Thursday, 30 July
"The third studio album by Sonic Youth, originally released in May 1986 on SST Records, shows the first signs that the band was ready to transform their no wave past into a greater alternative rock sensibility. “EVOL … mark[s] the true departure point of Sonic Youth’s musical evolution,” says Pitchfork, who place the album in the #31 slot of their Top 100 Albums of The 1980s. “In measured increments, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo … bring form to the formless, tune to the tuneless, and with the help of Steve Shelley’s drums…, [impose] melody and composition on their trademark dissonance.” Ste… Read more
"Soul Jazz Records' new album Rastafari: The Dreads Enter Babylon 1955-83 charts the many links between reggae music and the Rastafarian faith. Featuring the music of Count Ossie, Johnny Clarke, The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus, Bongo Herman, Roy Ashanti (Congos), Earth & Stone, Mutabaruka and many more, this is an in-depth look at some of the most unique and righteous music ever made and comes complete with a 40+ page outsize booklet, containin… Read more
Triple CD collection from one of the most important record labels ever. 60 classic tracks from the original home of Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae, with sleeve notes by Don Letts.
*Fully remastered audio* “Substance” fills in the missing pieces of the band’s history with four non-album singles (‘Transmission’, ‘Komakino’, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and ‘Atmosphere’), plus their B-sides. It has been expanded with two additional songs (“As You Said” and the Pennine version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart”).
**Guy Birkin & Sun Hammer present the intricate results of their playfully cerebral 'Complexification' project thru Entr'acte (check the label website for a detailed breakdown)** "The Complexification project explores musical complexity through a collaborative process based on a set of rules: 1. Make a short, simple piece of music. 2. Swap copies of the pieces with the other person. 3. Modify the given piece to make it more complex (the given piece must be used, but it can be trans-formed in any way, and new sounds may be added). 4. IF the result is more complex (as agreed by bo… Read more
Bureau B's excellent Kollektion series elects Thomas Fehlmann to select his favourite Conrad Schnitzlers. This 5th instalment, like the others, affords some contextual grasp on one of the largest, slipperiest catalogues of electronic music in the late 20th century. And poignantly so as Fehlmann, a legend of Teutonic electronics in his own right, was first prompted to make electronic music as a student after witnessing Schnitzler demonstrate "how the "extended definition of art" established by Joseph Beuys could be applied to music." Across 16 songs he touches on the breadth and depth o… Read more
Jacek Sienkiewicz presents a 5th album of sleek, hypnotic techno thru his Recognition imprint. 'Drifting' follows on from his 'Zero Time Collapsing' collaboration with Atom™, and the 'Ridges' link-up with Max Loderbauer, to explore in-depth his personalised take on reduced European techno. Its ten sensitively sculpted tracks are equally at home in headphones, on the sofa or in the club, with firm highlights in 'Stand Up''s tactile mix of rolling techno and field recordings; in the gritty swing of '130mm'; and the spherical, skanking dub house sound design of the title track.
Thursday, 23 July
Nine Inch Nails' synthesist, Alessandro Cortini, animates an enveloping shadowplay of Roland 202 and TB303 spectres in his second album for Hospital Productions following the stunning 'Forse' trilogy for Important Records. 'Risveglio' is the 'Awakening' to 'Sonno''s 'Sleep'. Like its predecessor, it was also written and recorded while on tour but, unlike 'Sonno', it syncs his favoured 202 with the unique integers of a TB303, eliding the two via a delay unit to expand his sound without ever losing sight of the crushing harmonic noise romance at its core. It's fair to say that we've never r… Read more
**Deluxe 2CD edition features an additional disc with bonus beats from the ‘Life In Deep Space’ poetry opus. SDJR turns out a whole party's worth of funk with an infectious debut album sporting guest spots by Julio Bashmore, fLako and Kutmah** "From time to time a DJ or producer comes along who transcends a particular scene, bridges the gap between disparate movements and unites tribal music fans. Seven has that talismanic quality. His productions have a rawness… a loose-knit, lolloping groove that seduces even the most steadfastly stubborn of hips. Recorded in LA, San Fra… Read more
El Gheba' - actually, we jest; we're not sure what Peterson did, but it sounds bloody great - while Modeselektor fuse beefier, bouncing drums to Rizan Said's flowering keys in 'Leil El Bareh' and 'Ensaa El Aatab', and Four Tet infuses the title track with a fluid, heady sort of dancefloor psychedelia. Left to his own devices, however, Souleyman and band provide some of the album's most striking moments in the solemn sway of 'Mawal menzal' and the intricately woven strokes of 'Darb El Hawa', whilst Legowelt yokes 'Bahdeni Nami' to Euro 'floors with a killer New Beat acid styled remix. Pretty hard to deny this is one of Souleyman's best records to date.
