Thursday, 29 May
**Card slipcase in houndstooth-printed PVC wallet** Ross Tones' Throwing Snow makes his album debut with the kaleidoscopic techno-bass hybrids of 'Mosaic' for Houndstooth. For the better part of ten years Ross has established an uncontainable style digesting and reworking elements of garage, footwork, techno and hip hop with a folk/jazz-wise musicality and electronic muscularity for myriad labels including Tom Lea's Local Action, Alex Nut's Ho Tep, and his own Snowfall. Vocals have always been a strong part of Throwing Snow's DNA and expectantly 'Mosaic' is no different, sporting guest contributi… Read more
"The KVB's new six track EP is the culmination of a week long recording session at Anton Newcombe's studio in Berlin last autumn. They recruited the help of Joe Dilworth (Stereolab) to contribute live drums to the recordings, this was the first time the band have worked outside of their own studio set up at their home in South London. 'Out Of Body' is a further exploration of the bands interest in phenomenology, bodily immersion and consciousness. Introspective lyrics are suspended in dream like melodies, further expanding upon the duo's hypnotic aesthetic which they explore both sonically and visually on the record..."
Brilliant debut album of kinky-assed industrial funk from Cómeme's Berlin-based Russian ex-pat producer. Part-produced by Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary and starring Battles' John Stanier on drums, the aesthetics are uncommonly high-end yet with sufficient amount of grit to put a real itch in yer gruds. Borrowing heavily from the blueprints of Liasons Dangereuses, DAF, and later '80s New Beat, Philipp animates his lean, powerful constructions with killer vocals blending his native tongue with indecipherable, punkish gibberish that even the most Vodka sozzled Russian would fail to comprehe… Read more
Thursday, 22 May
Unparalleled cello virtuoso Arne Deforce forges a compelling and convincing union with Mika Vainio in the often jaw-dropping 'Hephaestus', their only recording together, made in December 2011 at Vorhuit, Ghent. Taking its mantle from the Greek and Roman god of fire (celestial blacksmith; craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes - an all round stand-up guy), they pull no punches with a crushing display of instrumental and electronic might worthy of such lofty allusions. To be fair they could have called it 'Gary' and there'd be no less gravity to proceed… Read more
Lauded sonic alchemist Ben Frost keens into full view with the terrifying and awe-inspiring 'Aurora', his first full length solo album since 'By The Throat' (2009), and his debut for Mute. Clearly a gifted producer - with a remarkable catalogue to prove it - Frost has, over the last decade or so, become increasingly sought-out for his sensitive yet calloused ear by numerous collaborators and like-minded artists such as Björk, Valgeir Sigurdsson, Lawrence English, and Tim Hecker. The latter three in particular are all close collaborators, sharing a focus on mining something affectively visceral an… Read more
In 1983, a man named Lewis recorded an album named L’Amour, which was released on the unknown label R.A.W. And that’s about all we know. The record itself is a delicate, whispered album, reflecting the way the artist himself – spectral, movie star-like – almost disappears into the grey of the cover. It should come as no surprise that it failed to shout loudly enough to be noticed, another private press album that sank without trace. The ingredients are simple: smooth synthesizers, feather-light piano, ethereal, occasionally inaudible vocals and the gentle plucking of acoustic guitars. But the effects are… Read more
**A long-lost English art-rock gem for fans of Flaming Tunes, Woo, or Cleaners From Venus** "Blackest Ever Black presents to you Dead Unique, an album by Officer! recorded in 1995 but - outrageously, inexplicably - never before released into the public domain. This then is not a reissue or a revival; it’s a new record that just happens to have been maturing in the cask for, oh, a little shy of 20 years. It also happens to be a lost classic of English art-rock, and the crowning achievement in the career of its mercurial creator, Mick Hobbs…Officer! – the project that this incorrigible collaborator a… Read more
"Live "techno-tanzband" trio Elektro Guzzi return with their new studio album 'Observatory'. Still a string and a drum skin at the source, the sound emanating from the speakers seems to have travelled light years. Despite advances in software, ironically it is this live band that initiates a redesign of how techno could leap into the future. There is nothing retro about it. No citations of historic moments. The album resembles a party on the edge of the solar system, with scraps of distant sound memories - a shocking abandonment of anything an instrument was supposed to do. The recordings' w… Read more
