Thursday, 21 October 2010
For this third in the Electronic Ambient Remixes series Chris Carter turns his attention towards original Throbbing Gristle material from the 1970s and 1980s. The resultant set of soundscapes originally emerged in 2001, and places particular emphasis on rhythm. The Throbbing Gristle material used for the project all stemmed from Carter's own tape and loop-based contributions to the band's music and deconstructs them into minimalist, hypnotic new pieces that squelch and convulse, often soaking up extreme sub-frequencies.
Core features collaborations between Chris & Cosey, Robert Wyatt, Coil, Boyd Rice, Monte Cazazza, John Uncan, Joe Potts and Lustmord. This legendary 1988 compilation has been digitally remastered and features enhanced cover artwork and extensive sleeve notes by the artists.
This 2003 release is based on a Chris & Cosey live performance at CC Luchtbal in Antwerp, Belgium the previous year. The recording features reworked live versions of thirteen classic C&C tracks and marked the final appearance of the duo as Chris & Cosey (hereafter they would release music as Carter Tutti). In addition to the sixty-eight minute set, the CD comes with an enhanced section, featuring three music videos to accompany the recordings of 'Celph', 'Da Spooky' and 'Exotikah'.
First released in 2004, Electronic Ambient Remixes Four: Selflessness was based upon a Cosey Fanni Tutti sound piece recorded for Resonance FM in 2003. This broadcast drew from Cosey's "live art action" at Disneyland California the previous year and uses the ambient sound recordings from the event as its founding building blocks. The album's aim is said to be "to evoke in the listener the sensations of disorientation, loss of any sense of time and the displaced significance of ambient sounds that Cosey experienced during the action at Disneyland." Quite… Read more
Thursday, 14 October 2010
Leading up to the release of their feverishly anticipated debut album for Hyperdub, Darkstar underwent some major evolutionary changes. Perhaps most signifiicantly they expanded from a production/writing duo of James Young and Aiden Whalley into a trio, now including vocalist James Buttery. This personnel change has been reflected in the music too. While previously Darkstar's sound leaned towards the fringes of dubstep, the musical profile of North is considerably more difficult to define. The genre connections remain at least partially in-check on former single 'Aidy's Girl Is A Computer' - perhaps … Read more
*Expanded CD Edition - includes over 35 minutes of material not featured on the vinyl edition of this album* Another highly anticipated release from the excellent Digitalis imprint - this time from Boxhead Ensemble's Scott Tuma who manages to weave a sound that incorporates dense and unsettling field recordings with Takoma-esque porchside strums, wiry violin, rhythmic metal scrapes, music-box interludes, Location recordings, Shortwave signals, spectral banjo plucks and distant piano sequences. The first thing we hear is the exaggerated whirr of phased tape treatments opening u… Read more
Released in their complete form for the very first time, this disc collects in their entirety the 1990 Smegma Studios sessions which constituted the recorded debut of legendary drone-metal pioneers Earth. Combining material that was previously scattered between the Extra Capsular Extractions EP and Sunn Amps And Smashed Guitar, this release has been given the care and attention it deserves with liner notes penned by the band's own Dylan Carson with exclusive Simon Fowler artwork housed in a Stephen O'Malley-designed package. You can hear this massively influe… Read more
Tom Jenkinson is a restless musical soul. For his latest album he's dropped the Squarepusher moniker after 'Just A Souvenir' in favour of the cryptic Shobaleader One tag, which also includes his new band of Strobe Nazard on keys, Sten t'Mech and Arg Nution on guitar, and Company Laser on drums. Apparently this new set up came about when "Last summer a bunch of kids got in contact with me...Their idea was that they wanted the 'fantasy group' I had written about in connection with 'Just A Souvenir' to become a real entity that would record and tour...". Whether this band is re… Read more
'Blue Moon' was Moebius's (Cluster/Harmonia) last solo release for Sky Records. It is the soundtrack to a film of the same name, which neither I, nor Asmus Tietchens (who writes the sleevenotes) have seen, but it looks pretty cool from the stills on the sleeve - some kind of late '80s German crime thriller, possibly. Anyway, this is the only instance of Moebius writing a film score and as such it's defined by certain parameters which mark it from the rest of his work. The eleven tracks were created to fit the timing of the scenes, and are generally shorter, measured… Read more
"The previously unreleased spooked-out psychedelic-jazz score to 70s Czech's 'other' favourite teenage witch flick." 'Saxana - The Girl On A Broomstick' is another Finders Keepers truffle hunted from the archives of the studio that brought you 'Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders', one of the most celebrated reissues in their immense catalogue. It includes the entire studio sessions (plus psychedelic effects) written by Angelo Michajlov and performed by the Karel Vlach Orchestra, 27 tracks in total including truly hefty sleevenotes from Andy Votel (we could barely pull them… Read more
