Wednesday, 19 June
Kanye makes a crater-like impression in the face of pop and hip-hop with the incredible 'Yeezus'. Adopting a new, noisy-ass electronic stance bolstered by production from HudMo Daft Punk, Evian Christ, and TNGHT, among many others, the omnipotent rapstar is unbending in his vision of a radical new sound to match an often vicious, preachy rhetoric dealing with his complex and tortuous relationship with women, race, fashion and family. If we're picking instant highlights, the virile, bellicose dancehall of 'I'm In It' shoots high and hits the mark square on, while Daft Punk's production on the bashy ac… Read more
Sub Rosa's essential compilation series culminates with this cherry-picked, 38-track triple disc gatefold and 84-page booklet of critical and biographic notes. For many sonic explorers this series has provided an invaluable gateway to the outer limits of recorded electronic music, delving deep into the wormholes of musique concrète, electro-acoustic, modern composition and computer music beyond common knowledge to document a worldwide rhizome of experimentation, research and mutation following the development from national radio facilities to home studios a… Read more
He's back! Madlib reanimates his helium voiced, base brother on twelve tracks - some previously issued, some brand new, but all killer and no filler. The last we heard from the fuzzy yellow avatar was way back in 2005 on 'The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas', and before that his legendary 'The Unseen' in 2000 (is it that long ago?!), and we can hardly acuse Madlib of laziness between: he's hit up some 50+ releases in the meantime. But, none of 'em quite hit that sweet spot in your hot-box quite like Quas, and the nonchalant boom of 'Yessir Whatever' is welcome like that stinky your bud grew o… Read more
Planet Mu bossman Mike P delivers a hypercoloured splash of recalibrated techno, hip hop and electronica on his first album in over six years. 'Chewed Corners' is the sound of an inarguably talented producer reconnecting with his artform, re-energised by both classic recordings from Japan, Orbital and AFX, and the thrill of fresh, accelerated culture from Kuedo to the Chicago Footwork scene his label has provided staunch support for in recent years. However, most of all, 'Chewed Corners' illuminates Mike's instinctive and advanced knack for emotive melody and harmonic arrangements with neon poten… Read more
**Edition of 300 housed in a vacuum sealed foil sleeve** 'Rudimenti' is Giuseppe Ielasi's dissection of percussions played by Enrico Malatesta and reassembled with his own field recordings of whirring, clanking motors. Source material was collated over two sessions in Milano and Oreno during winter 2011/2012 and later edited, recomposed by Ielasi as one continuous 26-minute piece in summer 2012, effecting a fractured tract of microscopically focussed rhythms melding the mechanical and the organic with absorbing, perception-defying intricacy.
One of the leading lights in R&S’s much-vaunted new generation of artists comes correct with his full-length debut album. Like Mount Kimbie or his old friend James Blake, UK producer Rob McAndrew seems to draw as much inspiration from the painterly post-rock abstraction of Talk Talk or quiet-mode Mogwai, and the fanatical detail of 90s laptop electronica, as he does from dubstep, R&B or house: take ‘Masami’, in which pontillistic acoustic guitar plucks ripple across the surface of gauzy Music For Airports-style ambience, or ‘Lightmeters’, whose hushed dawn mood is broken up, or perhaps consolidated, … Read more
Arch arcane collagists NWW and avant-garde composer Graham Bowers follow their 'Rupture' collaboration with the densely layered and theatrical movements of 'Parade' via Bowers own Red Wharf label. According to the press release, '[Parade] delves into the multiple manifestations of the human form and psyche", tangling and dissolving stacked plateaus of sonic reality in a surreal reflection of our world and a refraction of its underlying themes and subplots. Eight pieces constantly twist their kaleidoscopic palette of samples between tribal rhythms, wailing women, thunderous timpani… Read more
**Dense yet spectral electro-acoustic and digital signal processing and field recordings. Edition of 200 copies housed in vacuum sealed foil sleeve** "Zbeen is an electro-acoustic project by Gianluca Favaron and Ennio Mazzon. Zbeen’s improvisational approach is developed from the human-machine paradigm which is represented by the interaction with digital instruments specifically designed and developed for this project. K-Frame, Zbeen's debut EP, was released by Ripples in January 2012. Unlike K-Frame, which was developed as a sonic counterpart to the linear algebra concept of an ordered set of ‘k’ linearl… Read more
**Edition of 200 copies housed in vacuum sealed foil sleeve** Esther Venrooy and Lander Gyselinck explore "the interaction between acoustic drums, electronics and digital processing" on 'Point Break' for London's Entr'acte label. After the duo were invited to collaborate with two chinese musicians for the Shanghai World Expo, they continued to explore mutual interests in film dialogue, speech patterns and cut-up techniques, resulting these four pieces investigating gamelan-like timbres and hovering drones in 'I Am Simply Not There',
*2013 Reissue* Described by Brian Eno as "a brilliant contribution to the archaeology of electronic music", Twenty Systems is a truly impressive catalogue of innovations in synthesizer technology, chronologically ordered between 1968 and 1987. Each of the twenty pieces on the disc showcase the particular sonorities of a synthesizer, beginning with the Moog Modular and concluding with the Kawai K5M. This really is nerd heaven. As far as composition is concerned, Benge (aka Ben Edwards) has tried to leave his own personal voice out of the equation, permitting as much room for the machines to funct… Read more
Tuesday, 18 June
Death Waltz present their first dip into the pandora's cabinet of Hammer Horror with Harry Robinson's 1971 score to 'Twins Of Evil' conducted by Phillip Martell. Created with a decreasing budget during the liberated golden era of Hammer classics, 'Twins Of Evil' juxtaposess melodramatic orchestrations with the rousing spaghetti western themes of Morricone to soundtrack a relatively explicit, Peter Cushing-lead tale of witchfinders romping in the English countryside. The composer Harry Robinson has a long and varied history composing, arranging and directing for myriad artists and projects ranging from John Martyn to Nick Drake and the Eurovision Song Contest.