**Compiled by New Order and featuring exclusive live version of 'Your Silent Face'. Gatefold jacket includes extensive liner notes by James Nice** Cherry-picked compilation of '80s NYC/MCR dancefloor gems, issued to assist Michael Shamberg, who ran OFNY's offices during their heyday. It's a prime summary of the label's early boundary-crossing aesthetic, mixing up post-punk indie bands with downtown electro architects, proto-industrialists and electrified jazz-funk units to give a taste of the era's exploratory essence. Highlights no doubt include Jon Robie's remix of Cabaret Voltaire's 'Yas… Read more
"The Lay Llamas consist of the Sicilian-born and raised but now Rome-based duo of Gioele Valenti and Nicola Giunta, who are now set to release their debut album 'Ostro' - a constantly shifting record, never remaining stuck or fixated on anything for too long. Crossing continents, be it musically, stylistically or physically, seems to be something the pair return to over and over again, the subtle radiations of Africa that can be heard on the record are no accident, “I think that Sicilians are more like Africans than Europeans in some way. We have almost the same weather and architecture. We feel in o… Read more
Blackpool's VHS Head returns to Skam with a new album of cut-up, ADD funk and horror atmospheres. Much like the first album, 'Trademark Ribbons Of Gold', VHS Head continues to fashion an archetype of hi-tech funk built on lo-fi samples liberally twocked from a seam of video nasty filth found in and around Blackpool. The results sound something like BoC and OPN beat up by Nicolas Collins after he lost on a phet-and-slush puppie-fuelled DDR session, spiralling a strobing stream of synaesthetically appealing sound/images with proper, Freestyle funk and disequilibrium.
Thursday, 15 May
Hyperdub present an exclusive-crammed first volume of four compilations celebrating ten years as a vanguard dancefloor and electronica imprint. In line with Kode 9's original sonic concepts exploring the intersection of cybernetic culture, philosophy and forward dance music, in 2014 the label's remit takes in up-to-the-second Footwork from Chicago alongside the gulliest London Grime and hyper-coloured computer boogie from a far-flung but like-minded pool of producers. Arguably the most exciting pieces on this volume come from that virulent Chicago scene, most notably with the shocking polymetrics… Read more
**Limited clear vinyl on initial copies** Brooklyn-based dream-pop duo Isaac Emmanuel (producer) and Melati Malay (vocals) follow-up the syrupy treats of their 'Melt' debut with a slickly intoxicating sophomore album. In ten tracks they isolate and weave elements of hip hop, '90s trip hop, ambient and psychedelic pop signatures to arrive at a sound uncannily similar to their antipodean brethren HTRK, but also with traces of that Tri Angle sound. At times it's a bit too sappy and flimsy, but at others like the Evian Christ-and-Kanye-styled 'Mythnomer', the Holy Other-esque 'Ageless', and t… Read more
Dissonanzen, born in Naples in 1993, is one of the most reputed and internationally acclaimed Italian New Music ensembles. They always carried out an important work on the modern and contemporary repertoire, performing works by composers such as Berio, Cage, Crumb, Dallapiccola, Feldman, Henze, Ives, Kagel, Maderna, Petrassi, Rzewski, Scelsi and Stockhausen, to name a few. They regularly collaborate with many musicians, composers and artists within the framework of the concert series of the Associazione Dissonanzen. The recordings contained in this 5CD box set, curated by Ciro Longoba… Read more
Sleaford Mods, arguably the UK's most exciting and popular garage rock unit, follow up the acclaimed 'Austerity Dogs' with 14 top shelf songs on 'Divide and Exit' for Steve Underwood's legendary Harbinger Sound. Featuring guest spot from Rita Ora and produced by Flood… not really, we jest - the duo spray another snotty dispatch from the frontline of the bar, Jason hollering about wanking, pissing and Chumbawumba to Andrew's drum machine (gun) stomps and ball-swanging bass guitar hooks. There's a few anthems-in-waiting with the likes of 'You're Brave' (check their rendition at RSD14!), the sn… Read more
Grime's most visible DJ ambassadors present a sweaty taste of their Butterz raves at Fabric with this 24-track mix cutting across the face of the current scene. Pitting tracks from Wiley, Lil Silva and D Double E alongside cuts from Kowton, Four Tet and Kelela, it's solid testament to where the scene's at in 2014, contrasting the (perhaps understandably) closed-off or exclusive scene of ten years ago with today's sense of inclusion encompassing sounds from house, techno and R&B alongside the garage, jungle and dub-rooted elements . From an initial burst of pandemonium crow… Read more
