Thursday, 14 March
*New and expanded edition of this seminal box set from Irdial - now includes a 5th, previously unreleased disc of abstract transmissions from shortwave "Noise Stations", plus an updated 80 page booklet and a set of postcards* Originally issued in 1997 as a 4 Disc set, "The Conet Project" is one of the most unusual and, ultimately, culturally substantial audio artefacts to have been released in the last 20 years. Painstakingly compiled by Akin Fernandez and released on his own Irdial label (for those of you not aware of Irdial - rea… Read more
Decommissioned man-machine Karl Bartos presents 'Off The Record', his first new album in a decade and his 2nd since unplugging from Kraftwerk. Largely conceived from notes written during his time as a robot, it's prime synth-pop in the purest sense of the term; entirely synthetic and with the requisite amount of hooks from a being at least 25% responsible for some of the most influential electronic pop music ever made. Lead single 'Atomium' opens with urgent pomp, all flash stabs and stern vocoder vocals powered by motorik rhythms. 'Nachtfahrt' follows with a more human, NDW-styled pop ditty… Read more
*CD version packaged in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package with high gloss printing* "Black Pus is the solo project of Brian Chippendale of noise rock titans Lightning Bolt and Mindflayer. 'All My Relations’ is the first Black Pus album to be recorded in a proper studio, entrusting recording and production to Keith Souza and Seth Manchester (who have worked with The Body, Battles and Skull Defekts) at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, RI. ‘All My Relations’ follows a series of self-released CDrs and 2011’s album ‘Primordial Pus’ (Load Records). In addition to his work in both Lightning… Read more
Fabric catch the prolific liquid don for his first commercially available mix CD. With such an illustrious catalogue to select from, you can't blame the man for drawing almost entirely upon his own productions, which make up 14 of the 21 tracks, including remixes, originals, an exclusive cut'Simple Things', and the intro/outros, complemented by joints from dBridge, Genotype, and Lynx & Hellrazor. The Rolls Royce sound.
"It's been 287 years since Antonio Vivaldi wrote his popular masterpiece "The Four Seasons". Following in these musical footsteps, Lars Leonhard now takes on the idea of molding the distinct characteristics of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter into twelve pieces of electronic music. After the previous, purely instrumental releases by the Düsseldorf artist - the remix EP "No Comment" (2012) and his debut album "1549" (2011) - his new twelve-track album "Seasons - Les quatre saison" features singer Alvina Red lending her voice to the first of each four seasons' three tracks in pu… Read more
*CD version limited to 500 copies and packaged in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold sleeve* **Lushly gloomy, pulsating kosmiche borne from the un-synched mind ov Jimy Seitang from New York's Rhyton and Psychic Ills** "Stygian Stride is Jimy SeiTang, a New York based musician in the NNCK axis who, as a member of Psychic Ills and most currently with Rhyton, was brought up in the midst of the groundswell of avant-garde and improvised psychedelic music in New York City over the past decade. On this, his debut solo release, SeiTang has moved away from rock music completely, instead turning his… Read more
**Cultishly adored shredder barrels out her poppiest turn to date on her impishly titled 'The Chronicles Of Marnia'** "Her new album, The Chronicles of Marnia, finds Marnie not only working with a new drummer (Oneida’s Kid Millions), but also passionately subtracting from her normally dense song structures to craft a sound that is both familiar and wholly original. “I always gravitate towards interweaving and a more abrasive sound,” Marnie said about working on the new album. “I was working with Nicholas Vernhes from Rare Book Room Recording in Brooklyn, and he was the producer. H… Read more
10th studio album from Alan Sparhawk's troupe, who've now been active for - gulp - 20 years. Though the band are still impeccably restrained, never wasting a note, the confidently iterated folk-rock missives gathered here are some distance from the whispered confessions and gossamer-thin arrangements of their revered 90s sides. Produced by Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and Tom Schick, both Grammy winners, the sound conjured up is simultaneously intimate and heavy-duty, built to confidently ride the AM waves, with lots of closely mic'd piano and stacked vocal harmonies, and a real grasp of tradition. Mimi P… Read more
