Thursday, 21 May
Arch techno-conceptualist Thomas Brinkmann presents his most intriguing solo outing yet with the abstract sound structures of 'What You Hear (Is What You Hear)' for Editions Mego. In an attempt to detach himself and his art from any concrete descriptors and also camouflage the intent behind these tracks, Brinkmann offers a greyscale of electronic fundamentals largely devoid of his patented minimalist rhythm trickery or discernible melody, allowing the music to do the talking and make us poor sods work harder to describe what he's doing. Thing is, he just kinda gave it a… Read more
We find Wolfgang Voigt in his natural habitat amidst the sweeping, Gas-like ambient scenery of 'Rückverzauberung 10'. Written to commemorate the opening of German national park, Hunsrück-Hochwald, where the piece is played through loudspeakers to enchant the woodland and vice-versa, it gracefully unfurls just over an hour of deep forested strings and quietly intoxicating atonality in a reflection of the the wild, rolling landscape and its natural topography. From the elegiac appeal to the woodland cover art, it's arguably the closest you'll come to Voigt's template-set… Read more
Thore Pfeiffer makes his maiden voyage on Kompakt's Pop Ambient artist album series. Hand-picked for the job by Wolfgang Voigt (a.k.a. Gas etc.), Pfeiffer's 'Im Blickfeld' follows Leandro Fresca's inaugural edition with a feather-light moire of panning pads and quiet ambient thought bubbles owing much to the original Pop Ambient aesthetic whilst also gently refreshing its now well-established memes. Rather than any grand, layered statements, Pfeiffer exhales wispy chords and airborne chimes in a smoky mesh of tones and phrases, forging intangible structures somewhere between the elusive po… Read more
Honey Owens makes a rare and welcome outing as Valet with 'Nature' for Kranky. Her first album in seven years finds the American indie-child making broad gestures to '90s dream-pop and shoegaze with eight songs aided and abetted by regular spars Rafael Fauria (guitar) and Mark Burden (drums/bass/keys). It's an enveloping sound, layering up swirling guitars and stoned drums around her glossolalic vocals at the centre of its slow-shifting harmonic pressure systems.
*White Vinyl Edition* 2nd LP of ear-worming electronic-pop from Becoming Real - a strong tip for those missing Holy Other or Tri Angle's bewitched pop aesthetics. Between 2010 and 2012 Becoming Real was behind a string of smart releases for the likes of Ramp, Moshi Moshi and GETME!, and then… nothing until 2015. With 'Pure Apparition' he reminds us what we have (or might have) been missing with 12 tracks of eldritch-tinted pop deviation soused in dreamy melodies and stranger electronic tones given impetus by strong yet deft dancefloor impulses. Dunno if it's just us but it seems like thi… Read more
Invada present a collection of unreleased instrumentals and analogue experiments by The KVB. Originally issued thru the band's own Flesh Tapes in a super limited edition of 100 cassettes, 'Mirror Bein' serves to reveal another side of the duo, mixing the apocalyptic synth appeal of T2 and John Carpenter with a throbbing cyberpunk techno attitude in eight iterations. Guitars and vocals are largely subservient to drum machines and synths, resulting a sound more akin to Beppu's recent blow outs on Other Ideas than their cadaverous death rock 'n roll sound. From cinematic intro, 'Atlas' the storm bui… Read more
Swanky, diverse new Dial compilation featuring exclusive material from all your deep, techy and ambient house faves. This has to be the most far-flung suite we've heard fromt he Hamburg-based label, unravelling a fine spectrum of coherant styles between Christian Naujocks' poignant opener, 'For A While' and Dawn Mok's R&B abstraction, 'Like Thoughts Or Moments We'll Fall' via the simmering, airborne deep house of Lawrence's 'Chex Dupont', drifting shoegaze-pop from Pawel, Physical Therapy's skewed junglism, and the posh trancey luft of DJ Richard's 'Zero'.