Summer's friend, Matthew Mondanile a.k.a. Ducktails presents a persistently sweet new studio album; his first since 2013's 'The Flower Lane' and arguably his lushest yet. Sporting guest spots from Julia Holter and James Ferraro, and tooled with production by Rob Schnapf, co-producer of Elliott Smith's 'XO' and 'Either/Or', it's a baroque-tight collection of classical pop, flush with cascading melodies, tender fretwork and sing-along vocals. It was recorded throughout 2014 and into 2015 at a variety of locations, from L.A. to NYC and Berlin, oftentimes while on tour with Real Estate, marking the… Read more
The Mods hock a vitriolic follow-up to their 'Divide And Exit' breakthrough with the 12-song 'Key Markets'. Their latest dispatch from the no-mans-land of Nottingham volleys shots at anyone and everything that comes within Jason Williams' line-of-sight, whilst Andrew Fearn's productions remain ascetic to say the least, but possibly with more bite and itch in the gruds than before, and even a few moments that could be described as abstract when compared with their sternly functional structures. Safe to say they've lost none of their spunky chuff with the advent of bigger stages and audiences at their feet.
Ed Rush & Optical sum up the sound of big room D&B in 2015 with Fabriclive82. It's akin to being fired from a slingshot at 180bpm down a long dark tunnel whilst alien tribespeople pelt your head with spiky fruit from all angles, accelerating the sound to G-force levels of cheek-wobbling torsion and frankly ludicrous levels of hi-velocity "funk". In just under 70 minutes they manage to cover 39 tracks, rarely sticking with one for longer than 2 minutes and constantly upping the ante between ferocious numbers by Noisia, Current Value, Konflict and Mefjus, plus a healthy selection of their own productions, including the classic 'Watermelon'.
*Deluxe 10th Anniversary Reissue* Following on from the genius that was the Madvilliany collab, MF Doom looked to Dangermouse for a co-production; resulting in a sound that isn't many degrees of separation from his King Geedorah project, albeit given a more upfront set of beats. Based around the Adult Swim series, 'The Mouse & the Mask' favours some fantastically murky beats and monochrome atmospherics which lend a real sense of subterranean menace to the gloriously childish content. Kicking things off is the darkheart canyon jump of 'El Chupa Ni… Read more
"Experimental, avant-black metal artisans Locrian return with 'Infinite Dissolution', another dark and cinematic work of exceptional aural artistry. More epic and foreboding than anything in the prolific trio's catalog, Infinite Dissolution was produced by Greg Norman (Pelican, Russian Circles) and is a multi-part concept album dealing with the struggle of mortality. A seamless and harrowing blend of dark ambience, drone, black metal, post-rock, and experimental electronics, Infinite Dissolution is the perfect manifestation of modern, forward-thinking experimental music. Recommended if… Read more
"Hermetically sealed and reveling in tumult, All Tense Now Lax is the most significant and developed work yet forged by Liberez. Based in main orchestrator John Hannon’s remote studio No Recordings in Rayleigh, England, Liberez have expanded their palette from previous outings on Alter to produce a perfectly engineered machine that consumes the beholder. A tense, gut-wrenching listen wrought with carefully considered space, the range of techniques and the depth of atmosphere is staggering. All Tense Now Lax never settles on a simple depiction of dread, foreboding or anxiety but layers textur… Read more
