Thursday, 26 February
Ata Kak's debut album of dibby Ghanaian hiplife, 'Obaa Sima' is the stuff diggers' dreams are made of. It's the cassette that sparked Awesome Tapes From Africa to life as a blog back in 2006, before it morphed into a record label of world-renown from 2011. Written and self-released by Ata in edition of 50 circa 1994 and subsequently re-discovered by ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz at a roadside stall in Cape Coast, Ghana, in 2004, it would take nearly a whole decade for the Fulbright University graduate to track down and request official reissue permission from Yaw Atta-Owusu a.k.a. Ata. It turns… Read more
'Expressions' is the lush 2nd album from Edinburgh's Linkwood on Firecracker. It's the sort of album you can spend a whole evening, or equally a whole lifetime with, perfectly crafted and sequenced for immersed listening and also to be broken down into DJ components - of which there are some super strong moments in the hypnotic Detroit disco-tech of 'Object', the sophisticate house stride of 'Expressions', and a sublime dub chord lather in 'Love Lost' to close. From Firecracker: "Ah, yes! Finally some real flavours to sink our teeth into. The nose is truly a work of art. First the classic peaty s… Read more
Dasha Rush fully explores her latent ambient side with 'Sleepstep', her debut suite of tech-nocturnes for Raster Noton. It's quite a departure from her sleek, signature club sound, largely leaving the big kicks at home and heading towards dark, brooding scapes and skeletal rhythms perfused with her own vocals and icy-fingered melodies. The ambient/sound design aspect is a constant throughout Dasha's oeuvre, whether in the drone elements or expansive club track intros like LADA's 'Indust' or in her work for Fullpanda sub-label, Hunger To Create. But 'Sleepstep' is clearly her most expansive ambien… Read more
NHK probes the outer limits of techno with the structural tests and stressed tones of 'Program' for Line. Located farther out than his recent dancefloor assault for Diagonal, this album gives room for the Japanese artist to really home in and dissect biting frequencies and minimalist patterns for the more insatiable, exploratory listeners. The result is nine scratchy and buckled techno misshapes hingeing on cracked syncopations and processed with canny electro-acoustic techniques recalling the spacious dynamics of his former collaborator, Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio, and the meter-wrecking spatter of Russell … Read more
**A fascinating insight to Vietnamese radio - crammed with electroid jingles, news excerpts and haunting folk songs - recorded, compiled, sequenced and assembled by Mark Gergis on location between 2013-2014. Housed in gatefold sleeve with 8-page booklet** "This disc continues the Sublime Frequencies locale-specific radio collage series with Vietnamese radio recordings culled and assembled from signals received in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City between December 2013 and November 2014. Inside the program are moments of outstanding folkloric, traditional and pop music – including performances on th… Read more
*4 panel digifile CD Edition* "Jarboe is a famed vocalist, musician and performer, who came to prominence as co-front and co-writer in Swans. In addition to her X solo albums, she has notably worked with Neurosis as well as many other legends such as Blixa Bargeld. Helen Money is the nomme de guerre of cellist Alison Chesley. In addition to working with Mono, Anthrax and Russian Circles, she has toured with Joe Lally and Shellac among others, and released her third album 'Arriving Angels' on respected metal label Profound Lore in 2013. While still a "heavy" record in many ways, C… Read more
Kai Hugo aka Palmbomen II drops one of the most distinctive entries to the proto and lop-sided slo-house discourse with this suite of sidelong, sidereal chuggers. RIYL High Wolf, Danielle Baldelli, Beautiful Swimmers… "Guided by voices hardwired into machines of dance productions past, Kai Hugo redirects the collaborative context of his Palmbomen project and escapes within to create the self-titled debut of Palmbomen II. Possesses the qualities of an artist slipping from one reality to the next, yet welcomes listeners to experience this transcendence in tandem."