*Ships Friday* A brilliant expansion of the invaluable, cherry-picked expo of NYC's experimental Latin streak covering ground prior to the disco explosion. You should expect some incredible, definitive rhythm trips, with outstanding highlights in the likes of Ocho's far-out 'Tornado', replete with blustering intro; the hip-gripping battery of drums cycling thru tempo changes in Stone Alliance's 'Amigos'; the visionary fourteen minutes of modular synth and expansive electro-acoustic jazz scapes in Eddie Palmi… Read more
You've had the CD single, mini-CD, 7", 10" and 12", now here comes the full digital version for those who can't keep up with Trevor Jackson's 'Format' fetish. Collecting all 13 tracks, this version marks the illustrious producer, visual artist and video director's most substantial solo release, bar none, of his 25-odd year oeuvre; strafing from killer proto-house rawness in 'Lumiline' to fizzy electro in 'They Came From NY' to blunted acidic techno extrusions recalling recent Ron Morelli aktion in the 12 minute, 'Until Now'. It's rudimentary yet adroit man-machine business, consolidating first h… Read more
Expertly selected compilation of blindspot gems from the 'Worldwide New-Wave, Post-Punk and Industrial Underground 1978-1984' picked up and spat out by London's venerated Cherrystones. A killer compilation for both the insatiable digger and curious psych-o-naut alike, it starts at the fringe and moves every farther outwards via the sort of selections that only come from decades of paper cut cuticles and breathing in decayed cardboard in mildewed basements and record shops. From an unfamiliar treat i… Read more
"While legions of artists show fidelity to psychedelia's roots, Unknown Mortal Orchestra has always shared the rare quality that makes the genre's legends vital, a constant need for exploration. Last year, frontman and multi-instrumentalist Ruban Nielson descended into his home studio in a Portland basement to chart out where's he traveled since his last set of unhinged psych-soul ballads. He discovered that the best way for him to move forward would be to look back. Where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together."
Jay Ahern (Cheap And Deep) and Stefan Schneider (To Rococo Rot) a.k.a Hauntologists deliver their debut full-length as The Hauntologists after five EP'. They form a microcosmos of massive, pulsing bass objects orbited by planetary percussions and filigree dust clouds, or, in other words, haughty minimal techno for the best Berlin darkrooms.
Vessel a.k.a. DJ Ape does a V/Vm on Abba with the official F**kPunk remix of 'Gimme! Gimme! Gabba!'. Initially intended to coincide with RSD '15, but the plants were simply too clogged up with cack so F**kPunk did it the old fashioned way, slashing and burning ten minutes of timeless, gormless crass onto vinyl imitation CDrs by hand, one at a time, click by click. Sleeved in a 7" poly vinyl sleeve and housed in artwork nodding to the original V/Vm aesthetic, it's a stinker of a release, featuring the hirsute, tinfoil-clad troupe wounded with the kind of piss-grabbing free-party gabber assault not heard since those Pyongyang Hardcore Resistance outings.
"Haley Fohr’s music strikes a unique balance between the personal and universal. As Circuit des Yeux she creates music that embodies the complexity of human emotions, juxtaposing tenderness and grief, ecstasy and horror, using sounds as representations of the emotional spectrum that we all experience. Fohr’s striking voice, an impassioned baritone, is the music’s centerpiece and guiding force. On In Plain Speech, Fohr is joined by some of the most progressive musicians in the Chicago music community; Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin Bajas), Whitney Johnson (Verma), Rob Frye (Bitchin Bajas)… Read more
"Oiseaux-Tempête return with "Ütopiya?" - and travels move to Istanbul and Sicily. While the structures still hint at moments of post-rock, they go further now, almost into the area of free-jazz yet without loosing a directness rooted in punk (highlighted perhaps by the presence of G.W.Sok from The Ex). In addition, the bass clarinet of Gareth Davis references both the roughest of experiments of Akosh Szelevényi and of The Stooges Fun House. File under Experimental, Stoner, Post-Rock, Ambient, Free Music."
Thursday, 14 May
*Ships Friday* Holly Herndon presents an incisive 3rd album of dance-pop deconstruction couched in heavy concepts relating to contemporary hyperreality for 4AD. Flanked by fellow modern artists such as Amnesia Scanner, Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, Spencer Longo and Mat Dryhurst, the Tennessee-raised, Berlin-skooled and San Francisco-based doctorate student has realised her most vivid, elaborate treatise on the surveillance state, systemic inequality and electronic fantasy with 'Platform'. Catalysed by the intention to create a new music which better represents our now non-linear temporality, she fra… Read more
**5-track CD** Beppu (Andrew Hargreaves) presents a companion piece to his current album trilogy, 'Coercion Persuasion Subversion', containing unreleased material recorded during the same sessions. They're as fierce, if not more so, than anything off the vinyl, drifting head-down from craggy ambient to ferocious Merzbow-ian sturm und drang and stressed, jagged EBM thunder delivered like he means it.
Nick Edwards a.k.a. Ekoplekz explicitly pays homage to his formative influences with 'Reflekzionz' - kosmisch electronics and '90s electronica - on his 3rd LP for Planet Mu. Radiophonics references are swapped for a reverie of early AFX, Autechre and Wolfgang Voigt, among others, filtered thru his grubby dub lense to slot grittily with his previous. And, rather than bleached out tones, 'Reflekzionz' is fringed with a faded colour scheme psychedelically reflected in Zeke Clough's dreamlike sleeve artwork, creating a sort of false-memory implant aesthetic that frames his sound like a polaroid recollection of the originals.