Rats Live On No Evil Star are an unusual duo, connected to that other notable palindromic experimental band, To Rococo Rot, in a roundabout sort of way: Bernd Jestram is a member of Tarwater, Ronald Lippok's 'other' band. A bizarre foray into post-punk/art-rock songwriting, the album centres around the work of J. Edward Donald, a writer of very strange music indeed, who occasionally lifts his lyrics from sources such as Anne Sexton, Aleister Crowley, Andre Herman Dune and Angela Bulloch. In describing all this, the label drops some confusing references to Ian Curti… Read more
Electronica maverick Cursor Miner deploys his fourth album, a journey into the lawless frontiers of pop music where just about anything can happen. Oddball opener 'Reject' is what you'd imagine Depeche Mode jamming around a campfire might sound like, while the more circuit-centric 'The Golem Of Bognor Regis' lurches more conscientiously in the direction of an electro influence, whilst also sounding a little like one of Atom TM's many guises in its absorption of chintzy exotica. One of the album's highlights, 'The Man With The Transparent Face' marks a turn towards a post-dubstep sound… Read more
The Wants finds this ambitious Glaswegian band raising their game considerably for their sophomore full-length, a curious assemblage of clever post-folk variations and proggier, occasionally krautrock-influenced sounds. Early single 'A Glamour' introduces the album with a weirdo glam stomp that's faintly suggestive of a more organic retake on Battles' 'Atlas'. From here on the album continues to evade pigeonholing, summoning up dark, cycling synths, some slick, piled-up vocals and electronically-enforced rhythms. It's in the finer details that The Phantom Band most convincingly set themse… Read more
Presented as a "guided tour" through Barbara Morgenstern's career to date, Fan No. 2 is a double-album sized collection that goes beyond the default greatest hits-style package and adds previously unreleased cuts alongside a Beatles cover ('Blackbird'), a Robert Wyatt collaboration ('Camouflage') and possibly best of all, two of Barbara's earliest EPs: the sought-after Enter he Partyzone and Plastikreport. There's lots to get stuck into here, and the new tracks and unheard mixes (e.g. Thomas Fehlmann's take on 'Der Augenblick') make Fan No.2 essential listening even for long-term fans of … Read more
dOP present their debut album, cheekily titled 'Greatest Hits', for Circus Company. Together with vocalist Jaws, the trio remind of Guillaume And The Coutu Dumont's brand of cabaret-inspired House music with a flair for jazzy keys, odd instrumentation like Chinese flute, painino, cajon, and cuica. Fun times.
Venerable German techno artist Oliver Ho presents his album as Raudive, 'Chamber Music' for Stefan Goldmann's Macro imprint. Ho describes the album as 'Bitches Brew voodoo reeds, New York no wave noices and European avant-string spin a mesmerizing dark patina around the ultra-present 3000-year-rhythms' and we won't argue. He's certainly gone much further than any of his techno records have dared venture, exploring those sounds which have obviously informed his music but become relegated for more direct dancefloor structures and requirements. Until the straight 4/4 kicks in 4 mins into 'Is It Dark… Read more
*CD VERSION INCLUDES A TRACK EXCLUSIVE TO THIS FORMAT, PLUS A PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED LIVE RECORDING FROM 1974* Enduring noise music innovators Smegma return, some thirty-eight years into their career with new album Mirage, which - somewhat confusingly - features slightly different tracklists on the different formats. Both versions open with the free-funk/splatter-jazz of 'World Of My Own', a noisy but ultimately pretty friendly assemblage of found sounds and wildly abstract garage performances. Following up, 'Mirage' is more surreal and understated, evoking a precarious, Nurse With Wound-type feel that… Read more
For the fourth installment in their always excellent Imaginational Anthem compilation series, the Tompkins Square label goes about compiling works from modern-day, up-and-coming acoustic guitar heroes; while previous volumes focused on the "forgotten legends of the American Primitive genre" you'll hear a wealth of new voices coming through on this entry, including C. Joynes, William Tyler (Silver Jews, Lambchop), Tyler Ramsey (from Band Of Horses), Nick Jonah Davis and Aaron Sheppard. The set begins with a progressive statement from Chris Forsyth, whos… Read more
"Whilst companion set Bluegrass Big Three explores the giants of the bluegrass explosion in the decade from the late 1940s to the late 1950s, Constant Sorrow takes a more studied overview of the whole scene from its roots in the 1920s and 1930s, through the growth between 1940 and 1950 to the flowering of the music and its mainstream acceptance in the late 1950s. harmingly known as "Old Time Music" or just "Old Timey", the hillbilly precursor of bluegrass did indeed have a long history stretching back across the Atlantic to the pre-record folk musi… Read more
"Hot Feet is the story in music, words and pictures, of the thriving dance culture in the USA across three decades, from the Jazz Age of the '20s, to the Depression years of the '30s, and on through World War II to the immediate post-war era. Hot Feet's three-disc, 70-track selection amply illustrates the evolution of danceable music, from the hot jazz of the Roaring '20s, to the "sweet music" and swing of the '30s and on to the wartime preference for big band boogie, which gave way to the small-combo rhythm and blues styles which predominated after the war. Recordings by familiar nam… Read more
