Thursday, 19 February
"Post punk provocateurs The Pop Group, one of the most wildly innovative and barrier-shattering bands to emerge from the late '70s era, release their first studio recording in 35 years. The album 'Citizen Zombie' has been produced by one of the biggest names in commercial pop music, multi Grammy and Academy Award winner Paul Epworth (Adele, U2, Florence and The Machine) and features original members Mark Stewart (lyrics / vocals), Gareth Sager (guitar), Dan Catsis (bass), and Bruce Smith (drums)."
"Gliss Riffer marks new territory for Deacon who, following up on the release of his large ensemble-based recordings - 2009’s Bromst and 2012’s America - decided to return to a simpler way of writing and recording, similar to that of 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings, which has resulted in this self-produced album. Despite being predominately electronic, Gliss Riffer’s sonic palette is informed by his post-Spiderman of the Rings material. The Disklavier, a MIDI-fed player piano first heard on Bromst, is present here. Cross-rhythms suggestive of America’s orchestral songs and Deacon’s art music wor… Read more
NDW legend Holger Hiller sifts out a selection of dusty, wayward wave gems from the obscure early '80s Berlin archive of Wolfgang Seidel aka Populäre Mechanik. Rooted in the Zodiak Arts Club aesthetics of freedom and exploration, and prompted by the punk movement, Populäre Mechanik was coined as a vehicle to combine various strands of musical thought, from Devo-esque art-rock to jazz-wise detours and skinny dubs fracked with traces of slick yacht rock and exotica. RIYL K. Leimer, Felix Kubin, Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.
Roland Tings graduates from charming early singles for 100% Silk and Club Mod to this lush debut LP for Internasjonal. An impressionistic take on the golden era of late '80s/early '90s house filtered thru a pastel-toned Aussie heat haze, it swaggers across tempo zones from the buoyant, chirpy jack of 'Coming Up For Air' and the woozy piano house bumper, 'Who U Love', to the slow-building centrepiece 'Floating On A Salt Lake' before taking a downtempo turn with the chugging slow-house of 'Devotion' and the squashed strutter, 'Cultural Canal', and back deckside with the glorious 'Venus'.
"Eric Chenaux has emerged as one of the most distinctive, innovative and original voices in what might be called avant-garde balladry, juxtaposing his gorgeously pure and open singing against a guitar sound and style that truly stands alone. Skullsplitter is the impressive new album that confirms Chenaux’s singular aesthetic: genuine, natural, unaffected vocals gliding through slow, smoky melodies while electric and nylon-string guitars are deployed with adventurously experimental, dextrous, semi-improvisational technique and texture. Skullsplitter stands as a welcome and natural evolution … Read more
**Includes 20 track bonus CD** Back on Big Dada - Wiley rises to the top again with 'Snakes & Ladders' featuring guest spots from JME, Footsie, Wrigz, Flirta D and more. He's as mad as ever, dropping baffling bars and signature non sequiturs across 17 of his strongest tracks in years, from the bouncing summer 2014 anthem, 'On A Level' to the gulliest new skool grime in 'Reel Off' to the extended, eleven minute chicanery of 'Snakes & Ladders (Part Two)' which surely sets a new precedent for modern grime. Get in.
Heavyweight hook-up from Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz trio BadBadNotGood, produced by Frank Dukes (Eminem, 50 Cent, Drake). Imagine a hip hop noir directed by David Lynch and featuring MF Doom and Danny Brown; you can almost inhale the silver chronic fog of 'Sour Soul'. Dripping with expensive-sounding strings and Gainsbourg-via-Badalamenti vibes, the production is authentically classic and cinematic and provides the perfect backdrop to stage Ghostface's vivid, timeless storytelling. On paper, the jazz-trio plus Wu Tang MC formula could be enough to send heads fleeing, b… Read more
"Petite Noir, the South African producer, multi-instrumentalist, and genre-defying performer, is set to release a brand 5-track EP entitled The King Of Anxiety. Born Yannick Ilunga, to a Congolese father and Angolan mother, the artist known as Petite Noir has been making his unclassifiable, joyous music in various iterations for a number of years now. Previous singles "Til We Ghosts", "Noirse" and "Pressure", and his band Popskarr, in addition to collaborations with his friend Spoek Mathambo, garnered him online attention in 2013 and 2014, leading to his signing with Double Six. He is currently at work on his debut full-length album, due for release in 2015."
*CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package* *Sam Prekop returns with another album exploring the modular electronics he has been pursuing for the last few years* Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop’s music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea And Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world, expanding the public perception of what it means to be the leader of a pop band. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his … Read more
"Portland, Oregon’s sonic explorers Eternal Tapestry have always had a feeling of interplay between their impressionistic music and the dense forests that surround their hometown, but on their newest album, Wild Strawberries, they take that naturalistic inspiration to a new level. Wild Strawberries is a massive double album, which was recorded in a secluded cabin under the shadow of Mount Hood in Zigzag, OR. The Zigzag River flowed nearby, and the group spent time between takes learning about the area’s floral make up and relaxing under the stars. This idealistic lifestyle, however … Read more
Thursday, 12 February
Mumdance & Logos scout anterior, avant zones of the 'floor with the very keenly awaited 'Proto' LP for Tectonic. Haunted by the extremities of rave's past, but yanking at its future, the duo serve eight anachronistic showpieces equally adept at razing big rooms and punishing scuzzy basements. A 100% proof distillation of Belgian techno, early '90s bleep and hard-bodied American club styles turnt with grimy British rave suss, 'Proto' sidesteps superfluous sounds in favour of the most effective, visceral elements arranged with style and swagger. 'Dance Energy (89 Mix)' is Beltram battered into stee… Read more
Carter Tutti refresh their Chris & Cosey alter-egos in something of a dream project for their acolytes. Compiling last year's 'Remix Chris & Cosey' session with eight new studio reworks of Chris & Cosey live tracks, it underlines their output to date with a showcase of the original song's durability and, simultaneously, a display of current studio prowess. On the first disc, they apply a slippery mnodern chassis to the ghosts of eight songs, at best in the wormholing autobahn techno of 'Driving Blind' and an acidic re-rub of 'Dancing On Your Grave'. The remix suite is oilie… Read more
Toronto's Egyptrixx heavily impresses with the expansive industrial sound designs of 3rd LP, 'Transfer of Energy [Feelings Of Power]'. Launched on his newly minted Halocline Trance label, it's a sleek mixture of tensile club constructions and sci-fi atmospheres shot thru with blazing pop signatures and hyperreal textures. Industrial is the keyword here - connoting imagery of classic, dystopian cinema and computer games in the pensive, pranging dynamics of the title track and lush, intra-dimensional refractions in 'Mirror Etched on Shards of Amethyst', while making sonic … Read more
Joker continues to burn up that purple Bristol sound on his 2nd album, 'The Mainframe'. Wildly colourful but controlled with deadly steady hand, it presents a far more plush and intricate sound than the rest of peers still pushing a sound rooted in post-'06 dubstep/grime styles. In fact, he's pretty much a lone soldier in this case - fusing boogie, adult contemporary jazz motifs and cod ethno flutes to a bulky yet agile halfstep. Man clearly loves this sound and relishes it from the explosive dynamics and Casualty theme tune nods of 'Boss Mode' to the dichotomous clash of boogie niceness 'n nasty rave elements in 'Fuzz Bop'.
'Deterrence' is the formerly cassette-only 2010 release by Ricardo Donoso. It plumbs a darker, primordial space that pre-echoes the submerged qualities of his excellent albums for Digitalis, drawing us into abyssal zones of bleakest ambient electronics perfused with looming electro-acoustic structures that tesselate in the pitch blacknuss or scrape the clammy walls of his shapeshifting chambers.