From unknown to XL entity in the space of two records, Shamir's success story is being quickly written to catch up with his debut LP, 'Ratchet'. Hailing from Las Vegas and in possession of the sweetest, playful soul voice, Shamir Bailey debuted in 2014 with a unique treat in 'Northtown' produced by Nick Sylvester for the Godmode label. Working again with Sylvester for 'Ratchet', Shamir posits himself as a nu-skool disco-not-disco prince, backed with a selection of largely uptempo and light-footed grooves perfectly suited to his effortless, flighty tone. It's a summer record through-and-through, from th… Read more
The sampledelic don, Luke Vibert revives his disco alias, Kerrier District for Hypercolour a decade on from his much-loved album for Rephlex. Still sounding like a library record from 1979, his '4' album collects 14 cuts of kinky disco breaks and wobbly Moog lines crammed with cheeky samples under naughty names like 'Treacle Tits' and 'Brush The Bush' or any combination of the word "Disco" plus suffix/prefix. Consider your party started.
*Double CD which includes the 10 tracks included in the film and an additional CD of bonus material and cues* "Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow join forces for a second time since their creation of Drokk, their unused score for 2012 motion picture Dredd, to create the dark, synth heavy score for Ex Machina. Speaking to Gigwise Geoff Barrow said, "It's been great for Ben and I to be working with Alex again, and hopefully we have written the kind of score an intense sci-fi thriller like this needs" with Salisbury adding "we wanted to slightly get away from the type of soundtrack al… Read more
"The Eccentronic Research Council’s fabulous fourth album, ‘Johnny Rocket, Narcissist & Music Machine… I’m Your Biggest Fan’ is written from the persuasive point of view of an obsessional fan of a (fictional?) local band - The Moonlandingz, who gig around the (fictional?) South Yorkshire district of Valhalla Dale. The album also sees The Eccentronic Research Council team up with Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski of South London’s The Fat White Family, who ably play the role of The Moonlandingz."
*Deluxe Edition - First edition has a unique sleeve for each copy, also includes a 4-track bonus EP"* Hot Chip are back with their 6th album, 'Why Make Sense?'.
**Featuring members of Emeralds and Cloud Nothings** "The bouncy, surf-esque qualities pitch Total Babes a million miles from their Cloud Nothings connections (the bands share the octopus-onamphetamine drumming of Jayson Gerycz), with ‘Heydays’ instantly presenting itself as a beachcombing ode to sweaty summers. Lead by the undulating basslines of Nathan Ward (Smooth Brain / Cruelster) and fleshed out by warped synth work John Elliot (Emeralds / Outer Space), the choruses are a masterclass in the ability to shift perceptions - “I only want to be beautiful,” frontman Christopher Brown cries but it’s in their rough edges that Total Babes really shine."
William Fitzsimmons is equal parts songwriter and psychotherapist, creating captivating music that uniquely melds depravity, honesty and autobiography into a counter-intuitive seamless whole. Since 2005, Fitzsimmons has created six full length albums, each thoroughly themed and embossed with matters of family history, intimate disclosure and bold confession, yielding rich folk music, ranging from the stark and acoustic to the voluminous and electronic. All the while reflecting William’s commitment to addressing what is always pressing, and yet all too often ignored. His new mini-album, … Read more
"Within their 1973 European tour, Sun Ra and his Arkestra had just completed a residency at the legendary Gibus in Paris in October before travelling to Amiens for a Sunday afternoon concert. Those filing into the city’s Maison de la Culture that day would have little idea of the intense, visceral experience that awaited them. “Sun Ra’s use of the Arkestra as his instrument in an onslaught of sound, colour and movement stimulated and even shocked the senses and the shakras of audience participants onto a higher plane of spirit consciousness,“ explains the Arkestra’s Knoel Scott..."
*Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label* Tom Trago serves a handy summary of his Voyage Direct series for Rush Hour. Orbiting disco, soul and jazz inna house fashion, his ecletic bunch of contributors are at best with William Kouam Djoko's jazzy ambient footworker, 'Deflourished' ; that classic Chi update from House of Jezebel (Legowelt), 'Love & Happiness'; Carl Craig's taps-aff Detroit disco boost of Trago's own 'use Me Again'; Interstellar Funk's odd disco droner, 'House Train'.
**Edition of 100 housed in fold-over artwork by Michael Holland** Fragile yet playful new composition from Joe Snape, who was last spotted on Slip, and is here teamed up with Manchester's Another Contemporary Music Ensemble for ONO ahead of their upcoming UK/Euro tour.