"Metamatic Records’ first major compilation of John Foxx material is the first part of a double release spanning 35 years as a solo artist. John Foxx – 20th Century: The Noise covers the years from his debut single ‘Underpass’ in January 1980 to the rest of the last century, up to his ‘comeback’ albums with Louis Gordon, Shifting City and The Omnedelic Exotour in 1997 and 1998. There’s also a precious Cathedral Oceans gem, ‘Splendour’ which has only ever been available on a rare album by various artists entitled Orphée and 20th Century also includes an unreleased instrumental track fr… Read more
*CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold jacket* “Eleventh Dream Day have forged one of the most durable sounds to emerge from the indie-rock underground. Balancing ragged guitars against fragile melodies and sweet vocal harmonies, the Chicago group’s albums perfectly encapsulated the promise - both artistic and commercial - of post-punk alternative rock.” - Rolling Stone On ‘Works For Tomorrow’ core Eleventh Dream Day members Rick Rizzo, Janet Beveridge Bean, Mark Greenberg, and Douglas McCombs are joined by James Elkington (Brokeback, Tweedy), marking the first time the ba… Read more
Thursday, 16 July
*Long-Awaited debut album from Janus Collective member M.E.S.H. - recorded in Berlin in winter 2015, mastered by Rashad Becker at D&M* Janus crew's M.E.S.H. unpackages a vast internal world across the ornate topographies of his incredible debut album. Combining scything club dynamics and Hollywood sound design with a sample bank of archaic renaissance instruments, 'Piteous Gate' describes a hyperreal place-out-of-time framed by matrices of tessellating grids and vapour-trace contours rent in near-VR detail. Collapsing the stadium-sized structures of "festival trance" with oblique elements of bar… Read more
**Super-charming suite of obscure minimal wave and synth-pop from Mexico 1980** "These recordings pull back a curtain to reveal the mysterious world of Syntoma and early-80s underground Mexico. Founded by Alex Eisenring in 1980, making use of synths and drum machines and driven by a freedom-seeking DIY ethos but informed by a "rock-jazz-prog-experimental" background. These 70s-born influences throw crazed funhouse mirror reflections onto later Kraftwerk, UK synth-pop, post-punk and pure pop forms. The first five tracks are instrumental, evidencing some intelligent melodic and harmonic conceptions; the… Read more
"This is a second selection of independent disco records featuring rare and classic tracks originally released in the USA between the halcyon years of 1977 and 1985. This release features only the finest disco, modern soul and boogie and is compiled by Disco Patrick who last year put together the mighty ‘Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide To The Cover Art Of Disco Records’ 400+ page deluxe book for Soul Jazz Records, as well as the first installment of ‘Disco: A Fine Selection Of Independent Disco, Modern Soul And Boogie.’ This alb… Read more
Chicago's own DJ Roc volleys an electrified 2nd album of footwork with 'Practice What U Preach' for scene supporters, Duck N' Cover. Working a perfect balance of sampled soul and technoid Afro-futurism, it weighs up some of his deadliest cuts and jabs in the likes of 'Lowend Unity', named after his 'hood and flush with a mix of pealing sax, droning subs and mercurial synth drops; with the lump-in-throat brilliance of his hyper Jhene Aiko flip, 'The Worst'; and not least the staccato pulses, ricochet rimshots and choking bass pressure of 'I Make Gutta'.
