Thursday, 14 November
Shoulda-been-huge Balearic pop music from '80s also-rans, DJ Ralf Behrendt, Stefanie Lange and Claudia Hossfeld aka Saâda Bonaire. The first issue on Captured Tracks' new 'Fantasy Memory' sublabel, curated by Andy Grier of Theives Like Us, rescues from obscurity a full album of dub-wise, sexy electronic pop produced by Dennis Bovell at Kraftwerk's studio in 1982. As fate would have it, the project fell foul of EMI's label politics, notably the group's excessive A&R man, who went 5 times over budget on Tina Turner's 'Private Dancer' and more than three times over on Saâda Bonaire, hence the … Read more
**Fascinating collection of early and influential Yiddish Theatre recordings, among the rarest Jewish recordings in existence, accompanied by detailed 40-page booklet of liner notes** "In 1900 Lemberg was one of the most important cities in the Austro Hungarian Empire with a population of 160,000, of whom a third were Jewish. The Lemberg theatre was the first permanent and most important Yiddish theatre in Europe. Sholem Aleichem visited in 1905 and based his novel “Wandering Stars” on his experiences there. In 1910 Franz Kafka was profoundly affect… Read more
**Nils Frahm presents the truest representation of his feted piano performances with this gorgeous treatment of over two years worth of live performance, recorded on all sorts of devices and then carefully assembled in his Durton Studio and referred to by Frahm as "a collage of field recordings rather than a live album." Presented in die-cut slipcase with liner notes** "Berlin-based contemporary composer Nils Frahm has built a steady reputation for his intimate, poignant piano recordings, yet they so far only showed a fragment of what to expect from a Nils Frahm concert. Frahm’s heart lies in improvi… Read more
'Spät-Europa' (1982) is a crucial part of Asmus Tietchens' early '80s catalogue, now mercifully reissued by Bureau B. His work can be roughly described as avant-garde synth-pop, or "pseudo pop" in much the same manner you could call Conrad Schnitzler's music of the same era "pop". 'Spät-Europa' was originally released by the legendary Sky Records and conveys a melancholic, alien mood across twenty succinct vignettes oscillating with wild vision between hi-velocity rhythms, charmingly daft, tongue-in-cheek NDW melodies and darkside coldwave aces all falling under the 3 minute barrier - hence the "pop" tag we guess. RIYL Conrad Schnitzler, Felix Kubin, MFH.
'Supercodex' completes the trilogy of Ryoji Ikeda's advanced frequency studies ('Dataplex' 2005, 'Test Pattern' 2008) exploring the potentials between "data of sound" and "sound of data" for Raster Noton. The raw material comes from re/de/meta-constructed music from his first two albums plus subsequent art installations and projects and his ongoing, parallel project 'Superimposition' focused on quantum information. It features all the convoluted frequency f**kery a minimalist glitch fiend could wish for; 20 tracks of hyper-precise, abstracted auditory representations of complex visual patterns. … Read more
Having just recently been unmasked as the producer behind Blackest Ever Black's excellent Alexander Lewis album, Shifted follows up last years 'Crossed Paths' LP for Mote-Evolver, as well as releases under the Covered in Sand and Pacific Blue aliases with this strong debut album for Hospital Productions offshoot Bed of Nails. 'Under A Single Banner' consolidates the ductile reference points of his nebulous aliases, from cranky, club-crunching gear to noisier experiments, making for the bleakest definition of his sound to date. It's an uncannily tight fit with the Bed of Nails' aesthetic a… Read more
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label. Handmade, hand-numbered, and personally initialed with booklet of texts and artwork** Slip Discs' RNCM graduates present two works on one disc. The first, 'Virtual Airport' (2010) features the words of Matthew Welton set to the operatic vocals of Seaming To & Sofia Jernberg, with music by Larry Goves (electronics), Oliver Coates (cello), and Sarah Nicolls (piano). The second, 'SHUCK! & Black Valley', a "play for quiet voices" features words by Sam Quill set to stark, nocturnal electronics by Laurence Tompkins and sounds something like something like an experimental piece for Radio 4.
