Thursday, 03 April
"The third album from Canadian composer Christopher Bissonnette sees him expanding his palette by narrowing his sound sources to a self built analog synthesizer. Eschewing the whiplash and/or everything including the kitchen sink style of assembly so common among current analog aﬁcionados, Bissonnette instead applies his signature compositional style of using long held tones and sweeping drones that alternate between, and fuse, pure tonal transcendence and patient, sparkling melodies that slowly reveal themselves. "Essays in Idleness was born from a desire for a more tactile … Read more
Jan Jelinek's Faitiche label presents a new album and, at the same time, a well-known name: Farben presents James DIN A4. In the summer of 2013 Farben (Jan Jelinek) remixed his way through the extensive oeuvre of the sample and collage artist James DIN A4 (Dennis Busch) – and gathered ten of his favorite titles here.
"‘Intoxicated Man’ (1995) and ‘Pink Elephants’ (1997) are Mick Harvey’s interpretations of the songs of legendary singer, songwriter and poet Serge Gainsbourg and are the first major works translating Gainsbourg’s influential work from French to English. The collection includes two unreleased tracks, ‘Dr. Jeckyll’ and ‘Run From Happiness’. Originally Harvey embarked on the project as a result of his own curiosity about the songs and particularly the lyrics. At the time of the original recordings Gainsbourg was little known outside classic works such as ‘Je T’ai… Read more
RIYL: Explosions In The Sky, Eluvium, Sigur Rós, Stars Of The Lid, Brian Eno. "Inventions is the new band formed by longtime friends, tourmates, and labelmates Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, and Mark T. Smith of Explosions In The Sky. There are plenty of talking points here: The fact that Cooper hasn’t been in a “band” of any sort since he was a teenager; no member of Explosions In The Sky has released an album outside of the context of EITS since their inception in the late 90s; and, of course, this is a dream duo for anyone familiar with the unparalleled emotional resonance of Cooper and Smith’s re… Read more
"Ellis Island Sound are Pete Astor (The Loft, Weather Prophets, Wisdom Of Harry) and David Sheppard (State River Widening, Snow Palms). ‘Regions’ is the duo’s third album since their inception and has already been described as “Afro-Krautrock” and “Teutonic High Life”. It is possible to detect the influence of Jean Bosco Mwende or King Sunny Ade’s guitars, along with polyrhythmic ensemble force of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and T-Funk-period Talking Heads. Sometime Radiohead collaborator John Matthias adds vocals to five tracks, coming on like an opiated James Brown channelling Damo Suzuki."
A welcome and typically beguiling return from Finland's Merja Kokkonen aka Islaja, who's now dropped the freakier folk elements in favour of trippier, modern art-pop and minimal wave. Four years since we last heard from her on Fonal with 'Keraaminen Pää', and in the Hertta Lussu Ässä trio for De Stijl, it would appear she's had a radical revision of her sound now stalking ground somewhere between Björk and Maria Minerva, yet without any concession to her strikingly unique, oneiric sound. You could possibly attribute her palette shift to the input of Heidi Mortenson, who co-produced and mixed the album, bu… Read more
Quite easily the most interesting artists on InFiné's books, Downliners Sekt deliver their debut album proper following a string of excellent EP's for Disboot and a run of MP3 albums released some years back on their own dsekt[dot]com label. The label notes reference everything from Autechre to Rhythm & Sound and My Bloody Valentine, and there is indeed a dubbed-out, rhythmically complex aesthetic that runs throughout the album, but DS work best when they step outside of those parameters and forge stylistic hybrids which are much harder to place - such as on the excellent 'Balt Shakt II',… Read more
"Having tantalised with ‘The Wheel’, ‘Bloodflows’ and ‘Lessons’, SOHN has added the final touches to his debut solo album, the anticipated ‘Tremors’. ‘Tremors’ is the way in which past traumas, as much as past successes, linger like the aftershocks of an earthquake. Even in the calmest moments its effects continue to reverberate and inform who we become. Throughout the eleven songs that form ‘Tremors’ runs a sense of the nocturnal - a sensitivity to the darkness and its inhibitions - with London-born SOHN adopting a night time schedule for an intense period of long nights writing and recording in his Vien… Read more
