Thursday, 09 April
"An Iceberg is a large mass of ice detached from a glacier or from a floating platform of glaciers that drifst in the sea. It is in constant motion and most of its mass remains submerged under surface of the water. The goal of this new Iceberg series of releases on Glacial Movements is to describe through techno / dub music this huge mass of ice. Each record release will be produced in a special maxi digipack with images printed and embossed in spot gloss. The first chapter of this series is "Zastrugi" - the first techno glacial album by Netherworld. It's a wind-eroded, hard-packed snow surface … Read more
Thursday, 02 April
Alva Noto beautifully exchanges austerity for cinematographic lushness with the remarkably widescreen 3rd volume in his 'Xerrox' series. Inspired by private, formative influences such as 'La Isla Misteriosa y el Capitán' - based on Jules Verne's 'The Mysterious Island' - and Tarvosky's screen adaptation of 'Solaris', he uses the self-designed Xerrox software to transpose early, ingenuous feelings of awe and wonder into innovative, intimate atmospheres and dynamic soundscapes. In keeping with the series' focus on "using the process of copying as a basis", and the manner in which the inherent inf… Read more
Kelela's world-taking 'Cut 4 Me' (2013) mixtape blooms from 13 to 22 tracks, augmented with dramatic new remixes and riddims from Jam City, Neana, Kingdom, Mike Q, Massacooramaan… Y'all know what the sublime original sounds like so let's skip fwd: Jam City entirely overhauls 'Keep It Cool' with a smoother sorta tension; Kingdom resets 'Enemy' with a low-riding ballroom swagger; Mike Q ramps the spare Jam City mix of 'Cherry Coffee' with flash and bolshy ballroom flair; 'Go All Night' gets a kick drum reinforcement from Neana, contrasting sharply with the tessellating prisms of Massacooramaan's crystalline render. A worthwhile refreshment. Tip!
"Berlin-based composer Nils Frahm has fast become know as a prolific performer and recording artist with the piano at the core of his work. Piano Day is an official body created by Nils and his closest friends, and will house various exciting, piano-related projects. The first project revealed by the Piano Day team is the building of what will be world’s tallest piano: the Klavins 450. As the life-long dream of David Klavins, it even exceeds the currently largest upright piano there is, the Klavins M370. Situated in Germany, Tübingen, 1.8 tons in weight, 3.7 meters high, its longest strings are abou… Read more
**Woozy trip hop waking dreams** "Lapalux knew where and how his sound should change with a second album. As a result, Lustmore feels like a record as compulsively inspired and meticulously crafted as you’re likely to hear in 2015. Lustmore is loosely based on the experience of hypnogogia, a transitional state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. Listeners familiar with his 2011 debut, Nostalgic, will know that Stuart Howard’s woozy, infectious rhythms, enveloping textures and unfamiliarly familiar melodies conjure that territory perfectly. Lapalux attracted the direct attention of Brainfe… Read more
Shlomo rolls emotional in his long-awaited 3rd LP of instrumental hip hop hybrids. 'Dark Red' distills a viscous mix of coldwave and shoegaze memes together with ghostly traces of jungle, grime and footwork to a more mature, vintage-sounding appeal. It feels as though the tracks were created out of time and place; cherry-picking and arranging the choicest morsels of bygone styles before burying them in a rusty reel-to-reel tin and allowing the whole thing to gently emulsify. The resulting, foisty candies are aged beautifully and marked up with titles that ring true with their dysphoric pallor and int… Read more
**Remastered double CD edition with bonus tracks** "Factory Benelux deliver an expanded double disc edition of Always Now, the debut album by cult Factory Records group Section 25, produced by legendary sonic architect Martin Hannett in 1981. This new edition is housed in a miniature version of the folding pochette wallet designed by Peter Saville - famously one of the most expensive sleeves produced by Factory. Recorded as a trio at Pink Floyd’s Britannia Row studio in London, Always Now combined austere post-punk rhythms with elements of Can, Krautrock and modern psychedelia. … Read more
"Zu are an Italian instrumental / experimental music band from Rome, this new album is released on Mike Patton's Ipecac label. The album was recorded in the countryside near Bologna, Italy, in the summer of 2014 and features guest contributions from Joey Karam (The Locust), Italian guitar maverick Stefano Pilia (who plays regularly with the likes of Mike Watt, David Grubbs and Rokia Traore) and, perhaps most unexpectedly, a field recording of an indigenous Shipibo medicine man recorded by Zu bass player Massimo during his travels around the Amazon..."