*Revised artwork edition of Arthur Russell’s classic, ‘World Of Echo’ in an edition of 500 copies. The packaging is loosely based on the original LP cover art from 1986, now housed in a tri-fold digipack with a rare image of Arthur, plus liner notes. Audio Remastered from Arthur’s pristine original 1/4″ sequenced masters*
Perhaps unavoidably, this new double-disc album from The Durutti Column isn't an entirely consistent affair, yet it almost certainly harbours some of the group's finest material in years. In fact, Vini Reilly's guitar has seldom sounded better, whether he's artfully traipsing though classical figures on 'Catos Revisited' or shredding through 'Requiem', he sounds like a man possessed. As far as negatives go, there's an ill-advised take on Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' encoded in 'Brother', but given how many positives there are to take from this album, the shortcomings seem emin… Read more
Thursday, 07 November
Awesome Tapes From Africa gone done it again, pulling up Penny Penny's outstanding debut tape of slow house swagger from SA circa 1994. As with all the label's cherry-picked goodies, there's a brilliant story behind this one: the son of a famous traditional healer, singer and dancer (now Politician) Penny Penny hails from Limpopo province in Northeast South Africa - same as Shangaan Electro, home of the Tsonga disco sound - and had a rough start working on farms for r2.50 per month (25c US) at the age of ten. Jobs as gold miner, labourer and restaurant owner followed before he found employment … Read more
Guido's sophomore follow-up to his acclaimed Punch Drunk LP is an assuredly mature and measured affair refining his feel for fluoro funk. Eleven tracks juice the tastiest traces of sino-grime, purple funk, jazz-trance (yesss), R&B and off-world folk with an inquisitive, considered approach that's deeply involving for the listener. Highlights have to be the cheeky juxtaposition of oriental hooks, scat and spurting grime on 'Heartful Dodger', the spaced-out keys and twinkle-toed bounce of 'Jupiter' or the militant pomp of 'NRG' for starters…
**New 2013 edition** And so the last of the Loop reissues arrives: A Gilded Eternity was the final album by Loop, released in 1990 not long after the band hit the indie top ten with their single 'Arc-Lite (included on the second disc here). As with the other reissues in the band's discography, A Gilded Eternity is remastered from the original analogue sources and has been compiled with an abundance of extra material that's chronologically in tune with the original album recordings. The first disc reproduces the album tracklist from its 1990 issue while the second disc (not availab… Read more
**Glossy tip on-style gatefold slipcase** Visceral electro-acoustic drone music from Chicago's highly intriguing Coppice duo for New York's Quakebasket label. First impressions are important; the slow, gripping drone of 'Snuck Keel' is a vice-like handshake delivered with the intensity of Colin Stetson and Stephen O'Malley in a stare-out. 'Impulses for Elaborated Turbulence (Excised)' inverts and diffuses that energy with a haptic concrète sensibility calling to mind work by their label mates from Senufo Editions, which continues into the detached abstractions of 'Sop' - 16 minutes of bluster… Read more
"Best known as one half of the critically acclaimed Scandinavian pop duo Wildbirds And Peacedrums, Mariam Wallentin has been re-born as Mariam The Believer, an introspective and melancholic creation of forceful pop that characterises Mariam’s vision of hope, of light at the end of a tunnel. Amongst the foreboding instrumentation of her debut solo album ‘Blood Donation’, released on Moshi Moshi, Mariam’s powerful vocals are that light. As she questions on ‘The String Of Everything’ - “Don’t we want to learn something more, reach somewhere new and die someone else?” - her music is the… Read more
"Femme fronted pocket punk and domestic-synth pop from French DIY workaholics X Ray Pop. Compiled from the mastertapes of the original 1980s privately pressed vinyl LPs and minuscule cassette runs. X Ray Pop are a group of whom are easy to scratch the surface, but almost impossible to get the bottom of. With an iconic moniker, telltale graphic style and demanding ‘buy me’ Day-Glo colour coding policy the French vinyl output of X Ray Pop as a specialist subject is, at first glance, memo- rable and achievable. Cocksure fans of Euro wave pop often proclaim X Ray expertise from behind many a rec… Read more