An overview of 1950s Italian and Italian-American music, featuring Sophia Loren, Connie Francis, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Mario Lanza and many more. "Continuing a series exploring the popular music of Europe, Echoes Of Italy offers the ideal snapshot of Italian music in the fifties. This superb collection offers almost two and a half hours of great performances by such legends as Sophia Loren and Mario Lanza, as well as artists like Marino Marini and Domenico Modugno, who enjoyed international chart success as the world succumbed to the charms of Italian pop. Echoes Of Italy c… Read more
Both firmly ingrained in the fabric of Nashville life, Lambchop's Kurt Wagner and alt. country chanteuse Cortney Tidwell have reunited for an album that pays tribute to the noble art of the country duet, with a particular focus on the music released by the Chart Records catalogue. Cortney's grandfather, Slim Williamson, ran the Cart label, for which her father, Cliff Williamson, eventually became an A&R man. The family connection is completed by Tidwell's mother, Connie Eaton, who recorded for the same imprint. Kurt & Cortney (blimey) select eleven class… Read more
**Limited edition version including a Bonus CD with unreleased material & B-sides.** I was beginning to lose hope, I really was. 2009 wasn't shaping up to be a great year for pop music; sure there have been good albums but there weren't many really 'defining' records. Animal Collective had hit us square in the chops with 'Merriweather Post Pavillion' but nobody else had raised their game to meet it - the world was lacking the run of albums it needed to make 2009 'great' rather than simply 'good'. That brings us to 'Bitte Orca', an album which might lack the fanfare of its … Read more
Thursday, 07 October 2010
Cool Water' is Maxmillion Dunbar's debut album, and one of the best records Ramp have released this year. It follows two teasing 12"s which established Dunbar's brand of screwed Boogie and slow disco dreams within the orbits of neon '80s revisionism and something slightly more psyched and avant, at once within the scene, and just outside out of it. The trippily smudged 'Girls Dream' is just one highlight among many here, embedded in a set of complementary drum machine workouts weaved with hazy samples and studied synth washes. 'Pretty Please' sets the agenda with heavyweight '80s R'n'B bow… Read more
Morgan Packard has established himself as one of home-listening electronic music's great technicians, receiving considerable acclaim for his previous Anticipate album, Airships Fill The Sky. Combining the methodical discipline of an electroacoustic composer with all the bass and rhythmic awareness of a techno producer, Packard approaches this latest long-player with the use of piano, accordion and saxophone as well as his on homemade Ripple software; a programming environment tailor-made for his musical needs. In the vein of Monolake's recent work or the Alva Noto & Ryuichi Saka… Read more
DFA present a brilliant anthology of Peter Gordon and His Love Life Orchestra. Folks outside of the disco cognoscenti may know his name from LCD Soundystem's Fabric 36 mix, which they opened and closed with his 'Beginning Of The Heartbreak/Don't Care' single from 1979. Since the mid-late '70s Peter Gordon and His Love Of life Orchestra have played a pivotal role in the development of the studio-as-instrument and the general direction of dance ever music since. From his base in the epicentre of New York's East Village, surrounded by the likes of Keith Haring, A… Read more
Arriving on the heels of his recent All Delighted People EP, Sufjan Stevens at long last releases a proper full-length follow-up to his modern classic, Illinois. Strictly speaking, the self-released All Delighted People would by merits of its scale and duration qualify as an album in itself, but The Age Of Adz is billed as the official comeback long-player. Never one to do anything by halves, Sufjan has unleashed a bonafide opus on his audience with this CD-stretching effort; there's even a twenty-five minute long final track. Yikes. It's surprising then that opener 'Futile Devices' i… Read more
Teebs' debut drops sweet and heavy on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label, following the excellent Lorn album with a more lushed-out and hazy experience. As his recent single and A-side for All City's LA series proved, this man's got his own distinct style of MPC chops, generally less frantic than Flylo's and cleaner than Ras G's, defined by smooth, cushioned surfaces and the warm glow of his synthesizer textures. However he does share their attention span, giving eighteen finely sculpted vignettes from the most liminal, dreamy headspace, mostly hovering around the three minute mark. The previous single featu… Read more
After the dark introspection of previous album The Crying Light, Antony Hegarty returns with a tentatively optimistic new collection of songs for the fourth Antony & The Johnsons full-length, Swanlights. It's another achingly beautiful piece of work, and one that announces itself with the resoundingly positive 'Everything Is New' - a song that hovers in a minor key populated by harps and desolate pianos, yet still seems curiously upbeat in the wider context of Antony's discography. Recent single, 'Thank You For Your Love' further emphasises the clarity of the album's delivery, getting … Read more
The hugely talented John Roberts arrives at his debut album in style, following a string of celebrated releases on Dial Records. Those releases showcased an individual, beautifully composed sound, combining feathery piano keys and deeply padded, classically-informed House music with elegance and a refined subtlety. His remix services have recently been requested by Darkstar and Creep feat. Romy from the XX, but right now 'Glass Eights' is bound to attract him a lot of attention. He gracefully sweeps and sashays through ten variations on the Piano House theme, from supple Berlin grooves such a… Read more