*2CD double album* "Half Lives is the Gizeh Records follow-up album to Baker’s acclaimed 2013 album Already Drowning. While that album was built around the guest vocals of female singers - including Carla Bozulich, Jessica Bailiff and Geneviéve Castrée (O Paon) - Half Lives comprises two separate but interconnected albums and Baker’s loose concept was that they would bridge the more abstract/experimental and song-oriented natures of his work. Both albums were recorded in August 2014 in Berlin and are the product of initial extended improvisations that were then arranged into coherent pieces - ‘… Read more
**2015 CD Reissue** "‘On The Way To The Peak Of Normal’ is the third album by Holger Czukay, originally released in 1981. After ‘Movies’, his first post-Can solo album, Czukay continued exploring the methods of sampling and laidback jamming on this follow-up. The side long ‘Ode To Perfume’ / ‘Fragrance’ coasts along on some heavily twangy guitar, shortwave static, treated vocals, and drunken trumpet, all in a hypnotic late night groove. Intended as environmental music for some underlit, velvet clad chillout room, the album can be seen as one long rumination on improvised understatement."
**Beautiful Neo-Classical vocal electronics produced by Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Paul Corley (Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Prurient)** "Gabrielle’s formal training began at an early age, studying Balinese dance and gamelan in Indonesia while learning both the clarinet and piano. Herbst continued her training at Bard College where she studied voice and composition under the tutelage of Joan Tower, Zeena Parkins and Marina Rosenfeld. Her work has already been showcased at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, as well as Roulette, who in 2014 commissioned and premiered her first opera, … Read more
**2015 CD edition on Room 40** 'The Peregrine' is Lawrence English's homage to J.A. Baker's obscure tome of the same title. Without a doubt, it's also one of his most beautifully realised releases. That's possibly due in no small part to the profound impact the book has played on his work since first discovering it, by chance, some years ago in David Toop's loft while visiting the author/musicologist in London. As Lawrence alludes, there's a distinct parallel between the evocative sonic topographies of his work and the descriptive prose of the book "I feel The Peregrine epitomizes a ki… Read more
Pysch-rock on Thrill Jockey in the vein of Acid Mothers-meets-Hawkwind. A week on from the issuing of their ace four-track LP, Dead, here's White Hills eponymous Thrill Jockey album - a tremendous slab of Hawkwind style bludgeoning psychedelia and grunge-era riffing, with a good measure of electronic strangeness thrown into the bargain. In addition to immense, over-compressed Acid Mothers-style rockers like 'Counting Sevens', this is a band that isn't shy of stretching out into more classic-rock terrain with solos (check the bluesy licks of 'Three Quarters'), or exploring some vibe-he… Read more
'Wilderness of Mirrors' is a harrowing and compelling slab of dense ambient doom from esteemed Room40 proprietor, Lawrence English. Two years in the making and arguably ranking among his finest works, 'Wilderness of Mirrors' is, as English puts it, "reflection upon reflection, a pure white out of absolute aurality". Taking its title from a phrase rooted in T.S. Eliot's poem 'Gerontion' and later used to describe the misinformation campaigns of the cold war, it finds English channelling inspiration from the affective dynamics of Earth, MBV and Swans, together with his own fascina… Read more
**Edition of 300 housed in letter-pressed gatefold card sleeve and poly jacket** Wall and Rodgers' 2nd batch of surgically disassembled syntax and probing psycho-acoustics for Entr'acte is a bewt. Following on from 'Work 2006-2011' (E114) it presents a single, 27-minute piece of vitriolic vocal convulsions and computer music minutiae finding the long-term collaborators operating at liminal levels of psychoacoustic perception with an avant-garde, Beckettian feel for literary absurdity with Rodgers taking real pleasure in masticating juicy, uncomfortably sandwiched phrases. Very satisfying indeed.