"This historical recording is something of a milestone, and it´s a mystery why it has been kept away from the public for over thirty years. More about that later. If anybody deserves to be called a living legend in Norwegian free jazz it must surely be saxophone, flute and clarinet player Frode Gjerstad. Born in 1948 in Stavanger, he has since the late 70s been central on more than fifty records and played with a number of free jazz players such as Evan Parker, Johnny Dyani, John Stevens, Derek Bailey, Barry Guy, Bobby Bradford, Paul Rutherford, Hamid Drake, William Parker, Peter Brötzmann, John E… Read more
*Shadowy electro-acoustic dimensions for those who appreciate the darkness of Mika Vainio, Valerio Tricoli, or Main* "On Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus Belgian sound artist Koenraad Ecker creates a biotope of musical characters that is sober, delicate, complex and vivid, with a restrained intensity, a “cold fire.” The characters discuss, hesitate, fight, pull closer, push back. Through the use of microtonality and recordings of acoustic instruments it is the elusive sound of a somnambulistic travelogue. “I’m searching for ways to create an intricate narrative, switching per… Read more
**Desolate solo guitar reflections melt into discordant amp-worship and freeform celestial drones. Hand-made, fold-over artwork by Michael Holland. RIYL Decimus, Sun Ra, Richard Youngs** "This is the work of the one man Steve Lyon who played his first solo public gig the week before this release in Islington Mill Salford. Previously he had played one other gig in Leigh Public Library with a band of local musicians from Leigh. Steve Has Many Names and has been self releasing small runs of tapes and CDrs since starting to make music in 1976. Ono will be releasing many more of his proj… Read more
**Hand-made, recycled packaging with insert. Edition of 50** Eccentric folk, miniature prog epics and lower case electronica from Leigh's Steve Lyon for Michael Holland's ONO. This is a reissue of Steve's 2007 album, 'From Fun To Fear' with new packaging. It traverses 18 disparate vignettes awash with MIDI keys, drizzly guitar mediations and scrabbling concrète elements laced with moments of Lynchian oddness that only reaffirm our belief that the stranger nooks of England's NW exist in a parallel dimension to Twin Peaks in NW U.S.A.
'Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments' is a beautiful synth music obscurity by a largely unsung hero of the genre, David Borden. Originally released in 1981 on the little-known Red label outta Holland, it has been reclaimed from the safety masters and reissued for your delectation by John Elliott's Spectrum Spools nearly 33 years later. Quite understandably, many heads are suffering synth ennui with the sheer tide of forgettable reissues in circulation right now, but this one is like a sad beacon in swelling seas, radiating the sweetest melodies and harmonic f… Read more
**Limited CD Edition - Includes digital download code redeemable from the label for unmixed track versions in both WAV and MP3 formats** CD Mix (includes unmixed tracks via download as mp3/wav) featuring tracks from Darkstar, Holy Other, Teebs, Nils Frahm, Letherette, David Holmes, Alela Diane, School of Seven Bells, Peter Broderick, Four Tet, Bibio, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Helios, Jonsi & Alex Daniell, Health, Rick Holland and Jon Hopkins himself.
