Thursday, 12 September
*Incredible collection of traditional Arabic & Berber 45s from the Golden era of Moroccan recording industry. Includes extensive liner notes** One year on from that ace Yemeni expedition, 'Qat, Coffee & Qambus' on Parlortone, Dust To Digital follow the breeze to Morocco between the '50s and '60s, an age when its independent labels were flourishing after 44 years of French occupation and the real voice, the poetry, or "Kassidat" which lends this compilation its title, began to be properly documented on the new and relatively inexpensive 45 format. Essentially this music is a folk o… Read more
"Mitosis begins with “Wonder Particle,” a track that very much sums up Moskitoo’s intentions: to embrace the digital with not only a human, but a distinctly feminine touch. Wispy, layered vocals swim around rhythmic fragments and warm insect-like noises. The music is strange and otherwordly, perhaps the soundtrack to an evening stroll on a warm night in a bustling alien city. There are lights, swarms of sound, a myriad of conversations blended by a thousand different stories of passers-by always on the move."
"Nature Noir sees The Stilts bridging and expanding their intensive tastes in soul, folk, psych, country, proto-punk and onward. Like any creation worth loving, it’s the quality of the ingredients and the unique perspective of the creators that produce a marvel such as this. Pleasingly distilled in celestial darkness, floating in a sea of color drenched dreams, and grounded in protean mythology, Crystal Stilts third LP sounds refreshingly bold and deep rooted within the current musical climate. With lyrical themes probing the dark connections between the individual and its environment, along… Read more
**3" CD mounted on hand-numbered and printed artwork, housed in hand-printed wallet with letter-pressed insert. Edition of 100 copies** 'Putting Off Stars' is a genteel 18 minute piece of slowly unravelling strings and vocals by Craig Tattersall and Emmanuel Witzhum aka E and I. The music was developed from a poem by E.E. Cummings called 'Sonnet9' from Tulips 1922. The score was generated by transcribing the poem into musical notes using a Hermes Baby typewriter, the letters on the keyboard being replaced with musical notes and the poem being retyped into music. Emmanuel played the score on h… Read more
Thanks to reissue schemers such as Sublime Frequencies, Sahel Sounds, Honest Jon's and Soul Jazz, we've been introduced to mind-blowing music from all corners of the globe, but to the best of our knowledge we've never yet encountered music from the Arab peninsula of Yemen. 'Qat, Coffee & Qambus - Raw 45s from Yemen' is a fascinating, arresting compilation of rare, Yemeni vinyl singles showcasing the little-documented, evolving local music styles in the 1960s and '70s. As we're reliably informed by Parlortone, "although part of the classical Arabic musical tradition, the mus… Read more
Former Emeralds synthesist, Steve Hauschildt, and Editions Mego scan reams of his rarest and unreleased stellar explorations on 'S/H'. Compiled from eight years of home recordings and including some 37 pieces ranging from microcosmic synth vignettes to sprawling vistas, it's an intimately personal portrait of one of the lushest minds in modern synth music. Steve's sound was borne of the 2000s midwest noise scene, which also gave rise to everyone from the Wolf Eyes/Hair Police axis to Prurient, yet he took a whole other trajectory assimilating traces of Tangerine Dream and Cluster-style Berlin Scho… Read more
Classic collection of Gospel songs, "A Survey Of Rural Black Religious Music", mercifully reissued by the good folk at Dust-To-Digital! Opening with the mind-blowing devotional stomp of Ephram Carter and His Fife & Drum Band - practically worth the admission alone - this exceptional collection affords a dilated view of rural Black artists, singers and choirs recorded away from the usual settings of church services and the like. The recording fidelity is incredibly clear and captures the atmospheres of each space and player beautifully.