Thursday, 26 March
Norway's Geir Jenssen (Biosphere) & Helge Sten (Deathprod) broach liminal ambient zones in their very keenly-awaited collaboration, 'Stator' for Touch. It's the 2nd time they've appeared together, following 1998's 'Nordheim Transformed', but the first time that they've actually collaborated. You'd be forgiven for assuming what ensues, as the duo plumb very closely to their signatures across seven tracks spread over 41 minutes. Entering with the unheimlich creep of 'Muses-C', balanced right on the biting point of phasing distortion and clarity, they cover vast tracts of ambient terrain with … Read more
Remarkable, processed vocal studies from Rome. 'Sintetizzatrice' is the first time Anna Caragnano & Donato Dozzy have worked together but you'd never tell. Their debut release features Anna's voice as the sole source, whisked, chopped and layered into an astonishing spectrum of styles touching on traditional Italian folk music as well as classical chamber music, kosmische and R&B. In stark contrast with the invasive tones of Florian Hecker's recent vocal studies, Dozzy deigns for a more heavenly form and accessible approach with differently transcendent results. Blooming fr… Read more
"‘Carrie & Lowell’ is Sufjan Stevens' first album in almost 5 years and is somewhat of a return to the sparse, pared-back sounds of ‘Seven Swans’. While it sounds like a memory, it does not trade on pastiche or nostalgia. Each song begins with a fragile melody that gathers steam until it becomes nothing less than a modern hymn. The album accomplishes the rare thing that any art should achieve, particularly in these noisy and fragmented days - by seeking to understand, Sufjan makes us feel less alone…"
**Class lo-fi synth-pop and depressed R&B futuristix from NNF's Teutonic ambassador** "German steamroom wrecking crew LX Sweat returns from a winter of festival dates and self-symbiosis to lay out an impressively realized full-length debut of voidist club fantasia, equal parts Screw bootlegs, slow-jack synth freestyle, and degraded phaser wash. City of Sweat spirals through a judgement night of weird, codeined lust, luxury hallucinations, overdosed syrup rituals, and long, blurry nights stumbling home through alleys in the rain. Like last year’s Sweat Sweat Sweat cassette, this new LP siphons ce… Read more
*Ships Friday* Luis Vasquez a.k.a. The Soft Moon nails his strongest, most-malleable take on post-punk/wave techno to date with third album, 'Deeper'. Since his last LP effort, 'Zeros', he's moved from Oakland, CA to Venice, Italy, with numerous raids on Berlin between. This has clearly influenced his sound, lending a more stringent focus and amped-up studio production ringing deeply true with his mix of formative influences; American EBM muscle and synthetic European emotions. It's kinda what we hoped the last Cold Cave album would sound like, before it went horribly wrong and Fernow scarpered. RIYL Silent Servant, Lust For Youth, Factory Floor.
*Third album from Baltimore’s Jana Hunter aka Lower Dens* "Escape From Evil is a cinematic, tonally rich work. The sounds are clean and warm. The pulse of the album is strong. Melodies are potent and songs are physical. Lyrics are direct, frank confrontations with life’s common crises. The album title is brazen, and along with the grimly funny title of lead single, ‘To Die in L.A.’, almost theatrical. The album was produced by Hunter and co-produced and mixed by Chris Coady (Beach House, Cass McCombs). Other production elements came from Ariel Rechtshaid (Sky Ferreira, Vampire Weekend) and… Read more
**Lighning Bolt take the skin off it with their 1st album since 2012 - recorded in a proper studio, too!** "Fantasy Empire, Lightning Bolt’s sixth album and first in five years, is a fresh take from a band intent on pushing themselves musically and sonically while maintaining the aesthetic that has defined not only them, but an entire generation of noisemakers. It marks many firsts, most notably their first recordings made using hi-fi recording equipment at the famed Machines With Magnets, and their first album for Thrill Jockey. More than any previous album, Fantasy Empire sounds like d… Read more
*Double CD book-style package / 38 track compilation from Soundway, Includes previously unreleased first ever known recordings of Afrobeat legend - Fela Kuti* "In conjunction with compiler and highlife researcher Dr. Markus Coester, Soundway present a very special release - including a bonus 45 that features the two first ever recordings by a certain Fela Ransome Kuti with his band The Highlife Rakers. Recorded by Melodisc in London in 1960, both tracks have been unearthed after more than fifty years in hiding. In many ways t… Read more
**CD in a book-style sleeve with over 60 photo stills, includes interview with director Gerard Johnson** Matt Johnson returns with another soundtrack outing as The The, this time round for new film Hyena. Hyena is the third volume in the Cinéola series of film soundtrack releases - published as a deluxe edition CD/Book, packaged in hardback form and filled with additional and exclusive material including photographs, interviews, and stills from the films and notes from the directors.