"For "Yearling" ORCAS members Benoît Pioulard and Rafael Anton Irisarri (The Sight Below) teamed up with Martyn Heyne (of Efterklang) on guitar and piano, and Michael Lerner (Telekinesis) on drums to built upon the subdued ambience of their self-titled debut, adding a huge dose of analog warmth to their hazy pop leanings. Whereas many songs on ORCAS' first album were built from guitar improvisations and impromptu vocal sessions, most of "Yearling" was constructed from short pieces Pioulard wrote and developed while staying in Germany during the summer of 2012. Working together at Heyne's Lichte Studio i… Read more
Thursday, 27 March
'Psychic 9-5 Club' is the nigh-on flawless 3rd album from HTRK - quite easily their most ambitious and rewarding outing yet. In contrast with the affective weight and morbid pallor of their 'Work (Work, Work)' LP - which was constructed as a duo after band-member Sean Stewart tragically died halfway through recording, this new suite finds space for a sliver of reflective light epitomised by the pathos of Jonnine Standish's vocals and Nigel Yang's deft, spaciously dub-wise production. There's still that sense of grief and dysphoria, but it feels like they've come, or are coming to terms with it … Read more
Florian Hecker's latest major work for Editions Mego investigates the serrated schism of nature and culture through a further focus on the unique timbral properties of the voice and our perceptions of language. "Articulação deepens Hecker’s collaboration with Reza Negarestani, author of the libretto created for Hinge . In two distinct renderings this piece articulates a complex scene in which the two obelisks of the script - one from the perspective of nature and one from the perspective of culture - are recited simultaneously in an informational yet dramatic style. Hinge* features the legendary art… Read more
'A Series Of Shocks' collates the latest house and techno research from Tobias Freund's Non Standard studio. It appears three years since his debut solo album, 'Leaning Over Backwards' on Ostgut Ton, and a year since his latest outings with longtime collaborator Atom ™. There's eight tracks in total, delving deep into a classically stripped down, powerful club sound characteristic of *that* Berghain/P'bar vibe. We're really feeling the darkside breakbeat house Wild Pitch vibes of 'If' and the rolling techno aerobics of 'Ya Po', and its 'Heartbeat' inversion, but also the cavernous daft o'clock techno minimalism of 'The Scheme Of Things'.
**Sublime small-sound electronics and neo-classical minimalism** "Akari is the third album from Tokyo duo Illuha. Following 2011’s debut Shizuku (12k1067) and 2013’s Interstices (12k2028), Akari takes the next artistic step for the band. While Shizuku was recorded in the US and completed separately by the artists, Interstices captured the duo creating their exceptionally detailed music together live during a Japaneses tour. Akari, in turn, is the first studio album where Illuha recorded and mixed together, throughout the entire process. The beautiful st-robo studio in Tokyo put a collection of amazing equ… Read more
**Rare live actions from Nurse With Wound, recorded between 1984 and 1986 at Bar Maldoror at in Ghent, Belgium, 2007** "“In our very short spell as a ‘live band’ Nurse With Wound performed eight times, five in public, between the years of 1984-86. These events were shambolic, chaotic and uneven affairs, sometimes as boring for the performers as the non-plussed audiences but at other times reaching an amazing intensity. Some were quite amusing—I remember one in particular, a Christmas event in Amsterdam. We had decided no electric lights, just hundreds of candles around the stage and, in a… Read more
Constructed from material recorded between 1987 and 2013, 'Bauteile' is an intensely detailed electronic study constructed by two veterans of the German electronic scene. It's one of the freakiest emissions we've heard from either producer, a fractal melee of avant-electronic funk and gyroscopic sound design culminating their extensive research in all areas of contemporary music. The piece plays thru as an unbroken, 70-minute wormhole of sorts, effectively spanning two centuries of musical development in a mind-bending chicane of psycho-acoustic trickery and advanced processes.