**A grand debut album statement of operatic composition gilded with electronics by Mira Calix and co-produced with Valgeir Sigurdsson** "With ‘Folie à Deux’, Bedroom Community introduces a new artist to their roster in the form of award winning British composer Emily Hall. ‘Folie à Deux’ is a sonic voyage into a shared psychosis where a delusion is transmitted from one person to another and is a lyrical and intense investigation into love and loneliness within a relationship. The piece is a collaboration with Icelandic writer and long-time Björk collaborator Sjón and was co-conceived as both c… Read more
Kurt Dahlke a.k.a. NDW pioneer Pyrolator takes his turn to reconstruct and adapt the work of pivotal Berlin-skool composer, Conrad Schnitzler. This posthumous, inter-generational collaboration is even better than it reads on paper/screen, with Dahlke aiming to "present a side of Conrad which I has always heard in his music but one which often goes unnoticed: a darker, technoid side". He arguably fulfils his intentions in style over 12 vast, amorphous synthscapes foregrounding the compatibilities between Schnitzler's modular extractions and a modern day sound of Berlin techno. A… Read more
*48-track 2CD set packed with early Jamaican mento, a sequel to popular Mento, Not Calypso! comp* "Drawing mainly on recordings from the genre’s golden age of the 1950s, the 48-track Jamaica Is The Place To Go explores Mento, the island’s original popular music. Together with the American R&B favoured by local sound systems, Mento represents the origins of modern Jamaican music. History lesson aside, Jamaica Is The Place To Go offers over two hours of infectious fun: the perfect soundtrack to your summer! When Fantastic Voyage released Mento, Not Calypso! The Original Sound Of Jamai… Read more
"Whenever Markus Acher finds time between his work with The Notwist and Lali Puna, he sets out to record film soundtracks under his solo moniker Rayon. This time it's Eleonora Danco's 2015 film N-Capace that inspired ten cinematic, instrumental sketches based on loops that loom, take shape, and change colors, only to vanish an instant later. Acher's understated tracks, created with both electronic and acoustic layers, can do without titles -- "Il Collo e la Collana 01" through "10" is perfectly sufficient -- because, ultimately, they're one entity anyway. After all, it's Danco's fi… Read more
Deluxe re-issue of this 80’s classic from NWW. Expertly re-mastered by Denis Blackham. Beautifully packaged in 6 panel gloss laminated digipac, with special gloss 12 page booklet with artwork by Babs Santini. Includes a bonus disc of outtakes, unreleased material and remixes from Irr. App. (Ext.) and Andrew Liles.
"The mighty Merzbow presents four tracks of blistering music recorded and to be played at maximum volume. This leaves the also-rans at the gate and is full of psychedelic twists and turns, with one completely guitar-based track. Incredible stuff from Masami. It's also a benefit release for the Wildwood Trust in Kent. All proceeds from sales will go to them, toward the care of two rescued European brown bears. For more information about this wonderful organization, go to www.wildwoodtrust.org. Comes in beautiful reverse board digipak."
Thursday, 09 July
*Japanese edition of Summer Mix, including a bonus, exclusive track* The Automatics Group's dance-pop deconstruction, 'Summer Mix' is one of the uncanniest computer music releases of this decade - first issued as a limited CD edition by Entr'acte in 2011. In the time since then it’s quietly become a bit of an iconic reflection for a post-rave generation, presenting a non-trivial nostalgia trip that somehow sounds like a digitally diffused, skeletal take on Gas, Basic Channel or Ross 154. It was created by applying a mathematical process known as a discrete Fourier transfo… Read more
**Edition of 200** Anthoney J Hart a.k.a. Imaginary Forces offers a typically ascetic suite of broken techno and invasive electronics with 'Low Key Movements' for Entr'acte. Last spotted on the 'Shift Work' 12" for Bedouin Records - and, before that on a stack for his own Sleep Codes label - over the past five years of releases Anthoney has established a probing, antagonistic style and rhetoric heavily informed by his working class background and inspirations ranging from Pan Sonic thru to Coil, Source Direct and The Fall. Under a title hearkening to his Junglist background, 'Low Ke… Read more