Old skool techno fiend A Sagittariun commits a beautiful debut album meshing myriad vintage techno, ambient and dub styles. 'Dream Ritual' casts back to that fertile early-mid '90s period when electronica/dance music were interchangeable terms and the whole AI movement (read: pre-IDM) was fresh, open-minded and smitten with the romance of possibility. It's easy to call it nostalgic, because it is, but it's perhaps better perceived as a reminder of what was, and what techno has become - in many cases a zombied, emotionless cadaver flogging itself into tomorrow. 'Dream Ritual' is techno in the… Read more
**Edition of 200 housed in slimline DVD-style case** Arne Weinberg incurs darkest sci-fi atmospheres on his 2nd album as Valanx for Diametric. If i'm honest, the last time I remember consciously listening to Arne Weinberg he was making colourful, Detroit-indebted house and techno, but he since laid that era to rest with the end of his AW-Recordings and now pursued a much darker path that appeals to us greatly. On 'Ejecta' he ties up elements of D&B, post-punk Industrial, sci-fi soundtracks and IDM with a refined economy of groove and space recalling the work of everyone from ASC, Synth Sense and… Read more
Slick double CD, 24-track follow-up to Jerome Derradji's acclaimed Detroit Beat Down round-up. Seven years on and the sound is strong as ever, now repped by an expanded roster of 313 heads who've been doing-the-do just as long, ranging from Terrence Dixon and Mike "Agent X" Clark to Frankie Junaj aka DJ 3000 beside newer cats such as Gabbamonkey and Alex Israel. It's all killer no filler over both discs, taking in a two-part deep techno ace by Terrence Dixon ('The Fall Guy'), brilliant electro-pop-like instrumental from Reggie Dokes ('Cyber Love'), Matrix-sampling breakb… Read more
German disco king back with his first album in five years! Köhncke is dead good at albums - just check his modern classics 'Wast Ist Musik' or 'Safe And Sound' for evidence - and contains to prove his calibre with 'The Wonderful Frequency Band'. Taking what he needs from the essential elan of seminal late '70s disco, '80s electronic boogie and '90s house, and factoring it with a dry but friendly sort of Teutonic humour, he presents a warm, pulsing example of why Kompakt - the label he's long been associated with - is still relevant in their 20th anniversary ye… Read more
**21-track compilation charting the rise of underground punk across the USA. Features tracks by Pere Ubu,The Zeros, X Blank X, Theoretical Girls, plus 35-page booklet with writing by Jon Savage, Geoff Travis, and Peter Saville among others** "Punk 45: Kill The Hippies! Kill Yourself! The American Nation Destroys Its Young - Underground Punk in the United States 1973-80 is the first in Soul Jazz Records’ Punk 45 series of album releases coinciding with… Read more
*New on Gizeh, features production and contributions from Nils Frahm, Peter Broderick and members of Mum* "Currently based in Belgium, Dutch-born Chantal Acda has worked under the Sleepingdog moniker since 2006, making three albums that closed on the "With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields" album for which she collaborated with Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid, A Winged Victory For The Sullen). After all this, it was time for her first real solo record and she sought out kindred spirits with whom she might record an album filled with freedom and intensity, and w… Read more
**Lovely 40-track collection of solo piano and soundtrack works by Roger Eno. RIYL his brother, Michael Nyman, Leyland Kirby, Yann Tiersen** "Roger Eno started his recording carer by collaborating with brother Brian on 1983's Apollo and has contributed music to films such as Dune, 9 1/2 Weeks, and Trainspotting. This collection compiles some of his most striking work from a number of out-of-print albums such as Between Tides and The Flatlands. Satie-esque piano sketches and chamber ensemble pieces that recall the soundtrack work of Michael Nyman, Yann Tiersen and Tindersti… Read more
Seminal Industrial funk from the Steel City pioneers. Originally released in 1984, 'Micro-Phonies' is a classic of their post-Chris Watson phase, combining slickest technological innovations with their tastes for world music, American jazzfunk and forward-thinking intention manifest in their itchy drum machine programming, hi-tech synthlines and track titles such as the killer 'Digital Rasta' and the faithful nod to 'James Brown'. If you don't know, get to know!