**Gatefold slipcase with fold-out poster** Glorious new album by the internationally acclaimed multi-displinary artist wearing his musical hat. 'Mind Trap' features a mixture of original songs, re-arrangements, and orchestral compositions written and recorded between London, Chicago and the Czech Republic. Martin's unmistakable vocals are front and centre, supported by gospel singers Dee Alexander and Yvonne Gage (Police, Madonna, R. Kelly) and Andy Knowles (Fiery Furnaces, Franz Ferdinand), with additional production from Franz Ferdinand's Nick McCarthy and Mark Ralph (who's worked with Hot Chi… Read more
**Beautifully packaged in a numbered, hand-letterpress printed Discfolio in an edition of 1,000 copies** "Now available on CD, this collection of early live recordings from venerable tribal experimentalists Savage Republic was originally made available in 1992 as a double-10-inch vinyl release in Independent Project Records’ Archive Series. Recorded during the first two years of the band’s existence, it includes one track from the group’s first ever live performance in May of 1981, several songs never recorded in the studio or otherwise released, as well as a … Read more
Mac DeMarco gone done it again with an infectious blend of indie seduction and irresistible, blue-eyed soul songcraft on 'Salad Days' - his keenly awaited follow-up to 'Rock And Roll Night Club'. We've had a total love/hate thing with this guy since his solo debut first crossed our paths back in 2012. There's something about his whole image and even half his songs which gets right on our tits, but then we manage to ignore that endearing gap toothed grin and get hooked on the sheer pop brilliance of 'Only You' or 'Rock And Roll Night Club' and we're like, we really want to hate you but we're humm… Read more
'The Enlightenment Machine' is a welcome return from one of European House music and electronica's true originals. As with his whole catalogue since 1994, Khan finds an ambiguous sweetspot between soulful synth-pop, house, German cabaret and electronica with a uniquely refined production touch and elegant vocals. Released on the recently minted AlbumLabel division of Random Noize Musick (Apparat, Oval, Phon.O), it's a concerted effort to play within and around the LP format, structured with a novel-like song cycle wending thru a spectrum of both blurred and clear-cut emotions intricately… Read more
"Soundtrack album for the French drama 'You and the Night' (Les rencontres d’après minuit). The album features the film’s original music composed by Anthony Gonzalez of M83. "Growing up together in Antibes, Anthony and his brother Yann were both inspired from an early age by European filmmakers such as Luis Bunuel, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Similar themes underline each of their individual artistic expressions, via both film and music: an appreciation for the majesty of hope and an overall embrace of humanity. For Anthony You And The Night is a fi… Read more
Thursday, 20 March
Mica Levi ov Micachu and The Shapes presents an outstanding original soundtrack for Jonathan Glazer's acclaimed alien stalker-in-Glasgow flick, 'Under The Skin'. Abstract in the extreme, especially for such a relatively mainstream production starring a major Hollywood actress (Scarlett Johansson), Mica Levi's soundtrack really impresses with an uncompromising orchestration of tense, discordant strings, muffled percussions and frozen drones coming off like a feverishly dreamt collaboration between Lynch, Hermann, Nate Young and Demdike Stare. With a 15-piece orchestra at her disposal - incl… Read more
*Debut album from Andy Stott and Demdike Stare's Miles Whittaker, aka Millie & Andrea. This first CD Edition comes in an oversized 6-panel Digifile * Millie & Andrea are Miles Whittaker and Andy Stott, fellow labelmates at Modern Love who collaborated on an occasional series of 12" releases of jungle, garage and techno hybrids between 2008 and 2010. It's been four years since we last heard from them but they now return with "Drop The Vowels", their debut album. Produced fast and loose through late 2013 / early 2014, it's an album that recalls the strict and stripped funk of Anthony Shakir… Read more