"Jac Berrocal has not released an album for 20 years. The legendary French trumpeter is back with its special atmosphere and feeling. Lot of guests too. Jacques "Jac" Berrocal (born 22 October 1946, Saint-Jean d'Angély) is a French trumpeter, singer and composer. He has been active since the 1970s in the independent and avant-garde music scene (he recorded/played with Steven Stapleton/Nurse With Wound and collaborated with Sunny Murray, Pascal Comelade, MKB (F. J. Ossang), James Chance, Alan Shorter, Bernard Vitet, Lol Coxhill, Michel Portal, Lizzy Mercier Descloux). He has released a few important … Read more
**Prime yacht rock classics and previously unissued demos juiced from Ned Doheny's legendary catalogue** "With no less than a mansion, a state beach, and a three-mile stretch of Los Angeles road bearing his surname, Ned Doheny easy-glided into the 1970s on a crest of notoriety. Signposting Ned’s sojourn through the LA recording industry were Jackson Browne, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Chaka Khan, Graham Nash, "Mama" Cass Elliot, Bonnie Raitt, and David Geffen—each a household name both inside and far from southern California. And while no bust of Ned Doheny appears alongside those of his Laurel … Read more
"Shining have gone through a radical transition after starting out as a postbop jazz quartet before ending up as the uncompromising "blackjazz" metalband we know today, all under the determined leadership of composer and multi-instrumentalist Jørgen Munkeby. Still only 33 years old, Jørgen joined Jaga Jazzist at the tender age of 14, so it´s fair to say he has accomplished a lot for his age. Shining have gone through a number of members since the first album back in 2001, the only mainstay to this day apart from Munkeby being drummer Torstein Lofthus (also of Elephant9). This 2CD release collects the t… Read more
""Twilight Peaks" is a formal reissue of Robbie Basho's last recordings. “Twilight Peaks” was originally issued in 1984 on a tape label called "The Art Of Relaxation", and never got any reviews and little attention at the time. For this new (and proper) release it was mastered by Glenn Jones (of Cul de Sac fame) and Matt Azevedo, from the original demo tapes, provided to Glenn Jones by Basho himself, as he was working on the album. The CD has two extra live tracks, culled from the original demo tapes tapes as well. Amazing liner notes by Glenn Jones and Rich Osborn."
"On his third album, the Pennsylvania snake-synth-charmer deepens his approach to aural depravity. Ultima II Massage widens a jagged swath through the dude’s own weird catalog, each disparate track damaged to the point of contributing to some sort of greater, lurching Frankenstein-like state. “I spent a lot of time breaking it in all the right places,” says TOBACCO. “It ends up making the whole thing breathe — sometimes gasp for air. It feels more alive.” This is easily TOBACCO’s most diverse set to date — his own Stereopathetic Soulmanure, but about that 1-900 hotline life: massage parlors, … Read more
"Conceived in Iceland, where work began on the album, and in Ushant Island, Brittany. The album was produced by Yann Tiersen and mixed by Gareth Jones with Yann Tiersen and Daniel Miller. For this album Tiersen has worked with native language speakers to include tracks sung and spoken in Breton (‘Ar Maen Bihan’), Faroese (‘Grønjørd’) and Icelandic (‘Steinn’). ‘Ar Maen Bihan’ is a story written by Emilie Quinquis in the Breton language, and was then translated by Amiina to Icelandic to create the track ‘Steinn’. Elsewhere on the album Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap) and Ólavur Jákupsson (a member of Ti… Read more
Thursday, 08 May
*Deluxe 2CD and DVD Edition, includes a Swans live in 2013 DVD* Michael Gira's musical vehicle pulls up to its thirteenth and possibly most outstanding album yet. Featuring guest spots from Little Annie (vocals), St. Vincent (vocals), Cold Specks (vocals), Bill Rieflin, and Julia Kent (strings) among others, Swans two hour-long 'To Be Kind' is nothing short of an American epic, fittingly recorded by the venerable John Congleton at Sonic Ranch, outside El Paso Texas, with further recordings and mixing accomplished in Dallas, Texas. It's also the group's first album for Mute, and a… Read more
**Includes Cult Music sticker** Zomby's Cult Music label returns with Actress, Silverlink, and Blocks & Escher remixes of Forever Forever and Prayer's sought-after Cult 002 12". Blocks & Escher follow their ace Overlook split for Narratives Music with a widescreen neo-D&B remix of Prayer's ambient halfstep elegy, 'The Two Halves' - also included as original version - whilst Actress steeps Forever Forever's Play Fights' in a hotbox of digital fumes and coiled 2-step, contrasting with Silverlink's lucid take on the same piece, also featured as a nifty VIP and the dreamy original.