**Special Edition CD housed in three-colour letter-pressed kraft cover with 13 vintage animal coloured prints (sugar paper), heavy card stock letter pressed insert and hand-picked red leaf plus download code redeemable from the label. Edition of 200.** Fluid Audio present the first collaboration between Maps & Diagrams producer Tim Martin and Macedonian vocalist Genoveva Kachurkova. 'In The Vale Of Tears' revolves twelve sombre, widescreen yet private pieces merging neo-classical compositional techniques with ambient pop song structures in the lushest style - no lo-fi noise here - everything's rendered for clarity and emotional impact.
Monday, 17 June
Modeselektor's pal unleashes his latest box of tricks on Monkeytown. 'Enthusiast' orbits 13 quirks of electronic funk, robbin' and stealin' the shiniest traces of disco, house, hip hop, boogie and whatever else Siriusmo was feeling at the time, clipping the fat and leaving only the tightest, most charming grooves for yer dancefloor and headphone satisfaction.
**Dynamic, radiant, full frequency-range electro-acoustic renders of location recordings. RIYL Emptyset. Edition of 200 copies** "Sleeper Line is a five-track EP constructed from the original components of a live set performed in December 2012. These components — manipulated found sounds — were recorded at various times and in various environments: Dungeness Power Station (2012), street recordings post-Notting Hill Carnival (2007), a prior live performance at the White Building in London (2012), and a cassette recording made in the cloakroom of the Metalheadz Sunday Sessions club night (… Read more
Thursday, 13 June
Underground provocateur and beat maverick triggers 33 sawn-off rave-refractions, 'With Love'. After maintaining an unusually low profile for the 2 years since 'Dedication', Zomby is set to convince more heads with this ambitious double album of gloomy electronics and UK soul. And that's not soul of the Beverley Knight type: it's a poignant, more relevant sorta soul; a metaphysical essence that percolates its dilated pulsewidth and comes laden with a very particular emotional and cultural baggage. On 'With Love' the glowing perspiration of '92 has long gone cold, its aura only just phosphorescing in the… Read more
Numero present a sincerely wide-eyed and wondrous collection of new age synth music prototypes imagined and created between 1975-1985 by Iasos. As the story goes, Iasos was inspired by "…the infinitely numbered harmonies transmitted by Vista, a benevolent being from a distant dimension…" to experiment with the earliest commercially available synthesisers and tape FX, creating a breathtakingly lush and blessed form of electronic music that was subsequently deemed new age. Interpreting Vista's transmissions from his studio on a houseboat in Sausalito, San Francisco, Iasos closely mirrored t… Read more
"Kveikur’ is Sigur Ros’ first album since signing to XL, self-produced by the three members of the band: Jón Þór Birgisson (guitar, vocals), Georg Hólm (bass guitar) and Orri Páll Dýrason (drums).