"Grey day celebration music for meshed afternoons; eleven strums and songs to savor as you wander till spring. Did Damon & Naomi dream them? Did I? Will you?” —Andy Zax People talk about Damon & Naomi as if they’re the raw infrastructure that remained after Galaxie 500 fell apart, a steel skeleton stubbornly standing after an earthquake. But when the pair began a new project, they weren’t nadjusting so much as starting from scratch. By the time they released More Sad Hits, they had grown enough as musicians and songwriters that they didn’t need to lean on stark sincerity and reverb-drenched emotin… Read more
The hiatus is over: Six Organs of Admittance rise again with a stunning new slab on Drag City three years since 'Ascent'. Conspicuous by his absence, Chasny seems to have spent his time regressing to birth a more primordial approach to the neck of the guitar, now returning with Noel Von Harmonson (Drums), Rob Fisk (Bass), and Charlie Saufley (Bass) to help flesh out, transcribe and unravel his cryptic dreams. The result is is looser, broader Six Organs of Admittance to the one we remember, adroitly feeling out lonely blues beside face-aching feedback throwdowns, doomy flamenco flouris… Read more
As reliable as the changing of the seasons, Perlon serve six slices of suave tech-house minimalism from Thomas Melchior, collecting his recent two 12"s. His first material for the label since 2011 offers extended tracks synching elasticated basslines to barely-there drums and ghostly oscillators, with crucial streaks of filtered strings luring us deeper into a rippling conga groove. Next, he ups the energy levels with a perky, super-stripped number reminding of Wolfgang Voigt's Studio One classics, before switching tack again to knotted b-line and swinging claps with properly … Read more
"In the wet heat of a Japanese summer, legendary musician Ryuichi Sakamoto was joined on stage by Taylor Deupree and the duo of Corey Fuller and Tomoyoshi Date, known as Illuha. The Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media hosted the event as part of their 10 year anniversary which also included a captivating installation by Sakamoto called Forest Symphony. The days surrounding the concert brought the artists together for food, talk and exploration. Informal but meaningful moods that prepared them for performing together. The performance, an improvised set for piano, guitar… Read more
"The new album from Tropics, aka 27 year old Chris Ward, looks outwards, armed with a newfound confidence that foregrounds his vocal performance and songwriting. It’s a musical progression that mirrors a personal one: the early Tropics output was all made in the idyllic, if isolated setting of Ward’s grandmother’s empty house in the seaside town of Southsea, which he moved into after graduating from university to focus on writing and recording. He was alone there - “like, really alone. For days, I had literally no distractions.” Having moved to London in 2013, Ward now splits his time between the city… Read more
**Tectonic electronics, RIYL Emptyset, Paul Jebanasam, Alva Noto** "In contrast with the continual pursuit of achievement, that today's culture teaches us, the theme of Descent, found in many myths in the shape of the hero going underground to pass a period of solitude, is no longer represented. A cultural space existed in most traditional societies for such a period in a person's life and it was seen as necessary in order for the initiate to re-connect with their past and concomitantly with his collective unconscious, or humanity’s primordial existence. "Sarava Exu" was written throughout su… Read more
**File in your Romanian accordion virtuoso folder** "Marin “Tagoi” Sandu, bandleader of Bahto Delo Delo, is a Romani virtuoso accordion player and singer of the traditional lautari style in Romania. With guidance from his late father, Nicolae Neacsu, who was one of the founders of Taraf De Haidouks and a very respected violinist of his time, Tagoi started learning music from the age of eight. At 64, he plays and sings a large repertoire of Romani and lautari tunes. Tagoi still lives in the legendary village of Clejani in southern Romania with his wife. While he has dedicated his entire life to m… Read more
"Sir Richard Bishop is back with a fresh album and a fresh guitar! On Tangier Sessions, Sir Richard’s mythic guitar playing reaches a new degree of ingenuity and esteem. While traveling in Geneva, Bishop stumbled upon a modest, yet enchanting guitar, hidden on a shelf. He left the shop empty handed, but for days the guitar haunted him! He returned to purchase the instrument, mesmerized by the incredible sounds it produced when played. Utilizing this new and mysterious guitar, “Frontier” is an enduringly majestic composition, one of several songs on Tangier Sessions to feature Sir R… Read more