**Double disc jewel case** Veteran artist Phil Niblock, now in his mid-seventies, has probably composed more drone pieces than you've had hot dinners. In fact, given this album's existence, he might have actually composed more drone pieces about hot dinners than you've had... you get the picture. Touch Food is a collaboration with some top flight avant-garde musicians: pianist Reinhold Friedl, saxophonist Ulrich Krieger, clarinettist Carol Robinson and Kaspar T. Toeplitz on electric bass. These musicians have their respective performances transfigured into towering, sustaining structures, ofte… Read more
Thursday, 07 March
**Finders Keepers Say: "Micro-kosmic domestic-synth-pop, pocket punk, French funk ultra rarity. Originally released in 1985 as a limited edition of 100 black cassette tapes"** Finders Keepers' Cache Cache sister label come up trumps again with this cute Gallic rarity by the prolific X-Ray Pop pair. Specially dug out by Andy Votel, 'Pirate' ranks as one of their freakiest episodes, 15 tidy, jerky, jabbin' synth-pop nuggets kissed with Zouka Dzaza's ever-endearing vocals over short, sharp shocks of cheap synth and tinny, rapid-fire drum machine patter bound for budget kicks in your bedsit/squat.
Forwind's 2013 trajectory starts with a wonderfully noisy ambient piece by emergent Japanese producer, Tomonori Nozaki. With previous experiments conducted in the minimal techno field, Nozaki arrives at a lush and widescreen sound on 'North Palace'. He uses analog equipment to organic, evocative appeal, eschewing any computer processing to embrace the infidelities of tape-loop splicing and dusty synth sounds beside other, unnamed outboard sources. The most direct precedents for this sound clearly lie in William Basinski's decaying spools and the romantic isolation of The Boats or certain U… Read more
**Hand-stamped card wallet with hand-made obi-strip. Edition of 100 with art insert** Slip Discs' 4th issue is the debut release of contemporary electronic compositions by two friends of the label and fellow students at Manchester's RNCM. Caroline Haines works under the Chaines moniker on two pieces. Her first, 'Speak Gentle Words', is a subtle 10 minute soundscape opening to precisely placed and plangent percussions amid stereo swirl of opalescent chords, before taking an eerier tack to naif vocal manipulations, creepy accordion and baby cries coming off like Madalyn Merkey and Ghedalia Tazarte… Read more
Thursday, 28 February
Album number 11 from the venerable Æ is arguably their finest for over a decade. 'Exai' marks the pairing of Sean Booth and Rob Brown at a refreshed peak of their powers with scant compromise to the challenging and forward thinking nature of their music. And for a duo now well into their third decade of collaboration, that's a rare thing indeed. Their beats are astutely modern, refracting traces of Techno, dubstep, house, hip hop, D&B and electro with signature flair, while their palette banks of computerized sounds are intangibly abstract, machinelike, yet provoking unmistakably human emotional response… Read more
Sandwell District official and NYC techno legend, Dave Sumner, aka Function presents his hugely anticipated debut album thru Ostgut Ton. As is well reported, it's taken him 16 years to reach this point, but to be fair, he's already had a hand in one of the biggest techno LP's of the last decade in 'Feed Forward', and laid out more than enough killer solo 12"s and gear with Portion:Reform to assuage any indictment of laziness. And far from lazy, 'Incubation' is a predominantly gymnastic affair, albeit with a moody cinematic bent. Scene-setting sci-fi vista 'Voiceprint' sets the tone for a super slee… Read more
*Includes two newly remastered Fela albums in one package* Another definitive Afrobeat masterpiece from the Fela Kuti & Africa 70 archives, 'Alagbon Close' backed with 'I No Get Eye For Back' dating to the pivotal year of 1974. Recording at the Ginger baker-funded A.R.C. Studios and fuelled by their first major experience of police brutality - they'd searched in vain for weed at Fela's Alagabon Close compound, subsequently holding him in cells and the military hospital for seven days waiting for a swallowed joint to "pass" (more of that on 'Expensive Sh*t) - Fela and To… Read more