Stephen Bradbury aka Black Tempest follows his excellent 'Arcana' cassette for Gnod's Tesla Tapes with a very eldritch curio for his own Tempest Towers label, housed in Pete Fowler-designed artwork. 'Sticks and Bells and Ancient Spells' keeps it reel with a Morris dancing folk jig intro segueing to 20 minutes of distant-gazing kosmiche arpeggios compatible with Ghost Box or certain Mordant Music actions. 'The Crack Between the Worlds' is parallel dimension of sci-fi flutes and raga-like drone seeping across the stereo field', paving the way for the darker, electric arepggiatio… Read more
Forgive me father for I have sinned: I slept on Wold for way too long and won't be coming to confession any more. The Saskatchewan Black Metal outsiders have been alchemising an incredible and unique form of blown-out, polarising and blackened noise since 2000 but only recently showed up on our radar thanks to a reissue of their most recent album 'Freemasonry' (2011) on Stephen O'Malley's Ideologic Organ. It's safe to say that we're now utterly under their spell, and, following a few nights with the lights off ingesting their output we've got hold of some proper stock from the legendary Profound Lo… Read more
So we've recently developed an addiction to Wold, aka the Black Metal outsiders from Saskatchewan, Canada, based on Stephen O'Malley's reissue of their indomitable 'Freemasonry' album and consecutive nights spent holed up with all their music we could find on th'internet. We just got hold of some of their stock from the legendary Profound Lore label and this is one of them: 'Working Together For Our Privacy' was recorded in 2010 and revolves three tracks of excoriating, unheimlich sturm und drang flung far, far from the norm. In our admittedly limited knowledge of the genre, we've… Read more
Thursday, 05 September
**Hand-numbered edition of 100 copies only never to be re-pressed and housed in a stamped CD mounted on book style outer with handmade artwork in custom envelope** Cotton Goods cross paths with old friend Stéphane Recrosio aka Astatine on the 2nd Folio File. Some 17 years ago, Stéphane released Cotton Goods' fam's Famous Boyfriend (Craig Tattersall & Andrew Johnson) on his Orgasm label, and only last year he put out a lovely 8" lathe cut of The Humble Bee's 'A-p-a'. His 'Cross Ventilation' album is a favour returned in the finest way, offering 15 tracks of respiratory glitches and crumbling … Read more
"Duane Pitre's new album, Bridges, features two pieces taken from a suite of analogous compositions by the same name, and was composed by Pitre in 2012. The two pieces that comprise the album are meant to work together in sequence as a composite work; or they can be isolated and listened to on their own. The title derives its name from the original concept for this work, which was to bring together aspects of traditional Eastern music (such as compositional form and tuning) with Western musical traditions (such as in the church music of the Middle Ages and modern classical music). The result is an … Read more
Arriving with respectfully minimal hype, Jessy Lanza's supple, subtle debut album 'Pull My Hair Back' might well be one of Hyperdub's finest releases in 2013. Galvanised by sublime production from her fellow Hamilton, Ontario native, Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan, it's just so dreamy I can barely write this without shutting my eyes and and doing the smuggest soul gurn. It seems they've each found their perfect muse - Jessy with her classical vocal training and Greenspan with one of the sweetest, most aware pop touches in the game - amounting to a chronically lush and eloquent cybeR&B love… Read more
Drumcell represents that distinctive LA techno sound with the serpentine darkside chicanery of 'Sleep Complex'. Thirteen tracks of slithering, instinctively shuffled machine rhythms create frictional bedrock for spooling, Millsian bleeps and brooding astral synth projections delivered with steadfast vision. As we all know, techno albums can have a tendency towards being a bunch of tools, but there's a narrative element to 'Sleep Complex' that works well in its favour, wending across tempos and patterns with an intricately compelling aesthetic taking us from the oily acid tessellations of 'Distur… Read more
Iceland's perennial pop charmers feature none other than Kylie Minogue on the lovely 'Smilewound' LP. The group's sixth album sees the return of former member Gyda Valtysdottir to gild the delicate, airy arrangements of core duo Örvar Smárason and Gunni Tynes with angelic vocals on ten songs whilst antipodean superstar Kylie collaborates on one special song, 'Whistle', which was originally composed as the main song in 2012 movie, 'Jack & Diane'. With almost ineffable sweetness, they pirouette and flit from arcade-cute electro-pop on 'When Girls Collide' to almost drum & bass-styled songcraft in 'The Col… Read more
Norwegian Disko powerhouse Eskimo Recordings flexes some well toned muscle with 'The Pink Collection'. Fifteen tracks span a remit of sophisticated retro vintage electro-disco and synth-pop from lesser known but evidently capable producers. Highlights come from Satin Jackets with the chiming Euro-disco stride of 'Olivia', in Majestique's boogie powerplay 'Must Get There', and Caspar Bjørke's darker Italo-electro dub roller 'The Grey Area'.
Troller's gloom-ridden debut of HTRK and Salem-like slo-mo goth somehow passed us by upon its initial release. They hail from Texas and specialise in a cold, washed out brand of drum machine patter somewhere between zonked trap and black metal draped with schlocky vocals and ritualist synth atmospheres. But, unlike say Zola Jesus or Chelsea Wolfe, they sound creepily drugged-up on 'Milk' and identify that right mix of crushed velvet mumbience and dead-eyed teen witchy in the likes of 'Tiger' and 'Thirst'. Even if you don't like the vocals, the alien abduction interludes are well worth checking.
"Roots Records continues its exploration of Jah Thomas’ Midnight Rock label with the release of this sought-after and rare early dancehall album. Recorded at the legendary Channel One Studio, Osbourne and Palmer are two sublime vocalists and they are backed here by The Roots Radics, with Scientist on the mix.