Thursday, 05 February
**Mastered by Rashad Becker at D&M. Photography by Traianos Pakioufakis and artwork by Bill Kouligas** 'Live Knots' presents two immersive live recordings of Oren Ambarchi playing the epic 'Knots' from 'Audience Of One' (Touch, 2012) in Tokyo and Krakow's Unsound Festival. Captured with alternately intimate and widescreen fidelity, the original elements of cyclonic guitar harmony and quicksilver percussion are twisted different ways across the two performances, exploring and testing every nuance of the track's framework. 'Tokyo Knots' intimately documents their show at SuperDeluxe in March 20… Read more
Root Strata founder, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma scales supernal heights of dream-pop and shoegazing noise bliss with 'A Year With 13 Moons' for Mexican Summer. We'll get it out right now - this is easily Jefre's magnum opus; a consolidation of all that we already loved about the incendiary romance of his work, boosted by a renewed sense of wonder and a catalytic clash of pop pangs fighting against avant garde instincts. Under a title inspired by a Fassbinder film, 'A Year With 13 Moons' is the result of a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco, during which t… Read more
**Includes digital download code redeemable from the label** Tuffened techno dub and sound system concrète from On-U Sound's Adrian Sherwood and Tectonic's Pinch. Staring down the dancefloor and blackened bedrooms, 'Late Night Endless' twists the Bristol-London axis in ten variations of hybridub. Guest vocals come from Sherwood's extensive roladex of sound system warriors and singjays, with Daddy Freddy sounding ravenous in 'Bucketman' and sweetened harmonies by Bim Sherman, Bernard Fowler and Skip McDonald in 'Run Them Away', and traces of Lee Perry, Prince Far I and Congo Natty laced to the noisy tech dub tackle of 'Music Killer Dub'.
"On this album (electronic music) I am exploring the effect of the reverb in a different way than in my previous release (Spyweirdos "feeling of movement"). The reverb effect is perceived as a factor of the timbre of a sound as the time floats. The composition of this album is based on electronic sounds that have a unique timbre. The effect of timbre's uniqueness is that the listener does not have a clear reference of the sound and therefore no expectations for the reflections of the sound inside a room. Thus, the listener is not able to distinguish the clean sound (heard unde… Read more
Very necessary New Beat / Acid House / early Belgian techno survey highlighting the pivotal output of Rembert De Smet aka Ro Maron. Hailed as "one of the top 5 best users of a 303 of all time" by JD Twitch (Optimo), Maron defined The Sound of Belgium circa '87-'90 with a string of then-unprecedented productions spinning elements of Chicago House, EBM and Freestyle Electro with a glammed-up Belgalo swagger and fizzy, melodic mentalism that remedied the relative cheese of prolific New Beat production team, Morton Sherman Bellucci, for example. After pop success in the mid '80s with 2 Belge… Read more
John Tejada adds a subtly effective layer of grit to his hypoallergenic tech-house sound in 'Signs Under Test'. Raising his tolerance for the infidelity and idiosyncracies of analog recording results heaps more space and atmosphere across all eleven tracks, lending his drums a sweet bite and loads of room for his modules to really spill and breathe. His melodic sensibilities and deftest drum programming /sequencing skills are in full effect, too. Whether rolling with AFXian lushness in opener 'Two 0 Two' or swinging with clipped electro drums and vaulted harmonies in 'Vaalbara', it's hard… Read more
A stark missive from the edge of the abyss, composed by Francisco Lopez and performed by Kasper T. Toeplitz at GRM Studios in Paris, France. 'Untitled #274' is one of the most focussed, near liminal pieces we've yet heard from the esteemed Portuguese composer and sound artist. A single, 48-minute piece imperceptibly unfolds from microscopic, psychoacoustic crackle - the aural equivalent of popping candy - underlined with skittish sub-bass pulses, drawing our ears through thickets of filigree white noise and howling drones that build gradually and dissipate at oblique angles. It doesn't fe… Read more