Thursday, 17 April
On this second album, husband-and-wife duo Mike Paradinas (μ-Ziq) and Lara Rix-Martin have honed their craft further and teamed up with French singer Vezelay for some supremely chill rides. The delicate synths and vocal harmonies, both positioned just so, can trace their origins to Paradinas's earlier milieu of 90s electronica, and even further back to 70s and 80s cosmicism, but they also resonate appealingly with contemporary moods in downtempo, such as those of Tory Y Moi or How To Dress Well. A work of calm and carefully engineered beauty.
Thursday, 10 April
Loops Haunt returns with an excellent album of heady, layered, woozy percussive jamz for Black Acre on his new album 'Exits'. "Toying with Jungle and Hip Hop on Zenith and outright sound design on Ark, the wilderness-bound beat alchemist uses his isolation to explore and create his otherworldly sound palate. Lurking behind immaculate drums are the windswept sounds of the desolate North and mechanized textures plucked from his Father’s workshop. Exits is designed to be listened to as one continuous track, opening with ambient mood and emotion, layering outboard synths and found-sounds on the title tra… Read more
Superlative recording of Gavin Bryars performing his elegy for the Titanic accompanied by an ensemble including his four children on low strings and Philip Jeck playing improvised turntable, among others. Nearly 40 years old now, Bryar's signature and best known composition continues to undergo change and refinement in its partly pataphysical reflection of the tragedy, speculating further on the notion of Bandmaster Hartley's group performing 'Autumn' on the vertical deck of a slowly nose-diving ocean liner, and also below sea level, accompanied by the… Read more
The first album ever outside of Spain to focus on the history of Gipsy Rhumba, one of the most interesting musical culture clashes, first taking place in the early 1960s. In the Catalan region of Spain gipsies, primarily known as the creators of Flamenco, came up with a fascinating hybrid style - Gipsy Rhumba - which blended together Latin and Rhumba music of Cuba and the Caribbean together with their own flamenco, as well as the emerging rock ‘n’roll from America. As well as a musical overview of this unique art form, the r… Read more
**Mounted in foil-blocked bespoke card wallet designed by Zavoloka** Kotra's 8th solo album is an uncompromising dispatch from the outer limits of glitching, experimental electronica. On ten original pieces the Ukranian sound-artist and promoter projects an abrasive soundfield using - as far as we can tell - deconstructed samples masticated into irritant tones, isolated frequencies and salty squeaks. Following this theme, five remixers present intriguing revisions ranging from a cracking, abstract Pomassl version to Sturqen's stodgy techno thumper and Zavoloka's spatialized sound re-design. RIYL Raster-Noton's Ryoji Ikeda, Frank Bretschneider et al.
Thursday, 03 April
"Second full-length album from Mtendere Mandowa, better known as Los Angeles-based producer Teebs. ‘E s t a r a’ finds Teebs returning to Flying Lotus’ genrebending Brainfeeder imprint, following 2011’s ‘Collections 01’ and 2010’s full-length ‘Ardour’, an effort that came together in the midst of personal turmoil and the death of his father. In contrast, ‘E s t a r a’ encapsulates a time when the producer (and painter) has been making art entirely on his own terms. That freedom has not only strengthened his creative voice, but led to some of the finest work of his career and a remarkable album in it… Read more
Probably our favourite release on RVNG Intl comes from metal duo Lee Buford and Chip King aka The Body produced by Bobby Krlic aka The Haxan Cloak for their crushing 4th album, 'I Shall Die Here'. Abetted by Krlic's visceral production, The Body sound more fearsome and physical than ever before, shaping a series of tracks which only seem to get more intense and nightmarish as the trip takes hold. From the funereal trudge of opener 'To Carry the Seeds of Death Within Me' we pass through successive stages revealed like some hemlock-induced hallucination, from the eschatological resignation of '… Read more
"Luke Vibert has always operated on the fringes of each musical genre, but in doing so has become a well respected, and highly influential producer. From his early work as Wagon Christ (Rising High/Ninja Tine), Kerrier District and Amen Andrews (Rephlex), Plug (Ninja), Butler Kiev (Planet Mu) and recordings under his own name (including seminal albums for Mo Wax, Planet Mu and Warp Records), this is one artist who has come fully formed and in complete control of the direction his music takes. This new album is a very personal project from Vibert based largely around the Roland TB-303, and a lot of … Read more
"After a seven-year hiatus, Boneset is the seventh album from the excellent Diane Cluck. Cluck's uniquely clipped, glottal vocals and harp-like acoustic guitar embed in rich textures from cellist Isabel Castellvi and drummer Anders Griffen. Recorded to analog tape at Brooklyn's Trout Recording, Boneset is comprised of songs written years ago, not so long ago, just recently, laid out in near-chronological order. Dark to light to dark, the album overends as a kind of mobius strip, songs seeded with birds, death, wealth, poverty, boldness and heart. "Diane Cluck has been under-appreciated for so long,… Read more
**Historically important pieces documenting John Cage's early electronic and tape practice** "Although John Cage occasionally worked in large, sophisticated studios - for example, when he composed Fontana Mix in 1958 - his approach to electronic and tape music was often uncomplicated, makeshift, and pragmatic, employing simple tabletop devices: tape machines, phonograph cartridges, contact microphones, record players, portable radios, etc. He developed a soundworld that was utterly new, radical and demanding. It heralded the age of the loudspeaker, mas… Read more
*CD version comes in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package with spot UV printing* ‘Dances In Dreams Of The Known Unkown’ is the new album from Swedish group The Skull Defekts, with the legendary Daniel Higgs (Lungfish) joining Joachim Nordwall and Daniel Fagerstroem on vocal duties and acting as the group’s spiritual ringleader. The Defekts have long acted as the backbone of the Swedish experimental underground, but since their 2011 breakthrough ‘Peer Amid’, the group has emerged at the vanguard of a new wave of radical Scandinavian rock music alongside Ic… Read more
"‘Enter The Slasher House’ is the debut album from Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, comprised of Avey Tare (of Animal Collective), Angel Deradoorian (of Dirty Projectors, Deradoorian), and drummer Jeremy Hyman (of Ponytail, Dan Deacon), Avery Tare’s Slasher Flicks unites Avey Tare’s songwriting abilities with Deradoorian’s melody lines and Hyman’s flexible rhythms. The band could be described as a monstrous and nightmarish jazz power trio inspired by campy horror movie themes…"
"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