*Follakzoid return with 'III', their third release for Sacred Bones* "Föllakzoid began seven years ago as a trance experience between childhood friends Diego, Juan Pablo, and Domingo from Santiago, Chile. Heavily informed by the heritage of the ancient music of the Andes, the band has learned to integrate this influence with contemporary sounds of their times, creating a rich yet minimal atmosphere. III is a four-part minimal sound voyage in which you can hear Föllakzoid’s musical language developing into something more upbeat, obscure, and sharp, yet even simpler in terms of elements."
**Debut album by the former 100% Silk regular for Ghostly** "Throughout Insides, Fort Romeau guides us down misty corridors lined with supple synth pads, quietly thumping kicks, and elastic low-end sequences reinforced by an emotive confidence. Thick dancefloor cuts like "All I Want" and "Folle" are built on such satisfying elements—sounds so full-bodied, you'd swear they're knocking against your bones. This, too, is by design. "I wanted to make sure all the songs have a tangible quality," says Greene of his LP's physicality, "to make texture and grain become as important a part of the vocabulary … Read more
**Slinky garage/electronica including a remix by Warp's Plaid** "IRIDE is the debut album of Italian musician Marco Donnarumma aka Kuoyah, whose artist debut also came through Frijsfo back in 2009. Iride is a long player weighing in at just under one hour and like his previous work it makes for intriguing, challenging yet rewarding listening. Iride in Italian translates to ‘Iris’, by the way…These tracks were written and put together in spurts of productivity between 2012 and 2014. The first fruits dropped in 2013 via the strange yet well-received digital tracks 'Freight-Rejo‘ – a different version of th… Read more
From some rusted womb, Akatombo returns with a 4th album of mechanised illbient misshapes on Hand-Held Recordings following his contributions to Graham Lewis ov Dome/Wire's excellent 'All Over' (2014) album. 'Sometime, Never' captures the atmosphere of an isolationist mind - quite literally; he's a Scotsman marooned in Hiroshima - in ten pieces of blown out dub and hip hop doused in late night jazz motifs, drizzly ambience and all round pallor of noirish intrigue. There are distinct parallels to be made between this and the kind of beats that Spectre's Wordsound were pushing back in the late '… Read more
"This is Soul Jazz Records/Universal Sound's third album from deep jazz flautist and composer Lloyd McNeill (alongside the earlier 'Asha' and 'Washinton Suite'). Tanner Suite is one of the most beautiful and the rarest of all McNeill's records, a unique piece of music especially commissioned by the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art in the late 1960s to accompany an exhibition of the work of Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first African-American painter ever to gain international success. Tanner Suite was originally released in 1969 as a private individually numbered pressing of … Read more
**Liturgy augment their transcendental black metal with bolder electronics to ecstatic degrees in their 3rd album and follow-up to the radical 'Aesthetica'. Deluxe, spotgloss-printed and debossed gatefold jacket includes printed inners and DL code. Initial 500 copies on coloured wax** "Liturgy is a Brooklyn-based, self-styled “Transcendental Black Metal” band whose yearning, energetic music exists in an uncanny space between avant rock, black metal, fine art and shamanic ritual. Led by songwriter and conceptual architect Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, who is joined by guitarist Bernard Gann, bassist Tyler … Read more