Eglo's first lady of soul, Fatima Bramme Sey properly arrives with her fully-fledged debut album, 'Yellow Memories', featuring production by Floating Points, Computer Jay, Flako, and KNX. Active since the late '00s with guest appearances on Geeneus, DVA and Shafiq Husayn productions, the London-based vocalist has become a firm fixture in the Eglo family, contributing to some of the label biggest highlights such as her Floating Points-produced 'Red Light' and her 'Phone Line' dancefloor bomb with Funkineven. In the last few years, however, she's come to be the label's strongest, most unique asset… Read more
RVNG Intl.'s issue of 'A Period of Review (Original Recordings: 1975 - 1983)' is a wide-reaching and revelatory survey of Kerry Leimer's prescient output operating on the cusp of ambient, 4th World and industrial musics. From his base in Seattle, Leimer accumulated a unique catalogue of recordings created on a Micromoog, drum machines, guitars and FX units, and heavily informed by imported Krautrock/kosmische titles sourced outta NME and Melody Maker, and equally the more Anglophilic ambient loop compositions of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. Almost all of it appe… Read more
Düsseldorf's 2nd most famous band (for us at least) mark 20 years of modern krautrock operations with their eleventh album, ABC'. "The band has outgrown adolescence, but remains juvenile, reckless, impetuous. They recorded their new album ABC in Tbilisi, Georgia. Like TANK, it's two times three: Six tracks characterized by elliptical shifts, where suddenly the bass and drums take over the helm – or a choir appears. Indeed, a choir. KREIDLER worked together with Georgian singers: Either hovering freely in the meditative pop piece Ceramic, or defining a new space within a space, as in Nino. Nino perhaps mo… Read more
Mule Musiq entice some sweet ambient compositions from house and techno producers, alongside pieces by artists better known for work in neo-classical/ambient echelons. The likes of Petre Inspirescu, Roman Flügel, John Roberts and Recondite all step out of their usual domain into feathered, glassy, beat-less zones, alongside tranquil moments from seasoned ambient composers such as Hauschka and Koss. If we're picking any one highlight, it's gotta be Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles' remix of the Nobody Mix for Primula's 'Nobody's In This Classroom'.
'Mondo Black Chamber' is an important collection of David Toop's entire works for Sub Rosa between 1996-2003. The inestimable writer (Ocean Of Sound), musician (The Flying Lizards, General Strike, The 49 Americans) and musical thinker should really require little introduction to you lot so we'll crack on. 'Mondo Black Chamber' compiles the releases '37th Floor at Sunset - Music For Mondophrenetic™' (2000) and 'Black Chamber' (2003) with a compilation cut from the 'L'inacheve/Unfinished' set plus two rarities, framing a wide-angled yet focussed perspective on modern avant-garde and elect… Read more
**Includes booklet and download code redeemable from the label** Taut, angular post-punk from drums and guitar duo Noah Kardos-Fein and Dale Eisinger for fans of early Cabaret Voltaire and This Heat. Theirs is a thunderous, physically barrelling sound guided by disciplined principles, aware of pop structures and keen to rework them. It got an 8.1 on Pitchfork, too.