Parisian Afro-futurist Bambounou projects a mystic, dystopian premonition of things to come with 2nd album, 'Centrum' for Modeselektor's label. Inspired by the sci-fi predictions of Akira and Dune, and operating in aesthetic orbit of Jeff Mills, Jamal Moss and Untold, we find ten tracks unfolding a cracked narrative of night vision synths and scuffed, semi-organic rhythms that seem to have a micro-life of their own. It works very neatly as a play-through listen, twysting between frayed, Afro-centric shuffle and Detroit-style electronics in 'Composer' and the polychromatic Mills arrangement of 'Fire … Read more
*CD Includes bonus tracks not included on the vinyl Edition* **Limited edition red wax includes bonus 7" and digital download** "The highest apex of psychedelia, be it art, music, drugs or literature, is to induce a prolonged consciousness shift that affects the consumer far beyond the time that they were privy to the act. Moon Duo‘s third full-length LP, Shadow of the Sun, was written entirely during one of these evolving phases. Working in a rare and uneasy rest period for the band, devoid of the constant adrenaline of performing live and the stimulation of traveling through endless movin… Read more
"Sydney's Au.Ra, a duo composed of Tim Jenkins and Tom Crandles, release their new full length Jane's Lament, a work which carefully envelops the listener in dreamy hues of sound. Made over the course of two years, the LP was birthed from improvised jams the pair play over droning guitars and looped drum beats. Tracks like “Sun,” and “Pyramid” emerge slowly out of interplays between simple melodies and layered, reverbed instrumentation. Au.Ra's “emotive soundscapes” perfectly encase their nontraditional pop songwriting, like on highlight “Morning,” where shimmering guitar riffs transport you to a … Read more
*For fans of electronic soul with a public access aesthetic - die-cut cathode-ray jacket with one of six cover configurations, all of which are interchangeable via printed inner sleeves and enclosed booklet. Also includes a DVD mix tape, isolating the most absurd and outrageous moments from the original broadcasts* "For 23 straight Saturday nights of 1982, The Chicago Party dance show assaulted Chicagoland UHF eyeballs with Spandex, Southside fly guys, tender tenderonies, magicians, contortionists, prismatic video gimmickry, and lip-synched singles by a rising regime o… Read more
Kompakt's Pop Ambient series comes of age with the first full length offering in its new album series (as opposed to compilations). Hand-picked for the job by series curator, Wolfgang Voigt, Argentina's Leandro Fresco returns to the Kompakt fold more than ten years since his 'Amor Internacional' 12", which hailed as one of the label's best ever releases by Michael Mayer.
"In the 1960s Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd’s legendary Studio One Records laid down the template for all reggae music, the equivalent of Jamaica’s Motown Records. Artists who launched their careers there comprise an A-Z of the Jamaican music scene - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Burning Spear, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths, Horace Andy and many, many more. In the early releases featured here you will find the roots of Studio One’s unique sound - from the first jump-up, boogie-woogie and shuffle recordings made … Read more
"Canadian duo Megan James and Corin Roddick, aka Purity Ring, return with a second album, entitled ‘another eternity’. Their 2012 debut ‘Shrines’ was in many ways a prescient suggestion of indie and popular music to come. While Shrines was composed remotely between Halifax and Montreal, ‘another eternity’ marks the first time Megan and Corin were able to create a record in the same room. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what would become the album. Megan and Corin recorded and produced their follow-up them… Read more
*Remastered Reissue* It’s almost without exception that one can say that double albums of this nature very rarely work. What we have here, however, features some of Nick Cave’s most ambitious and astute expression of vitriol for the best part of a decade. While the “Lyre of Orpheus” concentrates on his oozing lovesongs for all manner of strange and unidentified beauties, “Abattoir Blues” unleashes Cave’s wit and tobacco-stained violence at it’s most devastating. It’s an often fabulous work from one of the most disturbingly charismatic songwriters of a generation, uncomfortably itching away at middle age with all the nastiness and bile we’d expect. Excellent stuff.