*Julia Kent has recorded and toured with Antony And The Johnsons (with whom she continues to work) , Stars Of The Lid and Michael Gira's Angels Of Light. Her work should appeal to fans of Nils Frahm, Low, The Dirty Three, Hildur Gudnadóttir, Colleen, Hauschka, Rachel’s, Olafur Arnalds etc* "Character is New York-based cellist and arranger Julia Kent’s third solo album, and first for The Leaf Label. Her richly layered cello and environmental recordings coalesce into a gorgeous, cinematic whole – an instrumental oasis in a cluttered musical world. Accurately described as “elegant and intense” and “d… Read more
"Chelsea Light Moving is the new group led by Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore. He is the songwriter and plays over-amped hyper electric guitar and sings with raw-glam-destructo vocals. The band is a four piece featuring Samara Lubelski, who has played violin with Moore on his last two solo albums ('Demolished Thoughts' and 'Trees Outside The Academy') and, with Chelsea Light Moving, plays deep psyche pop metal bass guitar; Keith Wood, who records under the aegis Hush Arbors, plays electric guitar with a pick forged from angel wing; and John Moloney, aka 'Pegasus', who appro… Read more
*Includes two newly remastered Fela albums in one package* WOW! 'Confusion' is an exceptional record in one of the most outstanding oeuvres in 20th century music. One long, 20+ minute piece split over two sides, it's possibly at once the most abstract and urgent missive we've heard from the man and his legendary band. You'd be forgiven for questioning whether you're even listening to Fela for the first five minutes of side A, with spare, rolling percussion and daubs of plangent sax sounding more like some ECM recording of European avant-garde or Soft Machine psychedelia, before it patient… Read more
*Includes two newly remastered Fela albums in one package - 'Expensive Shit' and 'He Miss Road'* Fela's 1975 masterpiece 'Expensive Shit' is to many one of his finest moments, featuring drummer Tony Allen at the height of his powers and an inspired Africa 70 backing. 'Expensive Shit' recounts Fela's notorious tale about Nigerian police raiding his compound, only to plant a joint on him and ultimately get duped in the funniest fashion. Flipside is the immense instrumental groove 'Water Get No Enemy', whose influence has cast a spell over countless artists ever since. 'He Miss Road… Read more
**Ólafur Arnalds steps up with his lushest, most pop-wise album to date** "For Now I Am Winter is Ólafur Arnalds' third full-length studio album. His earlier albums, soundtracks and EPs, have been released through the Berlin based cult label Erased Tapes. Building and expanding on his previous more minimalist work, Arnalds' new album is his first to involve a full orchestra (co-arranged by Nico Muhly) and a vocalist (Agent Fresco lead singer Arnór Dan) on selected tracks, making it his most broadly appealing work to date."
"Hymnal is the fourth kranky album by Thomas Meluch under his musical alias Benoit Pioulard, following Précis (2006), Temper (2008) and Lasted (2010). It was written and recorded throughout a year spent in southeastern England and on the European mainland, during which the ubiquity of religious iconography and grandiose cathedrals became an unexpected muse. Raised as a Catholic but never especially pious, Meluch drew on this aspect of social history as the basis for Hymnal's 12 chapters. He notes a particular preoccupation with the ways that faith offers a sense of solace and belonging in an exi… Read more
Two seminal classics of the Afrobeat canon from Fela Kuti and Africa 70, compiling 1975s 'Monkey Banana' and 'Excuse O' on one disc. This is considered prime period Fela, somwhere at the height of his powers, speaking out against government corruption and the Nigerian elite. The title track is a killer slow Afrobeat groove utilising a distinctive electric organ set to a languid but heavily funky groove that's inspired so many acts since. 'Sense Wiseness' from the same release is also incredibly prime, again featuring the organ with sensual slow percussion and commanding a terrific horn… Read more
Grizzly Brooklyn punks The Men are back with their third album, and in fine style 'New Moon' is exactly as chunky and bulls*it free as you'd hope. This isn't techno, this isn't posturing art-rock, rather this gang of lads are totally unafraid to make the sort of basement rawk you'd expect to find on a scratched up 7" on the back shelves of a New England thrift store. They're not breaking boundaries, sure, but these lads don't call themselves The Men for nothing - grab a can of PBR and lose it.