Poland's intrepid Bocian label helms this shocking collaboration between combustible Norwegian vocalist Maja S.K. Ratkje and legendary DNA drummer, Ikue Mori. Despite working together in a number of live constellations over the years, until now the two boundary-pushing artistes haven't performed as a duo. The eight tracks of 'Scrumptious Sabotage' are Maja's augmented documents of their reactive improvisations recorded in Belfast and Ulverston at end of March 2012; an instinctive entanglement of free, avant-minded expression aware of the history of contemporary music and … Read more
"The cold had a certain warmth to it. Worlds, life, among the layers of ice. Complex sounds, alive, found in the darkest rocks, wet with winter’s water. These hollows, rough with age, nature’s hideouts, were the source of inspiration and sounds for the first full-length collaborative effort from Seaworthy (Cameron Webb) and Taylor Deupree. Webb was plucked from a bushfire and flood-ridden east coast of an Australian summer and deposited via a 20h flight into a New York covered in snow. From wetlands abuzz with wildlife in the Australia to winter’s wooded trails through Pound… Read more
"Start with a room, a cleanish one, not too rustic, not too slick, and then fill it with tools, fill it with anything that can be used to make other things. Put the room in the forest, but not too deeply in, let’s have the city on the distant horizon. Then, let’s have two craftsman, artists, explorers. Tell them a bit about where the room is, but not exactly. Make them find it, together. When they finally do they will embark on their creations, but it won’t be the immerse-and-shut-yourself-off-from-the-world type of creation. To them, creation involves talking, travelling, experiencing, not just wor… Read more
Maudlin beatscapes and angst-ridden electro-pop from Baths on 'Obsidian', the follow-up to 2010's 'Cerulean'. As seems to be entirely commonplace for Anticon artists these days, Will Wiesenfeld seems in thrall to the plaintive chamber-folk of people like Sufjan Stevens and Peter Broderick, working with an aspirational toolbox of strings, guitars and vocal harmonies, favouring hushed, clos-mic'd production, and trying to put his own stamp on the formula with some dusty drum loops, erratic electronic squiggles and stuttering, disruptive edits. Elsewhere, as on 'Miasma Sky', the touchstone seem to be Hot C… Read more
**Crooked avant-funk-rock and electronics with weirdly possessed vocals** "Listening to Denseland evokes shades of bygone music's and not: Lou Reed's Berlin period, Joy Division, Einstürzende Neubauten, the extended vocal madness of Roy Hart and Laurie Anderson, the distortions of the early Contortions, reduced Grandmaster Flash and John Carpenter. But Denseland's sound also exists in its own sealed universe - one spanned by sinister timbres of seduction, grooves of foreboding imbued with a sardonic, almost wicked humor. The tracks lure the listener in through an incessant, underlying, loopin… Read more
Superb sci-fi sound designs from a shadowy collective inspired by William Gibson's prophetic 'Neuromancer' novel. Borrowing its title from the book's opening chapter, 'Tuned To A Dead Channel' presents us with nine pieces of fear-inducing cybernetic simulation bowing to '80s and '90s sci-fi atmospheres meshing gloomy pads, hyperreal electro pings, perilous bass detonations and distant clanks, all rendered as code on luminous green grids in glossy black surfaces in tessellating, 3D-sculpted spatialisations. Fans of everything from Ike Yard to the Autonomic lot, Bitstream, Synth Sense and Ital's tripper album moments need to make themselves acquainted.
Two long-associated pals from the international noise underground chewed thru some 18 years worth of material to form 'Pink Pearl'. It breaks down to four parts of densely packed, heavyweight and richly textured noise ranging from prickly mechanical drone and feedback interference to perilous bass subduction zones and two extended pieces bristling with their combined energies and intense, pointed, yet abstract dialogues.
*Second Epic 4CD/45 track set featuring four Cleaners From Venus albums, 1983-1985, plus an entire album of previously unreleased songs - all remastered - and a 16 page booklet* "The legendary lo-fi band Cleaners from Venus formed in the small town of Wivenhoe, southeast England at the turn of 1980s by Martin Newell. The man, the myth, but to rock singer and part-time kitchen porter with a love of sunny 1960s pop music, punk rock and musical comedy. He never cared much for any kind of musical rule book and broke new ground with music that garnered a cult following… Read more
**Really weird soundtrack by the legends of NDW, veering from dark synth vignettes to unhinged and dippy blats** "With 36 tracks clocking in at 40 minutes, this 1983 album by these German loons did little to dispel already prevalent Residents comparisons. But who cares? Short songs, silly voices, ever-inventive pop-cultural references; if only The Residents always made records this good! With a far wider musical palette than the Post-Fab Four ever had at their disposal (including leader Kurt "Pyrolator" Dahlke's use of early Emulator 1 sampling technology), Der Plan pioneer the sounds and sty… Read more
"Turkish Bar or Bengi folk dancing requires approximately 100 people to do properly, and it helps if a lot of them are eating wedding cake. You put your arms around the shoulders of the people on either side of you, and then stomp around in a circle, facing in and kicking the air. Far away from any folklore festivals, Derdiyoklar hand-built the soundtrack to this dancing as it was drunkenly executed by luckless German-Turkish immigrants in the fashion-insensitive 80s. And though the band had only two members, they decided electric saz, synthesized drums, cimbalom, and sheep sound effect… Read more