"Conrad Schnitzler (1937–2011), composer and concept artist, is one of the most important representatives of Germany's electronic music avant-garde. A student of Joseph Beuys, he founded Berlin's legendary Zodiak Free Arts Lab, a subculture club, in 1967/68, was a member of Tangerine Dream (together with Klaus Schulze and Edgar Froese) and Kluster (with Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and also released countless solo albums. On "Congratulacion" (originally released 1987 on the small spanish label Esplendor Geometrico) Schnitzler experimented with the Yamaha CX5 synthesizer, … Read more
"‘Mess’ is the follow up to 2012’s ‘WIXIW’, the sound of a band in an ambiguous, fragile, in-between state. ‘Mess’, on the other hand, is an angry, ecstatic, primal burst of ritualistic electronics that sacrifices self persecution for potent, purposeful abandon. Liars’ career has seen the band rattle through pigeonholes in an attempt to avoid them all together: brittle yet taught punk funk; no wave; ecstatic noise-pop; 21st Century garage rock; post-millennial post-rock; delicate electronics; reaching here, where Angus Andrew, Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross now find themselves - maybe not quite at ease wi… Read more
"Morricone High' showcases the composer's work for Italian psychedelic and art movies of the late sixties & early seventies. Ennio Morricone's beautiful melodies are decorated by Edda Dell'Orso's spacious wordless vocals; 'Scusi, Facciamo L'Amore?' (with the harmony singers I Cantori Moderni) (about the travails of a Neapolitan gigolo), 'Le Foto Proibite Di Una Signora Per Bene' (sex and crime Italian style) 'Veruschka' (model on a psychedelic trip) and 'La Donna Invisible' (arty Mediterranean love triangle) are all sublime examples of the composer in his p… Read more
**House party sauce from playboy Damon Palermo and friends** "After three thick years of performances, passport abuse, and pumping, pleasure-principle EPs, Damon Palermo, a.k.a. classic house torchbearer Magic Touch, presents his pinnacle statement to date: Palermo House Gang. Joining forces with a vast cast of collaborators sourced from his intercontinental travels—Octo Octa, Newbody, Benny Badge, The Horses, Sarah Bates, Sorcerer, Ash Williams—Palermo swings and sweats through funky new wave club mixes, freestyle R&B, mesh-top house, freeform hardware workouts and decadent disco for a… Read more
Another pioneer of UK Grime's recent renaissance, Wen is set to floor all-comers with this stunning debut album for Keysound. Since introducing himself on a split with Epoch and 12" for Badimup in 2012/early 2013, he's coined a striking new sound, rending classic UK dance templates with up-to-the-second sound design and uncanny feel for that late night urban atmosphere best defined by Burial. His edit of early Dizzee Rascal joint 'Strings Ho' which emerged in mid 2013 marked a turning point for this sound where the tempos became slower, the production more elastic, sculpted, and the arrangements tighter, f… Read more
"Future Islands release ‘Singles’, their debut album for 4AD and their boldest and most immediate work to date. The Baltimore trio consists of enigmatic frontman Sam Herring, bassist /guitarist William Cashion and keyboardist / guitarist / programmer Gerrit Welmers. Herring’s poetic tales of heartbreak, love and loss are up front and in high fidelity, thanks in part to a newfound creative partnership with producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear)"
'Sulphur-Tarot-Garden' collects three mesmerising Cyclobe soundtracks to rare, silent Super-8 films shot by Derek Jarman between 1972 and 1978. An original CDr edition of 200 was debuted to coincide with the films' premiere with their new soundtrack at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2012, and this is the first time they've been made widely available - original copies now sell for a lot. We've not had a chance to check the films yet, but if Cyclobe's soundtracks are any reflection of them it's certainly on our to do list. The first and longest piece, 'Sulphur' yields 15 minutes of infecti… Read more
Swans may have only reformed in 2009, but according to Michael Gira ‘The Seer’ is the album that has truly been thirty tortured years in the making. Its predecessor ‘My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky’ (excluding the limited live album ‘We Rose From Your Bed With The Sun In Our Head’) was a measured, low-key affair, more of a reminder of how the band had changed in the lost years between their death and rebirth than knocking their prior recordings out of the water entirely. ‘The Seer’ however is another beast altogether, simultaneously managing to cram in the measured melancholy o… Read more