LA's Dva Damas follow up that killer 10" on Downwards' DO series with a debut album of swaggering songs for serial killers and rogue souls. 'Nightshade' blends the same traces of Morricone's western themes often adopted by Monte Cazazza, with a stripped down gothdub approach and the kind of noirish, druggy '50s intrigue felt in Lynch classics, resulting a sinister, creepy and hip-driving sorta sawdust-and-shots backwater bar vibe. You could imagine these songs played by the duo of Taylor Burch and Joseph Cocherell from behind chicken wire to a crowd of disinterested loggers and hep kids cranked on… Read more
*Includes two newly remastered Fela albums in one package* Pairing two classic and remastered Fela Kuti albums on 1 disc. 'Open & Close' (1971) stars the charismatic bandleader at the helm of his Africa 70 ensemble, Tony Allen on top form. 'Afrodisiac' (1973) arrived a few years later with Fela at his most potent, maturing the sound into Afro-beat proper.
The title track can be considered a prime root of pretty much all Afro-house music since, striking that instantly recognisable and oft-sampled sax refrain set to the baddest, swingeing percussion - a guaranteed dancefloor burner if we've ever heard one. The flipside commands you to 'Go Slow', working at a lusty, grinding groove with inimitable prowess.
*Includes two newly remastered Fela albums in one package* Classic double header from Fela Ransome-Kuti and his Africa 70 ensemble, compiling his 1971 LP 'Shakara' and the 1972 Lp 'London Scene'. The former includes the title track and the funk-licked 'Lady', both outstanding examples of the man and his band in his early-mid period form. The latter includes the scorching 'Egbe Mi O' and one of his best known anthems 'Who're You' plus 'Buy Africa' and 'Fight To Finish'. Oh, and the cover is outstanding too, looks like he was having fun...
A 2nd part to this expansive collection of Fela Kuti's most crucial cuts. Over two CDs Afro-beat noobs will be introduced to terrific classics such as 'Everything Scatter', 'Expensive Shit', 'Monkey Banana', 'Na Poi' and an unreleased version of 'Sorrow, Tears & Blood' alongside many more - roughly 6 tracks to a disc 'cause Fela was no three minute man! If you don't know, get to know!
**Deluxe double CD edition with DVD of performance at Glastonbury and interview** A 2nd part to this expansive collection of Fela Kuti's most crucial cuts. Over two CDs Afro-beat noobs will be introduced to terrific classics such as 'Everything Scatter', 'Expensive Shit', 'Monkey Banana', 'Na Poi' and an unreleased version of 'Sorrow, Tears & Blood' alongside many more - roughly 6 tracks to a disc 'cause Fela was no three minute man! A truly singular talent whose work has indelibly inspired everyone from 4 Hero to Thom Yorke and Akon. If you don't know, get to know!
**Deluxe double CD edition with DVD of live performances, documentaries and interviews** 'The Best Of The Black President' is a rather crucial compendium of Fela Kuti's hugely influential aces, drawn from stacks of celebrated wax. For the uninitiated but intrigued listener you could hardly ask for a better introduction, spanning total classics such as 'Water Get No Enemy', 'Zombie', 'Roforofo Fight' and 'Coffin For Head Of State' alongside a DVD crammed with footage of the great man. If you don't know, get to know!