Thursday, 29 August
**Hardcover book containing 10 digital paintings and full CD album Edition of 500** 'Zukunft Ohne Menschen' documents ten tracks and ten visual art pieces created by Kompakt co-founder Wolfgang Voigt for the entrance of this year's Art Cologne fair. Its title translates to "life after people" - also the name of a German TV show that imagined what would happen to the planet is the absence of mankind - in reference to both the artwork - photos with words and people digitally swiped away - and the music itself - manually operated arpeggios played with a hand-operated machine - is a su… Read more
Highly accomplished electro-acoustic music - with elements of field recording and synthesised sound - from the mighty Bruce Gilbert, working in collaboration with BAW (the duo of David Crawforth and Naomi Siderfin). Diluvial connects an urgent ecological concern of the present-day - rising sea levels as a result of global warming - with the ancient and mythological, alluding to the Old Testament's proposed seven days of creation, and to the Great Flood. The album was assembled from field recordings made at beaches in Suffolk and London, conceptual scoring, visual installation and perform… Read more
'Electronic Music For The Mind and Body' is an excellent primer on the history of electronic music, featuring five seminal compositions from a quartet of important twentieth century composers, Stockhausen, Cage, Ligeti and Xenakis. It opens with the 34 minute original tape version of Karlheinz Stockhausen's best known work 'Kontakte' (1958-59) which preceded the alternate 'Kontakte' for electronic sounds , piano and percussion. This piece cast an indelible influence over the open-minded '60s - most notably the Beatles at Abbey Road - with new ideas of 3D spatiality in mus… Read more
NZ's most legendary rock troopers bowl out an incendiary session on 'Armed Courage' - their first new album proper in three years. Following their split with Randga, Michael Morley, Bruce Russell and Robbie Yeats flex some well-detuned muscle over two headstrong side-long sloggers that reaffirms every gush you've read in The Wire and justifies their legion of die-hard followers. A-side 'Armed' is a combatant 22 minutes of turbulent percussive roil and amorphous feedback sculpture careening, lunging and squeezing every last bit of No Wave energy from their instruments with impeccable intuition.… Read more
"An anthology of classic Crépuscule singles and associated recordings by Tuxedomoon, the exiled American avant-gardists who recorded for LDDC between 1981 and 1983. At Twilight includes all tracks from the three vintage singles Ninotchka (TWI 055), Time to Lose (TWI 084) and The Cage (TWI 142), as well as rare compilation tracks including Shelved Dreams and Weihnachtsrap, the latter recorded for festive album Ghosts of Christmas Past (TWI 058). Also included in the haunting opening theme from The Ghost Sonata, an 'opera without words' performed by the group in Italy during the summer of 1982, wh… Read more
Eliot Denmark presents a sublime solo debut LP as Severence for Germany's BIneMusic. 'Hidden Ceilings' orbits nine tracks of Chain Reaction-style white noise convection and morphing subbass undercurrent in a deeply submerged soundsphere. From the lapping shallows of 'Portus' where melodic sun still breaks thru, he goes far under with the buffeting subbass and deftly delayed dub chords of 'Reflection' and the Vainqueur-esque 'Adrift'. The descending sensation of 'Immerse' gauges unfathomable depths with plunging subbass bubbles and super vivid spatial dynamics, and 'Modulate' steps off with ab… Read more
The Rotters - Andrew Weatherall and Tim Fairplay - call in their disco friends, and Group Rhoda, to remix their eponymous debut album. Highlights appear from Weatherall's protégé Daniel Avery with a slow, soaring remix of 'We Are The Axis; a swaggering Wooden Shjips job on 'One Minute's Silence'; Hardway Bros' lusting EBM revision of 'Never There'; and most of all Group Rhoda's nimble drum machine tweaks and minimal yet ornate overhaul of 'Another Lonely City'.
"Featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on vocals. ‘Repave’ brings Volcano Choir into sharp focus. The glitch-laden, cautious presentation of the band’s previous work serves as points of both reference and departure across these eight songs, the product of growing conviction and trust, of a fully-operational rock band, gifted in shading and nuance, and rumbling with power. ‘Repave’ is the sound of confident musicians extending their reach to anthemic peaks and pulling back to reveal moments of real vulnerability, sure enough of themselves to let them stand on their own"
Marsen Jules' Oktaf label presents the debut long-player of lush field recordings and neo-classical ambient composition by Uruguay's Gastón Arévalo. Blessed with a beautiful grasp of dreamlike dynamics applied with a featherweight touch, 'Rollin Ballads' weaves recordings made on location in various European cities with slow breathing strings and gravity-defiant synth atmospheres . In the hands of many this formula can becoming bland and trying, but Gastón's deceptively innocent arrangements suspend disbelief by a silver thread allowing for that feeling of your heart heading upwards and t… Read more
"There are many kind of stitches: seams to secure sleeves into armholes ... sutures closing wounds and deep incisions ... loops or crosses of embroidery floss ... a sudden pain in the side. Stitches, the new album from Califone, touches on all these definitions, its episodes of discomfort and healing rendered with exquisite beauty and craftsmanship. Intimate timbres--garage sale drum machines, slack guitar strings, hushed vocals--offset the album's cinematic inclinations. The listener moves through a landscape of Old Testament blood and guts, spaghetti Western deserts and Southwestern horizons, zeroi… Read more