Debut album 'Wild Peace' was released in June 2012, after the then five piece had surfaced 18 months prior to a flurry of blog attention. The record is a near-perfect encapsulation of their early sound, with critics calling it “dazzling, hypnotic and deliriously seductive” and “truly magnificent”. However loud the acclaim, the release was inevitably overshadowed by the shock death of drummer Peter Hayes a few days before release. The band recovered in private. The songwriting pair of guitarist Thom Hill and vocalist Linda Jarvis would spend two years working on the tracks which would form Era in East Lo… Read more
"Whereas last time around, they were all about "vocal harmonies from NYC to Cape Town" and "massive guitars from Portland to D¸sseldorf, mixed with clattering beats from Berlin to Detroit" Aloa Input - a Munich-based three-piece that seems to be just as addicted to new input as it's quick and productive when it comes to releasing more genre-smashing, ebullient output - are about to leave planet earth altogether with their sophomore release: Dropping only a year after the band's debut album "Anysome" (with additional remix EP "RMX" released in-between), they return with an album that finds them das… Read more
Thursday, 19 February
Strong debut album from the multi-faceted Future Brown collective for Warp. Numbering Fatima Al Qadiri, plus Lit City Trax's J-Cush and Nguzunguzu's Daniel Pineda & Asma Maroof, they represent a worldwide perspective (LA, NYC, Kuwait) via myriad dancefloor strains shaken for their sweetest, futurist fruit and voiced by an international roll call including MCs from Chiraq, Jamaica-via-London and Latin NYC. Holding up a mirror to the world's increasingly mixed and itinerant population - and it's disproportionate representation in mainstream media, music - the international cast form a borderle… Read more
Juan Atkins delivers his 1st Model 500 album since 1999 with 'Digital Solution'. Aided by a live band including UR's Mike Banks, Mark Taylor and Milton Baldwin, they swerve to a classic sort of Detroit techno funk, with the emphasis mostly on classic styles, but also tucked with some straight-up signature electro belters. The funky bits tread a fine line between dope ('Electric Night' or 'Standing In Tomorrow') and eye-watering ('Hi NRG', the dubstep-styled 'Encounter') while the club joints do wit like only Juan and the clan can, at best in the supple, stripped-down techno trip 'Storm', t… Read more
**Includes Roots, Motherless Child and Prison Blues on instant download** Feted new UK artist, Romare, scales his cut-up, Afro-American-centric sound to a family-sized debut album for Ninja Tune. Elaborating on the deftly woven tapestries of his two 12"s for Black Acre, he continues to pay tribute to Romare Bearden - the seminal American cut-up artist and painter whose work recently adorned The Roots' '…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin' LP - with eleven loosely syncopated and blues-wise grooves. Through the dusty disco of 'Rainbow', or gospel soul with the self-explanatory 'Nina's Charm' he perceive… Read more
*CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package* *Sam Prekop returns with another album exploring the modular electronics he has been pursuing for the last few years* Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop’s music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea And Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world, expanding the public perception of what it means to be the leader of a pop band. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his … Read more
*Much needed reissue of this classic Drexciya album for Tresor - finally in stock on CD* One of Drexciya's most sought-after and definitive "storms" finally repressed for those that need it. Originally released in 2002, 'Harnessed The Storm' yields timeless anthems such as the devastating 'Digital Tsunami' - leaves us an emotional wreck every time - and the unfathomable mystery of 'Under Sea Disturbances' alongside signature enigmas like 'Mission to Ociya Syndor and Back' or the heart-breaking melodies of 'Birth Of New Life'. Trust us and everyone else: it's essential.
NDW legend Holger Hiller sifts out a selection of dusty, wayward wave gems from the obscure early '80s Berlin archive of Wolfgang Seidel aka Populäre Mechanik. Rooted in the Zodiak Arts Club aesthetics of freedom and exploration, and prompted by the punk movement, Populäre Mechanik was coined as a vehicle to combine various strands of musical thought, from Devo-esque art-rock to jazz-wise detours and skinny dubs fracked with traces of slick yacht rock and exotica. RIYL K. Leimer, Felix Kubin, Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.
"Eric Chenaux has emerged as one of the most distinctive, innovative and original voices in what might be called avant-garde balladry, juxtaposing his gorgeously pure and open singing against a guitar sound and style that truly stands alone. Skullsplitter is the impressive new album that confirms Chenaux’s singular aesthetic: genuine, natural, unaffected vocals gliding through slow, smoky melodies while electric and nylon-string guitars are deployed with adventurously experimental, dextrous, semi-improvisational technique and texture. Skullsplitter stands as a welcome and natural evolution … Read more