more
Completely brilliant, brain-boxing suite of piano minimalism from Seth Horvitz, inspired by the works of James Tenney, Ligeti, Charlemagne Palestine and Conlon Nancarrow. The aim of Eight Studies was apparently to use simple computer-aided compositional pieces to "test the limits of human perception and machine precision"; it was performed by a Yamaha Disklavier C7 without the presence of a single human being, and recorded live; indeed, it's a work that questions the very nature of "live". It's pointless to go into too much depth about the techniques deployed - the curio… Read more
Heavyweight, nicely sequenced and mixed collection of live versions from the don, Robert Hood, centered around tracks from last year's 'Omega' LP. 'Omega' was inspired by Richard Matheson's end-of-the-world novel (and subsequent movie adaptation) The Omega Man, and for 'Omega Alive' Hood has decided to give an extra "post apocalyptic" burnish to his productions - as if his steely, aerobic minimal techno sound wasn't dystopian enough already. As ever, what separates Hood from his legion imitators is his supernatural grasp of funk, and his ability to wring that funk out of even the most brutally … Read more
The debut album from SBTRKT on Young Turks is here, and it's a strong set, managing to infuse the sounds of London's dance underground with a poppier essence. It's a vocal-heavy affair, with mic duties largely handled by formidable night bus crooner Sampha, while the rhythms are rooted in swinging, post-dubstep house, albeit with nods to various staging-posts in British soundystem culture - the masked producer's affection for both ragga-jungle and El-B style dark garage comes to the fore in the romping sub-bass of 'Right Thing To Do', while the excellent, almost gospel-flavoured 'Sanctuary' teams shuffli… Read more
'Sagara' was borne as a carte blanche commission by the Norwegian festival Øya for Diskjokke in 2009. Effectively he had a return ticket anywhere in the world to work with some musicians and settled upon Bandung, Java, to record and make music with the Sambasunda Gamelan group (good choice, fella!). After two weeks recording everything from their traditional instruments to city noise and "pulsating hot mountain springs" he returned to Oslo and created this sumptuous album. These six tracks (perhaps unknowingly) nod the the expansive nature of classic Global Communications, Brian Eno and Tangerine Drea… Read more
For 'Canta Lechuza', Roberto Carlos Lange (aka Boom & Birds, Epstein, and half of Savath & Savalas with Prefuse 73), took to a wood house with 400 acres of land in winter 2010, and turned out a remarkably lovely and idiosyncratic album. In the best sense, there's no comfortable category for this guy. His spirited music absorbs and a rich Hispanic language and culture, along with elements of ambient pop, electronica, HipHop and something clearly unquantified, magical and sensitive. He delivers ten songs, each featuring tenderly harmonised Spanish vocals diffused between kaleidoscopic avant-po… Read more
Taking time out from composing film scores with Irmin Schmidt in the south of France (news to us too!), Justus Köhncke and Jennifer Cardini present a seamless blend of tracks (and some of Justus' own edits) by Hot Chip, Human League, Rusty Egan, Bottin, Space, Hiem, Pocket, Baxendale, and more. The mood and groove are sophisticated, primed for laidback listens with a cocktail or two.
Thursday, 16 June 2011
Though we've enjoyed some of his recent more club-oriented fare, for us Scott Monteith is at his most vital when exploring more broken and desolate dub-techno sounds - and that's exactly what his new album is about. Released on his own BLKRTZ label, Drawn & Quartered feels almost like the definitive Deadbeat statement, comprised of four 10 minute+ tracks designed for deep immersion. Expansive scene-setter 'First Quarter' is proper dub, a rolling lovers' riddim haunted by echoing chords, panning effects and strange audio involutions; 'Second Quarter' is propelled by a steady 4/4 rhythm, fun… Read more
Really strong, hugely hyped new album from John Maus - sounding something like a cross between Autre Ne Veut and Joy Division - with a bit of Joe Jackson and Visage thrown in for good measure. And if that all sounds a bit lazy - all we can say is that it's just one of those albums, it reminds you of something else almost constantly, yet leaves a smudged mark all its own on your psyche. One of the albums of the year - and a big recommendation to any of you with a penchant for anything with the word Wave in it, or if you're just into good, joyous, melancholy - all-round affective pop music.