*New 10-track Album from the excellent CFCF, described by the label as "like Jan Hammer, Peter Gabriel and Fever Ray jamming in an airport lounge* "The dust’s not even settled on his last EP - ‘Music For Objects’, and ‘Exercises’ before it - and prolific Montreal producer CFCF (aka Mike Silver) has already got an exquisite new release lined up; his first full-length since 2009’s ‘Continent’, this is ‘Outside’, released on Dummy Records. With ’Outside’, Silver has managed to create something that grapples with how loneliness radiates outward and reflects the environments he finds himself in, even if he’s … Read more
Bureau B's latest raid on the Schnitzler archive unearths eight inimitable blueprints of proto-techno space music. They were all recorded in 1974-75 by the original Tangerine Dream and Kluster member but they've all only just seen the light of day in the last few years. Tracks 1-5 were released by Qbico in 2009 and range from amorphous, bleeping constellations to alien modular chatter to immense, minimalist motorik excursions powered by plonging basslines and primed for the freakiest 'floors. There's also three outstanding bonus tracks which have never been released before, among them one whic… Read more
*Debut album from Ron Morelli, founder of the influential L.I.E.S. label featuring 8 electronic variants; from House and industrial tape experiments to saturated metallic beat tracks...* There’s so much that could be said about Ron Morelli, his L.I.E.S. label, or the fact that his debut album comes to you via Hospital Productions, but instead, here are some words from the man himself. “I’m a regular guy, enjoy a good steak, drinking beer, and occasionally a game of pro basketball, Republican talk radio... you know...all the good stuff.....” “The music on this record is about immediacy, pressure, monot… Read more
Lovely 2nd album of pastoral ambient and undulating techno from Finnish enigma, Ukkonen. In good company among No Pain In Pop's "polystylistic" posse of Karen Gwyer, Patten and Torn Hawk, 'The Ancient Tonalities Of' Ukkonen are a faithful nod to that bygone era of cerebral dance music when the likes of AFX, Autechre, Carl Craig or Squarepusher were making music rich in complex harmony, soothing melody and intricate rhythms that managed to challenge convention whilst gratifying the masses. The album's effortless grace belies a great deal of whirring internal mechanics and application o… Read more
Remastered (from original tapes) reissue of The Cabs' 7th studio album, originally released in 1985. "Cabaret Voltaire, alongside Human League, Throbbing Gristle, Fad Gadget and The Normal, were at the forefront of the UK electronic movement of the late 70s. Way ahead of their time, Cabaret Voltaire’s blend of dance music, techno, dub, house and experimental made them, without a doubt, one of the most influential acts of the last 35 years."
Remastered (from original tapes) reissue of Cabaret Voltaire's first album released in 1983 after the departure of Chris Watson. 'The Crackdown' is widely considered to be one of the influential industrial funk unit's finest album efforts, honing a mixture of darker, dubbed-out electronic atmospheres and insistent vocals with grooves ranging from skittish industrial funk to proto-house and electro with the sort of deeply funky swagger and commercial appeal that saw them also gained traction with American club crowds at the time and has since seen them hailed as a big influence on Hip Hop and house music.
Pan Sonic space explorer Mika Vainio and Sunn 0))) strongarm Stephen O'Malley rock our world to the foundations with this anticipated union of electronics and guitars plus vocals by Alan Dubin (Khanate) and string arrangements from Eyvind Kang. In gestation for some years now, the results are little short of a modern doom masterpiece; a bracing exposition of cold, condensed, rage and stoic passion delivered like a hammer-blow to the head, billowing metallic smoke and blinding with its blackened brilliance. It finds a powerful pressure point between their individua… Read more